I have had my first pup since she was 6 months old. Rescued (eh hem, stolen by an old roommate) from a shed she was locked in (and mistreated). Over the past 5 years, we’ve become inseparable. We are best friends. She gets SO sad and lonely when I leave, I thought rescuing her a new friend would be incredible for both of us. I am constantly interacting with our local shelter on socials, trying to help spread the word about new intakes and those on “Death Row”. I’ve mulled getting a new rescue over in my head for about a year now and knew that I’d KNOW when the right pup came along. Well, about 2 weeks ago, this sweet lab/pit mix was surrendered to the shelter. I took one look at her and knew she was mine. I just FELT it. She had been left on a chain outside (we assume very short based on her behavior), had scabs all over her body from fly bites, was emaciated and cowered, shook, and fell to the ground immediately when you tried to pet her. She also has HORRIBLE and heartbreaking-sounding nightmares. It kills me. I knew she was going to need a lot of love and patience, two things I have in abundance usually.
My new girl is about a year and a half. I don’t think she’d ever been inside a house or given toys, and her previous owners stated she’d never been around other dogs (when the shelter asked if she was dog friendly). She and my first baby ignored each other for a few days, but are now becoming fast friends. The issue I’m having is that New Pup is … well… finally allowed to be a puppy. She gets into EVERYTHING and has torn apart my house. Had immediate separation anxiety and crate training is not going well. She cries and breaks out of her crate. I’ve had to start zip tying her in there and I HATE IT, but I can not leave her out of it when I leave or she will destroy EVERYTHING in the house. She’s SO sweet and eager to please (when I am training her properly), but she just… doesn’t understand ANYTHING or seem to care about boundaries or rules I am trying to set. My first girl is SUCH A GOOD DOG and always has been. She’s so sweet and easy and doesn’t require constant attention.
I’ve been in a rut since January after losing my father unexpectedly, had a horrible back episode and had to have back surgery and life has just been really stressful and stupid. I thought bringing new dog into my life would give me purpose again, and I was right… except I have learned I have a serious limit to my patience right now and have found myself yelling and getting VERY frustrated at her. I feel AWFUL because I do not yell, I do not overreact, I do NOT treat animals poorly. Did I bite off more than I could chew? Yeah. Definitely. Am I ready to give up? Hell no. Never. I will never ever ever let that baby go and she WILL be part of the pack.
Training my first dog was easy peasy. This one, not so much. Which leads me to believe I don’t know what I’m doing. I guess A.) I just needed to get this off my chest and B.) I’m wondering if anyone has any good advice on how I can be a better rescue mom. I can tell she’s afraid of me now a little bit (I swear I haven’t raised a hand at her!) after the last 2 days and it breaks my heart into a million tiny little pieces. Where has my kindness and patience gone? I am just so defeated.
I think this dogs most immediate concern besides those things is that it has way too much energy. I’m a little worried you might have adopted a high-energy dog. But, this dog is still settling in and you won’t really know if this is an anxious energy or if this dog is high-energy until that settling period has ended. For now I recommend that you try to find a way to exercise the ever-living poop out of his dog. I know that some people say that and exhausted dog is a happy dog but it’s just that right here this dog has a lot of energy and I think that getting rid of the energy will help your training to be far more effective. If this is an adult dog, you might consider getting a doggy backpack and put weights inside of it so that the dog has to exert more energy when it walks. You might consider taking the dog to the dog park with no one is there and see if you can get it to run around. Run, not walk. Maybe you bike and it runs. Spend some time thinking about it. Maybe you get a flirt Pole or you play fetch.
I know that you have a dog already and that you did fine with them. But for this dog I recommend that you get enrolled into a local Dog Kennel Club, with a group training class. I think that group training class will help you with a bit of socialization but primarily to enable you to learn how to work with this particular dog, and help you to feel more successful.