We couldn't do it..

United States
April 30, 2013 10:11am CST
We just couldn't give Turbo up.. it killed us too much. My husband was crying and sick when he got home from the shelter. I was crying and ended up taking meds to fall asleep because my head hurt so much from all the crying. My kids were all crying and upset. My 10 year old didn't go to school today.. he sat on the sofa holding the dog's collar and crying. I just kept thinking this couldn't be right. If we made the right decision.. why was it ripping us apart? Normally the dog is very sweet and loving. He had a couple of bad moments that made me very nervous. Perhaps there is a good reason for that. Perhaps he was very stressed from his day yesterday.. the vet was really stressful for him.. and all of us. Perhaps not feeling well is making him act out more than he normally would. Perhaps we acted too hastily. He is not a perfect dog.. but what dog is? We have to make a few changes around here to ensure everyone's safety.. and we need to learn more about the dog, and get the dog some training. Also we've read getting the dog fixed could help.. he's not fixed yet. We brought Turbo back home this morning.. and we brought him to the park and let him run off some steam. Now the puppy is curled up with hubby and my 10 year old sound asleep. Maybe we're not the right family for him.. maybe he's not the right dog for us. But you know what.. sometimes my kids do things that make me angry.. so do my cats. I don't give them up.. I try to teach them and I make changes in our lifestyle to make things better and easier. So that's what I'm doing. For now, until I can learn to properly integrate them, my cats are living upstairs while the dog stays downstairs. For now, my younger boys won't be allowed near the dog when he's playful. We have a crate.. if I am worried about the dog or someone's safety, he'll go in the crate for a time out. We will get him training. The shelter is giving us information about dog behavior therapists. And we'll do tons of research online. It won't be easy.. we all know that. It will take a lot of work and patience. But over all I don't think the dog is aggressive. I think he's very playful.. a little too playful maybe. And I think he was very stressed and scared yesterday. The dog will grow up, and with any luck and some training, will calm down. The kids will grow up and not be as fragile.. it's mostly the younger 2 I'm concerned about. I think we can do this... I think we have to do this.. because we obviously can't live without him.. and that says something!
2 people like this
8 responses
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
1 May 13
I am so glad that you brought your dog back home. It's obvious that he belongs with you!!! First start looking for classes for you to attend to start training your dog. It's never too early or too late to start training. Also realize that dogs, like humans, have bad days. If they aren't feeling well and go through the stress of going to the vet they are almost guaranteed to act out. It is wonderful that you are giving the dog another chance. One thing I did with my dogs is make it a house rule that no one is to play with the dogs without permission. And in the case of my youngest granddaughter she couldn't play with the dogs without my supervision. I also made the same rule with the cats. Simply because you never know when a child is going to do something that the dog might not like...or they get scratched by the cat. I also crate trained my dogs so that they actually sleep in their crates at night. Even though they are trained, I still prefer them to sleep in their crates, I make sure it is a pleasant experience and they are given a LOT of treats when they go to bed. I really recommend that you do make the rule for the 2 younger children that they are NOT to play with the puppy unsupervised and without permission. That way you can judge the dog's energy levels and moods before they play with the puppy. Remember he is still a puppy and puppies make mistakes and can be over energetic. They are naturally loving and have to be taught to be mean and vicious. My mini dachshund jumped up on my boyfriend's leg and scratched it terribly. I have been working with the dog to get it to stop jumping up. Its taken about five days but I see the difference. Within a few more days he should be cured of jumping up on people. Training makes a huge difference, and you realize that you can't expect that the puppy will know what is permitted without education (does this remind you of your kids? Children need to be taught things starting with house breaking...oops...potty training), be consistent and firm. Reward good behavior and express dissatisfaction at bad and unacceptable behavior. You'll find a different dog under all that fur! Just keep trying and be patient with your dog, and keep giving him love and chances....PLEASE!
• United States
1 May 13
How are you working with your dog on the jumping? We are trying to turn our backs to him and ignore him when he jumps and bites (playful bites). Unless he's too riled up from play, this will usually get him to stop immediately.. but as soon as we turn around he jumps again. So we just keep turning our backs to him.. I keep getting different answers about whether or not to say "no" when he does something bad. Some people say attention is attention of any kind. I think I like the idea of saying "no". He seems to somewhat understand it already. He goes to eat the cat food and I say no and he'll back off but a few seconds later he goes back to it. So I think he understands no.. just hasn't mastered it. I mean dogs can learn words like sit and stay.. why can't they learn that no means they're doing something they shouldn't?
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
1 May 13
Dogs jump on you because they think that since you are the "alpha" in their lives you have food for them. If you watch any of the animal programs featuring wolves or other dog relatives the babies are constantly jumping on the mom to see if she has anything in her mouth. The behavior carried on to the domestic dogs and is a hard habit to break. I use a lot of sign language in training my dogs. If I want them to NOT jump on people I use a very sharp NO and then reach out about six inches from my body and I have my hand flat and bent at a 90 degree angle signaling the dogs that they need to stay on the floor. It's kind of like a police signal when they want you to stop. I found that the hand signal works super and it is easy for the dogs to recognize. If you think about it, it takes a while for dogs to recognize "sit" and "stay", plus the training is more intense and focused on the basic commands. If you look at training your dog like you are training your children you will soon understand the "why" in the difficulties with getting some commands across to the dog. Children don't always understand the "NO" command and the critters in our lives are the same way. When you are getting the "NO" command, make sure that you are using a firm calm voice. When the dog does something like getting into the cat food make sure that you use the firm "NO" and also state "bad dog" If necessary give him a little shake when you are using "NO" but don't shake him so hard that it can hurt or scare him. If it doesn't sink in, then get a soda can and put some pebbles in it. Then the next time you use "NO", shake the can. Soon he will realize that if he doesn't respond to "NO", then there is a bad noise that is very harsh to his ears. The noise doesn't hurt his hearing but it does get his attention. One huge thing is that you need to be consistent with the training. I tried the turning your back on the dog way of training, it didn't work for me either. So, I started working with the hand signal and the "NO" command. It has really worked, and to reinforce the dog's recognition of the command and when he responds the way you want him to, make sure you give him tons of praise. It has really worked with C.D., he not only doesn't jump as much, but he is much happier because he is getting extra attention when he does something right. In fact the past week I haven't had him jump on me at all! It's been really tough with C.D. (which stands for Crazy Dog...from the day I got him he has been a totally different dog than any I have ever known.) because he is a head strong breed, he's a mini dachshund and the breed emanated from Germany. With tons of love and even more patience and consistency he has started to react the way I want him to. The toughest thing I have had to teach him is NOT to chase the cats. He likes to pull the hair out of the cats... after the second pull the cats haul off and thump him good and hard on the top of his head, which doesn't phase him in the least. But he finally is leaving the cats alone. It just took time. I wish I lived closer so that I could help you with Turbo. But if you would like, I will send you a friend request and after you accept it we can email each other about the problems you are having with Turbo.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49877)
• United States
1 May 13
I'm so glad for you. So glad. And you mentioned in another response to me that the vet didn't muzzle Turbo. That was so careless of them. My Annabelle has never bitten anyone. But when the vet tried to clip her toe nails the other day she opened her mouth like she was going to. The vet mentioned a muzzle and I told her I could control Annabelle. And I did. I just kept her face towards me. Annabelle wouldn't have bitten anyway, but at least the vet knew what to do. My grandmother's dog will bite if the vet tries to "express" his anal glands. So they muzzle him. And when dogs are sick all bets are off. Who knows how they were treated prior to going to a new home? I once had a dog who was raised with a bunch of other ones and the owners would simply throw food out the door and the dogs had to get whatever they could. This dog was the sweetest thing ever. He let my late Sherlock lick his ears and climb all over him. So sweet! But when it came to feeding time I had to feed them in separate rooms. That dog would try to bite Sherlock, and he was MEAN when he did it. It's a shame people don't treat animals well from the very beginning. I'm so glad for you guys and for Turbo. It's great that you aren't giving up on him. Even the pitbulls Michael Vick fought were able to be rehabilitated. I'm sure Turbo will be too.
• United States
1 May 13
See, I never knew the vet should muzzle him.. I just figured the vet should have known what to do.. and believe me I really do trust my vet.. at least with my cats. They did try to take him in a back room so maybe they did try to muzzle him but he's was too worked up already? I'm thinking.. had I known before hand.. I would have muzzled him myself before even bringing him to the vet. We're going to try to vet at the shelter.. when we told them about our vet that's the first thing they asked is if they muzzled the dog. They've checked him out before and given him his shots and all that.. so obviously they can handle him. The problem is.. the vet put it in my head that my dog could be aggressive. Aside from that vet visit I never saw any aggressive tendencies.. but once it was in my head I couldn't stop worrying about all the what ifs. I was a paranoid wreck all day yesterday after we brought him back home. I'm watching him like a hawk waiting for him to do something mean.. The only thing "mean" he did yesterday (aside from biting at play time) was when my daughter got out of the shower last night and came to walk through the room the dog stood up and growled at her and wouldn't stop until I made her back out of the room the way she came. He didn't move to go for her, didn't curl lips or anything. Just stood there growling. Hubby was sitting right next to him and pet him and he didn't snap at hubby or anything.. just growled. He calmed down as soon as my daughter left the room.. Probably just still needs time to adjust!
• United States
1 May 13
I am glad that you are giving Turbo another chance. have you gone to the pet stores to see if they have books on how to train your dog? I wonder if there are web sites that may help you out as well. Since you got him from a shelter can they help you out by giving you some background on how to train the puppy. I am wondering if the previous owners never played with the puppy and that is why he acts the way he does. I hope all goes well for you.
• United States
1 May 13
I've been looking at tips online and they've helped a lot!
@GreenMoo (11842)
30 Apr 13
I think your feelings about turbo not intending to be aggressive are probably right. he's had a lot to deal with this last week, and the vet visit was probably the final straw for him
• United States
30 Apr 13
Yes he has.. poor guy.. and he isn't sure what to think of us just yet.
30 Apr 13
I didn't want to judge you yesterday for giving him up. But I am SO happy to see this. An aggressive dog is not always an aggressive dog. YOu can get him the proper training and hopefully learn to read his body language. Get him the proper training, don't let anyone play rough with him and be firm and consistent. I will keep my paws crossed that things work out for both your family and Turbo.
• United States
30 Apr 13
Thanks! I am hoping it works out too! I think he's just overly playful. Until we went to the vet I did not see any aggression from him what so ever! But of course now that she mentioned that I'm overly cautious of him.. and I wish I weren't. I'm watching him and the kids and cats like a hawk, though over the weekend I was much more lenient with them all. So sad that I have to feel this way and not completely trust the dog anymore. But we're all going to work on it. I think over all he's a sweet dog and in time I'll trust him completely.. as soon as we train him not to play so rough with us!
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
30 Apr 13
Bless you for giving him another chance. I really, really hope it works out...
• United States
30 Apr 13
Me too!
@Shellyann36 (11278)
• United States
30 Apr 13
I am glad that you decided to try it again. The stressors of him not feeling well and then going to the vet probably had him all messed up. Add to that everyone saying good bye and the feelings and emotions that all of the human family members were feeling probably stressed him out. I think we forget alot of the times that animals can sense our feelings be it fear, anxiety or pain. This will effect the animals and how they react to us. Keep us posted.
• United States
30 Apr 13
Yes, we're trying to keep that in mind. We acted out of fear.. which was fueled by a trained vet telling us he probably wasn't safe for us.. and my fear and lack of knowledge of dogs in general. We'll see how it goes.. but I pray it works out.. we really want it to!
@applefreak (3131)
• Singapore
1 May 13
i had just finished reading the book 'white fang'. it's a really good book and i recommend that you read it too. maybe you'll get a lesson or two from it. turbo reminds me of white fang, and i hope you can be turbo's 'love master'. i really believe that you did right by giving turbo his second chance! good luck with turbo and he will not disappoint you.