I should never have gotten the dog. What to do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so unhappy with our 6-month old puppy. He poops and pees in the house, he sheds really bad, wakes up around 4:30 or 5:00 am, and frankly I just don't want or need the headache of any extra work.

I work full time outside the home, and dh stays at home with our two school-aged children (5 and 8). Dh isn't willing to spend the necessary effort required to teach the puppy proper habits (taking him outside to do his business in the same spot-- dh just opens the door when he's not playing on the computer).

I want to give/sell the dog to another family, but my daughter is distraught over the idea. She says he is "in her heart" and that she considers him an equal member of the family.

I know I used poor judgment in agreeing to get an animal-- and I regret it as well as the impact my attitutde is having on my children. Am I going to cause some horrible, permanent damage to them if I go through with getting rid of the dog?? Am I modeling some undesirable behavior (like not dealing with a problem-- but passing it off, or not lying in the bed I made...)? Can I not just say it was a bad idea and I'm very sorry?
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#2 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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Think about it from the dog's point of view--wouldn't you be happier in a family where everyone wanted you?
I would screen the new family very carefully, and make sure the dog doesn't end up in a similar (or worse) situation. But *if* you could find just the right family, the dog would be so much happier. And I would explain it to your daughter that way. It's better for the dog. He'll be happier. To me, what that models is responsible treatment of animals.
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#3 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 05:30 PM
 
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I was in the same situation and brought the dog to a shelter... lesson learned. It was destroying our lives.
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#4 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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How old is your daughter? Could she assume some responsibility for the dog? Like maybe feeding and watering him, and taking him outside? I just saw that your kids are 5 & 8, maybe the 8 year old could do this? Also, crate training is really wonderful for dogs. It teaches them to 'hold it' and to remain semi calm while indoors. You can google crate training, or ask about it at your local animal shelter or PetSmart/Petco store. I am very passionate about 'forever' homes for animals, as I used to work in animal rescue. Once you as an adult make the decision to take an animal into your home, it becomes a part of your family. And jst like any other member of your family, he need to be given loving guidance on how to behave. I do think it sends a very real message about the 'disposable-ness' of an unwanted animal to give it up without making an effort. I want my children to know that with an animal comes responsibility, and that animals should be given some dignity and not tossed aside when they get difficult, or when we just decide we no longer want to have that responsibility. I would highly recommend having a family meeting. This dog needs to be taken care of by everyone. I would also recommend some puppy training classes, or at the very least, read a how to manual on the subject and follow through with training for the next 3 months. Every. single. day. Only 10-15 minutes at a time, maybe 2-3 times a day. But it has to be consistent. Doggie is not going to learn with one or two haphazard lessons. Someone ought to be brushing doggie 3-5 times a week, depending on the breed and bathing him every 2-4 weeks, again, depending on the breed. If doggie can have one nice long walk in the am (depending on breed and size, like 30-60 minutes of brisk walking) he should be a bit calmer during the day. Then if your dh or your child could be responsible for taking the dog out in 4-5 hours from that am walk, he should be ok. Another walk in the pm for the same amount and let him out one last time before bed and you should be set. Take him out after he eats. Only set food down two times a day so he's not eating 24-7.
Putting a 6 month old, rambunctious, untrained dog up for adoption is much different that putting an 8 week old darling little puppy up for adoption. If you take the dog to a shelter, you are putting the responsibility on someone else to take care of your problem. The very least you could do is find a home for him yourself, which could take a while. And in the meantime, you child will grow more attached. Of course if you are going to resent the poor animal and put him out because he's not magically trained himself, then by all means, find him a good home. I really dont mean to come across as mean or anything, this just really strikes a nerve with me. We had people dumping their crazy dogs on us all the time, only finding them with another baby animal later. It drives me crazy that people see animals as worth no more than a t-shirt. Please do the right thing.
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#5 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is the 8-yo, and she does have some responsibility for the puppy. She feeds him if dh doesn't feed him at 5:00 in the morning (which he does sometimes to quiet him down when he wakes up so early).

No one seems to want to take him out to do his business and stay with him/show him where to go. We end up leaving the door open and he does very often do it on his own in the yard. But we also often find little "presents" around the house, so he clearly doesn't get that it's ALWAYS outside yet.

Otherwise, the kids are in school much of the day during the week, so there's not even significant opportunity there.

And please don't get me wrong... We are not mean with the puppy. And we are not irresponsible pet owners. We have had the same kind of dog before (a pug)-- for 14 years. But that was before kids, and when we moved to Switzerland that dog went to live with my sister out in the country where he has continued to be MUCH loved and pampered in his old age. We have missed him terribly, but he knew my sister well, she has a lot of land, a son who always wanted a little dog, and she even had another dog to keep him company. We were planning on returning to the U.S. and would've gotten him back, but we decided to stay here. We got that dog when he was already 1 and never had any house-training issues, so maybe we expected this puppy to be as easy.

I am just finding this much more difficult than I expected, and I am very concerned about exactly what you say-- showing my kids that an animal is "disposable." But at the same time I am not handling the extra work, time, stress, etc. very well at all. Apart from making his way downstairs when the puppy cries at 5:00 am and then going to sleep down there in our guest bedroom, my dh does not put any effort into consistent training at all. Dh also goes from one extreme to another. The puppy runs free, then pees in the house, so he then puts him in the pen all day. Though I've mentioned it, my husband balks at the idea of taking the dog on a walk. Honestly, I often work 9-10 hour days, and I can't deal with ANOTHER thing myself. (I already still do much of the cooking, putting kids to bed at night, cleaning, etc. And THAT is another issue...)

A colleague of mine bought this puppy's little brother, and she has said her in-laws adore him and would love to have ours. This makes me so tempted...
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#6 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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How does your DH feel about giving up the dog? Maybe knowing that his kids will be saddened will be enough for him to step up to the plate and work with the dog.

Puppies are hard. My dad also threatened to take one we got back to the shelter when it was about eh same age. But by the time it was a year old the dog had mellowed some, learned not to chew on tings and was house trained and my dad loved that dog. He was crying the most when she passed years later.
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#7 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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PLEASE find a new home for your puppy!

Puppies (and adult dogs, but especially puppies) are a HUGE responsibility, one that needs to be accepted by the entire family. If your DH is not willing to devote the time and energy required to teach the pup to be a well-behaved member of the household, you should NOT have a dog in the house - unless YOU are willing to accept full responsibility for the dog (keep him crated during the day, go home at lunchtime to let him out, teach him basic obedience, etc). It doesn't sound like you are able to do that.

Our twin boys were 8 when we got a puppy - we felt they were old enough to have some responsibility, but it was NOT their job to housetrain the dog or take him to obedience classes (thought they did attend classes to learn how to train the dog, along with DH and I). Once the dog is a year old or so, fully housetrained and well-mannered, then an 8-yr-old can be expected to regularly feed and walk the dog, but I still feel it should be mostly the parents' responsibility to make sure those things get done.

Giving the dog to a loving home teaches your children that dogs ARE a huge commitment, and an enormous responsibility. Explain that taking care of the kids, the house, AND the dog was taking more time than you expected, and it's not fair to the pup to keep him.

Keeping the dog and NOT training him properly is not doing anything to teach them responsible pet ownership. All the love in the world from your DD will not help him understand what is expected of him.

Best wishes to you. You know in your heart what's best for the dog AND your family - I realize that convincing your DD will not be easy, but it's the right thing to do.

We had to have our 13-yr-old Lab, Jack, euthanized. We had prepared our kids (then 9) for that possibility for months. The first time I brought the subject up, it was in generic terms (not specifically about our dog). One of my sons started to cry and said "Why do you want to kill Jack?!" But when the time came, they understood that putting Jack out of his misery was the best thing for HIM. They learned a lot about responsibile pet ownership that day, and I think it has made them better pet owners with our new pup.

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#8 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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Oh, i'm so sorry! i have to agree, if the whole family is not on board with taking care of and training the puppy, he should get a new home.

have you checked the pet forum here?
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#9 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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I think it's fairly normal to want to get rid of a pet soon after getting it! You think about all the fun and sweetness, laughter and cuddles they'll bring, then reality hits you right on your new carpet.LOL

It took us a good month to decide that we really liked our dog and that she could become an official member of the family. Every day, we were like "This dog is so sweet!" then the next day "This dog is such a pain! I don't need this!"

So, no real advice, I don't know what's right for you or the dog.
Good luck
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#10 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lady of Z Lake View Post
No one seems to want to take him out to do his business and stay with him/show him where to go. We end up leaving the door open and he does very often do it on his own in the yard. But we also often find little "presents" around the house, so he clearly doesn't get that it's ALWAYS outside yet.

The puppy is not going to get it, he hasn't been trained. I agree with what one of the pps said, you need to have a family meeting, it doesn't really matter if no one "wants" to take him out, they HAVE TO, it is their and your responsibility

Otherwise, the kids are in school much of the day during the week, so there's not even significant opportunity there.

And please don't get me wrong... We are not mean with the puppy. And we are not irresponsible pet owners. getting a puppy, not training him and then giving him away is irresponsible sorry

I am just finding this much more difficult than I expected, and I am very concerned about exactly what you say-- showing my kids that an animal is "disposable." But at the same time I am not handling the extra work, time, stress, etc. very well at all. Apart from making his way downstairs when the puppy cries at 5:00 am and then going to sleep down there in our guest bedroom, my dh does not put any effort into consistent training at all. Dh also goes from one extreme to another. The puppy runs free, then pees in the house, so he then puts him in the pen all day. Though I've mentioned it, my husband balks at the idea of taking the dog on a walk. Honestly, I often work 9-10 hour days, and I can't deal with ANOTHER thing myself. (I already still do much of the cooking, putting kids to bed at night, cleaning, etc. And THAT is another issue...)

sounds like your dh needs to step up. You guys need to educate yourselves on how to crate train a dog, its really not that difficult, you haven't given it a chance.

A colleague of mine bought this puppy's little brother, and she has said her in-laws adore him and would love to have ours. This makes me so tempted...
If you know someone who wants the dog and you are honest with them that you have not trained the dog at all, then maybe you should do this. It does send a bad message to your kids, IMO, that animals are disposable.

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How old is your daughter? Could she assume some responsibility for the dog? Like maybe feeding and watering him, and taking him outside? I just saw that your kids are 5 & 8, maybe the 8 year old could do this? Also, crate training is really wonderful for dogs. It teaches them to 'hold it' and to remain semi calm while indoors. You can google crate training, or ask about it at your local animal shelter or PetSmart/Petco store. I am very passionate about 'forever' homes for animals, as I used to work in animal rescue. Once you as an adult make the decision to take an animal into your home, it becomes a part of your family. And jst like any other member of your family, he need to be given loving guidance on how to behave. I do think it sends a very real message about the 'disposable-ness' of an unwanted animal to give it up without making an effort. I want my children to know that with an animal comes responsibility, and that animals should be given some dignity and not tossed aside when they get difficult, or when we just decide we no longer want to have that responsibility. I would highly recommend having a family meeting. This dog needs to be taken care of by everyone. I would also recommend some puppy training classes, or at the very least, read a how to manual on the subject and follow through with training for the next 3 months. Every. single. day. Only 10-15 minutes at a time, maybe 2-3 times a day. But it has to be consistent. Doggie is not going to learn with one or two haphazard lessons. Someone ought to be brushing doggie 3-5 times a week, depending on the breed and bathing him every 2-4 weeks, again, depending on the breed. If doggie can have one nice long walk in the am (depending on breed and size, like 30-60 minutes of brisk walking) he should be a bit calmer during the day. Then if your dh or your child could be responsible for taking the dog out in 4-5 hours from that am walk, he should be ok. Another walk in the pm for the same amount and let him out one last time before bed and you should be set. Take him out after he eats. Only set food down two times a day so he's not eating 24-7.
Putting a 6 month old, rambunctious, untrained dog up for adoption is much different that putting an 8 week old darling little puppy up for adoption. If you take the dog to a shelter, you are putting the responsibility on someone else to take care of your problem. The very least you could do is find a home for him yourself, which could take a while. And in the meantime, you child will grow more attached. Of course if you are going to resent the poor animal and put him out because he's not magically trained himself, then by all means, find him a good home. I really dont mean to come across as mean or anything, this just really strikes a nerve with me. We had people dumping their crazy dogs on us all the time, only finding them with another baby animal later. It drives me crazy that people see animals as worth no more than a t-shirt. Please do the right thing.
: I too worked at a shelter for a while and saw way too many of these cases - cute little puppy starts to grow up, the novelty wears off, he becomes too much work, doesn't know what he is supposed to do, becomes a handful and ends up at the shelter because he is a "bad dog".:
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#11 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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Giving the dog to a loving home teaches your children that dogs ARE a huge commitment, and an enormous responsibility. Explain that taking care of the kids, the house, AND the dog was taking more time than you expected, and it's not fair to the pup to keep him.

Keeping the dog and NOT training him properly is not doing anything to teach them responsible pet ownership. All the love in the world from your DD will not help him understand what is expected of him.
I totally agree with this. This is a good time to make the switch - in time for another family to have enough puppy-time to train the dog properly. The older the dog gets the harder it will be. Good luck!

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#12 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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A colleague of mine bought this puppy's little brother, and she has said her in-laws adore him and would love to have ours. This makes me so tempted...
Do it! From what you've said, it sounds like your DH is not fully on board with the dog (otherwise he would be working on the training, and it doesn't take a lot of time, but it HAS to be consistent), and you and the kids are out of the house most of the day.

While "forever homes" are ideal, this sounds like a situation where the dog will have a better life with another family. If you make the change with compassion, and talk with the kids about why it's happening (hard to do, imho, without blaming DH but do try not to, as you don't want the kids to blame dad for the loss of the pet), they won't view pets as disposable, but rather as living creatures who need the best chance to live a good life.

Good luck, and don't wait much longer! It'll just get harder on the family, and on the dog to make the transition. ...and the dog NEEDS structure. It's not favor to him to let him go on and on without training.

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#13 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 09:50 PM
 
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You said your dh stays home all day, doesnt he get tired of picking up pee and poo off the floor?? Why doesnt he want to house train the puppy?

I am not one to rehome a dog willy nilly. I have been involved in dog rescue, mainly Great Dane rescue for over 5 years now. It sounds like you all need to put forth more effort in taking care of a dog that you brought into the house.

This wont teach your children that dogs or animals for that matter are a huge responsability, it will teach them that pets are disposable, a message that they dont need to learn.

Have you researched anything about potty training, crate training, etc? If you are serious about finding this dog another home, you need to be careful. People can and will fool you. Some dogs are used for bait for pitbull fighters so the pit bulls can train on them. Also some are sent to labs, even if the people tell you they will take care of them. Also did you get this dog from a breeder? If so, contact them and see if they will take the puppy back, at no cost, and find a more suitable home.

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#14 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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I'd give/sell it to the colleague's in-law. You'll be modeling responsible behavior to your family. It's okay to fix a mistake or to go back to end a commitment to something if it was too much. It's like saying, "I'm sorry, I thought I could handle this, but I can't." It will be sad, but it's the right thing to do. If a puppy isn't really well cared for early on they learn bad habits and become a total pain for many years.
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#15 of 90 Old 06-27-2007, 10:40 PM
 
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If you have smoeone to take him please let him go. It doesn't sond like any one really wants a dog. wanting a dog means being willing to do the work.

Otherwise start calling around for training options. Time to get things under control.If you can't let him out in time find a dog sitter of some sort who can do it.

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#16 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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Our family is in a similar situation, so I'll be watching this thread...

to you. It's terrible to have something so stressful to deal with, and also to deal with the guilt of being stressed out over it.
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#17 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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Find the puppy a new home. Don't put an ad in Craigs list or the newpaper because I've heard horror stories about the "nice" people that take in free pets. But with a pug pup, honestly I think if you just ask around at work and whatnot you should be able to find a good home for him.

The reason I think you should give him to another home ASAP is because since your husband isn't doing his part in training the dog, the situation is getting setup to turn out very poorly for everyone. No one will be happy with an un-housetrained dog running around the house in a year from now, not even the kids (at least I don't think). Without your husband on board, I don't see how you can housetrain the dog.

So yeah, I think it's good that you've realized this now while the puppy is young enough to easily adapt to a new home.
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#18 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 07:30 AM
 
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Could you get a kennel for your garden? That way the dog doesn't need to be inside the house at all. Or do you have a garage that he could sleep in? We had a huge dog growing up and it wasn't allowed in the house at all. Not sure what the climate is like where you live right enough so this may not work!

I like dogs but I would never have one in the house!
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#19 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 09:18 AM
 
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My ds loves dogs -- adores them, and all other animals. So, we went to a shelter a couple of years ago, and picked out a sweet, wonderful little 4 month old pup.

After three days of non-stop crying (mine and the dog's), I took her back to the shelter. It broke my heart, but I don't regret it for one second. We realized very quickly that training and raising a puppy correctly was going to take more time and energy than we had, and that it wasn't fair to the puppy to be improperly trained.

I don't think I would have brought her back, though, if we had had her for a longer period of time, mostly because the kids would have been so attached.
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#20 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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Since I didnt get an answer on whether or not this dog came from a breeder or I missed it, *IF* you got the dog from a breeder did you happen to sign a contract with the breeder stating that you would return the dog to them? If so and you place the dog yourself, the breeder can (and probably will) take you to court.

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#21 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 10:19 AM
 
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I'd give/sell it to the colleague's in-law. You'll be modeling responsible behavior to your family. It's okay to fix a mistake or to go back to end a commitment to something if it was too much. It's like saying, "I'm sorry, I thought I could handle this, but I can't." It will be sad, but it's the right thing to do.
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#22 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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Moving to Pets.

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#23 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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Moving to Pets.

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Uh oh...
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#24 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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Does your dh want the dog? Why is it so hard for him to take the dog outside? Have you guys read about proper training methods?
http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/ou..._training.html
http://www.wonderpuppy.net/canwehelp/1crate.php

If no one can get him out consistently, groom him, bond with him, or make the effort to train him then I don't see things improving. If your family is not willing or able to take care of the puppy then the responsible thing is to find it a home where its needs will be met. Checking with the breeder to see if you can return him and/or checking out your colleague's in-laws might be a good idea.

Your children will be upset. I think it is right to be honest that you made a mistake about the level of commitment your family could handle and it is not a good match. Now you know in future not to get another puppy or high needs animal for your family.

We got our puppy from a shelter when he was about 5 months old. He was not trained. I'm glad the previous owners gave him up when they couldn't handle him. It has been challenging because I've only had older dogs. He is a year old now and so much better. I had to take him outside every couple of hours though and it has been a big commitment. It pretty much fell to me because dd was not strong enough to handle the dog on the leash and dh was at work.

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#25 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Could you get a kennel for your garden? That way the dog doesn't need to be inside the house at all. Or do you have a garage that he could sleep in? We had a huge dog growing up and it wasn't allowed in the house at all. Not sure what the climate is like where you live right enough so this may not work!

I like dogs but I would never have one in the house!

Sorry, but I think this is very bad advice! This would make the situation even worse. To me, this is totally shurking responsibility. Dogs are companions and need interaction, training, etc. Sticking them out in the yard wont help. While I dont like the idea of getting rid of a pet without really trying to fix the situation, it is still better than completely ignoring the situation by sticking them outside, IMHO.

There are some dogs who do allright as "outside" dogs, but they are usually working or farm dogs, and the owners still interact and train them.

Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilahblahblah.gif (12/21/05) and Cianwild.gif (9/21/07) as well as 3 dog2.gif 2 cat.gif,  4 rats, chicken3.gif and ducks
 
 

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#26 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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A few walks a day and positive reinforcement (treat when he poops or pees outside so he associates it with a good thing) will get him house trained within a week or so. Baby gates to restrict the areas he's allowed in so he won't sneak off to pee. Don't free feed him. He's an energetic puppy so plenty of exercise to work that off.

And I am not surprised he howls early in the morning if he's by himself. If you had him in a crate with a bed in it in your bedroom he would probably sleep in later.

Yes a puppy is a big responsibility but it's a good lesson to teach your children to follow through. If your husband doesn't work he needs to get it in gear. Puppies are a hell of a lot easier than babies! In a few months it will get much easier and you'll wonder why you considered giving him/her up.
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#27 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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Sorry, but I think this is very bad advice! This would make the situation even worse. To me, this is totally shurking responsibility. Dogs are companions and need interaction, training, etc. Sticking them out in the yard wont help. While I dont like the idea of getting rid of a pet without really trying to fix the situation, it is still better than completely ignoring the situation by sticking them outside, IMHO.

There are some dogs who do allright as "outside" dogs, but they are usually working or farm dogs, and the owners still interact and train them.
I agree and once the summers over they'll end up with a pug-scicle considering they live in CH!
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#28 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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There isn't any way she can make her husband take proper responsibility for the puppy. He clearly is not into putting in the effort that is required and she's working 9-10 hours a day during the week. I'm not clear on why the poster is taking heat for recognizing a) her husband is dropping the ball (and yes, it's unfair and frustrating and all that but that's an argument to be had between them another time) and b) that without her husband's lead on training the puppy, this is a situation that is only going to get worse in terms of frustration, mess and attachment with the kids.

I totally agree with the posters who have said that it IS the responsible decision (and a great lesson for the kids) to admit that getting the puppy was a mistake and that you have to do what's right to fix that mistake, which in this situation means finding a great home for the little guy.

I tried to adopt a half grown puppy that was found abandoned in a parking lot by a coworker of mine. He was fantastic! Smart, eager to please, happy, goofy, all that. But when I brought him home, it was immediately clear that he wanted to eat my cat. Not play with my cat but eat my cat. I gave it a couple of days of trying to have strictly controled meetings between the two of them but I knew that this was never going to be a situation I would feel comfortable with and therefore it would not be an entirely happy home for either my cat or the dog (because I'd always have to keep them seperated and never let them roam the house alone, etc). So I worked and worked and worked and after only a few days I found him a great home. Based on the dog's MySpace page (yes, he has a very enthusiastic human), he just recently graduated with top honors from his training class and is very happy. Was this the responsible decision? Of course it was!
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#29 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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and please remember that the dog is the one who is being jerked around and given up... he's (not it) or she's the one that will have the hardest time w/ this mistake.
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#30 of 90 Old 06-28-2007, 01:45 PM
 
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What a sucky situation. If your dh isn't going to participate in the training then I think your hands are tied. You can't have feces and urine in your house on a regular basis. Puppies are a LOT of work. Just like a toddler.

If it makes you feel any better, it took me a LONG time to even like our first dog. Maybe a year or so? I'm just not a dog person. Now I like her a lot and she's a great dog. But we had to go and ruin it and get a giant puppy. I don't much care for him. lol BUT dh is great and takes him to work almost every day so I don't have to deal w/ him. The dogs were HIS idea so HE is in charge of most everything.
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