I don't know what to do(32 Posts)
We have a small/medium sized cross breed who has just turned 2, we've had her since she was 8 weeks. When we first got her she was great and we made great progress with training and attended puppy classes, however when I started working full time things went downhill. She isn't a bad dog but all the training has gone out of the window and I can't cope with her. We have a baby due in 8 weeks and I was convinced we could sort it out but time has just gone by so fast I'm really starting to panic about how she will react to the baby. I know in my heart that she's not happy as she isn't getting the attention she needs and I feel awful for it but I can't see a way around it now. The thought of rehoming her makes me so sad as we are the only family she knows 😞 I know she deserves better though.
How much exercise does she get? What behavioural problems does she have?
Sounds as if it's a classic case of new baby, out goes the dog. Who walks the dog when you are at work?
We had our dog first, then baby, it will work out - you will just fit it all in. Having a dog is so rewarding for a child, it is so worth the effort. Do you have family nearby or a local dog walker that can help out from time to time? Congrats on your baby news!
Not enough. I know that's much of the problem, however I'm struggling now being 32 weeks pregnant 😞 I can't let her off lead as her once good recall has gone to pot as she'd rather chase and play with any other dog than come back for a treat. When I could let her off she was great as once we got home she was zonked.
She jumps up lots, we don't have a separate room so we have a playpen opened out straight that has made a room divider so her area is one side of the room (nearest the back door etc). Whenever she comes into the living area she jumps up, nibbles hands playfully, she won't stay in her bed when we tell her to. It's nothing major I know, however it's frustrating. We couldn't have her in the living area behaving like this with a baby in here, she would jump all over the moses basket/bouncer etc. And she hates being shut in the other side, she cries and barks. The kitchen isn't an option as it's tiny.
If I had the money to get a trainer to train her I'd do it no question but we have no money and are running out of baby free time.
I don't know any dog that will sit and stay in it's bed when told to, particularly one that is not exercised and mentally stimulated.
A two year old cross breed will be very hard to re home.
I wish you all the best and am going to bow out of this now.
I'm well aware of my own errors here, that's not the issue, I'm asking for advice. I'm struggling and really don't know what to do she's miserable at the moment and I don't know what to do to try and sort this out. No amount of lead walks seems to tire her.
Best thing you can do is look for a private dog walking field where she can be safely exercised off the lead with no distractions and no stress for you. There is a FB page which advertises the fields across the UK. I have one myself if you happen to live in Wiltshire?
All of her behaviour is purely down to excess energy so she does need to be walked more. If the private dog field is not an option can you get a dog walker? I know how knackering it is. I was walking my five dogs up until the day before I gave birth and then walked them the day after I gave birth (which was rather stupid with hindsight!) but the upshot is that you have to ensure she gets two decent walks per day, by whatever means necessary. There is no point working on behavioural training if she's bouncing off the walls. But, I would bet that her behaviour will drastically improve if she's tired and mentally stimulated
Thanks blackbird. I'm going to try and make this work. I do love her and owe it to her to try. I've just been feeling a bit overwhelmed this week, and am so worried about how she will react to a baby. Unfortunately nowhere near Wiltshire x
Where do you live? I'll have a quick check now re private fields if you like?
I understand your worries, but if she is otherwise of sound mind and is a friendly dog then I wouldn't worry too much about how she will take to the baby. Most dogs accept a new arrival with no problems but having said that, it could be problematic if her exercise needs aren't being met
If you are looking for permission to get her rehomed by a rescue, you aren't going to find it here. I don't mean that unkindly but it is true. I can see this is a difficult situation and you feel overwhelmed but ultimately it was always going to work out this way. Who walks her in the day? Does the dog get walked?
What do you want to happen? There isn't any point saying if I had the money I would get a dog trainer. TBH it sounds as though all the dog needs is far more exercise and attention. Do you really expect a dog to sit quietly on the bed when you are in the same room?
What are the cross breeds? Are they "desirable" ones?
When you say her recall has gone, do you mean she will run away or will she play and run with other dogs and then come back to you - and treats - when she has had a good run?
Can your partner not walk her? Are there any family near by who can dog sit in the day?
Ah it's difficult when you're not able to be mobile much but I agree with a pp in that the dog needs exercise and stimulation.
You really need to find ways in which you can get the dog her exercise - do you have anyone who could walk her for you while you're less mobile? Also, have you tried a long lead so that she covers more ground but you still have control of her. Once her excess energy is managed, you can then go back to the basics of training.
She jumps up because she has lots of energy and wants to play. Personally I think that rehoming her because of normal (but exuberant) behaviour is a huge disservice to the dog. That said, she can't be very happy if she's shut away from you and it exercised much.
You need to decide whether she's worth your time and effort to make her into a well rounded, well behaved and much loved family pet.
And it will take time and commitment. Leaving her without stimulation and expecting her to be the perfect dog is hugely unfair on her. You can rectify this relatively easily, but you've got to want to make that effort.
Find a dog walker or someone who can exercise her. Walk her on a long lead, take toys on walks, play fetch, take her swimming if there's somewhere safe. My dogs need to have me talking to them during walks to keep their attention on me and not on what she around them. So talk to her on walks, praise good behaviour. Don't shut her aaay from you but give her calm, gentle but assertive commands for her to get 'off' when she jumps up (while turning away from her) and then praise and fuss her when she sits calmly next to you. She'll soon learn that she gets nice attention when she's calm and no attention when she's benign a bouncy little madam.
If you think dogs are hard, just wait until you have a toddler!!!
Blackbird I've just been googling, the nearest is 9.5 miles away, she's really badly anxious when travelling in the car too, tried loads of different ways to alleviate this but nothing has worked, she drools like a tap and then is sick if it's a journey of any longer than 10 minutes. It's such a shame as she loved the beach when we got there but it wasn't worth the ordeal of the 2 hour round trip. She physically has to be put into a car as she won't jump in and pulls away. This is despite us taking her in the car regularly when she was a pup.
FQM, I wasn't looking for permission, I was looking for advice.
Her recall has gone completely, she won't come back, she will try and follow them out of the park or out out sight etc
Mungo bungo thanks, will try all that. I've had two toddlers already, this is our third baby 😉
She will soon get used to travelling in the car once she learns that she is getting an exciting walk at the end of it! It's worth it for a 9 mile trip. Just take her and see what you think. I bet you will both have a brilliant time and you can walk at your own pace, not have to worry about other dogs or her running off. She will have a blast!
Try the website 'Borrow My Doggie' - it's a great way to find dog walkers in your area and you don't lhave to pay them. generally people on there really want dog interaction but don't have space/time etc.
You may also want to stock up on puzzle feeders, activity toys, basically these encourage natural behaviours and mentally stimulate them to tire them out.
We did go daily in our car to the big park and she hated it every time despite us meeting up with her doggy friends and her having a blast while there! It's really strange how she hates it so much, she was taken in it nearly every day from the day we got her. I will book it and see how we get on. Thanks, I appreciate your advice xx
Maybe also see if you can teach her some tricks for mental stimulation, including fetching things from the other end of the house for extra exercise.
And see if any friends with gardens would mind you popping round sometimes or when they're at work to exercise the dog with lots of fetching type of games, so she gets a proper runaround.
Maybe your partner could cycle a short at with her before and after work if there's a safe place to do so - even just 10 minutes each time at the faster speed will use up some of that energy.
Plus you could check out dog-lending schemes online, not to mention huge quantities of free info on training.
I feel for you. I don't like the idea of people getting rid of dogs when babies come along, but on an individual basis I'm not judging, and you really do sound like you love the dog.
How does she travel in the car?
My dog hated the car until we got a dog cage, put comfy blankets in, he now loves it.
I would maybe look at Kikopup on YouTube, get yourself a clicker and reconnect with her.
Once the baby's born obviously there'll be less time, but even a couple of minutes a few times a day will make a difference, and she will be more mentally challenged.
I'm going to make it my mission to try my hardest with all of this until the baby comes and hope that we've made some progress, enough that she doesn't go daft again once he is here! I do love her and so do the children and I'd hate to give them the idea that it's OK to just rehome a dog. I have a friend with a dog the same age so maybe we can schedule some walks, she loves other dogs she's very friendly. X
You don't have to rely purely on tons of physical exercise to wear her out, mental stimulation is a huge part of keeping a dog satisfied.
There's all sorts you can do easily at home: clicker training (whether using it to train tricks or for games like 101 things to do with a box), scent games, body awareness exercises. If she's fed dry food then don't use a bowl, give her it in a food dispensing toy like a Kong Wobbler or similar. If she gets wet then stuff it into a standard Kong, you can even freeze it to make it last longer.
Teaching her an off switch at home will also help. It's not something that comes naturally to some dogs but it can be taught. Kikopup on YouTube has an excellent video series called 'Capturing Calmness' which is great for teaching this.
Have you tried medication for the car sickness? Two of mine get car sick so I give them Stugeron before journeys and make sure we either go out in the car before they get breakfast or leave several hours between a light breakfast and the journey. It works a treat and they're now both perfectly happy going in the car.
Sounds to me like she's hit the terrible twos. They go through a teenage phase around this age and become little sods for a while. Double up your training and get some help if you're feeling the strain. It obviously hasn't come at an ideal time but it's not undoable and before long she'll be back to her old self.
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