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Discussion Starter #1
I rescued a dog from going to the shelter in Sacramento
his name is Bubba I've had him for 2 weeks he's my first ever dog so I'm confused and need some help about some of his behaviors and if I'm doing the right things.

He's a Lab Pit Mix.

-First of all I learned that my Wife is very allergic to him so, hitch 1 he doesn't stay inside with us as originally planned. we keep him outside. I live in an apartment so the backyard is only 10 by 20 feet.

-He does play with my kids about 1 - 2 hours a day. I jog him for 15 minutes in the morning and walk him for 30 minutes in the evening.

-I thought he was skinny but I'm not sure he looks healthy except you can see his ribs a little through his skin. I'll post a picture when my camera's working.

-He seems very fearful of loud noises and sudden noises, but he's very outgoing to go up to strangers to be petted. and will play with any and all dogs. although when a fight breaks out in the dog park he runs and hides.

-He doesn't take treats like pupperoni I bought from the store. and he won't play with toys, the few that I've tried. he doesn't chase after any toys and he'll only eat dry food if its mixed with wet.

-He's never barked once which is odd. he's never showed aggression to anyone not a growl or anything even at my 3 year old who can test anyone. Ears are almost always back but tail is never tucked under unless he's really scared.

Any insight on what he needs and how I should do to make sure I'm being the best dog owner I can be would be greatly appreciated
 

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My biggest concern would be about keeping a dog outside in a small space 24/7. I just think in general it's a bad idea. But you seem pretty committed to being a good dog owner so I don't know what to suggest in your situation. :confused:
 

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I think he needs to be indoors. Can your wife take allergy medicine? My hubby is allergic to both my dogs, so he knows if he pets them, he must wash his hands right away. He also takes Zyrtec.

Things are going to be bad if he is fearful and you keep him outside. Lab/pits need to be well-socialized. And make sure you supervise your kids with him at all times.

Good`luck.
 

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I would agree with the poster that suggested your wife look into allergy meds/shots. Dogs are social animals and need to be with their family. You can teach him to only be in certain rooms (like stay out of your bedroom).

You also might think about giving him longer walks. About 45 min twice a day. Especially with him being confined in a smaller area.
 

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Was he temperament tested at the shelter? You need to learn to recognise dog body language. I have a friend who's allergic to her poodle & he's only allowed in the rooms with hard floors & not carpeted rooms like the bedrooms. She takes antihystamines.
Look at the website www.dogstardaily.com & do a search on socialisation, bite inhibition, dog body language etc. There are also lots of video clips on all subjects & I-woofs radio programms.
 

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Would it be realistic for him to be allowed indoors, but restricted to certain areas of the house? For example, I am allergic to my dogs so they are allowed inside but not on hue furniture or in the bedrooms.

What are you feeding him?

Regarding exercise, it does sound on the light side but 1-2 hrs of intensive play on top of it should be fine. As long as he is not hyperactive, not bored or developing any neurotic behaviour, you shouldn't worry about it. I would start daily training sessions, maybe 10-15 minutes 2 or 3 times a day. This will help burn off mental energy and if you keep things positive it will help boost his confidence as well.
 

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I can't really give any insight, but I do suggest that you try to find some training classes such as obedience.

I'm not sure how "highly allergic" your wife is, but I'm worried that after 6 months of owning this dog, your wife will have had enough. Lab/Pit shed like crazy and it's all over the clothes, all over the backyard, etc etc. So...is your wife willing to tolerate her allergies for 7+ years? My fiance knows that I will never give up my cats (I've had cats before he met me, so I wasn't gonna give up owning cats!), so he put himself through allergy shots for 3 years...because he loves me. :-D

Your dog may have had some sort of traumatic experience with loud noises. There could many things that have happened...and it just kind of freaks him out a little. I'm not a very experienced dog owner (I just had my first dog as well), but from what I know, is to be beside him and talk in sweet voice saying everything is okay everything is okay. Distract him from his "fearful" feelings by giving treats and attention. Eventually, your dog will learn that you are a "safe place", and may go up to you the next time he gets fearful.

I'm not a supporter of leaving the dog outside 24/7....to me it's just not fair, and not right. That's JMO. If your wife still wants a dog, consider getting a labadoodle, poodles...they're hypoallergenic (so I've heard).
 

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I would check out the book called

Successful dog adoption by Sue sternburg

This book is an assest to anyone adopting from a shelter/rescue ect...I second the fact that the dog needs to be indoors.I would have your wife go to an allergist to be tested specifically for pet allergies and then try the meds.If she is not willing or able then I would look into re-homing.

Also remember that animals need and have adjustment periods with some animals it may take longer being a little afraid is not something to worry about.Just ignore the behavior and stay sure and confident.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice guys ... we're gonna use this as an opportunity and we're going to move to a bigger place ... we'd been thinking about it for awhile but now we're gonna do it ... where there is a HUGE backyard and also lots of rooms that we can give "Bubba" access to.

as far as his training goes ... its going well he's starting to open up ... he won't play with any toys though and he's much more bold to come out although if people get too loud the tail will go under and he'll either hide under me or low crawl and try to pull me away from the area.

He also makes some people uncomfortable just simply because he's a Pit mix. Bubba was just sitting queitly watching the baseball game and this guy comes up to me and tells me about all the lawsuits I'll get if Bubba bites a kid ... he's never even barked before let alone showed any aggression. It kinda upset me cause we were in our own space quietly enjoying the game. Oh well anyways thanks for the advice guys.
 

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Wow, you sound like a great dog owner. I'm so glad Bubba will get the great life that so many shelter dogs sadly never do.
 

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Thanks for the advice guys ... we're gonna use this as an opportunity and we're going to move to a bigger place ... we'd been thinking about it for awhile but now we're gonna do it ... where there is a HUGE backyard and also lots of rooms that we can give "Bubba" access to.

as far as his training goes ... its going well he's starting to open up ... he won't play with any toys though and he's much more bold to come out although if people get too loud the tail will go under and he'll either hide under me or low crawl and try to pull me away from the area.

He also makes some people uncomfortable just simply because he's a Pit mix. Bubba was just sitting queitly watching the baseball game and this guy comes up to me and tells me about all the lawsuits I'll get if Bubba bites a kid ... he's never even barked before let alone showed any aggression. It kinda upset me cause we were in our own space quietly enjoying the game. Oh well anyways thanks for the advice guys.
I agree with everyone else on keeping the dog indoors. A few pieces of advice on allergies, as I'm a sufferer and I know a bit about it.
-An antihistamine, a decongestant, and an expectorant (like Mucinex) will work better than any one alone.
-Allergy shots might help. I get them.
-Vacuum very often and thoroughly. If you aren't doing that already, you'll be shocked how big a difference it makes.
-Use the Furminator. It will get all the loose fur off your dog and reduce shedding enormously.

Moving to a new house is a long-term plan that will take time and seems like an extreme solution. I realize you said you were considering a new home anyway but there might be faster solutions that work well enough.
 

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In addition to the allergy help so far, your wife may be helped by washing the dog with a shampoo that reduces most or (hopefully) all of the dander. People are often, not always but often, allergic to the dander. Ask your vet or a groomer for some recommendations.

As far as some people being nervous because he's a pit mix, just say he's a Lab mix.

You sound like a good, responsible dog owner.
 

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In addition to the allergy help so far, your wife may be helped by washing the dog with a shampoo that reduces most or (hopefully) all of the dander. People are often, not always but often, allergic to the dander. Ask your vet or a groomer for some recommendations.

As far as some people being nervous because he's a pit mix, just say he's a Lab mix.

You sound like a good, responsible dog owner.
Agreed. And if they're really pushy, you could say "Lab and some unknown terrier" or "Lab and perhaps Staffordshire Terrier." Most people won't even know what a Staffordshire Terrier is and you're not lying unless you know with 100% certainty that it isn't a Staffordshire.
 

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I hope things work out with your wife and the allergies.

My vet has always told me that if you can see the dogs ribs they are too thin. Ideally you want to be able to feel the ribs easily under the skin but not see them.

I have a lab/pit mix and I always just tell people it is a lab mix. I have a pit bull puppy (she's an american staffordshire terrier and brindle which apparently makes her even scarier, lol) and I always get crazy reactions from people. If you read any breed description for the am staff they all say how they love people, are great around children, etc. Both my pit and my pit mix absolutely ADORE people. You just have to expect that kind of reaction, thanks to a ton of negative media surrounding bully breeds. My advice is to just smile and say that you always find it entertaining to hear other people's opinions.
 

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Another suggestion for the allergies in your home now or a new home take most of the carpet out of the home.Put in laminate flooring,wood flooring or tile these are easier to clean and keep clean and better for people with allergies or alot of dogs.I took out all of my carpet in my whole house because with the kids and the dogs it was easier to have mostly wood and laminate flooring and with the number of dogs and cats that we have it is way easier in the summertime.
 

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Also, if you have any carpet (or couches for that matter), make sure you are using a VERY POWERFUL vaccuum cleaner. For example, Mine is 12 amps.

You've gotten enough suggestions here that you should have your hands full for a while trying a variety of changes before contemplating an extreme decision like a new house or giving up the dog or keeping the dog outside. Please let us know how it goes. (There's nothing worse than when lots of dog owners put a lot of time into thoughtful responses and an OP ignores it, does what they wanted to do anyway, and never returns. There's nothing better than an OP who benefits from following advice you put time into, though.)
 
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