High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner
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  1. #1
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    High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    Hello everyone! I am new to the forums, always a guest, never a poster. So, here I am because I truly need some advice. I know of a 2 year old boxer who, like most boxers, is super energetic and always needing attention. However, this poor dog spends about 23 hours a day, all alone. That 1 hour of human interaction each day is usually potty breaks, and the occasional "pet" as his owner (or roommates) walks in/out the door. His owner? My boyfriend.

    I have tried numerous times to very kindly bring up this matter. My boyfriend loves his dog, but he truly just does not have the time for Baxter that he really needs - my boyfriend owns two businesses, is still committed to working at one of them on-site full-time, and still works at home afterwards. Baxter's lack of attention has also resulted in some very ill-mannered habits, but in general, he is a wonderful dog. My boyfriend exercised the option of giving up Baxter for adoption at one point. He found a great couple who was looking for a boxer and when they said they'd take him, my boyfriend backed out. I offered some advice that I was given by my veterinarian (who conducted the obedience training I went through with my dog) and he said he would definitely give it a shot. In my opinion, the only thing he's doing is confusing Baxter and setting him up to fail. Example: Baxter was apparently crate-trained as a puppy, but hasn't seen the inside of one in about 1.5 years (he's 2). Baxter's "safe zone" has become the living room couch, which is not going over so well for my boyfriend's roommates, since they own the couch. Baxter has a crate, my boyfriend refuses to use it. So, when my boyfriend is gone for 10 hours a day at work and sleeping for 8 hours at night, Baxter roams the house free .. and utilizes his couch. Yes, I said his. When my boyfriend gets home from work, it's only then that he reinforces this "no couch" rule with Baxter. Well, I don't see where he logically believes this will work. I think it just confuses Baxter.

    I suggested he take Baxter to obedience training classes this morning. I got a sneer look, followed by the "it won't do anything" comment. Sure it won't, because my boyfriend refuses to make the effort with his dog. My boyfriend refuses to give Baxter the home he deserves, but also refuses to dedicate the time to Baxter that he deserves. Now, the situation has officially began to upset me.

    Before anyone asks, I unfortunately cannot take Baxter. My schedule is busy and all of my free time, including some of my work time as well, I dedicate to my own high energy furbaby. I would not be able to responsibly take on another dog. Please don't fire back with how I can be with such a person, it's really irrelevant to Baxter.

    I really just don't know what to do, or what other advice I can give someone who wants a dog but doesn't want to make the time.

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  3. #2
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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    I think you're just stuck. If you can't help and he won't rehome him, then I guess this is the boxer's life. A lot of dogs live low-quality lives. At least he is 2. This means that he is almost through the "surrender window" when most high-energy dogs lose their homes.

    The only thing that I can think of to try is to build dog time into your relationship time. Take the dogs camping. Go on picnics with your dogs. Make dogs a part of your "couple's" routine. That way, he may become more motivated to moderate his dog's behavior. And if not, at least the dog is getting out into the world.

    It's sad, but a lot of dogs live pretty low-quality lives. People too I suppose.

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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    Oh, and I would stop with unsolicited advice. In general, no one wants it. It only makes people defensive.

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    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    Unfortunately, trainingjunkie is right. Technically, that's not abuse. If the dog is being sheltered, fed and watered and being provided necessary vet care, it's all good and there's nothing you can do. I consider it a tragedy, most dog owners would find me terribly overdramatic.

    Well, there's nothing you can make your boyfriend do. You can do things with the dog.
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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    trainingjunkie, I hear exactly what you mean. It just really stinks to see because I dedicate so much of my time to my own. I was hoping that my behavior with my dog would be an example and help encourage my boyfriend to do more with his. Not the case, at all. We took Baxter to the park last week and honestly, my boyfriend just needs to work more with Baxter before he's ready to hit the public again. It'll be hard to control my want to advise and suggest things for Baxter, but I definitely understand the wrong-doing in this.

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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    People like your boyfriend need to see stuff happen before they really do it and he doesn't wanna hear his "not professional dog trainer girlfriend" tell him what to do. Perhaps you could find a trainer who comes to his house and works with him. If he sees actual results with the dog, the only excuse he can make is he doesn't feel like working with the dog, which I feel is the excuse.
    If working his businesses is going to be his entire life then he won't have much of a life either much like the dog. They do always say a dog is a reflection of the owner.

    Then again, it's not like the dog is abused or going to hurt anyone it seems, so even if it lives in that house it's entire life at least it lives a peaceful one.

  8. #7
    aiw
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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    I wonder if you could build a relationship with the dog, not a full time commitment but whatever you can when you can. Your boyfriend is probably feeling defensive which will make him even LESS likely to do the right thing (especially since its so much more convenient not to) but he might be swayed by actually seeing the results of a happier dog and a more connected relationship. The best thing would be to do it with an attitude of enjoyment rather than "I'm doing a job you should be" (which is probably how I would be feeling!)

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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    I definitely agree with everyone about my unsolicited advice. Since my last post, a few things have changed. My advice has ceased. My boyfriend has taken on a third business project. Baxter is now being crated while the boyfriend isn't home. Baxter has also become smart about his couch habit - when he hears someone approaching, he quickly jumps off. Sneaky! I've caught him in the act a couple of times, haha.

    @EdDTS: I tried to suggest a trainer who can come to his home and work with him and Baxter, a long time ago. However, 1. he doesn't even look and 2. he also doesn't want to take time off work to do so between his two companies, and now third business project.

    I mean personally, this issue isn't about Baxter really. I truly just feel like my boyfriend is being completely selfish about Baxter and says that he doesn't want to get rid of him because he's a "good-looking Boxer and he's had him for 2 years and bc Baxter can play with Max (my Husky) when Max is older" (he's 12 weeks). So, is he keeping Baxter bc he thinks that my dog will provide the attention Baxter needs that he won't give? I don't understand my boyfriend's thought process. Max and Baxter play together now, but it usually lasts for maybe 10 minutes because Baxter is just too physically rough with little Max. Baxter is a good dog. He just does not get the attention, socialization, or exercise (both physical and mental) that he needs, so he lacks every bit of manners, continuously whines while he's in his crate, jumps on people, howls when left alone. He spends about 3-4 hours a day (out of 24 hours) outside of his crate. That is it. I also tried to do some small training exercises with Baxter over the past several weeks to see if I could get acquainted with him a little bit more, but it hasn't helped.

    My only concern now at this point is that when my boyfriend and I get a place of our own next year, that Baxter's lack of manners, socialization, and continuous whining and howling is still going to exist. I've just come to the conclusion that this is a lost cause - I can't do anything and my boyfriend doesn't want to do anything. Literally.
    Last edited by sarahlynn; 08-10-2012 at 03:24 PM.

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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    I think you have reached the most likely conclusion. I know that you love your boyfriend, but probably the only thing left for you to do is to ask yourself if his attutude towards dogs (living and dependent creatures) is something you can accept. If it is, then continue on. If it isn't, better to understand that sooner than later. You may find that his inconsiderate treatment of a totally dependent pet will rear its ugly head in different areas of life. However, you are the only person who knows both your boyfriend and yourself so only you can decide what is best in your situation.


    Men who aren't good to dogs aren't relevant to me, but that's just me.

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    Senior Member georgiapeach's Avatar
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    Re: High Energy Box, Low Energy Owner

    Poor Baxter. I'm surprised he hasn't torn apart the house b/c of boredom. Now that's he's being crated all the time, things will likely go downhill rapidly. I've had a couple of boxers in the past (RIP Duke!), and they are usually very destructive if they don't get enough attention and exercise; they're extremely people oriented. I think Baxter is a saint for putting up with his life so far. I don't blame him for howling in the crate - he thinks that he'll never get out of jail!

    As far as your bf goes, only you can decide if it's worth staying with a man who has no regard for a dependent creature's needs, and seems to want a dog for eye candy. What if you two ever have kids?...
    Beth, mom to Maddie (westie/maltese mix?) and Nash (morkie?)

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