Am I being too mean?

United States
March 4, 2011 4:24pm CST
I have a beautiful little Jack Russell terrier mix. I'm not real sure what the "mix" is but I strongly suspect that it's a chihuahua.He has the most precious little puppy dog face but he's not a puppy any longer. I think he'll always have that baby face. This little guy is like a bouncy ball. He's hardly ever still. He loves to jump. It's like he's saying with each bounce..."Look at me!!! I can jump!!!" And, boy, can he jump! Almost to my chest, and I'm 5'6". That's his favorite thing. The next favorite is to get in my lap and roll right over onto his back and just let his hind legs relax, right on out there, with his most personal 'endowments' exposed for all the world to see. No shame whatsoever. Very relaxed and he must feel very secure to expose himself that way. All of this is well and good, but... he has a very annoying habit. He wants to get right in your face and wants you touching him all the time. He loves attention. He'll take his front paw and well, paw at you to get you to touch him. He wants his chest rubbed a lot or just touch him in some fashion. He is so persistent about this that it gets to be REALLY annoying. If you put him away from you he will just come right back and be even more annoying. He wants to be right in your face all the time. I don't think I can describe it well enough to really get across just how annoying this is. If you are a dog person you probably understand what I mean. There is only one way I know to get him to settle down and be still... I put a collar on him. He hates the collar. He thinks he's being restrained. He'll slink around with his head down and turned sideways. He will try to rub the collar off. He'll go lay next to the back door with his head against it. He is very quiet. No jumping, no touching. He thinks he is being punished. He wont eat. I hate to do it but sometimes I just need him to be still for a while. After a while he'll sort of come to terms with it and start to get really active again. Some times he'll get really annoying again and I will have to take other measures... I attach the leash to the collor. This will really do the trick. He is very, very unhappy with the leash on. He will act like he has been severely punished. I have never mistreated any of my dogs, they are my babies. But he really gets too rambunctious sometimes and this is the only way I know to get him to settle down. I have to do this a couple of times a week. Usually the collar alone is enough to settle him down, only rarely do I have to add the leash. Am I being too mean? Do you think this is doggie abuse? He has always hated the collar and leash. He's a house dog that only goes out into a fenced back yard so I have not ever forced him to wear a collar and there is no need for the leash. Once or twice my daughter has taken him out with the collar and leash and it is just too sad to watch. He will not walk, he crouches down like he's terrified. Then he'll get up and run till he gets to the end of the leash and crouch down again. I don't know why he's this way. He's been this way since I first got him. Do you think it's wrong for me to use the collar to make him quiet down?
1 person likes this
2 responses
@sjvenden27 (1850)
• United States
5 Mar 11
Considering there is a leash law in the city, I am not sure if you are in the city or in the country.. But your puppy will have to learn that there are times that he will have to use a leash... With the collar, this is an easier indever.. Dogs are actually really smart.. More then likely there are dog tags on the collar.. Talk to your puppy and explain to him that this is a way for people to know that he is your puppy.. If something was to happen when he got out and ran off this is a way that he will be returned to you.. After awhile repeating this and using his craving for attention he should wear the collar.. A thought.. When the puppy is not wearing his collar dont give him the extra attention he craves... only do it when he is wearing the collar.. Hopefully he will get the idea that he is pleasing you, which he will want to do..
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
That is a great idea, sjvenden. I will only show him his sweet attention while he is wearing the collar! I think that might help. I sure hope so. He does get out of the yard on rare ocassions when he can find a hole or dig himself a new one, But he never goes far. It is usually while we are gone and when we get home we have found him sitting in the driveway, all out of breath. I think he likes to play with the cat. I do live in a very small rural town. I'm not even sure what the leash laws are. I do know there is not supposed to be dogs running loose, they should be fenced or secured with a rope or chain All my dogs are indoor/outdoor dogs pretty much as they please. I'm going to give your idea a try, there's nothing to lose by it. Thanks for the advice.
@inu1711 (5288)
• Romania
7 Mar 11
Hello Commonground, Your dog is the perfect example of a spoiled dog. You are not mean but you certainly don't know what you want from him. With dogs, you must be consistent, otherwise you are going to confuse them. But look at you, are you consistent with him? Now you like him when he jumps in your lap for being petted, now you don't like when he jumps for attention. Now you want him to stop jumping and be calm, now you don't like him because he is too quiet with the collar on. He's just a young dog and he's full of energy. The house, the back yard and even your other dog as his play mate is not enough to keep him occupied. You should consider taking him outside for a walk at least once a day. You know there is a saying "a tired dog is a happy dog". Your little guy is never tired and that's why he keeps asking for attention. I suggest you to get him used to the collar and the leash and to start walking him in the neighborhood for at least half an hour a day. You may also consider enrolling him in an obedience class (or even training him at home, by yourself). This way you will be able to ask him to execute a command (like sit and wait) when he starts jumping like a bouncy ball. And always remember that the key in dog training is "be consistent!" I wish you good luck!
• United States
7 Mar 11
Thank you for your well wishes. I had actually never heard the quote "a tired dog is a happy dog". That makes sense. I really do need to work with him and get him accustomed to the collar and leash. We did realize shortly after we got him that he was a very high energy dog and wondered if we were the best family for him. He is a part of our family now and we love him too much to let him go so I guess we better do something for him before it's too late. He's so sweet and full of love but he's even more full of energy.
@inu1711 (5288)
• Romania
7 Mar 11
That's why it is always better to know more about a dog when we decide to bring him home. Too many cases of abandoning dogs happen because people liked a dog's look but they didn't know anything about the dog's temperament. It's not your case, as you said you love the little rascal and I'm sure you will do everything to make him happy in your family. Getting him accustomed to the collar and the leash is the first step. Then make sure you burn his energy by walking him (if you have a bike, you can take him to a long run next to your bike). All this, together with a training program, will make him a happy dog and you a proud owner of an ex- hyper-energetic dog. Please keep us updated with the progress he makes.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 11
He's had the collar on for two days now and seems to have accpeted it. He did have a little 'outing' yesterday. He made a new hole to escape the back yard and had a run around the neighborhood. He retuned home huffing and puffing, out of breath but otherwise a happy little camper. I think he also had a round with my daughter's cat, because they both came home at the same time. They ususally visit with each other through the fence if the other dogs aren't around (he wants to play with the cat they want to eat the cat) so it was a treat for them to actually be together. A couple more days with the collar on and we will try the leash for a walk around the block.