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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum but desperately needed some advice from dog lovers. I'm sorry if this post is a little long too...

I adopted my first dog, a 4yr old dalmatian 8 years ago. Was he perfect? No! But he was the love of my life! But I had always wanted a small dog and me and my fiance adopted a female chihuahua puppy when my dal was about 9. They got along well, my chi LOVED the dal and he liked her pretty well too. Last May I had to have my dal euthanized and it was devastating. So now for a year and a half it's just been me and my fiance and our chi and our cat. All this time I kept bugging my fiance for another big dog. He likes little dogs better (weird eh? lol) for a variety of reasons. We held off on adopting another dog because we we were moving to Australia (from Canada for my fiances job) and it was just too expensive to fly 3 pets here, have them quarantined etc.

We've been here for 3 months now and it has been a very difficult transition. I kept bugging him about getting a 2nd dog though and we went to the RSPCA "just to look". We ended up seeing a very sweet 1yr old male Golden Retriever X. We went back the next day and brought our chi (now 3.5 yrs old) to introduce them. Our chi was pretty scared but we figured she would get used to him since she loved our old dog so much. We needed to get approval from our landlord so we had to wait to get him. We waited all week and when we finally heard back from our landlord I called the RSPCA and the Golden had been adopted. I was absolutely devastated and cried and cried over a dog that hadn't even been mine!

I posted on a pet Facebook group in town that we were looking for a Golden Retriever and that we had seen a really sweet one at the shelter but that he had been adopted. A few days later the young lady that had adopted him messaged me asking if we still wanted him because she had adopted him without her moms permission and her mom was making her get rid of him. We immediately went and picked him up from her house and brought him home (not really prepared at all because we had thought we weren't going to get him).

So now it's been 2 weeks and I feel absolutely horrible about taking him and wondering if I made a mistake. He's a nice dog but I just don't feel a connection to him yet. Our chi was SO easy, well trained, she's got a great personality (other than being afraid of things......), she's so easy to walk and VERY laid back. The Golden is kind of hyper and untrained and he keeps trying to play with our chi who is NOT impressed. She bares her teeth at him when he gets in her face and he is too rough around her (he practically tramples her trying to get in the house past her). I feel like I've ruined my chi's (who is now the love of my life!) life and like I should have just been happy with what I had. I wanted so badly for her to have a playmate but now I'm afraid he's going to accidentally hurt her. I guess because our dal was older when we got the chi he was so much more gentle with her and our new guy is just kinda crazy!! He also follows me all around the house but instead of thinking it's cute I'm just upset because that's what my chi used to do and now she just stays away and sleeps in her bed or follows at a distance.

All I want to do is cry and I'm worried after bugging my fiance forEVER that I've made a huge mistake. I should also mention our poor cat has not left her cat tree since we adopted him (only to come out and eat/use the litter box after he's been locked up for bed). Will they ever become friends? Will I eventually love him and all his quirks? Please help! :(
 

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While I sympathize with you it's hard for me to hear your situation and not get frustrated.

It sounds like you were not ready for another dog, your boyfriend was not ready for another dog, you chi wasn't ready for another dog (especially even after his disapproval upon meeting the GR) but yet you got another dog. I feel extremely sad for this dog because not only was he adopted by a child who did it without her parents permission, but now he's been passed to some people that knew they weren't ready for one yet took him anyway and are now considering him a mistake.

Firstly - Goldens and Labs are known for having long puppy hoods - sometimes up to 2 years. This means hyper puppy stamina, hard time focusing, and in that year or two need a large amount of patient training and exercise.

Firstly - how much time do you walk your golden - realistically and honestly how much exercise does your golden get a day? What form of exercise is it? For many breeds a walk around the block for 15 minutes isn't enough. You have to consider a stimulating exercise as well as some mental exercise.

How much time do you actually set aside to train him? I would recommend 2-3 sessions a day each 15 minutes long. Look into clicker training, as well as the YouTube channel kikopup. Her methods are amazing and she uses positive reinforcement and clicker training. Clickers can be bought for like 75 cents at petco. I keep one attached to my keys.

http://youtu.be/_wv1uvvqaSw

I really urge you to not give up on this dog. A good way to build your chis confidence with him is to keep the golden gated to one area of the house and the chi in another. For the first week I brought Cosmo home I put up a gate barrier between the livingroom and dining room. Cosmo hung out in the livingroom and Wednesday walked around the rest of the house. That way they could get used to each other's presence with no contact. This will also help you remain a bond with your chi and car without the nervousness of being stomped on if the golden can't get to him while you and your chi/cat play and bond.

It will be important for your golden to learn how to be calm around the chi to avoid trampling and injury from a rambunctious pup. The video below is also from Kikopup and a method I'm still following with Cosmo and calm behavior.

http://youtu.be/wesm2OpE_2c

I would suggest crate training your golden so even when they do become accustomed, there are no accidental injuries when you can't supervise. Chihuahuas are very small and can be very fragile, and cats and dogs can be an issue as well. Crating your golden when they can't be supervise and getting him used to the crate now will be extremely helpful.

http://youtu.be/3uOmweA_iCE

That's a tutorial by Gone To The Snow Dogs, another wonderful trainer on YouTube.

At this point your golden is untrained, which you can use to your advantage. He's a sponge. He will learn quickly and eagerly, Goldens are eager to please. Choose a high value treat like some kind of meat (chicken or hot dog) or some cheese.

It can take a long time to bond with a dog, but by the sounds of it he's trying hard to bond with you (following you room to room makes me think he's Velcro and craves your presence and attention.) I would suggest getting ready for the responsibilities you should have known before on owning a young untrained shelter dog by brushing up on your training skills and learning with your dog as you both go! I think you'll find it extremely rewarding to have a well trained dog that you trained by yourself. Your bond will be stronger and you will have a nice well rounded golden. If worst comes to worst - consult a trainer! I would HIGHLY suggest signing up for a training class. They're extremely helpful and give a structured learning environment that is hard to achieve by yourself.

Good luck, please keep trying for this dog!
 
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