This week has been a really frustrating one! This morning, momma definitely left the house feeling anxious, defeated, and really annoyed. Then, I found a blog by a fellow corgi owner detailing all her joy and delight in her fur baby, and I felt myself get hopeful again.
The gist of the problem/what's eating me is basically this: while I love Rufus, I'm getting frustrated with his training and I'm starting to feel like the breeder we got him from wasn't as reputable as another we could have gone to, who would have been more available to answer questions, and probably more helpful with our current issues. I won't get into details, suffice to say that part of me feels that maybe I didn't make the connection I thought I did, and maybe now I'm seriously paying for it.
Regardless, I wanted a puppy, I got a puppy. Who's to say that we wouldn't be having these problems if we got a different puppy from a different place? So, I'm trying my BEST to just do the whole carpe diem thing and not look back. I can't change any of it, so I just have to make some lemonade out of those lemons!
In my mind, I don't think I ever fully realized how challenging it would be to raise a puppy. The practice itself is challenging, but then you throw in how many different ways there are of going about training a puppy and you not only have one confused momma, you have one confused puppy. Add in the fact that corgis are herders and can be domineering at times, and you've got a pickle similar to the one we have right now!
In the beginning we jokingly called Rufus King Rufus because he required so much of our time and attention between play time and potty schedule and feeding schedule. Now though, momma has the sneaking suspicion that Rufus really does think of himself as the King and of all of us as his peons, there to amuse him at will. If I'm in his play room and standing up, I get tugged on, barked at, growled at, and nipped on until I sit down, at which point nipping on/at my hands commences. I've tried redirection, I've tried yelling, I've tried "No!", I've tried time-outs, ignoring him, yelping. I feel like I've tried every method everyone in the world has suggested, and maybe that's the problem - poor guy doesn't know what's what anymore, although I can't feel for him as a poor guy right now considering the bite marks I'm sporting on my hands. I feel like I'm dealing with an insolent toddler, and though we're at the beginning of regression right now, I don't want to go another day even with him acting like this and letting it slide/not correcting it. The question is though, how?
I already feel like a terrible parent as it is. It breaks my heart to have to put him back in his crate when I leave after lunchtime to go back to work. I feel even worse when I lose my temper and just snap at him or put him in his crate because I need a time-out myself. It gets frustrating though - because this isn't the puppy experience I signed up for, and this most definitely isn't the puppy whose personality I would have chosen. When we picked Rufus out, there were no signs that he would act like this. When we picked him up, he wasn't happy at all, but I expected that - poor guy had never really been in a car before and we WERE taking him away from his family. To have the behavior continue though, and to make progress and then chart backwards is really getting to me, and Mike too at this point.
As much as I hate to admit defeat, I think its time to call in an expert and get an expert opinion on what is okay, and what isn't, and how to go about teaching/training Rufus to understand that. A potential part of the problem also is that Mike, Steph and I are all using different tones, methods, and attitudes towards teaching him right from wrong and dos from don'ts, so he probably is having an exceedingly hard time trying to keep it all straight.
The end goal is a happy, healthy puppy, who won't have problems with anything from vegging on the couch to hiking in the woods. It's a work in progress.