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From: Saysfaa (
Subject:         answers
Date: May 10, 2008 at 8:04 pm PST

In Reply to: An ounce of prevention... posted by Audrey on May 10, 2008 at 4:35 pm:

this is the barest house I've ever seen. Everything is up out of Charlie's reach. But my niece is 2 and nephew is 8 months, we can't keep everything up because she needs to play and burb rags drop and so on. He won't take it out of our hands or if we actively have it, but if it forgotten even momentarily it is fair game to him.

Once he has it, he wants to play.

I haven't tried to take anything from him. I've heard stories about him for the three years sil has had him, so I came into the situation forewarned. My stategy is to not play. If he gets something I deliberately don't care. I've messed that up once or twice, and those are the things he has chewed after I didn't play and tried to go back to not caring about. In the meantime, I am working on making sure I don't ask him to do anything I can't make sure he does. And on asking him to do as much as I can think of, especially if before he gets something he wants. And making a point of telling him he is a good dog when he is. And watching all the things like who goes out the door first, and being honest with him (if I ask him to go outside, I go too. He knows my mother in law likes to ask him to go out with her and then she doesn't go out).

My mother in law has babysat the children two or three days a week since the 2 year old was born. She hates dealing with him. She gets mad at him and also either chases him to get it back or bribes him with a treat (and then doesn't give him the treat if she can get away with it). She says she cannot wrestle it out of his mouth but sometimes he doesn't pay enough attention and she can grab it. She says he has growled over things. My brother in law says he won't bite if I take something away from him, my brother in law and sister in law both say he is very gentle.

My brother in law walks up and takes it away, Charlie just lets him, he doesn't do anything. Same with my 2 year old neice when she has taken her blankie back from him.

Another brother in law was over today, and he just walked up and took the thing away. Charlie put his ears back and cowered a bit and let him have it.

He understands commands but only obeys if he wants to.

My brother in law knows what he is doing with dogs. My sister in law didn't but has learned a lot with Charlie. Charlie has problems because he was left virtually alone for his first year. My brother and sister in law got him at the end of that year. They did not intend to get him... that is a long story, but basically he went from a rescue person through them to someone else who couldn't handle him. They knew no one else would invest as much as he needed so they didn't give him back to the rescue person. They've done wonders with him (with the help of top notch pro trainers as well as my brother in law's being so good with dogs). I know my mother in law is undermining what they are doing, I will try to explain things to her. I think my brother in law understands all this, but he doesn't talk much, my mother in law just thinks he won't discipline Charlie. My sister in law still doesn't get a lot of it.

But, I am not good at fixing problems. I am pretty good at understanding the whys and so on. But what do I do when standing in front of him and he's got something? I'm afraid to try and take it away. I used to be afraid of him growling or biting, but I've been here four days now and worked with him and aren't afraid of that anymore. Now I'm just afraid that I'll try and not succeed. No, actually, I am still afraid of being bitten. I've been slashed between the eyes by a dog once, so even though my head says I don't think he will I am still afraid of it.

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