I came home and there was a strange dog in my house…
Imagine coming home and finding a dog in your house that did not belong to you.
Not only does the dog not belong to you, but the dog has also chewed your chews, destroyed your couch, and peed on your floor.
This happened once with a dog that I was hired to work with. Let me back up a little and explain the situation.
More than a few years back I got a call from a very exasperated women who sounded very frazzled. As she was talking, I could tell she was on the verge of tears. She began telling me all the problems that she was having with her dog, that she loved her dog but after what had happened today she was not sure she would be able to keep him. I agreed to meet her the next day and added that I would do everything I could to help her keep her dog.
When I arrived the next day I met Tyler, a great looking ten month border collie. Tyler was a litle aloof, like a lot of border collies, but did warm up to me and came over to say "Hi". As I sat there petting Tyler, I knew that I had my hands full and I keep thinking that maybe she would have to find Tyler a new home. Not the kind of advice I like to give but if it’s in the best interest of the dog I will recommend it.
You see, Tyler lived in a very small apartment and his owner worked ten, sometimes twelve-hour days. If you know anything about border collies, you’ll agree with me that they are extremely active dogs – mentally and physically. Border collies love to work long hours. They live to round up and herd anything that moves, even if it takes them all day to do it.
A bored border collie can wreak havoc and this one did.
The problem started months ago and became progressively worse. Tyler started chewing and digging up her carpet. She tried to crate him, but could not do that when she was gone for ten hours at a time. Her house looked like someone had walked in, dropped a hand grenade, and walked out – it was a disaster. Most of her furniture was wrecked, the linoleom and carpet were gone and she had nothing on the counters or tables. She said that she had been living like this for a while and would continue to. She loved Tyler and did not want to get rid of him but… What he had recently done was the last straw.
With tears in her eyes she took me into her bedroom. Her bedroom looked like every other room in the house, but there was also a large blanket nailed to the wall. She walked up to the blanket and pulled it back. What I saw even made me blink twice.
Tyler had chewed a hole through the wall into her neighbor’s apartment.
This was too much for her and she really started to cry, she told me that she could not bear the thought of giving him away, that even though he had this terrible problem, she wanted to keep him and would do what ever she had to do.I told her that this was not an easy case. She had a young active dog that was left alone for long hours. I added that she did not have a behavior problem she had an exercise problem. We were going to have to develop a mental and physical workout. She assured me that she would do what ever it took. I looked her straight in the eye and said I hope so because her poor dog really was suffering and it was not fair to him to continue living like this.
Stay tuned for the program that I came up with and how we helped Tyler.