I got a new dog three weeks ago named Copper.
He’s a Jack Russel/Yorkshire Terrier mix as you can see.
Before we adopted him he was found on the street when he was about one year old. His first shelter gave him all his shots, but he was apparently too shy for adoption. They were going to put him down.
A different shelter adopted him to prevent his death. They neutered him and about a month after that we got him.
He’s been quite a hand full. The shelter my wife and I adopted him from assured us that he was house trained, leash trained, and got along with cats.
I can assure you that none of those things were true when we got him.
He’s pooped in pretty much every room in the house. We’ve been working solidly on house training him, but its still frustrating.
He’s somewhat leash trained, but he doesn’t like going on walks for some reason. Copper doesn’t run when I tell him I’m taking him on a walk, but he doesn’t get very excited either.
Once the walk starts he spends the first two blocks trying to go back home until he realizes that I won’t let him do that. Then he starts enjoying his time outside.
And the cat thing. He actually does get along with the cats now that he knows them, but at first it was just a bunch of fights between them. Their relationship still isn’t perfect, but at least they aren’t trying to murder each other 24/7 anymore.
He certainly isn’t shy around us, but he’s proven to be very territorial and aggressive towards other people. The best way to fix that is to take him to a dog park and socialize him with other dogs.
I’d like to do the dog park thing, but unfortunately, Copper doesn’t know any basic commands yet. If he went wild for some reason at the park there’d be no way to control him besides force.
I’ve been teaching him basic commands (sit, down, stay, come, off, drop) and he’s made some improvements. Hopefully he’ll master those within the next few weeks and then we can take him to the dog park.
He’s shown promise for learning a few other commands as well. He loves to jump up and down on his hind legs. He can close drawers by jumping up and pushing on them. He knows how to do rolls and how to fetch. He just isn’t trained to do any of those things on command yet.
The fortunate thing is that if he does tricks like those on his own, then he can be trained to do them on command fairly easily. I’ll work on that after he reliably does the basic commands.
Copper is a great dog. I’d wanted a dog for a long time and I’d built up this ideal dog in my head that I would get when the time is right. Copper is not that dog, but he’s showing that he can be if we help him to learn how.