Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dog Training.

Jayne has been talking to me for awhile about dog training. Our pup, 90 pounds of pulling strength, Bernese mountain dog, has in a rather puppy way, taken over our house. He has eaten our hot tub, chairs, and while he is getting better, listened to me about as much as the deer do behind our yard, especially when he was at play.

I resisted every attempt to go, thinking that the dog would somehow get his place, after his young years, but that has not proven to be the case.

So we went to dog training.

I am supposed to be the alpha dog in the house. But I am not going to lie. This dog took over probably the day he walked in. As we listened in the class, and had over the instructor for the private lesson, I couldn't believe how many numbers our dog, Tacoma, was pulling on us. She explained how these various signs were his way of saying, "I'm in charge."

And he was.

Chewing on your arm, means I dominate you. Humping you, well, thats pretty obvious. and so is getting in your space. coming up to you, when you dont ask him. not sitting when you have guests over. pretty much this dog said to us, "your my bit&%*" There wasn't an area we had on him. He ruled the Hood house. And I never saw it, or seemed to care that much I guess, minus the humping part.

The dog trainer is helping us learn to put our dog in his right place, 3rd in the family pecking order. She admitted he was a very stubborn dog, and he kept wanting to fight that, and I just thought how beautiful that God gave us a dog, that was pretty close to us. Three stubborn Hood's. All in some form trying to be the alpha in the house.

I found comfort in that I was not alone. We showed up to a basement of a animal hospital like a informal AA meeting of people. The class had mainly couples in it. You saw all the women perk up, and asking lots of questions, and very engaged, wanting to know how to put their dog in place. While the dudes sat back in there chairs, twiddling their thumbs like second graders waiting to get out for recess. No greater picture of the fall, and man's pull to passivity, and women's to control.

It was really comical. knowing, I too, was dragged there by my wife.

I never knew it, but while I try and work out God's grace of restoring these stubborn Hood's, I had found myself as the Charlie male in the house. While my dog very easily submits to a little chunk of hot dog, and can be changed by behaviors, I am going to stick to God giving Jayne and I little treats, as we work out where we fit together, and how we will lead as a family.