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Simply Grand

I Need Help With My Dogs

93 posts in this topic

As I predicted, and my mum insisted would not be the case, it is not working having my three dogs staying with me at my mum and step-dad's place on the Gold Coast while I look for a job and place to live :(

I dithered and dithered about moving up in time to be with the family for Christmas but without having a job to go to but mum was really keen to have me here as we haven't had Christmas as a family for years, and it was logistically hard to get a job long distance as well as being able to start far enough in the future to give the required notice on my last house so I decided to arrive here on 23 Dec (now wishing I had made a different decision but too late).

So we've been here a week and a half. Obviously nothing much has been happening over the holiday period so I don't have either a job or a house yet, though I am applying.

The dogs are not allowed inside and have a run type area down the side of the house which is all concrete. The house next door is close to the fence and on Saturday the neighbours mentioned they were disturbed by the dogs making noise on Friday night. This was the night when Quinn had had an allergic reaction and after taking her to vet in the afternoon and getting her fixed up she puffed up again during the night. I was worried about her airway so I brought her in to sleep on the tiled bathroom floor with me (so she wouldn't get hair on the carpet). Apparently Saxon was upset that she had gone with me but he hadn't and was whinging and barking for ages. They have barked a bit at other times - they are barky dogs anyway, and they're not used to being outside on their own when people are home but I have citronella collars on Quinn and Riley which helps a lot, they are only barking at unusual noises and only a few barks and they are actually being remarkably good if you know how dogs are but the run area is all concrete, the houses are all big on small blocks so close together so the sound echoes and carries.

The neighbours who spoke to mum were very nice about it apparently but they told mum that some neighbours might complain to council and she is worried about that, plus I don't have a good relationship with my step dad (silent tension that came to a head today) so I've been constantly stressed about anything the dogs do making him angry. I've also been spending hours out and about with the dogs as they are not allowed out of their run at the house and that is not all that conducive to getting a job/house as soon as possible :(

They didn't flat out say I had to find somewhere else for the dogs right now but they need to know my contingency plan if I can't keep them quiet. I can't stop them making any noise while they are here and I'm not allowed to bring them inside or put them in the fenced area on the other side of the house that is bigger, grassed and edging onto the street. I just know there will be further issues with my step dad and his tolerance will be even less now that we've argued, and if any of the neighbours or god forbid council say anything else I'm not sure what will happen.

I am completely kicking myself for getting into this situation and will always go completely with my gut on such things in future! But in the meantime I can't afford boarding for them right now (although will be able to when I get a job) if I can even find room in a kennel and I'm wondering if any DOLers in the area might be able to help with looking after one or more for a short time. I can't say exactly how long as it will depend on when I can secure a house but I can say I'm desperate to get somewhere and will be doing everything I can to find anywhere that will take the dogs. I will also happily move them into a boarding kennel as soon as I have funds and can find a spot.

Dogs are (full disclosure):

Saxon:

6kg Poodle x Malt (male)

5.5 years old

Very people orientated, good with other dogs although can be snappy if approached by a dog when eating (has never escalated beyond growling and snapping). Will occasional growl/snap if he is accidentally stood on/hurt by another dog but again has never escalated beyond that.

Occasionally takes offence at overly boisterous, "rude" larger dogs, particularly black ones - as in teenagers that bowl up and do the in your face, all over sniff greeting but is fine with "normal" dog behaviour and fine once he gets to know a dog.

Likes cats but may annoy them by trying to play with them dog style, although would back down if the cat told him off. My cat never quite got up the courage to tell him off and just waited for me to save him but all the dogs went skittering when an overnight foster cat hissed at him from inside her crate.

Likes all kinds of people, good with kids, although not used to spending large amounts of time with them so may need to be able to escape.

Not officially crate trained but settles well into a crate when I've travelled with him or stayed with friends.

Toilet trained and will hold as long as possible to go on grass although will go on concrete (or a leaf or a stick) if he absolutely has to.

Riley:

7kg Sheltie (male)

Nearly 4 years old

Can be reserved with humans but some days decides he loves them, seems to be becoming much more people orientated of late and once he knows you a bit is super affectionate. Very soft natured so not suited to "harder" training methods or being shouted at.

BARKY! He is seriously barky, the epitome of a noisy Sheltie. He is really good when wearing his citronella collar so as long as you keep that on him when you want quiet you shouldn't have a problem, I hope. I'm fine with it being on all the time if necessary.

Can be reactive towards certain softer natured/less confident dogs that are younger than about 2 years old BUT he is definitely more likely to react when he is close to me so I suspect without me there he wouldn't have the confidence. He also knows the cue "be nice" and will do so then come to me for a reward (food/praise/pats). And once he gets to know a dog he is is fine with them even if he initially reacted.

Finds kids to be aliens but is getting more comfortable with them with exposure and has some friends in gentle kids. The other day I pushed him a bit with a boisterous little boy who was being quite rough and persistent with him (Riley was sitting on a bench right up against me so I was ready to intervene at any moment) and although he was uncomfortable he showed absolutely no sign of aggression, just moved closer to me and would have run away if he could have. Having said that obviously I wouldn't want him pushed to see how much he'd actually tolerate!

Cats - same as Saxon above.

Not properly crate trained but slept in one as a puppy and would settle fine in one, however he's likely to pee on bedding if he needs to go. Would probably need to be outside unless you are willing to risk accidents (he's ok with me but I know him and when I see his very subtle signs I tell him "outside" and he'll wait for me to take him out.

Would go well with someone with some Sheltie experience but would be fine somewhere else too.

Quinn:

19kg Australian Shepherd (female)

3 years old

Smart, curious, can be destructive if interesting things are left around but will not try to get through fences etc. Can and will open lever door handles, fridges and cupboards so would need to be kept away from any of those unless they have sturdy child locks.

Loves people, loves kids especially but can be a bit rough and jumpy. She has become much much better with this but it has taken a lot of training. She knows the cue "stay down Quinny" and generally will when told but you have to keep an eye on her when she is excited.

Great with other dogs but is a confident, entire bitch and will respond to aggressive behaviour from other dogs and will tell off other dogs if they push her on something she really wants. She really is very appropriate about it and will give off clear (in dog language) warnings and/or conflict avoidance signals before doing anything else. She would probably not be good with another similar dog though as neither would be inclined to back down IF something happened.

As above with cats.

Will bark at unusual noises and if she really wants to get to a human or dog to play but doesn't bark indiscriminately like Riley. She wears the citronella collar because he starts and she joins in.

Toilet trained and will hold as long as she can, although if she really has to go she's been known go inside.

(In my last place the yard was not secure so they were inside when i was out which is why Quinn and Riley will toilet inside sometimes. They had a pee pad area set up and would go there).

They are pretty good dogs really and will respond to sit, wait, leave it, get down cues from people other than me.

They are pretty adaptable. Would love to sleep inside and hang out with the people but are coping fine sleeping in a little area of the garage with the door open out to their run. They would cope actually outside if necessary if they had some shelter. They're respond well to consistency and will learn routines pretty quickly (eg. They stopped making any attempt to get out the gate when I leave them in their run within a couple of days of me telling the" "wait there" as I went out).

They'd be ok either separately, in a pair or all together and with or without other dogs/animals.

Diet wise they will be fine with whatever's easiest, no issues and will eat pretty much anything (Saxon at least if they are hungry enough) but I'm very happy to provide their food or money, whatever suits you.

Obviously any vet expenses would be covered by me and if it becomes necessary I'd their provide flea/tick meds however I really hope it won't be two weeks!

I'm happy to drive them anywhere within two hours or so if it means the "right" place for them and I'm happy to visit and exercise them as much as I can (distance/time when I start work permitting) or not if you prefer.

So that's a massive post, sorry. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Any help would be really really appreciated, I hate this situation but I don't know what else to do :(

PS if someone has another solution, knows of a dog friendly rental or house sitting position I would also love to hear it :)

Edited by Simply Grand

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shekhina   

Can you crate them inside instead? Would probably calm a lot of the barking/whinging down and wouldn't get hair on the carpet.

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No, I asked. Step dad says I was told the dogs could not be inside.

Thank you though the idea :)

Edited by Simply Grand

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Kirislin   

geeze, sounds like a crappy situation alright. :( I cant help but I think more people would see this if it was in General rather than Off Topic. Good luck.

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Kennels? Ie board them at a kennel?

But in the meantime I can't afford boarding for them right now (although will be able to when I get a job) if I can even find room in a kennel

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BC Crazy   

Sorry to hear your sad/ difficult living situation SG. Must be very worrying for you & very unsettling for your dogs.

Sorry I am of no help to you really. They only answer I can see to ease tensions is to move obviously but with no job atm makes this extremely difficult I understand.

Maybe you may be very fortunate & a fellow Doler might extend an olive branch. Everything crossed for you. Even if you could get someone to mind Quinn temporarily for you as he is your biggest & still keep your 2 little ones for the moment. Less dogs to complain about. And just apply for any work you can. Doesn't have to be your dream job. You are bound to find something just to get you on your feet quickly so as you can find a place of your own.

Thoughts are with you Simply. I have found myself in the exact same position as you when I was much younger. I took on 3 casual jobs & within no time I was out of there & in a very old shabby house with my dog but I could not of been happier :)

Edited by BC Crazy

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Perhaps you could do a letter drop (or doorknock) to all the neighbours explaining the predicament, that it is a temporary situation and if there are any problems with the dogs, to come to you first?

What a crappy situation. :( A shame your step dad can't be more understanding.

Edited by mr.mister

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Bjelkier   

Could Quinn and Riley stay with their breeders until you're able to sort something out?

I've taken back dogs at various times when the owners needed me too and all I asked for was food to be sent as well. Maybe their breeders would be willing to do that as well if you have a good relationship with them.

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denali   

It is probably not much help at all, but after 12 oclock on the 11th i can take one.

I am away until then frown.gif I am also in Brisbane.

But happy to if you can hold out until then. Also happy to take the more 'difficult' dog if its easier to place the others in a less 'dog' home.

All dogs are allowed inside here and sleep in my room (spoiled maybe embarrass.gif).. I work from home.

ETA: would you like to to ask my non DOL agility club friends? Or would you rather a direct forum member?

I am happy to put a post on our facebook page.

Edited by denali

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poochmad   

What a shitty situation. :hug:

If I was in your area, I'd be happy to help out.

Do you have any friends or other family members? Do your parents belong to a Church? If so, you may be able to find someone that way.

General dog discussion would definitely open more doors.

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bertie   

What sort of work are you looking for & where do you want to live? Sorry I have shitty fences but if you're interested in Gympie/Sunshine Coast area I can keep my eyes open.

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Thanks for the comments everyone :) I've asked Troy to move the thread to General so more people see it.

I'm going through job ads and applying for anything I might have a shot at so hopefully it won't take too long to get something!

I will do a letterbox drop tomorrow, good idea mr.

Their breeders would have been a great idea bjelkier! They are in Canberra and Orange so it would be along way to ship them for what I hope will only be a short time but I should have thought to send them to the breeders before I left Canberra then arrange to have them flow up. It didn't even occur to me!

Denali, the 11th is much better than nothing if I haven't sorted anything by then :) A post on your FB page would br fantastic, it doesn't have to be a DOLer, just a dog lover!

I've just thought of Don't Fret Pet and those other dog sitting services so I'll look into that as well.

Poochmad, no friends up here in a position to take on a dog. My sister in Brisbane would normally take Saxon probably but she's in her last two weeks of work before mat leave and tired and stresses at the moment so can't do it now.

Bertie, I'm looking for hospitality, admin or animal care work. I'd like to stay on the Gold Coast but would consider Brisbane for the perfect job. There was a live in kennel manager job that included a house on site that would ha e been great but they'd already filled it by the time I saw it and just hadn't taken the ad down. There seems to be plenty of work around on the GC, I just hope someone will employ me!

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You mentioned not being able to afford Boarding Kennels, but would it work if you approached local ones and offered to work to pay for their board? There could be issues with insurance but might be worth a try? Might also be a foot in the door for a job too. Best of luck, sounds like a horrible situation.

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Gawd - don't suppose you could move back again.

Nev Allen might have some helpful suggestions. He runs

Border River Pet Resort

http://www.borderriverpetresort.com.au/

And breeds border collies. I like his training suggestions.

Hope you get your independence back real soon.

I've been thinking about doing a house renovation - getting plans done and etc. And Mum has suggested I move in with her while it's being done but I think that might be just a wee bit more stress than I can handle.

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That's a good idea DAF, I'll look into it.

Thanks Mrs RB. It did cross my mind to go back! I cant afford that now either. I used all my savings to fix up the last house (had to replace some dog damaged carpet and blinds) and getting up here. I knew it would be an issue, why didn't I trust my instincts? Definitely think hard before deciding to stay with your mum!

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