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I'm rehoming but it's hard

(15 Posts)
sticks2 Wed 22-Nov-17 10:11:42

My son is autistic and screams at our two dogs when they bark. (He wasn't that bad when we got the dogs). It's not fair on them so I decided to re-home them.

But my daughter is seriously ill and feels all she has in her life is the dogs so she's crying her eyes out about it (as I am when she's not around).

What would you do?

littlemissneela Wed 22-Nov-17 10:20:23

Sounds an awful quandry to be in. Have you tried training the dogs not to bark? You could see if a behaviourist can help with that.
Is one dog more barky than the other, or does one dog set the other one off? Maybe rehome one? Oh, I don't know. I would hate to be in this position. I would try training first and go from there. All the best.

bunnygeek Wed 22-Nov-17 10:23:48

It's easier said than done with a child that is autistic, but what training have you done with the dogs? Would Dogs Trust Dog School with the dogs, or even their Be Dog Smart help for children around dogs be any good? They work with children who are afraid of dogs.

strawberrypenguin Wed 22-Nov-17 10:27:35

That sounds tough. Is it just the noise that triggers your son? What is it about the dogs that your daughter particularly feels helps her (obviously she loves them, they are the family pet)
Not saying you can just replace one animal with another but would a quieter pet help your daughter and not trigger your son?

sticks2 Wed 22-Nov-17 10:46:06

I've done loads of training with them from day one and always been serious about dog owning.

One of them can bark on command and they're quiet if told. But dogs bark.

I've gone all around the 'should we rehome one and not the other' and didn't get anywhere.

I know I could get a quieter pet but ... I love our dogs. My son tries to love them but it's awful to watch him holding his head when there's a bark. At the same time, not much fun watching my daughter cry.

I never ever thought I'd be in this position. They are brilliant dogs as well. Goodnatured, well behaved. Can't give the breed or more details about my children or it will out me..

I can't win, can I? I've got good homes lined up. It's the handing over I'm having trouble with..

Thanks for the kind words.

Ylvamoon Wed 22-Nov-17 10:52:52

What breed are your dogs? Some needs are more "barky" than others. Do you know what makes them bark? Is specific training an option?
If this is not helping: Horrible suggestion... but if they feed off each other maybe you could try and keep the quieter one? Sometimes dogs do quiet down if they haven't got a buddy to back them up.

Ylvamoon Wed 22-Nov-17 10:53:48

Sorry cross post!

BootsCats Wed 22-Nov-17 11:25:40

This is so hard for you. Personally I don’t know that I could rehome one, I think that’s so sad if they’re together now. Is there a certain thing they’re barking at? Certain time of day? I would look for triggers and would also look up a dog behaviourist. I would do anything I can to keep these dogs, I know that’s easier said than done but surely it’s worth exploring all avenues to see if you can calm this down, especially as you say your son loves them, it’s just the barking.

Oops4 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:26:35

Could you contact an organisation or trainer who specialises in therapy dogs? I know many people with autism benefit hugely from having dogs so they may be able to give some advice on any extra training that could perhaps help. It does seem a very difficult situation

sticks2 Wed 22-Nov-17 12:18:38

These are all good suggestions and I really appreciate it.
I don't want to give the breed or it will out me.

We've had a behaviourist in (who just got the dogs fighting over food) but we know the triggers and avoid them as far as possible.
One does bark more than the other, but choosing one over the other is impossible.

We've tried having people take one or both dogs for the day, putting one or both into a play day place (too expensive to do regularly)....we've done everything we can think of.

There's so much pressure from my children's illnesses (again can't go into details) life isn't easy. My worry is - what if they get worse and I can't look after the dogs. The older the dogs get, the harder they'll be to re-home.

I know there's no easy answer but do appreciate the support.

NoSquirrels Wed 22-Nov-17 12:26:13

Poor you, OP.

It does sound as if you've done all you can.

Are the new home/s local to you/people you know? Can your DD visit, at least, perhaps walk them (or will that be harder for her/not possible due to age/distance?)

How old are they - have you had them since pups?

NoSquirrels Wed 22-Nov-17 12:28:25

If one can be quiet on cue, could your son use that cue? Or is that an impossible ask, do you think?

Massive sympathies, OP. flowers

sticks2 Wed 22-Nov-17 12:43:18

We've had them both since pups, yes. One is five, the other is two.
We have homes that aren't local as we thought it would be even harder to see them with someone else. But in any case, my dd is too ill to go anywhere at the moment.

It isn't just the dc. I'm so worried the dogs will be happy in their new homes.They're very very attached to me as I'm home all the time (looking after the dc).

NoSquirrels Wed 22-Nov-17 12:47:42

So when one of them is out at doggy daycare, or whatever, is the other one (the one who can stop barking on cue) any quieter? Or worse/not something that could be worked on in more training?

I suspect as you say you have explored all these options already it is probably the only thing to do to let them go - their new homes will love them, they will be sad for a bit but they will become attached to their new owners too. Awful for you, less awful for them.

On the PAT front - could you contact a local charity who might visit regularly with a PAT dog for your DD to spend time with?

sticks2 Wed 22-Nov-17 12:51:40

These are all great ideas. Oops4 - our puppy trainer was someone who works for a help dog organisation and was training one herself. So there's not much more she could do.

And sadly ds won't even try to cope.

I so appreciate your replies. Thank you

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