Now what?

clarosietooAugust 20, 2009

Roscoe is home. I meet with the trainer and vet next week, but in the meantime....

he likes to sit in my lap while we're driving - that's not good. how to deal with it? he must have done that with his former owner (who I also think fed him table scraps).

I think he's hungry. I gave him his meds and a treat and he almost inhaled them. The shelter said feed him in the mornings so I didn't want to overfeed. I put a few food pellets (the same kind the shelter used) in his bowl. He ate half.

He went pee-pee outside each time we went and we'll go one more tonight. Hope that's a good sign.

I'm letting him wander through the house so he gets comfortable. Is that okay? He'll be in his crate for about 4 hours in the morning and then again for about 2 in the afternoon. The shelter said he'd be fine, I just don't want him to feel bad.

He seems to understand 'no' and 'stay'.

He likes his bed, but he wants it on my bed. Hope that's not a habit I'll regret.

Finally, humans need about 30 minutes of exercise a day but that can be broken into three 10-minute units. Should I strive for one long walk or several short ones? We'll start going to dog park over the weekend.

Any other suggestions?

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Six years ago I posted about getting this gorgeous little saint bernard puppy. I was so proud! I posted here about names for him, and pictures of him. If anyone remembers, he was the cutest thing in the world.

I know some of you remember him. I'm so sorry about not coming to this site more often.

Then, we got his little sister, Daisy who is now 5. (I know time flies)

Then Duff had his back leg amputated due to bone cancer two years ago. It took him 3 weeks to get back to himself, running and playing in the yard with his little sister.

Now, the cancer came back to his front leg -- where it bends.
We decided not to put him through radiation or chemo.

The vet said two months.

So you have this big, beautiful (he's 185 lbs), sweet, sweet man, and ask why?

NOW I need you guys.


I really know that and keep telling myself this. But why take this beautiful, gentle animal?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 8:04PM
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I think Trisha meant to start another thread, she has the thread started now, so look for her The Big McDuff thread in the forum.

Clarosietoo, tell us more about Roscoe! What kind of dog is he, how big, how old, what is his history? We are waiting for pictures, too. I find that I get excited whenever anyone gets a new dog, it is like starting a new love affair - the fun exciting part is all at the beginning and then it settles into a long-standing, mature love. Sometimes we yearn wistfully for the excitement of new love, but we would all be animal hoarders if we gave in to those impulses. So we come here to the forum and live vicariously through YOUR new love affair with your new dog!

Details! Pictures! Cute stories!

In the car, I use a harness and attach it with a short lead to any tie-down spot in the car. If the dog is smaller, you may want to get him a booster seat so he can see out of the window without being in your lap, then tether him in place. With my larger dogs, I sometimes put one in the front passenger seat, then run the seat belt/shoulder harness through his belly band as he leans against the seat back. Then the shoulder harness kind of holds him in. Depending on the size of the dog and the configuration of your car, there are a lot of solutions for getting the dog off your lap. As for your other questions, the size, breed, and temperament of the dog all play into our answers, so give us some more to work with.

How have his first three days been?


    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 6:10PM
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Yes, Clarosietoo, I missed that you had gotten a dog. Tell. Tell. Tell.

I would recommend a seat belt type of dog restraint, like Nancy uses. That's what I use on my 80lb beast of a coonhound.

Personally, I feed twice a day (breakfast and dinner). I give a tiny meal at lunch if he has been particularly busy, like playing at the dog park.

Regarding the walks, I am a Cesar Millan fan. I walk my dog for about 30 minutes before breakfast in the morning and another 30 minutes before dinner at night. Cesar is a big believer in the long walk before food.

If you want him on your bed, that's fine. But it needs to be clear to him that it's your decision, not his. My dog has to be invited to get on the bed when I am in it. That way, if you ever don't want him on the bed, he will be okay with it. Since you are meeting with your trainer soon, this would be a good homework assignment for you to ask him/her to show you how to get the behavior you want.

Congrats...It's a dog!! Love the name, Roscoe, BTW!!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 8:02PM
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Roscoe is a chihuahua/something else blend from the shelter. He's about 4 years old and weighs 7 pounds. He must have had a good home (owner passed away, kids tried, but couldn't keep him). He appears to be housebroken. He ate more today and I think he'll eat more tomorrow. We went to the dog park twice today and he loved it. He ate right after that so that might be a good thing. I fed him twice today and he ate about half. He seems to have 2 poops a day so if that's normal, he's probably doing okay.

He likes riding in the car on the pillows but he's fallen a couple of times that I had to stop short. I'm going to pull the seat belt around him and see what happens. Where can I find the harness? Petsmart seems to have everything - I'll check there.

Monday is a big day. I'll be gone from 7:30 to noonish then again from 1 to 5. My gut says he'll be fine in the bedroom, but it might be better to crate him.

The following week is when it will get rough. My schedule was firmed up last week. I'll be gone from 8:45 to 11:00 then again from 1 to 8. Some Mondays I can be home from 4:00 - 4:30 but there's no guarantee.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 9:21PM
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Ah, with a chihuahua, I would get one of the platform seats. Below is the least expensive one that the Drs. Foster and Smith catalog carries. It has a safety strap to keep him in the seat. You can spend $80+ on these things, too! I would not try putting the seatbelt/shoulder harness strap around an 8 lb dog. You could get a regular harness for him, then tie his leash with a loop in it near the hook end, then pull the car seatbelt through the loop and latch it. That will keep him on the seat and keep him from becoming a missile if you have to brake hard. A loose little dog in a car could go "splat" against the dashboard in an accident or sudden stop. A loose big dog becomes both a missile and a danger to the necks and heads of those in the front seat in the same situation, so I like to keep my dogs belted. For complete safety in the car, people recommend a closed cage. That way, in an accident the dog cannot bite rescue people if it is hurt or confused. I don't go that far, I just try to take the time to belt them.

It is great that Roscoe is housebroken. I am not sure if you should crate him tomorrow or not. There is something you can do today to help him understand that your leaving is okay. Practice going outside and leaving him behind. Go out for a few seconds, then come back in. Do it for longer time periods so he sees that your leaving is not a tragedy. Go out, close the door, go back in. It is important when leaving that you do not make a big deal about it. Just gather your things and go, not talking to him at all. When you come in again, ignore him again. Wait until you get in and set your things down to even "notice" him. The don't get all excited to see him. These are guidelines used to help dogs with separation anxiety. They are good standard rules to use all the time with dogs. The extra attention at parting when you say goodbye and cuddle and pet your dog gets him all excited about you, then you put him down and leave and he feels abandoned. Then when you come home and get all excited and playful, it gets him looking forward to you coming in that door. If you don't get excited and playful, and just stay calm and ignore him, he does not associate you're coming home as a real valuable thing to yearn for. Get all excited and playful after you have been home a few minutes, and he won't link that in his mind with you coming home. This is how you prevent separation anxiety. If you do crate him tomorrow, practice that today, too. And if you decide to leave him shut in the bedroom, do the door practice with him today, there, too.

If you do keep him in the bedroom, be sure that there are no shoes or other valuables out for him to get to chew on. If Roscoe will use a Nylabone, I would leave that out for him when you are gone for long periods. My dogs think Nylabones are just decorations I buy for the floor! Even the flavored ones have no interest at all.

I would take Roscoe to the dog park during your 11 - 1 time at home, then feed him and put him out. He will then be tired and ready to sleep for quite a while while you are gone. The 7 hour stretch with a 4 year-old dog should be fine.

Okay, enough advice, we want cute stories!

Here is a link that might be useful: Little dog booster seat.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 7:41PM
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I left him for about 90 minutes this afteroon in the bedroom. He did fine - I felt horrible - but I did play with him as soon as I got home. I'll watch that in the future. I'm not concerned about him chewing my shoes but I will put them away. He has a towel and 3 toys that he loves to play with. He's kind possessive of them, growling at me if I touch them. I hope that's normal.

We don't know for sure that he's 4, he might be three. I just realized that I can leave work at 3 Tuesday to Friday. And if my Monday class agrees, we can start it an hour early so I can get home for 30 or so minutes.

He's eating regularly. I had to use tough love. Put the food down for 30 minutes the take it up. Doing it that way, he ate twice yesterday and today. At his weight, I'm feeding him about a 1/2 cup each time.

Well he may be housebroken, but he's not store broken. He pooped inside Petsmart today. When he's pooped at the dog park and today at Petsmart, I've brought it home and put it by the bushed that he marked with pee. He has however yet to poop there. Should I try something else? Is there an average number of times he should go per day?

no cute stories yet...he hates the shredder

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 9:35PM
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Everything except a couple of things sound great. Leash walk your dog, and dont let him pull you around, you lead. Sit and stay before you go out, he needs to be in a sitting position before he gets to go. Next, dont let him growl at you EVER, if he does, say NO in a firm voice and stand between him and his toy, dont let him have it again until he shows he is being submissive. Dont feel bad - your dog will see it as a weakeness, he is a dog, he is cool with having a new home over his head and a loving owner. No more sitting in your lap while driving, just set him in the other seat and tell him to stay. Just be firm, if he moves like he is coming over, just say NO and replace him where you want hard feelings - just making things safe. Your dog is probably going to want to poop outside your yard - smart dog, he should be pooping outside your yard, and many dogs will never poop in their own place. Make certain he goes for a nice little walkies before shopping - pooping at the dog park isnt a big deal unless he is doing it to mark.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 11:27PM
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He understands NO and stay. I don't let him sit in my lap, I think his other owner did. I'm buying a harness today.

If he's not going to poop at home, can I stop bringing it home? We went walking this morning, about 20 minutes which is good for a little guy, and he pooped about 5 minutes into the walk. Came home, ate and went back to bed (on my bed). Since his old owner passed away, I wonder if the person was ill for awhile and Roscoe spent lots of time lying on a bed with him/her. He's so content there (or under the bed).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 7:54AM
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i'm so excited for you! i completely missed that you found a dog and good for you getting a shelter dog! sounds like roscoe is fitting in nicely and you are doing a great job!!

now...WHERE are the pictures???

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Some good advice here on exercise and alone training. However do NOT correct your dog for a growl as Mazer suggested or he will learn to go directly to the bite. A growl is a dogs warning. Walk away and don't reward a growl in any situation, but correcting it will simply cause other problems down the road. If he is resource guarding anything at all (food, toys, space) you want to work with him on that behavior by training 'leave it' or 'drop it' or 'exchange.' Start by offering something less prized and when he takes it offer something better and he will learn to exchange. Focus on positive reinforcement training only and you will have a wonderfully mannered dog. I'd recommend an obedience class as soon as you can sign up for one. Make sure it's positive methods only. This will help you both to learn to communicate with each other and will strengthen your bond and help you to avoid behavioral problems. Enjoy your new pup!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 9:36AM
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