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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
And if anyone says "Well, we just love each other soooooo much! Why, what's your deal?" I will :frusty:
I don't mean puppy blues, or length of time bonding.

So, I guess I'm interested in hearing things like that on the canine side. Dealing with SA, DA, your future obedience/agility/ flyball star that fakes death to avoid desired activity :), major mismatch in energy level.....see the idea.

My pathetic shouldn't even care issue is hereA few weeks later and I still care, and I don't feel bonded enough to counteract that as much as it should be. That's why I'm wondering if I'm the only one.
 

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I love Nova beyond words. But she is a very, very soft dog (like the other day, a door started to slowly close and it lightly tapped her and now she is terrified to go near that door kind of soft). Stress sets her over the edge (a bit behaviourally but mostly physically). Did I mention that she also has IBD?

We do agility together (still early days, though), and I am nervous for the day that we start going to trials together. I'm scared that the stress will send her into a diarrhea spiral and that we will have to stop.

That being said, we are a great match on so many levels and she is teaching me a lot. Her and I both have anxiety, so being kind to her in her anxious moments reminds me to be kinder to myself. Her stress levels are also getting me to think more about mine (since she can pick up on that sort of stuff), so I am consciously trying to keep my stress down to a minimum when around her. I think that, although there have been a lot of surprises that I didn't plan on having to deal with, she (and Marley, of course) is exactly the dog I need in this moment of my life.
 

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With dogs she doesn't know, Maisy is dog reactive/aggressive, but sort of randomly, and can be a big fat bully. It's kind of a pain, but nothing that's a deal breaker.

Squash is ok with the cats he grew up with, but not safe with new/unknown cats. Which means we can't get any new cats until he's gone. That sucks a little for me and a lot for my husband who is more the cat person.

Pip and Toast are perfect. :p Or at least their flaws aren't worth mentioning.


So yea, there's stuff that sucks. You sort of get this fantasy idea in your head about what things will be like and then reality strikes. Fortunately my dogs have enough good qualities to outweigh anything I don't care for.
 

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I was disappointed that Luna wasn't as good with cats as I had originally thought. But... she was perfect otherwise, so I put together a plan to work on it and so we went. 9 months later and the situation still isn't as ideal as I'd like it to be, but we've made great progress. :)
 

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I just got a new dog friend for Fergus two weeks ago. I especially wanted a calm dog, because I have had anxious dogs in the past and it's a pain to deal with.

Unfortunately, the new dog Barclay appears to have a moderate case of SA. He barks for hours and my neighbors are getting upset. I am sending him to daycare, but unfortunately it's not feasible to take him every day. I just started him on some herbal supplements which I am hoping will have a calming effect.

He's adorable, but I do admit that it's a disappointment because I was hoping for a dog with a specific dispositon, and he's the opposite of what I was hoping for. BTW I got him through a rescue org.
 

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There are some things about the dog that have turned out differently than I expected. For one, he became reactive/aggressive with other intact males. But really, it's not that big of a deal and it's not uncommon for fixed or intact males to dislike intact males.

He's not good off leash. I worked my butt off to get a reliable recall but then one day at 8/9 months he decided to blow me off and that was that. It's not just outside with prey, he's not reliable in classes either, which pretty much killed our chance to be in agility classes until we get this solved. We're working with a new trainer and I think we may finally get it resolved. Yay!

In general he's just turned out to be a harder dog than I anticipated for starting in dog sports. Then again, a lot of that is me. With someone experienced he probably would've been fine, and he has a lot of great qualities that people want in a dog for sports. I just started at the bottom level and it's been a very steep learning curve. I've also struggled to find trainers locally who can help me with these foundational issues in our training, which was disappointing. He's still a fantastic dog and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

Nobody has the perfect dog. Some dogs are more "perfect" than others (at least for that person), and sometimes we bond with them so deeply that we don't even care about the other stuff. There are plenty of people out there with "grass is greener" syndrome, always thinking that other people's dogs are better, or easier, or whatever, or that the next dog will finally be the dog they wanted. But it's an illusion. I think it has far more to do with our misconceptions and outrageously high expectations of ourselves and our dogs, and less to do with the dog. I try hard to keep my expectations low for both of us, and then be thrilled when we surpass them, but it's not always easy.
 

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I just think about how much does any less than "perfect" trait actually truly affect things? The answer is basically very little but its also because of my expectations (or lack thereof) towards the dogs and my general habits in life. What works well for me might drive someone else crazy.

For example, neither dog is safe around cats although after a couple years of training, Chester will ignore them when out for walks. Eva still goes bonkers and will never be trusted loose around a cat. But since I don't have any desire to own a cat nor do my parents who I visit often, it is a minor annoyance to be dealt with on a walk. Eva's prey drive is intense so she is also not necessarily safe around small dogs, which means some baby gates and management when I take her to visit friends but we just get in a routine for that and its not a big deal.

Neither is off-leash trustworthy in full, Chester is mellowing and slowing down enough that he might be okay in certain areas but they are not natural orbiters like so many herding dogs and companion breeds. For someone that hikes off leash or goes swimming etc this would be a big frustration but for me, I just grab a long line and we're good.

Chester is a classic independent minded hound and Eva is sweet and attentive but not the brightest bulb so training each has its own challenges.

My only real expectation when I got Chester was just to get a good natured dog to be a buddy and a walking/jogging/hiking companion so he easily met and surpassed that standard and every great thing about him after that has just been a wonderful bonus. Like when I adopted him, his card said No Kids Under 10 and since I don't have kids and didn't really know anyone with kids, I didn't care either way. Luckily he is great with kids of all ages since once all my friends turned 30 they just seemed to start popping out babies :)

My expectations for Eva were no different really, but as a failed foster, I had 6 months of getting to know her before I committed to keeping her. For the first couple months as a foster, I actively tried NOT to bond with her but I realized one day that any little thing about her that bugged me wasn't enough to make me want to let her go to an adopter, she just plain fit me and mine.

Expectations are kind of like when planning a big project - plan for 3 times as much time as you think you need and 2 times as much money and then you can celebrate if you come in early and under budget and not be disappointed if you just barely hit your deadlines and run out of money.
 

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I think the key to avoiding disappointment is to avoid unrealistic expectations.

To be totally honest, I think your expectations for Frodo's conformation prospects were unrealistic, as wanting a dog that can be a champ at just about every single discipline for a pet dog price with you a first time dog trainer and owner. It's also unrealistic to be writing him off at this point, except insofar at that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. He's just a little baby puppy. He may grow up to be awesome at something or awesome lots of things. Honestly, my experience with dog sports thus far is that I'm more the limiting factor than the dog is.

Of my current dogs, Queenie I expected to be a lawn ornament, because she was basically feral when I got her. She has far exceeded expectations. The only disappointing thing about Cas is how unreliable he is off-leash, as they made a point of telling me he had good recall, and that was one of the things I really wanted. He does have great recall...in an enclosed area, lol. But he's much better than expected in other areas so I suppose it balances out, and being careful about leashes and fences is just a hassle, not a dealbreaker.
 

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There are some things about the dog that have turned out differently than I expected. For one, he became reactive/aggressive with other intact males. But really, it's not that big of a deal and it's not uncommon for fixed or intact males to dislike intact males.

He's not good off leash. I worked my butt off to get a reliable recall but then one day at 8/9 months he decided to blow me off and that was that. It's not just outside with prey, he's not reliable in classes either, which pretty much killed our chance to be in agility classes until we get this solved. We're working with a new trainer and I think we may finally get it resolved. Yay!

In general he's just turned out to be a harder dog than I anticipated for starting in dog sports. Then again, a lot of that is me. With someone experienced he probably would've been fine, and he has a lot of great qualities that people want in a dog for sports. I just started at the bottom level and it's been a very steep learning curve. I've also struggled to find trainers locally who can help me with these foundational issues in our training, which was disappointing. He's still a fantastic dog and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

Nobody has the perfect dog. Some dogs are more "perfect" than others (at least for that person), and sometimes we bond with them so deeply that we don't even care about the other stuff. There are plenty of people out there with "grass is greener" syndrome, always thinking that other people's dogs are better, or easier, or whatever, or that the next dog will finally be the dog they wanted. But it's an illusion. I think it has far more to do with our misconceptions and outrageously high expectations of ourselves and our dogs, and less to do with the dog. I try hard to keep my expectations low for both of us, and then be thrilled when we surpass them, but it's not always easy.
Agree with this. For every dog doing something great you see, I can almost guarantee you there is something about them you don't see that their owner wishes were better, or even more like your dog.
 

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One of mine has SA and the other is dog reactive and cat aggressive (we have a cat). At first it was disappointing that I didn't get the 'perfect' dog, but on a daily basis these things do not effect us much. Once I learned to manage and adjust, these issues really aren't a huge deal. In a sick twisted way I appreciate that they have been so difficult, they have both taught me a lot and made me a better and more patient trainer/owner.

I don't think I'm a super awesome person or anything, but I'm glad they ended up with me and not someone else who didn't have the time/patience/understanding to deal with their issues.
 

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Well um there's the whole Mia having so many health issues she can't do sports or even really be a normal dog in many ways. That was really really rough. She can't exercise outdoors for half the year. She can't play ball very long anymore. She can't agility like we had planned. We trained up to one competition and she got a Q and then we were done. It was hard because I could see her potential. My trainer could too. But it was harder because my best friend was sick and there was nothing I could do. Yep. I cried a lot. Not gonna lie. I still get teary eyed sometimes. I feel bad when she has to stay behind. She was supposed to be my first agility dog too. Last year at Westminster 3 out of 4 of the papillons were relatives. I hear about relatives getting MACHs and whatnot. It's never going to happen for Mia. Not that she cares but she DOES care about being permanently on restricted activity.

But you adjust to your new normal. For me, I focused on sports with my other dog, Summer and just vowed to do what I can for Mia. She's adjusted. The first months of reduced activity were very hard on her. She's adjusted to being my house dog and lap warmer though. She is a very happy dog still but I miss it a lot. I would give almost anything to make her healthy again.

After all Mia's health issues everything else has been small fry.
 

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Agree with this. For every dog doing something great you see, I can almost guarantee you there is something about them you don't see that their owner wishes were better, or even more like your dog.
Heck, I've even had people come out and say it! I always thought he was so obnoxious in early obedience classes, but then I would have people come up and say how adorable he was, or how they wished their dog was more like Watson in whatever way, etc. And I was just shocked because here I was thinking my dog was an idiot and their dogs were so good. I mean, he is still kind of an idiot. lol But it's also that personality that makes him so much fun.
 

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Agree with this. For every dog doing something great you see, I can almost guarantee you there is something about them you don't see that their owner wishes were better, or even more like your dog.
lol yes. Cas's recall is my number one problem with him, and people are routinely complimenting how good he is at sticking with me and how bonded we seem, since he's lovely at it in agility and rally class. I'm like, YOU'RE ONLY SEEING THAT BECAUSE IN THE RING HE CAN'T HEAR THE CALL OF THE WILD.
 

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In a sick twisted way I appreciate that they have been so difficult, they have both taught me a lot and made me a better and more patient trainer/owner.

I don't think I'm a super awesome person or anything, but I'm glad they ended up with me and not someone else who didn't have the time/patience/understanding to deal with their issues.
I think this sometimes too. I am so glad that we have Nova and can be there for her. Not sure another home would be as dedicated to her health as we are (unless she ended up with someone else on here ;)). I also appreciate all the surprises that Nova has brought because, like you, she is making me better in so many ways.
 

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Zoey is a great dog in a lot of ways but her most annoying trait is that she goes balistic whenever she knows I'm outside without her. She will cry at the top of her lungs and claw at the door, she has messed up the moulding, scratched the paint off the door and even scaring the sheet rock. My wife and I were "discussing" this last night. I can't train her to stop as I am on the wrong side of the door and I need someone on the inside for the training so until we can figure something out - Zoey will continue.

She also has an annoying habit of jumping up on people when they come to the door ... this is my training failure but we also don't have people over that often.

One last problem - she is a dog, hasn't really been destructive since puppyhood and then only really chewed my sneakers ... well about a year ago she had a brain fart and chewed a spindle on a dining room chair. We live with that scar today.
 

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I have low expectations, LOL. All I want in a dog is a dog, so as long as the dog is reasonably dog-ish I'll be OK. I think activity-limiting health problems at an early age and major mental health issues that are hard to manage would be majorly disappointing/upsetting, but fortunately I haven't had to deal with those yet.

Even if Frodo were the type that might win at conformation shows, do you think you'd really get into it? Showing is expensive and time-consuming, so for someone with a lot of kids I think it would be challenging, to say the least. Not to mention that keeping the dog in show coat might be hard (well, for some breeds; not sure if ESS have a high-maintenance show coat). If you want the kids to get involved, look for junior handling classes in your area. . .it doesn't matter what kind of dog you have for that :D. I think for you it might be more of an unrealistic expectation about showing more than an unreasonable expectation about the dog's prospects.
 

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Even if Frodo were the type that might win at conformation shows, do you think you'd really get into it? Showing is expensive and time-consuming, so for someone with a lot of kids I think it would be challenging, to say the least. Not to mention that keeping the dog in show coat might be hard (well, for some breeds; not sure if ESS have a high-maintenance show coat). If you want the kids to get involved, look for junior handling classes in your area. . .it doesn't matter what kind of dog you have for that :D. I think for you it might be more of an unrealistic expectation about showing more than an unreasonable expectation about the dog's prospects.
So much this! I get the feeling that you have put conformation showing up on a pedestal and made it more exciting than it is. Especially since your kids can still do junior handling with Frodo which requires all the same training and attending the same shows.

And yes, ESS can require a lot of coat care and grooming if you are going to be competitive.
 

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I think the key to avoiding disappointment is to avoid unrealistic expectations.
I agree with this. I don't mean to be harsh with that statement, at all. Everyone has hopes and dreams when they get a new puppy (and even more of them BEFORE the puppy is there). Thing is, dreams and realities don't mesh.

When you were 12 and thinking about what your life was going to be like as a grown up - is what you live now what you imagined and dream? That guy (or girl) you thought you were going to spend your life with (when it was an idea, not a person)? How does your real partner compare? The wedding you dreamed about and planned before you even met your actual partner? Was your real wedding exactly like that? The kids you thought you were going to have, when you thought about your future life and weren't married, pregnant, or even grow up? Are those the kids you have? Did the reality of that FORMAL DANCE you were so excited about when you were a teenager measure up to the reality of it?

It's just... kind of life. Dream big, hope big, enjoy the anticipation and excitement, but be prepared for the fluid, living, nature of it all and the fact that what exists in your imagination can not be matched by the flawed, imperfect reality. And honestly? It doesn't need to be. Usually, you're so busy living the reality that the dream sort of peacefully fades away and you go with what you've got and CELEBRATE it. Because it's real.

I got Molly because I was into agility and OMG YAY I CAN DO SPORTS WITH THIS PUPPY AND IT WILL BE BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME. LOL, no. She's reactive as heck to other dogs, flakes out and has no attention span. The flaking out and lack of attention span and leaking drive aren't big things. The crazy levels of reactivity are. We might someday manage an agility course or two, but I'm not holding my breath and you know what? Reality trumps imagination, anyway. I am far more invested in the living, breathing, PRESENT, dog than one that never existed outside of my mind. I don't even really remember that dog, anymore, and I don't much feel the need to. That dog won awards and ribbons, got titles and stroked my ego - my mind. Molly... sleeps with me. She plays games with me. She makes me laugh. She makes me get out and explore. She makes me work. She is my PARTNER and she's my friend.

It would be much, much worse if I'd gone into getting her not just wanting and hoping to do sports very successfully with her but exclusively for the purpose of doing them. But i knew she was a puppy and a crap shoot and as my bond with her grew the less it mattered. Has mattered. That's a good thing.

Forget the ribbons and titles and dreams and expectations. I'd much rather have my dog.

(And I could do this with every last dog I have, re: my dreams and ways reality failed to live up to fantasy, but you get the point and she's the most striking example).
 

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And if anyone says "Well, we just love each other soooooo much! Why, what's your deal?" I will :frusty:
I don't mean puppy blues, or length of time bonding. I have a daughter with autism. Love her to pieces. But, especially between 1-6 years old.....I wouldn't have been crushed to be put out of my misery. Now we have a great relationship...but it's different.
that is just sad. i hope she never becomes a dog lover because she may very well find this one day. wow.
 

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It's hard to be disapointed in the worlds best most perfect dog
As for coping with disappointment I find denial and delusions of grandeur work great!

For example Indy's reactive nature around bigger dogs has saved my life so many times. If he hadn't acted vicious toward that elderly lab I would have certainly been mauled. Also I pretty sure he was right that mopey st Bernard with children climbing on it was Cujo
 
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