At my wit's end with dog - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-25-2009, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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We got a cockapoo 4 years ago when DS was 7 and an only child. We did not have any plans to expand our family. He was great, well-mannered, socialized, etc.

Now we have a 2.5 yo DD and twin 1 yo DSs. The dog steals their food, chews up their toys, and growls/snaps at them. If we put him outside or in the front room to seperate him from the little ones, he bark incessently. When the nanny is here, he barks and tries to bite her. He absolutely will not obey her. He ends up in his kennel while she is here, but he barks so much that he wakes the babies up.

I work fulltime, DH works fulltime and is in school fulltime so neither of us has much time or energy. What little energy I have goes to taking care of the babies, doing laundry, cooking meals, and coping with very little sleep. DH is simply not here very often.

I know he needs time and attention and some retraining, but I just don't know how to take the time. Spending time with him would mean taking time away from the kids. I am considering finding him a new home, but I feel guilty about that. I never planned to have more kids or I might not have chosen to get him in the first place.

I just feel sad. He is a good, loving dog and he deserves better.

Any suggestions?

Joanna - wife to Mike, mamachicken to Cub(8/98), Kitten (4/07), Dew-man, and Woe-boy(twins, 10/08)
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#2 of 4 Old 10-25-2009, 01:27 PM
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Look in your area to see if a local prison offers dog training.
We have one and for a $75 donation, prisoners (low security) keep your dog for a month and train them. Then you pick the dog up and the handler teaches you how to work with the dog. We did this and it was a lifesaver!

Maggie, wife and mom to three
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#3 of 4 Old 10-25-2009, 01:38 PM
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It definitely sounds like he needs more exercise - lack of it often shows up as behaviour problems. Can you get a dog walker to come a couple of times per day, maybe ask them to do some basic obedience commands with him at the same time? Also, consider contacting a local shelter - tell them the issues you are having and see if they have any resources to help you. Often they have trainers on staff who can help as one of their goals is to keep animals out of shelters if they can.
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#4 of 4 Old 10-25-2009, 07:38 PM
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The prisoner training programs are excellent! Good for the dogs gret for the inmates.

If you just don't have the time for this dog and feel guilty "taking away" time from the kids, then the kindest thing will be to rehome him with someone who has the time. A dog walker a couple times a day won't make up for the time with his family this dog isn't going to get.

Between keeping him in a home where he's neglected for attention but keeping him out of guilt, or putting him in a home where he gets the attention he needs, the option you should feel guilt for is, ironically, the one that makes you feel guilty. Putting him in a more suitable home is the option that should make you feel less guilty, even if you feel bad right now for considering it. You'll be ensuring his needs are met, which is what he needs.
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