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is there an update on rollo?

(30 Posts)
misdee Tue 23-Aug-11 13:04:37


Solo2 Tue 23-Aug-11 13:59:01

Thanks for asking, Misdee. We won't have his vet school appointment until a week tomorrow. So whilst he's still on his antibiotics everyday, he's absolutely fine and also the food changeover is going well. I still question whether what was wrong was at all food related....

He's currently staying the week at his trainer's home - which he loves, as she's got 2 dogs of her own, who're his friends - and she has time to devote to the dogs rather than to any DCs. Meanwhile, I'm able to devote some quality time to my DCs and am taking this week off work too.

Having time away from Rollo has two opposing effects on me: I miss him and love him more - and I realise that getting a puppy at this time in my life/ my DCs life - wasn't the best thing, as even though (when he's not got diarrhoea) he's pretty much the 'perfect puppy', it's just incredibly hard to devote the time I need to him and look after my DCs, run my business and run my home singlehandedly.

How do people with a similar set-up to me - actively enjoy puppies if 99% of the puppy time, you're clearing up poo, taking them for walks, playing games with them to wear them out and occupy their minds, trying to stop them chewing the skirting boards and doors etc, digging holes in the lawn, eating stuff they shouldn't eat etc etc?

I do love Rollo but I do 100% of his care. Dog walks with the DCs are mostly fraught and argumentative - neither interact with Rollo at all really and if/ when they do, he gets hyped up and jumps up and nips them. Because I have to lead walk only still - in case he snatches something he shouldn't eat, then the whole time on a walk, I'm yanking him away from stuff and the DCs are moaning/ arguing and no one enjoys it. The two walks a day do feel like a chore rather than a pleasure and have to be fit in v early in the morning, and not too late in the afternoon - to fit with DCs schedule and my work.

Since we got him in March, I've lost every tiny scrap of time for me - which was only about 20 mins a day anyway. I'm behind with admin. and the DCs are often upset and cross that we can no longer do the things we used to do because of Rollo's needs.

I'm imagining a time in the future when Rollo is 2 or 3 yrs old when he'll be like other family dogs we see who are much older - no longer chewing everything around him, happy to mooch and nap, no longer destroying the garden, able to wander the house and garden unsupervised. Is this the case? After a few first years, do most dogs become easier to own? I know it's partly my family set up that makes it harder as I'm the only breadwinner, the only person my DCs have got, the only person running the business, the only person looking after the home and garden, looking after the 2 cats and the puppy.

I can see that after my DCs leave home, having a puppy would be much more enjoyable or if I didn't have to work or if I had any family around to help out. Is this why other people seem to be enjoying their puppies more than I am? I know Rollo's had chronic health issues but he's totally fine on antibiotics and everyone says he's an easy puppy....but all those people have tended to be either single child free people or SAHMS or non-working single mums.

The new puppy thread is interesting to read. Could anyone with puppies a bit older - from 7 months to 2 to 3 yrs - make some comments about how life with a dog progresses? Am I right to think that once you've got through the puppy times and the adolescence, that at around 2 to 3 yrs dogs become much easier?....But obviously you still have to fit in 2 longer and longer walks a day....I've had it easy, getting Rollo in springtime but I dread the winter as I'll have to walk him in rain and snow, sleet and winds and dark dawn and dusks, whilst also managing the DCs care/ meals/homework etc etc.

Oh dear, this does sound like I'm having a moan! Sorry! It's just that having a week away from Rollo, I'm feeling relieved and reclaiming some normal life and wondering what he actually has brought to our family that's a positive?

I'm committed to him and I love him but so far, he's brought sleepless nights, destruction of home and garden, over £3,000 of dog-related bills, anguish and anger from the DCs, huge stress for me and relentless walks that instead of helping me lose some weight and feel fitter have resulted in me putting on about half a stone!!! and have chronic Achilles heel problems!!!

Any insights and feedback? smile

misdee Tue 23-Aug-11 14:14:11

oh what food is he on now?

all the other stuff seems like a lot to deal with. ralphie is now 16months old and all i am focusing on is the lovely adult dog we will have at he end of it, once this puppy stage is over.

PurpleFrog Tue 23-Aug-11 16:10:09

I'm glad you are getting a break, Solo, and hope the Vet School manage to pin down the problem.

Rory is now 14 months old and life has got a lot easier. To start with I also felt that I had lost all my free time - and that is with 2 other "dog-carers" in the house! My evenings are my own once more, and the mornings have steadily got better from around the end of March. Rory is now getting up when I get up, and I can't remember the last time he woke me early. [Traipsing round the garden at 6.00am last winter in the dark in deep snow was not fun!] I still don't trust him 100% not to get into mischief if he is left alone in a room, but I am happy now just to pop my head round the door every so often to check on him. We still crate him if we are leaving him alone downstairs for more than five minutes.

We still have a fair way to go outside, though. He loves all people and all dogs and wants to bounce all over everyone and play with every dog he meets. Sigh! blush DD and Rory passed their Kennel Club Bronze Good Citizen award at the end of June and are now working towards their silver. It looks like that will take a while, though. smile

jensape Tue 23-Aug-11 22:25:42

how old are your dc's? If I have to take my 10 year old dd plus one of her friends out for a walk with the dog, I take them to the park and leave kids in play area while I walk around the park. Depends how old your dc's are though and if you have suitable park near you! Just a thought. It keeps dog and kids happy ! It does get easier though. My dog is 20 mths now and is very easy to look after. Good luck.

Singlediva Tue 23-Aug-11 22:36:06

My 'puppy' is now 11 months old and things do seem to have got easier over the last few weeks, but not perfect!
Good points are.....
Is happy to amuse himself for short periods
Doesn't need constant supervision
Enjoys his walks especially when off lead
Loves cuddles and attention

Bad points are
He is a huge theif and cannot be trusted
Loves to dig holes
Recall can be hit and miss if there are distractions.

It is worth it, but don't worry about everything, try to relax you aren't super
woman and no one expects you to be.

Solo2 Wed 24-Aug-11 07:16:06

Jensnape, my twins are 10 but one has Asperger's traits, leading to huge anxieties about a variety of things. He HATES parks and if we go to the local one and the other twin DT1wants to be left happily on play equipment, DT2 is riven with anxiety, pulled between wanting to stay with me and yet worrying about his brother if we walk on with the dog. This leads to massive angst the whole time we're there. If I try to get DT1 to walk with us, DT1 gets v v stroppy and hates being with the dog as we walk. If I try to persuade DT2 to stay with me and leave DT1 to play alone, DT2 spends the whole time rushing between me/dog and twin and getting v v worried if I walk out of sight....So I'm afraid parks aren't feasible for both DCs to enjoy.

As Rollo can't do off-lead walking, and anything too rural is littered with potential hazards he'll grab and eat even when on a lead, we 're currently sticking to one street/bike path walk - boring for all of us but at least keeps the family close together...inevitably leading to more arguments between twins and/or myself and twins!!

We visited someone yesterday where there was an 11 yr old golden retriever plus 5 cats in the house. The whole time we were there, the dog simply wandered around or sat/lay down, causing no trouble at all, despite the house being packed with things Rollo would have happily chewed/destroyed (there was lovely wood furniture and sculptures everywhere). Their dog didn't pay any attention to the cats nor vice versa.

Will I have to wait 11 years till Rollo is elderly to have a similar set-up? I can't quite 'get' the way people manage to carry on normal family life with the dog fully integrated into the home. Rollo is mostly in his part of the garden and the kitchen - giving him a large enough area to roam. But if we let him in any other areas of the house, he chews, he 'steals', he destroys...he just needs constant supervision. So occasions like that are 'special' ones for when I have available time to supervise closely. Even if I'm cokking inthe kitchen, it's a stressful situation, as I'm constantly telling him to stop jumping up at the counters, having to ensure nothing is available for him to snatch away or retrieving things form him he's somehow managed to steal.

At what age of a dog, can you just go about your normal business, cooking, doing DIY, gardening, cleaning, sitting with DCs etc, without having constantly to supervise the dog or alternatively, gate him out of the area you're in?

slipmate Wed 24-Aug-11 07:25:05

sounds like Rollo is just very lively.

We have a almost 2 year old Labradoodle and she has never chewed anything or caused any extra work apart from the odd puddle and the walking / grooming time.
She would not do recall until about 15 months so was walked on a long lead but is fine now.

What breed is he ? Sounds like it is just his personality !

We have just switched to MarkusMuehle food which is fab

Solo2 Wed 24-Aug-11 08:09:14

Rollo is a golden retriever and apparently a particularly 'laid back', typical specimum! So I've no idea how I'd have coped with a spaniel or terrier to be honest!

He's currently changing food from a discontinued line of Royal Canin Sensitivity Diet - Blue Whiting and Tapioca - to the new product Royal Canin Sensitivity which I believe has duck and potato.

It would have made a lot of difference if either of my DCs had wanted to participate more in training and playing with Rollo - but the jumping up and nipping puts them off and he rarely does this - except of course when children are doing what ordinary children do - flapping, twitching, jumping, shrieking ever moving. Obviously with one other adult around, it'd have been massively easier too. But I take full responsibility for wanting the puppy and expecting to be able to manage it solo as well as everything else in my life. So I just need to cope but also am looking for some 'light at the end of the tunnel' even if this might be years away - when Rollo will be fully integrated into the home and family and bring life-enhancement to us all rather than the current stress....

Talking of which, has anyone heard from Stressedpuppymom from the New Puppy thread? I PMd her, identifying with lots she writes about (although I'm not quite as stressed as I keep paying for some 'respite care' for Rollo with his trainer) - but haven't heard back from her nor see her on-list.

clam Wed 24-Aug-11 09:14:58

I'm trying to decide whether you've just been very unlucky or that I've been very lucky. Coz my pup is 4.5m old, yet has been OK to leave relatively unsupervised for a long while now. He's a cockapoo, so has the spaniel traits you mention. For instance, right now I'm upstairs MNing working, and he is snoozing at the foot of the stairs. DD is knocking about somewhere and a while ago went to rescue him when he shut himself in the playroom and yelped, but apart from that, normal life resumes.
I think that the family circumstances you describe are also key, however (leaving the stomach problems aside). It has been a massive plus to have 4 of us (DCs 13 and 15 so able to be reliably helpful) taking it in turns to deal with him, so I'm just I'm Managing Director of Operations really.
I think ours just happens to have a placid nature - we've puppy-proofed the house as much as we can, although that didn't stop him getting hold of chocolate a few weeks back and having to go to the vets. My issue is that he's still not reliably house-trained - getting there, but I'm very twitchy if we go out to other people's houses. Have got a bit jealous of people on the puppy thread who boast report that their puppies have been peeing outside since 8 weeks, but then they have to manage bouncy hyperactivity much more than I do. So it's swings and roundabouts really.
Golden retrievers are gorgeous - I would have loved one but they're a bit too big for me really, and I was allergic to my sister's - and Rollo will be too! You won't have to wait 11 years, honestly.

PurpleFrog Wed 24-Aug-11 09:24:06

When Rory was younger he also needed constant supervision, and I couldn't get on with cooking etc. unless I had parked him with another member of the family. I remember things being particularly difficult during the school holidays last October, when I was getting up on my own in the mornings and trying to get my breakfast and get ready for work with no helper. But the transition is very gradual - I can't say that everything immediately fell into place at 9 months, or anything. I think you should be over the worst now, Solo. I'm sure that things started to improve quite fast for us from around 7 months of age. It is really difficult to remember ......

... it doesn't seem like 9 months ago that our hall curtains were tied up to stop tug-of-war games, our hall coat-stand was bare, I got changed for work 5 minutes before leaving the house, kitchen chairs had to always be fully pushed in and I insisted dd wore "granny slippers" in the house to save her feet being ripped to shreds!

We have come a long way!

minimu11 Wed 24-Aug-11 09:24:38

This thread makes me really sad sad. Solo puppies are hard work - you have another body in the house that has needs and requirements that will not change for the time you have the dog. The needs will alter but the dog will always need time and your love.

I don't know you and don't mean to sound harsh but you do seem at times to make hard work of things. Put a muzzle on Rolo when he goes for a walk and then he can get exercise off lead and still not eat things. It is a catch 22 I am afraid as he is not being stimulated enough (he is getting lots of your time but in the wrong way) and then of course will chew things.

My puppies are not let free run of the house for quite a while probably 2 yrs for some of them but it does depend (I have a foster collie at 6 months that will not chew anything!). But this is not a big problem as generally they are tired chilled and relaxing when unsupervised.

We have just come back from the "dogs holiday" 5 DC's and 7 dogs and the dogs have made the holiday for the DC's. They were swimming, fetching balls, even going rowing with them, and so called fielding at cricket! - I am so so sorry that your boys can not see the pleasure a dog will bring them.

Can your boys not get more involved with Rollo at home - the more they interact with him the more pleasure they will get from him. Can they feed him every day and groom him, give them a clicker and get then to teach him some tricks - this will keep both dog and boys busy and give you 5 mins to have a coffee watching. Do the boys go to training classes? The look on my twin DD's face when they completed the Gold award with some of my dogs was just fantastic. (Ok Mum did most of the training but they did the actual test)

I am not sure that this post is helpful but I just desperately want you to enjoy your pup.

wildfig Wed 24-Aug-11 09:34:43

solo I've read all your Rollo threads and admire you very much for your determination and commitment to the poor wee chap, especially when you've already got plenty to wrangle!

I sympathise on the poo front: my own 'puppy' (he's now 2) was diagnosed with an irritable digestive system after months of faecal tests, yard hosing, different food, cheering when poo turned pick-up-able, etc - eventually I found a hypoallergenic kibble that he could tolerate from a local animal feed supplier and have slowly nearly weaned him off the Hills WD the vet prescribed. After a while I also worked out what triggered the attacks and learned to avoid red meat/sausage/rich treats, etc too. So fingers crossed that the vet school pin down the problem, but you might find that it gets better, or at least more manageable, with age/your experience.

He also drove me nearly nuts with his chewing, particularly tea towels, socks, CDs (!) and right shoes, despite having a full range of Nylabones, etc. That peaked when he was about one, and is now not too bad (he'll take his Nylabone off for a chew instead of stealing something more interesting), although he's developed a worrying ability to sniff out chocolate anywhere in the house. Now he's fully grown he can also reach up onto kitchen counters, so I have to be really tidy and constantly alert to food-snaffling possibilities. BUT he's happy to nap more, and I can leave him downstairs while I do things upstairs, so long as I've put anything precious well out of reach. The fact that it's mainly boring old me and his older sleepier dog friend with him - rather than the exciting, bouncing DC Rollo has to play with! - might make my life a bit easier than yours.

Routine helps - he knows when I'm in my study working, he might as well go to sleep; I know that if I don't give him some kind of walk by 11am, he'll do laps of the walls. He's not a breed that picks things up very quickly so training is a slow and constant process but I often remind myself how stressful things were in the first few months, and how comparatively calm they are now. All dogs are different, and have their personality quirks, but it does get better, honestly.

wildfig Wed 24-Aug-11 09:38:46

blush I should add that he gets about 90 mins walk a day, usually at lunchtime - once he was old enough to enjoy a proper walk and be nicely worn out afterwards, the chewing/hair-tearing decreased substantially.

wildfig Wed 24-Aug-11 09:39:23

My hair-tearing, not his. I think I'll just stop now.

Jaynerae Wed 24-Aug-11 11:16:06

I totally sympathise with all of you who have a dog that is hard work.

Beagle is now 17 months old and Cavie is 19 months old and I can't tell you how different they are even though there are only 2 months between them.

Beagle is destructive if bored, and I mean really destructive, you cannot leave her unsupervised for 1 second. Just this past week she has ripped two fence panels apart and we have had to chain her up in the garden until we can afford to fix fencing as she can escape.

She will eat anything and everything. She digs holes in the lawn to find ants and then expects them to play with her whilst she tries to eat them! She eats her own poo and Cavie’s poo if I don’t get to it before she does! She will try and eat poo whilst we are out.

I have put a lot of time and effort into training her and I am pleased to be able to say we have got our silver award. I find managing her whilst we are out on a walk far easier than when we are at home. I can let her off the lead most of the time – if there are people eating in the park, or generally lying around, or footballers have left their bags on floor – I have to keep her on the long line as she will just go and steal anything she fancies, no matter how many times I whistle for her if there is a possibility of food she will ignore me. But I scan the park before I let her off and keep alert during walk so I can put her back on lead if I see a potential problem. She will recall to whistle very well provided I spot problems before she does, which I usually do. I practise training during the walk and also let her scan and sniff the area. Sometimes she will play with another dog or steal Cavies’ ball and tease him. She is usually ready for a rest when we get home!

My problem is managing her at home. She is like many of the other poster’s describe their dogs, lively, destructive, a thief at any opportunity etc etc. If I leave the room, I either have to crate her or tie her up in garden, I can’t turn my back for 1 second. If I put her in her crate she usually goes to sleep, she will not go to sleep unless you put her in there – it’s like she needs to be told it’s nap time. I can’t leave her tied up in garden for too long as she just barks and annoys us let alone neighbours, so my main problem is what do I do with her the rest of the time?

She will not play with toys – she destroys them – so a waste of money. She will eat any variety of chew in no time, I use the white raw hide as they last a bit longer than most chews and I buy roast knuckle bones from pet shop – they keep her going for a couple of hours, then she will nap and go back to it. But I can’t give her these every day, I walk her 50 mins twice a day, add on to that car journey to park and we are out 1hr 10 mins each time, so can’t fit any more walks in. DS will take her round the block on the gentle leader so that helps.

I put kibble in empty 2 litre plastic bottles, which she likes to destroy. Roll up newspaper put it in a cardboard box and throw kibble in and close it up and she has fun tearing it apart to find kibble. I have weave poles and tunnel which I get out in garden once a week for some more training. And official dog training class once a week,

We had a week’s holiday – didn’t take Beagle because she is such hard work, we took Cavie and he was just an absolute pleasure. He will just plod around, have a fuss, have a sleep, he chases his ball like a mad thing at the park so wears himself out really well. We don’t need to crate him – he has never stolen anything in the 6 months we have had him. So I have had a taste of life with a real family dog, we had a fantastic holiday – but it made me realise how much hard work Beagle is – I am hoping one day she will calm down – but being a Beagle I suspect not! God help us!

My DH works shifts so 80% of dog care is down to me – that’s fine – love walking them as I like some time on my own, DC’s are 12 and 7 and I can leave them in park play area whilst I walk dogs, but they also like to fling ball for Cavie so they do come with me and are not allowed to ever complain as they were part of decision making process to get a dog.

So any one any ideas what to do to keep a dog occupied?

Maybe we should have a teenagers thread for help and advice like the puppy thread!

Solo2 Wed 24-Aug-11 11:22:09

Many thanks for helpful and supportive messages. Firstly, Rollo IS massively easier - it's just all so relentless though!

Minimu, how did you get your DCs to interact with your dogs? My DCs would far rather spend time in front of their PCs than interact with poor Rollo and so I'm always pulled between Rollo's needs, the DCs needs and my work/ domestic tasks.

We attended a 6 week puppy class with his one-to-one trainer also running it - a while back. DCs HATED going! DT2 (with Asperger's traits) was often fighting back tears at the end, if I stayed to chat. The trainer and I tried to involve the DCs but DT2 wasn't really into this as he got embarassed with people watching. DT1 at that time was far more into Rollo/ training etc etc.

The class ended around the time Rollo was getting recurrent diarrhoea and we'd stopped being able to give him any treats at all. No treats have made continuing training almost impossible (also coinciding with adolescence) for the last 2 months or so. Some of what he used to do he no longer does - eg Down/Leave/Drop.

Re. off-lead walks and muzzles - I explored the option of a muzzle. My trainer sent me a Youtube link to show how to train a dog to get used to a muzzle but this really put me off. It seemed I'd need high value treats to introduce Rollo to a muzzle and that it could take several weeks of intense training to get him to that stage of being happy with one on. I haven't had time either as it's been extra busy with end of term stuff for DCs, then managing their hols but still trying to work etc etc.

There was - sadly - a massive sense of relief when we had our one holiday of the year - a UK cottage/ beach hol. - and DIDN't take Rollo. This meant that I could get up later - ie 6.30am not 4.45am - only attend to DCs needs for food and attention, go out on day trips with DCs without needing to rush back for Rollo who couldn't have done so many hrs out nor been left at all near sea/ sea weed, given his sensitive stomach!

This current week also, with Rollo away at his trainer's - is sadly wonderful too. I have managed to have 3 trips to town with DCs to get school uniforms, instead of having to rush back for Rollo, watched 3 DVDs with DCs, instead of them having to watch things alone as I'm busy with Rollo - and today I'm currently clearing a several months backlog of laundry on my bedroom floor - which I also couldn't have done with Rollo here too. There just seem to be so many things we can't do with him here and available time to do anything is really limited as I need to keep checking on him, interacting with him, doing the walks etc etc. It's like having babies/toddlers all over again!

However, as I got through the early yrs singlehandedly with my twins whilst running a business also, I'm the sort of person who can and WILL manage and will take responsibility to make this work. I'm just wondering when it gets easier, as a new mum might also wonder with a first child. It sounds like it'll be like having a child - that there's no sudden improvement but that over a few years, you begin to see changes and look back at the time when it felt impossible.

When DCs are at school, it all sort of works as I get up v early to 'do' Rollo then do the cats, myself, the DCs, do school run at 7.30am, walk Rollo and by 9am am working till 11am, have an hr to 'do' Rollo, work 2 more hrs, walk Rollo, do school run, make supper/ help with homework whilst also 'doing' Rollo and when DCs have finished homework and supper, do more Rollo in the garden -usually feeling shattered by then and by 8pm Rollo is often happy to be crated for the night (as he's up at 5am), so I can do DCs nighttime quality time and then crash into bed myself by 9pm. The structure does help as does the fact that the DCs are at school for one meal a day.

Holidays though are difficult so far as the DCs have to be in clubs a lot of it whilst I work and when they're not, they really don't want to share me with the dog nor be with Rollo themselves.

Have to say though that apart from when Rollo's had diarrhoea, he's been perfectly toilet trained since 2 days after coming from the breeder at 7 weeks old and only had 2 wee accidents (obviously when ill he's has liquid diarrhoea all over the kitchen floor and the lawn!). So in that respect, I've been v lucky.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 24-Aug-11 12:57:19

Plog was very hard work from a puppy, but at just over 2 she is a fantastic family dog. We've got 5 kittens here at the moment who she loves trying to organise and is generally lovely now.

However she was incredibly bouncy as a puppy to the extent that bearded smoking collie man in the woods would shake his head fondly at her in the woods and say Plog, you are the bounciest dog you know, whilst I was standing there trying to keep her on the ground. She used to jump up on everyone which was really overwhelming for DS who was 6 at the time and would run away with his pants. She has eaten the sofa, chewed the plug off a brand new but broken and waiting to go back to the shop TV, at least 3 library books which she scaled great heights to get to, numerous other books nicked off bookcases, one stool leg, my Emu boot, one glasses case nicked from step mother's bag when not looking, numerous plant pots and plants so don't have any out there now, numerous pencils, hair bands, corner of DD's homework, DD's shoes, tangle teezer, too much food to list individually, a sanitary towel in front of the builder that she had just nicked by knocking the bin over.

I used to really have to concentrate on walks to keep an eye out for other people, dogs, bikes, horses etc and it was far from relaxing. I used to take her to training classes on my own so I could concentrate properly. It was incredibly hard work and I had to keep a sense of humour about it all and I will be honest, there were plenty of times when I regretted getting a dog. She had issues with coughing and inflammation in her throat when she was little which meant going through phases where she wasn't allowed to mix with other dogs and that was difficult.

However, someone told me that you get out of a dog what you put in during the first year and I think this is very true. She is now great and a fantastic watch dog which is a very unexpected bonus which I would have never thought of - though I think she would lick anyone to death if they came in but she always lets us know when someone is coming which is very comforting. We live round the corner from woods so she gets about an hour off lead every lunch time and is happy to potter in the garden, playing with the cats or keeping an eye on us the rest of the time. Hang in there, it gets better. She started getting better at 10 months after her first season. She was then spayed which upset the applecart for a bit but now at 2 she fits in with us all nicely. We've changed our lifestyle a bit but she's another member of the family so you do really.

minimu11 Wed 24-Aug-11 13:05:07

Solo I guess I am a hard Mum - no pc time until the dogs have been exercised in our house!

My DC's do complain at times about the dogs - they are typical DC's! but they know that the dogs have to be cared for first - just the way it is.

Re training of course you can still train Rollo - just take a bit of his normal food and use that. I would weigh out how much he can have and then give most of it to him for training rather than his meals.

Re the muzzle yes you can introduce it carefully but a Goldie will very soon cotton on that muzzle means walk. It is slightly different for an anxious dog, or fear aggression dog as they soon learn muzzle means stressful situation so would ned more desensitising as your trainer has said. But with Rollo pop on the muzzle feed through the muzzle and play a game (ignore the rolling of the head on the floor!) she will learn very quickly.

Watching DVD's with the DC's - take Rollo out first, then all of your Rollo included snuggle up on the sofa and watch the DVD - chocolate cake an essential for all humans of course!

Laundry well thats why I love dogs always rather be dog walking than housework! But joking apart Rollo can easily be popped in the crate for an hour or so to let you get on with work hopefully it can coincide with pc time for the boys.

No idea why you get up so early - dogs should not determine the getting up time. He now should be sleeping or calm until you get up - if not let me know and I can give you help on this one.

I am not sure what doing Rollo means? What are you doing at these times?

Dogs need two good walks a day, human interaction and training during the day and just your company the rest of the time. However the more you do with them the more fun you get back.

It is a shame that your dog training classes are not ok for your boys - look at young KC (not a huge fan of KC) but my kids have had fantastic holidays and outings with the YKC. It gets them interacting, training, competing and having fun with all kinds of dogs and all kinds of activities.

Either way though things will get easier - I am looking at my lovely loyal lab who is 4 he knows everything about me, everything about how the household works, he can be trusted with anyone or anything, he knows instinctively which DC needs a cuddle but as a rescue youngster was hard work to begin with.

saffronwblue Wed 24-Aug-11 13:12:43

Solo, I can empathise with much of what you are going through. We have lovely moments with Daisy, now 9 months. She completely adores us and I notice both DD and DS start and end each day by giving her a cuddle. She is however still really hard work and will chew everything in sight, The other day I took her for a 45 minute walk with lots of fun. When we arrived home she walked straight over to the couch and started ripping holes in the cushions. Unfortunately she has become a source of tension between me and DH as he was never really a dog person and is fed up with the stuff she has destroyed. He can't really see the funny side and I keep on saying it will get better... This means that I do 80%, he probably does 10% and DS, 12, does 10%. Like you I get frustrated feeling that I can't go about my normal life and it is all a bit like a French farce with people racing into rooms and sliding the door shut behind them.
DD, 9, was very nervous of her after the nipping phase but is now very proud of making her sit, drop and roll.
Don't know if this is any help but I suspect you are like me and determined to make it work no matter what.

WoodRose Wed 24-Aug-11 14:19:24

I am so sorry you aren't enjoying Rolo sad. I sympathise As well as 2 DC (9 & 6), I have more or less sole responsibility for our 9 mos border collie and my training and her behaviour have gone backwards since the summer holidays started.

My DC also moan when I announce it is time to walk the dogs, but I'm afraid I am quite hard nosed about it. I tell them quite firmly that collie pup needs exercise to be happy. If collie pup is unhappy or under-exercised/ stimulated, everyone's life will be hell! grin They do grumble, but I bribe them with ice-cream en-route and by the time we have reached the woods, they are enjoying being outside and running around.

My puppy also had liquid poo and I tried several brands of premium dog food (Royal Canin, Fish4Dogs, Orijen) without success. Thanks to the advice on this forum, I switched her to Natural Instinct and chicken wings. Her poos are now small and pick-upable and no more sulphur explosions!

Re - the chewing,etc. My collie's behaviour is slowly getting better, but she has regressed somewhat because I have been busy. She will still chew if bored, so I keep a supply of stuffed bones to keep her occupied. I also occasionally put some of her food & treats in a milk container which keeps her busy for ages!

Like your boys, my DC were put off by the nipping and jumping. She no longer nips and jumps and my DC are much happier playing with her. DS and collie pup have vigorous "tuggy" sessions which leave both of them knackered, so 2 birds with one stone! DS and I also run with our puppy - only short distances as she is still young. I notice that when I run with her, she will stay focused on me as she has a job to do. I think it has helped DS enormously to bond with her. Would this be something that would interest your boys? If not, would they enjoy hide and seek games? Hiding balls for her to find in the garden? etc.

Have you asked your trainer about introducing Rolo to a muzzle? There is a lovely Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever who we meet who happily wears a muzzle on his walks as he will eat anything!

Are there any day time training classes in your area? I have been taking our puppy from 10 weeks and will continue to do so indefinitely. There hasn't been any training since school broke up and her obedience is going backwards. I have had to revert to the long lead as she will zoom off out of sight for several minutes on our walks. My other collies have always been Velcro dogs, so I am a bit perplexed as to where I am going wrong.

Solo2 Wed 31-Aug-11 05:54:23

Belated thanks to all above. Had no time to post recently. Rollo has his vet school appointment today. Worried about what they'll want to do as he's completely fine still on antibiotics and is happy, healthy and well.

He's settled back at home with us. He had lots of off-lead walks with the trainer whilst staying with her and although he ate some cow/horse poo has been totally fine. So I'm planning off-lead walks with him too but everything hinges on today really.

He's had to stop his antibiotics from last night in prep. for the appointment. He may have diarrhoea today therefore. He's also not allowed to eat before the appointment so poor puppy will have missed almost 2 meals and be starving.

I'll have to walk him v early today to toilet him, rather than just let him out into the garden as the second he gets in our garden, he grazes the rowan berries on the lawn and the cement between the patio slabs...all to no ill effect so far but he mustn't have anything in his tummy today. It's likely they'll do an exploratory all seems very ott, as he's so fine and well - at least if he's on the antibiotics.

DS2 has bad vomiting migraine headaches at present - think he's stressed about going back to school on Monday. But I'll have to take both DCs with me to the appointment as it's a quite a drive away. So I'm feeling quite stressed really and also don't know if I'll be nursing a recovering puppy for the rest of the week or what getting DCs ready for school (they've got masses of hol. homework still to do and I've loads of name labels to sew on, so the prospect of caring for a puppy with diarrhoea and post-op. needs plus a DC with vomiting migraine, handling work etc etc is daunting right now).

Wish us luck. I'm hoping they'll just let Rollo remain on antibiotics for a year or so, as he grows up and do nothing at all today. I've written a letter to the vet school consultant in advance, summarising things and suggesting this as a possibility. So fingers crossed.....

ditavonteesed Wed 31-Aug-11 08:48:31

good luck

WoodRose Wed 31-Aug-11 11:35:23

Hope it goes well today. Let us know how Rollo gets on.

Solo2 Wed 31-Aug-11 12:53:45

Thanks. Rollo is now an inpatient at the vet school. They're taking him off the antibiotics and going to do regular poo samples over the next few days there as there's a chance the one's he had done at the vet didn't pick up what was there. They also may do an ultrasound on his stomach to see if it's inflamed. Of course there's also the chance that he won't get diarrhoea - as he's not been off antibiotics for about 9 weeks now - so we don't know if they're masking something or not.

I felt very guilty leaving him there. He was car sick on the way to the vet school probably because he's had no bkfast or lunch. He was v happy meeting people there though. I hope they treat him well.

Meanwhile, DS1 now feels sick and has a headache so maybe DS2 has a tummy virus not just a migraine - and I feel dreadful with a migraine type headache but it could all just be the stress of the whole situtaion and not knowing the outcome. We were at the vet school for 2.5 hrs all in all.

We'll know more in the next few days and maybe able to pick up Rollo around Saturday.

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