Anyone else can't stand their pet? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Amcal, I highly suggest reading http://www.marleyandme.com/
Its the story of the "Worlds Dumbest Dog". Its hilarious!!
(btw, its not a training manual or anything, just a story about a guy and his destructo dog. I hear your vent, I sometimes feel the same way too - just cant stand my pets, kids, dh, IL's, etc.... )

Hang in there.
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#62 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Edited to add that this behavior occurs no matter what her exercise level.
OK, what's her cool-weather exercise like--not on the "best" day, but an average day?
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#63 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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yeah, I'd never adopt a dog younger than 7.
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#64 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:12 PM
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You know... I have a great dog. She doesn't really have any bad habits, except she's a little skitty (but really, she's 1000% better than she was - just a little shy) and she's obsessed with the cat (but she's a border collie, so that's just how she is). She loves me to pieces, she sleeps with me, she's pretty mellow for a border collie, and she does whatever I ask her to do. I wouldn't say I can't stand her, but I wish I didn't have her anymore. I spent all summer away from her, and I realized that I didn't miss her and really, I enjoyed not having to deal with her (normal) dog needs, and I wish I could travel more easily and not have to think about what to do with her.

I'm not sure there's really a point to this, unless someone near St Louis wants an 8 year old border collie. I'll continue to care for her just like I have been, and I'll ensure that she's always well cared-for by someone. I just wish there was another option for her right now... and I'm okay with myself for wanting that.

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#65 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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My sisters once untrainable dog (was untrainable when he was living her DH's sister's family) did all of the behaviours and more (I remember he chewed stuff up too) than what you have described of your dog.

When they got him (he's a lab/pit mix) they started exercising him. He needed 40 minute minute quick walks/jogs TWICE a day to get him to where he was. That was before their playtime. They also played fetch and frisbee with him and visited dog parks frequently. Her DH was in school and would walk him once a day, and the other one they would do together in the evening. They don't have any children, and it's unlikely they will as she's 43 now.

Of course, now he's elderly and is like 15 or 16 by their estimation. He can't do that much exercise anymore and likely will have to be euthanized soon as his problems are piling up. I hadn't seen my sister in a really long time (talked on the phone, emailed). I saw her a few weeks ago, and noticed that she'd put on at least 40 pounds. She's always been really trim, so it surprised me. It seems that walking/jogging with the dog like she did was her exercise and since he wasn't able to do that much anymore she had more difficulty with her weight.

We had a lab growing up, and his exercise needs were VERY high like this. We had to tire him out so that we even had a chance of getting him to listen to us LOL.

I have a friend here in FL who HATES the hot weather these months so she uses a treadmill with her dog. She says it works wonderfully.

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#66 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I used to not really enjoy MY dogs. And one day I stumbled upon this forum -- and Joanna is right, it's really hidden deep in mdc! -- and started learning how to be a better/more conscientious owner.

EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Chasing a ball inside a house is not exercise. Running around the backyard is not exercise. I know sometimes it's too hot -- I just moved from Yuma, AZ! -- but there's always a way. I taught one of my dogs, the younger one who has more energy, how to walk on a treadmill. He now does 30 minutes every day, in addition to walking with me in the early morning or late at night. I've been sick with pneumonia this entire summer and that treadmill has been a lifesaver -- for the dogs!

I do have food-stealers from tables/plates. What works is crating them, and teaching them to stay out of the kitchen when someone is eating. If I'm feeding the baby in her highchair, and one of the dogs starts hanging out, waiting for food to drop, I get up and "claim the space" as Cesar would say. I basically walk toward him very assertively and block him from the space, til he calms down and backs off. And I continue to do that until he "gets it." Or I crate him.

hth!

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#67 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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I think most retrievers need a lot of excercise/stimulation and stay "young" for quite awhile. My Chessie needs a lot of that or he starts chewing and he's almost 8 years old.

As far as the thought that they're doing dog things, true, but they can be trained to not do that. Ours don't steal food, the chessie does chew when he's bored but with toys and lots of exercise its at a minimum.

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And, us "dog people" and "animal people" we get it. Those of us who frequent the pets forum and are into our animals also realize to that for a lot of people once kids arrive in the picture there can be a temporary time where negative feelings creep up about any pet because responsiblity for a pet in that case can cause stress.
I agree, it does take some transition time to fit everybody in. But I do understand how the same behaviors over and over can be frustrating. But I think with a little work and some boundaries set for the dog, its easily fixable.

OP, as far as trainers go, look for a retriever trainer. We used a fabulous one with our dog and it made a world of difference.
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#68 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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Hey they do make these cute little boots for the hot paws problem...not sure if you would want to do that or not, but if you did, they are available.

I'm not liking my cat much lately. Which is sad because he's terribly bonded to me. I'm so touched out by my 3.5 year old and I'm so hot with this pregnancy, I don't want to snuggle with a hot furry hairball. Plus he drools on me, and its so so gross. Its very sad because he's my cat, and we had another cat who recently died who was my husband's cat and I miss her, and wish he'd go away. I'd be so sad if he died though, I just wish he'd take a vacation for a few years until the kids were older. I just have a limited amount of me to go around and well, sorry kitty but you are on the bottom of the list. We have instituted "brushing the cat time" once every other day and that has helped a lot. He loves being brushed and it makes us feel like he's at least getting some love, and he is less annoying when he's getting love. He still wants to cuddle with me and drool on me and follow me around the house. He really needs independent cat lessons.
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#69 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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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).
So well said.

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I do not hate my dog nor is my dog bored or uncared for. That is quite the assumption.
I think what she's trying to point out is that feeding your dog and walking your dog doesn't always = well cared for. If your dog is acting out, your dog has a need that isn't being met.

You said earlier that you didn't want to waste any more time and energy on training because you tried and it didn't work. I understand, we had to try several different training methods with our lab mix before we found something that worked. Please don't give up on training yet. If every dog could be trained the same way, there wouldn't be hundreds of different books and classes available. Just because you haven't found one yet that works doesn't mean it isn't out there.

MJ~ Proud mom to DS (4)
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#70 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Amcal, I highly suggest reading http://www.marleyandme.com/
Its the story of the "Worlds Dumbest Dog". Its hilarious!!
(btw, its not a training manual or anything, just a story about a guy and his destructo dog. I hear your vent, I sometimes feel the same way too - just cant stand my pets, kids, dh, IL's, etc.... )

Hang in there.
Ironically I just saw the episode where the author of this book was on the Dog Whisperer
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#71 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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Ironically I just saw the episode where the author of this book was on the Dog Whisperer
As for the OP I understand the hot weather problems. We have a hard time now that its 100+ degrees too. Our only solution has been to get up early and do it or do it late at night. LAtely we have been going at 8pm.... its still hot, but the pavement isn't hot and a little sweat never hurt us I also just got a backpack for our 5 year old Boxer mix so we can tire her out in a shorter period of time LOL

I wish we had a treadmill some days tho

Other than that, please listen to Joanna and the others who can offer advice. IF you don't want to do that, check out the Dog Whisperer for some basic steps to help your dog.

I promise that as miserable as you are with your pet's behavior, think of how unhappy the pet is? They need more than just affection to be balanced and happy.
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#72 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, what's her cool-weather exercise like--not on the "best" day, but an average day?
From fall through spring we ride bikes every night after dinner and she runs along side us - we generally ride with her about 2.5 - 3 miles.

Most mornings I walk her two miles as well but, that's not every morning - probably 4 mornings a week.

My mom's dog is also here probably 3 - 5 days a week and they run and run and run. She is exhausted on the days mom's dog is here.
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#73 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So well said.



I think what she's trying to point out is that feeding your dog and walking your dog doesn't always = well cared for. If your dog is acting out, your dog has a need that isn't being met.
.
I can't express how frustrating it is that no one is reading my posts. The dog gets a heck of a lot more than feeding and walking. This dog is very loved and very well cared for. Just because I am not head over heels in love with this dog doesn't mean the other people in the house aren't. My 5 year old goes to the dog before anyone else when she wakes up in the morning. This dog gets played with, petted, talked to, sung to, dressed up like a princess or a bunny or whatever else my kids can come up with. I take her in the car with me if I'm just going on a quick trip and I don't have to get out. We take her with us to the park when it's cool enough etc....

Where you get the idea that this dog is neglected is beyond me.

I despise her behavior and it has made me realize that I lack both the patience and energy to deal with another dog but, it does not mean that I neglect this one. In fact, right this minute she is at my feet and I'm giving her a belly rub with my toes.

Honestly, I wish I had never said anything. I was VENTING. That's it. People vent about their children or their spouses but that doesn't necessarily make them a neglectful, abusive mother or spouse.
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#74 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Amcal, I highly suggest reading http://www.marleyandme.com/
Its the story of the "Worlds Dumbest Dog". Its hilarious!!
(btw, its not a training manual or anything, just a story about a guy and his destructo dog. I hear your vent, I sometimes feel the same way too - just cant stand my pets, kids, dh, IL's, etc.... )

Hang in there.
I read that book. Boy did it feel like I was reading my own life's story. I passed it to my dad afterwards and he kept calling me saying he felt like he was reading about Maggie. In fact, she is a yellow lab and looks exactly like the picture of Marley.
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#75 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Where you get the idea that this dog is neglected is beyond me.

I'm sorry, I never meant to imply that the dog is neglected! I'm just saying that since dogs can't talk, the best cared for dog could have a need that isn't being met, and I have a feeling that might be your dog's situation.

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#76 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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After thinking for a few minutes I just wanted to come back and say, again, I'm sorry. I think it's hard for those of us who have never felt that way to really understand. I think, although it may not seem that way, we are all just trying to come up with ways to help you enjoy your dog more. I don't believe you are abusive or neglectful, and I'm sorry if anything said here has made you feel that people think you are. I do hope you will try to ignore any hurtful comments and see the usefulness of the advice that has been offered. I think if you can find the right solution, you could change the behaviors that upset you.

MJ~ Proud mom to DS (4)
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#77 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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I can't express how frustrating it is that no one is reading my posts. The dog gets a heck of a lot more than feeding and walking. This dog is very loved and very well cared for. Just because I am not head over heels in love with this dog doesn't mean the other people in the house aren't. My 5 year old goes to the dog before anyone else when she wakes up in the morning. This dog gets played with, petted, talked to, sung to, dressed up like a princess or a bunny or whatever else my kids can come up with. I take her in the car with me if I'm just going on a quick trip and I don't have to get out. We take her with us to the park when it's cool enough etc....
I feel like you're not reading ours, and I want you to hear that said gently; I have no axe to grind with you. I really just want your dog to be happy.

What you're describing is a life full of AFFECTION. That is fine--it's a big part of a dog's life--but when it is done alone it creates the kind of behavior you're seeing. Affection is only one part of what a dog needs to be happy.

Dogs need a huge amount of steady, consistent, exhausting EXERCISE (and when I say "exhausting" I really do mean that) and they need predictable and consistent ENFORCEMENT OF RULES.

Those are the big three. If you do not provide exercise, and you do not give the dog a life where rules (like "don't touch the counter") are put into place and consistently enforced, the dog's needs are not being met, and they WILL behave badly.
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#78 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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From fall through spring we ride bikes every night after dinner and she runs along side us - we generally ride with her about 2.5 - 3 miles.

Most mornings I walk her two miles as well but, that's not every morning - probably 4 mornings a week.

My mom's dog is also here probably 3 - 5 days a week and they run and run and run. She is exhausted on the days mom's dog is here.
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I feel like you're not reading ours, and I want you to hear that said gently; I have no axe to grind with you. I really just want your dog to be happy.

What you're describing is a life full of AFFECTION. That is fine--it's a big part of a dog's life--but when it is done alone it creates the kind of behavior you're seeing. Affection is only one part of what a dog needs to be happy.

Dogs need a huge amount of steady, consistent, exhausting EXERCISE (and when I say "exhausting" I really do mean that) and they need predictable and consistent ENFORCEMENT OF RULES.

Those are the big three. If you do not provide exercise, and you do not give the dog a life where rules (like "don't touch the counter") are put into place and consistently enforced, the dog's needs are not being met, and they WILL behave badly.
You did not read her post. Seriously. She's exercising her dog till it is 'exhausted'.

Michelle, does her behavior get worse in summer, when it's too hot to be out much? Does it improve during the rest of the year? I do think most everyone here is simply trying to be helpful. To the dog and/or to you.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#79 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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Since it sounds like to me the dog is getting plenty of excersise, what about training the dog to do tricks? I recently read somewhere that not only do dogs need physical excersise, but mental excersise to wear them out too. Good luck! I know how frustrating dogs can be....
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#80 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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journeymom, Joanna obviously read her post because she mentioned 3 different things in that a dog needs. I would imagine that she bolded the exercise because there are a lot of people reading this thread and that is often lacking. If that doesn't apply to the OP then its time to look at the other 2 things.

We have been doing the Dog Whisperer formula (Exercise, then discipline, then affection) and it has made a huge difference in our rescued dog. She gets up, goes for a walk, gets fed only after the walk (and later in the day after another walk), and then we can have playtime. If your dog is getting affection first thing in the morning (from kids or whoever) without having to work for it and not getting any discipline, chances are you are going to have problems.
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#81 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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I don't think you're neglecting your dog! It sounds like you're giving the dog lots of love and exercise.

Honestly, when I got to a point with one of my dogs where I was kind of quietly thinking, "Well she IS pretty old, maybe she won't live much longer and I'll be done with this stupid impulsive adoption from a high-kill shelter" I rehomed her to a lovely older woman who loves small breeds and doesn't have children. I only had the dog for about 2 years, but she has turned me off small breeds FOR.EVER.EVER.EVER. I shudder thinking about small breeds.

Is rehoming an option?

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#82 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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I can't express how frustrating it is that no one is reading my posts. The dog gets a heck of a lot more than feeding and walking. This dog is very loved and very well cared for. Just because I am not head over heels in love with this dog doesn't mean the other people in the house aren't. My 5 year old goes to the dog before anyone else when she wakes up in the morning. This dog gets played with, petted, talked to, sung to, dressed up like a princess or a bunny or whatever else my kids can come up with. I take her in the car with me if I'm just going on a quick trip and I don't have to get out. We take her with us to the park when it's cool enough etc....

Where you get the idea that this dog is neglected is beyond me.

I despise her behavior and it has made me realize that I lack both the patience and energy to deal with another dog but, it does not mean that I neglect this one. In fact, right this minute she is at my feet and I'm giving her a belly rub with my toes.

Honestly, I wish I had never said anything. I was VENTING. That's it. People vent about their children or their spouses but that doesn't necessarily make them a neglectful, abusive mother or spouse.
I don't think that people are not reading your posts.

You started off with "can't stand" your dog. That paints a pretty vivid picture in most people's minds, and if you don't believe me, read the first responses- pretty much all from people who genuinely can not stand their pets. People who are waiting for the dogs to die, people who have banished the dogs to live a life of seclusion outdoors, people who would love to give their dog away.

As you have expanded and elaborated, you don't sound like those PPs to me. You sound like someone who is fond of your dog. You talk to her when alone, you voluntarily take her in the car, you scratch her belly while on the computer.

As you said, you were venting. But I believe strongly that had your post been titled similarly to most vents on these boards, and worded differently than it was, your replies would have been different.

"Dear dog:"

"I need you to STOP STEALING FOOD! It makes me so angry with you! It makes me so frustrated that I feel that I can't stand you at times. Please get over it. Thanks.

Sincerely, Your Owner"

Now, I am certainly NOT telling you how to compose a post. I'm making the point that had it been phrased like other vents, it may have gotten responses like other vents.

As for your dog, did any of these trainers mention NILIF or dominance or Alpha or pack order? That seems to me to be what is missing, from your descriptions and of course I could be wrong, I'm not there and can't actually see the behaviour.
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#83 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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Is rehoming an option?
This was my initial thought too, when I read the OP. I thought "bad match, this dog would be better served to go live with people who match well with her rather than just existing in a home where she is despised".

I don't think rehoming is a bad thing. I once was given a lab. Now, labs and I are a bad match anyway, but this dog made me have very bad feelings about her. I rehomed her, and the new family was ecstatic. They were perfect for each other.
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#84 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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OP, I totally relate. I had a wonderful amazing dog, she died, and I got another dog. And he sucked. He especially sucked in comparison. I found him a new home in the end because I couldn't warm up and he was extremely hard to train (and yes those dogs exist).

Gotta love how it goes when you vent around here... 100% predictable. Anyway, I get you!
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#85 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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I am devoted, die hard, dog lover. I really am. But it took actually having to deal with behavior issues when I'm a trainer to realize that despite taking my dogs to the park, or letting them ride with me to the post office, or rubbing their feet while I'm at the computer to realize I was still neglecting some of their needs. Mainly exercise. A good dog is a TIRED dog.

Jersey has always been a dumpster diver. And this dog can jump a vertical 4 feet and land right ON the counter. Rhino, aka, Houdini, literally runs his nose down the fence line looking for loose boards to mess with so he can get out of the yard. He also has territorial anxiety issues that have led to him being a habitual indoor marker. They were neglected while living in the very best home - filtered dog water, custom made beds, premium food, home made treats, a basket full of toys, walks around the block, car rides, trips out to the hunting range or to the beach to go swimming. Some people are sicked by how I treat my dogs, but they were still neglected. They lost their clear and definite leader while (in hindsight I realize) I battled with post partum depression. They literally went into survival mode and were fending for themselves. Or at least, they thought they had to.

You obviously have the best interests for you dog in mind, and I think it's great that your committed to this dog for the rest of her life and have not banished her to living alone outside. That says a lot. But when people say she's lacking some "attention" or training, or is neglected, it's not of the basics and necessities. Or even some luxuries. It's often just basic leadership, which is pivotal for any dog. The stuff you're posting about CAN be remedied. And you CAN learn to at least not want to strangle her.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#86 of 106 Old 08-05-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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Gotta love how it goes when you vent around here... 100% predictable.
Yes, it's really awful how we're all ganging up on the OP and telling her what a horrible person she is, rather than offering helpful suggestions and empathizing with the fact that her dog's behavior is not easy to live with

Have you even read this thread?

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#87 of 106 Old 08-06-2008, 02:22 AM
 
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You know, you're right that we didn't take the time to let you know that we did hear you. You said she's a bad bad dog and this is hell to live with, and we didn't do a good job of acknowledging that.

You're right. The behavior you're talking about IS hell to live with. I've lived with it and I've lived with it in a 150-lb dog. In one hour she removed every inch of screening from our screened-in porch just because she liked the sound of the screen ripping. She ate, literally ATE, our couch (which I am still sitting on, because we couldn't afford to replace it). She chewed a 3x2 hole in the drywall. She ripped her ear in half and cost us $350 to fix. She got into the stuff waiting to go into the freezer and ate 15 pounds of chicken. She dug under our fence, we fixed it, she dug under it again, we fixed it, she dug under it again, she ran into the woods, picked up what we think was a homemade match bomb or pipe bomb, and blew a quarter of her face off. Cost $900 to fix (and of course she's still missing six teeth). Her own mother got so fed up with her that she put a tooth through the top of her nose, more money to fix. And this was all before she was 18 months old.

She was HELL to live with. So I do know what you're going through, I do know what it feels like to be held prisoner by a dog, I know what it feels like to have to rigidly control yourself to not physically contact a dog when you come across her doing one MORE bad thing.

I hope that you can separate advice from blaming. I know you came here to talk about a very painful thing that was happening, and you feel like we all said "And it's YOUR FAULT!" Please realize that I tell myself the same stuff every single day; I have to push hard to get myself and the dogs out for 45 minutes to an hour each day; I skip more than I'd care to admit (and I ALWAYS pay for it in bad behavior).

We are so worried, constantly, about the welfare of the dogs involved that we get pretty passionate about doing the things that make the dogs happy again. And I hope you can get that passionate too. I know that it's hurtful to hear what sounds like blame assigned, but if you can get past that and work with the dog, you will both be so much happier and she'll be much better behaved.
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#88 of 106 Old 08-06-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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From fall through spring we ride bikes every night after dinner and she runs along side us - we generally ride with her about 2.5 - 3 miles.

Most mornings I walk her two miles as well but, that's not every morning - probably 4 mornings a week.

My mom's dog is also here probably 3 - 5 days a week and they run and run and run. She is exhausted on the days mom's dog is here.
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I feel like you're not reading ours, and I want you to hear that said gently; I have no axe to grind with you. I really just want your dog to be happy.

What you're describing is a life full of AFFECTION. That is fine--it's a big part of a dog's life--but when it is done alone it creates the kind of behavior you're seeing. Affection is only one part of what a dog needs to be happy.

Dogs need a huge amount of steady, consistent, exhausting EXERCISE (and when I say "exhausting" I really do mean that) and they need predictable and consistent ENFORCEMENT OF RULES.

Those are the big three. If you do not provide exercise, and you do not give the dog a life where rules (like "don't touch the counter") are put into place and consistently enforced, the dog's needs are not being met, and they WILL behave badly.
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You did not read her post. Seriously. She's exercising her dog till it is 'exhausted'.

Michelle, does her behavior get worse in summer, when it's too hot to be out much? Does it improve during the rest of the year? I do think most everyone here is simply trying to be helpful. To the dog and/or to you.
I have to address the topic of "exhausting exercise". Especially with a labrador...

I worked with a family who had a typical lab who had been pretty much banished to living outside. We worked on a lot of things, but mostly exercise and leadership. They committed themselves to bringing the dog back in. A few months later I get a call from her, frantic, that her mother was coming to stay with them after having hip surgery and she was litterally having anxiety attacks at the thought of this dog (even though he was WAY better, and was continuing to improve) being in the house with her fragile elderly mother. The ONLY thing I knew that would help without a shadow of a doubt was to completely and totally exhaust the dog each and every morning.

We met at the dog-park side of the lake and him and Kali swam for the bumper for an hour straight. Then they got out of the water and played around on land, took a break, and back into the water for another 15-20 minutes. Oh yeah, it's also a 10 minute walk from the parking lot down to the water, so that's another 20 minutes combined walking. So in total they got around 2 hours of HARD exercise. Every day.

She said she didn't even have to crate him, he just passed out on the floor in the kitchen. And this is coming from a family with 3 children and nice big back yard that the dog played in and fetched. He was not lacking exercise. Just the RIGHT exercise.

And the thing with good, consent, hard, EXHAUSTING exercise, is that it "resets" the dog. When you're dealing with unwanted behaviors the ultimate goal is to teach the dog that they can cope and manage without having to resort to those behaviors. How do you do that? Well, essentially by not letting them carry out those behaviors. Everyday that they don't steal food, or pee on the wall, or chew a table leg, it's being reinforced that they don't have to do it to get by and cope. They will learn new behaviors.

So when the dog is drop dead exhausted and is not surfing counters, or is at least accepting of other influences, that's when you take advantage of helping the dog learn those new behaviors.

Do you have to spend 2 or 3 hours a day retrieving at the lake for the rest of the dogs life? No, probably not. But in the beginning, before I even tried evaluating the behavior and coming up with a game plan, I would find a way to get that dog well and truly exhausted. The fact that's she's noticing a difference on the days her mom's dog is there is telling that the other days she may not be getting enough hard exercise.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#89 of 106 Old 08-06-2008, 10:10 AM
 
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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.

I can't even begin to express how much I agree with everything that was said here. I want to say more.....but, I'm afraid of creating more issues.

Tricia, married to DH. 2MC's & 4 yrs ttc...finally mom to Andrew6/06 and Benjamin 10/09. Adopted bro & sis 2002. My 2 fav. words: Spay and Neuter! I'm an Ultimate Viewer, 2010!

 

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#90 of 106 Old 08-06-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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Unfortunately I too am not all that fond of one of our dogs. He's my husband's dog, a german shepherd. Hubby picked him out from a shelter at year old - this was before we were married.

My issue, I guess, is that my husband didn't uphold his end of the bargain. The "exercise" he gives this high-needs dog is laughable. He doesn't brush him. And the dog's crazy behavior doesn't really bother HIM too much. Oh but it bothers me. And I get seriously angry that hubby doesn't seem to put out any effort for HIS dog, so it somehow all falls to me.

I have tried to make peace with this dog, but we started off on the wrong foot and never really recovered. I got bit a couple of times and after that I more or less gave up. My own issues? Yep. (Though I did work with the dog to work past that particular training issue - he no longer does that.)

With the counter surfing/stealing food we have a babygate at the kitchen door and crates when we need to. You still can never turn your back for even two seconds. And it's frustrating to always have that baby gate but it's what we have to do to manage the bad behavior.

I take good care of the dog's medical needs and when he got injured I totally freaked out. But in day to day life I am happy not doing anything with the dog. And to be honest the feeling is mutual - he bonded immensely with my husband and spends all day mad at me because he wants his daddy home. But when my husband is home? He very happily and calmy lays at his feet. He follows him around. He plays with him, wrestles, or just lays for a tummy rub. He ADORES my husband, and my husband adores him.

This is not a post to say that I hate my dog or to complain. I just wanted to express to the OP that she is not alone. And that sometimes we just don't *love* the pets we end up with. It took a long time for me to understand that. We also have two cats and a second dog, all of whom I completely adore. If it had been me picking out a dog I would NEVER EVER have come home with my husband's shepherd. Not my breed, not my type of dog.

Natalie, mama to Katherine (5/22/10), missing Devin (stillborn 3/6/08)
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