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New dog owner - need advice

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Gregzilla75, Apr 15, 2017.


  1. Gregzilla75

    Gregzilla75 PetForums Newbie

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    Took on a 4 yr old chiweenie last sunday on trial. 1st time dog owner, ground floor flat with enclosed private garden.

    She is a rescue dog (from a Romanian forest) who apparently spent time with a foster home recently.

    Turbulent week. Lots of problems which may mean I can't take her on.

    My brother lives with me and has bonded really well with her, although after 6 days she is still not very friendly to me. I've shared a few bad moments with her which is probably why. Getting her home was bad - sick and wee. Hated the lead - really fought against it. Worst of all - she slipped out of her harness on Tuesday and got lost in the woods for 5 hours until a couple found her - in the woods and taking her home she was fighting to get away from me the whole time - and sick in the car again.

    Haven't used lead again until today - same story - trying to bite me when putting on and off the lead. This was just in the garden, which has been her only outside visits since the woods incident!

    She doesn't answer to her name, although this might have only recently been bestowed on her if she's a rescue mutt. I'm going to change the name anyway. She doesn't really come to me if I try and interact with her, she does with my brother.

    Err, what else? All the treats and toys I bought her, no interest at all so I can't use treats for training.

    She stinks, but I have no doubt she will go nuts if I try to bathe her.

    She bit me quite badly when removing a treat that was under her paw. Since then I think she can sense my fear around her sometimes.

    I woke her up by accident today and she barked like crazy and attacked me.

    First few days she was howling like a wolf (not good in a flat!), but this is stopped now she has bonded with my brother. Who she follows around constantly and doesn't like it at all when he's not in the room. Neither of us have slept much this week at all, trying to keep her calm.

    Oh, and we've both been tight chested, which probably means we're allergic to the dog anyway!!

    She scratches while the harness is on, covering the flat with black hair everywhere.

    Noisy neighbours with dogs, slamming doors etc. Might affect her.

    The positives: Although she's not that fond of me she does sleep on my bed with me and sit on me when on the couch. Great that I have a garden as it's easy enough to put her out without a lead. As mentioned, bonded really well with my brother, who is quite the recluse, and that is great to see.

    If I can get a little bit closer to her myself, get her out walking on a lead, travelling by car and just generally calm down a bit it would be great. Any advice, or is she a lost cause? Well, am I a lost cause I mean, as she will probably do well with another owner.
     
  2. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Breath tale a step back and start again. You have had her less than a week and you have both been through a lot.

    You don't know her and she doesn't know you.

    Don't put yourself in situations that could cause conflict. Treat her by all means but give her something quick tiny bit of chicken or liver as a reward nothing she can guard. If she doesn't like the lead them don't walk her yet. Why does she wear a harness in the house?

    Let her come to you rather than try to get near her.

    Build her trust in you before you put her in situations she is unsure of.

    What have the rescue said about her behaviour? What did they tell you about her?
     
  3. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    You have to give her time.

    There's no way of knowing what has happened to her and what trauma she may have suffered before she came to you.

    Be calm and patient and allow her space and time to adjust to her new life.

    She may well never have worn a lead and can't be expected to know what a lead is.

    My Son and his Partner adopted a Romanian Rescue three years ago. She was very fearful at first but is now the most affectionate and lovely little dog.
     
  4. Katalyst

    Katalyst A Lanky Lurcher and a Delinquent Dobermann

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    Listen to Meezey! That's fab advice.

    Just out of sheer curiosity, what the fook is a chiweenie?!
     
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  5. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    I wondered that...*goes to Google*
     
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  6. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    It's a chi x dachshund
     
  7. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    I will be honest with you here, speaking as someone who adopted a very damaged dog from Romania 4 years ago, moderately experienced with difficult dogs but not really prepared for the massive undertaking of her rehabilitation back then.

    She doesn't sound like a dog for a first time dog owner, she sounds like she's going to need some intensive work, not a lost cause by any means, but someone with street dog adoption experience may be more suitable for her.

    As it's a home trial you can tell the rescue about your concerns with her if you decide to return her, so they can find a more suitable home.

    There is no shame in admitting you feel she is too much for you to cope with.

    However....

    It is still early days, she's unsettled & probably horrible scared.

    If you are prepared to put in the work, accept that you have a dog that isn't in all likelihood going to be a 'chocolate box' dog, then we can probably recommend a behaviourist if you can tell us what area you're in.

    I'm not a behaviourist, but have Rommie experience & have friends heavily involved in Rommie rescue & rehabilitation, & there are some good Facebook groups you could join. I have also answered some of your question in red above.
     
  8. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Chihuahua X Dachshund
    They're fairly popular here in the US, you know, like so many funky named mutts ;)
    Though I wasn't aware that there were chihuahuas and dachshunds running feral in Romanian forests?

    OP, I'm going to go against the grain and recommend you return her to the rescue. As a first time dog owner, this is a steep learning curve to try and work through a frightened rescue "project" dog, and it just doesn't seem like you're in to it. I mean, if something like her scratching and shedding bothers you, this might not be the best fit.
    Better to realize now that this is not your thing and return her to her foster home sooner rather than later.
     
  9. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    I also think that you may be better to return her to the rescue. If you really want to keep her and work through the issues then of course do so, but be aware that you may never have the outcome that you are looking for and it will involve a lot of hard work and probably the help of a decent behaviourist. It sounds like this particular dog would be more suited to someone who has more experience.
     
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  10. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    There are a surprising number of tiny free roaming dogs, in all likeliness they have described her as a chiweenie because that's what she most looks like, but there are plenty of dogs who were originally owned & then turned loose, including purebreds, living alongside the dogs who have multi generations of street under their metaphorical belts.

    A large number of those appear to be of spitz type, possibly because that's the phenotype that is best suited so survive there.
     
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  11. Katalyst

    Katalyst A Lanky Lurcher and a Delinquent Dobermann

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    I'd never have guessed that.... why the weenie? Most of these ridiculous mashed together mongrel cross breeds at least tell you what the resulting mongrel puppies comprise of.
    I'm in agreement with you regarding returning to rescue.
    That's going to be a hell of a challenging dog to get settled and "fixed".
    A dog like this is easily made worse in inexperienced hands and you're going to be spending a lot of time and alot of money on behaviourists and trainers. It'll be a long slog.
    I say this with no malice or belittlement intended: this is probably not the place to start your dog ownership years. Rearing and training a dog for the first time is no walk in the park at the best of times. This is going to be far more complicated.
    There is NOTHING wrong with standing up and saying "do you know what? We're not the best home for this dog. It's a lovely dog, but probably needs a highly experienced owner, which I am not."
    You'll do the dog far more favours by accepting that her needs are not what you were looking to cater for in accepting first dog that keeping her and ending up prisoner in your own home or unable to take her anywhere/trust her. That's no fun for any of you.
    Ring the rescue. See what their thoughts are.
     
  12. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Dachshunds are also called weiner dogs. Like a hot dog sausage, weiner, weenie... Thus weenie dog X chihuahua = chiweenie. (Yes, I threw up a little in my mouth.)
     
  13. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    I've heard them called 'Mexican hotdogs' as well!
     
  14. shinra

    shinra PetForums Member

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    Sigh,
    This is what pees me off about these romanian rehomes, 1 its too easy and usually the dog is totally unseen and shipped from there to here.
    When did it suddenly become such a goodidea? 95% of the dog owning population are not equipped to handle often traumatized dogs, considering most people do not even understand basic dog body language and follow cesar milan theories, yet it seems like its becoming such a common thing, I've seen some cases where its worked out usually really young puppies, but usually disasters and end up being passed on god knows how many times
     
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  15. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Ew.
     
  16. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Sure those on here with Romanian rescue dogs might disagree with you.
     
  17. shinra

    shinra PetForums Member

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    Because members of this forum really represent the average dog owner #sarcasm.
     
  18. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Well I consider myself an average dog owner? I am sure most people joining consider themselves average dog owners. Wasnt aware there was a test you had to pass to become a PF member?
     
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  19. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    I think it's a fair criticism.
    Why place a dog who's going to require a lot of behavioral work in a complete novice's home?
     
  20. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    I agree, to a degree.

    There are definitely some unsavoury 'rescues' bringing in dogs from abroad, often people who have hearts in the right place but no solid plans beyond 'get the poor dogs into a home'.

    On the flipside, there are equally unsavoury UK 'rescues', including one exposed late last year, placing unassessed, aggressive dogs in unsuitable homes with young children, dogs that disappear never to be seen again, & a dead, emaciated dog discovered on a property used to house the animals in the care.

    It's why researching which rescues people choose to adopt from is as important as researching an ethical breeder to choose a puppy from.
     
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