19 February 2006

That D-O-G Again!

My husband and his d-o-g may be 1000 miles away (he's in Montana heading to Missouri), but that d-o-g can still cause problems. Well, it's more of a problem with hubby than doggie.

See, my husband is a quiet, gentle person, who doesn't like to impose upon anyone nor to create any conflicts. He's had dogs in the past, but all those dogs came from good homes and were well trained to begin with. Most importantly, these other dogs were very passive.

Then we get this dog -- probably a cairn terrier/chichuhua mix. He's been abused, is very intelligent, and is very strong willed. In short, the dog has issues. The main problem being his intermittent housebreaking. At times, for 3-4 days here, he was perfect -- no accidents. In the truck, he's gone weeks being a perfect dog. Then he'll have an accident. At first, it seemed these accidents were our (or hubby's) mistake by not taking him out soon enough. Lately, it's become apparent to me that it's more of a battle for dominance. For example, yesterday hubby stopped his truck to take the dog out. He was putting on his coat, turned around, and the dog was peeing on his driver's seat. The dog didn't show any signs of needing to go that bad that he couldn't hold it 5 minutes more. (Just for the record, the dog can easily go 6-8 hours between visits outside and he had been out only 3 hours before this happened.)

Well, hubby got terribly upset and told me to start finding a new home for him. Now, I really don't want a dog, but it seemed to me the problem was with the owner and not the dog. I gently pointed out that dogs like structure and rules, so that the human is in charge and the dog is a member of the pack. I think I finally got thru to hubby that yes, he has to be the master and in the long run, the dog will be happier. So, until hubby can undo this dominance issue, the dog will be crated for most of the day, walked on a short leash (he does know how to heel), and be praised enthusiastically when he pees outside the truck! I don't know if it will work, but hubby really likes that mutt so it's worth a shot.

As for me, I'll stick to cats. Although, if anyone wants some free advice on dog training, just email me!

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