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Backs and their problems

32 comments


I haven’t been on GOY for a while. I’m having chronic back problems which are aggravated by bending and lifting so I can’t do much in the garden. Just as well the quiet season is coming up. In addition we have adopted a rescue dog. He was originally from Romania but it’s OK I can speak to him in English! Since my lovely mongrel girl died four years ago I’ve missed having a hairy companion (my husband is losing most of his!) and finally dug in my heels and insisted on another dog. I’ve had dogs all my life, except for a few years here and there, so I didn’t think there would be too many problems though I expected some, of course. However, I didn’t allow for age – mine! Rusty is a lovely chestnut and white corgi cross, cute, mischievous, obstinate and vocal but has one big problem in that he lurches and barks at each and every dog. Every walk is a test of whether I can see the next dog before him so that I can take evasive action. School hasn’t helped much since we only walk round and round a muddy field while the other dogs do their lessons. The idea is that he will get used to the other dogs and eventually join the class but since the situation is completely different to that of walking round a housing estate filled (lots of other dogs) it’s likely to take years for him to get over this problem. My husband and I are both stressed and exhausted but will we send him back to the Rescue Centre? No. How many times has he been uprooted? We don’t know, but I can’t put him back in the system yet again, it wouldn’t be fair or kind. We are his family now and though he tests us to the limit I just know he will turn into a lovely companion.

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Comments

 

He is a little cutie! I'm sure you'll have many happy times with him.I remember feeling the same as you many years ago....persevered and so glad we did.

11 Dec, 2019

 

He looks lovely and obviously looks very happy. I had a wire haired fox terrier who did the same as Rusty. It didn't seem to bother him that the dogs were usually bigger than him. In fact the bigger the better.

11 Dec, 2019

 

There is no doubt it will be hard work but be positive at all times, it will be good exercise for you, not only for your body, but your mind too! Is it possible to walk him somewhere a little quieter, dog wise, at least a couple of days a week? Do you have a friend with a calm dog, and you could share time, walks etc?

Is it anything to do with him being small in height, I saw one of those dog rescue centre programmes, a small dog was given a small set of step ladders, when he climbed them he was calmer and more confident, not sure how long it took but gradually his confidence grew and he was less aggressive towards big dogs........I don't know, maybe there's advice or tips online for dog behaviour. Even though you've had dogs, all of them are very different.

He looks like he is worth all the time effort and patience and I'm sure he will pay you back bucketloads with time. Well done for taking him and good luck! Sounds like you're well up for the challenge anyway!

11 Dec, 2019

 

There are many “antipulling dog leashes” on the market that will effectively solve this problem. To find them just type what I have in between the quote marks into your search engine. To see how they work go onto YouTube and type in the same thing to get videos on their application and function.

12 Dec, 2019

 

Thank you for all your comments and advice. Rusty doesn’t pull much at all unless he’s hurrying to that perfect toilet spot or he sees another dog. The latter is when he can’t restrain himself, regardless of size of dog. If it has four paws then it must be barked at. I know we’ll get there eventually, but while we’re going to school we ought to follow their advice. So no head collar and no harness. I had a harness for my lovely BJ even though she didn’t really need it because I felt I had more control if necessary. Teacher says not yet for Rusty but I think I’m going to take things into my own hands very soon and do what I feel is right, ie getting very cross when he lunges and barks, then giving him a treat when he quietens down. And wearing a harness, possibly with a Halti too.

As for gardening I don’t even want to know today as it’s been raining heavily since early morning. There are puddles and mud everywhere. I do need to get on and do something as Him Indoors has widened all the borders. I’ve moved some plants but there are a lot more to re-site. They will have to be done in the spring now. Then we’re going to put the stone urn in the centre of the lawn which is a wavy circular shape. I felt the garden needed some focus. Sadly, in this tiny garden I can’t give free rein to my passion for plants and there are so many I’d like to have, hence the widening of the borders. Hopefully, my back will allow bending come springtime.

I want to wish all at GOY a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and happy NY. Enjoy life while you can.

12 Dec, 2019

 

He looks adorable, love the name rusty.

13 Dec, 2019

 

A cute puppy. How nice that you rescued him.

13 Dec, 2019

 

He's a beautiful colour! Hope he will soon develop a temperament to match and become the delightful companion you were hoping for!

14 Dec, 2019

 

Aww, what a handsome canine companion, I am sure in time you will come to an understanding with Rusty and both enjoy your dog walks. My Patterdale shared walks with a dalmation when they were both pups and my calm little fella soon adopted the idea that greeting other dogs meant barking incessantly at them, just as the dalmation did ... it wasn't long before we started walking on our own but it has taken four years to master a calmer approach again. he loves playing fetch so having a mouthful of ball has helped ..... both on and off lead he carries it past dogs that we encounter :-)) Classes are great for the majority but they can work out quite expensive for slow to learn dogs (slow for whatever reason) ... my ex partner favours Pyrennean Mountain dogs who are notorious for having a mind of their own, and are not often seem in classes ( one soon disappeared out of a Barbara Woodhouse TV series ;-) )

15 Dec, 2019

 

I think all animals love to have a job. Therefore carrying the ball, rewarded by the treat, might be successful.
Carrying a newspaper is a possible.
Think Terratoonie might also advise ?

15 Dec, 2019

 

Xela, I hope to goodness it doesn’t take four years! As for your suggestion of carrying something in his mouth, Golden, the only thing he likes in it is food! He does get a treat when he finally quietens down and I believe there are very faint signs of improvement. Like Pyreneans though he does have a mind of his own and is vocal in letting us know it. He definitely has character.

I’ve had a look round my sodden garden and found a couple of clematis still green, some rudbeckia flowering still though they are small blooms, primroses and the lovely Freckles which is covered in buds. The bare parts of the borders are now flattened by a dog who scents that something else has been in the garden. He refuses to be sidetracked. I hope to goodness it isn’t a rat he can smell. Whatever it is seems to be now under the shed. Trying to be optimistic I’m saying it’s a hedgehog. Fingers crossed.

Many thanks for everybody’s input. Interesting reading with some helpful tips.

I haven’t seen Terratoonie on here for a while.

Hope everybody is on top of their Christmas preparations.

15 Dec, 2019

 

Arbuthnot , sound like things can only improve for you .
We lived for a while in Bucharest , 18yrs ago now , but there were packs of starving dogs wandering around , sometimes quite aggressively . They were abandoned by their owners when the Soviet type blocks of flats were built and ordinary houses were pulled down and bulldozed .
We don't have dogs , but we meet lots on our walks . The idea of carrying something in the mouth sounds like a good one , a small twig or branch seems to send dogs passed us and they do appear important . Perhaps you could put something tasty on it ! Good luck anyway .

15 Dec, 2019

 

Lovely blog, Arbuthnot. What a lovely fellow! I know many people who have rescue dogs, a nice couple who are elderly. One being 80. They both find it hard, but, it keeps them going... hope you’re feeling better?

15 Dec, 2019

 

My husband is 84 and I’m 78 so we’re elderly, too, Kate. That’s probably why we’re finding it so tiring and stressful. I don’t think, Driad, that Rusty would bother carrying anything though it’s a good idea. The thing that works the most is for me to bend down (ouch) hold each side of his face and say ‘quiet’ until he stops the barking. Then when he’s properly quiet he gets a treat. There seem to be very minor improvements so far. I just hope it doesn’t take four years!

16 Dec, 2019

 

He looks beautiful and will no doubt calm down and fit in nicely eventually, he just needs to know he is safe and loved, then perhaps he won't need to warn all the other dogs off. Shame that we have to import stray dogs when there are so many already in the UK looking for homes, but he's a cutie.

16 Dec, 2019

 

He looks really cute.

16 Dec, 2019

 

I have this mental vision: each time we go walks I carry a stepladder, a rolled up newspaper or ball and a small branch! I do walk sometimes with a neighbour who has just started fostering a golden lab in training as a medical detection dog. Rusty and Star were fine after the first five minutes of hysteria (Rusty) and I had high hopes. However, he still shouts at other dogs on lead but I'm hoping it won't be too long before he gets the message that it really isn't on to behave like he does.

And, yes, it could be because he has short legs.

I have enjoyed all your comments and advice so thank you for the support. It's nice to be able to offload.

17 Dec, 2019

 

Lovely looking dog!

17 Dec, 2019

 

He looks so cute .. butter wouldn't melt cute ... I think he's found a home for life with you A-not ... lets hope the problem sorts itself out before to long ... we had a rescue dog he always carried something the longer the stick the better ...

17 Dec, 2019

 

Looking up some doggie related stuff I came across something that claims to stop dogs barking when they shouldn’t. It’s a hand held device which, when the button is pressed, emits a high frequency noise that only the dog can hear. It’s supposed to stop him in his tracks and is safe, and of the 94 reviews most all are five star, saying it works almost instantly. I decided I didn’t have anything to lose so have ordered it. I’ll let you know if it works because if it does we can then finally enjoy walking him and be able to relax.

18 Dec, 2019

 

We'll be keen to hear if it works Arbuthnot .. good luck !

18 Dec, 2019

 

Keep us posted on progress with the device Arbuthnot, I do so hope it works for you. We tried a similar device, it made a stonking noise when the button was depressed ..... the idea was that it would stun a noisy dog into silence but it just added to the cacophony and attracted unwanted attention! A high frequency sound which we cannot hear sounds a far better solution. :-)

22 Dec, 2019

 

My wife & I work in a charity shop a couple of days a week & just a couple of days ago somebody donated a barking suppressor! I thought what a coincidence after reading about your experience! This system is based on an aerosol spray strapped to the harness which the dog's owner can control. It's a citrus spray which when activated by the dog's owner sprays a tiny amount up into the animal's face which stops it barking!

A lady from our church comes into the shop regularly & I thought about her as lately her dog seems to bark at most people. When she came into the shop I told her about it & she looked at it but decided she didn't want it.

I'd never heard of anything like this before so I was intrigued! We had never looked for anything to stop our dogs from barking when we had 5 small ones at home.

22 Dec, 2019

 

With the dogs sense of smell so keen spraying citrus oil in their face, eyes included, would be as detrimental as spraying CS-gas into a human one. This method in my mind is a bit too cruel.

22 Dec, 2019

 

Well A, we've never had dogs so have no experience - you have plenty to choose from here! I've read that the ultrasonic gadgets are useful for training though, and they don't annoy anybody which is worth a lot.

22 Dec, 2019

 

Balcony, I’ve heard of that citrus spray but had also heard that it wasn’t very effective.
The ‘zapper’ does seem to be working well, especially indoors when Rusty barks at passing dogs or any sudden noise. Outside it’s taking a little longer in that he gets into full flow almost instantly and I have to zap two or maybe three times. Then he stops and looks at me. Also, when I just show him the gadget he backs away so he knows what and who is causing the sound. I remain optimistic that it won’t be long before he stops altogether.

Having said that, when my neighbour takes her Jack Russell, Ralph, for a walk past our house around 6.30 am somehow, even with the bedroom window closed, Rusty knows who it is and starts his barking routine. That’s when the zapper is most effective too but I’d rather not be woken up that early because I know I won’t go back to sleep. Rusty does though!

23 Dec, 2019

 

We had the same problem - X 5!

23 Dec, 2019

 

Well, I now know that the zapper is ineffective when out walking. Today we met a really nice woman with a large white Alsatian and a little something or other dog. The small dog took no notice WHATSOEVER but Rusty and the Alsatian were going at it hammer and tongs. The woman and I stood and talked, comparing notes hoping the dogs would calm down but it was faint hope. Her dog is fine off the lead, she said, but once on it her dog barks at all other dogs. Rusty hasn’t been off the leash yet and won’t be for some time. Anyway, I pressed the zapper about ten times and neither dog showed any reaction at all. I bent down to Rusty, ordering him to quiet but nope, he didn’t. I did have a nice but noisy chat with the woman though. Then after a good five minutes I suggested we ought to give the householders in the street some peace! Next time we meet the trio I shall stand and talk again. Something has to give - me probably!

26 Dec, 2019

 

We had to return Rusty to the rescue centre on Monday this week. On Sunday, our son and his wife were here for lunch and everything seemed ok though we noticed how quiet Rusty was even when we went for a walk. Later on he barked just the once at son Steve then immediately bit him on the nose. Lucie, his wife, had to take him to A&E because his nostril was ripped and he was bleeding profusely though we did manage to slow it down. He had three stitches. The strange thing was that the previous week Rusty had been cuddled up with Steve on the sofa so we don’t know what provoked him. The next day I rang the rescue centre and told them. They said we could either return him or they could give us recommended names of dog behaviourists in our area. I said we’d do the latter and we’d wait for them to call us back. During the intervening time I accepted what I’d been refusing to acknowledge and made the very painful decision to return him, because once a dog has bitten someone there’s a great chance of it happening again and we wouldn’t ever be able to fully trust him. It was a very emotional 40 minute drive, as was the wait for paperwork to be completed. They did tell us we’d made the right decision and it was the one they recommended. Didn’t help a lot because I felt very guilty that I’d failed him. Going home without him was even more emotional. He’s such a cute, funny little dog with a lot of character and I miss him enormously. In only nine weeks he had become ours and crept into our hearts. Letting him go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

So, goodbye Rusty. I hope you have a happy life with owners who are perfect for you.

2 Jan, 2020

 

Oh no, I am sooo sorry :-( I hope both Rusty and you are able to move on from this awful experience and find companions that are better suited. My husband and I had to make a similar decision when our children were small, we had rescued a puppy from our local rescue centre but in the six months that he was with us he became more and more destructive; he had grown into a much bigger dog than we had been led to expect ( he was a mongrel) and needed more space and exercise than we could provide. It broke my heart that we had let him down and the house seemed so empty without him. However we were pleased to hear that he had been re-homed on a farm where he became a significant member of the team and we went on to rescue our first Patterdale from Battersea who soon became a family member and lived with us for the next 18 years, until cancer got the better of him.

3 Jan, 2020

 

Thank you, Xela, for your sympathy. I had a bad few days but feel better now as I know I made the right, and probably only decision. We may get another dog in the future but I shall definitely make sure I know everything we can about past history and temperament.

I had decided against a puppy, sweet and cuddly though they are, because of the chewing, house training and general destructiveness. I felt I couldn’t cope with all that now though we’d had all our other dogs as pups.

Thanks again for your support.

5 Jan, 2020

 

Oh how sad for you both, I felt quite upset for you while I was reading your blog, Arbuthnot. It must have been a heart wrenching decision for you to make. You were right though, once a dog has bitten, it’s often not the last time I guess. You’ll never really know or understand why this happened, sadly. It just wasn’t meant to be. He will find a home somewhere else in time. You can also say you gave him a lot of love in the time he was with you.

5 Jan, 2020

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