Save the frustration, time, & money by first reading our story below. You are here to learn about training your pooch… This story is essential and relates to most dog owners we speak with.
Our dog bit the vet… and the vet is bleeding bad!
I will never forget that call…
We started doing our research… do we get a purebred… where do we get it… do we rescue a dog etc…
We saw Jester on one of the online adoption sites and we had to meet him! He was really really cute and was some sort of hound mix.
They didn’t think he would get much bigger then 40ish pounds…. so they said. He did have some huge paws!
Anyways… we didn’t have a big yard or a big house for that matter, but we knew we had to have him and we would love him, take care of him, and do all the things you do as a dog owner.
Do We Train Him?
I had dogs growing up and they were all great listeners and we never really had to technically “train” them. My wife’s dog was the opposite! Crazy loco…. so she wanted to look into getting Jester trained right from the start.
A local trainer was ideal, but at the time we just didn’t have the money to afford it. So I did some research online for puppy training and I was floored at how much was out there, so I chose this one program on DVD that I can’t even remember the name of being it was almost 13 years ago.
It was a good video and it had some really great tips. I remember it telling you set up bowls around the house with treats so you can do some training by calling his name or something simliar. Honestly it has been so long that I really don’t remember much.
The truth is… it would not have mattered if it was the best Dog Training system in the entire galaxy because there was one thing that we missed! Actually following through and being consistent with it.
Jester grew to be 75lb’s of all muscle! He was tough to handle… factor in the fact we lived in a 1 bedroom house that was 800 square feet, and our yard was probably about the same. It was tough!
Things Got Bad Fast!
- It was almost impossible to have people over
- He would bark like crazy… have you ever heard a hound bark? AGHH
- He chewed up the bottom corner of our new kitchen cabinets.
- Aghhh he chewed everything!
“Can You Relate To Any Of This?”
Even with all of this we still loved our pooch! He was part of the family!
Hey remember how this story started off?
OUR DOG BIT THE VET!
Yeah that part of it….well that was the turning point. We HAD TO HIRE A DOG TRAINER! There was no way around it! We couldn’t have our dog biting people. It wasn’t good for anyone including our dog!
They recommended someone for us to look into, but during that time our dog basically nipped at 3 of our friends and broke skin through the pants of one of them!
It was insane! Every time someone new would come by or even people we knew I was so nervous! I now know that Jester was feeding off some of that nervous energy.
We had now moved out of our old house into a bigger one with a good size fenced it yard. Jester loved it! We hoped things would change…
Our Hope Was In The Dog Trainer
We finally got a chance to set up a meeting with Jasmine the dog trainer. She was recommended by the vet, had certifications, and she had two beautiful German Shepherds she had trained.
She knew her stuff for sure, but would it be something we could follow along with?
Jasmine showed us numerous things to try with Jester and it did get somewhat better, but even she admitted he was a real tough dog to train.
When we would see her having issues with him, our confidence waned because if she couldn’t control him then how the heck could we!?
The Shock Collar Cometh….
Well this is about the time the trainer brought her shock collar to “test” on Jester. We were so against it, but since the “trainer” was telling us to use it we did.
I still remember the first time she hit the button… the sound Jester made was so saddening to hear. He did not know what hit him!
The crazy thing was that it did work… for a time. I remember those first few weeks of using the collar in which he was a better behaved dog, but of course it did not last.
Part of the reason was us! We were given this shock collar with some basic training. We tried our best to use it correctly, but of course would stop using it, then start up again… and when we did it was at the wrong times to reinforce the wrong habits.
It was a nightmare. Was it our fault? Was it the Jester’s fault? I would say a bit of both.
The Day Of Reckoning…
So things went on like this for a few years… he would nip people here and there… we were still so nervous to be around people with him.
It was tough… then my wife got pregnant! It was a great time, an exciting time. The crazy thing was Jester never really had any aggression towards us, but 6 months into the pregnancy he would growl and snap at my wife. It was the strangest thing.
Well the baby came and we did all the things you are supposed to do to prepare for bringing a baby home when you have a dog. Let the dog sniff some of the baby’s clothes separately, bring the baby home in a calm environment to introduce him to the dog.
We did all that and it was fine… nothing crazy, but a few months in he was just acting strange. Growling at my wife again… he would lay our bed and if my wife moved fast he would sometimes snap at her.
I have to be honest he never growled or snapped at the baby, but after all of the things that happened and him being unpredictable as well as nipping more people, we had to make a decision.
We Had To Give Him Up!
Now please…. try not to judge us here! It was a really, really tough decision for us, but I was not about to be the family that decided to keep their “irrational” dog only to have it bite one of their kids. I had 2 close friends that this happened too and I was not willing to take the chance!
Luckily the woman we got him from had a really great setup for fostering dogs.. we told her the situation and she was willing to take him back. She would need two weeks to get things ready for him, so we had some time to spend with him and prepare.
It wasn’t easy at all! I think everyday we talked about keeping him, getting better training, having him wear a muzzle etc…
Then the day before we had to drop him off we took a walk down the street to our neighbors house. I had the baby in one of those baby harnesses and my wife had the dog on the leash. We were just hanging out in the driveway when our friends neighbor came across the street and went to pet the dog…
I will never forget it! Jester lunged at her face like a MAD dog and thank GOD my wife had a tight grip on the leash and pulled him back literally an inch from her face! That was it!
It sealed the deal on giving him back! I just couldn’t take the chance!
Whose Fault Was It?
Was it our fault? Was it Jesters’ fault? A little of both I think…
All we wanted to do was love our dog and have good times! All he wanted to do was be loved. When I look back on it I think there are a handful of things I would have done differently. One of them being really researching the breeds of dogs and figuring out what was best for our situation.
I would have really researched more dog training options. Over the years after Cesar Milan “The Dog Whisperer” was on it seemed like everyone thought they could be a master trainer! Ha even we did at one point.
We still keep in touch with the woman who took Jester back. He actually went to live with 2 different families, but ended up being sent back where he still leaves today.
We always try to donate money to her organization, because I always feel like he was our responsiblity”which he was” and I just didn’t want to be the guy who just gets rid of his dog.
No.. No… we did not get another dog! As the years went on we had 2 more children for a total of 3, so a dog is the last thing we need right now… maybe someday!
What did happen was my brother in-law ended up getting a mutt from the pound. They named him Max! We were over their house to meet Max and hang out for the day!
He was a cute little guy, but my brother in-law started explaining some issues he was having and it sounded just like Jester! I was like whoa! Listen man, you need to figure out how to put an end to all of that sooner than later. He agreed!
3 Months Later
Fast forward 3 months later and we were over their house for Thanksgiving. Max was a completely different dog!
It was amazing. He listened, he was calm, he didn’t jump on people, when he had to go to the bathroom he went to the sliding door and rang this bell with his nose! I was amazed.
I started calling my brother in law the Dog Whisperer lol.
I was curious how much he had to pay for a trainer to do all of this! He sat back and laughed! Dog trainer? No way that was so expensive. He told me he did some research online and found this guy called “Doggy Dan“.
I stopped, laughed and said, “Doggy Dan? C’mon seriously?” He brought me to the computer and logged in and showed me a few things.
Basically this guy Dan has a website called TheOnlineDogTrainer.com and has been doing this a long time. He started showing me a bunch of things and why most dog training methods don’t work. I was in shock because all the things Doggy Dan said not to do, were the things we did with Jester!
I couldn’t believe it! I actually felt pretty upset about it because part of me felt like if we had this training when we got Jester things might have ended up differently.
I wrote this because I hope it helps other dog owners out there who might be in the same situation or just brought home a new puppy. At WhatBreedIsIt.com they get a lot of questions relatedto this.
WhatBreedIsIt.com reached out to Doggy Dan to ask for some tips. He gave us access to this great guide called “My Everyday Dog Training Tools” It is an awesome book and its completely FREE and has a lot of great tips you can start using on your dog today! CLICK HERE To Download The Guide Instantly