I'm at a loss as to what to do...

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10 years 9 months ago #28694 by Leslie_NZ
We got a dog last year from the SPCA as a companion for our other dog, at the time we had a lot more spare time to spend with them both, looking back now we probably should have just gotten a smaller non high energy dog, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, between the two of them they started pulling out and playing with newly planted trees so their backyard became smaller and contained to an area without trees. which lead to the two of them enjoying hole digging escapades when the ground was wet, which in turn has lead to our neighbor complaining about the state of our backyard.

My parents have offered to lend us some money to build a deck which we have been wanting to do for a while due to the fact that our house has no direct backyard access from the house. but it means that the dog containment area will become a lot smaller, and due to having a high energy dog and little time (I now do shift work and OH now has to commute 1+ hrs each way to work, starting early finishing late) to exercise her, we have to rehome her :( SPCA originally stated that if we had to rehome her then we should bring her back to them and they would do that as part of the contract we signed. So we rang the SPCA and they are full of dogs and wouldn't be able to take her.

She is a wonderfully placid gentle dog who loves being around people other animals and has no big faults or issues, just very bored at the moment and thus chewing on things and digging holes. My dad is terrified that if they spend all the money on the deck, the dog will end up chewing on the corners or destroying it in boredom. ($20000 of deck is a very expensive chew toy).

She is on trademe for free, and I put her up in the classifieds on here, any other suggestions that I could try for rehoming?

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10 years 9 months ago #391762 by igor
Your useless whinging neighbour needs to go away and mind their own business.

Good luck with rehoming the dog.

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10 years 9 months ago #391765 by Hawkspur
It is a difficult situation, and I understand it is hard with your work hours, but before rehoming the dog, could you try a few things? You may have already tried these, but if not good luck.

Set a target to train your newer dog twice a day on a new exercise, whether it is jumping a saw horse some simple obstacle, or rolling over etc. Do this just a few minutes twice a day. Your dog will enjoy the structured interaction with just you focussing on it rather than it with the other dog. If each of you can manage a few minutes twice a day it will be a big thing for the dog.
Give a bone each day that is going to take more than a few minutes to chew, with marrow to lick out, or similar.
Consider extending their play area a little if the trees are a little more established and "forgotten" as new objects.

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10 years 9 months ago #391766 by Mich
How sad, Lesley - hope you can find a good home for her. If she's gone, is there any chance that your other dog will get lonely and get up to mischief? Are there any dog walkers in your area that might be able to give both of them some exercise? Neighbours with older children that might want to earn some pocket money perhaps? Do they currently have lots of toys to play with (sticks, chew bones, balls etc?) If not, would that keep them occupied, do you think?

I'm with Igor re the neighbour, I'm afraid. What business it is of theirs what your back yard looks like? If the dogs were making a noise and annoying them, they might have reason to complain, but the fact that there are holes and no trees in your back yard???

Just another thing - if you had a contract with the SPCA, surely that means they have to keep their end of the bargain? Do they have foster people they might put her until they can find a replacement home?

Let us know how things pan out, but wishing for a happy outcome on this one for you.
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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10 years 9 months ago #391767 by stephclark

igor;386040 wrote: Your useless whinging neighbour needs to go away and mind their own business.

Good luck with rehoming the dog.


hear hear.. your backyard is just that..its yours.. it isnt a health hazard or a public danger.. so what has it got to do with them.. if they dont like it, they can close the curtains..

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10 years 9 months ago #391768 by Mich
Just read Hawkspur's reply - really good ideas there, specially about the structured exercise. Also, those big canon bones can keep dogs occupied for simply ages.
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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10 years 9 months ago #391774 by Leslie_NZ
Thanks Hawkspur and everyone for the input, they both get attention, the older dog who is 2 years old seems to not really mind either way with having a companion or not, shes a bit of an odd ball and tends to get annoyed more by the other one constantly bugging her till she snaps at it and puts her in her place. (part of another reason looking to rehome as I'm worried the other one might eventually snap back rather than squeal and submitas she does), they both proved the other day that they couldnt be trusted with the trees as the older one figured out how to open the gate lock and we found them in the back section with leafless trees, and one fluffy soggy wet dog who had played happily in the fishpond for hours by the looks of it (older one).

Walkers could be an option but since the kids that offered to walk the dogs at one stage were also the same ones we have seen teasing the dogs we are a touch dubious, and the older dog is a funny critter who is lovely natured but a handful and has a few personality traits that are concerning especially around men/ people she doesnt know if we arent there, (one reason we wouldnt give her up to the SPCA, lovely dog, just special).

They both get bones and things, but with 2 cats always a little wary of giving out bones when we aren't around and having them attack the cats if trying to protect their food. They both have toys, and also joint toys that they can both play with together, large knoted ropes and balls.

Phee is a cattle dog X so is constantly running and moving hence the high energy, the other is pretty lazy, and can go either way. loves walks but prefers one on one attention time (gets jealous easily). where as phee just loves walks and activity.

The neighbour part is pretty minor, just was the reason behind us getting a deck, due to her complaining and we were going to block out that section with a trellis. The joys of urban living, and having your 1 neighbour looking straight into your back yard.

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10 years 9 months ago #391777 by Leslie_NZ
They both have been well socialised, and use to go to the local dog park which was fenced in to run around in and play with other dogs quite happily, only now one tends to get aggressive/ rough when she gets over stimulated and over excitied, which causes the cattle dog to become protective and stick up for her pack mate.

A friend of ours works with huskys and dog training but even she is at a loss as to what the reason behind the over stimulation is, (she picks on submissive dogs that are already submitting) so we take them to the park until to many dogs turn up and then leave before theres issues.

I love them both dearly, but its getting to be a lot of hard work and not enjoyable constantly telling them off for something that is quite clearly our fault.

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10 years 9 months ago #391796 by witheze
I have a high energy mini foxy.....today I'm having a dog holiday......I have put him in the the dog cage for the day....he is safe in there from mischief, has toys and bones, and I can relax without him being in the lambing paddock, roughing up cats, chewing sox, jumping on my lap when I sit down. His cage is under the carport right next to the door, so doesn't miss anything, but I'm having a break. Worth a thought? I'll let him out when I'm refreshed..... :) ....Damn here's the turkeys....I need to let him out to get rid of them.....[}:)]

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10 years 9 months ago #391840 by GloPony

Leslie_NZ;386056 wrote: I love them both dearly, but its getting to be a lot of hard work and not enjoyable constantly telling them off for something that is quite clearly our fault.


And that's really what it comes down to, isn't it? What does SPCA say about an animal being for life? :(

I understand you not wanting to use the kids down the road to walk them but rather than wait for suitable volunteers, why don't you advertise? There might be an active retiree who would be keen to walk them everyday or someone who doesn't have time for their own dog but would be keen to share care of someone else's.

I used to have to get up at 5.30am to walk my dogs & feed my 6 horses before dropping the son off at school, doing an 8-10 hr day at work & then repeating the morning routine at night. It was hard work! But that that's what comes with responsibility & it's actually a lovely time of the morning. [;)] :p

You can fix the digging up of trees once you've addressed the boredom issue by either wrapping the bars of mouse traps with lots of tape (so they don't do damage) & setting them around the rees. It'll give them a fright & won't hurt them but they (hopefully) won't dig or wreck trees anymore either.

If that doesn't work, a portable electric fence unit & tape will. Supervise them while they get the message & then you can turn it off. Dogs don't seem to realise that it's not on & will still respect just a tape. (In my experience anyway).

If you love them dearly, I'm sure there are options. :)

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10 years 9 months ago #391853 by DiDi
Leslie - just how old is this SPCA dog as if the older one is two, are we talking about a young dog as the new one. Is it a puppy in terms of not having reached say 18 month maturity?

I personally am not into getting a second dog as company for the first as having had both scenarios (up to three at a time) I know that one dog on it's own seems blissfully happy when you get home at 5.30pm or whatever.

I honestly believe that dogs don't know the difference between 5 minutes and 5 hours - as evidenced when you sing out "Back soon" leave the house (mine is an indoor dog when I am not here) and realize I have forgotten something. Back in the house without 2 minutes and I am greeted as enthusiastically as if I had been gone 6 hours. They just do what they do when you are not there - usually sleep.

If this is all too much for you then I would push the SPCA to take the dog back. Of course they are going to do whatever they can to dissuade you from returning it!

I wish you didn't have too as my instinct (rightly or wrongly) is telling me that you have two young dogs (2 is still young!) and they are just being young dogs. Have you looked at what you are feeding them? Tux dog biscuits for example turn my daughter's GR into a nutty fruitcake. Maybe you are putting too much into their diet for dogs that you require to be more sedentary?

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10 years 9 months ago #391867 by 4trees
Hi, as a suggestion what about "Dog Motels" there is a kennel on the back and a wire netting cage of about 2m x 1.5m with a door, for each dog, which the dogs go into during the day ( farmers use these types of cages) as their dogs aren't usually allowed to run around all day outside the house, saves the trees and plants etc. A short supervised outing with the dogs in the morning or in the evening, and you could rest assured your dog is safe. If you build the deck, would there be any guarantees that they wouldn't be jumping around on that. Cheers.

Cheers
http:treeandshrub.co.nz

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10 years 9 months ago #391879 by Leslie_NZ
Thanks all for the wonderful input, I'm a nurse and so work shift work (have just finished an evening shift) so basically mornings I'm up at 5am, to get ready, shower, eat breakfast and feed the animals before darting out the door, usually get home around 5 at night, OH gets up at 5:30am to drive to kerikeri where he currently works, and gets home around 6:30 -7pm, Evening shifts for me I get ready around 1pm and finish work around 11:30 - 12 midnight. Night shifts are from 11pm - 7:30am so you get home quite exhausted.

The cattledog X we have had for 1 year, she is around 18months old, the other we have had for close to 2 years (found abandoned at around 8 weeks old, no one claimed her so we took her on).

Feeding wise, they were on the expensive dog food (hills science diet) until I lost my job December last year and money became an issue until I got a new job in june, so we have only just caught up on bills and got our finances a little more stable, so currently they are on a cheap dog food, + meat bones from my sisters home killed cow.

Their current area which is fenced and well contained is aprox 20m x 6m + garage for them to get out of the elements, and the dog kennel they share (rather large) when cold, they have supervised backyard tree and chicken area outings when I check the chooks, for feeding, eggs letting them out to free range, and when attempting to do some vege gardening in what little spare time I have.

The younger dog although she is "ours" is pretty much my husbands dog, and trying to walk both with just one person can be a mission, although I do attempt it occasionally, its a little easier with the halti but for the cattle dog I'm going to get tired long before I've even made a dent in her energy levels, and we have both come to the conclusion that it would be easier with one dog to walk, especially if I'm at work on an evening shift then hubby can walk one in the afternoon when he gets home from work and I can do a morning walk. I've pondered getting a treadmill for them but right now with the money situation that is a thought not a reality.

I acknowledge we made a bad choice when we chose her, especially since we aren't as active as we should be, they do get outings to the beach and to parks and places, its just the between time on week days that things go awry, and all the pent up boredom shows through.

Deck wise, we planned on them being able to access it while we were home, but during work hours they would be confined to their then even smaller area, If we removed the tree eater (the other doesn't eat trees/ plants in boredom just plays in the fishpond) from the equation, then we could open up the backyard more and fence off the chickens and fruit trees to allow access for the dog to 75% of the back yard during the day, at the moment now the 2 of them have about 25% of the yard to run around in.

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10 years 9 months ago #391880 by Mich
Hi again Lesley - being in a shiftworking house, I can relate to how tiring it can be when 2 people work different shifts and still try to maintain a normal life. After reading more about your situation, what comes through for me is that you took this girl on with the very best of intentions, have really tried hard to make it work, feel guilty because it isn't, feel bad about considering rehoming her because she's a lovely dog, but really want to because it would make your life a lot less stressful. Is that about it?

FWIW, I think you've done a great job handing both of them to this point. While we're all giving you suggestions on how to keep the two of them because we're animal lovers and it's hard to see them given them away, specially when you've bonded with them, I suspect you'd really like someone to say yes, rehome her. Perhaps you might want to consider yourselves as foster parents for her until another loving home can be found for her. Would that make things easier? I'd go back to the SPCA and explain the situation again to them and ask for their help. Perhaps also talk to the local vet clinic - when I worked for ours, people who had their loved pet die were often receptive to taking on another that was looking for a good home. You can usually also put an advertisement up in the clinic, so take a beautiful picture of her and use that to entice. Would you be willing to look after her until a home could be found? Maybe the SPCA would give you foster status and help find someone to exercise her meantime.

I do hope things work out happily for you - let us know how you get on.
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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10 years 9 months ago #391908 by Leslie_NZ
Thanks Mich, that was pretty much the sum of the whole thread :D was really wanting to know other places/ ideas for getting her "out there" for rehoming as the SPCA were somewhat unhelpful.

I'm like everyone on here, I love animals and my heart goes out to all in need (we have quite a few of them), I realised a while back that she wasnt right for us and we were "neglecting" her needs in the stimulation and exercise department, all the standard needs were well and truely covered, warmth/shelter, food fresh clean water, loving home and safe secure fenced off area.

It has taken me a while to convince hubby that rehoming is the nicest option for her, mainly due to the fact she is 'his" dog, we originally talked about both dogs being rehomed, and allowed him to come up with the idea of just the cattle dog on his own, that way he doesnt feel pressured into loosing his dog and it was all his idea. But now that I have gotten this far I need to keep the momentum going and try to rehome her.

It was most definitely not an option we took lightly or just one day thought "oh I'm tired of her, I'll just dump her" Yes it would make our/ my life less stressful, and make her life more stimulating. I feel guilty because we arent doing enough for her. he feels guilty because of the rehoming and he loves her.

Thanks heaps for the support :)
Leslie

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