W/C 3rd June 2019

Monday 3rd June

Jay was on an early as usual so it was me and the pupster, Dembe decided that I simply must get up at 6.15am because he was bored. We both went down stairs and then the blonde bastard went back to sleep leaving what the urgency was for waking me up.

As Dembe point blank refuses to go out when Jay is on an early start he was very bouncy come the afternoon. He spent lots of time in the garden as the weather was nice.

He met my friend Laura today for the first time. He spent the whole of her visit trying to jump on her back whilst she sat on the sofa. The only other person he does this to is Leanne. I don’t know why he does it. I managed to distract him with some treats and got him to show off his sock trick.

When Jay got home he took him for a nice long walk to burn off some energy.

He has started being a bit of a git at bed time ( Dembe not Jay ). He is refusing to go to the toilet and just wants to play. What used to be a 5 minute trip outside is now taking at least 30 minutes. Even though he does want to go as he always has a huge wee.

I got woken up at 10.30pm by Dembe crying whilst lying in my door way as if the baby gate was still there. The baby gate has been gone for a few weeks now. I called Jay who took him outside, it was a doubly successful trip and Dembe soon settled afterwards.

Tuesday 4th June

Dembe was very tired today and spent much of the day sleeping. The weather wasn’t great so he didn’t spend a lot of time in the garden, when he was awake he wanted cuddles and my undivided attention.

We had lots of deliveries today and Dembe was brilliant waiting whilst I sorted them out. The Weims always had to be shut in the kitchen whenever I answered the door as they would bark the place down. When it was just Frankie and Mollie I could leave them be as they were too old to bother with the front door. It still seems weird that I don’t have to open a pack of Jumbones whenever we have visitors or put Dembe in the kitchen. All I have to say to Dembe is wait and he stays where he is or jumps on the sofa nearest the door. He never tries to make a break for it or barks, he just waits patiently for me to give him a treat when the door is closed.

Today was raw bone delivery day. As I couldn’t get the beef marrow bones as they were out of stock, I had to get beef rib bones. I also got one lambs breast bone as that was all they had available. Being a life long vegetarian and going by the photos on line the bones looked normal size, I thought they would be 7 to 10 inches in length. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My freezer now looks like it contains dinosaur bones!

I had to give him this bone as it simply would not fit in the freezer. The freezer had to be completely rearranged to accommodate his bones. Thankfully we don’t use our freezer like that and could make the space by getting creative!

He does love his bones and is allowed 2 per week.

Wednesday 5th June

Dembe woke up at 5am so I kept him entertained until 5.30am and then got Jay to get up and give him his breakfast. Once he had that he came straight back upstairs and slept until 7.15am. I actually had to wake him up as my back was sore and I couldn’t lie in bed any longer.

Dembe was full of beans and kept going upstairs to wake Jay up. He was successful on the second attempt . As he was so very bouncy we had him up the common before 8am.

We have obedience training this evening so Jay has had to swap his day off from Tuesday to Wednesday. I am really nervous about the class tonight, I have got really bad social anxiety at the moment. I am also anxious about how Dembe will behave. I know he is a good dog and relatively well behaved, However its in the lap of the gods tonight.

Well my nightmares about puppy training came true. It is like Dembe found my list of concerns and just worked his way through them. Martin the trainer spent the most time with us. You know your dog is a terror when the trainer keeps coming back to you. The dog that was there I simply do not recognise as my sweet boy Dembe. He has never shown the behaviours at home that he showed here tonight. He was literally bouncing off the walls. He wanted to play with the 4 other dogs, when he couldn’t play ( and didn’t get to play) he then started barking which would set another couple of dogs off and then it was a viscous cycle. He basically ignored Jay and I as he was so determined to have a play with his new mates. Jay spent the evening having his arm yanked out of the socket as Dembe was going everywhere except where he needed to be.

I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Logically I know if he was an angel we wouldn’t be going. I think the whole evening gave me flash backs of Frankie and Willow when they were pups and what utter hooligans that they were. It took until they were 7 for them to start to calm down.

The harness we use for Dembe in the car and on the walks was utterly useless. He stretched out all the ties so it was hanging off him and gave us even less control. As soon as we walked through the door I was online ordering a slip lead / head collar for him. I never want to go through an evening like that again. If I hadn’t paid for it up front I doubt I would have gone back!

Thursday 6th June

Due to Dembe wearing himself out at Obedience class last night he didn’t wake for breakfast until gone 6am and then came back to bed and slept until 8am. Unheard of.

I had to readjust his harness before Jay took him out for a walk as it was just so badly out of shape that it was way too big for him. Jay took him out and at the end of the walk was doing some lead training with him. The new slip lead comes tomorrow. The whole reason we had used a harness was because he was choking himself when on a lead attached to his collar and it was frightening. However it became pretty clear last night that all the harness had done was given him much more ability to pull whilst on a lead because of the lower centre of gravity and he could get all four legs behind it.

I am working on his whinging as well, I am not responding when he whines now. I have been programmed by him to respond every time he makes a noise. I was very anxious when he first came home and was terrified I was going to hurt him (unintentionally), having lost Frankie and Mollie within 7 days and deep down blaming myself for it ( even though logically Frankie had been bad for a while and there was nothing that could have prevented Mollies catastrophic stroke) I panicked when looking after Dembe. Every noise he made I would run, If I couldn’t hear him breathing at night I would wake him up. I was like a new mother and the anxiety was exhausting me. I made a rod for my own back, so I am having to fight the urge to respond.

I am dreading next weeks obedience class….I just don’t know what on earth he will do next!

As part of our homework from the obedience training we had to write a list of the behaviours we don’t want when he is an adult. So here it is

We were both exhausted and as Jay was on a late night we had an early night. Dembe fell asleep with his head over my ankles.

Friday 7th June

Dembe was exhausted again today and hasn’t really done much. When we had a break in the awful weather we went out into the garden and I managed to get some of the training practice done with him. He is responding very quickly when he see’s my hand in the air. Which is our first part of his recall training. He already does really well on his recall but after his performance on Wednesday night I no longer trust him in that environment to actually do what he has been doing since he was 9 weeks old.

Hi sleep lead didn’t arrive until around 17.30 last night, Jay was on a 7pm finish. So I practised getting the lead on and off him correctly. It is very easy. Although he really isn’t impressed. I do want him to be happy enough with it on Wednesday that we can go to class with it on. Just to show we have listened and we are doing everything we are supposed to.

He celebrated his 30 week birthday today.

Saturday 8th June

Dembe had us up at 6am and despite having breakfast he refused to settle. I ended up getting up with him. For some reason he repeatedly paid visits to his sex bed which he hasn’t done in a while. And he never does that in the morning its usually in the evening! Maybe there is a bitch in season nearby that he can smell?

Despite his eagerness to get up this morning after Jay had walked him he went straight back to sleep. On his walk he bumped into Millie and Molly the English Bull Terriers he adores and hasn’t seen in a while. The owners couldn’t believe how big he had got in the few weeks since they have last seen him.

Jay is on another late night so it will be a long day. Hopefully Dembe will stay calm and sedate as I am feeling really rough. I can’t put my finger on what is wrong I just know I feel awful. I won’t even bother getting dressed today.

Jay has had a quick training session on how to use the figure of 8 lead and has walked Dembe through the house with it on. Dembe isn’t that impressed but he isn’t still furiously trying to remove it all the time. So we are getting there, tomorrow we are going to find a quiet location like a car park and do some concentrated lead training with him so he can get used to it before Wednesday and hopefully be more under control.

At around 4pm yesterday afternoon I managed to get out in the back garden with Dembe and do some more training with him. I got him sitting patiently next to me for 20 minutes with his figure of 8 lead on. I also practised taking it on and off so that he gets used to it also.

Sunday 9th June

Dembe was a little git this morning waking me up at 5.22am and then refusing to settle back down to sleep. In the end I gave up and came downstairs, where he immediately went back to sleep on the sofa. It makes zero sense why he thought it was play time upstairs when he is so shattered he goes back to sleep once we have changed locations.

We got him out at around 9am, Jay took him for his normal off the lead walk and because the car park was quiet he then put him on the figure of 8 lead and did some lead work around the car-park. They say you should go to dog training classes to train the owner. Well that is definitely the case with Jay ( and me), when I try and let him know that he isn’t doing stuff right and that he is confusing Dembe by saying “come” which is his recall command he immediately goes on the defensive. I explained that he should use heel so Dembe doesn’t get confused. That went down like a lead balloon.

Dembe did after a bit of protest start walking beautifully beside Jay. I am hoping at next week’s class Jay will get some instruction on walking him to heel and he will see how its done, gaining confidence that he can do it. To be fair we have never really bothered with obedience training with any of our previous dogs but I want Dembe to be my assistance dog and he will need to be good on the lead and to behave in public if that is going to happen. I can’t have him being unruly and naughty.

We have had some victories this week, I am now able to groom him with the furminator or any brush without him trying to turn around and bite it. He has been like this since he was a puppy and flatly refused to be brushed and would sink his teeth into you should you be foolish enough to attempt it.

Jay has also stepped up with the training and has lead trained ( heel work ) at every opportunity, even when like today it has ended up with both him and Dembe being soaked through.

I am hoping that on Wednesday night the other dog owners and the guy running the class can see the work we have put in with Dembe.

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