- 7 years ago
Pet lovers/experts, I am in need of help and suggestions.
A little back story which is going to be long, sorry! I am due in about 5 weeks, YAY! With that being said, I have 2 cats, who are wonderful, and 2 dogs. The issues is the dogs.
We have 2 Italian Mastiffs, each weight 130/140, both came in as rescues. I have always loved the Mastiff breed and got invovled with helping out different rescues. I’ve always had dogs my whole life so when Darling Husband and I bought our house we really wanted to add to our cat family with a dog. We found Diamond, who her foster parents stated was a total love bug, great with people and other animals, and she was about 6 years old. Perfect! We wanted an older dog as well.
Well we get Diamond 3 years ago, her first night with us she growled at DH and was very unfriendly, this alarmed me, but I knew she was in a new space. She been in foster for over a year at this point and we were told she was found in deserted house. The next day Darling Husband went to put the leash on her and she lunged at him and bite him, she didn’t draw blood or break the skin as I imagine she could, but it was the scariest thing, and we FREAKED.
We called the Rescue, I was in hysterics, they basically told us that they could not take her back because they had no where for her to go. I didn’t understand why she couldn’t go back to her foster but her foster said she wouldn’t take her back. Of course this really got our wheels turning, we then find out she was on her 4th foster, and she has issues with men and new people. They said the only option was to put her in a shelter at this point. Darling Husband and I cried and cried, we felt horrible for Diamond but didn’t know what to do as we knew she would most likey be put down if she went into a Shelter.
My Darling Husband started to ignore for the entire day while we thought about what needed to be done, we reached out to tons of trainers, many said they wouldn’t take our case while others said there was hope for her. After a day Diamond became my Darling Husband best friend, and became a total love bug with us.
We did bring in a trainer, he more or less trained us but training her protectiveness of the home out of her was not going to happen. It was stressful for us because she would become aggressive in the house if people came over, everyone felt uncomfortable and it was a bad situation. We then started putting her away when we had guests and it worked out great. If Darling Husband family came to visit we would bring Diamond to my parents since she bonded with them and was comfortable, but we knew with new people she was never going to be a fun cuddly dog.
On to my next issues, about 8 months ago, I got a call from a City Shelter, I’ve helped them in the past and they knew I had an Italian Mastiff and had some contacts, they had a 4 year old male come in as a surrender that was up to be euth that day. I begged Darling Husband to go with me to the shelter to check him out, and we both instantly fell in love with Jack. He was such a sweetie, totally different from Diamond. We couldn’t leave him there, Darling Husband and I talked prior to bringing in another dog to keep Diamond company as many trainers suggested it could help her behavior a bit.
We brought Jack home and instantly Diamond and Jack bonded, Jack was wonderful the first few months, he LOVES people and is just overall super friendly. Then we started noticing a few months into having him, he started to get super dependent on us, starting going the bathroom in the house when we left. If Darling Husband or myself wasn’t home he would cry endlessly, and he started to follow us from room to room. We also noticed he started to take on Diamond’s protectiveness of the house and when people enter, to the point that if he heard Diamond bark in the other room he would jump up and nip and become very anxious. Diamond and Jack’s behavior now feeds off of each other, Diamond now has to follow us and can’t be away from us, while Jack now becomes somewhat aggressive to new people. Jack’s seperation towards ME has gotten increasly worse over the last 2 months, he is constantly following me every where.
We now have to put Diamond and Jack away in the basement when we have people over because both of them are no longer trustworthy with new people. This is always a process because they both freak out from being away from us and without fail always end going the bathroom all over the basement. It’s been really stressful and fustrating, I feel like I am always yelling at them and using a stern voice.
I feel terrible but I also know I can’t baby them, it makes it even harder because 3 months ago Jack was diagnosed with bone cancer, so he is lucky to have 6 months to a year. So everytime I have to be stern I feel like a total jerk.
We have been alternating them sleeping outside of our bedroom as well, more so because now that our AC units are out their snoring is keeping me awake but we also figured we would start this now in case having them in the room with the baby doesn’t work out, that they won’t feel that now that a baby is here we are kicking them out. The last few weeks they refuse to sleep, they pace all night and cry and whine, and Jack has started going the bathroom in the house again. When we do come out of the bedroom, they are leeches on us and refuse to listen to anything we say to them. Diamond was NEVER ever this way, she was highly independent and could careless if we were in the room with her or not, however she feeds off of Jack’s anxiety and the both have become this big ball of nerves on top of being super protective.
I am at my witts end, more so than Darling Husband because I am home with them most of the day and the main person of discipline. We brought in a few other trainers and none had addressed these issues. Some of them say it’s just how they are.
Do we know over time that the dogs will accept the baby as a pack, totally, but for the first month we fear it’s going to be a challenge. We have the “baby’s room, which is our den” gated so that the dogs will not be in there when me and the baby are in there and I do realize I need to provide the same amount of attention to my dogs which we plan on doing. However, the dogs can not be here when my father in law is here because he is afriaid of them, so we were going to take them to my parents for probably 2 weeks. I will also be getting a C-section so my ablity to care for the dogs is going to be minimal and I can’t be dragging them into the basement everytime someone comes to visist while I’ve had major surgery.
My worry is though that by them being at my parents for the first 2 weeks the baby is home, will that cause an issue for when the dogs do come home. We plan on having my Darling Husband bring the blankets and when I am to a point where I can move I will go over and see them and spend time with them and then bring the baby as well.
Is this a good idea? Thoughts? Any suggestions for my situation with them, aside from getting rid of them because I could never bring myself to do that.