Giving up our dog…

So I can finally write and talk about having to find a more appropriate home for my dog.

Last year we finally decided to get a puppy. Neither my husband nor I ever had a dog growing up so it was quite the learning experience and a lifestyle change (not to mention stressful and an emotional roller coaster!) People tried to warn me about the experience- much the way that women warn you about giving birth – they tell you some of the stuff but not all!   Since I have allergies we decided on a hyper allergenic one. When I first started researching I could not believe the cost of some of these types of dogs? Really? 2k? Ugh, so I kept researching and found a breeder in a nearby state. I do not think she was a true breeder but just someone who liked dogs and decided to breed a few litters (that should have been a signal) Plus, it is really hard to walk away from a litter of cute puppies!

It all started out well enough until our puppy started showing signs of aggression – food, toys, people – we had several trainers come in to try to help us and it did not seem to work. When he was older he was fine out and about at the park, at soccer games and great with dogs and with kids in an outside environment and seemed to get over the food aggression but when anyone came to the door or was in our house he liked to attack when they first came through the door….and bite…a lot…while in our home and we just never knew what could lead up to a nip or bite.  So we stuck it out and thought he would get over his issues but after biting several people we know we had to find a more appropriate home (and one without kids).

Luckily we met a wonderful woman who rescues cockapoos and evaluates them and places them with people who are experienced with dogs and can handle some of the challenges. After evaluating our soon to be one year old dog, she concluded he was quite intelligent, got away with a lot, needed to be in an adult home without any kids and in a home that had lots of experience with dogs. She is also a breeder of cockapoos and after seeing all her dogs I would recommend if you are in the market for a puppy to choose one from her. None of her dogs are aggressive in any way. She knows what she is doing, knows her dogs and will know right away if a puppy will fit into your home and lifestyle.  Having a puppy can be difficult and challenging and she recommended that we not get another puppy but consider an older dog.  Older dogs can be great for families – they are trained, both socially and potty trained, don’t chew things or people! and you will know their personality.  If you are in the Massachusetts area contact Shady Lane Kennel. The web site has a ton of information.  Having been through the experience of buying a puppy and trying to train him, I would recommend the following tips:

1.  If you are a first time dog owner do NOT get a puppy – they are far too much work, require a lot of care and training and it can be stressful! I would recommend an older dog that has a track record of good behavior and is trained!

2.  Research, research, research -Our friends have a boxer and while we loved him they require lots of activity and can be great with kids in their own family but can be territorial. Know your breeds, research and ask the breeder questions.

3.  Do not buy a dog for your kids – At first your kids will be very excited and will walk the dog and take him out to the bathroom –  for the first week! I have always wanted a dog and knew that since I work from home the responsibility would be mine during the day at least!

4.  If you want to involve your kids and give them some responsibility spell it out and write it out BEFORE the dog comes to your home – that way everyone knows what their role is.

5.  Have systems in place before your dog arrives – know where you want to put his crate, food, water, etc. and if you will let him up on the sofa and bed because once you start letting your dog sleep with you there is no going back!



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