We took another trip to Petsmart, both to pick up treats and for a weigh in. Lad is still struggling with his behavior at Petsmart, whining and pulling. He was able to greet a female doberman without being too rude so that is a win for him. He also didn’t pee on anything, not that he ever has before but with a male dog of his age you never know what to expect.
Now for the bad news, Lad weighed in at 59lbs exactly. He was 57.6lbs last month meaning he has gained very little and is not even 60lbs at over 10months old. At this point he is unlikely to make 70lbs full grown and I have run the numbers many times, I need a dog that is at least 90lbs. That means I have to make a very hard decision. I could use him as a PSD but my needs have progressed to more mobility over the past year. The reality is I am going to have to wash him out.
This is the part of the journey Owner Trainers fear and don’t like to talk about. What happens when you have to wash out a dog? There are the practical considerations, do I have enough money, time, energy, ect to keep more dogs? Then there are the emotional considerations, what is best for this dog? I had assumed we would keep Lad even if he washed out. He is a wonderful dog and we are very bonded. My youngest son loves him, I thought he would make a great playmate for my son if nothing else. However he is very bonded to me, he expresses that by not tolerating me working with other dogs. He was trained and socialized to work, he does not want left alone at home. From a practical standpoint we have to be able to afford vet care, food and other incidentals for our dogs. Our house is beginning to feel crowded. We have decided that it is best to find a handler for Lad, so he can work. He could do mobility work for a smaller handler or he could do pysch work. I am continuing to train him in the mean time.