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Thread: Family/Dog advice greatly needed

  1. #1

    Family/Dog advice greatly needed

    Ok, so we have a one year old shitzu with major attitude who thinks she owns the house. When we first got the dog everyone said "oh can we please, I'll help take care of her I promise". Well that was short lived. I'm always asking the kids, did you take the dog out, did the dog get fed etc etc. All dog responsibilities fall into my lap and to be honest with my husband gone, everything is now 100% my responsibility to make sure it's done. Just way to much to list.
    I have three daughters (9,10 & 11) and a husband who now works out of town and comes home maybe once every two months. And to top it off I'm now 4 months pregnant and to be honest I'm at the end of my rope with this dog. She is constantly taking off on me, even squirms out of her collar and runs away when I'm walking her. I can't tighten collar anymore without choking her. She pees and poops in house (even after spending 20 mins outside). I walk her 3 times a day anywhere from 10 mins to an hour. When I'm sitting she's sitting on me. She is not neglected by any means. She has almost tripped me twice while I'm going down stairs. Not cool, even more so now with me being pregnant.
    So here's my dilemma......I have a co-worker that has offered to take the dog, but my husband would lose it if I got rid of her. He's not even here to help with the dog, but said over his dead body would he allow the dog to go. Soooooo...I'm almost to the point of telling my husband the dog ran away (which she has done on numerous occasions) and giving her to my co-worker who will actually spend the time with her. My husband has no idea who my co-workers are because there are so many people i work with (I'm a nurse at a hospital). I don't want to lie to my husband, but I also can't stand having this dog anymore and he doesn't seem to understand why even after I've turned blue in the face trying to explain it to him. If you were in my shoes what would you do??

  2. #2
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    I would enlist the children and explain that they are now all old enough to help with the dog. Assign each of them to walk her a set period of time a day, before school for one, after school for another, etc. Then explain to the kids and the husband that she absolutely needs to be housebroken again, and everyone is part of the team. Sit everyone down, one at a time if you have to, and explain the schedule and training. And make there be consequences - if Child A was supposed to walk her and didn't, Child A cleans up when she messes in the house, and doesn't get dessert after dinner, or something - you know what would motivate them.

    She is a Shih Tzu, so she would be better with a harness than a simple collar, and that would be harder for her to escape from as well. And pick up a dog training book and make play and training the dog fun for the kids. See who is fastest able to teach her to sit, or spin, or roll over - and they can even set up a little obstacle course for her when the weather is nice outside.

    But first, leash training, and housebreaking for everyone involved. And explain that if everyone does not help, there will be dire consequences.

    That'd be my recommendation ....
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
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    I'm with Karen.

    I read your post and what through to me was, not only are you allowing the dog to do whatever she wants, you are handling your family the same way. Time to teach rules and consequences. With 3 children and a new baby, you will not have the time to be the only one handling the dog. Get them all in line now.

    Also, look into an obedience class and have ALL the children attend with you and the dog. Ensure THEY do all the homeworks and practices. This will put all of you on the
    same page with dog commends and training. Make sure it is a positive reinforcement training school.

    I am sorry you are having such a difficult time just now.
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    I'm with Karen.

    I read your post and what through to me was, not only are you allowing the dog to do whatever she wants, you are handling your family the same way. Time to teach rules and consequences. With 3 children and a new baby, you will not have the time to be the only one handling the dog. Get them all in line now.

    Also, look into an obedience class and have ALL the children attend with you and the dog. Ensure THEY do all the homeworks and practices. This will put all of you on the
    same page with dog commends and training. Make sure it is a positive reinforcement training school.

    I am sorry you are having such a difficult time just now.

    I'd second this advice. Time to have a family sit down (Including Dad) & get things back on track. I'd personally thank your coworker for offering & tell her what's going
    on at home. If Hubby & the kids follow through with traing & care for the dog, fine. If not, better to give the dog to some one who will commit to the care & raising of the
    dog. Best of luck with this problem.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    — Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  5. #5
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    I also agree with the advice that has been given so far. If the family isn't willing to do their part now or at any time in the future, then I truly feel that the dog would be better off in a new home where it will get the discipline and love and attention that it needs and deserves. Dogs are really no different than children and they will do anything for attention if it is lacking, and perhaps this little furry kid is acting up because she does get attention when she misbehaves. Attention is attention afterall - be it good or bad.
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  6. #6
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    I agree with the above post--- I htink if everyone in the family got involved in training this dog and taking it for walks and such she would become a different dog--- we've all seen dogs who will do just about anything for attention. You've been given some great advice from everyone and I bet if you try it that dog will be much happier also. Dogs feel vibes , good or bad--- Don't forget the treats for every little improvement, works wonders at speeding things up.
    Asiel


    I've been defrosted---thanks cassiesmom

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  7. #7
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    While I think the above advice is great, I can't imagine having 3 active children, with another on the way, and no spousal support. I would lovingly re-home the dog. I have too many cats, a dog and a child. To think about adding another activity to our life- like obedience class- no way.

    Sorry, it is time to re-home the dog.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cataholic View Post
    While I think the above advice is great, I can't imagine having 3 active children, with another on the way, and no spousal support. I would lovingly re-home the dog. I have too many cats, a dog and a child. To think about adding another activity to our life- like obedience class- no way.

    Sorry, it is time to re-home the dog.

    I hear you Joanna. Since we're talking about what we would do, I wouldn't want to miss a opportunity to teach my children
    about responsibilty & commitment, especially where pets are concerned. At their ages, they would be able to learn these lessons.

    If after giving it annother shot, I could say then, do what's best for the dog & give her to someone whould would provide all the
    care the pet needs & deserves.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    — Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  9. #9
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    Lamb76: This thread makes me very sad, having lost my loving little Shih Tzu to heart failure not even 3 months ago. I would do most anything if I could have him back, but of course that's not possible.

    In thinking more about your situation, I personally see from what you have written, a dog that is absolutely starving for attention, and the only one she gets it from is you, and it seems that you don't even like her much. After a year, I really don't see the kids stepping up and helping with the dog that they pleaded for. If they don't do it willingly, then obviously the dog really doesn't mean that much to them. Shih Tzu's are very loving and people oriented dogs, and they want and need and thrive on the attention of their care givers. It doesn't seem that at this point in time, that your family or lifestyle can give any dog the care and attention that it needs to be happy and healthy and thrive in it's environment. Perhaps at a later date and time it would be more likely to succeed.

    If the kids want a pet, have you ever considered a cat? They are very independent and self sufficient and don't require near the "work" that a dog does. But maybe your family isn't suited to a cat, for any number of reasons - it was just a thought.

    Please know that I am not speaking badly of you - you certainly have a lot on your plate right now - and I can understand how/why you feel as you do. You are one person trying to shoulder a whole family's responsibilities, which is a huge task even under better circumstances.

    If you have any feelings at all for this little dog, then let her go with your co-worker where she sounds like she is wanted, and will get the love and attention that she craves and deserves.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted.
    Last edited by pomtzu; 01-04-2013 at 12:38 PM.
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    I would enlist the children and explain that they are now all old enough to help with the dog. Assign each of them to walk her a set period of time a day, before school for one, after school for another, etc. Then explain to the kids and the husband that she absolutely needs to be housebroken again, and everyone is part of the team. Sit everyone down, one at a time if you have to, and explain the schedule and training. And make there be consequences - if Child A was supposed to walk her and didn't, Child A cleans up when she messes in the house, and doesn't get dessert after dinner, or something - you know what would motivate them.

    She is a Shih Tzu, so she would be better with a harness than a simple collar, and that would be harder for her to escape from as well. And pick up a dog training book and make play and training the dog fun for the kids. See who is fastest able to teach her to sit, or spin, or roll over - and they can even set up a little obstacle course for her when the weather is nice outside.

    But first, leash training, and housebreaking for everyone involved. And explain that if everyone does not help, there will be dire consequences.

    That'd be my recommendation ....
    I agree. If the family doesn't pinch in, the dog goes to a new home and I would recommend no more pets and when the kids beg, say no you didn't take care of the last dog, why should I give you this one.
    In loving memory of Tigger 2003-2009. In loving memory of Ashes 2001-2013.

  11. #11
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    Ahhhh....

    My friend, it is a lack of respect from the dog, the kids, and the man. You are overloaded with responsibilities and it would be in your best interest and the dog's best interest to give him to the co-worker. Since hubby doesn't want to give up the dog though, if you do not end up giving away the dog, you have got to demand respect from her and your kids. The kids need to have assigned tasks for every day and if the tasks are not done, you take something away of theirs that they feel they absolutely can't live without until the task gets done. The dog does love you and wants your attention or she would not sit on you and be at your feet to trip you. The housebreaking issue can be resolved with frequent walks, frequent outings and cleaning of the indoor messes with white vinegar (or an enzyme cleaner specifically designed to eliminate urine and feces odor). If dogs can smell where they've gone to the bathroom, they will continue to go to the bathroom in that space. Feces that is deposited by the dog in the house should be placed out in the yard and the dog should be shown where the feces is outside (don't yell at him, just set him by the poo) so that he understands his poop is outside. Eventually housebreaking will happen but with little dogs it can be more difficult to break their bad habits because they need to go out more frequently than larger dogs, which isn't always convenient or easily done if no one is home to keep up with the necessary steps. For walks, a body harness or a Gentle Leader face harness (similar to what horses use for being led by people) would prevent the dog from escaping and with the Gentle Leader the dog also cannot pull you down the sidewalk which can happen even with a tiny dog. Dogs benefit from routine and housebreaking is more easily accomplished when a feeding routine is established. For a small dog, breakfast, lunch (optional) and dinner portions at set times would be best instead of just filling the bowl for the day and him eating when he pleases. The final advice i can offer is obedience classes that the whole family attends (or you and the kids if hubby can't go). If you have a local PetSmart store, they offer obedience training at most outlets. If you don't have a general dog obedience school in your area, your vet may be able to recommend a trainer that could assist you and your kiddos in getting the little beast back on track But in the end, if you find you still cannot keep the dog, please do re-home him with someone you know that is good to dogs (like the co-worker you mentioned). The worst thing that can happen to a family dog (or cat) is being placed in the pound/shelter, often times the dogs only get a week to be adopted out before they euthanize them.
    Dogs are my favourite people

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