I have heard of people that literally cut their door off at upper 1/3 and attach a permanent gate there. I got a gate that was the same height as my door was wide, and super long. I used metal ties to keep it from close, the put the eye nails and snapped it into it. I am not sure if that is even sturdy enough. You can have metal gates made to your specification to latch onto the door frame.
I'm not against flying, but if someone wanted my puppy and was only 12 hours away, and not willing to come get it, I'd consider a new home. It's not that big to drive to the pup, get a good night sleep, then drive home with it bonding. Or get a friend to go with you. If driving is particularly hard for you, then flying with pup in coach would be 2nd option.
I drove nearly 15 hours to take a baby pig, a rottie puppy and my 4 yr old child from GA to NJ to my sister.
I can’t imagine he lives happily with such anxiety.
I know for myself, I’ll never get another dog as I feel I’ve failed my commitment and responsibility...but it can sometimes be too much. I still treat him and give him the best everyday and love him endlessly but I know my own value as well.
You did NOT FAIL. You didn't create his issues, they are probably genetic/biologic-based and you have done more than most on earth would do. There is a question of quality of life. Not one person on earth but you get to decide. You earned that right because you didn't fail in responsibility or commitment. As for another dog... may the right dog walk into your life and change your mind. One that gives and receives the joy that you deserve.
People are going to judge. It is human nature. Positive or negative, folks have opinions about what others do. I cannot imagine living your life, the dedication you have put into it. But I hope whatever you decide, you don't let others make you feel bad. You have done all you can and far more than most would ever have done.
Doing rescue, most of us rarely see your kind of dedication. I wish it were harder on some for whom getting rid of a pet is so easy. It's not just the US, take a look at even France, Germany and Italy and the stats on getting pets then putting out on the road at vacation time. Public media has helped, but how could anyone be okay with that? From getting new carpeting and the dog hair stands out to having a dog for 12 years but now having a baby and no time for the dog, to you name it. So no, I don't think giving up a dog is that hard for many people.
When someone wants to place a dog and is trying to do it responsibly, like the OP, then yes, we need to not judge. But I do think if someone posts on a public forum saying they are only trying to place the dog because of concern for the dog's happiness, then they should expect, in fact want, to be asked about options that would allow them to keep an older dog, because it is so hard on the animal and if they can be supported to find a way, then suggestions are not judging but trying to offer options. If the OP really is concerned about the dog's welfare, they can say the breeder is not an option, and suggestions won't work for their situation. Nothing was asked here that a responsible rescue won't also ask.
As for your situation, you make your own decisions about what is best. But it is heartbreaking that you suffer taking care of Oakley at such an expense to your own happiness. You need to take care of yourself too. (( Hugs ))
First B had an obsession with squeaky toys. She would sit and just squeak it for up to 20 minutes at a time. She also played fetch indoors, not out. But her fave toy was chewing on my poor Rottie like he was a yak milk bone. Then we got the 2nd basenji. Her joy in life was gutting toys. I spent a lot of time restuffing toys, checking for new holes etc.Chew bones were okay. Third basenji plays fetch inside, likes to ball you put treats into, and that's it. All three loved the lunging whip. We tied a scarf or something to the end and they ran until they were exhausted. I tried putting up little jumps but none would do them. Cara's favorite toy is the Samoyed. She loves to butt bump him, rear, twist and go nuts. I'm sure she knows we got him just for her.
The easiest way to teach to use a bell is with the "touch" command. When it's time to take them out to potty, I give the touch command and out we go. They learn quickly to signal for pottying. If we go out and the dog lied, lol, no treat. Works easier with a female since the males' hollow leg lets them pee every time.
We do a routine with pups.. every time they wake up, eat, or play, immediately out they go.Once their bladders have better control, the bell makes it easy for one to signal if they need an extra potty. I hate the idea of them holding it in because they can't tell anyone what they want.
Here are Mary's instructions on targeting (touch). If you check to the left and right, she has a lot of other training instructions:
If they do their homework and know what they are getting into I think they should get the dog they want. If someone has always dreamed of an Akita how many labs must they own before they can have one? Level one lab, level 2 GSD, level 3 Akita? Nah. Sure there are people who are drawn to powerful breeds and have no business owning a dog at all let alone a more challenging breed. I know a lot of great dog people who’ve started out with them and do wonderful. Right person who gets the right dog from the right breeder
With that scenario, you are right. Especially if they fostered, had friends with them, actual experience. I hate comparing children to dogs, but your point is appropriate. Everyone who has a child is a "first timer". I'm just locked on the damage a wrong call can end up with when it's a powerful dog.
Having worked in rescue so long, as well as breeding, I find woefully few who do the work. But I've said here before... I was beyond dog savvy, with hard dogs and dominant breeds. I laughed at the idea of some 25 pound dog challenging me. We all know how that went. Thanks for the redirect.
Taking eeeefarm's advice...
So it is clear... clarifying my post:
- I assigned NO MOTIVE.
- I suggested how to keep the dog happy if the poster AND student with dog. Again, no motive or criticism intended
- I suggested a rescue, and that if she had to use other rescues, try to keep the dog and personally check new homes.
- I also told her to check on facebook as someone asking about the dog.
Because I used to share a snarky-titled articled named "Picky eaters are made, not born" I got a basenji with very low appetite. But I have not seen it in puppies. It is good that you can get your pup to eat.. indicates a "making a picky eater" issue. Give food for 15 mins, pick it up, offer again at next meal time. If the pup still doesn't eat, please get a vet to check him over.
Everyone makes mistakes. Food guarding/possessiveness is a real thing, often not even an alpha issue. It is actually a survivalist characteristic. I never blame the dogs, it has always been my own carelessness.
Pam Hamilton took on training a pretty much feral group of dogs and seeing them eat is inspiring. (video below). You can turn the food issue around. They can learn you own the food.
I'm lazier. I always fed dogs in their crates (Rottweilers, Chow, basenjis) until I got down to 2 dogs. Like tanza, they knew their spot and bowl and no stealing allowed. With treats, they learned to sit as I handed them out. My current basenji, Cara, is food aggressive with other dogs. When I give treats, she knows to go to my left and the Samoyed to the right. No treats til they are in their spots.
As for friends... some dogs are social butterflies, some limited doggie friends, some should be only dogs. You don't know how they'll gel til they have time. Give them time. Even if they don't bond, you are giving her a loving home. And even if he doesn't love her, they may both come to appreciate the company. Often dogs are unforgiving if hurt in a fight, but I personally find that more true with same sex. The breeders here may know better... trust them.
You can even do some work to change the neurological response. Usually I suggest it with cats or kids or bikes etc... but it can work here too. Crate one, or leash it to you. The moment the other comes in site, do a happy upbeat "YEAH" and toss both a treat (better if you have an accomplice so you can safely hand them one. Slowly but surely the sight of the other is "yum, treat" instead of "ready to fight". With a buddy, do the same thing several times a day in the yard, out for walks, etc. Don't bring near enough to fight... just close enough so you start rebuilding their responses. Plus, it helps to swap out who has which dog so they both get individual time with you.
As for spaying...I admit I've joined the "don't spay til you get the facts". At her age, most benefits are negligible. Plus, he knows she is intact... that may make him like her more.
When we got our first Samoyed, so many stressful things were going on, including my daughter leaving the country for 2 weeks. Pam too the dogs and worked with Cara and her dog aggression. Cujo walking amongst 15 plus basenjis, calm and confident, really made me cry happy tears. When we got Moose, he became her puppy. She adores him. She sometimes sounds like a tree-shredding machine gone wild, but she doesn't even leave wet places when she disciplines him. It can happen, just relax and let it come.
I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as a “1st time dog breed “.
I wouldn't place a Rottweiler, Chow, Akita and a lot of dominant dog breeds with a first-time owner. There are breeds that generally do need a more experienced owner. I also believe there are people who don't need to own a dog because their life situation simply doesn't make room for care of a dog.
But I absolutely agree that you're better getting the breed you want instead of what other people say you should get! I would choose a puppy owner in love with a breed and willing to make adjustments so it works over someone picking a dog for convenience any day.
Tone is almost impossible to read on a forum. Rule of thumb is if someone says something that is only mean/disrespectful/unkind through someone interpreting it that way, consider the issue is the one interpreting.
As for me, if I mean something harsh, no interpreting is necessary.