Tuesday, April 15, 2014

At my wit's end

I feel as though I am at my wit's end. I am clueless as to what to do anymore with the situation. My dog Lily came into my life about 10 months ago when I brought her home at 2 months old. She will be 1 on April 25th. To say it has been an interesting journey of training a puppy is putting it lightly. I didn't know what I was getting myself into.

Growing up, all my dogs were a bit older when I got them. I knew I was going to have to take some sort of dog training classes with Lily to train her how to sit, stay, down, heel, walk properly on a leash. I did 6 weeks of puppy kindergarten with Lily and she seemed to do well. Shortly after she finished, I started having a private trainer come to my house every two weeks to work with her because she was getting a bit aggressive. I had asked my vet when I took her to get spayed and he recommended this trainer.

I followed the trainer's instructions and worked to get Lily to listen to me and know I was boss. From the first session to the second session, he said he saw a huge improvement in her (she bit him the first session but he provoked it because he wanted to piss her off....it was part of his training). Sure, there were some slip ups but a lot of it has to do with my mom because she became/still is (in my opinion) afraid of Lily. Lily did bite her once. The trainer told us she was to be kept in her crate when I was not home so she wouldn't get herself into chaos. That was working until other people in the house decided to let her out because they felt bad she was crated all day. And of course, I got frustrated because why did they have to go change something that WAS working?

After about four sessions with the trainer, Lily seemed to get better. Sure, she has her "bitchy" moments and growls at you (even me if I don't pay attention to her). My mom says she has to be possessed because she is sweet and docile/good as gold one day (like Saturday) and then a switch flips and she is nasty (like last night when I came home from work to find out Lily bolted at my mom). She seems to do it over FOOD. Last night (because its now Tuesday morning), I came home from work to find out that Lily bolted at my mom. My mom had brought in dog food someone was getting rid of because they got rid of their dog (this is kind of ironic because my mom is probably praying I get rid of mine) and had it at the top of the basement stairs to put in containers. She got up from the couch (while she was on the phone with my brother) and Lily bolted at her. Lily didn't bite her but seriously, it is all over food.

I feel like I am at my wit's end because I don't know what to do anymore. I am suppose to be going away on Thursday to visit my best friend in Florida and I have been looking forward to this for months. I desperately need a few days off to regain my sanity and just be able to relax. My mom doesn't want me to leave the dog here and wants me to board her. So I have to call a vet tomorrow/today that my friend's boyfriend works at to see if they can board her or a kennel my mom's friend's friend works at/owns. This is something I wasn't expecting to do but what else can I do? I absolutely can't stand the thought of getting rid of her. My heart is just broken right now and you might as well rip it right out of my chest if you want me to get rid of her. Yet, I can't afford to live on my own up here in NY on Long Island so I am really just in a CRAPTASTIC situation.

I really don't want to risk my mom getting rid of the dog if I don't board her so I am doing that. But also looking into another trainer. The one I was working with charges $1200 for a one week private intensive training session in his home and I can't really afford that. Plus, it kind of seems outrageous. My mom says I shouldn't have gotten a dog because I am not really home that much (I am really home at night a few nights a week according to her). But how else am I suppose to be able to afford my bills?

Have any of you ever dealt with/had a dog like this? It seems to be over food and I just don't know how to fix it. ANY AND ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE APPRECIATED!

And now that I spent about a good two hours crying over this tonight, I am off to bed to get some sleep before I entertain/play with  Lily tomorrow. Wish me luck.


  1. We've nicknamed our dog Snooty because he definitely has a bit of an attitude. It's kind of endearing though and we've certainly spoiled him. However, Scout will be a year old in May and he's never had any kind of special training. My husband has trained him to hunt, but we're his only disciplinarians. A few things: Does Lily have any puppy friends? Maybe some socialization will help her? Also, do you hit her? We've found that he really needs a good smack now and then. There's been numerous times that he's needed it and I'm not ashamed to say I whacked him with a paperback just the other night when he ran away from me while we were out fishing. In our case, it's usually, "Scout, come". If he doesn't come after the 2nd or 3rd call and we have to go after him, he knows he's going to get it. We have to be able to trust him and if he ignores us, he's in trouble. If he doesn't stop or sit when we're trying to get him to (usually in an outside situation with other people around and/or dangerous traffic as he spends a lot of time off-leash), he knows he's in trouble. His ears go back and he'll start to shake. I think you want that fear to be in them, if that makes sense. In your case, maybe Lily needs that kind of discipline when it comes to the growling. Lastly, when we're in the woods or in a situation where he has free rein, we rely on the shock collar. Initially, we were totally against it. But man, it is the quickest way to teach them right and wrong. He gets a call, a warning beep, and a shock if he doesn't listen at that point. Since he's a hunting dog and spends a lot of time off-leash, we rely on these methods. Just a few ideas!

  2. I had a dog who we got when he was around 8 weeks old. That was a long time ago. But, basically we failed puppy school. I know it was more me with the whole training thing. I do not recommend ever hitting a dog. Even a smack. It will just teach more aggressive behavior. I say just be consistent with what you are doing. The important thing is she knows you are her mom and you are the boss. But, don't do it with violence. Fear will not help the situation. Plus, she is a puppy. She will probably calm down when she gets older. She probably needs more play time. Take her for a run or socialize her with other dogs. Dogs are usually the most territorially over there owners and there food.