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30 June 2004, 01:00

I’ve adopted a dog Saturday morning. They called him Jacob. I called him Devil dog Jacob. He’s 2, and not fixed (well, he’s fixed now…) never had a real home, never been socialized. He began his life as a stray, and for six months, god knows what happened to him, in this state of puppy mills, dog fighting, and animal cruelty. According to the kennel lady from whom I adopted ole Devil Dog, he was picked up from a kill shelter and treated for heartworm. And he stayed in a pen about 4 foot by 5. He stayed in this pen for about a year and half. He was unneutered and untrained. He was undisciplined and deemed “hard to place.” He bit, peed and humped and didn’t give a shit about anybody. He was like a ferral dog and pretty much operating on the assumption he can do anything he wants and if he bites really hard, he can get his way.

First day, he was a humping and peeing ALL over the place. He wasn’t listening, and swatting his behind did NOTHING to phase him. It was like I didn’t even spank him. He took to terrorizing Milo, mounting him, and viciously biting anybody who tried to stop him. I had wounds and bruises from just trying to keep him off poor Stupid. One good thing was he avoided Afga (I’m not sure why other than she may have come off as dominant dog) although he would attack her if she got too close to the food. He didn’t cotton to correction and discipline, thusly attacking old me when I put my hands on parts of his body he didn’t like, or when I pushed his humping heiny off Milo. He can jump about 3 feet straight up, and ALWAYS wants to eat the guinea piggies.

So, I’ve been chasing after him, cleaning up after him, trying to train him, getting attacked by him, getting mad at him.

The Rescue Group said he was housebroke. Nope.

The Rescue Group said he was neutered. REALLY no. Ugh. My lordy, he’s not. Oh golly. Ugghers.

He looked like a perfect family dog but he would nip and bite at the children. He was placed just ONCE in 2 years, and they brought him back the same day because he bit the vet. He’s actually been asked not to come back by his first vet.

First thing this dog did when he saw me was pee on me through the chain link. And of course, for some reason, instead of the cute puppies, I chose this dog. I thought I could help him. I thought (and apparently rightly so) I was his last hope.

So as the days went by, things got worse, got better, got bad, got good. We work on things like obeying, and dominance. Humping and attacking got the dog the DUH hammered on him. Through dominance rolls and spankings, through bleeding and stitches, he slowly got the inkling of the heirarchy in the house. And it didn’t hurt that Milo FINALLY stood up to Jake and kicked his everloving doggie ass, but good.

I think the turning point for this dog was when we were sitting having a Piggie Desensitization session, he suddenly charged the pigs. I, having less brains than motivation, dove head first to cut him off. My face got too close to his, and he slashed my face. It turned me into a ragey, bleeding alpha dog. I grabbed him and whupped his heiny, and dominance flipped him. This time, I was staring the stare of a psychopathic serial killer and told him if he ever did that again, I would kill him.

Then I put his ass outside for 4 hours.

After than, he seemed to have a total attitude change. He responded to voice correction, and most of the attacking stopped. Milo kept at the dog to play, and taught Jacob to play. He now is Milo’s best buddy and frequently sleeps with him in the corner. Our biggest problem is housebreaking. He occassionally poops in the house, and today he peed on Milo.

The dog, at first constantly challenged my alpha-ness, and I have to admit at first, some of the things I did to discipline and correct him were wrong. The most effective thing was isolation from the pack and the quick stacatto “Nos” and swats. When he needed to actually stop what he was doing or move off the bed, I had to physically move him, and I just took the bites and attacks until he realized when I touch him, its not going to end up hurting him. There were times I didn’t think I could do it, I couldn’t make it work.

It’s amazing how much better he has become. After all the little episodes and slides backwards, we’ve made so much progress. He now feels a part of the family, he feels bad when he’s done something wrong, and he’s happy to see everybody when we come home. He even digs Afga more, although I think Afga couldn’t give two swats about him. He cuddles with me and I have no fear of him biting me anymore. It’s like he’s a totally different animal.

All he needed was love, stability and discipline.

He really is a sweet boy. He just needed a chance.