What Would You Do?

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What Would You Do?

This is a discussion on What Would You Do? within the General Dog Discussion forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I've always planned on having more dogs- I wanted a small pack of 4-5. Delilah, it seems, gets very stressed out about other dogs. Actually, ...

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Old 08-11-2017, 09:06 AM
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What Would You Do?

I've always planned on having more dogs- I wanted a small pack of 4-5.

Delilah, it seems, gets very stressed out about other dogs. Actually, everything stresses her out- she's pretty neurotic and has issues with anxiety and compulsive disorder.

My parents got a new puppy and we've been spending a lot of time with the new puppy, probably a total of about two weeks between us visiting them in MA and them visiting us in VT.

Delilah never really warmed up to the puppy- she just growls when it comes near her or tries to completely ignore it. I mean, she's very polite and tolerant for the most part, and I thought her corrections were fair- that puppy is super annoying and obsessed with her. But she definitely wasn't happy about it.

She also gets very overwhelmed and snappy towards bigger dogs and/or rude/high energy dogs. Being 7 lbs, most dogs are bigger than she is.

She's been an only dog for over two years now. I think she enjoys it. I don't think she likes having other dogs around.

Here's the thing, when I was looking to get a dog, I specifically had agility and hiking in mind as the things I wanted to do with it. She gets so stressed out at agility classes, she loses focus and starts fixating on lights or dust. We'd practice all the time at home, she'd get down weaving or directionals or something really well, we'd do it in class, and she'd just lose her mind and run to a corner in the room to chase dust. We're going to start private lessons in the fall and see if that goes better than group classes. But I don't know if we'll ever be able to do classes, and I definitely don't expect to be able to compete with her ever.

And hiking, that was my favorite thing to do with my old dog, but Delilah's so small most of the dogs we see on the trails seem to think she's a cat or rabbit and try to attack her. The owners have no control over their off leash dogs at all. And when I spray compressed air to scare them away and keep my dog safe, the owners flip out at me, even after I explain that she's been attacked by "friendly" dogs in the past. So even an activity that used to be enjoyable for me is just stressful with this dog. I feel like I can't do anything with her that I wanted a dog for.

I've been thinking about getting a second dog for a while, I've contacted a breeder I like who said they thought I would be a good home for one of their puppies. They seem to breed maybe every other year or so- it's been about two years since they've had a litter. So if I want a puppy from them I should probably jump on their next litter, which will probably be at some point within the next year. I've started saving up specifically for that puppy. But I feel so guilty knowing that Delilah will feel stressed and maybe even betrayed.

The other thing is that I want to handle explosives detection dogs for the TSA, so if that goes according to plan, in the next 2-3 years I could be bringing home a BIG dog (lab or pointer).

I don't want to ruin Delilah's life, but I don't want her to be the only dog in my life for the next 15 years.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:23 AM
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What breed is the puppy you are interested in?
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:25 AM
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What breed is the puppy you are interested in?
A standard sized Rat Terrier (about 20 lbs)
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:54 AM
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Sounds frustrating, but honestly my personal choice would be to love and accept the dog I already have. Our pets are our family, even when they don't fit into the molds that we hoped they would. And life is long; there is plenty of time to add dogs later in life. In the mean time you can work on socializing her, but to add a puppy right now seems really unfair. Trust me, I understand your frustration, but it isn't her fault and she didn't get a list of your desires before you adopted her. I would suggest waiting and working on socialization.


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Old 08-11-2017, 03:35 PM
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it isn't her fault and she didn't get a list of your desires before you adopted her.
One of the most sensible things I've ever read about dog owning.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:06 PM
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Would she do better with a smaller, dog that's maybe a year old? That way it's past the crazy, rude, in your face, puppy stage, but still young enough to learn to fit into your life. The upside would be you could start training agility right away, and you'd know what his or her personality truly is.

My boy is sort of like Delilah, he has no real use for other dogs, feels the need to put them in their place if they are rude, hates if they try and play with him, and if they come into my house he loses his doggy mind. My friends toy poodle is the only dog that he does not ming coming over, but even then he still stresses out a bit. So I'm in your boat, I'd have to think long and hard before adopting another dog while I still have Zody.

If you do get a puppy, or another dog, are you prepared to crate and rotate, or give the new puppy, or Delilah up?
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:03 PM
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I'd start looking for an awesome home for Delilah, it sounds like getting more dogs is on the cards for you and that it would be undeniably stressful for her.

You have worked so hard on her issues and its apparent that she doesn't fit your lifestyle and I know if you were to rehome her you would take care to find a good one. Yes, it's not her fault but finding a safe home that is a good fit isn't a punishment! What Delilah would probably find punishing would be having a new dog around or sensing resentment from you.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:21 PM
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To clarify because on reading what I said it come across a bit harsh. If you start looking you'll work out if it's feasible or if you're willing to give her up, not saying you have to give her up.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:35 PM
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Personally, I would consider whether she would be happy enough "coexisting" with another dog, and whether you would be happy enough having dogs that merely tolerate each other, but are not really "friends". If not, then I would reconsider getting another dog, but if those criteria seem doable, then it's fairly easy to teach dogs to not harass each other (especially if one wants to be left alone already), and manage them to prevent conflict until they have learned. Will you feel guilty leaving her while you do all these things with a new dog? That is something that weighs on my mind when I've had a dog that enjoys doing things and one that doesn't, though in my dogs' cases, they stopped wanting to do those things because they were old and/or debilitated, but had previously enjoyed them, so the guilt of leaving them home was significant. I had to engineer activities for the "left behind" dog to make myself feel better about excluding them from other things .

I would be very reluctant to rehome a dog with the issues that you describe Delilah as having, my guess is that it might be difficult for her to adjust and another owner might not be as understanding of her quirks as you have been.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:09 PM
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Also; sometimes text just comes out badly whatever the intention behind it
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