Thursday, October 6, 2011

1st day of homework gets an F

I was so excited after our meeting with Jamie, the dog trainer, yesterday. Buster did so great when he was learning to walk with a loose leash. Last night, I walked all three dogs together and while Buster still pulled a little, it was no where near as bad as usual. The leash was even loose a couple times. I felt really good about how things were going to progress.

This morning was our first homework assignment. We are supposed to spend 10-20 minutes per day working on the things that the trainer teaches us. Normally in the mornings we walk all three dogs together. This morning, Trevor was going to take Buster and I was going to take Asha and Maggie. That's how we started. Buster went nuts when I was ahead of him with Asha and Maggie. The garbage truck was going through the neighborhood since it was trash day and it was really loud. Trevor decided he would go one way and I'd go another, hoping that Buster would settle down when we were out of his sight.

Maggie wasn't super happy about the pack being split and Asha must have felt that because she started nipping at my feet and barking. I attempted to stop that behavior. I felt like things were falling apart and was really hoping Trevor and Buster were doing well. I came around the corner and there they were. Trevor said he was out of treats and Buster wasn't getting it today.

I took Buster and kept going, Trevor took Maggie and Asha and went the other way. Buster was not having any of it. He pulled on the leash harder than normal and that was REALLY frustrating to me. I could tell that he was confused because yesterday he did so good and we were so proud. Today, we were upset and he surely didn't know why. I finally gave up and realized that it wasn't our day. None of us are ready to train in those conditions. We need to get Buster totally by himself - other dogs not around and no loud trucks constantly making noise. We need to give him a chance to be successful when there are no distractions before he can handle more 'noise'.

I felt like a failure today, like we'll never see progress. I know that's ridiculous, but I guarantee everyone knows that feeling. It should be so easy, right? We're good doggie parents and we want the right things, we why is it so hard. I know its more about me than it is about them. Really what we need to do it train ourselves and the dogs will just follow.

I told Buster that I was really sorry for being frustrated and not being the best dog mom I could be. He licked my face and told me it was okay, he understands and we'll try again tomorrow. If only everyone was so forgiving. If only I was so forgiving.

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