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Discussion Starter #1
My gf and I adopted a husky, shepherd, beagle mix back in January. We did it on a spur of the moment and I do not know what to do, so I came here to seek as many peoples opinions. Joker is the dogs name and hes almost 1.

Since we have had Joker, he has been good running around and such bringing him to the park and playing with other dogs. But since we have brought him home we have spent anywhere between 2000 - 2500 in vet bills due to shots, ringworms, etc. I am currently 25 and my gf lives with me and she goes to school, works and well just in general student. I have not become as attached to Joker as my gf has, but I do love him. I am at my wits end, I am wondering if he would be happier at a farm or somewhere he can run free.

We can no longer (take the risk) of bringing him to the dog park since the vet became worried of his "lowered immune" system since he seems to pick up everything possible, and also I do not have the money to fund the local veterinary. The daily schedule is as follows:

Wake up at 5 - 6 am ( never sleeps more always crying )
walk or run for 30 min
in crate for an hour
around the house for 3 hours
walk for and hour +
in crate for 4 hours
walk for 15 min
in crate for 1 - 4 hours
walk for an hour +
training / play around the house
walk for 15 - 30 min
sleep time

I cannot replace the park, I cannot even try - (this is selfish) but when I get home I do not even want to walk the dog but I do and sometimes hes good after sometimes he is a total *** and want to throw him against a wall, everyday is a lottery. But he doesn't go outside by himself (not independent?).

The reasoning I am at my wits end wondering if I should be looking for a farm:
1. Is the dog happy in the crate from 5 - 8 hours a day? (seems like a running dog) + he was never trained in the crate as a pup, so when we got him, he sleeps during the night, but if hes awake and in the crate howling and barking and crying. My gf and I used to go to like movies and shopping and now we always cut it short because Joker will go in his crate if he stays in there too long (but can hold it overnight?). NOTHING deters him if hes in his crate, no chewies no kong no dog treats, no peanut butter NOTHING.

2. Since my gf is a student and works / school / gym, I am in charge of most of the watching ( my hesitation is that i never wanted a dog in the first place I just went along because the gf wanted one - not the dogs fault ) and after working 8 - 10 hours I do not have energy to make food let alone take a dog out.

3. I honestly don't want any pets after having Joker, maybe I am mistaken and maybe it is our faults that the way he is, just how I feel.

I am not looking for an answer or a bashing of me or my character. That's how I feel and am looking ideas as to what people would do or have done. I have thought about behaviorist, but since I can almost afford the vet I sure as heck wont be able to afford that.

Also please keep in mind I was brought up as dogs are animals (pets) not companions - maybe why I never got too close to him. I could be the one messed up, but I am at a roads end and I care for the pooch, just don't know if I am the best thing for him. Please don't answer with how are you going to do with kids, gf has had arguments with that and me over the last two weeks. I am afraid if I push to give up the dog and find a new family, that my gf will hate me and if we keep the dog that I will hate her.

Constructive criticism please.

and thank you for reading this huge post summing up my last 5 months
 

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Even dogs who live on farms who are allowed to "run free" should get training, and they should also be worked with to keep their minds and bodies exercised. That said, there are more ways to work with a house dog than letting it run free on a farm or in a dog park, or taking it on runs and walks.

It sounds like you two and your dog could benefit from a basic obedience class to help his manners when he is out of the crate. Regular training sessions will exercise your dog's mind which can be more fulfilling than a farm, the dog park, walks, or runs. Breaking up your daily walks and runs with some training should help you both. Just remember that this should all be FUN! Being mentally tired out may help with his crating issues, too, which is sounding a bit like separation anxiety. Some other things which may help with crating your dog are:

Shaping a desire for him to go into and stay in his crate.

Feeding in his crate.

Stuffing Kong toys with portions of his meals and something like yogurt or peanut butter, then freezing them, so it keeps him entertained.

Bach's Rescue Remedy, Dog Appeasing Pheromones, relaxation CDs, massage, etc.

Always making coming out of the crate no big deal, and going in wonderful.

Using baby gates or an ex-pen to manage your dog instead of the crate when possible.

You can also try relocating the crate. Sometimes it's just that easy.

Also, you might be surprised at the affordability of a behaviorist. You can always check:

http://www.iaabc.org

http://www.animalbehavior.org

Think about it this way: Lowering your dog's stress level by figuring out how to keep him happy can only have a positive influence on his compromised immune system. Speaking of which, what are you feeding your dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We are feeding him Beneful - since it is the only thing we found that is keeping his poop solid - we tried Acana(adult) and Performatrim(puppy) and Puppy Chow but that gave him the runs but I do not know if it was because of the adult food or because too much protein.

Our vet thinks it is Separation Anxiety. I saw your comment about the fun part and thinking to myself I haven't had fun since we got the dog because of all the yelping and crying just breaks my heart - but at the same time I despise him for it, unfortunately. I can only compare to my parents dog, which is independent I would guess and nothing like this dog.

I was looking at the behaviorist, 300$ for one 2 hour session is a little steep for me - I cannot afford to get a pair of shoes for work, or new tires for the car as all disposable income has gone to vet. I don't know I might have to read more on it and try it. Hope they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee as if that does not work, I would have to choose my sleep over as I still need to pay the bills.



Even dogs who live on farms who are allowed to "run free" should get training, and they should also be worked with to keep their minds and bodies exercised. That said, there are more ways to work with a house dog than letting it run free on a farm or in a dog park, or taking it on runs and walks.

It sounds like you two and your dog could benefit from a basic obedience class to help his manners when he is out of the crate. Regular training sessions will exercise your dog's mind which can be more fulfilling than a farm, the dog park, walks, or runs. Breaking up your daily walks and runs with some training should help you both. Just remember that this should all be FUN! Being mentally tired out may help with his crating issues, too, which is sounding a bit like separation anxiety. Some other things which may help with crating your dog are:

Shaping a desire for him to go into and stay in his crate.

Feeding in his crate.

Stuffing Kong toys with portions of his meals and something like yogurt or peanut butter, then freezing them, so it keeps him entertained.

Bach's Rescue Remedy, Dog Appeasing Pheromones, relaxation CDs, massage, etc.

Always making coming out of the crate no big deal, and going in wonderful.

Using baby gates or an ex-pen to manage your dog instead of the crate when possible.

You can also try relocating the crate. Sometimes it's just that easy.

Also, you might be surprised at the affordability of a behaviorist. You can always check:

http://www.iaabc.org

http://www.animalbehavior.org

Think about it this way: Lowering your dog's stress level by figuring out how to keep him happy can only have a positive influence on his compromised immune system. Speaking of which, what are you feeding your dog?
 

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You only get as much from a dog as you put in in time and training.

Read up on separation anxiety and try a few things, keep the anger and frustration down.

Part husky could be good, maybe teach him to tow you around the block on roller blades or a cart, wear him out totally.. Doesn't take much energy to say "mush".. ;)
 

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Beneful is a really yucky food and so are the others you listed. Solid stools are good, though, and some canned pumpkin mixed in during the gradual transition to something of better quality should help. In addition to helping his immune system, good food can contribute to better behavior, so it should be worth it to you to invest in something better: See: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com

Your breaking heart, anger, frustration and despising the dog for his behavior isn't going to help him change, unfortunately. I know you've been doing a lot for this dog, but changes can still be made. I listed many options in addition to the behaviorist that you should think about trying. You will have to find ways to be successful with this dog, celebrate that and build on that. Also seriously consider the behaviorist and obedience classes, but do so knowing that nothing with dogs is ever guaranteed. You're only going to get what you put into fixing this and I think it's only fair that your girlfriend find the time to help, too. (Gym, or dog...) He really deserves to live somewhere where everyone is on board for him.
 

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Yes, I think there is a point in continuing, but on the other hand, you need to ask yourself this:

What do you really want?

You've made a couple of statements, but this one in particular is worrisome to me.

all the yelping and crying just breaks my heart - but at the same time I despise him for it, unfortunately. I can only compare to my parents dog, which is independent I would guess and nothing like this dog.
Some dogs are more independent, but in my (admittedly limited) experience, many, many of them aren't and just prefer to be near you, with you.

We all feel overloaded at times. On Saturday, I'd hit my limit, so I put my two boys downstairs in the hallway/laundry room, left a few toys, and took a nap. Once I woke up, I was much refreshed and ready for dog time again. :) Like I said, we all have moments like this.

That said, my life has changed dramatically since I became a dog owner last fall. Like you, I adopted on impulse, and I had a few panic attacks the first week. Now I've gotten in a routine. I stay home more, cut short evening activities, and run errands quickly so I can get back to the boys. For me, it's not one sided--for all the things I've given up, I've received twice back in pleasure and love.

That doesn't mean it's easy.

Back where you started--yes, I think it's worth it . . . if YOU think it's worth it. But if you really, really, really don't want this dog, then I think it's better to find a good home for it now than to prolong the inevitable. Both people need to be committed to the dog, as this sad thread shows.

So ask yourself: what do you want?
 

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Beneful is a really yucky food and so are the others you listed. Solid stools are good, though, and some canned pumpkin mixed in during the gradual transition to something of better quality should help. In addition to helping his immune system, good food can contribute to better behavior, so it should be worth it to you to invest in something better: See: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.comQUOTE]

I agree with Beneful and Puppy Chow being bad foods but Ancana is pretty decent. It's made by the same makers of Orijen. It's middle of the road I would say but not a bad food.

Have you talked to your girlfriend about this? I mean, honestly talked to her about your feelings? Maybe she can sacrifice some gym time since she is the one who wanted Jake. If the behaviourist could help you with Jake's separation anxiety and independence, would that make it easier to keep him or would you still want to rehome him? If the former is true, then maybe investing in a behaviourist is a good idea -maybe saving some money over time. If the latter is true, then a serious talk is in order.

I think you have to be honest with your girlfriend...figure out what you really want and then have a talk. If you let it fester, it will come out suddenly and maybe in the wrong way. What does she think of Jake's issues?

I can see that this is very difficult for you, I'm sorry you have to go through this..
 

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First, I want to commend you for coming here asking for advice. That's very admirable.

Second, if you see a long-term future with your gf, then you need to learn how to sit down and talk to each other. This is obviously a very serious issue to you and she needs to respect and listen to your feelings. And of course, you need to do the same with her. No name calling, no accusations. Just an honest heart-to-heart. If things get heated, take a break and go get ice cream or something.

If she wants to keep the dog, you have to come to some sort of agreement about responsibilities and duties...namely hers. It's completely unfair for her to ask you to keep the dog but then not take equal..or more...responsibility for it. If she's too busy, then perhaps this really isn't the right situation for her either.

Third, if you do decide to keep the dog, you AND your gf must enroll in an obedience class. They aren't as expensive as a behaviorist, they'll help you learn how to communicate with your dog, have fun with your dog and bond with your dog. But again, if your gf can't commit to one hour a week for 6 weeks, then it's obvious that she's not ready for the responsibility of a dog. (Check out the Association of Pet Dog Trainers to find a reputable, positive reinforcement trainer. www.apdt.com)

I will say that I am firmly of the belief that a dog is not disposable. It's a living being and deserves a family that is committed to giving it a wonderful life. However, if you and your gf truly can't give your dog that kind of life, then you may have to make some hard decisions.

Good luck!
 

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From what you're describing, I think it's time to let go. I've read through your older posts, and I think you've tried your best, but this might just be the wrong dog at the wrong time for you. It sounds like the vet bills stretched you to the limit financially, and if your schedules preclude the attention he needs... then the best thing you can do is find a foster home or no-kill shelter, and let somebody take care of him.

It's not just a question of space, but of resources and care. You can always try again later, but you can't get back the time you spent miserable because you forced yourself to remain in a situation you hated. If you're starting to resent the dog now, it's only going to get worse the longer you keep him, and everyone will suffer all the more because of it.

ETA: Damn you, Thracian, for making me read that damned thread again. Now I'm trying not to cry in my cube. Just for that, I'm linking the pictures.
 

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Oh, no! I'd forgotten the pictures of that beautiful girl. I think that story is going to haunt me for a while to come. Obviously, since I remembered it even though it's been a little while.

Guess I'm not the only one haunted by it, huh?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My gf and I talked last night, and there were yelling and butt kicking but I think we said what was needed to be said. I want Joker to get a better home, and she wants him to stay. I mentioned the topics of in september she is going back to school and won't know if she has one day of school or five which will mean more time in the crate for the little guy. She mentioned that she doesn't want the dog to go, but will "if it makes me happy, and won't be upset or hold grudges." but she mentioned that she understands the situation and agrees and still doesn't want him to go.

I am not sure but the ball seems like it is kind of on me to make the descision. I am at a cross road and do not know what to do :( On one hand make my gf happy and possibly (maybe maybe not) hinder Jokers attention and his happyness staying in the crate for long periods of time and on the other hand breaking my gfs heart. I am so saddened :(
 

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My gf and I talked last night, and there were yelling and butt kicking but I think we said what was needed to be said. I want Joker to get a better home, and she wants him to stay. I mentioned the topics of in september she is going back to school and won't know if she has one day of school or five which will mean more time in the crate for the little guy. She mentioned that she doesn't want the dog to go, but will "if it makes me happy, and won't be upset or hold grudges." but she mentioned that she understands the situation and agrees and still doesn't want him to go.

I am not sure but the ball seems like it is kind of on me to make the descision. I am at a cross road and do not know what to do :( On one hand make my gf happy and possibly (maybe maybe not) hinder Jokers attention and his happyness staying in the crate for long periods of time and on the other hand breaking my gfs heart. I am so saddened :(
Now she made it easy. If she wants the dog to stay so badly, then she has to get up early to walk it, feed it, train it etc. You have to be involved too but she has to be the main care provider. It's on her.
 

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Dogs can spend the day in a crate and be just fine- IF they get the attention and exercise they need when it counts. Is she willing to exercise and play with the dog when she is home?
 

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Dogs can spend the day in a crate and be just fine- IF they get the attention and exercise they need when it counts. Is she willing to exercise and play with the dog when she is home?
That's the thing in between school and part time work to pay for school... So by the end of it all we both have about the same amount of energy to spend with the dog.

Unfortunately I seem to see what needs to be done - I am at a loss for words :( I hope she does not hate me too much. Also we have friends and family that speak their mind so I can only imagine what they will say :( All in all a really shitty situation.
 

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Some people just aren't 'dog' people and that's o.k. It sounds like you are drained, financially and emotionally from owning your dog and sometimes you just need to be honest with yourself. I don't take lightly people getting dogs and then giving them up, I find it cruel and ignorant to be honest, but I think in your situation it is for the best.

You have tried, which is more then most, and if the bond isn't there it could be time to move on. That being said, you now know yourself well enough that another dog shouldn't be invited into your home as a companion...... I think you know that though and can stand up to any current or future girlfriend when the suggestion is next made.
 

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If she really wants the dog, she will find the energy. In fact, starting the day with a nice romp with one's dog can actually give a person MORE energy and pep for the day. It does me.

If you know rehoming is the right choice, tell her that you are willing to help her find the best home possible- and if she really is willing to put the effort to give him a fair shake, that you'll be supportive. It really is up to her at this point.
 

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That's the thing in between school and part time work to pay for school... So by the end of it all we both have about the same amount of energy to spend with the dog.

Unfortunately I seem to see what needs to be done - I am at a loss for words :( I hope she does not hate me too much. Also we have friends and family that speak their mind so I can only imagine what they will say :( All in all a really shitty situation.
One thing I would say is that when discussing it is to make it about the dog's best interests, and not you or your gf's. If she really wants to keep him, she has to be able to provide what he needs. Ultimately, time is a scarce resource is your lives, and that's what your dog is demanding. Given your schedules, it doesn't sound like he's going to be able to get it. It doesn't make you bad people, just busy ones.

It's obvious from the schedule you posted that you're trying your best, but sometimes, that's not enough. It's just a bad match, and by keeping him, you're preventing him from finding a good match.
 

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I noticed you said that it was a spur of the moment decision when you got the dog... I would suggest that you keep this situation in mind farther down the road.

Every dog has a different personality, and when you get a dog on a whim, there's no telling how he's going to turn out...

With that said, if things don't work out, and you and your GF aren't allergic to cats, I'd get a cat... lol! I know I'm the only one mentioning this, but a cat is a companion animal, and *almost* all cats are "independent"... Training a cat, has been for me, a lot easier than training my dog Donatello.

I feel your pain and your frustration, and I know how hard it is to continue going day to day stressing over the dog... But sometimes, even what we want isn't always best- And like others have mentioned, if your GF really wants to keep the dog, then she needs to own up to more responsibility.
 

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I'm really sorry to hear that it's come to this for you. But a small piece of advice I can offer if you ever consider getting another dog, is to consider the breed. I understand that breed standards are not 100% accurate, and that with a mix you never know what you'll get (that's what makes it fun though), but a husky/shepherd/beagle sounds to me like a high energy dog. Possible with the working drive of the husky/shepherd or the tracking and hunting needs of a beagle. I realize you got this dog on impulse, but next time, if there is a next time, maybe try and find a breed that's lower energy and just content to lay on your sofa for a while. Again, if you ever do think about adoption in the future, I'd like to suggest a senior dog. They rarely get the chances that puppies do to get adopted, and it sounds like an older dog might be a good dog for you to start with, whenever you're able to provide some around the house time for attention.
 

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If your gf wants to keep the dog then she should step it up and start taking more responsibility for him. I wanted a dog(s) and we got them and I do most of the work because I am the one who wanted them the most. Julie was content without the dogs, but certainly enjoys them, I was not content without dogs and wanted them. So, I do most of the work with/for them. I work 40+ hours a week and still find time to walk/run them, play with them, groom them. I enjoy it, its part of dog ownership.

Also, dogs can do fine all day in a crate as long as they get enough exercise. 6-8 hours in a crate isn't that big of a deal if the dog gets a long walk or run before going in and when you get home. Dogs sleep alot naturally anyway.

Have you tried biking with the dog? Its a great way to exercise a dog that likes to run. I use a walkydog to hook Allie up to the bike so she can't pull me over and we go for a nice ride/run.
 
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