Being disabled I have a 14 year old Mutt that serves as an emotional support dog, (Which we just say is purebreed sweetheart.) I've had her since 7 weeks old, her name is Pandora.
Pandora is showing more than just a couple signs of slowing down of course. Due to my illness my doctor and I decided to get another pup to help ease the transition. Change is quite horrific for me, and should Pandora pass on I would be in a bad spot in obtaining another furry friend to help ease the issues I struggle with day to day.
I had certain standards about the dog I wanted. I will NOT own a toy dog, especially a chihuahua given the many I have been attacked by. Their compulsive barking wouldn't help my illness either as Pandora does things so simple as let me know I've heard a sound (such as Knocking) and a person I encounter in the world is real, and not a figment of a hallucination. The dog has to also be a puppy, the paranoid aspects of my illness wouldn't allow me to trust a dog trained by anyone else. I trust animals to guide me, people don't usually get that.
Last December 11th me and my boyfriend got a new puppy. We were informed that the dog was a Rhodesian Ridgeback/ Australian Shepherd mix. Upon learning the dog was in fact Beagle/ Aussie cattle dog much of her behavior has made sense to me.
I love any animal, including snakes, spiders, lizards and the fearsome chihuahua. The only animal I ever stated I hated was of the beagle variety. Had I known the pup I got was Beagle I wouldn't have gotten her. But just as we don't get to choose if a child born of us is mentally handicap or a genius, I don't want to quit on Hope, our new puppy.
Now that I look back on it my old friend's dog was not the target I hated. It was his owner who I had to live with for a period of 3 months. The dog my friend owned was named JJ, he was a damn menace at first. However, over time and consistent instruction JJ had become a very well behaved, and lovable animal. My main concern that I got to stop was his dominate bullying of Pandora, which my friend thought was playing. Pandora is 14 years old, she still loves to play but the way JJ would pounce her, throw his weight excessively at her, stick his muzzle under her belly and toss her in the air, and attack her when ever food was present was not something Pandora thought to be fun. Anytime he did this my friend would just say "That's the Beagle in him." and dismiss it.
Eventually I got JJ to yield and not act like such a terror to Pandora. He was allowed in my room to snuggle with us, snuggled with us while watching movies and so on. He even stopped bum rushing me and Pandora every morning upon emerging from the room. I enjoyed the dog's company and adored him as much as Pandora.
One day when I had requested Pandora remain in my room when I was not present. My friend never reinforced any rules for him, so I didn't feel my old friend was safe when I wasn't there. The woman, who is also mentally ill, flipped. Screaming at me, telling me how her dog fears me so much because her husband takes his belt off at night to change and he cowers (which I don't own a belt in the first place, and am against violence toward animals.) So, I was no longer allowed to even tell JJ "no" for bad behavior.
Over the weeks that followed JJ's personality took a 180 toward me and Pandora. Every morning he'd try to plow me down because Pandora would hide behind me when he came running at her. He'd bite me anytime I even so much as touched his collar to pull him away from getting into something he shouldn't. Thankfully only 1 incident occurred when I had a set of scrapes and a bruised hand from it. Heck, sometimes he'd just bite me and chew on my arm at the kitchen table, my friend would act like it wasn't happening and continue to drink her coffee like it didn't matter, even if he tried pulling my arm down to hump it. All I could do was pray every night that JJ would not break any of Pandora's bones or hurt her too bad.
I would rather not like to believe the breed defines a good or bad dog. JJ trusted and obeyed me once out of that trust that I believe his owner completely dissolved when she knocked me down below any other house hold member in the family hierarchy. I see Hope having the same behavior patterns including the mouthing when being told "no". If anyone has any tips to help this training process along, I'd be grateful. I don't want to keep a dog that will hurt my older dog, and adoption is a last resort. Hope is very sweet and lovable, I just don't want this defiant issue she seems to have in common with JJ to take root and become more than I can handle.