« on: May 09, 2010, 08:39:12 pm »
All other issues aside, I think she is a well-meaning girl. But she has this DOG. The dog is a good dog but totally untrained; she took him to obedience school briefly but she didn't agree with the methods (typical dominance/reward training, very effective with dogs as it fits with their natural pack behavior) so she quit. He has extreme separation anxiety issues, and will bark all day if left alone.
This girl is a postgrad student and is not home very much. The dog DID have range of the back yard, but he really needs to be walked, and preferably taken somewhere to run, twice a day. I don't have time to do it and am not interested in taking over her responsibilities if I did. Her dog is a hunting breed, large and rangy, and dumb as a sack of hair trimmings, but I think he would be trainable if she would put in the effort. He's a barker, very noisy and difficult to control. I am home all day, so for the last two years I have been the person who has put most of the effort into letting him in and out of the back yard and trying to curb his barking.
Now we get to the good part. Because he's not getting enough exercise or attention, he started slipping out of the house and running away, and he does not come when called. He never does it when I open the door, and rarely when the kids do, because we're all pretty good at blocking him, but if ANYONE else comes over he takes advantage of their unwariness to push past them. He has absolutely no wariness of roads or cars and we live near a busy street. It got to the point where, if someone knocked on the door, I would put him in the basement before opening it.
He has also killed several of my trees and shrubs by urinating on them, including a 7-year-old paw-paw that SHOULD have fruited this year. This dog is a huge PITA, and a lot of it could be resolved simply with attention and training... but my housemate wants to spend time with her boyfriend instead of coming home and taking care of her dog.
So, then he figured out he can tear apart the side fence and get out. He did it twice, and the second time, what I had feared finally happened: he got hit by a car. Luckily, only his paw was hurt, but here's where it gets really weird; she handled this by locking him in her room ALL DAY while she's gone. It's ridiculous. A sixty-pound dog should not be locked in a 10x12 room for ten hours at a time. She comes home, takes him for a walk, and then puts him back in her room and goes off to do her own thing. I can understand doing this while his paw is healing, to make sure he rests and doesn't re-injure it, but then
And, OK, I realize I should probably step back instead of letting myself get upset with this, BUT
She is moving out at the end of the month (I am so grateful she decided this on her own, as I was dreading asking her to move) and is talking about how hard it is to find apartments with a big dog, and is trying to get him declared a service animal for her anxiety, so she can more easily find a place. I said "I hate to say it, but to be gently frank, I am not sure an apartment is going to be a good fit with your dog, because of his barking"
And she says, holy shit I could not believe it but she says, "My plan is to (a) move in where they already have dogs that bark and (b) use the spray bark collar and if he can't stop, then I can keep him in my boyfriend's adjacent basement."
The fucking basement. All day. Alone. In a basement. That is so absolutely not OK I can't stand it. I told her that locked in a basement is no life for a dog. She takes him nowhere. Not to the beach or hiking or anything. Ever. She goes to Sauvie's Island all the time with her boyfriend and never takes the dog. He just needs to get out and run, and be trained, and his behavior issues would be resolved. He just needs time and attention. I can't give it to him; I have three kids and two dogs of my own, neither of which have her dog's particular needs. I have neither time nor energy for this dog, which is why I don't have a large hunting breed.
The insanity of a full-time grad student getting a large hunting breed boggles my mind; it's like she has no regard at all for anything other than her own immediate desires. I am upset and frustrated and at the end of my rope; the girl won't even read dog-training books because she "disagrees" with them, meaning essentially that she is willfully ignorant of anything that might contradict what she WANTS to do.
Sigh. I am trying to just ride out the month. After that, what she does is her own problem and at least I don't have to witness it.
I find myself sincerely hoping she's infertile.