Post # 1
I’m a wreck. About 3 months ago I adopted a rescue dog. I knew she was going to be a lot of work and I’ve been working with her a ton. She’s been a handful but she’s so sweet (75% of the time) and I love her so much.
But over the past month, she has attacked our other dog multiple times. Last night she attached him and made him bleed right by his eye (this is the second time she made him bleed, the first time was on his snout). She has also attacked my fiance’s mother’s dog.
She’s a tiny thing, only about 8 lbs, but that 25% of the time when she turns into a crazy woman it’s scary. And I’ve been bitten (no blood) when pulling her back from our other dog.
I don’t know what to do. I love her so much. She’s attached to me as well, follows me like a shadow. But part of me things that she would do better in a one dog household as oppsed to being with other dogs. She clearly has issues with other dogs. I’d be willing to work with her with a behavior specialist, but I’m not sure I have the time to fully devote to that as I work full time and commute as well.
I signed a contract when I adopted her that I’d bring her back to the shelter if I couldn’t keep her. It hurts so much thinking about it. But I’m not sure I can devote the time/attention she needs to address these issues, and it’s causing extreme amounts of stress between my fiance and I.
I need input. What would you do? I keep going back and forth, but every time I decide I should bring her back I just start crying.
And please, I know that bringing her back isn’t ideal. If you’re just going to attack me for considering that please refrain. I don’t feel good about this already.
Post # 3
I don’t think I could bring myself to take her back, so what I would do is contact the shelter and see if you can keep her as a foster until a new, single dog household is found. Or perhaps they would allow you to list her through their petfinder listings while still keeping her at your home.
As much as you love a dog, sometimes they are just not a good fit for your household, and keeping two dogs separated for the next 10 years isn’t really a good option, IMO.
Post # 4
@Westwood: +1! OP, could you foster her until they find another home? That way you could continue working with her a little, and she wouldn’t have to return to the shelter before another home could be found.
Post # 5
I wish I had great advise on how to help, but I don’t. These decisions are always tough for you and the dog. To be honest, if you and your FI aren’t both on board or don’t have the time to train her I think taking her back would be the right thing. She deserves to feel comoftable and safe in her own home too. With enough training maybe she would be able to twork through these issues, but if you can’t do it then she is just going to keep having the same problems and could end up really hurting someone (or your other dog) and the outcome for her to be rehomed would be completely different.
Post # 6
Fostering until they find her a new home could work… I’ll give them a call and see if that’s an option.
It just makes me so sad to think about not seeing her cute little face every day. I’ll miss her kisses 🙁
Post # 7
@FutureMrsGG: What breed is she? Certain breeds tend to ‘adopt’ a single person and become overly protective of that person. She also seems to be trying to establish dominance in the house over the other dogs.
Post # 8
I adopted a second dog as a companion to my current dog. The new dog was as you describe – so loving and sweet 75% of the time, but then she would attack my other dog. She was mostly doing it when I was gone, so I’d come home to see my older dog limping around and I couldn’t figure out why. I later realized the newer dog was biting at her legs and hips while I was gone.
The last straw was when the newer dog attacked my older dog right in front of me. It was horrifying; the attack lasted at least a full minute and I was screaming but couldn’t get the newer dog to stop. I cleaned up my dog’s wounds (there was blood) but unfortunately one of them got badly infected and she could have died.
I brought the newer dog back to the shelter. I got some flack from people there, stuff like, “Have you tried training?” or “Oh, that happens with dogs sometimes and they just have to work it out,” but I’m sorry, that attack was VICIOUS. I told them to find her a home where she would be the only dog. Oh, and I have a new dog now who would NEVER attack my current dog.
Seriously, you don’t need to put yourself in an unsafe situation. I know that you love the dog; I loved my dog too. But in the end, I needed to do what was best for me, my older dog, and the newer dog…if she’s acting this way, she’s not happy.
Best of luck in whatever you choose to do.
Post # 9
She loves you, but she doesn’t love her arrangement right now. This isn’t due to any fault of yours. Your other dog is creating a stressful environment for her (by just existing) and it’s causing her to lash out.
I know you love her, but the best thing for her right now is to move her into a better situation.
You aren’t being a bad dog-mom for giving her up. You are being a good dog-mom for realizing you can’t provide the environment she needs.
Post # 10
@Sweet_Tea: She’s a Chihuahua Dachshund mix.
She’s definitely super attached to me. And with dominance- at what point is it just bullying? Our other dog is older (about 7 years) and has already gotten hurt 3 times, twice with blood.
Post # 11
@FutureMrsGG: I think it is perfectly OK if you bring her back to the shelter. Clearly this is a dog who needs to be the only dog in the house. That is not the case for you. That is it – the bottom line. You did nothing wrong. Sometimes shit happens.
Post # 12
@sailor_girl: It makes me feel better to hear your story. I feel like if I bring her back I could never bring myself to get another dog because I’d be so scared that I would fail her/him too.
@BeachBride2014: thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this. i feel like i am completely failing her by thinking about bringing her back. she loves me so much, and i love her as much (if not more!) but nobody is happy in this situation right now
Post # 13
If you can’t provide the attention and care she needs, the best thing for her is to bring her back. It’s frustrating that the shelter didn’t do their research in advance to know that she would not do well with other dogs. They’re the ones who have failed her, not you.
Post # 14
@FutureMrsGG: That’s really rough. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this.
You are not alone. I adopted a dog from a shelter a few years back. The dog ended up having serious dominance and aggression problems. Ultimately, the dog drew blood from me, from some family members of mine, and from a close family member’s dog.
I ended up taking him back. It broke my heart to do that. I cried the whole way there, the whole way back, and for days after. It’s a serious grieving process.
I can’t tell you what to do, but I want you to know that you aren’t alone. Good luck, friend.
Post # 15
@FutureMrsGG: Yeah, Chihuahua breeds are known to be one-person dogs. Dachshund breeds are known for stubbornness. I hate to say it but it does seem like she would be better suited to a home with 1-2 adults and no other pets to compete for attention/love. I’m sorry 🙁
Post # 16
@FutureMrsGG: I hate this for you. I am definitely not a fan of bringing a dog back, but sometimes it has to happen. When we rescued they begged us to please bring him back if it wasn’t working…apparently a lot of people send them somewhere else for fear of saving face. The shelter knows the dog will be in good hands with them and that’s all they care about.
The poor pups in your house aren’t happy, through no fault of your own. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard!!! I think your only option is to contact them about this. They may support your decision…OR, they may be able to provide you with assistance to help the transition which would be great!