Since graduating college, I have wanted a dog of my own. My grandparents always had German Shepherds growing up. When I was 12, my parents got our first dog (a chocolate lab named Snickers). 4 years later they got a second dog, a border collie named Ranger. I’ve had dogs and been around dogs longer than I haven’t. And I’ve always looked forward to the day I’d be able to get one.
I graduated grad school, I found a job and moved close to it. I’m home 1000x more often that I was a few years ago. I’ve made it work. I’ve been actively looking and keeping my eyes open for the past few weeks. And then last Thursday, I found her!
Meet little Abby!
She’s 14 months old, 31lbs, and a complete mutt. I’d be really curious to get her DNA tested to see what all she is, there’s such a mix!
I knew I didn’t have time for a puppy, so I wanted an older dog and she had to be good with people and with other dogs. She’s as sweet as can be, is SUPER eager to please but she has this kinda big two-fold problem… she’s not house broken. At all.
I stayed home with her over the weekend, and she does really well when I take her out. She hasn’t figured out how to tell me that she needs to go yet, but she isn’t going to the bathroom in the middle of the night anymore. I take her out to go to the bathroom between 10-11 and then again at 7 am the next day. Knowing this, I know that’s 10 hours where she can control her bladder. That being said, I don’t trust her yet. She can’t have free reign of my house.
I got a kennel for her late Saturday, and while she could sit and turn around, it was a little tight on the turning part. I kept reading that especially dogs you’re trying to train, they don’t need to be in ginormous crates. But after going into the crate 3x, she wouldn’t even go near it. She wouldn’t go near that part of the room. Admittedly, I did need to push her into the crate each and every time. Despite all the advice. But what am I supposed to do? I need to go to work! I felt bad and put her in my bathroom this morning, and between 8am and when I went home at lunch, she absolutely destroyed. She pulled up a good chunk of the floor and tore up the frame and shoe molding. OMG! That’s SO NOT OK. We went walking for 15-20 minutes this morning, she went to the bathroom. All seemed good. She spent Friday in the bathroom and didn’t chew a thing!
So as soon as I let her out and she did her business, we got in the car and made a trip to the pet supply store. We swapped out her crate for a bigger one, came home, frantically put it all together, pushed her into it with a new chew bone and some treats. Talked to her very nicely, and sped back to the office for an early afternoon meeting. I know it’s only been a few days, but holy cow!! What am I going to do if this doesn’t stop? Going into the crate shouldn’t be a traumatic experience for her every day, but I clearly can’t NOT put her in there. Ugh
The whole thing really stresses me out. Like a lot. More than it probably should. I want this to work and I plan on trying to run with her in the morning, but the damage today looked like she was anxious and trying to get out, not that she was bored. Our lab used to get bored often, her damage didn’t look like this! This was a freak out. I’m sure expending some energy will help her cope, but I’m not sure what else to do. I don’t have time to gradually get her used to the crate, I have to be at work every single day.
Any tips/suggestions?? I know this is still all a new scenario and of course there was going to be some growing pains. But I don’t want to give her any behavioral issues or traumatize her. I don’t know what her past is, she had a full year of life under her belt. Lord knows what the people before her did to her.