Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Apologies if this is in the wrong place:

I'm sixteen and live with my mom and four roommates to help pay the bills; combined, our household is home to four dogs and well over thirteen cats. This is not including the ten puppies one of our two dogs had after she was left outside with her son while in heat (she had a litter last year and we gave our roommates three of that litter; they kept one after we moved in together).

I don't have my own room--I sleep on the couch in the living room. The couch is about four feet from the downstairs litterbox. I naturally have to deal with a lot of animal traffic (when I go to school I need to put up the cushions and sheets and blankets, calm our dogs when they bark at strangers, let them in and out, etc.)

Clarification: Sometimes all the dogs are let out together, usually we keep them separated

My mom kept a puppy from our other dog's litter. Her name is Jane. Jane had huge issues with barking inside (and out) and it was out of control, so a few months ago, since my mother refused to train her, I took it upon myself to do it. I got a shake can full of pennies and anytime she barked I shook it to get her attention and then ran up and petted her (or fed her treats ocassionally, when they were on hand). I also decided to teach her to sit for ten minute sessions, just Jane and I (I couldn't get her to pay attention when there were distractions most of the time).

Jane eventually started looking to me as her master and I even bought a nice collar for her with my own money. I started training her to walk correctly (I stopped any time she was trying to lead, waited a while, and then kept walking. I could've praised her more effectively but she did start to get the point).

I recently have gone back to school after a hectic period and I've been stressed out lately. A few weeks ago I simply lost my patience with the whole situation; I don't want an unmanageable amount of animals, I don't want to train a dog, etc. I have other things I need to worry about. Thing is, I have to worry about it or else I won't get any sleep!

She barks at night and wakes me up. If I leave food out she will eat it and repeat the behavior even if I scold her (I shouldn't have to put my food up, I'm pretty sure she needs to understand that some things are off limits and my mom won't give me the time of day). She used to be very good about not barking outside but I got so angry about things that I stopped training her and now she's as bad as our roomate's dog; he barks outside the moment he steps out the door even if there's nothing there. Jane has copied his behavior!

It's infuriating! I'm not getting any sleep, she chews on my things all the time, eats my food, barks inside, barks outside, etc., and the people in my house tell me it's natural and okay because she's a dog!

NO! NO IT IS NOT OKAY! I've actually been told by one of our roommates that teaching her not to bark will trauamatize her! I understand that barking at the door and at strangers is necessary but she needs to stop when she's told to! That is not traumatizing (and at this point I don't think I care if it is because I am so SICK of having to deal with all of these disgusting people and animals!)!

I repeatedly asked Mom to please train the dog and she just flat out refuses. She's coddled and spoiled and whenever I voice my opinion or try to tell people that certain behaviors should not be encouraged I'm told that I'm wrong and arguments start. I can't win and I am so tired of it. I don't know how else to get across to Jane not to bark outside, for example, because when she starts there's no getting her attention and the yard is pretty big so I can't immediately praise her when she stops. So I just bring her inside. One of the roommates called this "so wrong", and she was very upset and let Jane back out to play with the other dogs.

I want to get her into obedience training classes but they usually cost $80+ and I don't want to spend all of my money on this.

I'm really desperate for help. I'm tired of being so angry all the time. I want some sleep.

What should I do? I am a high schooler with little income and I don't necessarily have the means to do everything that should be done for this dog, so keep that in mind if you have any (absolutely valued) feedback.

Jane is a Great Pyrenese-Aussie-lab mix. She's a year and a few months old now, so still a puppy. She's generally got an excellent temper (when strangers come over she barks a lot but she doesn't approach and she isn't aggressive; usually she just needs to be introduced and she'll back off. If they come back she will bark at them again, though, and the process needs to be repeated until she's comfortable).

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Wow, where to begin. First, talk to your family about spay neuter, irresponsible breeding is completely preventable! Call shelters about low cost neutering if money is an issue.

I agree this should not be on you. Though it seems it is. Look into online training which is free. Lose the anger, she is just a dog that is not being brought up correctly. The anger is not going to help you, the dogs, or the people. Find a fun way to train, or maybe a dog group or club nearby to help.

If I understood you, there are fourteen dogs and thirteen cats? Maybe talking with animal control or thehumane society would help as well.

It sounds like you are the dogs only hope. If talking to the roommates and family about them training isn't working, ask them to help you train the dogs.good luck, I'm sure you will get good advice here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Yikes. That's tipping the scales on hoarding, really.

I get you're frustrated, and you have a right to be, but some things stick out to me.

1. You "should" be able to leave food out. Sorry, no. If the dog can't be trusted, and I've never had a dog who could, just keep the food out of reach. Easier and safer for everyone involved, especially the dog.

2. You shouldn't "have to" train the dog. Let me let you in on a secret of adulthood: it sucks sometimes. You do all kinds of things you'd rather not and shouldn't have to and it's really unfair. I get that this shouldn't be all on your shoulders, but there it is. And caught up in this is a dog who has no choice in the matter. Less than you, really. Conceivably, you could get out of this house and go somewhere else. The dog can't ever leave.

So, let me let you in on another secret: choices feel better when we own them. Make a choice to handle the food thing responsibly. Own it. Make it yours. Make a choice to train the dog. Own it. Be proud of it. You are helping a helpless creature who didn't ask for any of this. That's a good thing and makes you a good person.

And come back here and vent when you need to, or ask for help whenever. Sometimes you just need to talk to people who are willing to listen, even if they can't change a thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,713 Posts
Apologies if this is in the wrong place:

I'm sixteen and live with my mom and four roommates to help pay the bills; combined, our household is home to four dogs and well over thirteen cats. This is not including the ten puppies one of our two dogs had after she was left outside with her son while in heat (she had a litter last year and we gave our roommates three of that litter; they kept one after we moved in together).
I don't have my own room--I sleep on the couch in the living room. The couch is about four feet from the downstairs litterbox. I naturally have to deal with a lot of animal traffic (when I go to school I need to put up the cushions and sheets and blankets, calm our dogs when they bark at strangers, let them in and out, etc.)

Clarification: Sometimes all the dogs are let out together, usually we keep them separated
Wow. That is too many animals! No wonder you are overwhelmed! You should not feel bad being overwhelmed - that is completely normal in the circumstances.

My mom kept a puppy from our other dog's litter. Her name is Jane. Jane had huge issues with barking inside (and out) and it was out of control, so a few months ago, since my mother refused to train her, I took it upon myself to do it. I got a shake can full of pennies and anytime she barked I shook it to get her attention and then ran up and petted her (or fed her treats ocassionally, when they were on hand). I also decided to teach her to sit for ten minute sessions, just Jane and I (I couldn't get her to pay attention when there were distractions most of the time).
Good for you taking the initiative to train the dog. You are on the right track.
A few notes:
- Although it sounds like you have no room to train the dog alone you may try. Take her out in the yard first so you have it to yourself or perhaps keep her inside after the others have gone out for a few a minutes. Or bring her in early.

Jane eventually started looking to me as her master and I even bought a nice collar for her with my own money. I started training her to walk correctly (I stopped any time she was trying to lead, waited a while, and then kept walking. I could've praised her more effectively but she did start to get the point).

I recently have gone back to school after a hectic period and I've been stressed out lately. A few weeks ago I simply lost my patience with the whole situation; I don't want an unmanageable amount of animals, I don't want to train a dog, etc. I have other things I need to worry about. Thing is, I have to worry about it or else I won't get any sleep!
Very understandable that you are feeling overwhelmed. It is a difficult task to train a dog when you have a very biddable dog in a quiet environment with an expert standing next to you. You have a difficult environment, a difficult dog and no one trying to help.

She barks at night and wakes me up. If I leave food out she will eat it and repeat the behavior even if I scold her (I shouldn't have to put my food up, I'm pretty sure she needs to understand that some things are off limits and my mom won't give me the time of day). She used to be very good about not barking outside but I got so angry about things that I stopped training her and now she's as bad as our roomate's dog; he barks outside the moment he steps out the door even if there's nothing there. Jane has copied his behavior!

It's infuriating! I'm not getting any sleep, she chews on my things all the time, eats my food, barks inside, barks outside, etc., and the people in my house tell me it's natural and okay because she's a dog!

NO! NO IT IS NOT OKAY! I've actually been told by one of our roommates that teaching her not to bark will trauamatize her! I understand that barking at the door and at strangers is necessary but she needs to stop when she's told to! That is not traumatizing (and at this point I don't think I care if it is because I am so SICK of having to deal with all of these disgusting people and animals!)!

I repeatedly asked Mom to please train the dog and she just flat out refuses. She's coddled and spoiled and whenever I voice my opinion or try to tell people that certain behaviors should not be encouraged I'm told that I'm wrong and arguments start. I can't win and I am so tired of it. I don't know how else to get across to Jane not to bark outside, for example, because when she starts there's no getting her attention and the yard is pretty big so I can't immediately praise her when she stops. So I just bring her inside. One of the roommates called this "so wrong", and she was very upset and let Jane back out to play with the other dogs.

I want to get her into obedience training classes but they usually cost $80+ and I don't want to spend all of my money on this.

I'm really desperate for help. I'm tired of being so angry all the time. I want some sleep.

What should I do? I am a high schooler with little income and I don't necessarily have the means to do everything that should be done for this dog, so keep that in mind if you have any (absolutely valued) feedback.

Jane is a Great Pyrenese-Aussie-lab mix. She's a year and a few months old now, so still a puppy. She's generally got an excellent temper (when strangers come over she barks a lot but she doesn't approach and she isn't aggressive; usually she just needs to be introduced and she'll back off. If they come back she will bark at them again, though, and the process needs to be repeated until she's comfortable).

Thanks in advance.
A few thoughts:

- Focus on training what is going to make your life easier. No barking. Unless you beat her (which you are not), scream at her (and you aren't), etc you are not going to traumatize her. Training does not traumatize the dog - it gives the dog limits.
- Determine the limits for the dog. Write them down. She is not allowed to do Thing A, Thing B and Thing C. An example for our household: Misty is not allowed to rush out the door (she is a door dasher and she will not come back - she just runs). When we open the front door she is required to sit and wait. Impulse control is critical in our house. Misty must wait to get out of the bathroom (where they wait if people are coming and going) and wait to eat until released (she literally leans in close as she can without moving a paw or her bottom - it's pretty funny). None of these things are going to look like amazing obedience (they only involve a sit or down and wait) but they make our lives easier. Not being crowded when I set her food down, not being run over when letting them out and not having her run out the door is wonderful.
- Patience is key. We moved into the apt in June. Misty wouldn't get "waiting" at the door on the first try until December. Every single time we went out the door we would have her sit and wait and we wouldn't go out the door until she did it (which was alot of backing her up, telling her sit, wait - repeat, repeat, repeat) and it still took 6 months. It took 2 months to get her to wait for dinner (food was a great motivator). Patience, patience, patience.
- It is up to you. If no one else in the household is interested in training the dog you must do it if you want to sleep. Although it should be the adults primary responsibility it has fallen to you. You want to sleep you are going to have to step up.
- Stick to it. If you lapse or give up the dog will relapse and you will loose all your work. Start slowly and work up. Jumping in the deep end with both feet will be more discouraging. If a dog's habit is merely annoying and not harming anything (such as counter surfing) resort to management in the mean time until you are ready to train for that. Keep food off the table and wrappers thrown out (and out of reach) so there is nothing for the dog to counter surf while you train her not to bark. Manage what you aren't training (and continue to manage after you have trained something). If you try to train everything all at once you will be discouraged and have a difficult time keeping with your training program.

Good luck you can do it!

It isn't easy to train dogs correctly under perfect circumstances. Patience is key. You can do it.

We are always here for you to vent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,366 Posts
Here are two free downloads about dog training. You may see something useful about what you need.
http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

Also, there are plenty of Youtube videos.

If you don't hurt the dog, then there is no harm in teaching a dog some good manners.
The general methods for teaching Quiet is to first teach the dog to bark on command.
1. When you know she will bark, say Bark, then give her a tiny treat when she does. Repeat for 10 min. every day for about a week.
2. Say Bark at some random time, if she barks, give her 3 - 5 tiny treats (a tiny treat is a dime-sized slice of a $1 cooked hotdog or something similar)
3. After she barks on command, Tell her to bark, with no treat. When she stops or takes a breath, say Quiet and give a tiny treat. If she never stops, then say Quiet and put the treat under her nose.... a dog can't bark and sniff at the same time. Repeat for 10 min. daily for about a week.
4. Continue practicing in many, many different places ... especially the backyard. When she is reliable work on duration.
5. For duration, say Quiet when she is barking, but hold off for one second before giving the treat. After a few days, increase to two seconds. Slowly increase the number of seconds. When she gets impatient and barks again before the treat, back down a second.
6. This may take a month or two, but you'll see progress. Don't push it too much, because she doesn't understand, yet.... But she will.

Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,766 Posts
How many dogs/puppies are currently in the home? Just the 4 you mentioned or are there any puppies? I live with 3 dogs and "well over 13 cats" (and other animals), by choice, and I find it very manageable, in fact enjoyable. Although I wouldn't recommend anybody sleep on my couch; they'd have cats bouncing off their head all night. . .:p. But there are things you have to do to make the situation manageable and keep it that way. First thing is that everybody has to be spayed/neutered. I mean everybody. It's the only way to keep things civilized when there are that many. If you need help finding a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in your area, grab a phone book and call around to all the local shelters and rescue groups to ask. If that fails, PM me. . .some of the people on my cat forum are pretty good at digging up needed info. And if you need any help with management of a many-cat household, PM me about that, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
I'd talk to a school counselor and see if they can offer some help. That's too many dogs and cats in a household that is too crowded if you are having to sleep on the couch. Maybe they could talk some of the roommates into rehoming some of the pets. Many cities have laws regarding how many pets you can have.

(((hugs))) You're not in a good situation. Try to do well in school so you can get a good job and move out when you turn 18.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Yikes! I don't blame you for feeling overwhelmed!

I don't really have a lot to add...you've gotten good advice already. Just know that we're here if you need to vent or ask questions. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,946 Posts
I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said, but...

Try to do well in school so you can get a good job and move out when you turn 18.
This. Your writing skills are already far better than those of your peers, and you're only 16. Keep it up, and in two more years you can get outta there!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top