Our Problem Child

Having a puppy is an enormous amount of work. Before we got Aspen, our first puppy, I had no idea what we were in for. By the time Jackson came into our lives I was a seasoned puppy owner, having just dealt with a 0-6 month old pup a few months prior. After Jackson hit 6 months of age we were a bit blind and didn’t really know what to expect. Still blind, I know that I have expectations of our lovely dog’s behavior that are different than reality.

Training started on day one for this little guy!

Training started on day one for this little guy!

About 80-90% of the time Jackson is absolutely lovely. He really is a great dog. He’s happy, cuddly, extremely playful and has a lot of great energy. He loves to play ball, go for walks or runs and is perfectly content laying on the floor playing with a toy. Until he’s not. The rest of the time is when we are blessed with an anxious, impulsive, wild animal. It is the 10-20% of the time when we haven’t figured out a consistent solution to help him work through these behaviors.

He is never too far away from us! We love a sleepy dog who just hangs out.

He is never too far away from us! We love a sleepy dog who just hangs out.

Jackson's registered name "Action Jackson" suits him well!

Jackson’s registered name “Action Jackson” suits him well!

Once Jackson turned one Alex and I found ourselves continuously saying something to the effect of, “Jackson, you’re one now, we have no tolerance for ____________” with a plethora of things filling in the blank. A lot of what Jackson struggles with is things that we’ve either been trying to work on ourselves or just have no idea how to handle. Clearly we need some help in figuring out how to deal with our dog.┬áIt is time to call in the professionals!

One of the things we are working on is Jackson not jumping on the bed or the sofa... this photo was taken in July and we still haven't made much progress :/

One of the things we are working on is Jackson not jumping on the bed or the sofa… this photo was taken in July and we still haven’t made much progress :/

We are really looking forward to working with a professional dog trainer starting next week. We have a behavior evaluation on Thursday where a trainer will come in and see what’s happening in our house and make note of our challenges and put together a plan of action for us. There are a couple other trainers we are considering, but I have a feeling we’ll end up going with Pawsitive Packleader who we’re scheduled with next week.

Naughty dog!

Naughty dog!

One of our goals for training is to get Jackson ready for our trip to Europe. He will have to stay elsewhere for an entire month while Alex and I are traveling abroad. Given how much anxiety he has when he is in a new space alongside us we have a lot of work to do to make him comfortable in a new space without us. We’re meeting a new family next week from Rover.com who we’re hoping he might stay with for the duration of our trip. We are working to make the adjustment as easy as possible for Jackson so he has a lot of fun and forgets about us while we’re gone!

This is what our mudroom looks like after Jackson comes inside from the backyard.

This is what our mudroom looks like after Jackson comes inside from the backyard. It sure is hard to keep this dog clean!

And this is what our backyard looks like after Jackson comes inside from playing in it.

And this is what our backyard looks like after Jackson comes inside from playing in it. The amount of work it takes to have a dog extends far beyond training and exercise.

Our trainer will have her work cut out for her, that’s for sure! We are really looking forward to continuing to work hard to make Jackson’s life more enjoyable, thus making ours better too.

Jackson sure has his tough moments, but we are so thankful he is in our lives. He is a very smart dog and we're looking forward to continuing to make improvements in our pup's attitude and behavior.

Jackson sure has his tough moments, but we are so thankful he is in our lives. He is a very smart dog and we’re looking forward to continuing to make improvements in our pup’s attitude and behavior.