Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rusty's Story

We adopted Rusty from a cattle dog rescue on December 29, 2011, he is an Australian Shepherd - Red Merle.  When we met Rusty at his foster home he was very welcoming to me and kids - immediately rolled on to his back for a belly rub.  He was not hyper, nor was he barking.  He was a little apprehensive with my husband (Rob) but went to him and allowed Rob to take him outside for a walk.  We all then went for a walk and we each got to hold the leash to see how he was even with the children.  He did not show any signs of aggression and felt he would be a good fit for our family.

Rusty was in desperate need of a bath when we got him.  He smelled very much of "dog" and had burrs in his hair and was in general, dirty.  Once we got him home we made an appointment to get him cleaned up.  He did very well at the groomers, did not like to blow dryers so much but was so dirty needed 3 baths.  Ick.  He came out a much cleaner dog and actually looked much more proud.

The day after we got Rusty Rob went to the fire department and worked 72 hours straight.  Probably not the best way to bring a new dog in to our home.  He had 3 days to spend with me and the kids and none with Rob.  So, already being apprehensive towards him was only then heightened.  He quickly became barky with Rob, especially while interacting with the kids or any quick movements.

Rusty then started getting barky with my children's friends, especially during any rough housing.  He progressively got more barky with Rob and we knew had to find someone to help us know how to train Rusty before it got any worse.

We definitely felt we need more then just your ordinary obedience training since we were now dealing some aggression.  I was so excited when I found Peggy and got to speak to her.  I immediately knew that she would be able to help us turn this around and be better leaders for Rusty.  He has so many great qualities, we are willing to do whatever it takes to make him a well rounded great dog.  He just has some kinks...baggage that we need to work out.

We have now had 3 private trainings with Peggy and transitioned into her Tuesday night class.  Rusty has come a long way in a short time.  He is no longer barking at Rob.  He isn't buddy, buddy with him but baby steps are good.  Today for the first time he actually took food out of Rob's hand.  Something, up until today, he would turn his nose up at and act like Rob did not even exist.

We are excited to continue progressing with Rusty. 

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