"They go a little nuts..."
Dear Dog Lady,
I have a one-year-old Yorkie-poo (Yorkshire terrier/poodle mix). I just moved in with my fiancé who has two dogs (a five-year-old boxer and a two-year-old boxer/bulldog). Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in dogs. We both work eight hours a day and crate the dogs while we are gone. When we come home, they go a little nuts because they are so excited to see us. All three jump around and get a little out of control. Is there any way to control how hyper they get? I know that after being cooped up all day, they can’t really help themselves, but the boxer gets very hyper and almost knocks me over. I think this is dangerous and the behavior is inappropriate. Suggestion?
Use a fraction of your joint income to hire a dog walker who can come in during the day and give all the dogs a walk and a potty break. It will be such a good investment for every living creature under your roof. Dog Lady loves crates- and dogs love them too-but, still, asking a dog to stay happily cooped up eight hours a day without a break is asking a lot. They are dogs not jail birds. Look for reputable walkers through referrals from neighborhood dog keepers, your local pet store or veterinarian’s office.
Also, when you and your fiancé come in after a long day at work do not greet the dogs with loud drama. Go about your routines without a word. Let the pets out of their crates silently and matter-of-factly. Later, you can greet them and mush on them. Remember, your cranked up behavior fires up their engines. Keep it all low key and you won’t be knocked over.
Dear Dog Lady,
When is caring for your dog too much? I have a new friend; she has a small nine-pound dog. She feeds it chicken, spends thousands on the veterinarian (the dog passes gas and she panics). She doesn’t just sleep with it but kisses it on the mouth constantly. She actually talks to it on terms of thinking there might be an actual conversation to be had. Where’s the balance here?
Caring for a dog is too much when humans who care are excluded. Sounds as if your new lady friend is on the verge of breaking your heart while drowning her dog in attention. Can you be jealous of a nine-pound gas passer? It must feel awfully foolish to ask yourself this question.
People lose themselves in passions because they don’t want to face up to the real world. Your new lady friend may be babying this dog because she lacks other emotional sustenance. Actually, caring for a critter is a whole lot healthier than many other much more destructive lonely pursuits.
Depends on how patient you are but there may be room for you eventually. When she starts kissing the dog on the mouth or trying to start an English conversation with her pet, you can make very clear you think such activity is foolish (so does Dog Lady, if it’s any comfort). Stick up for yourself with a compassionate sense of humor.
Dear Dog Lady,
Your articles are always very enlightening. I have a female 18-month old basset hound and two beagles. One is a four-year-old male, and one is a three-year-old female. I never had dogs growing up so this is a whole new experience. I do not have any children so the pups are the joys in my life.
Why is it that my basset thinks she owns the whole couch and bed? She also is very protective of her bones. My other two pups just walk near her or sit near her or me when she is chewing a bone and she freaks out. She barks like she’s a big German shepherd. She also has been the hardest to train. I think she should be further along with the pee part of training. What do I need to do?
By 18 months, a puppy should score an "A" in pee. At this age, accidents happen only when people don’t pay attention. You shouldn’t expect this dog to give you the same signs as your older two because you haven’t taken the time to train her thoroughly. Get back to the basics on the housetraining. You may even have to reintroduce crate training.
You’re treating the basset hound as the youngest child in a large family. You’re lax about rules and order. While the older dogs are models of comportment, the youngest dog is allowed to get away with bad behavior - such as hogging the couch or growling and barking when in possession of a bone. This is unacceptable. You must either stop giving her bones or hand out the treats in controlled conditions when the other dogs are not at risk.
Your hound hounds you because she is spoiled and allowed to be the princess. Give her boundaries and you will enjoy a better-behaved pet.
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