A Chatty Post About a Bad Dog

The bright blue lines above his eye are the sutures.

No big post today. I'm tired, but it's a mental kind of tired. I much prefer sore muscles to a sore brain.

I think we have the tile situation sorted, but no word yet on when they can begin work.

We took Odin in for his eye check up and remove his stitches. He was an absolute idiot! He lunged at our poor, sweet vet twice. He really wanted to take a bite out of her.

I realize that nothing good has happened to him any time he's been to a vet, but she's tried so hard to be patient with him, and he ends up acting the jerk.

We ended up not taking his stitches out. She said the eyes look good, but as soon as we take those stitches out she is pretty sure his lashes will hit his eyeballs and they'll become irritated again.

I've resigned myself to the fact that we'll have to take him to the specialist and have him fix the problem with a more complex surgery.

The bad news: The cost of the surgery will knock us flat.

The good news: Our vet says we can leave the sutures in for months...if they don't bother him. 

The end of the year is always tough for us because property taxes and insurance come due. Plus we just finished paying for the tile, the oven, and a tv replacement. Why does everything go out at once?

If we can wait until February, we can save up enough for Odin's surgery.

Because Odin is behaving so badly I've decided to up his training. I can no longer trust him with people, so I'm going to see if I can make him obey me without question. 

I started Sunday.

He's goofy when he sees his vest or leash, so I make him calm down before I attach a lead to him. To be honest, I make him calm down before I do anything to him, so he knows I mean business. I will not tolerate crazy. 

For the uninitiated, the routine is this: If the dog resists or gets excitable, you stop what you're doing, wait a few seconds and try again and again if necessary. Once he realizes he won't get any further until he calms down, you can then proceed. I never yell or hit a dog. I just go through the motions as many times as it takes until he gets the message.

Border collies and Aussies learn instantly. Rottweilers will try to wear you down and do it their way. You can't let them win.

For 20 minutes we walked around the property on leash. I started with the "heel" command and made him sit whenever I stopped. By the third sit he was doing it without me saying anything.

After 15 minutes, I let him off leash and let him wander. When he was nearly out of sight, I called him to "heel". That darn dog came back in an instant and sat at my side.

Now all this sounds wonderful, but if he sees Greg or Nana he immediately returns to his goofy state. My plan is to get him so used to my commands that distractions won't interfere.

When I think I have him trained enough I want Greg to do the same so he knows we're both in charge.

Odin is our fifth rottweiler. We've never had an aggressive rottie.  Maybe it's because of his bad experiences at vets' offices. Maybe we didn't socialize him enough during the pandemic. Only he knows why he's distrustful of outsiders.

Of all the breeds we've had, rottweilers have been the most trustworthy and easiest to handle so Odin's behavior is a surprise.

He's sweet as pie to us but he simply will not trust other people. That's a recipe for disaster unless I can find a way to get him to change his attitude.

Our only other option is to see if Seal Team Six has an opening for a dog that will take you down in one pounce. 😉  He's an extraordinary athlete.

Have you ever had a dog who was bad with vets, or distrustful of people? I sure would like to hear your stories.


Comments

nightsmusic said…
I have not had that experience with our Dobermans and all but one have been rescues with no prior knowledge of their background. One of our rescues was only a partial rescue. She was actually a college graduation gift to Thing 1 who, within a couple months of graduating moved into her own apartment and of course, couldn't take the dog. The dog was a Red Girl who Thing 1's boss gave her knowing we love Dobes and who bred them, but he'd had her for about 5 months and she'd spent a lot of time in a kennel with little socialization so he hoped that giving her to Thing 1 would get her a good home and also give her a chance to shine. Needless to say, it was me who trained the dog, so eventually, when Thing 1 got married and she and her husband got a puppy (she was not getting "my" dog by that time) her observation was, "How come Ciine* was always so well behaved? How come this puppy is so rowdy all the time?" *insert eye roll here* But they've all, to a one, always been sweethearts who, once petted, will expect you to continue petting them, through thick or thin, until one of you dies. Not a mean bone in any of them.

*Ciine, pronounced Coon-yea, Romanian for Dog...Because husband is Romanian.
dru said…
hope what you're doing works.
Maria Zannini said…
nightmusic:
re: (she was not getting "my" dog by that time)

I laughed out loud when I read that. I know exactly what you mean.

I've always been the disciplinarian in the house. Greg thinks it's mean that I'm stern with cute and cuddly puppies. But it's more a case of knowing that the cute little puppy will turn into 130 pound lap dog. I want him to learn right from the start that mom expects restraint.

Every dog is different though. I'd have to count, but I think we've had 15 dogs throughout our married life. Not a single one is like the other.

PS I love how you pronounce Ciine. I'll bet new vet staff are always writing it wrong.
Maria Zannini said…
Dru: Me too.

He's a smart fella. I'm more worried that he's beginning to realize how strong he is so I want him to continue seeing us as the alphas.

I don't want a raptor dog. :)
Angela Brown said…
Hugs to you and Odin as the training progresses.

I have only ever had Molly, aka Tiny Terror. She has times when she really lives up to her Chihuahua stereotype.

Because she's a rescue - or partial rescue after living who knows where for a while before a former coworker got her then she landed with us in 2015 - I had little knowledge of her experiences up until then.

And, I just wanted to love on her so I am pretty sure she did more training of me then I did of her.

The vet tells me Molly is such a good girl when I am not present for her to have to protect me. But if I am present, she has to bark out the ground rules before she lets anyone else pet her. But once the rules are out, she's all about getting loved on.
Maria Zannini said…
Angela:
re: But if I am present, she has to bark out the ground rules before she lets anyone else pet her.

Isn't that always the way? You're her family and she wants to make sure you're safe. I love that about dogs.

Odin is calm at the vet if I'm there alone with him. If Greg's there you can feel the energy rise. Greg is more animated and vocal than me so I think he's picking up on that.


Maria Zannini said…
Mike: Greg says so.

I wish it were true.
Jenny Schwartz said…
I'm glad to hear the stitches are working as an interim measure. It at least gives you breathing space. I think Covid made everything harder because normal socialising didn't happen.
Maria Zannini said…
Jenny: As luck would have it we got Odin only two months before the global yahoos told us there might be a problem. A few months later the country all but shut down.

That was a critical stage in a puppy's life. As soon as they relaxed the restrictions we donned masks and took him to stores where they allowed dogs. Maybe it was too little too late. Or maybe it could be as my vet said, some dogs just turn out this way.

All I know is that it's never happened before with any of our other dogs. Nana doesn't care much for people but she will tolerate them if there's praise or a cookie being handed out. Nana can be bought. Odin, not so much.