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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Minutes from Our Meeting

We had our family meeting today to decide the fate of this sweet monster currently residing in our house. It was a wonderfully productive meeting with full participation on everyone's part!

The general consensus was our love for Baron and wanting to keep him in our family. Great...I agreed with everyone and then asked the question..."What are you willing to do to help with his training and upkeep?"

That is when the silence became deafening.

We talked about the daily training he needs, the consistency he needs, we need to increase his exercise (one walk a day is not enough!!), etc, etc.....I made my point clear that we need to work as a team in order to have success. If we weren't able to do that, then it was not fair or healthy for Baron to remain in our house. We would be doing him and us a great disservice.

More silence but you could hear the brain cells clicking.

The ideas started flowing....Cassie agreed to walk him on occasion, Michael agreed to play ball in the backyard with him, Dave agreed to walk him and not play roughly with him, I have already started taking him to the dog park on my lunch break during days that I work.....this is all great. We also agreed that Michael could feed him in the afternoons. All of us agreed to spend 5-10 minutes a day doing basic obedience commands with him (sit, down, stay, come). These are all steps in the right direction!!

When Michael feeds him, he first puts him on a down/stay. He then puts the food in his bowl and releases him from his stay to eat. I am standing right there and I continue to pet him while he is eating. Michael is able to pet his hind end while he is eating now which is great progress. Baron has been wonderful and I can see the food aggression diminishing.

Baron is a very smart dog and has been easy to train, he learns the commands quickly. He is also very stubborn and strong willed. I firmly believe that he is testing his boundaries right now and we need to teach him that even the children are above him in the pecking order. I think we can get through this with lots of patience, love, consistency, and firmness. He is a great dog and has so many wonderful attributes.

At the end of our meeting we had a group hug and Baron wormed his way in the middle and looked up at us with a huge smile on his face. I think he knew he was just given a reprieve. It was a beautiful moment.

Thank you everyone for all your kind words and advice....I greatly appreciate it. I will definitely keep you posted on our progress. It is also reassuring to know that if we find out that we are not the right family for Baron, he has a safe, nurturing home to go to....but we are hoping he can stay in our family!!


Mother Goose said...

OH I'm happy for you all. Good luck. I'll pray that Baron does his best too!!! I hope it works out!

Tera said...

How could you not love a face like that? I love hearing how well you all work together as a family. I'm glad everyone is willing to help out and do what it takes. Good luck to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck! I hope everything goes well, he i such a beautiful dog.

ChrisB said...

I'm glad you shared the outcome.I've been wondering what you decided and I'm sure with everyone contributing to the training you will get there in the end. Good luck.

storyteller said...

Good for you making it everyone’s responsibility to help with Baron. I wish you all the best. A well trained dog IS a happy one in my experience.
Hugs and blessings,

bermudabluez said...

So glad it worked out well for all of you!

Jeni said...

A cousin of mine told me that with any dog, you have to let that dog know right from the start that YOU are the Master, not the dog and with certain breeds, it is much more imperative to do that. He did tell me several breeds that have a tendency to be quite stubborn and want to be "top dog" in the household but I don't remember now which ones he named specifically. So, the fact you are all working together, trying to instill in Baron that he is not the boss, you -the people -are that, is a good thing -for your and the family as well as for him too, ultimately.

Jennifer said...

I hope it all works out for you. Believe it or not, there are animal behavioralists you can consult as well, altho I suspect you've probably hit on most of what one would tell you. Having a dog seems like such a good idea until you actually get one!!!

Heather said...

Glad to hear Baron is improving. Hope the progress continues!

karisma said...

Wonderful news, Im sure he will get there with lots of love and patience. It must be so hard when you get them a little older and they have not been trained. Miko is so little still but is learning her manners already. Although if she thinks someone else is getting food before her she will try and dive in. She sits on command and waits for her own dinner and treats. (Then she cries at the door watching the others as she wants to wash their bowls too!)

Pamela said...

Best wishes on this endeavor. I know you can do it. (You should have called The Dog Whisperer or It's Me or The Dog.... you could have been famous!!)

Coffee Bean said...

Oh! He is so cute! I'm glad y'all are giving it all some more time. I think he'll be a good boy as he gets older.

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lisaschaos said...

He is so sweet! I'm glad everyone is willing to pitch in. :) Yay Baron!