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Thread: Woof Woof

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Woof Woof

    My buddy and family at the last minute decided to go home to Canada for Christmas, they have a dog, Skippy, who is a rescue mutt. He is at least 15 years old, mostly blind and deaf too. He is a rather grumpy old guy who has never taken to me. In general I've always has a good interaction with dogs. My mother was allergic to dogs so we never had one at home, but aunts, uncles, grand parents etc have all had dogs that were good friends. Now poor old Skippy does not get along with anyone, we think he was abused before my buddy rescued him.
    When they go away they usually have the neighbor look after Skippy, but that neighbor is also away for the holidays. Now I cannot have Skippy in my house, my wife is NOT a dog person, so we set up their back yard and sun room for Skippy to be in. He sleeps most of the day anyway. I built him a doghouse, and we put an electric pad doggie heater in it as well as a bunch of warm blankets etc. he is snug in his house, nice and warm.



    The doghouse is in the far back corner of the sunroom, and the sunroom sliding door is open about a foot for him to get out into the back yard. I live about a 3 min walk away so I get over there every morning to check on him, and in the evening to check on him and feed him. I want to take him for a walk twice a day too.

    Now the problem, you cannot touch this dog, getting the leash on and off him requires a blood sacrifice. I'm not really happy with that.
    For my buddy he will tolerate the leash being put on and off, but I get bitten when I try, I've had to use welding gloves to protect my hands and then sneak up on him while he is eating if I want to get the leash on him to take him for a walk. This cannot go on, it is very stressful for me, and for sure for the dog too!

    Some questions for you dog people out there:

    Is this leash problem a thing with some dogs?

    Do you have suggestions for dealing with it?

    One idea I have is to leave the leash on him, but I worry it could get caught in/on something, so how about leaving a very short leash, maybe about 12" or so, and clip the regular leash to that? Do you think that would work? I know I could get the short leash and hook the regular leash on to that without much trouble, it is when you go to touch him on the neck area that he freaks out. Now like I said he will tolerate my buddy touching him but even then he gets bitten from time to time. This has been going on for about 13 years BTW. I know I know, training etc, but I've only got the poor old guy until the 29th, and I'd like to take care of him well, he loves going for a walk, once the leash is on, and I don't want to add to my collection of stitches.

    Really looking for some insight here, I've never been around a dog that hates to be handled.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Stuart Ablett; 12-24-2014 at 02:15 PM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Brooklin ON -- 45 mins. NE of Toronto, ON
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    A job for Ceasar Milan, the Dog Whisperer! Feel sorry for Skippy, he's probably more afraid than you are.
    Mack C. in Brooklin ON
    It feels great to sell a pen,
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
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    Apprehension is contagious Stu, he senses yours and is immediately struck with it himself...just their nature. If he allows you to pet him, you might be able to slowly work your way into easing it on, but I doubt it lol. Old dogs are pretty set in their ways, add in that his family is no-where to be found and someone uncomfortable is trying to strangle him and he goes into survival mode. Better off maybe just spending sometime in the yard with him instead of taking a walk. A few days won't hurt his feelings that much and is sure to save you from some unwanted ones as well.

    Personally, I wouldn't leave anything hanging from his collar, just another thing that will probably irritate him. possibly leading to more stress and/or injury trying to remove it when you're gone....
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    DO NOT(!) leave the leash on him! If it catches on something, it could strangle him. Even if it doesn't strangle him, it could strand him away from his food and water. Being caught on something would definitely raise his stress and anxiety levels.

    Most dogs actually enjoy and look forward to being leashed and taken for walks, etc. Something in his past has caused him to dislike it. It's probably best to just leave him alone, and forego walking him. Less stressful for both of you...
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Mack is correct, he's scared and it takes time to build trust. Spend a little time with some treats and build a relationship with him. Probably for go getting a leash on him. If it must be done, perhaps put a blanket over him for your safety and his to prevent you from getting bit and him from getting kicked.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Yorktown, Virginia
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    Stu,
    On behalf of grumpy old guys everywhere....Good on you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Well done on being willing to dog-sit and trying to make things more enjoyable for Skippy. But that said, add another vote for just spending time with him in the yard instead of taking him for walks. If putting on the leash is such a stressful affair for both of you, I think it'll be more beneficial to simply not do it. And I'll also echo the warning to not leave a leash on him unattended. Too many things can go wrong with that.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    Well thank you all for the kind words and the thoughtful answers, but things are pretty much as I thought they would be, he is just not a happy old dog.


    My take is that he figures he is in some sort of punishment room of life now, considering his family just left and now he has to sleep outside in the cold etc (in a warm doghouse with a heater!). Also having me feeding him and taking care of him etc, instead of a house full of three boys always making a ruckus, he feels left out.


    Some other things, the sun porch is not large, it is about 3 -1/2 feet wide and maybe 16 feet long, but it has large china cabinet in the middle and a large storage unit on one end, so the space that we have in the sun porch to interact is minimal. The yard is also small, it is roughly a triangle, the short sides might be 14' long, so it is not a large space, maybe 100 square feet...?


    This is what I did, I got the leash on him while he was distracted by some treats, then pulling on the leash slightly I could reach down and put a very short leash on him, it is about 8" long in total including the hasp and has no loop on it. Now to get the long leash on him I give him a treat and I can get my hand on the short length of leash, holding this, I can easily put the regular leash on, and he does not freak out, as I'm not actually touching him.


    I think that he must have been abused, maybe grabbed by the scruff of the neck and abused in his youth so he does not like his neck area to be touched, fair enough, with the new mini leash I don't have to touch that area of his neck. After a walk when he is a bit tired and sitting down he will allow me to scratch him behind the ears, but if I move down to the neck he freaks out and tried to bite me, so I don't go there

    He loves his walks, I just let him lead us where he wants to go, the other night we went on a 45 min walk, I was certainly ready to call it quits after 45 min, and I think it was really good for him. I have found out on the walks that he really does not get along with anyone, including other dogs, he simply does not allow the whole sniff things out when he meets another dog, he growls and snaps if they get too close. Most of the locals that I meet on walks politely keep their dogs well out of his path.


    So it is certainly not just me he hates


    I know that many will not like the idea of the mini leash, but is is only a total of 8" long, it does not touch the ground when he stands, so he cannot step on it, it has no loop so I don't see how it could catch on anything.


    Seems to work so far and boy does he like his walks, I take him twice a day.


    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Brooklin ON -- 45 mins. NE of Toronto, ON
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    868
    Such a happy story, Stu! Thanks for taking him for his walks.
    Mack C. in Brooklin ON
    It feels great to sell a pen,
    It feels even greater to give one to a friend!

    If your presence doesn't make an impact;
    Your absence won't make a difference!


    I am a proud supporter of
    "Pens for Canadian Peacekeepers"!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    We live in the country here in TN... our outdoor dog runs the neighborhood, chases deer, raccoons, skunks, etc.... we have put at least a half dozen collars on her over the years... in a week she'll show up without it... don't know yet how she gets them off, but evidently doesn't like them, so last few years we just left them off.... all the neighbors know her by name, and I think some of them feed her too... I'll echo the others here, just spend time with Skippy and let him run loose in the yard... he probably spends some time out there when you're not around anyway. If he'll play, and at his age probably not, play with him... a ball or stick or what ever... if not just talk to him, sit quietly and let him approach you.

    My son has a dog that they rescued or obtained somehow... beautiful little dog that looks like some husky type dog.. he's friendly, but you cannot touch him. Jason has had him over 3 years and can only pet him if the dog wants to be petted, which is rare. Yesterday we were over and I held out my hand to him, he smell my hand, then backed away (my hand was clean)... strictly a don't touch me type of dog. Jason thinks he may have been abused as a puppy too. If Skippy was abused as a puppy, he doesn't trust people and depending on how much abuse, may never ever trust people...
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

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