Koko’s name was changed to Scamp for a reason. When I first brought her home, everything went great. She was already house-trained and crate-trained. She loved all the other dogs. She did chase the cats, but at least she didn’t try to eat them. More than once I considered keeping her. But I knew that once she settled in, I would start to see more bad habits appear. And appear they did.
As an experienced dog foster mom and an amateur trainer, I’ve worked with various behavior problems ranging from extremely shy dogs to resource guarders to separation anxiety issues. But no behavior problem is harder for me to work with than enthusiasm. I just can’t bring myself to be stern with dogs who are so darn happy! I know it’s for their own good – most people don’t like dogs who can’t control themselves – but when I see them running and jumping and enjoying life, I just melt. I try not to let them walk all over me (too much) but it’s a constant battle. I see Scamp and I just want to let her throw herself into my arms and lick my face! In fact I admit to teaching her to jump into my arms on cue (with the excuse that I can then teach her to ONLY do it on cue) even though the only reason I did it was because it’s so much fun to have her jump into my arms.