Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Dog dilemma.(17 Posts)
Ok so, there’s a few reasons for my upset.
To cut a long story short(er) we have a Chihuahua. Had him under 2 years, for the first year he was brilliantly trained, toilet trained, not yappy and brilliant temperament. I really do love him. But the last few months It become very stressful to look after him. I’ve always grew up with large breeds of dog, but this was while I was living at home. I loved out with DP and we decided to get a dog but DP would only have a chihuahua breed as his dad has them and that’s what he likes.
But anyway, I’m now working full time and although he doesn’t have separation anxiety and I can usually get a family member to pop round during the day to tend to him, I feel like it’s not fair on him, I think he noticed this as he’s started barking a lot more, being a bit of a nugget stealing things and hiding them to chew them up. He’s chewed up over £100 worth of brand new shoes now, as well as torn up up vinyl flooring in both the living room and kitchen. He was outside playing with the cat while I was sorting the nursery the other day, and he just came in and did a big wee on the brand new rug in the baby’s room... I shouted at him and sent him away, then he came back and did a poo on it while I was putting clothes away in there, the back door was wide open and he was literally just out there I just could not believe my eyes. I’ve spoken to DP and said I never ever want to be that person that gets rid of their dog when the going gets tough but I’m really starting to get upset and resent him. We can barely afford to replace the flooring but we have to. His dad is semi retired and has two other chihuahuas and is happy looking after ours when we go away. DP said that if it’s a struggle his dad will have him. But I really don’t want to just give up on him. We’ve tried everything from letting him out every hour, giving him more attention, less attention, tried treating him on good regards but then when he knows he isn’t getting a treat he will do something naughty.
I’m just so worried about him and worried about the baby.
He a very licky dog and always wants to lick your face, he eats his poo a lot, every opportunity he has he eats his poo. We’ve spoken to the vet and he’s healthy and they have no concerns, but he just won’t stop doing it and I can’t cope with the fact I won’t be able to put baby on the floor for tummy time without having to separate them from the dog, it feels so horrible.
I’m worried I won’t be able to cope when DP goes back to work and I’m trying to breastfeed and keep the dog from locking us at the same time.. I don’t have enough hands for that.
I really need either some advice, or someone to tell me I’m not being unreasonable to consider letting his dad have him, he’ll have a better life there with more time and he will have the other dogs to play with, but I can’t help but feel like I’m giving up on him.
What do I do?
I'm sorry but it absolutely does sound like he has separation anxiety - destructive behaviour, excessive barking and toileting indoors are all classic signs.
How much exercise is he getting? He might be small but he still needs a good chance to have a run about - if you can't take him can you afford to pay for a dog walker? He needs to get out and smell new places and meet other people and other dogs. It's all part of their mental stimulation and enrichment.
He's not toileting inside out of spite or malice (although I appreciate it must feel like that) - he's probably missing having your full attention and is acting up as a response. He just wants attention - even you shouting at him is giving him attention. How much of your time does he get each day? Did you do anything to get him used to a baby being around (eg. being shut away perhaps, sleeping in a difference place, getting less of your time)?
It does sound really difficult but I think it's solvable. Your circumstances have changed but you've not changed your dogs' routine to adapt. He needs company and probably more exercise, and you also need to dog-proof to an extent and not leave things around where he can chew them.
He's bored anxious and lonely. It's alright saying you get someone to "pop in" but he needs a proper walk and human company. Yes you could give him to Fil but this dog is yours and your partner's responsibility. Pay for a walker or doggy daycare - it will be a lot cheaper than constantly replacing floors and shoes, and will also be a lot kinder.
Is it a boy dog? If hes reached maturity and you haven't had him.done then that maybe the cause for the marking.Our Chihuahua is a barky little bastard,most of them are tbf.
I agree with adaline. Your dog is destructive and messing in the house because he is distressed by the change in circumstances. With the training, you do have to be consistent. Keep at it, even though it’s really frustrating. Can you afford a bit of 1-1 training with a behaviourist?
He’s crate trained (but crate is extended onto the under stairs storage that’s made into a room for him) and when I get home from work I open his crate and he isn’t bouncing with joy to see us. He’s only like that in the mornings when we wake up. But coming home from work he isn’t gives a big stretch then runs outside for a wee.
He gets all of the time we have at the moment, baby ain’t here yet and he’s so lovely when he’s being lovely, we always try and stimulate him and run around and play games. DP takes him for a walk most evenings but he sometimes gets hole form work late. I have huge generalised anxiety and I can’t pluck up the courage to take him out myself after I took our collie out as a little girl and he got attacked by another dog off the lead. I’d love to take him for a walk on my own but I can’t cope with an accident like that again, our dog is so small he would be dead in one bite if the wrong dog came about. He was great with the other dogs at puppy training classes, but our on walks he barks at other dogs and then because he’s small he jumps up at their face and you can tell their getting annoyed with him.
We’ve now put a stairs gate at the top of the stairs, because I insisted that if we start now he won’t associate being not allowed upstairs with the baby coming home to try and avoid jealousy. But DP keeps letting him up there and doesn’t see it that way and keeps calling me cruel for not letting him upstairs. But I can’t deal with him toiletting in the nursery. We’ve just had it all done nicely and spent a fair bit of money to do it, not to mention dogs poo could kill a baby!
He’s taking shoes off the shoe rack, taking socks out of the clean basket when we unload the washing and then hiding them. I find so man socks in his bed it ridiculous.
I’ve mentioned shutting him away etc while we’re doing things so we can get him used to not having all the attention, but DP insists it’s cruel, and it does feel a little bit like that as he’s had our undivided attention form day one and now it’s all changing for him.
I feel like the worst pet owner in the world
He’s been done, we got him done as soon as the vet recommended it.
We can’t afford to get a dog walker now, especially as I’ll be on maternity leave from December. But it’s a possibility when I go back to work. But that’s no good for the next 9/12 months I realise that.
I feel really stuck, it’s not fair he’s on his own a lot now, and if it is separation anxiety then would he be better off at FiL he it’s the other dogs anyway? I’d hate to know he’s suffering while we’re not there. But he always seems so relaxed when we come home, and during the day when he is out he will go lie in his cage or go to a separate room if he wants to, he doesn’t seem at all clingy. But always trying to lick your face.
I'm sorry OP but expecting a young dog to wait until the evening to get out for a walk is really not good enough - especially if he's crated all day while you work! If you can't walk him yourself then you need to get some money together and pay for a dog walker. He's young and full of energy and needs to get outside. Running about inside or in the garden just won't do it - they need to smell different things and get mentally stimulated in order to tire them out. Chihuahuas may be small but they're full of beans especially when they're young. A tired dog is a happy dog - the cost of a dog walker will be much less than what you have to pay out due to his toileting and destructive behaviours.
As for the shoe rack - we just don't have one. Shoes are kept away in a cupboard so our dog can't even get to them. Laundry basket is kept on work surfaces or behind a babygate/closed door for the same reason. You need to manage the environment. Mine would chew anything left on the floor so we just have to remember to put things away!
And yes, has he been castrated? When ours was done we noticed a big difference in his behaviour.
If you can't afford a dog walker and you can't walk him, then either your DP needs to get up earlier and take the dog out, or you need to reconsider whether you can provide the right home for this dog. Lots of people assume small dogs don't need exercise but they really do - especially young ones.
Could your FIL take him out when he walks his two dogs? If your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation you should find his behaviour in the house gets much better. Have you tried kongs/stuffed bones/brain games to keep him entertained?
FIL lives about 30 minutes away so unfortunately couldn’t take him out everyday with his dogs.
I think maybe FiL is the beat place for him as our circumstances have changed and i understands it isn’t fair that he’s shut in the majority of the time. I’m just a bit sad that we can’t provide for him like I’d want to.
A dog walker is just a no go, we wouldn’t be able to afford it normally let alone with a baby on the way.
Just give him to your FIL. You work full time, let him go to a better home.
Don't agree with people saying "you could give him to fil but it's your responsibility". Fuck that. If he has a chance for a better life let him have it , don't keep him just to assuage your own guilt.
You don't really have the time for this dog anymore.
If you can't give him the life he needs then the kindest thing is to let him go to a home where someone can give him the time and attention he deserves.
And please don't get another dog!! Bad idea if you can't walk them yourself because of your health problem and your OH can only walk them "some evenings".
Apart from being pregnant what are the change in circumstances OP ?
You don't sound to be the right sort of home for a dog. Even little dogs aren't just cuddle toys to be stored in a cupboard until you want to see them.
For their mental health, (not just physical) they do NEED walks and company.
Deprived of these things they often begin to demonstrate stressed behaviour- chewing up flooring/small objects - toileting everywhere- barking.
How else can they express distress? (No dog rescue place would allow you to take a dog in the conditions you have to offer it. )
Poor dog - it is so frustrating this happens so often .
Your feelings of guilt are justified and you know that- you are asking for reassurance but deep down know your behaviour is wrong. I feel like the worst pet owner in the world
Man up, sort it and train your dog, give him the time he deserves.
Our staffy did the exact same, he would literally go out and then come straight in and poo on the kitchen or living room floor. He has separation anxiety. He now lives with my parents. It was too much for me to cope with with a 2 year old and pregnant and DP wouldn't take any responsibility for him so I was left to deal with everything. We have tried him back home once since he went to live there and same happens again, I'm left with all responsibility and 2 young children and cleaning up mess constantly.