This is a long-overdue post about my love/hate relationship with my dog. Actually, it’s a sometimes-somewhat-tolerate/hate relationship.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might recall that about two years ago, we bought a very expensive, cute, fluffy li’l Malti-Poo pup. Daisy had developed this inexplicable terror of dogs during her toddlerhood, and we thought that getting a dog might help her get over this phobia. And it did, in fact, go a long way towards making her feel comfortable around all manner of dogs. Also, I just really liked (still like) the idea of my kids growing up with a dog. I think having a dog can be a valuable part of developing attachments, learning responsibility, and so forth.
So we got this little Malti-Poo. For two years now, we’ve waited for her to turn into a good dog. To calm down and chill out and behave. We took her to obedience training when she was a puppy, and she learned to follow commands as long as she was on a leash, but once the leash is removed, forget it. Here is a list of her issues:
- She’s a chronic barker. She barks at every sound. She does not discriminate between friend or foe. She barks at everyone, us included. If we’re talking to each other, she barks at us. If anyone is bickering, she goes nuts. When I take her outside to go potty, she charges out the door barking, lest anyone be walking or driving past the house. We’ve done the whole shock collar thing, and it only slightly helps; she’s a little more judicious in her barking when she has the collar on, but take it off and she’s barking at everything. It makes me crazy.
- She still chews everything. She spends a great deal of time baby-gated in the kitchen because of this. When we let her run around the house, every minute thing has to be picked up or she will get ahold of it and destroy it.
- She is very territorial. She gets her food in her crate, and if anyone even looks at her when she has food in her crate, she growls and bares her teeth. She’s nipped at the kids at various times over various things. We’ve started letting her sleep in a little doggy bed in our room, thinking she might be happier, and therefore better behaved, if we made more of an effort to treat her as part of the family. Well, now she’s become territorial about our room. If the kids come into our room , say in the morning, she growls at them.
Honestly, I think maybe her only redeeming quality is that she’s house-trained.
I’m kind of at my wits’ end. We’ve tried to make this work for two years now, and although I still like the idea of my kids having a dog to grow up with, I’m having serious, serious doubts about this particular dog being the right dog. I’m not even sure what we would do with her if we decided to part company, though. We would be compelled to disclose her issues, and who in their right mind would want a dog like that?
Thoughts and input welcomed.