- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2012
I have a situation that feels like the end of the world. Its not. I know that is just my anxiety taking over my rational thoughts. There are so many animal lovers on the Bee I thought I would turn here for advice. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible…
About 6 years ago, I bought a house and decided to get a dog. This was not on a whim. My entire life I have been fearful of dogs, never having known any personally or been close to any. But, for whatever reason, I wanted a dog. So I spent months researching the best breed, the best breeder, how to train puppies, what to expect etc. I finally purchased Oliver, a Welsh Corgi from a top of the line breeder. I worked hard with him. We went to obedience classes. I hired a trainer to come to my home. He became my baby. He was and is very willful, hard headed, took a LOT of training and being a leader to make him be a good dog. He was not only a only a good dog, but a GREAT dog! After about a year, my sister (who was my roommate got a rescue corgi who was sweet and submissive. At first Oliver would beat the puppy up quite often. He never drew blood. It was a lot of noise. But the trainer said it was just the dogs establishing their order. Eventually they became great buddies and even went to doggie daycare together for years. Oliver has been such a great great dog I have slacked on the training.
Fast forward… I am now married. My husband and I were long distance and did not live together before getting married. So now Oliver and my husband must get to know each other. They do and they love each other. Everything is great!
Until last month. We had talked during our engagement about getting another dog. Oliver, although naturally very dominant, did learn to live very well with one, after all. So last month, on a whim, we get an Australian Shepherd puppy. Things have gone so terribly bad. After a day, Oliver attacked the puppy, punctured his ear. The vet said things would settle down, that Oliver is just establishing his place in the house. My neighbor, who trains dogs, said “you have to show them who’s boss” whatever that means. Oliver attacked the puppy several more times, each worse than the other. Then 2 weeks ago, during an attack, my husband tried to break up the fight, show Oliver who’s boss by getting in his face and yelling at him. Oliver bit his lip. Bad. Lots of stitches. Thank God my husband is almost all the way healed and will have only a scar. (I posted about this but deleted it because it was too painful).
So I call a trainer to come to my house. She shows me and my husband some things and also observes Oliver and the puppy. Says he is a very dominant dog, that I am not a strong leader. When Oliver got stressed, he rubbed his snout on me. I always took that as affection. Apparently its a show of dominance. She says he’s giving the signals to the puppy that he wants to be left alone, but the puppy is just not reading them. So my husband and I work with both dogs. We’re stepping in when we need to. Things have improved. We had a good weekend. Both dogs played outside. But I know Oliver. I can see he is stressed and unhappy about this dog always being in his space.
The final straw came yesterday. They had done so well, I left them unattended for a minute. Just a minute. Oliver attacked the puppy. Bad. The puppy will be okay. I’m just devasted. My husband is making the puppy an outside dog because there is no peace in our home anymore.
I just have so many questions. I don’t want to make excuses for Oliver. His behavior is terrible. But he has been such an amazing pet (best friend) for so long, never ever hurting anything. I’m just so confused. He recently had a full bloodwork. Everything was normal. My husband resents him now.
Is this my fault? Did I cause Oliver to become a monster? Can it be fixed? If I was a better dog leader, could I have prevented it? Is Oliver fixable? What the hell is wrong with my sweet dog?!?! I do not think the dogs can live in the same house. Oliver has made that clear.
Please be kind. I’m very fragile right now. 🙁