Back in June, I wrote a post about why I adopted my adorable dog, Petunia. I've been linking to it when other bloggers mention their pooches, because I think my story about adopting is relatable for a lot of people. In the post, I mentioned how Tuney struggled to get adjusted, while I struggled to learn how to be the boss. She was having issues with other dogs--big issues. Every time we would see one on a walk, she would go into "fear aggression" mode: her back fur would stand up, ears back, tail curled very tight (the equivalent of a tail standing up for straight-tailed dogs), barking and lunging at whatever was in the distance. With my parents' dog, Frankie, she tried to exert her dominance in other ways. Frankie is a very submissive dog so she was rewarded by him every time, even though I tried to discipline her. Amongst all the socialization issues, Tuney had a problem with pooping in the house. All the stinking time (pun intended).
Well, I am happy to report that Tuney has improved majorly since this summer! We are coming along beautifully in our training.
With other dogs, Tuney is a range of skeptical and nervous, to a little too playful (she's kinda clumsy). We've had only one pretty bad incident, which was with my aunt's dog who is also a very dominant personality. The two of them spent a long time barking loudly at each other until we just decided to separate them. Other than that nervous encounter, Tuney has made strides with dog socialization. She is capable of ignoring passing dogs on walks, or reducing her reaction to a whine. Megan #2 and her husband have two new puppies, and Petunia and I go over to their house very frequently to play. She gets really excited when we are on our way.
Tuney loves Piper the Pomeranian, though she sometimes forgets how much bigger she is when she tries to play with the little one.
The newest addition to our little pack is Zelda, who is a young white German Shepherd. Zellie is growing by the second! She herself is learning the ways of socialization, so Tuney is sometimes a little skeptical of her pawing and nibbling. You can hear a little grumbly growl every now and then, but we always correct it immediately. Tuney seems okay with Zelda outside in the yard, and even tries to play with her occasionally. We think they will become good friends. I'm excited for Tuney to have a playmate who will eventually be bigger than her! It will be a good chance for Tuney to learn to be a little submissive.
On the Frankie front, we are happy to allow these two off-leash together in the house. Tuney lets Frankie play with her toys, which Frankie loves to do (because he's a little thief, hehe). Tuney still loves being the boss, but they get along.
Ever since I came back from my European adventure, when Tuney stayed with Megan #2, we have not had a poop-cident in the house at all. I am finally understanding Tuney's schedule. She is unlike any other dog I have ever met, in that she poops A MILLION TIMES A DAY. But I do know that first thing in the morning, she does a 1-er and a 2-er, and since I have let her take her time outside, she hasn't gone inside at all. I even leave her to have free reign of the upstairs when I'm gone, instead of using her crate. No accidents!
Why am I sharing all this with you? Well, firstly so I could post lots of adorable photos of my dog. Secondly, because what they say about dog training really is true--it takes a lot of self-discipline, time, and effort, but it really does work! I can see her improvement continually, and I know she will only get better. We are light years away from where we were in February when I first adopted her. I couldn't be happier!
Have you rescued a pet? How was the transition in your house?