I didn't understand at first,
I thought she was misbehaving.
Grabbing the toilet paper and dashing out of the room...
Ripping (bigger) holes in the socks I left by the bed...
Chewing on the attachment to my hair dryer that never gets used...
I thought I was just learning about having a Basenji.
Then I caught her!
As she turned to look back half way down the hall...
I'd swear she had a laugh in her eyes.
With a "catch me if you can!" smirk on her face.
She wasn't trying to be a bad dog...
She just wanted me to play a bit with her.
So I knotted up that old ace bandage,
And we played "tug of war".
The material was stretchy,
Which just made it more fun.
We played a little bit.
She didn't need to grab more things.
Now we understand eachother.
She was only bored.
I am so proud of 'doodle' and I have to share this...
I have been taking doodle out for (typically) 3 mile walks (almost) every day for just about a year now. We cross several roads along our path and I have made it an iron clad rule that we stop and wait for all the cars to clear before we cross the road. We never run across with traffic coming. Never. We come to a stop and I give her our command, "wait". It's the only time I really ask her to wait, but the basic rule is that she remains next to me until I start walking again. Repititon, for almost a year.
So, we were on our walk this morning, passing along a row of tall hedges (that I could not see over) when doodle came to an abrupt stop, looking to the left. And just as she did, a white service truck pulled up to the edge of the driveway. The driver clutched his chest and said he didn't see my dog. But she was fine. She did exactly what we'd been working on with every walk. -- Do not walk in front of cars that are moving! --
I'm so proud of her for learning this valuable lesson! And I'm so relieved that a horrible accident was avoided this morning! Whew! WTG doodle!!!
@dres_actually My initial reccommendation is: stop the weekly dog bath. There is a good chance that the regular bathing is stripping away natural skin oils. So, skip them... try one every 3-6 months instead. If you feel like Sasha needs more grooming than that, use a boar bristle brush, or a damp microfiber towel instead.
It's easy to understand how you would be upset by the email you received. Anyone caring for an animal 3+ years would be quite attached. Give your nerves a couple of days to rest, then re-read the email - one line at a time if you have to - and try to make sure that you aren't reading anything into it. Not everyone is able to clearly communicate through writing, so there is always room for misinterpretation.
Based on what you've written, it sounds like BRAT is concerned that you are not providing proper care for Declan. (i.e.; the Cabergoline dosage, weight and diet differences.) The best outcome would be for you to be able to provide evidence to BRAT that Declan's condition has improved under your care. Maybe, just maybe, they would be satified with that.
Look for a (third party) vet that would be willing to examine Declan and his blood analysis. Preferably one who is willing to put his thoughts down on paper, or give you a copy of his notes. That could, potentially, provide you with something in writing that says Declan has responded well to his diet and lifestyle (and hopefully indicate that the cushings is in remission). Let the Vet's office know that you are making the appointment to get a second opinion on Declan's health. There is no reason, that I can think of, to discuss the foster care/BRAT aspect. Yes, you will have to be the one to pay for the visit. You aren't getting shots, so I'm guessing it would run about $50(?). Make sure you take information from his earlier visit(s) with you so the Vet has some point of reference for Declan's condition when he was originally diagnosed. Ask the Vet what kind of diet he would reccomend. Perhaps there is a less expensive option than what he is currently eating(?). Do some research, look for something you could try.
From the sounds of it, you are going to need to renegotiate your agreement with BRAT. So calm yourself down and prepare to discuss this logically, rationally, and professionally with them.
- You cannot know what kind of fiscal issues BRAT may/may not be having. Forget about attacking them on the basis of money (yours or theirs). Don't argue with them about that.
- You need to get all of Declan's paperwork in order. Be able to show them the difference between when you brought him home and how well he is doing now.
- Back up your reason for the 5.25mg/Cabergoline/week dosage with real evidence. Not how you think he's doing fine. What made you increase his dosage? Find the documentation for it. Not an article online, more like the vet recommended it on this visit (this date and time). Where were you getting this medication from in the first place? Someone prescribed it, right?
- Provide evidence that RC Satiety Support is "made from sawdust". Have an alternative suggestion ready.
- Ask BRAT how you can work with them to provide the stabilty they are seeking for Declan. There is a very real chance that they look at the less expensive UCCR testing as inadequate and feel like they can't really tell where Declan is in his "remission".
- Be prepared to agree to a diet regimine for Declan. 20#s overweight puts him at ~40+ pounds.... That's like a human weighing twice what they should. How could that possibly be healthy? (Heck! I've got my girl on a diet for a whopping 3 extra pounds!)
- Make an appointment with the BRAT approved Vet and get the same information you should/would get from a third party Vet. The Vet is there to advise you. If you blow off everything they say, then BRAT's defense is that you are not being reasonable and not respecting the educated advice of a professional. They "know nothing" is a line from Game of Thrones, not a worthy debate tactic regarding Declan's medication.
I'm not taking anyone's side in this. But I am trying to help you see that the only way to 'win' is to approach this without emotion. Hard, I know. Be business-like. Be able to present documents that show how much Declan has improved. Be willing to agree to different terms. Show them that you are willing to work with them and things might just work out.
Good luck, you'll (both) be in my thoughts.
.. tug of war is NOT a good thing to do.... redirecting the behavior is
I suppose this depends on the owner and what kind of relationship they want with their dog. Lots of people engage their dog in a little tug without giving up their leadership role. Regardless, the concept is that the nippy behavior is redirected to something else, and the pup learns to chew or bite on an object that is acceptable.
The picture you paint of your dog leaves me with the impression that... If he were to get loose and Animal Control caught him, they would probably put him down. So, here it is: Tough Love v1.0
(I'll appologize in advance.)
Even at 10 weeks old, He presented with this behavior.
IMHO, his aggressive behavior is largely a result of your interactions with him. First, you chose to allow him to behave this way when he was a baby. This would have been much easier to deal with then.
He does sleep nightly in his crate.
You thought if you tiptoed around him when he was asleep, then that would be all you had to do. And at some point you decided to put him in the crate at night. Sleeping in his crate is preventing him from protecting you, one of his strongest instincts. If you are afraid of having him out of the crate at night, start draping a lightweight blanket/sheet around his crate to create a cave-like den (to make him feel more secure). Then, instead of letting him wake up in panic mode, start talking to him when you wake up. "Good morning Thor"... you don't have to be a loud, just normal, "Thor, are you ready for breakfast?" You need to be consistant. If he is still in a panic, reassure him that it's ok and when he his calmed down he can come out for breakfast. Eventually, I think he should be sleeping with the crate door open.
Trying to take something from him, ... Ex: he gets something he knows he isn’t suppose to have, will bring it and shows It off....runs away. The chase is on.....
Again, this is related to your behavior. Thor thinks you are playing a game with him. A game should be fun and end with laughter and belly rubs and "good boy's". But you don't look at this like a game and it sounds like it turns into a fight.
First, anything the dog should not have should not be sitting out where Thor can get it. This includes shoes, remotes, your food, etc. Yes, I'm suggesting that you clean instead of punishing your dog for understanding the difference between his and yours.
Second, in order to keep your dog safe, you need to teach Thor to let go of things on demand/command. "Drop!" should result in an instant release no matter what it is. Example: chicken bones. Cooked chicken bones can splinter and create medical injuries (even death) for dogs. If Thor would happen to be on a walk and find one, you need to be able to say, "drop", and have Thor actually drop the chicken bone. Or, if needed, allow you to open his mouth and insert a finger to remove it. I don't get the impression that you would be able to do either right now.
All the while we have continued with a positive attitude that he will settle with a calming and soothing approach regarding all of this unsavory behavior.
ummm, excuse me.... I'm sure you are already offended at what I've written, but it seems pretty obvious to me that you need to teach your dog how to behave. Start with either one hour long walk a day, or two shorter ones. Every day. On a leash, where your dog is allowed to snif and smell, but also expected to learn how to sit and wait while you say hello to a neighbor and be polite around other dogs. Your daily walk creates an environment that promotes bonding with your dog. He will learn that you are in charge, not him (which is what you've been teaching him up to now). He will also get the exercise he craves and the socialization he needs.
Please, this is important. You have already accepted that you and your husband have allowed the behavior. Isn't it time to do something about it?
wait until the time is right, even if you really, really want a dog now
I agree... with everyone. Sometimes you just need to accept that (no matter how much you want a dog/car/kid/house) you aren't quite ready for it. I waited 5 years before I brought my Basenji home and it was probably the most adult thing I've ever done. I was still in recovery from a spinal injury and knew that I wouldn't be able to provide (her) the exercise she would want and require. Waiting made all the difference in the world. Whan I was finally ready, the most perfect little girl was ready for me.
Don't fret about it. You can read, research, consider all of your options, and really prepare yourself. (Don't look at puppy pictures online! You'll fall in love without even meeting the pup(s) and it will pull at your heartstrings.) Remind yourself that "one day you will have a Basenji", just not today.
Oftentimes switching foods abruptly will create "digestion issues". It may be eased if you combine new and old foods together for a week or so before you officially start the new food.
Personally, I would add a 1/2 teaspoon of pure pumpkin to the food to help settle his stomach. My local WalMart sells it on the baking/spice isle it for ~$1USD. Do not get "pumpkin pie mix" as there are seasonings that can kill(?) your pup. Pure pumpkin, however, is a very healthy addition to their diet.
There is a lot of pumpkin in the can! I recommend putting small dots of it on a cookie sheet, then freeze it for an hour or so. Store them in a zippered freezer bag and thaw out a few at a time (as needed). Or, toss them in the dinner bowl frozen.... something I've done recently which "doodle" seems okay with.
IMHO, a "Dog Trainer's job" is not to teach the dog how to behave, but to teach the dog's owner how to get the dog to behave in the manner they want it to. Almost everything I learned (over the years) relates to the energy that the dog perceives from it's owner. In other words, if you are relaxed, the dog is as well. If you are tense, the dog senses that tension.
If your dog is misbehaving when another dog passes by on a walk, then stop before they cross paths, put your foot down on the leash (so your dog cannot do much more than sit or lay down). Give your dog a command, "stay", "wait", "easy" (whatever you prefer). Praise your dog. As the other dog approaches, repeat the command in a calm voice, alternating with praise. Since your dog is on a short leash and your weight holds the leash more securely than your hand and arm, your dog shouldn't be able to lunge at the approaching dog. If Boone is growling, repeat the command or just say "no". Perhaps, "no, easy"... "good dog". Your dog may be stressed the first couple of times. If you feel like you need to, crouch down and pet your dog. Do not hold your dog back! Just pet and praise. Let them know you are both "ok".
It will get easier. Some of the primary things to focus on is your own anxiety about the situation and your confidence that you can be in control of your dog. It's okay to tell the other dog owner that your dog is a little territorial, you are working on it, and that you are not comfortable introducing the dogs to eachother just yet. (i.e.; Please keep walking)
I feel like this is a good place to start. Training classes may be worthwhile, but remember, they are meant to train you how to interact with your dog, not to turn your dog into the perfect pet.
I'm going to suggest a possible Basenji/Jack mix. There is much that reminds me of a Basenji (head, ears, wrinkled brow) and much that reminds me of a Jack (leg structure). Basenji's are "square", in that they stand as tall as they are long. If you measure at the withers (base of the neck on her back), you should get the same measurment from the floor to there as from the tip of her tail to there. Her back looks like it may be typical for a Basenji, but the legs are far too short for the equation. Here are 2 links from the ACK that descirbe how a Basenji and Russell "should" look like. You might enjoy comparing the two to your girl...
Basenji Breed Info
Russell Terrier Breed Info
Of course, if you really want to know, there are Doggie DNA companies that could tell you (for sure). Either way, it sounds like she's lucky that you came along! Enjoy her!
Could this simply be a "stomach virus"? Has she had any changes to her diet (new treats or anything like that)? It's just a guess, but I don't think that your beloved did this out of vengence. I suspect she either ate something that didn't agree with her, or she just doesn't feel well. Give it some thought. I don't think that, at 14 years old, this is a new behavior.
as an aside: If you are ever in a situation where an animal bites you, push your hand/arm/etc into their mouth. It sounds counterintuitive, but ... this action forces their mouths open wider, automatically releasing whatever they were biting. And, they "hate" it -- so they stop biting because you made it "no fun".
Food for thought: Your pup is teething and one of the best way to resolve the nipping and biting may be to sooth the irritation in his gums.
Take an old wash cloth, soak it down and wring it out. Toss the wet twisted washcloth into the freezer. When he gets nippy, tell him 'no' and redirect his attention to a game of tug with the frozen wash cloth. It's the same principal as a child's teething ring. The cold will sooth his gums. Meanwhile he learns a new game and (fingers crossed) finds better things to do than nip at your heels.
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