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At the end of my rope...Any ideas?

1926 Views 10 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Purple Poodle
About 2 months ago, I adopted my first poodle, Jack a 10 month old mini, from a "rescuer". I knew he had issues (very timid, but not agressive) and took him in with the goal of working with him and giving him a good home. I thought I was making headway with him, because he was following me around, and jumping up on the couch to sit near me, and was letting me pet and groom him a little. Now, he spends most of his day in the crate. He will still jump up on the couch next to me, but if I move at all he jumps down and goes into the other room. About a week ago, he was on the couch next to me and I put his leash on so that I could be able to keep him from jumping down so that I could brush him. I guess he sensed this and jumped down before I could get a good grip. I tried to put him back up on the couch, and he bit me. It wasn't bad and I attributed it to the fact I probably startled him. Then two days ago we wanted to take out of the house for some good exercise(he ONLY appears happy when he out side or knows he is about to go outside). My huband got out of the car to fill up the gas tank and Jack jumped out the door. My husband caught him mid jump to keep him from getting away and he bit my husband. Again I think it's because he was scared but I would have thought that in 2 months he would start to understand that we aren't going to hurt him, and that he would be making some real improvements. I don't know what to do. What if he tries to bite my kids? I know it's not me, and that he just doesn't really like people in general, but everytime he runs away from me I want to cry :((and sometimes do:bawling:). I want so badly to have Jack feel like a part of the family, and I don't know what else to do. I wouldn't be so concerned if he seemed to be getting even a little bit better but he actually seems worse. PLEASE HELP!! I don't know what to do! My husband wants to get rid of him and get me a puppy. I don't want to get of him, but I'm starting to wonder if he can be helped. What do I do if he never gets better? I can't imagine having him around for the next 10+ years and never being able to cuddle or play with him. :love-over: Does anyone have any ideas, encouragement, or advice? Do I keep trying to work with him, or is my husband right :deadhorse:and he's a lost cause? This is killing me, I just want my dog to at least not hate me...

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Two months is NOT a lot of time at all. It's a HUGE adjustment for him, and he's still in the healing process (as it seems he might have been abused in his past home). I can't imagine how hard it is, but rehabilitating a dog takes A LOT of patience, lots of work, lots of tears, but in the end, you'll have LOTS and LOTS of triumphs.
Have you tried building his confidence through training? Try implementing NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free), where you make him sit for he wants. For example, before you feed him, make him sit. Before taking him out, make him sit, etc. Praise Praise Praise him!
Also work slowly. If he initiates contact (jumping on the couch) just give him a treat. Don't touch him. Do that for a few weeks. If he seems to be initiating MORE contact, pet him a few times and treat him then leave him alone. Do that until he is comfortable with petting sessions.

Consult a trainer/behaviourist for more help.

And another thing...if you feel that this is too much for you, be honest with yourself. You want what is best for Jack, and while you love him, he might need more than you can give him. What's best for Jack may actually mean a more experienced home. You cannot risk your children getting bitten, and if your husband wants to get rid of him, those are not good feelings to have in the house. Do not feel bad about it, you got him out of a bad situation. I'm not saying you SHOULD find him a new home, but I know that it is probably the last option you want to consider, but it's an option you should at least consider.

I wish you all the best with Jack.
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