Murphy, our Golden Retriever, was adopted a while back from a couple that "Can't handle this wild-unruly dog". You can read the story here: Our New Family Member. We've worked with Murphy using our standard methodology. As with the shoe-maker's children, I don't get as much concentration with Murphy as I would like. That said, the changes in his behavior are dramatic!
In case you don't go back to the article above, when we went to adopt Murphy he was in a really small house with owners that wouldn't walk him because he pulled so badly, jumped on everyone, and more. Murphy now has the run of the yard with Lexi, our German Shepherd. He still has a tendency to 'blow through' our yard border (no electric fence, just on-going obedience training) when he sees our neighbor lady out (he DOES love people), but is easily recalled now with just a whistle.
However, two things happened today that let me know Murphy is truly "in a different place".
A friend stopped by today. He's never been to my house and so Murphy has never met him. While Murphy was very, very excited, he never once even acted like he might jump up. Nice for the dog that "couldn't be handled".
Second was the gal that does some in-office administrative work for me. She always brings her baby. While getting ready to leave, she put her little boy down on the floor by Murphy (She knows Murphy!). Slowly he crawled over to the little tyke and very respectfully showed interest. The video isn't great and will be re-processed, but you can see Murphy here and watch his reaction to the baby. And look at Murphy's tail; a constant "I am sooooo happy" wag!! thump, thump, thump. Just remember this is the dog that "didn't know how to relax or settle down"!
Most fascinating to me was when the baby reached for Murphy: his reaction to the reach and then his reaction when the BABY pushed on his head. I nearly cried! HOW COOL!!
Moral of the story: with the right training and attention, most dogs can learn basic obedience and learn respectful rules! I think the video is proof!
Grant Holmes is a dog obedience professional and the owner of Perfectly Pawsible Dog Obedience & People Training. He loves working one on one with your dog in your home working on the goals you've set for obedience and behavior! Any dog, any size, any challenge.
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