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My boyfriend and I left Delilah for the first time while we went to NYC for a few days this week. We left her with my parents.

We were expecting her to be happy when we got back like a normal dog. When we come home from work she explodes with happiness and starts sprinting in circles and flinging herself off of furniture. She didn't do this. She yapped at us (and particularly me) like she does when she's scared of someone- low posture, a snarly yapping noise, coming up to me and then running away. She started kissing my boyfriend once she recognized him but was very upset with me for some reason.

And then I found out my mom had been feeding her more than what I instructed. She looked physically fatter. And I only gave them enough food to feed her the regular amount so they were feeding her Mia's senior dog food. I told them I don't feed her that much because she was gaining weight slowly but I didn't think it was healthy for her to gain a lot of weight quickly. They told me I was starving her- even my boyfriend agreed. She was skin and bones when I got her! She's gained over a pound since this summer which is a lot for a 6 lbs dog! I don't know how anyone could say I'm starving her if she's GAINING weight. So they basically attacked me for that.

And then I saw she was walking stiffly on her hind left leg and it was a little bent and I asked them if she hurt herself. They said she had a leg spasm when she was outside in the cold and she had started screaming. I don't know why that happened but I'm concerned that we aren't going to be able to do agility now. And if she's having leg problems there's another reason why she shouldn't be gaining too much weight too quickly. But again, no one agreed with me.

Then my mom brought up that she was terrified ("petrified" was the word she used) of the harness and implied that we might be scaring her or hurting her (ie abusing her) with it. Delilah's always been like that since we got her. Whenever you ask her if she wants to go out or show her the leash she starts trotting in circles around the room until she finally gives up and waits by the door in an almost cowering position. We've played harness touching and leash clipping games, and she really likes going on walks, hikes, and car rides once we get out there, but she still hates actually going out. But my mom kept implying that I was doing something wrong and scaring her.

I got very upset and took the dog and her stuff and left.

Then lastly on the way home my boyfriend said that maybe my training methods aren't good for her and that I don't know as much about dogs as I think I do. He said when people come over we should let her bark at them and get over it rather than keeping her in a separate room or at a distance and working with her. Not just in that situation, but he thinks I'm not good at training her in general because of all of the issues she has.

I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm doing everything wrong and maybe I shouldn't have gotten a dog in the first place. And even if I am right, my whole family still thinks I'm wrong and is ganging up against me. She wasn't even happy to see me after I was gone for several days, it was like she had forgotten who I was.
 

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You're a bad trainer because your dog has issues? I guess every parent of an adopted foster child with emotional problems must be a bad parent because the problems don't disappear.

The general public does not know about basic dog psychology, good training, or what a healthy weight should be. Most people's perception of a "Healthy" dog, is a fat dog. It's not good for your dog's health, (especially a small one!) for her to be fat. I also think it's wrong for someone to allow a dog to behave badly and upset guests by barking or jumping because the dog is naturally inclined to do that. Dogs are naturally inclined to relieve themselves indoors and chew on the furniture too but we train that out of them.

I think it sounds like you're doing the right things with Mia, but your family doesn't understand. People expect immediate results with everything, but people expect things like dog training to move A LOT faster than it does because of TV shows and things like that. I think you just need to keep your chin up and be determined, and don't leave Mia with your parents again for an extended period!
 

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I'm so sorry this happened to you. I agree with @traciek88, people seem to think dog training should take effect in a nice 30 minute slot and then you have the perfect dog, that is not reality unfortunately.

I get shamed a lot by my sister, who loves CM, and my mom who does no training/exercises with Tessa other than feeding her treats like she's a pez dispenser, so I understand your feelings of "Maybe I'm wrong". But you're not. You have Delilah's best interest a heart, you've done a lot of research, and you are putting in a lot of effort. Sometimes, when you don't have that 100% perfect dog, people feel the need to input their thoughts an opinions. Most of the time it's not needed and hurtful. I've had little luck sitting my mother down and going over what I expect from my dog, what I've been doing to help her - it's helped a little with stopping her seconding my sister's suggestion. My sister on the other hand, well I just all out ignore her.
 

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I am so sorry. I know how stressful it is. I've found that when it comes to a dog with behavioral issues, everyone's got an opinion on how the dog should be fixed. Funnily enough, most of these people have never dealt with a dog like that and probably would pull their hair out if they had to, but because they've had dogs in general and their dogs were fine, suddenly they are an authority.

Honestly, I could be a bit like that myself, before. I had dogs that were just good. A couple had some fear issues - my Lab hated thunder/gunshots and my terrier could be nervous around new people - but both didn't have massive reactions and both recovered very quickly from their fears. So here I am thinking that ALL dogs just needed this or that or whatever worked for my dogs, but honestly, those two dogs just had coping skills. They were better at recovering from their fears; better at assessing a situation.

Obviously, Chisum turned it all upside down. And with Chisum, I get comments occasionally that I am doing something wrong. Mostly from my brother, who isn't really invested in dogs and believes punishment is effective - that they should know better. I don't agree, but it's not much of an issue. Thankfully my parents, despite my guy's issues, are pretty supportive of the things he can do.

In my experience (and as I've learned and said, every dog is different) just allowing a dog to bark isn't terribly helpful UNLESS those coping skills are in place and the dog is in a good place cognitively. My terrier mix can be allowed to bark, because even when she's giving off a few barks, she's investigating and once she sniffs a person she's fine for the rest of the time. Obviously, letting Chisum bark doesn't work because he's not learning anything and is just working himself up into a state that he won't recover from for a good long while.

Chisum hasn't ever not recognized me, but then he's super-duper bonded and has been since day one. He loves my mother, my brother, my father, and my brother's girlfriend but if they leave for a few days it takes him awhile to warm back up, but he's gotten better. It just takes time.

At the end of the day, you have to steel your jaw and do what is best for YOUR dog. Sometimes even so-called "professionals" will disagree (but in that case, I think it's helpful to delve into their advice and logically decide why YOU don't).

You're doing great things with this little girl, and I just know in a year you'll look back at the progress she's made with pride. Just keep doin' you, and I hope her leg gets to feeling better!
 

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Your mom overfed your dog for a few days--this is not something worth destroying your relationship over.

Your mom has made observations that you don't seem to like and you've taken them way too far. Remember dogs are funny creatures and CAN AND DO act up for others.

My dog NEVER, and do mean NEVER counter surfed. She did, and still does, free feed at my home. She rarely barks--never at people and LOVES her e-coller (I only use the sound). So much so that my mere touching it to move it usualy generates psyco-excited dog.

Well, someone else watched her---she ate 3 bowls of food in a day (typically she eats one), countersurfed, barked to beg for food and absolutely refused to let this person put her e-coller back on.

It sounds like Delilah was a handful for your mom and has her wondering just what you're doing. Given what she said I'd be concerned, too. Do you understand just how gut-wrenching it is to see a normally happy dog cower? You've grown used to it, your mom hasn't. She'd be crazy not to be concerned. If a dog has a particularly unusual behavior, it's good to show someone this behavior before they encounter it themselves.

I do think your boyfriend was out of line, though. It's one thing for a dog to act up/act out at a different place, it's another for someone who lives with you to decide now is the time to dispute training methods.

Oh and lastly---people should know this, but it's common that dogs who have previously been abandoned don't greet returning owners with joy. I've had my dog 7 years and left her a few times. The first time I'd only left her overnight and she didn't want to have anything to do with me for an entire week.
 

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Sadly, Delilah has made a lot of progress, but everyone seems blind to that. She's not very reactive on leash anymore, she's much more confident, and I've taught her lots of tricks and obedience commands. But no one sees that, they only seem to see all of the problems she still has.

Your mom overfed your dog for a few days--this is not something worth destroying your relationship over.
It's not that she overfed her, it's the things she said that suggest I'm abusing her that made me mad. Saying that I'm starving her, saying that something I have done must have made her afraid of her harness. Never mind that she was a rescue and we don't know anything about her past, clearly, it must be how I treat her. They didn't take care of her the way I expected them too and then attacked me with assumptions about how I treat my dog.

Not only that, but it was EVERYONE against me- my parents and my boyfriend- and those are really the only relationships I have.
 

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Sadly, Delilah has made a lot of progress, but everyone seems blind to that. She's not very reactive on leash anymore, she's much more confident, and I've taught her lots of tricks and obedience commands. But no one sees that, they only seem to see all of the problems she still has.



It's not that she overfed her, it's the things she said that suggest I'm abusing her that made me mad. Saying that I'm starving her, saying that something I have done must have made her afraid of her harness. Never mind that she was a rescue and we don't know anything about her past, clearly, it must be how I treat her. They didn't take care of her the way I expected them too and then attacked me with assumptions about how I treat my dog.

Not only that, but it was EVERYONE against me- my parents and my boyfriend- and those are really the only relationships I have.

Look, your dog aced badly. It sounds like your mom had no idea of the issues that your dog really had. Good grief, your dog acted starving and your dog cowered while being asked to go outdoors. That sounds like an absolutely miserable weekend. This is not normal behavior, and you know it. You're just accustomed to it. You're mad because you feel unsupported, well sure! Your mom had a very long weekend with dog that seemed absolutely miserable. She has every right to be concerned. Sure, your dog has come a long way, but your parents didn't seem to have any idea of that. Your dog has many, many issues that need to be dealt with with the utmost care. But just giving care instructions with no reasoning dosn't help anyone.

I also said your boyfriend was out of line. Your parents do not live with the dog and made some very reasonable judgements given what they knew.
 

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@revolutionrocknroll -- it's funny, my parents (especially my mom) is actually the one that is constantly telling me about all the progress Chisum has made where I often have trouble seeing it. I think some people (*cough* people like me) are more predisposed to latching onto the negative, making it harder to see the positive.

It's one thing to be concerned; it's another to absolutely attack someone. Having raised you, I'd imagine that they know you're not an animal abuser and therefore the attack on you was unwarranted.

I'm curious, did anyone (aside from your boyfriend) offer "alternative suggestions" as to what THEY would do in your situation, or did they just decide to say you're doing everything wrong but they don't know what to do either? It may be that they have an idea of what a dog should be, but aren't sure how to get there, which may be frustrating. Did they have a dog before your family got Mia? From what I recall, you've said that Mia is/was a pretty easy dog (my heart dog, a Sheltie, was exactly the same way!) and I think it's really, really hard to transition from a dog that is just inherently well behaved to one that needs so much support. If your parents didn't have any troublesome dogs before Mia, it may be they just don't understand that troubled dogs even exist - a lot of people think that the way you treat the dog is 100% the answer. Not knowing where Delilah came from, it may have something to do with her past or she just may be a different kind of dog.

I do agree with the above poster that maybe her past is why she doesn't seem as attached to you - if she never bonded to someone before, it may be hard for her now.

I think you're doing awesome things with her, and they will pay off. Hopefully someday your family takes notice :)
 

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I wouldn't say your dog acted badly, she acted the only way she knows how. And your mom, did the best she could with what she knows.

You are taking this personally, as a reflection on you as her owner. Don't. If you feel confident with how you are dealing with Delilah's issues, it shouldn't matter what others think. If you think that your training might need some tweaking, then use this as an opportunity to explore other and new things to try.
 

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Look, your dog aced badly. It sounds like your mom had no idea of the issues that your dog really had. Good grief, your dog acted starving and your dog cowered while being asked to go outdoors. That sounds like an absolutely miserable weekend. This is not normal behavior, and you know it. You're just accustomed to it. You're mad because you feel unsupported, well sure! Your mom had a very long weekend with dog that seemed absolutely miserable. She has every right to be concerned. Sure, your dog has come a long way, but your parents didn't seem to have any idea of that. Your dog has many, many issues that need to be dealt with with the utmost care. But just giving care instructions with no reasoning dosn't help anyone.

I also said your boyfriend was out of line. Your parents do not live with the dog and made some very reasonable judgements given what they knew.
I don't think you understand the situation correctly. She wasn't miserable, my parents know what's been going on. We live very close to each other so they've known her from the start.

The thing is, my parents said she was perfect when they were watching her other than a few accidents in the house. She wasn't a nightmare. She didn't even cry in her crate. She spent the whole time playing and following my mom around. That's part of the reason why they think they're right and I'm wrong, because I've told them about her issues but she didn't display any of them when she was with them. Other then like the leash thing and yapping at me when I came back. And that's also why I'm wondering if I really am wrong.

She didn't act starving. Of course she ate when they fed her- she's a dog! They think I'm starving her because they can still see her ribs and part of her spine. But she's really looking so much better than when I got her. And the spine- her back's bent weirdly so you can see some vertebrae poking through. When I first got her you could see every bone. And they know that. They had met her pretty early on, so they KNOW she's been gaining weight. We live 15 minutes away from them, we visit them almost every weekend. They know what's been going on, they just think they know better than me and that the way I do things is hurting my dog and they don't listen to me when I try to explain why I do things a certain way.

They took the opportunity to attack me about everything. It's been so frustrating dealing with a dog with so many issues and I've put a lot of time and money into her training and health, and now they're all telling me that everything I've been doing is wrong. I went to school for animal science and psychology (focusing on behavior and learning theory) and have been working professionally with dogs for 5+ years and they think I have no idea what I'm doing- I don't think it's unreasonable for me to find that offensive.
 

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Perhaps Delilah acted the way she did because your mom expected her to. Dogs reflect back to us our emotions and feelings. You are very focused on, maybe even invested in, her "issues", and your mom isn't.
 

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@revolutionrocknroll -- it's funny, my parents (especially my mom) is actually the one that is constantly telling me about all the progress Chisum has made where I often have trouble seeing it. I think some people (*cough* people like me) are more predisposed to latching onto the negative, making it harder to see the positive.

It's one thing to be concerned; it's another to absolutely attack someone. Having raised you, I'd imagine that they know you're not an animal abuser and therefore the attack on you was unwarranted.

I'm curious, did anyone (aside from your boyfriend) offer "alternative suggestions" as to what THEY would do in your situation, or did they just decide to say you're doing everything wrong but they don't know what to do either? It may be that they have an idea of what a dog should be, but aren't sure how to get there, which may be frustrating. Did they have a dog before your family got Mia? From what I recall, you've said that Mia is/was a pretty easy dog (my heart dog, a Sheltie, was exactly the same way!) and I think it's really, really hard to transition from a dog that is just inherently well behaved to one that needs so much support. If your parents didn't have any troublesome dogs before Mia, it may be they just don't understand that troubled dogs even exist - a lot of people think that the way you treat the dog is 100% the answer. Not knowing where Delilah came from, it may have something to do with her past or she just may be a different kind of dog.

I do agree with the above poster that maybe her past is why she doesn't seem as attached to you - if she never bonded to someone before, it may be hard for her now.

I think you're doing awesome things with her, and they will pay off. Hopefully someday your family takes notice :)
My parents think the same thing as my boyfriend- I should let her go up and see the people she's reacting to and let her yap it out and eventually she'll get over it. I don't think that's going to work. She's very persistent, she doesn't give up easily. I also don't think it's a good thing to let her practice that behavior at all. I try to manage it so that she doesn't have to interact directly with strangers. My parents have had a lot of dogs- my grandma bred labs and springers when my mom was growing up. But they've always had "easy" dogs- a lot of goofy, laid back labs and our last dog before Mia was a lab mix who was a complete sweetheart. None of them have any experience with "problem" dogs- their dogs have all been the stereotypical well behaved family pet. They think she'll just "figure it out."

I have no idea why they were saying I was doing abusive things to my dog. I think they just disagree with how I've been training her and taking care of her and maybe they compared it to abuse to make me upset and think that they're right?

Perhaps Delilah acted the way she did because your mom expected her to. Dogs reflect back to us our emotions and feelings. You are very focused on, maybe even invested in, her "issues", and your mom isn't.
I've wondered about that, but she didn't have issues in the very beginning. She seemed perfect for the first week or so and I just worked on getting her adjusted to her new home. So I thought I had gotten very lucky. But then within a couple of weeks she started getting very reactive on leash and off when people put any sort of social pressure on her, or even if they were just near by. We did a lot of work with the on leash reactivity because we live in a city so it was easy to find a distance away from people and play the LAT game and do some confidence building and impulse control exercises as people walked past. She's gotten much better about that but will still sometimes react when people are... paying attention to her(looking at her, talking to her, etc). Her main issue right now is reactivity indoors when a stranger comes into the house (even if they ignore her and don't go near her). My parents didn't see that because they didn't have anyone over. I haven't been able to do any work with that because it's harder to stage situations like that when you don't really know anyone willing to help you out. She has some other mild issues like some minor resource guarding that have actually been pretty easy to manage.

But I'm anxious myself and I try to be calm when I work with her, I just really hope my personality isn't rubbing off on her. She is making progress, it's just hard.
 

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revolutionrockandroll,

I'm sorry to hear how everything turned out. I'm sure the negative comments you received made coming home a really unhappy time for you.

The problem with "venting" on a message board is that just about anyone, and everyone, whether they have any idea of who you are or how much effort you've invested into your dog can chime in and voice an opinion. Sometimes, a better option is to send a PM or two to those members who understand you and would be more supportive.

I hope you start to feel better soon. Hugs to you. :huddle:
 

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My vet actually suggested that my anxiety was rubbing off on Chisum. Would make sense except for the fact that I've had anxiety for *years* and all of my other dogs have been just fine.

I do think that dogs can pick up on emotions, but I also think it's unfair to suggest that your anxiety is somehow destroying your dog. It's not.

When you mentioned that she was well-behaved at your parents' house, I wondered if they just hadn't put her in a situation that would trigger her. Chisum generally does pretty well here at my parents' house because it's in the country and there aren't really any guests that come over on a regular basis. I'm working with him in the hope that when *I* move to town he can come with as right now town is very difficult for him. So it's easy for my parents to say that he's doing fine - here, he is.

How often do you have people over to your house? If it's enough that her indoor reactivity is a problem, I'd just use people who were planning on coming over anyway to help with setups. Maybe offer to buy them dinner if they'd be willing to come over a bit more frequently. If you don't have people over terribly often, maybe it would make more sense to focus your effort on in-public situations instead. You may even get lucky and figure out something that helps distract/calm her when you're walking - like tug, or a game of fetch, or something that you could then try to employ when people come into your house.
 

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I must get on laptop to reply because last year I had situation where Jess went weird too
 

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My boyfriend and I left Delilah for the first time while we went to NYC for a few days this week. We left her with my parents.

We were expecting her to be happy when we got back like a normal dog. When we come home from work she explodes with happiness and starts sprinting in circles and flinging herself off of furniture. She didn't do this. She yapped at us (and particularly me) like she does when she's scared of someone- low posture, a snarly yapping noise, coming up to me and then running away. She started kissing my boyfriend once she recognized him but was very upset with me for some reason.

And then I found out my mom had been feeding her more than what I instructed. She looked physically fatter. And I only gave them enough food to feed her the regular amount so they were feeding her Mia's senior dog food. I told them I don't feed her that much because she was gaining weight slowly but I didn't think it was healthy for her to gain a lot of weight quickly. They told me I was starving her- even my boyfriend agreed. She was skin and bones when I got her! She's gained over a pound since this summer which is a lot for a 6 lbs dog! I don't know how anyone could say I'm starving her if she's GAINING weight. So they basically attacked me for that.

And then I saw she was walking stiffly on her hind left leg and it was a little bent and I asked them if she hurt herself. They said she had a leg spasm when she was outside in the cold and she had started screaming. I don't know why that happened but I'm concerned that we aren't going to be able to do agility now. And if she's having leg problems there's another reason why she shouldn't be gaining too much weight too quickly. But again, no one agreed with me.

Then my mom brought up that she was terrified ("petrified" was the word she used) of the harness and implied that we might be scaring her or hurting her (ie abusing her) with it. Delilah's always been like that since we got her. Whenever you ask her if she wants to go out or show her the leash she starts trotting in circles around the room until she finally gives up and waits by the door in an almost cowering position. We've played harness touching and leash clipping games, and she really likes going on walks, hikes, and car rides once we get out there, but she still hates actually going out. But my mom kept implying that I was doing something wrong and scaring her.

I got very upset and took the dog and her stuff and left.

Then lastly on the way home my boyfriend said that maybe my training methods aren't good for her and that I don't know as much about dogs as I think I do. He said when people come over we should let her bark at them and get over it rather than keeping her in a separate room or at a distance and working with her. Not just in that situation, but he thinks I'm not good at training her in general because of all of the issues she has.

I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm doing everything wrong and maybe I shouldn't have gotten a dog in the first place. And even if I am right, my whole family still thinks I'm wrong and is ganging up against me. She wasn't even happy to see me after I was gone for several days, it was like she had forgotten who I was.
Oh meghan big :huddle: thats awful. ive had similar situations with my family and Jessie for example when i had her tethered to me whilst housebreaking her they took it so personally thinking i didnt trust them but i was following advice that if i cant keep a eye on her to tether her to me to help me know when she needs to go out. I ended up having to not do that at parents but keep lead on and on the floor. I wasnt allowed to do a few things with her because it made them upset.

Also do you remember when i had to leave Jessie for 5 weeks last april and her groomer who she goes to very reguarly offered to take care of her for that time? well within a few days of my going and please note Jessie is fully housetrained relaxed, calm sweet loving dog. Well within a few days of me being away she was weeing and pooing all the time in the house even though the doors were open and the groomer frequently got her out Jess would go wee or whatever then go back inside and do it again! so not like her its like puppy again.

Then Jess was crying for me waiting at the door looking out the windows. When i got back Jessie thankfully was over the moon to see me and licked me to death and was her normal self no accidents at mine or parents! So it was anxiety for her and i was wondering if deliah displayed so much of anxiety that your parents were overwhelmed?

Also i dont want you to take this wrong way but people with disabilities especially with any form of autism or aspergers can take things wrong because i always take things to heart and like they think im not doing good enough etc.

In this case i think your parents are concerned that a harness isnt right for deliah and might think a halti would be better? i dont think they mean to imply your abusing her. parents need to realise that dogs act differently in different places with even family tehy know and love. Maybe tehy really think the harness is hurting her somehow eg chaffing her or deliah see it as threatning or hurtful who knows? Jessie aint keen on the harness but now im just turning my head away or say stand stay and she will half bow down and let me approach with harness and put it on then she is happy to go for walkies! it sounds like deliah is similar to Jessie.

Also dont forget with being a female dog(an a rescue?) if im right she is rebelling with being a teenager so back to basics 101 for training and just really stick at your training. YOU know whats best for her your her mum and a damn great one!

If she was left alone too often before you got her then maybe she felt strongly about it and wasnt sure if you would come back adn therefore mad as hell with you about it?

Re your mum feeding her more food: id get deliah weighed and vet to assess body condition for peace of mind/re assurance then get her back to her normal weight and ask the vet then what they think. Your parents need to realise some dogs are even at ideal weight bony. Even Jessie at her ideal weight 5.6kg/5.7kg you can feel her spine but i got told early on by vets and parents that her breeds are bony and it doesnt mean i need to get Jessie to 7kg as that would be overweight and thats last thing you need.

Im concerned about the leg surely if she was screaming in pain they should of got her to after hour vet or rang a vet for advice!? i wonder if its patella luxation try this if you try to move and flex the leg up and down does it click and is her head going around to protect it?

your parents are concerned and im sure if they helped concieve you and raise you they shouldnt think you would do such thing as abuse her?! I do think when its cooled down you all sit down and you tell them all how hard its been for you how she isnt easy to train what you acheived and how and remind them you are a very good owner to deliah and you love her and feel your being accused of abusing her( im sure this will throw them in shock) and that she has never liked the harness and you are teaching her to like it.

Just be honest with them its not easy but if they know your struggling they might want to try help you. I wonder if she was in her own home things might have been different? i had in august when went away to taupo for a week someone dog sit Jess at parents with charlie and she was good as gold very happy and well taken care of and no problems.

Also how often do you leave deliah with your parents? if not at all or often maybe you need to start leaving her for 30 mins and so on to get her more used to it and to show your coming back if you havent already?

if my brother has Jessie and he lives next door to me since 11 months ago now heck thats gone fast! well Jessie will sit and moan and cry at the sliding door looking for me. you see what i mean by dogs react different in different enviroments?

I hope this has helped i just think your paretns are concerned you arent feeding enough and deliah associate bad things with harnesses.
 

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btw please feel free to message me on facebook anytime esp if you need to vent or anything because i need my mind to be taken off my mum being in UK and to help time pass more slowly but im also your friend with the same or simialr disability and difficulties and understand you. Also parents had a fox terrier he wasnt easy either and Jessie well she threw me such challenges i was going to give her up to a shelter! thankfully members here had faith in me and talked me out of it! am i ever thankful
 

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I totally understand your frustration. My dad keeps on criticising me for not being able to fully loose leash train my 6 month old puppy. I've been working on it everyday for the past 2-3 months and he is perfect in the house but still pulls outside. It's so frustrating hearing them complain all the time when they aren't the ones doing the training.

Parents usually don't understand unless they are dog people themselves (done their own research etc). Just because you explain the reasoning behind your actions and decisions does not always mean that you can change your mind. Forcefully trying to persuade them can build resentment like my family so I've stopped being too full on. I explain the reasoning and it is up to them to take on the advice. I still get pretty frustrated at times e.g. telling them that my dog does not need to play with other dogs at dog parks or on the street when I'm currently trying to desensitize and neutralize him to other dog's presence on our walks. My dad thought it was okay for another unleashed dog to rudely run up to my leashed dog so that my dog could learn how to fight and defend himself. I nearly went berserk at my dad and spent a long time trying to convince him that we need to bring something on our walks to defend our dog. It kind of worked but I think it's hard to try and get people to understand sometimes when they strongly believe they are right.
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My parents think the same thing as my boyfriend- I should let her go up and see the people she's reacting to and let her yap it out and eventually she'll get over it. I don't think that's going to work. She's very persistent, she doesn't give up easily. I also don't think it's a good thing to let her practice that behavior at all. I try to manage it so that she doesn't have to interact directly with strangers. My parents have had a lot of dogs- my grandma bred labs and springers when my mom was growing up. But they've always had "easy" dogs- a lot of goofy, laid back labs and our last dog before Mia was a lab mix who was a complete sweetheart. None of them have any experience with "problem" dogs- their dogs have all been the stereotypical well behaved family pet. They think she'll just "figure it out."

I have no idea why they were saying I was doing abusive things to my dog. I think they just disagree with how I've been training her and taking care of her and maybe they compared it to abuse to make me upset and think that they're right?



I've wondered about that, but she didn't have issues in the very beginning. She seemed perfect for the first week or so and I just worked on getting her adjusted to her new home. So I thought I had gotten very lucky. But then within a couple of weeks she started getting very reactive on leash and off when people put any sort of social pressure on her, or even if they were just near by. We did a lot of work with the on leash reactivity because we live in a city so it was easy to find a distance away from people and play the LAT game and do some confidence building and impulse control exercises as people walked past. She's gotten much better about that but will still sometimes react when people are... paying attention to her(looking at her, talking to her, etc). Her main issue right now is reactivity indoors when a stranger comes into the house (even if they ignore her and don't go near her). My parents didn't see that because they didn't have anyone over. I haven't been able to do any work with that because it's harder to stage situations like that when you don't really know anyone willing to help you out. She has some other mild issues like some minor resource guarding that have actually been pretty easy to manage.

But I'm anxious myself and I try to be calm when I work with her, I just really hope my personality isn't rubbing off on her. She is making progress, it's just hard.
When I read your previous post I was going to ask how she was when you first adopted her, but you answered it here:thumbsup:

I'm willing to bet whatever you want that if you left her with your mom for a month or so Delilah would start acting with her the exact same way she acts with you and your mom would not be able to handle her even half as well as you do.

You are not being abusive to her, and you are not mishandling her, you are helping her learn that the world is a safe place, and as I've learned with Zody it isn't a fast process, and it'a very often a 3 step forward, 2 step back, sometimes even 4 steps back, frustrating process. Do you journal? If you do try journaling about her progress, it may really help you to see how far she's come.

With the food issue, drag your boyfriend to the vet and have the vet explain appropriate weight gain and how slow and steady is the way to go, that overfeeding can be detrimental to her health. For your mom print out whatever you can find on the subject and give it to her to read. It sucks that they could not follow simple feeding instructions, and stuff like that is the reason I tend to kennel my dog. I've had people ignore care instructions and it's so frustrating.

Don't worry to much about her not greeting you. To this day Zody is hit or miss in the greeting department and I had to learn that that's just how he is, and I had to learn to stop taking it personally, but oh how hard it was and how I'd love to once again have a dog that acts happy to see me when I come through the door:( It's the way he is though and it just might be the was Delilah is, or she may change as more time passes and come to act thrilled when you come home.

I really hope that her leg is alright and that she did not do any permanent damage to it.
 
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@revolutionrocknroll - I'm sorry you felt gained up on, that sucks. Thankfully my family is pretty respectful of my choices with my dogs (My MIL is a whoooooole other story). That being said, I've had lots of strangers come up and tell me Levi is way too thin, especially when they see him when wet. It sucks, but I try not to let it get to me, since the vet says he's perfect.
Ultimately, you're a great pet owner doing all you can for your dogs, so don't beat yourself up. Take her to the vet, and see about her leg, but keep on keeping on - you're doing great.
When we picked up Levi and Heidi from the boarders, Levi was overjoyed, and Heidi just wanted to chase the cat. Zero interest in us. I was definitely sad.
 
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