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  1. The cats are kept separate from the dog when we are asleep or not home. I THANK YOU all for your opinions and advice. I may not agree with everything that's been said but I appreciate the spirit in which it was given.
  2. The smack I don't have an issue with - but the dog would not have related it to the GP's death. Its the same issue as smacking the dog when you find a puddle of wee inside - the dog won't associate the aversive with the behaviour so long after it happened. I dont want to be gruesome but a GP shaken hard would die almost instantly and be completely intact. I doubt they died of fright. Take that as a good thing - death would have been quick. Yeah, understood about the piggies.
  3. I'm totally confident you're wrong. Apparently this means I'm "unfriendly". Your dog will know he's in trouble. He won't know why. He'll be reading your body language and be somewhat confused by it now. I hope the shock passes soon and you can view this as the tragic accident it is. I don't think that disagreeing is unfriendly. I understand and was prepared for the finger pointing and bad mummy comments. I feel like I let the piggies down and enabled my dog to do something that would upset us. If I could go back in time, I wouldn't have made that mistake. However being harsh with my partner when he is sad about the piggies isn't being supportive of him. As I said, he has relented about the dog, because he knows how attached I am to Joss and doesn't want me to be any more upset today. He's a good guy - just doesn't understand about dogs. It's funny isn't it, that some people credit dogs with too much intelligence and understanding of human ways. They are such good companions in SO many ways - adapt to human lifestyles SO well, that when they do DOGGIE things, it just throws us for a loop.
  4. To answer some of the questions: *It's quite likely they died of fright *We are sure it was the dog, because of the dog's head sized hole in the chicken wire of the hutch that was more than 10 feet from where it started (like it got caught on his head and he had to back up to get it off) * the piggies weren't laid out per se - just close together. And for the record, the dog wasn't beaten. He was smacked. I appreciate that some people disagree with smacking dogs, and it's not my preferred method of achieving discipline - but it wasn't abuse.
  5. Thank you Erny. I DO appreciate all of the comments, and I have a thick skin, so while I may not agree with everything that everyone has said, I am not offended or hurt. Well, not beyond the sadness about my puppy (he's 5, but being my baby, I call him my puppy) and my guinea pigs. I agree that WE (not just my partner - BOTH of us) failed the guinea pigs in not having a secure enough hutch. We are sure that it was Joss, because the yard is sealed and he chewed a hole through the chicken wire of the hutch to get them out. I KNOW he's not a vicious dog. He's a very clever dog. Almost too clever. Unsupervised in the backyard with an exciting puzzle to solve, he couldn't resist the temptation. I know he's still the same dog. Part of my distress is that my partner is having trouble seeing him as the same dog. To be fair, he's more of a guinea pig person than me. I am the dog person. Losing the guinea pigs was more upsetting for him than it was for me. I think it's perfectly natural for my partner to not want to LOOK at the dog that killed his pets. I don't have a problem with the dog getting a smack, because although he may not understand WHY getting the guinea pigs was wrong, I think he did understand THAT getting the guinea pigs was wrong. Like I said, he is a clever dog. Thank you also for your concern for my step-daughter. She is fine. They were her guinea pigs, but as is the case with a lot of children, I was the one who fed them and cleaned their hutch and cuddled them. So I don't actually think she was overly attached to them. I am THANKFUL, that Joss didn't chew on them though - because that would have been awful for her to see. As it is, my partner has relented because it's important to me.
  6. My Joss is a beautifully behaved staffy cross - everything that I could want in a dog. Today he killed my step-daughter's guinea pigs. He didn't maul them. We found them lying next to each other on the grass with barely a mark on them (one had a shallow scratch on his neck - but no spilled blood or horror scene). My partner is furious (understandably) and showed the dog the piggies and smacked him. I thought that was fair enough. He wants him to sleep outside in the kennel tonight, although Joss usually sleeps on the floor in our bedroom. We also have 4 cats. Although Joss sometimes attempts to "discipline" them, chases them away from his bowl etc... he's not rough, doesn't ever hurt them and seems to consider them a part of his pack. There is a little unease in the house. My partner is questioning whether he can be trusted with the cats - although he was lying out there on the deck with one of them as normal afterwards - so I think he'll be fine. I get the feeling that he saw the guinea pigs as a "game" - like it was a challenge to figure out how to get them and then when he did, I don't think he meant to kill them - as I said, they were virtually unmarked. The guinea pigs never lived inside the house, so that might be why he didn't see them as pack. I am cranky at myself and my partner because we weren't happy with the hutch we had for the piggies, and if we'd trusted our instincts on that, then perhaps this wouldn't have happened. I can't bring myself to blame the dog. He's still the same good dog who is so eager to please. I am sure he doesn't know why killing the guinea pigs is wrong, and given that we have no more guinea pigs, I don't see the point in punishing him further (by making him sleep outside) other than to appease my partners sense of justice. I know it probably sounds mean, but I am much sadder for my poor Joss than I am for the guinea pigs. I hate to see him so sad.
  7. Ahhhhhh see the thing is that despite what we are told about our dogs, we are ultimately responsible for them ourselves. The answer to these questions actually isn't as important as: "Why didn't the new owners get to know their dog before exposing him (and the innocent bystanders) to an unknown" Because I owned boxers for 8 years I was acutely conscious of how they were perceived in public, and of how powerful they are. My boy Jasper was quite obedient, BUT he once pulled me out of a chair when he was startled by someone approaching us in the dark. This is the reason he stayed with my ex. As much as I love him and miss him - that ONE moment showed me that I was not physically strong enough to control that dog in an unknown situation. Now I have a 5 year old Staffy that I got 3 weeks ago, and we are still learning all about each other. Every new situation with him, I take slowly. Why should he suffer for my impatience? Maybe he'll be fine, but throwing him in the deep end and expecting stellar behaviour is not setting him up to succeed. Poor little kid. I hope he recovers fully in body and spirit. It would be awful if he was always afraid of dogs after this.
  8. Although I have a Staffy now (my partners favourite breed) I have always been a Boxer mama at heart. One day though, I want to have a Whippet. I don't quite know why. Is there any breed that you've always wanted but haven't yet had?
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