Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hard To Live With

I must complain.  I hesitate because I really hate to tell the world about things that make me want to choke one of my greyhounds, but my hope is that when I read this post in ten years that I will laugh because while the first year was tough, she has been a perfect angel for the last nine years.

First let me say that Seven, is extremely easy to train.  She is very motivated and focused.  Other than Katie, I have never had a greyhound become so attentive and reliable so quickly.  It is fantastic.  Her recalls are brilliant and sharp.  She works very hard.  She handles being told she is wrong very well and will keep working.  She will do repetitions over and over.  She never shuts down or becomes lazy even when her tongue is hanging out of her mouth.  Seven is wonderful to train... but she is hard to live with. 

I wonder if I have created this monster or would Seven have been an impossible pet.  You have already read about Seven's sick obsession with me (read here) and that continues to be a big problem.  Despite working methodically on this problem, Seven continues to pant, scream, yelp, bark, and chew on crate bars.  This has everything to do with training sessions and surprisingly she is worse if she can see what is going on.  Her anxiety hits the roof.  I do not have this problem at all at home. 
My approach has mostly been that Seven is ignored until she calms down and I create lots of repetitions for her to practice this.  I did a lot of gradual work in the beginning, but its been four months, I work full time, Riley has to train too, and the world simply does not revolve around Seven.  I thought things might be getting a smidge better, but yesterday she actually broke out of her crate in my van. That cannot happen at a dog show.  So I am feeling very frustrated.

After an hour or two of training, playing, exercising, and/or nervous worry, you would think that Seven would come home exhausted for the rest of the evening.  Nope.  Here are a few examples.  She continues to test her boundaries more than all of my greyhounds combined.  She does not respect gated doorways.  She ate two pairs of my most favorite underwear when I was packing my suitcase.  She is not allowed on our furniture, but she continues to get on our bed despite strategically placed laundry hamper and scat mat.  We have no idea how she is able to work through all of that, but she does (I expect great things in agility) and then lays on my nice work clothes. 

I love training Seven, but......... I love training Seven.