December 31, 2012
I'm keeping the dog!
I have spent this vacation learning as much as I can about training and re-training an adult dog. My dear friend and her expert dog-breeder friend have suggested that socializing a distant beagle, a roamer by nature, is virtually impossible and certainly not worth the effort. The breeder suggested that I return the dog to the rescue center. Hearing this advice was shocking and upsetting, but it helped me tremendously. 1. I began to accept the situation we are in: I am starting from scratch with Jesse and I can have NO expectations. 2. I love Jesse and having him is great, despite the challenges.
The housebreaking is a challenge, his tendency to chew and destroy given the opportunity is a challenge, and teaching him to be a loving house dog is a challenge.
But, I'm learning. I bought the Nature's Miracle and have cleaned the rugs with it. I bought baby gates to restrict Jesse to the kitchen when no one can be home with him. I've ordered a smaller crate to help with the housebreaking. It should arrive soon. I leash him in the house and force him to follow me everywhere so that he in involved with our lives and daily routines. A puppy would do this instinctively, but Jesse has to be taught to be curious. I've also learned that the walking schedule must be adjusted if Jesse goes out and goes earlier than usual-that it's the duration between walks that counts. I'm reading the Monks of New Skete and that has really helped me understand how dogs think. It has also given me hope that even adult dogs can be taught and retrained to adjust to their new lives and homes. The Monks explain just how to do everything! Best of all, I found a beagle support group on line, so from now on, I'll be posting about Jesse there instead of on this blog.
Happy new year!