Meet Zachary! He’s high strung and mouthy but he’ll settle in. Need to train him out of chewing on people as a sign of affection. But it is affection and not aggression. So we’ll work with him.
So Zachy is a year old pretty much exactly. And whomever he lived with before did like zero training during the crucial training time.
He likes to chew on hands and arms to play and I need to break him of that. We’re responding like a hurt dog would, crying out in pain and going limp in the arm and it sometimes works. We’re also distracting with his favorite toy. But with the idea that he needs to play with people, we’re also teaching him fetch as a safe outlet for play with humans and a release of energy.
He is a chewer in general. We’ll work on that next. For now certain bedrooms are off limits and Sammy’s lovies are living on the top bunk.
He’s also having accidents inside. Of both types. He’s being taken out every 3 hours almost around the clock but we need to step it up to every hour or 2 as long as someone is awake. We’ll also start dispensing treats and praise when he goes outside. And shame him when he has an accident inside.
Then of course we’ll work on basic commands. I think I’m going to enroll him in obedience school. I was planning to train him at home, but I think we might need help. The catch is everything is closed because of covid. So we’ll work with him in the meantime and see what happens. I’d just really like him to learn leash manners and recall so the 9yo can walk him solo. That is a ways off but it’s a goal for the future.
We took on a challenge of a dog with special needs and I had an idea of that going into it. He’s a good dog and he means well, he just had bad humans before. I refuse to fault him for that even as I strive to correct him and train him. He’ll be a fine ESA dog with some work. He’s already made Sammy happier. So the future is bright.
I figure most the people in this house have special needs of one type or another. We all need a little extra help and love. So I have love and patience for a good dog that needs extra care. It’ll pay off in the end.
It’s like… ok…
My 13yo chews to stim. He used to chew on charging cords cuz good stim texture. Drove me crazy. But I discovered stim chews necklaces and keep him supplied (his current one is shaped like a sloth. Sloths are his current Special Interest.) and as a result he’s stopped chewing charging cords.
So I’m going to directly compare to the dog that chews. We’ll teach him not to chew humans and other things and we’ll keep him supplied in his favorite chew toy, and it’ll work out.
Both autistic kids and poorly trained dogs, while not generally comparable, do require extra patience and consideration as to how you can meet their needs safely. In this, there is no difference.
Please know 2 things.
1. I would not trade my 13yo for anything.
2. Unless this dog becomes aggressive and my kids are in danger, I will lovingly teach him better habits. And would not trade him for anything.
I love with my whole heart and unconditionally.