Dog Question and a vent...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Dog Question and a vent...
19
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 12:09pm

I have two male lab mixes that are about two years old. Devin loved them and they were really his dogs. I am fond them but I get frustrated with them. I just got them neutered so they won't run away and won't fight as much as they have been. Last night, I got home and the gate was open. The dogs were gone. They don't have tags because they chew each others collars off. I just picked them up at the Humane Society and put them back in the fence. I put a trash can in front of it hoping that will help. I don't know if they opened the gate or my crazy neighbor let them free.


I think I am going to get a chip for each dog. The vet inserts it under the skin and they can be traced when they get loose. Does anyone have experience with a chip?


So far, these dogs have caused my backyard to look like Sanford and Sons. I have bowls all over the place and stuffed animal stuffing (my neighbor throws them over the fence) I have concrete boxes along the sides they have dug under the fence. I have given them tons of dogs toys that just sit there. They have heartworms which is going to cost me a fortune too. I don't want to give them up because the boys love them and Devin loved them. Plus, they are good protection.

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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Avatar for jbnick
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 12:45pm
Do you think the dogs notice that your husband isn't around?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 12:59pm
WARNING: GROSS ALERT. Don't read if you are easily grossed out.

Kristi -- I hear ya! We have this doggone standard poodle because my older son has wanted a dog from at least the time he could put three words together and say "Me want dog." I didn't want a dog. I have never wanted a dog. I made the mistake of thinking that if I let the boys get a cat, maybe he'd give up on the dog. We went to the Humane Society to get a cat and ended up adopting two kittens. They turned out to be our starter pets.

When my son was about six, he went on the internet and took some stupid quiz saying "What kind of dog is right for you" and he ended up matching on the poodle. When I found out poodles don't shed, I decided that maybe we'd get a poodle someday. I finally got the kid the dog for his tenth birthday -- figuring that if I waited any longer, both kids would go off to college and leave me with the care of the geriatric dog. Now the dog will be fourteen when the little one leaves for college -- and I figure that since big dogs seldom live longer than that, I am off the hook.

I have to admit, the kid loves the dog, and mostly takes care of the dog. They play together, my son cleans up after him, and he sleeps in the kid's room. But the dog is a lot of trouble anyway. He needs to be groomed every six weeks minimum. That's expensive. The vet bills for this that and the other thing are higher than I'd anticipated. The kid does agility training with him six months out of the year, which is one more thing on the already crowded family calendar. The dog has scratched up our hardwood floors and one interior door. He won't stay out of the trash no matter what I try and I am sure he's going to kill himself eating something gross and unsafe. Not just food, either. He ate a used sanitary napkin recently. Try explaining that one to the vet. This time of year, the kitchen floor needs to be swept three times a day and mopped nightly because of the mud and snow the dog tracks in. He barks at night from time to time and wakes up the whole house -- usually because the neighbor's cat comes and parks himself right on my son's windowsill and torments the dog.

We have the dog because the kid loves the dog. But I never wanted a dog, and I will probably never had another one. Thank God Kid #2 is a cat person. The cats are trouble, but nothing compared to the dog.

We have parakeets and fish, too. Whole 'nother story.

Oh yeah......long vent in response to a short question....Lance the Wonder Dog is micro-chipped. You can often get it done fairly cheaply at the Humane Society.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 1:02pm
Okay here is my advice on this. First of all, get a large dog run. If the dogs are mostly outside, quit giving them the run of the yard when you are not home-esp if you have a nutty neighbor (?) who thinks its okay to let them out of the gate?!! (what is THAT about??). Rather than letting them destroy your yard, keep them in the run during the time you are at work (you can get a really nice one, put a doghouse in it and a roof on it).

2 yo male lab mixes....not a great combo. How much exercise do they get? Have they gone to obedience school? Both of those things might make a difference on how much you can control them. Oh and microchips are good for when they get lost, I do recommend them-but they really should be kept confined enough to NOT get out. They could get hit by a car or damage someones property, not something you need to deal with right now.

Have you thought about possibly getting rid of ONE of them? 2 big dogs is a lot to handle, esp. with all you have going on.

And sorry to tell ya this, but neutering isnt going to keep them from running away or fighting. If you'd gotten them neutered when they were 6 months old, maybe. But thats kind of a fallacy (although they wont be quite as *edgy* and not as interested in seeking out *girlfriends*).

Talk to the humane society and see if they can offer any input. Maybe they could help you place one or both in a good home. Although I know that would be hard on the boys-but maybe you could consider a different dog later-something a little mellower (labs are way too hyper for me!) and a female.

Good luck on whatever you decide

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 1:08pm
LOL, oh honey thats not even CLOSE to being overly gross. I could tell you stories of what my dogs have eaten that would literally make you ill. I wont go there though ;o)

Kind of funny story though about wierd things dogs eat. My mom works for a vet and they had a dog in one night who was *bloating* (big dogs do this, has to do with intestines getting messed up). They put the dog under anesthesia (which sometimes makes them vomit) and the dog threw up a pair of mens underwear-complete and intact, not chewed up at all. LOL.


dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 1:38pm
Yeah.....our dog has an underwear fetish, too. He's never swallowed any, he just steals my dirty underpants and hides them under his bed. Our departmental secretary's Lab likes to swallow her socks. A couple weeks ago he had to have surgery because he swallowed four of them at once and caused an intestinal obstruction.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 1:44pm
One of my dogs likes *panties* too. I have to frequently do a *sweep* under our bed for them. LOL

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 2:10pm
Tattooing is another option to have them ID'd easily.

Two big dogs with all you've got going on. Wow, I can see why you'd think about leaving them at the Humane Society. And, of course, why you feel you wouldn't want to do so. Any possibility of finding a farm or something that might take a dog or two? We had a dog when I was young that just couldn't adapt to being a housedog who my parents found a home on a farm rather than keep outside all the time. I was disappointed not to have her any more but could appreciate that the dog would be happier elsewhere also.

I don't know, but if they are good escape artists it might be better for them to find a home where they can get more leash time than you are able to give them. I'm sure it would be hard for the boys to give the dogs up but I would think it would be even harder for them to end up getting hit by a car.

What is with your neighbor giving your dogs stuffed animals???

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 2:11pm

You sound just like my husband who also didn't want a dog.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 2:19pm

They are in a fenced backyard. I am going to get a lock for the gate today. I have to admit that I have been a bad pet Mommy. They have not had the attention they need or the training they need. I have been too busy with other family issues.


I have thought about getting rid of one. Sparky is the escape artist and the one that will not potty train. Then, I start thinking about how they have grown up together and how it will be another change. The kids love them and Sparky pretends to eat rocks from Alex and spits them out when Alex isn't looking. So, I haven't done anything about getting rid of them. Plus, I really do love them. They are so sweet and so good with the kids.


They are so michevious, though. The vet said that they still have alot of puppy in them and they should calm down eventually.


Bottom line: My mind tells me to get rid of at least one and my heart says to

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 02-25-2004 - 2:31pm
Well if you want to keep them both, then you should. Sure, they are a PITA, but most dogs are to some degree, lol!

My best suggestion, if you want to keep them both, is to sign up for beginning obedience classes-talk to the humane society and they will set you up. Its not usually super expensive, and its once a week for about 4-6 wks. Then you work with them at home. Maybe your oldest boy could be involved and help?

Coming from a *dog persons* perspective, I think this will help more than anything in regards to getting them more under control. But, I have to tell you, I've seen 10yo labs who still had *a lot of puppy in them*, LOL. As a breed, they are big, goofy, silly dogs. BUT-they are also VERY easy to train most of the time.

Are they inside with you at night and just outside during the day? Part of their problems could be that too. Dogs are pack animals and dont like being separated from their family. Maybe bring them in when you are home, if you arent already. And crate train them too, that can be a godsend (esp if one is having trouble housebreaking).

Good luck. I can also recommend some training books if you dont have time for classes!!

:o)

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

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