Here's the background: I met DP 5 years ago and he had just rescued a very energetic black border collie-aussie shepherd mix that was abused badly. This dog is very sweet and loyal, but can bark aggressively, jumps at people, climbs all over people like a lap dog. She's also an alpha female and gets in fights with some other dogs. We were young, went backpacking all the time and she got all the exercise she needed. We were able to make sure that we avoid situations that could cause a problem.
Fast forward, we had a baby. She is now almost 2. I have done a good job of keeping an eye on her and the dog. They have generally been fine. If the place feels crowded and that things are stressful, I usually send the dog outside. She will bark continuously and the neighbors will complain.
Now our problem is in the mornings-- I have a very hard time dragging myself out of bed sometimes and our DD likes to run in the living room. I've caught the dog nipping at her so I sent her off to the crate. I try my best to keep them separated. DD is energetic and just wants to play with the dog. It's hard with our one bedroom place. And since then, the dog has nipped DD a couple times. I know they're warnings and I do not want this to lead up to DD being injured. So this was it for me.
I talked to DP about posting up an ad, contacting the community and seeing if we could find her a new home. We both know it will be hard finding her a new home, but it's for the best. He agreed, but now he's been very avoidant. I'd like him to write the ad. I'll help, of course, but would rather have him do it because this is his dog and i know he might not forgive me if i just went ahead and did it for him. I've tried talking to him on a few different occassions, but he avoided it every time, getting frustrated and leaving the room.
I'm a stay-at-home mom and I'm the only one dealing with the dog, feeding her, making sure she's cared for, and trying to give her as much exercise as I can. I can't even take her to the dog park because she'd probably attack the other dogs and it's so hard taking her on a walk with a two year old in tow.. she really drags. DP works all day, all week and is out playing basketball and on meetings often. I really am at odds here.
Please help me find a way to communicate this and get my point across in the best way possible. DP absolutely refuses to place her back in a shelter. I know it will be hard finding her a new home and want to start as soon as possible and look into all the options we have. I really want peace and harmony in our home.
I would just be honest with him that the dog needs to be rehomed immediately.Offer to wait one more week, and then just take care of it yourself if he has not.
It does not sound like he is willing to take the time to work with her.Have you tried? If he really cared for her he would be trying to resolve this issue not avoid it.Train the dog instead of playing basketball no?
Why wait till a nip becomes a facial scar? Posting an ad will just drag things out,but it takes minutes to post one on craigs. Just do it.
Me, I would either take her to the pound or euthanise her. In the meantime keep her in a crate, or use a baby gate to restrict her to one area away from your child. I would not get another dog until your child is older. Having a pet is work for everyone,but it is often left to moms. I told my kids if they want a pet they need to help out. If a dog bites they are gone.
i don't understand how you are shocked that a herding breed is ... trying to herd. that's what the nipping at heels is.
and while you have a hard time getting going in the morning, why can't you take the dog & DD for a walk each day to let the dog get a bit of exercise?
i know it's not fair that this is all dumped on you to deal with, but there are plenty of things you can do to help the situation if you really wanted to.
one other thought - if you think the dog is wild now, just try to crate her all day and then see how horrible she is. keeping a sweet, loyal dog locked away from the family she cares about is going to drive her insane.
If those things did't help...then it'd be time to go ( unless the dog gets more aggressive in the interim).
I'm not trying to be rude, I just swear I read this exact same thread a few weeks ago?? This is making me feel like I am crazy...Ok
Anyway OP...how do you know it's a "warning" as a PP pointed out nipping heels is an extremely common issue with all the herding breeds. My DH's sheltie used to herd him when he was a little kid, literally used her body to push him in a certain direction. You cannot TRAIN that out of a dog...The whole it's a warning thing is weird to me but still distressing for your DD's safety.
Those breeds of dogs need more exercise than I think you can imagine. I mean they literally are running around all day in a work environment and they love it. I don't see how you can give it the exercise it needs in your current situation when you aren't even taking it for walks, let alone your DH pulling his weight and doing his job...It's not HIS dog though, you are married...It belongs to both of you.
I don't have any advice except to say getting rid of it without letting your DH know would cause a hurricane in my house. If you must get rid of it and your DH disagrees lay down everything you are concerned about and tell him you are doing this. Just don't do it behind his back though. That can't be a good thing for anyone. Your DH doesn't have the right to say NO you can't get rid of it but turn around and do nothing to help you!
What about hiring someone to come every day and take her out for an hour or two run? Whatever you do decide, I hope you don't place her in the shelter. At her age, I don't think she stands much chance of adoption within the time frame that they are permitted.
As for the nipping, you don't actually say where the dog is nipping your daughter. I also have a herding breed, and for the first few years I had her, she would herd the cats by nipping their heels. This is what herding breeds do. Normal, and totally not aggressive behaviour. In all other respects, my dog was (and is) absolutely submissive to the cats, to the point of letting them eat her food. Not happily, but she wouldn't defend herself.
Thank you for all your responses.
Yes, we are aware that she is a herding breed and she has always done very well with exercise. We were avid backpackers, always out playing until we had a child. Situations changed, and we had to move into a small one bed-room apartment. Circumstances happen.
We have another dog, who is of the same breed...but she doesn't have any abusive history and is completely sweet and always walks away when our DD tries to bother her. DD seems to love the reactions out of the black dog.
The dog nipped her at her shoulder, right near her face. I know it's a sign of dominance over her, and I don't like it at all. I know it's natural, but her energy is really too much for us. Like today, the dog wanted to go outside, so I let her out...and then DD was ready for a nap, and I was nursing her down. The dog kept barking frantically. It's always such a lose-lose situation for us. She is so hard to walk too. We have tried every single harness/leash we found. She does so much better off leash, but is an alpha female and gets in fights with other dogs. So like I said, when we had lots of land and were always out in the backcountry, that was not a problem. She is almost 7 and I really doubt obedience schools would work and we are really tight financially at the moment. Like I said, it's the current circumstances.
All that aside, DH put up an ad. Always happens when I give up and stop saying anything. Now we'll see.
Another question: do you know of any resources? should I talk with the local shelter and explain our situation? i know it'll be really hard finding a new owner for her, but it would kill me knowing that she's placed in a shelter to have her life ended there.
Honestly, rehoming is not going to be easy. There are SO many dogs looking for homes and with a possible history it makes it harder.
What have you done to train her? To get her used to the baby?
Put gates up, separate when you cant watch, take on walks, etc.
Sometimes a dog does need to be rehomes but ALL resources should be exhausted first.
Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilah (12/21/05) and Cian (9/21/07) as well as 3 2 , 4 rats, and ducks
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