rafter v kennels [who happens to be another marine, which is awesome! we're all about supporting marines!] and 6 weeks ago, we had them come by the house to meet us and the dogs and see if it was going to be a good fit. hub and i both immediately took to mark and his wife kristen, and they have been such a HUGE help to us.
Their approach is to teach dog owners the tools to train their own dogs, instead of doing all the work for the owners. the training was mostly for me, because ruarc really was not responding well to my commands, and wasn't taking me seriously as his pack leader. together, mark and kristen showed me how to take charge of ruarc, to "own" him, and to be more confident in my ability to handle him. ruarc has really responded much quicker than i could have ever anticipated. it will be an ongoing battle i think for a while yet, but i am dedicated to making this work.
yesterday was ruarc's last training session. we discussed getting him tested to see if he is a good candidate for protection training, so i am really looking forward to that evolution! protection training would teach him basically to be a guard dog, to bite on command, and to keep me and the house safe. it would ease both hub's and my minds if we knew i have some protection during the next long deployment, and the ones in the future.
it's a shame to say, but this area is just not like belle chasse, and i just don't feel as safe here as i did there. having ruarc protection trained would be awesome. but if he is not a good candidate, that's ok too. we will just have to see!
it's a great feeling to have accomplished one of our goals. i took it off our list, and now we are moving on to other things!