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Need help loving my dog

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy Need help loving my dog

    Good morning everyone!



    I have a 8 year old Cocker Spaniel. She is as cute as could be and really intelligent. I have always had dogs/pets in my life and always want to have some around. This dog was raised by a family member until it was 5 years old and developed some poor behaviors along the way.

    My husband started watching her 3 years ago and dealt with the behaviors, it wasn't until I came into the picture that we started working through some of the issues. I enrolled her in a training class a few months ago that helped teach me why she thinks the way she does and tried working on her socialization. She is very apt to training but some habits I am just having the hardest time figuring out what to do about them.

    Living in a one bedroom apartment with our dog, cat and baby on the way has placed a lot of stress on the situation. My husband and I both do not have interest in the dog as we have with our other pets because this one displays so many characteristics neither of us enjoy.

    My husband has always physically punished the dog when she does wrong and I don't enjoy that punishment, so I have been trying to work with her on these bad habits instead of letting them continue which in turn gets her punished.

    She doesn't enjoy the physical punishments but it does nothing to stop her from repeating bad behaviors. I really need help either with training these behaviors or having them explained so that I can understand her and find a way to bond with her.

    1. She is a hoarder. She collects her toys and keeps them in her dog beds. This fact is fine with me but she continues to escalate the hoarding issue. She collects socks, underwear, hair clips, chap stick, cat toys, pens, literally any small object that falls on the floor ends up in her bed before you realize it isn't where it should be.

    We keep a very neat house so this doesn't happen daily but it happens anytime my husband leaves dirty clothes around or if the cat knocks something off a table, etc. These objects in her bed she knows aren't supposed to be there so she will hid them from us when we enter the room.

    She will protectively lay on top of them and not greet you in order to hid the object, which makes it very obvious that she has something she isn't supposed to. When you go retrieve the item she will cower like she is about to be punished. When she has one of these off limit objects in her bed, for example a cat toy, she will not let the cat anywhere near her bed.

    She constantly throughout the night will collect these objects and bring them into her bed and then stand guard when the cat is near. This changed the way we leave cat toys out. I now only every so often bring 1 cat toy out for the cat to play with, within minutes the dog has stolen the toy (the second our back turns) and returned to her bed.

    She is so sneaky as she knows the toy is not hers and I will use the "leave it" command when taking the toy out for the cat. These behavior is essentially harmless but we are about to have a ton of children's toys over the floor and I really will not want the dog stealing the toys and guarding them from the baby. I am trying to get her to understand that not every object in the house is hers.

    2. This next one I doubt there is any fix for. She loves cat poop. Our cat has two pretty well hidden boxes that the dog will manage to get into. In our current situation I can't further hid or place gates in front of the litter boxes so we just try and stay on top of the boxes. I just really dislike the idea of the dog eating cat poop. I haven't been able to find a way to keep the dog away from the litter boxes.

    You will see the cat come in the room and the dog will sniff the cat's butt and then wait until we aren't looking to sneak into the other room and find the fresh treat. She knows that she is not to be seen near cat boxes and she will not even attempt to get near them if we are watching. This dog is very intelligent/sneaky.

    3. Lastly, one of the largest issues, she HATES other dogs. Now you would think that this would be my main concern but in our current apartment living situation we don't have to deal with this issue as much as the other issues. If given ample time (a few days) she will interact well with other dogs, I would say 70% of them. It is the random meet and greets that she does poorly at.

    If we are walking her and we cross paths she will start by playfully whining and begging to interact with the other dog and then step by step the closer we get she turns into a psycho dog barking ripping back and forth trying to "rip the dogs throat out". I maintain my composure as best I can I attempt the training techniques I was taught about having her sit and letting the other dog pass us with plenty of room.

    I forewarn the stranger that my dog is aggressive so they know to avoid us. She will not listen to the sit command and pulls me back and forth. Now she is a small dog but being 8 months pregnant with snow outside I do not like any form of pulling on the leash even if I am stronger than her. This is why I initially enrolled her in obedience class months ago to try and work on socializing her.

    My husband says that she does better off leash with new dogs but we do not have many dog parks around here and I am too embarrassed to let her off leash if she is going to act like an idiot. I would not want others dogs trying to attack mine in a dog park so I don't like the idea of subjecting them to mine. I have seen her interact off leash with family dogs and those situations didn't go so well.

    My Aunt's therapy trained large breed dog stood patiently while our dog nipped at its legs and belly and then REALLY tried to attack the dog when the dog backed up closer to the dog food closet. We assume at a young age our dog lived with other dogs that made her feel like she had to protect her food as she still eats up all her food in 1 minute flat regardless of other dogs being around.

    And if we enter someone elses house she instantly runs to that dogs food bowl and steals what she can before we stop her. She used to live with 2 boxers for a year, she would constantly interrupt their meal time and steal their food/treats. You have to keep her in a separate room if you are going to give a different dog or cat a treat/food. The last dog interaction I can speak of is when we visit the 2 boxers she used to live with.

    She is very comfortable around them. She doesn't really enjoy playing with them she more prefers to find their toy and hid it from them or look for forgotten food. My husband says that he has never really seen her play with another dog. I walked into the room with the dogs and found she had wedged her head in between the end table and the couch with the knot toy in her mouth protecting the toy from the gentle outlook of the boxers. These are very mild mannered boxers and have no interest in fighting over a toy.

    Well I have never been on this form before so I do not know if my rant will be overlooked, either way I needed to get this all out as I am very frustrated. I remind myself that every dog has its quirks and at least she isn't getting into the garbage, going to the bathroom indoors or chewing up our furniture. I think I either need advice on these issues or knowledge on why she acts the way she does so that I can learn to accept the behaviors. I really feel awful having an animal that my husband and I do not like, it is not fair to anyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    6,547
    Physically punishing the dog or yelling at her is no way to treat an animal. Unless caught in the act of doing something the only thing punishing her does is make her afraid and confused and she will associate him coming near her as being punished. Do this dog a favor, neither of you love her, find her a home where she will be loved and cared for. She is hording thing because they comfort her, comfort she doesn't get from her humans
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    11,615
    Quote Originally Posted by jackee96 View Post
    Living in a one bedroom apartment with our dog, cat and baby on the way has placed a lot of stress on the situation. My husband and I both do not have interest in the dog as we have with our other pets because this one displays so many characteristics neither of us enjoy.

    My husband has always physically punished the dog when she does wrong...

    Well I have never been on this form before so I do not know if my rant will be overlooked, either way I needed to get this all out as I am very frustrated.

    I really feel awful having an animal that my husband and I do not like, it is not fair to anyone.
    It's obvious the advice you want from your post, as Linda has already said, do the poor dog a favor and find it a good loving FOREVER home, or turn it over to a local "NO KILL" shelter, and let them try to rehome the dog.

    Your rant won't go overlooked here, because there are too many animal lovers like myself on this forum. My heart goes out to this poor dog who's been shuffled from owner to owner, been physically and emotionally punished instead of being lovingly trained with positive reinforcement. She's not sneaky or an idiot by any means, let's not put the lack of love and training on the dog....the dog had no control over her pathetic situation.

    You make this animal out to be a villain when she is just trying to survive in an environment that shows no love or compassion for her. You are having a baby, neither you or your husband like this poor girl. The least you can do is find her a good FOREVER home, something she has never had.

    Where do you live? There should be a NO KILL shelter near you that you can leave her with, anything's better than staying in your house with you and your husband.

    If you have any conscience or compassion for this animal, please do what is best. I'll help research a place to bring her if you tell me what city and state you're in. I know you want to move on with your life and not have this girl around.....please do it in a responsible way and the best interest of the animal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,105
    Quote Originally Posted by linda2147 View Post
    She is hording thing because they comfort her, comfort she doesn't get from her humans
    Wow, this is great insight, and it seems very plausible. Like a person trying to make their own meaning or express their own creativity in a bleak situation. It's... beautiful really.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackee96 View Post
    I really feel awful having an animal that my husband and I do not like, it is not fair to anyone.
    Hi Jackee- The fact that you took time to think through such a long post shows that of course you care about her. That's even more important than liking her right now. It's okay not to like her. Love is weird. Different people "get it" in different situations, and not in others. If you can't love her, that's okay. You can show your care for her by helping her find someone that can. No guilt trip.

    That said, well... please don't be angry, but I think your husband needs more training than this girl. Sorry, he's probably a nice guy that just doesn't know how to interact with dogs. But physically punishing the dog is almost always counterproductive. I don't really have advice about how to train a dog. I have three, and they have no formal training. They do some inconvenient things, but they are things I can live with.

    Sometimes I have been very frustrated, but I just slowly steadily keep at it and try to stay calm. It's about love, and we all know that love is weird. Hard to explain or give instructions for, because everyone is different and everyone's love and their way of expressing it is different. Sometimes during the usual busy days when one or more of the dogs are not cooperating, I will think to myself. "I hate you. I wish you weren't here." But I know it is just the moment, and I know it isn't true.

    I know that love is a long haul flight, and that I really love them. Sometimes if only because I decide to. So I don't know what the answer is. My main message is that you are obviously an intelligent and caring person from your post. Whether you think you can continue the story in a positive way or whether you think the kindest thing is to very carefully rehome her only you can decide in your heart.

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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