Some Common Problems and Possible Solutions

The Dog Will not Listen

Have you taken your dog through an obedience class? Have you followed through and continued to spend a few minutes a day reinforcing the commands so your dog continues to learn? Most of the "chain" pet stores and often the local SPCAs and Animal Welfare Leagues have obedience classes for a very nominal fee. There is no such thing as a dog that cannot be trained to be a well-behaved member of the household. Most canines thrive when given basic obedience training. Dogs have been bred for thousands of years to be a "help" to humans, therefore, it's only a matter of a few hours of your time and a little money before your dog is the "good dog" you've always wished for. Please give your dog the benefit of the doubt and take them through a basic obedience class before you give up on them.

We Can’t Housetrain the Dog

While this can be frustrating and a challenge, it can be done! First, consider crate training. There are numerous books and articles on the subject. This is not "mean" to the dog, as they are den animals by nature and often like to have a crate for their own space. Next, consider your dog and its habits. Are you giving your dog free access to water at the wrong times or too much water? Are you paying attention to the "timing" of accidents? If your dog drinks a cup of water, then urinates in the house 30 minutes later, begin taking the dog out after watering. Practice lots of positive reinforcement and consistency. Take your dog outside on a regular basis and when he/she does go, praise him/her like crazy. If there is an accident in the house, don't rub your dog's nose in it - instead make sure you remove the mess and all of the smells associated with it. Remember, dogs have a much more acute sense of smell than we humans. Perhaps you haven't gotten the doggie "scent" out of the floor or carpet. All pet stores sell special odor killers that, used properly, are both safe and effective. If you have questions about house training or crate training contact a trainer or rescue in your area. They will be happy to help you through.

The Dog Chews on Everything

All dogs chew. Whether they chew on the appropriate item is up to you. A puppy must chew (as any baby cutting teeth must). It is up to you to provide the appropriate item for that chewing. Your vet can recommend the best type of chew items for your pup. An older dog can be trained to chew on the proper items as well. Again, you must provide these items for your dog. Finally, crate train your dog. If you allow the dog "free reign" of your home without supervision you are asking for trouble. Most dogs are safer in a crate when you are not at home. Several venues are available in dog events at shows to help relieve boredom.  See the article "The Bored Sheltie" in our Information and Misc. Stuff area of this website. 

We’re Moving and Can’t Have a Dog

There is housing in virtually every city and town in the United States that will allow dogs. Before you're so sure you can't find affordable housing that will accept pets please look in the local newspaper, or speak with an apartment broker in the area.
When taking this dog into your life, you made a commitment that you would love and provide for it the rest of its life. Would you be so quick to move into housing that would not take your children? Then why are you so quick to move where you can not take your dog?

No One Takes Care of the Dog

You have our sympathy. This often happens in households where all members are not committed to the upkeep of an animal. No one wants all of the responsibility. However, this is hardly the dog's fault, and a very poor reason to have a dog destroyed. Make no mistake-if you take the dog to a shelter, it will probably be euthanized for the unpardonable sin of being a member of the wrong family. You will be killing the dog because you no longer want the responsibility. Make sure this is the kind of person you want to be and the example you want to set for the rest of your family.

The Dog is Alone Too Much

We all want to spend as much time with our animals as we can. Many dog owners leave their animals for 8 to 10 hours while they're working or at school. While this is not the best of all worlds, it certainly is better than the alternative of taking the dog to the pound. Many cities have several options to provide dogs some play time during the work day. There are pet sitters who will walk your dog and spend some time giving him/her attention and many cities now have Doggie Daycare centers

The Dog Snapped/Snarled/Bit

This is a tough one. Whether the dog is actually aggressive or not is a judgment call  only you can make. Did the dog growl or snap without being provoked? Were you attempting to take something from the dog? Did this happen when food was involved? Was the dog protecting itself from unintended abuse?
Ask yourself these questions. Then we recommend you contact your Vet or a Behaviorist.