I got out of my Tahoe this morning, and let the dogs out of the back doors. They generally run to the clinic door and wait for either me to catch up and open it, or sometimes Chrissy will open it for them.
I walked around to the other side of the Tahoe and grabbed my stuff, and then headed for the door. Just as I got to the door, my dad pulls up...to surprise me. He gets out of his truck and we're laughing and joking about him showing up randomly. We were completely at ease, no tension at all.
The three dogs ran up excited to see him, as did I. As we got closer, my dad tripped over the curb and sort of...fell at me. He caught himself, but I'm sure to Tad...it looked like he was lunging at me to attack me or something. I get that...I understand.
My hands were full of my stuff, but Tad would not stop. He got firm commands, nothing was working. My dad was standing there, a few feet from me, and Tad would not give in. Finally, Chrissy comes running out of the clinic. She was grabbing his collar, which makes it worse, so I told her to let go of his collar and take my stuff. I felt bad for screaming at her, but now I'm in a rotten mode because Tad is trying to kill someone. She took my stuff and I pulled Tad from his chest back. He then lunged forward and bit onto my dad's knee...leaving wet marks on his pants.
My dad said that Tad did not break the skin, but is my dad just being nice? This is an absolutely unacceptable behavior for my dogs. I don't mind protection, but you will not act on it unless you are told to. I'm sorry, but that's the way I am. I refuse to allow my dogs to be biters, fear or otherwise.
We eventually got everyone into the clinic, and pretty soon...my dad and Tad were sharing scrubbies. My dad is not a scary man, he's a total softy. He was not wearing glasses or a hat or have anything in his hands.
Tad will not be left at home, that's my personal decision and it won't change. I won't 'avoid' this situation, he will be trained out of it. I'm sorry if I sound b*tchy, but...that's my choice. I don't harp on anyone for thinking that's the best choice, I really don't...but, it's not the way I want to handle this.
I have tried and tried to get trainer's to work with Tad, no one is contacting me back. All of Tad's money has been put on his account for his medical bills...there is nothing left for his day to day stuff, including training. Dr. Holliday and I are trying to decide just which route to take, puppy class? He knows basic obedience. Behaviorist? I'm not entirely sure. A behaviorist is going to cost me a lot, and I'm trying to work out how to get that kind of money together for him. There's not a money limit on my dogs, but...there's a limit on how fast I can get it together.
I've been talking, for the past 6 months with different people who have trained in the past, who have worked with trainers and such, and Tad has come an EXTREMELY long way. However, this behavior is one that I can't seem to break.
I am pretty relaxed with my dogs, but, they do not walk all over me. I am not overly strict either. However, we had a 'meeting' today, regarding Tad. His rules just got a lot stricter...because of this incident, I now lack the trust I had for him. He has bitten someone, my dad or not, it doesn't matter...a bite is bite regardless of the severity. It is unacceptable, and I will not have it. He will no longer be allowed anywhere off leash; this includes the 9,000 times he goes out here at the clinic to pee. He is no longer allowed to play with your hands, which he loves. He will be ignored if he continues to play bite. He is not allowed up front NO MATTER WHAT.
If he bites a client, he will be confined to a kennel here at work all day long every day. I don't want that for him, but that is my last resort.
There have been quite a few calls into the clinic this morning already. Tad is not going to be euthanized...that's ridiculous. Tad was not beaten to a pulp because he bit someone. Tad is perfectly fine, and is likely oblivious to how badly this bothers me. Tad is just as normal as he always has been, but he's not going to like his new rules until we can find a trainer who actually responds to being contacted and some estimates on costs and such.