Mina came to us as a three year old rescue dog of which no one knew anything of her training. She was wandering the city streets of Milwaukee when she was picked up by the pound. There were challenges with her in the beginning as well, beside coming home to us with kennel cough and the great expense it was to prophylactically treat Fido and Spot to ensure that they did not get ill either, she had a few issues of her own. She was not potty trained and had many an accident in the house. We were initially worried that she might run as well, so she spent the first few weeks of her life here with us being taken out on a lead to ensure she learned her property line. And I wasn't sure how she might react to the bigger animals. It took some time and patience and now she is allowed outside with the others to play and do their potties, however none, none go unsupervised. Mina is getting better and better with the word "come" and no longer has accidents in the house. She has now learned to communicate to us her need to go out and potty. She is also very loyal. Another good dog who listens.
Spot, we got four years ago as a puppy from Jess, only this time it was in the spring, much easier to train in the spring. Although we made an attempt at puppy kindergarten with him and we flunked, he has turned out to be one of the best trained dogs I've seen. Another high energy dog as with Jack and Mina. His only bad habit..........he is a lover! Neither Stephen or I can fault that. We've allowed him to kiss. He is so full of love. An extremely intelligent Border Collie who listens and does his job, but while outside must be constantly redirected to go potty or he will herd blowing leaves, watch the horses as he knows his perimeter and is not allowed in with them. He also automatically brings the goats in on their escape attempts as does Mina now without injury to the goats. However, he listens and follows his commands. He will do as he is told, except kiss, if he likes you, be prepared for a "frenchie".
Fido, well, Fido is Fido. He is extremely loyal to Steve and quite set in his ways. He is now nearly 15 years old and in spite of the size of those satelite dishes he carries upon the top of his head, he is mostly deaf. At this point he is allowed to go out and do his business and can be trusted to stick to his acreage. He does go in with the horses but only to dine at the horse apple buffet. He too listens, when he can hear.
All and all, we have been blessed with some marvelous dogs, but it hasn't been easy. It takes time and patience and more time and more patience. They do reflect our training methods and it is constant. Especially with three out of four high energy dogs. I have no doubt that Jack too will come into his own. He is still just a baby, born on October 31st, he is still not quite 12 weeks old yet. Stephen and I often together or take turns at bringing these dogs outside for a potty and a run and ball play, many times throughout the day, at least every other hour. Time consuming?, YES, worth it? To us YES or we wouldn't have done it. Spoiled? Well there isn't an animal within this household outdoors or indoors that isn't. They have food before we do. They have clothing and meds and often health care before we do. That is the sacrifice to ownership of animals, but it comes with many rewards too. The nuzzles, the kisses, the looks in their eyes and knowing that they appreciate what we do for them to keep them all safe and loved.