Adapting To A Dog
October 5, 2008 9:11am CST
We got a fairly good sized dog a few weeks ago and, since we've gotten him, he has been the cause of a fair amount of stress in our household. He is a lot of work, and he gets into everything. It is difficult to even do basic things around the house without him being under foot or in the way. What's worse is that we have small children and the dog loves to chew up their toys. My reason for starting this discussion is to seek out anyone who might be experiencing similar situations or people who have gone through this transition process. I am wondering how long it takes to adapt to a dog and/or if having a dog is for some people, but not for others. I am to the point where I hate having this dog around and, most days, wish I had never adopted him. I feel guilty saying that, but it is a lifestyle change that is a lot greater than I was prepared for. Has anyone else endured this or am I alone in this frustration?
• Garden Grove, California
6 Oct 08
hi sksongwriter oh yes we had one doberman who with every swish of his tail broke something, knocked over something or spilled something. I took it for a week then said no more he needs to be outdoors on a farm where he can run and wag his d amned tail and knock over things and not mess up our house. we gave him to a farm family and got a smaller dog that did not destroy our house. we had that dog for years and years.
• United States
5 Oct 08
there is a transitional period when a new dog comes into the house, regardless of the age of size. We had taken in a mixed breed puppy around Christmas of 2006 and I thought I was going to go nuts before he grew up - but as he grew out of the puppy phase and we learned that we had to be strict with him, he became a part of the home and family. Unfortunately, when he was a little over a year old, someone took him when he was out side for a "potty break". We questioned whether we wanted to start all over again with another dog, but our older dog missed her pal terribly. Without the younger dog to play with, she would just lay around and sleep and often wouldn't eat. We ran across a person on Craigslist who had a black lab puppy that he had decided did not belong in his apartment (wise choice) and was giving it away - so we, once again, ventured into the puppy phase! That was back in April, and while we had some trying periods with chewing things up and potty training, we are once again at the stage where the dog is a joy to have around. I think our most valuable realization when it comes to dogs, is that each one has their own personality and likes/dislikes. Fro chewing, we bought a number of toys for the dog and as soon as we saw the dog with something that he wasn't to chew, we took it away and replaced it with one of his own toys. He soon learned what things it was acceptable to chew - but in the meantime, it's best to keep anything you don't want chewed out of his reach. You might consider purchasing a crate where the dog is to go during the times that you are busy and need him not to be underfoot, or to designate a place and work on repeatedly making him go there when you tell him to go lay down. It's pretty much like raising a child, you have to set the rules and be consistent in enforcing them.