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Meet Riley The Dog

Posted by Patience on February 24, 2009 at 6:00 AM in Patience
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So we got a dog. It's funny how it seems like Riley has been here all along. He's very sweet, smart, and kind of a tricky trickster. This dog is in need of a few manners but he's got a very dear quality about him. I've been walking around with a deer in the headlights look for the last 24 hours. You were right guys, this is going to be a lot of work. I feel like I'm on day 3 of postpartum when you feel totally overwhelmed and wonder how you are ever going to keep this baby alive. Except now I have 2 babies.

By 9:30am yesterday, Lucy, Lyra and I were already on a retrieval mission in the neighborhood because Riley figured out the weak spots in our fence. Jorge is knee deep in dog books written by whisperers and monks. Josiah has been my gentle sage reminding me we can all do this together. Lucy is all about being in charge. She might be the best dog trainer in the family.

riley learns2.jpg

"We now have seven people in our family mom!" Jack said as we drove away from picking Riley up from the rescue group. It's so true. It's a good thing, I think...


Calling all dog people: Did you do obedience classes? Tell me what kind of dog you have and give me the scoop on your first few days.


kristen writes...

Let Lucy do it all - the dog will thrive!!

tina writes...

i have a lab mixed w/ crazy and a mastiff mixed w/ chicken (as you know). i did not do obedience classes (we live in the middle of nowhere and would have to travel upwards of 1-1/2 hours one way to get to one) so i tredged ahead w/ no experience, advice from everyone, all the info on tv and the interwebs, and got lost in it all; so, i threw most of it out and went w/ my gut.

though i don't agree w/ the whisperer on some things, i am a firm believer in the leader of the pack and the pack mentality...lucy seems like she will do good there :)

my best advice - get to know your dog, his personality. BUT you are the boss. dogs want nothing more than to please their master, and to be included in EVERYTHING. my dogs will sit and watch me do dishes, perfectly content, as long as i talk to them and make them feel included.

the other most important thing is exercise...a tired dog is a happy dog. my mastiff wears out quicker than my lab, but my lab causes more mischief if she's not run hard at least once a day.

the other thing they seem to love is enthusiasm when they have done good...they love praise, give it freely w/ good behavior (i still do the potty dance and song w/ a treat when they come in from outside).

they pick up on how YOU feel...if i am nervous/anxious, they will be too. they have taught ME to stay calm.

i am not an expert, my dogs may not be "textbook trained" but they are happy dogs, they listen when i need them to and have free run otherwise, and i am much happier to have them.

email me if you want, anytime :)

Sharon writes...

We have two wonderful Labs, now eight years old. I fondly remember the puppy days when they would clamber over each other like fluffy little balls and we could carry a dog on each arm.

We did obedience training. I'd call the effort moderately successful. "Come," "down" and "sit" are pretty well understood. "Stay" remains a foreign concept. Both dogs still pull on the leash and at 80 lbs. per dog, that can be a challenge. We're fortunate that neither dog has ever been a destructive chewer.

We love the hounds. They give us joy and keep us safe. They are teaching my kids about responsibility and gentleness. We would be poorer for not having them.

Laurie Luck, CPDT writes...

As a certified professional dog trainer, I strongly urge everyone to find a dog trainer who uses dog-friendly positive reinforcement training techniques. The old "alpha dog" mentality is not only outdated, but dangerous -- to both you AND your dog. For a terrific "TV dog trainer" watch Victoria Stilwell's "It's Me or the Dog," and Andrea Arden on "Underdog to Wonderdog."

Derek writes...

I went to obedience class but I still misbehave. The best book on dog training is "Mother Knows Best". Available on Amazon used for under a $1.

ann writes...

What an adorable dog! Is Riley part Corgi? My last dog (and the one I grew up with) was a Welsh Corgi who passed away this year, she was such an amazing girl. There was no need for obedience training with her, she did fine with everyone/everything & was such an intelligent, friendly and sweet dog. She was an incredibly quick learner, everything we taught her she must have learned in about 5-10 minutes. I would just suggest teaching the dog some basic commands (as was recommended by a previous commenter) & also make sure the dog gets some active time with the family (my dog loved going for walks, running around with us, and playing catch). Our biggest mistake was probably feeding her table scraps while we were eating. I actually approve of giving dogs "people food" but not WHILE eating dinner (my dog learned to beg and jump up and down everytime we ate).

Good luck with your dog, I'm sure he will become your children's best friend. :)

Oh, and I just got my goodies from the giveaway from you at PBS... I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything. Thank you all so much!

Amy writes...

you did not! oh, Patience that's so awesome! dogs are wonderful, and what they can do for your heart (and for your children!)--there's nothing like it. My opinion? Ceasar's the MAN! Just had a recent breakthrough with Sunny and her jumping, pulling on clothes, general mouthiness--I realized where my insecurities stemmed from with her and remembered what he says that all she wants is me to be her "pack leader" (sound familiar Jorge?) We're on the right track now. but just like kids, they will test their boundaries, but if you can be a mom of 4, you can raise a dog. have fun! that pic of Lucy reading to her--so wonderful, gave me chills.

tracey writes...

omg! me too!! me too!! a dog recently found us and we are in heaven (and admittedly last night, a little bit of hell). the first few days for us were easy because she was tired, hungry and apprehensive. now that she's been with us for 5 days she's coming out of her shell and becoming much more confident, fun-loving, still gentle and sweet but lot's more work. oh boy. i think the ride has just begun.
i think we're going to start crate training her. kind of like sleep-training for babies- really tough at first but worth the effort. my virgo nature really wants to get a routine in place and i know dogs (like kids) thrive with routine. crossing fingers.
maybe you and i can touch base and start our ouwn support group. i think i'm going to need it!! : )
here's our girl Junie-

John writes...

Patience - When Nikole and I got Rilo (obviously, a soul-puppy to Riley by name and colorings alone), we whispered and monked ourselves into a corner before we went to PetSmart (the one near Willow Lawn, also near you guys, I think) of all places in a fit of desperation and discovered Kathy and Geoff, the two trainers who helped us understand what was going on in her little head and helped her understand how she could best hang with her pack. It was @$100 for 8 weeks. We learned more than Rilo did. We also met some playmates for her who lived nearby. Now all we really wrestle with is her tendency to scavenge near Thea's hi-chair and her selective listening disorder. Good luck!

Martha writes...

I believe dog training is a MUST! (Forget the books!) The kids will love being a part of teaching Riley new tricks & most of all, Riley will love being a responsible part of your family! He will be forever greatful for the time you all take with him. Richmond Dog Obediance School is close by... (near Dabney Road) they are terrific! Best of Luck. I'm so proud & happy for you for "embarking" on this new journey. Riley Salgado.. has a great ring to it. he he he

jackiebk writes...

Riley is so gorgeous. I guess all dogs are gorgeous. We just got ourselves a puppy about 2 days ago. At the moment she is doing her own thing - just letting her get used to the new environment. She hollers on and off as she misses her siblings I guess. She will probably get over it in a few days. She will probably have a few more days of freedom and then she will have to start her training. Her name by the way is Tikiri.

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