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Anyone else can't stand their pet? - Page 6

post #101 of 106
I love my German Shepherd, but we're going through a rough patch right now. A new baby, we both work full time, serious illness in the extended family -- she's not getting what she needs.
I am finally admitting to myself that I didn't know what I was getting into when I got her. Also, I got unexpectedly pregnant all of two months after I got her. That didn't help. She's about a year and a half old now, still really a puppy. We did some obedience training, but not enough, and she has a slew of bad habits that I know I'm responsible for -- barking, bolting, pulling on the leash, selective deafness. Honestly, she's very sweet but really badly behaved and I know that's my fault. GSDs are such intelligent, strong, attached dogs with so much energy and endurance. Taking her on a walk is like throwing a mop bucket into the grand canyon, in terms of energy. What she really needs is a career. If a rancher told me he wanted to adopt her and train her in herding, I'd totally let her go because I know she'd be so much happier with a job.
I hate admitting that it was a mistake to adopt her. But I think it was. Looking at my life, I just don't see any way of giving her what she needs.
Feel free to flame. I'm flaming myself now.
post #102 of 106
I think you're wonderful for looking at the situation and identifying what's not going right.

I have an 11/07 baby and really this last month is when I've been able to really concentrate on the dogs again. It's still difficult but it's better every day.

As I see it, you've got a few things going on.

- No training
- Not enough exercise
- Not enough mental stimulation.

So how can you attack them? Is there ANY possibility that you can get back into a class? If not, are you willing to get a training DVD and work on your own?

Exercise: Can you afford dog daycare even once a week? Do you have paved walking or biking trails anywhere within reach? Because if you do, carting or scootering could be a perfect activity for her.

Mental stimulation--you can do brainwork in the house pretty easily.
post #103 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by *MamaJen* View Post
I am finally admitting to myself that I didn't know what I was getting into when I got her. Also, I got unexpectedly pregnant all of two months after I got her. That didn't help. She's about a year and a half old now, still really a puppy.



There are some awesome people here who really know their stuff about dogs, they can definitely help you.

The good thing is, things do get somewhat easier as the kids get older as you'll have more time to devote to him. The key is, to create a plan of action to make the dog happier and facilitate being easier to train, and that will make your life easier and less stressful in the long run as well.
post #104 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
No, trust us, we get it. We've all got kids and we've all got huge demands on our time. But it hurts my heart to see people hating their dogs for things that are so ridiculously solvable--at their hearts, in terms of what they need, dogs are very simple creatures; meet those needs and they are generally a joy to live with. And they are living creatures, extremely intelligent living creatures, who are tortured when they cannot live with their pack (their family).

The person who wrote that the answers for dogs are often the same as for toddlers was very correct. The dog is dirty? No duh. You would be too if you never got bathed; bathe the dog! The dog sheds? Switch his diet and GROOM! The dog chews things? He's bored, probably desperately bored. Exercise (this is the huge piece missing from most dogs' lives), provide better toys. The dog is nuts inside the house? It's because he's so desperately overjoyed to be in the house because he's been tortured living outside and alone. Move him inside, get him a crate or a safe room, exercise him.

MDC is all about empowering moms to do better for their families--this is where you've GOT to get empowered to put these relatively easy things into place to make your dog a lovely animal to be with.

It isn't a money thing; it isn't a training thing; it's a respect thing--on both sides. You become the type of owner that makes the dog act in respectful ways--such as not charging through doors, not taking your food or the kids' food, not being obnoxious--and you respect the dog for what he or she is, a climax predator who MUST be inside with his or her pack and whose body was built to go 20 miles a day. Every dog, from pug to poodle, is like owning Lance Armstrong or Laird Hamilton. If you put Lance and Laird in your living room, fed them hamburger helper every meal, and let them walk around your block once a day, pretty soon they would dismantle your living room and build a stairclimber and a treadmill from your drywall and your couch.

That's exactly what dogs do. They wake up every morning with an evolutionary need to travel long distances and work for meat, bone, and blood, but we get furious at them when they build treadmills (eat the couch, dig through the linoleum) and work for their food (open cupboards, steal bread), and we feed them crap and don't give them what they need to stay healthy.

Again, nobody has to be in love with their dog. But what I am reading, over and over, is not that you hate your dog; you hate the static that surrounds a bored and uncared-for dog. You, ANYONE, *can* remove that static; it's not "real" and it's not the normal personality of your dog.
Great post, and so, so true.

My family had similar issues with my older dog when we lived in my parent's house. My mom, dad and two sisters would leave food unattended; she'd eat it. Every day. For 9 years. The humans were angry and yelled at the dog. The dog vomited.
The trash wasn't secure - she'd knock it over and strew it around the house. Every day. For 9 years. The humans were angry and yelled at the dog. The dog vomited.

Now she lives with me - I don't leave food unattended (my animals are fairly respectful of what's mine, but with two dogs and two cats who beg like dogs, I don't take chances), the trash is in a locking can, and she no longer vomits. She's also down 8 pounds from her heaviest weight (and this is a little dog).

There are always solutions if you look for them! It's hard to take the time to work on things like this when you have a busy life, but imagine how improved your life could be if you no longer had to deal with certain day to day frustrations.
post #105 of 106
Thanks, Joanna. That's some good concrete suggestions (though I think if I tried the carting I might not live to see my baby's first birthday).
I really like the idea of doggy daycare. I know that's paying someone else to take care of the problem, but I bet she would love it. And I think I'll just try to commit to doing at least 10 or 20 minutes of training every day.
When I first got her, before I got pregnant, I had this elaborate plan to train her in tracking.
Not too long ago she got into my IL's sheep pen. She didn't attack, she just chased them in a big circle. It could have been really bad, but DP was able to grab her before anything really horrible happened. That's how country dogs get shot. But watching her just fly around the sheep pen, I was struck by a few things -- first off, how blissfully happy she looked, but also how incredibly powerful she was, and how untrained she was. That's a bad combination.
post #106 of 106
When I read the OP, I thought the OP's dog sounded like a misbehaving, but totally normal and lovable lab! (But I'm a lab person...) I have a food stealer too (even sometimes a cheese stick out of my son's hand), but at least she has a conscience and looks suitably guilty afterwards!

Like a previous poster, I had cockatiels for several years. I found them to be wonderful little companions and was only annoyed at our loud, squawking, biting Quaker parrot! (But some people love Quaker antics!)

Like a couple previous posters, we've rescued an elderly dog (anyone remember Mac posts???). And we've found him to be a MUCH higher maintenance dog than our younger dog. But that's because he's a Jack Russell--not because he's 13! (But some people love JRT antics!)

So it's all about perspective. What drives some people nuts is endearing to other people.
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