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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be honest. I have been very frustrated for the past couple months with Kuma. And it is partly our fault and part his past owner(s) fault.

What ever happened to Kuma's past (maybe it was the last owner, maybe it was his first owner who knows.) I just can't handle it any more. Hubby has been having the same problem and has been putting more pressure on me.
(He used to follow him when out in the tundra, but even with the suit and it being warm outside, he zoomed back to the vehicle and if hubby wasn't there, (Which he isn't becuase he left him.) he will go to the nearest house and go under it.) Then hubby has to call and look and call and look.

I had thought that after staying with us 1 plus year that he would learn to trust us with his safety. That he would feel he doesn't have to be afraid to walk near the side of the road, or run back to the van because he got spooked. That he would feel comfortable with us.

However, we both had it and feel that as much as we try, he just won't be the dog we had hoped he would be and if we are getting frustrated and angry with him, it's time to let him find a more suitable home.

I know this might seem nothing to some of the other people who had major problems, but keeping a dog when I get frustrated and seeing no results of a dog I was hoping he would turn into is frustrating. I was hoping with all the training, and all positive based that he would trust me enough to walk confidently with me on the side of the road until we reach a board walk to move away from the zooming, scary vehicles and to walk in the tundra without the leash and not zooming back to the van because he's scared of something that spooked it.

Yes, there are some good that came out, but it just doesn't over weigh what we wanted in a dog. hubby held it in for the longest time because he felt bad for Kuma and always told me we don't know what happened to him, but even he has his limits.

So, we've decided that he would probably be better with another family who only want a pet to stay and protect the house and to love on him all day. Probably someone who is retired and grandchildren who are older. Go ahead and bash me for something so little, but we've had it.

I am going to make a biography of Kuma so the new owners will know what they are getting into before they decide to adopt him. It will have all his faults, his successes, and what was worked on.

Thank you for those of you who don't bash me for something small. It's going to be hard on both of us because we invested so much time into him and getting frustrated and even at times hating him to the point that I want nothing to do with him. The worse thing is, it's not his fault. I just wish he wouldn't be so hung up on his past life. (It must have been really bad for him to maybe revert back to how he was?)
 

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It may be his past, or it may just be his past in the sense that genetically he's a nervous dog.

To be fair, I'd say Chisum is very bonded to me. He likes to stick with me. However, if he gets spooked by something he bolts too. It's not that he doesn't trust me, it's just that his flight instinct kicks in.

Are outdoor walks the only issue you've had or are other things frustrating you?
 

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First, I really am sorry you are this frustrated. I understand the disappointment of realizing a dog isn't going to live up to the expectations you had of dog ownership. I also understand the frustration that can come with owning a fearful dog as well as a dog who will bolt.

That said, I'm not really sure I would rehome in this situation...

For walks in the Tundra, I would just put him on a long line. If you don't want to hold a leash then tie it to or use a carabiner to clip onto your belt. It'll be a nice compromise... Kuma with freedom and you hands free, while still having control and preventing him from running off. It can also be used to train for and transition to off lead walks on the future.

For the fear of vehicles on the road, what have you been doing to address this?
 

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I completely understand being frustrated and feeling like a dog "should" have gotten over his fears at a certain point in time. Fearful reactions are hard to overcome and it has little to do with a dog somehow knowing they can trust you to keep them safe. Dogs don't actually have the ability to understand that we would keep them safe if they've developed a strong fear response to something. Animals survive because they have fear responses. Expecting to overcome that hard wiring because a dog should trust us is setting yourself up for disappointment. Sounds like this may be what has happened. Like somehow Kuma has let you and your husband down because he just can't get it. You're human, you have human expectations and I get that too.

Not everyone is cut out for a dog who needs a lot of D/CC to overcome their fears. Some dogs will never overcome certain fears completely. Most can be helped tremendously with the right training and management. It can certainly feel overwhelming for most dog owners.


I don't want to bash you for your decision. I would be very very cautious about who you choose to re-home him to. Fearful dogs often bolt and run and unless the person understands what they're dealing with and knows how important it is to keep the dog feeling safe and to keep him secure. Hope you can find the right person if you do decide that you're going to re-home him. Send them to the fearfuldogs.com FB page and website.
 

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Anyway you could keep him, but get a second dog more suited to what you would like to do with a dog?

I do get the frustration of having a dog run and hide, rather then look to it's person for safety and comfort. Zody does that and it's heartbreaking. It makes it incredibly hard to work on his fear since if I force him to stay out he panics. For what it's worth I've had him nearly 2 years now and he's just starting to choose to hide in the same room I'm in rather then going into the bedroom and hiding in there. It seems he takes comfort from being near me but feels safest if he can also hide.
 
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I agree with PoppyKenna that maybe he is genetically nervous.

Trucker is a bolter but I think I am okay with it since it is always in a safe direction to a safe spot (to the car, the house, the back yard, behind me). We are working on it and I hope that it won't be a forever thing or if it is that we can make it so he just goes behind me always, but we will see.

I defiantly don't fault you, he just doesn't fit your life style and you can't force that and it is causing all of you more stress. You are doing what you think is best for everyone involved why would someone bash you for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. I think it's my problem. Don't get me wrong, he's a good dog, but not the kind I wanted. Honestly, I think he would be happy as a sticky lap dog. One who won't force him to walk on the streets where he gets spooked very easily.

Counter conditioning has been a hit and miss because once he gets spooked thats it. He won't accept treats even the high value ones.

And it's not kumas fault its ours. Hubby would always get on my case when o try to do any kind of training and/or cc. "We don't know what he's been through, you can't teach a dog you never raised from a puppy anything." Dispite how I've proven him wrong.

Because of this and trying to both remember we don't know him and to train him, he's not fun anymore. I am getting frustrated even with little things trying to train him and retrain because hubby counterdics everything I've worked with and poisoning hand cues and having to retrain and it gets harder because the tricks he knew he ends up not knowing any more and throwing any and everything because that was what hubby did to undo everything I've worked on.

I envy my few friends who have dogs and walk them down the street with a confident dog.(and they don't do anything with them other then walking/running). Where as me, the dog nerd, tries to make kuma comfortable enough to walk down the road with others, plus training and cc, I'm beginning to regret having kuma.

It's really frustrating and is it really good to keep a dog you regret? I thought I would be able to handle all of kumas faults weather they were human made or gentics, but I'm finding I can't any more.

I tried to do good when we fostered him. I wanted to make him a good dog for his new aopted family and know all his quirks and work with them and hope to God they carry on the training.

I don't think it would be wise to keep a dog if you are not happy. (I'm sure even kuma is not fully happy any more based on how he's changed.) Maybe all this happened when we took him to anchorage because we couldn't find anyone who can watch him, plus we wanted a second opinion of another vet.

Don't worry. I am not going to hold anything back if we find a potential adopter. I'm going to list his faults, his pros, and how far he's come. I will not let them have any surprises when they get him.

Honestly I think he just needs a home who has a fensed in yard for him to do his business and be let back in and for him to nap all the time or sit on someone's lab and be loved on. Someone who doesn't have kids or grandkids or other animals.

As I've mentioned, I don't think I can handle a dog who wants to be home napping or always loved on the lab. My idea was to have a dog I can walk with, a dog who will jump at any toy to play, a dog who would follow me everywhere outside. (Of course by then we will have a new way of living and this might change once we move.) And I'm sorry, kuma is not any of that.

I don't want to be one of those owners who end up being miserable and just leave a dog in the corner and not pay any attention to him except to let him out and make sure he has food and water and gets little to no attention which I feel is going to happen. ( and I know we will try to love on him, but it won't be the same.) Is that a life for a dog?

Idk. I'm at a loss right now. Maybe we need to take a step back and really think about this. We already know we would miss him because we had him at the vets over night and we felt weird without him. We know it will be hard on both of us as well. Idk.
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Some dogs just do not work for all owners. Just like not every person is destined to get along with every other person. I don't think there should be any shame in responsibly rehoming a dog.
 
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I'm sorry it didn't work out :( Ignore people who are going to judge you for it-sometimes it just happens, and it sounds like he'd do great in a different home. This is about what's best for him, too. If you're unhappy things are more difficult compared to someone who simply doesn't care about those issues and is happy to work on them more slowly.
 

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Rehoming is sometimes in the dog's best interest. I don't want to make you feel bad, but honestly IDK in this case... it just sounds like with a couple changes you could enjoy those walks and time out and about with Kuma.

The running off has a fairly simple solution, a long line. Walking him on trails or other spots away from roads will help manage the fear of cars.

Toy drive can be built. Plus play doesn't have to include toys. Though in order to play, both ends do need to be pretty comfy... start at home and then bring play out and about in locations he is comfortable.

The issue you have with your husband screwing up training, isn't a problem with Kuma. It's with your husband. Unless you guys get on the same page, you are very likely to have the same problems in the future regardless of the individual dog.

There was something you liked about Kuma when you decided to adopt. Focus on the good and compromise a bit to help him succeed.

If you do decide to rehome, really be honest with yourself. Think long and hard before bringing home a new dog. No dog is perfect. Not without time and training, and even then still not perfect....
 
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