New shelter dog is making me bonkers. Help!
December 26, 2010 10:41 PM Subscribe
My new shelter dog is making me bonkers. What do I do?
posted by Sal and Richard to pets & animals (24 answers total)
Three days ago I adopted a very cute, loving, 2 year old male beagle from a local rescue organization. I live with a roommate who has 2 male cats (one adult cat, one three month old kitten). Beagle comes over with his foster parent to check out my apartment and meet the other animals. At that time, beagle was very docile and calm, and didn't display any aggressive behavior towards the cats. I had been looking to adopt a dog for about six months, specifically wanted a beagle because I lived with one for a couple of years in a different roommate situation. Apparently, that beagle was exceptionally out of character for a beagle - quiet, calm, low-key.
Day 1 of adoption goes fine, beagle is still getting the lay of the land and not making any sudden moves.
Day 2 and beagle is in full effect. He is house trained, but has been having lots of marking incidents. He marked four times, once in my bedroom, in the bathroom, kitchen, and front hallway. It is very hard to catch him when he does it, but I was able to catch him once and took him outside, but then he marked again later. He was neutered 2 weeks ago, so perhaps the hormones are kicking around in there, or maybe it's just habit. Beagle is also very willful, charges around the apartment smelling everything, jumping up to get to food, eating food off the table, and he chases the kitten around as if it's a rabbit. This is, of course, very distressing to my roommate.
Day 3 - more chasing, more peeing, crate training is going slowly, but lots of crying and howling when he is in there for more than 5 minutes. When he does get let out, he goes nuts in my room and scratches at the door and runs and bangs into the door tomake a loud noise.
Beagle is cute as could be, but clearly he needs tons of exercise to keep himself occupied. I'm worried about the chasing of the kitten and the marking behavior. I'm also just wondering in general if this setting is not the right place for him.
Please don't pile on about how terrible I am. Believe me, I already feel terrible for considering returning him. For instance, right now he's curled up in a little ball on my bed and all is right with the world. But I know the training is going to be intense and I don't know that we'll ever get to a happy place where 2 cats and this beagle can all coexist happily and I don't want to leave beagle crated all day while I'm at work. Clearly staying in my bedroom won't do it either since he bangs at the door and scratches. Oh, and I don't want excessive beagle noise and howling to cause any issues with the neighbors and landlords.
What do I do? Do I keep trying with the hope that this will work? What if it doesn't and more time passes and then I have to return him? I don't want to wait so long that we'll be too attached to each other. I feel like a horrible, rotten, person, the type that adopts a shelter dog and then returns him. At least the shelter will re-home him, this i know for sure.
Please help with any advice. Thanks.