Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I've made a huge mistake

UPDATE: I forgot to add that I've been working with the folks at KPR on this. They know my situation and have been supportive and good. I am also going to try a different technique with him.

Anyone who watched and remembered the show Arrested Development you'll know that line was uttered quite a few times.

I signed up to be a foster parent to help a dog. I also wanted to see if Brutus would like a friend. What I've gotten is a mess. This pug has bit me three times and my Mom twice in one day. He has chased my cats and gotten into at least 7 fights with Brutus. He has a temper and when you want him to do something he doesn't want to do, he gets mad and growls. Today for instance. After our evening walk, I was watering plants out front. Ozzy went across the street into the neighbors yard. I went after him and tried to get him to follow me. He turned and growled at me. I pinned him, calmed him down and then we started back to my yard. He got 4 feet with me and then went to the left. I followed him and was going to pick him up and carry him back to my yard and he growled again. A neighborhood kid had to hold him down while I went across the street into my house and grabbed his harness. Or there was yesterday when for the 100th time he ran out in front of a car. Only this time I wasn't able to get his leash quick enough and if the lady hadn't stopped he would have been hit. It's something with him each and every day. He growls or bites or chases the cats. Time and time again I discipline him, tell him no, etc. He now just flinches and continues the behavior. Oh and now he is starting to get mad when I do it.

This weekend he bit my mom because she got too close to him when she was cleaning out the fridge. Then 20 mins later he was staring at her feet and bit her again, unprovoked for no reason. I couldn't believe it.

Tonight was the final straw. He chased the cat tonight for the 5th time since our afternoon walk so I went to get him a treat to lure him into the crate. He got to the crate and wouldn't go in, so I tried to gently push him. He turned and growled so I tried to pin him for the 3rd time today and he got loose and sliced my thumb. He then was loose in the house mad. If he got close to the cats he growled at them. I couldn't get close to him. I finally calmed down and got his harness on him and got him in the crate. I had to act like I liked him.

I know he's got a bad past and I do feel bad for him, but I know very little about training dogs. I am not Cesear Millan. I am a single girl with a full time job. I just got Brutus, my first dog ever in January. I feel bad because I know KPR has foster homes that are full and are in financial troubles but I am not a dog trainer. I can't handle this and I don't have the time for it. Nor the emotional stress.

I think I am writing this because I feel guilty and I want someone to say oh don't feel bad. Part of me is disappointed in myself that I can't handle him. The other part of me says that I have no experience with dogs let alone ones with food aggression and biting issues. Another part of me just doesn't care and just wants him gone.

I am angry that I am in this position. I am angry that I have to deal with this dog and because I can't handle him he will be someone elses problem. I am angry that someone who had him before allowed this behavior. I am angry that I have visions of this dog biting my Achilles tendon and my wrist flexors off in a fit of rage. I am angry that I am afraid of this dog. I am angry that when he walks beside me I am sometimes afraid he will bite me for no reason. I am angry that I can't call my parents and tell them about this. My mom is already worried Ozzy will hurt me.

And yes I've tried to focus on positive behaviors. It doesn't matter. Every day he gets mad about something. Every day.

Thanks for letting me vent.


  1. Have you tried positive reinforcement taining? My Mommy had a very mean dog named Pepe and no matter how many times she punished him he was still mean, then she learned about positive reinforcement training. google it. Pepe was a new dog after Mommy trained him with that! Mommy uses it with me. They use it on that show, "It's Me Or The Dog." as well.
    Hugs & Snugs
    Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle

  2. Ooof. I'm so sorry. You were trying to do a good thing, and got into a bad position. Is there maybe another foster family within KPR that could come over and help you with some training methods? Because if he doesn't get some serious training soon, he's never going to be adopted out and you'll be stuck with him a lot longer than you'd like or you'll end up having to get someone else to take him. Neither is a good situation.
    I think your best bet is to be honest with the KPR people and ask for 'HELP!' - I'm sure they have someone there who has dealt with it before and can give you some advice, tips, etc.
    Good luck! We will be thinking about you and Ozzy and praying that someone can give you some much needed help.

  3. Oh, you poor thing! It sounds like you have a bit of a nightmare child on your hands! You are truly a saint to agree to foster a pug, and a difficult one at that.

    Hopefully, the folks at KPR have given you advice that will help you out a bit!

  4. Okay! One thing at a time. First off, it is NOT your fault. At this point it seems to me that the situation is not doing either of you any good. Ozzy is probably picking up on your fear and emotions and acting on them, making you afraid etc. It is a big circle. Call KPR. Tell them what is up. You have done your BEST. You cannot do any more than that and besides, he cannot continue to bite you. Who knows, maybe he would not do that to a man. There is no shame in saying "I cannot do this any more." The only shame would be in abandoning him in a dark alley, which you wouldn't do. I know you want to help KPR, but you also have to take care of yourself FIRST. What if, in chasing him into the street a car hit YOU?
    I think you have tried as hard and as long as you can. KPR's financial problems are not your personal concern. I know you want to help them, but you have to take care of you!

    Roxy's Mom

  5. Poor Brutus' mommy! You are super-amazing to put up with Ozzie and to give him a try, also to help out KPR.

    I agree with everyone here, but especially Roxy's mom. Positive reinforcement, especially on dogs with a history, is the best way to go-- BAR NONE. Also, though, you've got to remember that you're doing the best you can, and you have a great heart in doing that. Kudos!

    But as always, sometimes it might be best for everyone to say you're in over your head. Only you know if you're at that point. Like Roxy's mom said, we dogs pick up on human emotions, and we can tell when you're faking it.

    MAJOR hugs, snuffles, and kisses to you for what you're doing!

  6. I don't think you should feel badly at all. Seriously, if he's too much to handle, he's too much to handle. I really don't think it's your fault, dear!


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