Saturday, January 9, 2010

Training Cujo

We have a new arrival in my home- a Pomeranian puppy named Kevin. Cujo would be a more fitting name.

When we first brought him home he was shy, quiet, and affectionate. Fast forward 10 days and he has been transformed into a juvenile delinquent carrying about 14 razor sharp needles in his mouth ready to bite you if he doesn't get his way. He wears his pants down below his hips and I think he's started smoking cigarettes.

He doesn't bite my husband. About a week ago Kevin turned Cujo on my my husband. Dave shouted something like "No" or "BAD Dog" and slapped his mouth (to free his bloody hand). Kevin yelped and ran away. Now when he plays with Dave, the teeth stay in the mouth, and not in the flesh.

We enrolled Kevin in a puppy training class at PetSmart in an attempt to curb this delinquency. There are with 2 other puppies in his class. One is either a t-cup chihuaua or a large rodent, and the other is a boxer. Today was the first class with the other students and Kevin has already emerged as the troublemaker.

Kevin was placed in puppy detention because of his juvenile delinquency. It happened when Marcy, the instructor, began a little socializing exercise which she called 'butt meeting', which is, well, butts meeting.

Let's just say the Kevin did not want his butt to be met by the boxer's nose. Similarly, he did not want his nose met by the boxer's butt.

Kevin began snarling, and exposed those pearly white weapons. As a result of this aggression, Marcy placed him in a cradle hold - holding him tightly in her arms while she massaged his head, his paws and even his teeth.

(Note, when I put Kevin in the cradle hold, I don't put my hands anywhere near those teeth.)
Linda asked Marcy, "What do we do when he's biting us?" Marcy said to either blow on him or squirt him with a water gun. Linda said, "My dad hit Kevin and now Kevin doesn't bite him anymore."

Marcy looked at us in shock, took a deep breath and said, "That's because Kevin is afraid of your Dad."

Linda said, "No, he likes my Dad, He always sits on his lap and licks him."

Marcy lowered her voice and said, "He doesn't like your Dad. He's afraid of him. Battered children want attention from their fathers, too. That doesn't mean they like them."

Then she looked at me with pity, and I was half expecting her to slip me a number for PuppyCare, an emergency shelter for victims of domesticated animal violence.

So my new favorite accessory is a water bottle. It's really quite effective at getting Kevin to let go of my limbs. I have been very tempted to slap him when my wrist is locked in his jaw and the water bottle is across the room.

But I'm afraid if I do, there will be one of those 'wanted' posters hanging in PetSmart with my picture on it. Right next to Dave's.

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