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How do I Foil a Canine Houdini?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I live in a house with four housemates (we share the rent, and the house) and three dogs. Two of the dogs are fine--puppies, still enthusiastic and half-trained, but getting there--but the third is a problem.

Mercy is a 4-year-old female spayed Beagle mix (or perhaps pet-quality Beagle). She was adopted from the pound six months ago by a girl who used to live here. That girl moved away and left the dog; so now she is owned by one of the present housemates, though of course she lives with all of us.

Mercy is very intelligent; but she has some behavior problems. Among them is her persistent escaping from the back yard, where she and the other two dogs (both recently neutered males) are kept during the day while everyone is away at work and school.

Yesterday, she escaped and was hit by a car. The driver managed to brake and only bumped her; but she is limping and we think she has bruised something. We called the vet, who said it could wait until morning; so we have made an appointment and she is going to the vet tomorrow.

The girl who officially owns the dog has begun to seriously think about taking her to a (no-kill) shelter, especially because Mercy's other major problem--peeing in the house--is becoming very annoying to one of the other girls; and though it is not a problem if she is kept outside during the day, her fur is too thin to leave her outside during the cold Ohio winters.

Here's what I know about the situation:
  • Mercy's main mode of escape from the backyard is to dig out under the chain-link fence.
  • When she gets out, she runs around for a while, and then comes back. Her owner chases her; and Mercy seems to think it's a game, because she runs away, looks back, then runs again. She can only be caught when she wants to be caught because, typically for most large dogs, she can run much faster than any human.
  • We've considered keeping her in the house; but I don't think this is a good idea because she would pee all over the carpet.
  • I don't know if this makes a difference, but Mercy's owner disciplines her rather harshly; she generally "spanks" the dog (with a hand, and not very hard) when she catches the dog misbehaving. Mercy usually rolls over on her back and/or pees when this happens. Then she is put in her crate for about a half hour.
  • The house is a rental and we can't make major changes to the yard.
  • We don't have the money to, for example, install a fence that is buried a foot or so into the ground, or set in concrete. So anything we do to keep this dog penned will have to be cheap.
  • Mercy seems to have quite a lot to do in the backyard; there are the two pups to play with, and we have given her plenty of toys. We feed the dogs in the backyard and they always have fresh water available via a bowl with attached water tank.

I don't want Mercy sent to a shelter. She's a nice dog with a good personality and a lot of intelligence. I know she'd be sent to a no-kill shelter; but with her behavior problems, she'd either stay there for the rest of her life, or else be adopted by someone who likes her good looks and isn't nearly as patient as we are (and who may surrender her to a shelter which will, thanks to her age and behavior problems, put her to sleep).

Is there anything we can do to keep this dog in the yard where she belongs?
post #2 of 20
First her owner needs to STOP USING THE CRATE AS PUNISHMENT!

Re-crate train.
The crate is supposed to be her safe place, a place she feels secure.
Re-training the proper way, and using the crate as a tool can both help in her behavior as well as her complete housebreaking.

Second:
Beagles are an extremely active working breed.
They need distraction and mental/physical stimulation.
This dog needs obediance training, from there she needs something to do. Beagles are great flyball and agility dogs, but barring that, teach her to fetch if she doesn't already know how, take her to a dog park daily and completely wear her out with play.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
Mercy is very intelligent; but she has some behavior problems. Among them is her persistent escaping from the back yard, where she and the other two dogs (both recently neutered males) are kept during the day while everyone is away at work and school.
This dog is part Beagle? That is the explanation. Beagles are scenthounds. They have been bred for decades to help hunters find game in the woods. What is "normal" for a Beagle is to find a scent on the ground, take tracking it to where the animal is, "tree" the animal and then bark or "bay" until the owner shows up for the kill. What you call "escaping" is in her blood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
  • When she gets out, she runs around for a while, and then comes back. Her owner chases her; and Mercy seems to think it's a game, because she runs away, looks back, then runs again. She can only be caught when she wants to be caught because, typically for most large dogs, she can run much faster than any human.
  • I don't know if this makes a difference, but Mercy's owner disciplines her rather harshly; she generally "spanks" the dog (with a hand, and not very hard) when she catches the dog misbehaving. Mercy usually rolls over on her back and/or pees when this happens. Then she is put in her crate for about a half hour.
  • We don't have the money to, for example, install a fence that is buried a foot or so into the ground, or set in concrete. So anything we do to keep this dog penned will have to be cheap.
I'm sorry if this comes off as harsh or rude, but this is telling me that your roomate has gotten some bad info about training dogs.

RULE #1: Never chase your dog. Your dog thinks it is a great game, and your dog can run both faster and much longer than you. The right way to get your dog to come is to practice a "recall". This is a good read and gets the point across.
http://www.perfectpaws.com/recall.html
The key is to get your dog to the point where he /she WANTS to come to you. But I do not want this post to be too terribly long so maybe you can read the article.

RULE #2: Do not use violence on your dog. Especially one that is submissive. This dog is rolling over on her back (exposing her belly) and peeing (reverting to puppy behavior?)? That means that she honestly does not understand what in the world she has done wrong and that she is very scared. And I absolutely agree that using the crate as punishment is another huge mistake. The dog's owner has not done a good job of teaching the dog what is expected. Punishing the dog for the owner's lack of understanding of dogs and their behavior is one of the main reasons so many perfectly good, trainable dogs end up in shelters.

RULE #3: A dog that really wants to "escape" out of boredom and instinct is not going to be stopped by a fence. Dogs can jump over 6-ft fences, dig under buried fences, and will endure the pain of electric fences. If you want the dog to stay, you have to make the dog want to stay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
I don't want Mercy sent to a shelter. She's a nice dog with a good personality and a lot of intelligence. I know she'd be sent to a no-kill shelter; but with her behavior problems, she'd either stay there for the rest of her life, or else be adopted by someone who likes her good looks and isn't nearly as patient as we are (and who may surrender her to a shelter which will, thanks to her age and behavior problems, put her to sleep).

Is there anything we can do to keep this dog in the yard where she belongs?
This dog does not have behavior problems. Really, I feel sorry for the dog. It sounds like no one has tried very hard to train her or spends time with her. She was adopted six months ago, her human moved out, and now she is left outside all day? And you have two more dogs (puppies) that are left alone all day? Tell you what, please re-post and let me know if there is anyone in that house who is willing to spend time training all three dogs properly. I mean at least two hours with each dog. Otherwise it may be the best to just give up all three dogs now. If no one is going to train the puppies either, they will end up grown-up dogs who "misbehave" just like the Beagle. It would be fairer to them to return them to a shelter NOW where they stand a better chacne of being adopted than when they are a year old or more and have developed bad habits. Peeing in the house could be a sign of a UTI (please get that checked at the vets while you are there. Once you have ruled out a UTI the most likely cause is stress, which given the fact that this dog is bored and her owner hits her would not surprise me.
post #4 of 20
It's obviously not the dog that has behaviour problems here. These are all identifiable as owner caused problems...

I second the re-crate training, using ONLY positive reinforcement (and never violence...or physical punishment!!!!!) for reward training...and keeping the dog inside the house.

If the new owner of the dog in this house intends to continue ruining this perfectly wonderful animal this way and blaming it on the dog, I think you should look into a beagle rescue where this girl will get a home she deserves and where someone understands her needs.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm the only one in the house who doesn't own a dog, and the only one not either working full-time or studying full-time and working part-time (I'm a part-time student and a part-time window-washer, which amounts to about 36 hours a week total). I do have extra time to spend with the dogs, if they let me.

So I suppose maybe I don't know much about the actual ownership of a dog, because I have never owned one; and I don't know much about dogs, other than what I'm learning with Mercy and the others.

Right now they want to tie her in the backyard, with a long rope that doesn't reach the fence. I hope it can be done safely.

It seems that perhaps Mercy might be doing this at least partially for attention. She is left in the yard, with two other dogs, toys, and food/water, for about 12-14 hours daily--from 8 a.m. to 8-10 p.m. or so--and I think she might be making the choice that the attention she gets when she runs away is worth the disapproval of her owner and the time in her crate.

I have been thinking about perhaps finding a way to make the backyard a nicer place for Mercy. If I could go out and see Mercy and the other dogs (a German shepherd/wolf mix, and a black, shaggy mutt who acts a lot like a golden retriever) maybe once every one or two hours, Mercy might start to connect the backyard with human interaction and thus want to stay there.

Would it help if I took Mercy for a walk once or twice a day? Her owner does not have much time for this and Mercy really only gets a walk about once a week.

But I'm not really a "dog person"--these are the first dogs I've ever lived with--so I'm not entirely sure if that sort of thing could even work, or if I'm "reading" Mercy's intentions correctly. Can you advise?
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
It seems that perhaps Mercy might be doing this at least partially for attention. She is left in the yard, with two other dogs, toys, and food/water, for about 12-14 hours daily--from 8 a.m. to 8-10 p.m. or so--and I think she might be making the choice that the attention she gets when she runs away is worth the disapproval of her owner and the time in her crate.

I have been thinking about perhaps finding a way to make the backyard a nicer place for Mercy. If I could go out and see Mercy and the other dogs (a German shepherd/wolf mix, and a black, shaggy mutt who acts a lot like a golden retriever) maybe once every one or two hours, Mercy might start to connect the backyard with human interaction and thus want to stay there.

Would it help if I took Mercy for a walk once or twice a day? Her owner does not have much time for this and Mercy really only gets a walk about once a week.

But I'm not really a "dog person"--these are the first dogs I've ever lived with--so I'm not entirely sure if that sort of thing could even work, or if I'm "reading" Mercy's intentions correctly. Can you advise?
I appreciate your intentions, and what you have been able to guess based on Mercy's behavior. What you are describing is no life for a dog. To be blunt, this amounts to animal cruelty. Most adults with dogs and full-time jobs that require them to be awy from home for that long either hire dog walkers or come home at lunchtime to play with the dogs. Leaving dogs outside all day is asking for trouble. Neighbors who are mean-spirited or sick and tired of the barking have been known to toss poisoned meat at "outside dogs". And tying up Mercy will turn her into a non-stop barker. The dogs' owners, not just mercy, but the puppies' owners as well would be better off with plush dogs than with real ones. Just wait until the cute puppies reach about 1 yr and the fruits of poor socialization are ripe. But you want to help and me being a dog person wants to help you help.

You are ascribing too much forethought to Mercy. This is not about disapproval and wanting attention. And dogs won't make the connection between their behavior and owner's disapproval unless these two event are almost simultaneous. Possibly she is escaping to try to find her mommy. She is bored and underexercised. One of the mantras of dog people is "a tired dog is a happy dog".

Dogs are simpler than cats in that they
a) basically want to please their humans
b) are logical-it may be doglogic, but it is a form of consistent logic.

They are however more difficult in that any one of them >20 lbs demands a commitment to exercise with their human that cats do not. Dogs need about 45 min /day HARD exercise. So if you can take her for a walk, great. A jog would be better. Better still, ride a bike and make her run her little legs off next to you on a leash. Get a dogless, dog loving friend from the track team to do it.

The last thing you want to have happen is that the three dogs develop a pack mentality. I am not familiar with owning multiple dogs (I only have two) but my understanding is that definitely when you have four then they become extremely difficult to control because they have their own group dynamics and respecting a human as alpha becomes more diffult. Although here it does not sound like any one of the humans has established himself/herself as alpha so you have out-of-control dogs.

You are correct in that Mercy wants human interaction. (BTW is that for real, one of your roomies is neglecting a GSD/WOLF puppy?). So going there would help tremendously. But it does not have to be more than once every four hours. And what they all need is physical activity. Again, a Beagle wants to run around in the woods, so there is going to be only so much you can do to make the backyard a fun place. Beagles are notorious roamers, as are Huskies!

Good luck!

PS You are better off getting rid of the crate than using it for punishment. This is the main reason I am against "crate training" despite it being currently in fashion. It is misused by so many people thaty we would be better off without it. The crate is supposed to be the dog's 'safe place'. Instead you see a lot of misguided dog owners putting the dog in a crate for their own convenience or for so-called 'time-outs' which have no basis in any genuine dog training.
post #7 of 20
I can't add much about the dog situation, but I do want to say that Callista, you are one of the sweetest most caring people I have met online. Bless you for all you try and do with your limited time and funds, sweet girl. You will go far in life with your positive attitude and willingness to help others.
post #8 of 20
Most dog behavior problems are actually human problems that are the result of not knowing what the dog really needs to be happy and how to set the dog up for success instead of failure. If no one in the house hold can truly devote the time to exercise and properly house train the Beagle, it would be best to rehome her now while she's young than 6 months or a year from now. Older dogs are much hard to adopt out/rehome. In addition to no-kill shelters, there are breed-specific rescues that can take dogs. Look for a Beagle or hound rescue in your area and ask if they can help. There might be a waiting list for either, so call now and put in an application for her.

If your room mate steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for her dog, it will take a require a major transition and 360 attitude change for it to work. She'll have to learn positive and kinder training techniques and better management of the dog. There are numerous books on training dogs in a positive manner, and many shelters have low-cost obedience class that can teach her training techniques. She can also consult with a canine behaviorist or various dog-related forums for advice.

As for the escaping, she needs to be inside when no one is there to keep an eye on her in the yard since you can't modify the fences. It will drive her crazy if she's tied out and the other dogs aren't.

It will take some time to get her house broken. Someone needs to get her on a regular potty break schedule and reward her with praise and treats when she potties outside. There are enzymatic cleaners, such as Nature's Miracle and Zero Pet Odor, that can help clean up accidents. Don't use ammonia-based cleaners. Could she be baby-gated in the kitchen when no one's there to watch her? Clean ups are a lot easier on tile/linoleum.

Regular walks will help her satisfy her need to get out and sniff and do Beagle-y things. She's bored and needs a lot more exercise and stimulation. Keep her on leash, though, if you do take her out because she mostly won't come if you call her.

Good luck! Thank you for caring about her.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Okay, so Mercy is back from the vet. She had some blood in her stool; and her hip is badly bruised; but she seems OK other than that--the vet said there's probably no significant internal injury. My roommate got another credit card to pay for the vet bill; and all talk of getting rid of the dog has consequently evaporated. So there is committment here.

Mercy's not allowed to run, jump, or go outside the house for two weeks, and she has a prescription for painkillers and antibiotics. Her owner has been keeping Mercy in her car for the past two days as she goes from class to class, so that she sees the dog every two hours at least. It's fall, so the car isn't hot. For now, Mercy is happy. She hasn't peed in the car at all.

This is only a temporary solution, though. When it gets cold, she can't be left in the car or, with her thin coat, outside. She'll have to be inside; and her owner says she can stay in the living room.

What I forsee:
When left indoors, Mercy will probably pee in the house because no one has time to house-train her and she isn't greatly motivated to hold it until someone takes her out. Then there will be great annoyance among the housemates; and general tension. This has happened before when Mercy had an accident in the house; and it wasn't a happy time--not to mention that I couldn't bear to be upstairs because of the smell (I'm really smell-sensitive) and begged for a carpet-cleaner rental. Thankfully enzymatic cleaner finally got the smell down to a bearable level.

Quote:
Leaving dogs outside all day is asking for trouble. Neighbors who are mean-spirited or sick and tired of the barking have been known to toss poisoned meat at "outside dogs". And tying up Mercy will turn her into a non-stop barker.
Well, Bear (the German shepherd/wolf) has already been teased by neighbor kids; and his owner has had to talk to their parents about it. Poor Bear, who is a 9 month old juvenile and weighs 90 pounds (he's small because of a birth defect), was terrified of the kids, who were apparently throwing things at him. Not a good situation, and I hope the kids get grounded for a MONTH.

Mercy has been barking even while just fenced; but lately, she's got the point that we don't want her to, and has stopped.

Quote:
You are correct in that Mercy wants human interaction. (BTW is that for real, one of your roomies is neglecting a GSD/WOLF puppy?).
--He's only a quarter wolf, not half; so he's less wild than you'd think of a wolf-dog.
--He's being left out with two other dogs for 12-14 hours a day, probably checked on for a minute or so once or twice during that time. She does take him for walks, I'm guessing 4-6 times a week.
--She's trained him to sit and lie down, and to stay at the top of the stairs when she leaves. I think she's his alpha.
--He still jumps up on people, and I'm getting tired of him mouthing my hand.

So no, I don't think he's neglected. But things could be better.

Quote:
If your room mate steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for her dog, it will take a require a major transition and 360 attitude change for it to work. She'll have to learn positive and kinder training techniques and better management of the dog.
I don't think she'd listen to me. I've told her before that I don't think she ought to be so rough, but she's lived with dogs a long time, and I haven't. I don't have any authority, nor much knowledge of dogs... ALL I have is that "kind heart", and I think she figures she's doing it for the dog's own good--tough love, I guess.

Quote:
Someone needs to get her on a regular potty break schedule and reward her with praise and treats when she potties outside.
Yes, this is a problem--generally the dogs are left alone all day; and if Mercy is left in the house, she's going to make messes. Baby-gating her into the kitchen could work for now, depending on how clever she is at opening cupboards.

I dunno... I feel really helpless because I don't own these dogs, or any dog. Heck, until I met them I hardly even liked dogs. I've offered my help, but whether they'll accept is up to them.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
When left indoors, Mercy will probably pee in the house because no one has time to house-train her and she isn't greatly motivated to hold it until someone takes her out. Then there will be great annoyance among the housemates; and general tension. This has happened before when Mercy had an accident in the house; and it wasn't a happy time--not to mention that I couldn't bear to be upstairs because of the smell (I'm really smell-sensitive) and begged for a carpet-cleaner rental. Thankfully enzymatic cleaner finally got the smell down to a bearable level.

Well, Bear (the German shepherd/wolf) has already been teased by neighbor kids; and his owner has had to talk to their parents about it. Poor Bear, who is a 9 month old juvenile and weighs 90 pounds (he's small because of a birth defect), was terrified of the kids, who were apparently throwing things at him. Not a good situation, and I hope the kids get grounded for a MONTH.

--He's only a quarter wolf, not half; so he's less wild than you'd think of a wolf-dog.
--He's being left out with two other dogs for 12-14 hours a day, probably checked on for a minute or so once or twice during that time. She does take him for walks, I'm guessing 4-6 times a week.
--She's trained him to sit and lie down, and to stay at the top of the stairs when she leaves. I think she's his alpha.
--He still jumps up on people, and I'm getting tired of him mouthing my hand.

So no, I don't think he's neglected. But things could be better.

I don't think she'd listen to me. I've told her before that I don't think she ought to be so rough, but she's lived with dogs a long time, and I haven't. I don't have any authority, nor much knowledge of dogs... ALL I have is that "kind heart", and I think she figures she's doing it for the dog's own good--tough love, I guess.
So no one has time to house-train Mercy. So she will pee and poo when she needs to and no human will be there to tell her in a kind way that dogs understand that she should not. Instead someone who has 'lived with dogs a long time' will show up and scold. And probably make the dog fearful to pee and poo so that she will try to hide it and go behind the couch or who-knows-where and not do her business outside while a human is watching for fear of scolding. This person is not worthy of owning dogs. She may have lived with dogs a long time but she is obviously NOT dog-savvy. Any success she may have had are more due to the innate good nature of dogs than to her understanding and ability to deal with dogs. This is not tough love, it is stupidity. No dog thrives on this type of treatment.

And one dog has been teased by neighbor kids but instead of realizing that is is asking for trouble to leave dogs alone outside for that length of time, your semi-adult roommates blame the children.

And the wolf-mix gets walked less than once a day and gets "checked on" for a minute or so during a 12-hour period. That is NEGLECTED.

At this point I really think the thing to do is to report the entire crew to the Humane Society. This is exactly the type of thing that ends up in young dogs ending up in shelters-no training, no socialization, one is mouthing you. There is no need nor excuse for this. Find a decent home for these dogs ASAP. What you are describing is inexcusable. I'm sorry, I think ithat if your housemates were not complete idiots you might be able to make a difference in these animals' lives, but you are dealing with the worst kind of selfishness and stupidity that turns good companion animals into problems.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
These dogs are healthy, they're in good surroundings, they're well fed. They're just not well-trained (as I said, the wolf mix has learned some basic commands); and left alone for too long.

There is no way the humane society will forcibly re-home these dogs; half of today's dog owners don't train their pets properly, and they'd have thousands of dogs just from our city to take care of--and where would that leave their resources when they found some poor starved mutt on a two-foot chain?

These aren't people who intend to let their dogs run wild--they're just people who saw cute puppies and didn't realize how much care they would take.
post #12 of 20
My only advice is she sounds like a typical beagle (coming from experience). They cannot be left alone in a fence period unless the fence is buried underground and at least 6 ft tall. Some of them are fine left alone. But if they get a smell even in a fenced yard they will do their best to get to it. If you really want to keep her maybe crate her inside. Or buy a big crate and pen her outside in it if you feel she must be left outside. It's really not a good idea to leave any dog alone while at work. They can really get hurt. My nieghbors old dog was shot one day. After that I'm always outside with my pups.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
These aren't people who intend to let their dogs run wild--they're just people who saw cute puppies and didn't realize how much care they would take.
Exactly the type of people who are responsible for most of the dogs age 9mos-3yrs being returned to shelters. It is always the same story. "My dog is misbehaving". That's what they'll say when Mercy won't stop barking, when Bear mouths or knocks down the wrong person. These type of people never say that they were unwilling or unable to provide a dog with the training and adequate mental stimulation it requires. It is always the dogs fault. And then these same jerks go out and get more "cute puppies".
post #14 of 20
I'll have to agree with 2dogmom in this, cats and dogs are vastly different in the amount of time and attention, not to mention training they need. Cats are basically cool with food, water, a litterbox and a couple toys, but dogs, especially puppies, must have proper training and almost constant interaction, much like children, otherwise they develop bevaviors based on the lack of that training and then they get dumped through no fault of their own because they're bad dogs. It's my opinion that unless someone is home for a good chunk of the day, a puppy should not even be an option, that's why i like lazy senior dogs! I'm also for these dogs being rehomed ASAP, you roommates just don't have the time to properly care for these dogs.
post #15 of 20
Please rehome these dogs unless you are willing to take charge and train and love them... Hybrids can become wild animals and it usually happens from being left alone ... In about a yr youll wonder why Bear is aggressive .... Beagles are hounds and hounds need human activity , they are a work with man not for man breed...
post #16 of 20
I don't think Callista has the power over her roomies to make them give up the dogs, even if that would be better for them.

Callista, if you start walking one dog daily it will help them a lot. The extra exercise is good for them, and the sense of you being in charge is good, too. The wolf mix and beagle definitely need it most.

How is it that the dog is inside all night and doesn't soil the house? The way to housebreak is to stretch that time out. After taking doggie out in the morning, bring her inside, and keep her in one room. After an hour (at most), take her out on a leash, and she may go potty again. If she does go potty, she gets to be free in the one room, supervised. If she does not go potty, it is best to crate her, to ensure she does not make a mistake. Next hour, back outside on the leash to go potty.

A puppy trains quickly with this plan. A dog who has already been "trained" to potty inside will take longer.

Bless you Callista for watching out for the dogs, when their owners are too busy and ignorant to treat them well.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
So, over the past few days, because she is supposed to be on reduced activity for her hip, Mercy has been tied in the yard for 8 hours only, when no one is home; and inside the rest of the day; and it seems to have done her some good. Yesterday she was inside most of the day--one of us was sick and could watch her.

Mercy loves the company. She hasn't peed in the house yet. She doesn't like being tied in the yard, though; and she doesn't yet know how not to tangle herself up. We use a harness so she can't choke herself; but it's still not a happy thing to come home and see poor Mercy wound around a porch post with inches of leash, looking at us with those big brown eyes as though to say, "Help! The porch is holding me captive!".

I suppose that accident that hurt her hip was a blessing in disguise... two weeks of this amount of attention, and Mercy might be a little more trusting, a little less frightened and ready to roll over and/or pee at the slightest suggestion of anger from her owner. Oh, she still rolls over; but when we respond by giving her a belly rub, she seems to be relieved and happy. A happy, submissive dog is fine with me, and apparently Mercy.

It seems she must have been at least partly house-trained at some point... It's when she's left alone that the trouble seems to start. Separation anxiety?

I've bought a few dog treats; I'm going outside to see Mercy and the others whenever I can--couple of times a day, 15 minutes or so--to bring them treats or play fetch or whatever. It's not a lot, but I've made it a point to mention that "the poor puppies look so lonely out there"--hope that'll make the girls spend a bit more time with their dogs.

Let's hope that once these two weeks are over, Mercy's owner figures out: "Hey, this dog needs attention and exercise. I think we'll both be happier if she gets them."
post #18 of 20
Good for you! Maybe those brown Beagle eyes will awaken the dog lover in you.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Oh, I already like dogs, just like I like any animal. I even put spiders outside instead of squishing them; and I've never seen even a remote possibility of empathy or communication in a spider. Dogs have those things in plenty, just like cats do.

Dogs are just so much more needy and dependent; their instincts make them search out and cling to a pack of some sort, whether it's kind to them or not. The pack means survival, in the wild.

A cat--a solitary hunter without a need or instinct for any pack--hangs around and asks for petting because it quite simply likes you. And possibly because you feed it. :P

Love dogs? Hmm... I don't know.
But love this dog? Quite possible.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post

I've bought a few dog treats; I'm going outside to see Mercy and the others whenever I can--couple of times a day, 15 minutes or so--to bring them treats or play fetch or whatever. It's not a lot, but I've made it a point to mention that "the poor puppies look so lonely out there"--hope that'll make the girls spend a bit more time with their dogs.
Good for you, Calllista. That time with them will make a huge difference in the long run. And good to hear Mercy is being good in the house. Most dogs simply can't wait 12 hours inside to go potty, and the house is so big, they just find a spot they think is good for a potty spot! The longer she gets time inside without making mistakes, the less likely she is to make one later. And whenever she goes into the yard and goes potty, praise her as if she pooped gold. This will reinforce to her that you like when she potties outside!
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