Friday, October 11, 2013

My Dog From Hell

I often talk about my pup from hell. Read here and/or here to catch up. I’ve come home on many occasions to her at the front door when she should be in her kennel.  I don’t know how she does it but several times she has broken out of it.  My house has often looked like either a tornado hit or someone broke into the house and decided to rip up a bunch of shit. But no it’s just my dog Dragon who has severe separation anxiety and just cannot be alone and resorts to chewing EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. 

It was a huge problem for a while because she has ruined so many of our things, some of it defiantly needed to go but still.  Here is a list of things that she has chewed.  Living room couch (just a tiny hole), computer power cord, iPhone charger, cable/internet cord (outside), AC cord (outside), vs bras, heels, mouse’s thunder coat, leashes, plastic floor mat in her kennel, front room couch, ottoman, table, kitchen chairs, bourbon (she apparently has acquired a taste for it, just like her dad), belts, books, boxes, hats, pillows, shower cap, legos, I’m sure there is more I just can’t think anymore.  I am honestly shocked that she hasn’t been hurt from the things she has consumed. 

Not only has she ruined our furniture/house but it has also led to many fights with the bf.  He was ready to get rid of her months ago and I wasn’t going to have it.  A friend had suggested doggy daycare so I said lets give that a try? I found a place 5 minutes from my work.  It is not cheap it’s about 17 bucks a day.  So we were fighting about money.  It adds up fast.  For a couple weeks she was doing great and all the staff loved her and said she got along well with the others pups.  She seemed to love going there and it was nice to have a buddy with me on the commute.  On the way home she would just pass out from exhaustion from playing all day. 

My favorite!  She was so tired we made the bed around her and she didn't move!  

Randomly, she started going after other dogs and at home she was getting out of control.  We would have to separate both dogs, one dog outside one dog inside, or lock Mouse in the bedroom and keep Dragon in the living room.  When people came over she would become super hyper, jump up on people, and would literally start to go insane.  I would have to chase her around the house for a good 5-10 minutes to try to get her in her kennel.  She became territorial outside and if I would go out there she would jump and nip at my arms and damn are her teeth sharp.  She stayed at the bf’s parents for a while because they have a lot of land so she could run around and let out some energy.  She started going after Phil’s Mom.

I was losing faith in her.  She wasn’t all bad but it was getting worse.  I couldn’t stand to send a dog back to the kennel because we couldn’t handle her.  I’m sure she would be put down and I was not ready to give up.  I felt like I had failed.  My dogs are my family, if I can’t raise a dog how the hell am I going to be a mom?  I said Phil lets please try one more thing.  I give him so much credit that he stood by me with all of this because I mean this dog was more than a handful.  So I found a guy who specializes in animal behavior.  Originally I had contacted him about the separation anxiety and her not being left alone.  His words: “that sounds like one of the most severe cases I’ve seen”.   Oh great.  So the morning of our Anniversary we had an appointment to go meet with him. 

We started explaining to Mike (Trainer) that this was our last resort because we really had tried all of our resources.  For the first 25 minutes we just talked to him about everything, her chewing, her hyper, her daycare incidences, her aggression, you get the point.  He said wowww this is a lot worse than I thought.  He actually said that he wasn’t sure if there was anything he could do or that could be done.  I was heartbroken.  Dragon was dropped off at the kennel when she was 7 months, so we aren’t sure of her history.  He said from his experience with Pitbulls many of them are bread to fight and kill and I’m sure you heard that there is a lot of interbreeding going on.  Well he was afraid that this was the case with her.  Around 8months to a year is when their behavior starts changing, it’s like a switch.  They could be the most perfect dog and then something in them just changes like that.

He did a few tests with her and by just watching noticed that she obsesses over things.  And that’s exactly what she does!!  So he put a shock collar on her and wanted to see if she would “break” as they call it in dog world.  Her task was to stop locking eyes with the trainer’s dog because since we were there she spotted this dog in her kennel and was just staring and obsessing over this dog.  Phil did most of the brunt work I kind of sat, listened, and watched.  Basically the trainer shocked the shit out of Dragon, she was whimpering and I was crying.  Pitbulls who are interbreed, when they get hurt or feel threatened go harder, they are meant to kill.  But to all of our surprise she finally looked away and tucked her head into Phil and hid behind him. 

This was a good sign.  There was hope for everyone.  Mike even thought that she actually might be ably to change and be a good dog.  The conclusion of the appointment was to take the shock collar home with us for a week and start working with her.  Our plan was to take it day by day.  We weren’t sure how she would do.  We didn’t know if we would keep her but we had to think about the future.  Down the road we want lil bittles running around and from what we had seen it wouldn’t be safe. Per Mike's recommendation we pulled her out of Daycare and now she stays home in her kennel.  

It’s been a month since that first meeting and we STILL have Dragon.  J  It’s been a roller coaster full of up and down emotions.  It’s unbelievable that in a month she has become such a different dog.  She listens, she’s calmed down, and she’s just a big o’l love.   You say kennel, she stops what she is doing and runs into the kennel and just sits there.  We don’t have to separate both dogs AND they actually cuddle together now.  People came over last weekend and she wasn't a pain in the ass!  There is still more to be done but I know that she is the dog that I picture being the right fit for our “family”.  I’m so glad that I stuck by her and gave it all I got because I love that dog so much.  Dragon has so much love and good in her and whoever had her before tried to make her mean and they suck and don't deserve to have any animals!

Phil's been out of town for work and she has become lil Miss. Watchdog.  She know's that Philly's gone and someone need's to protect me and she has stepped in.  It's really cute because she'll walk around the house look outside through all the windows, bark if she see's something like get the hell away people, and then come sit by me.  :)

And wowww this post was a whole lot longer than I planned on. 

I get to head out of the office early today because I have got some major cleaning to do before Mom and Martha get here tomorrow!  Life is good.  

Happy Friday!  


  1. Aw Meg I'm glad things are getting better! Good luck!


  2. Awww man. Has she stopped chewing her way out of the kennel yet?

    1. I forgot to mention she has a pad lock on her kennel now! She hasn't gotten out since!

  3. Good for you for sticking by this dog. I have personally seen way too many dogs abandoned by people who can't (won't) put in the work. It's a vicious cycle for shelter dogs who need training and guidance, but just get returned to the shelter and get even more messed up.

    Do you shelter her kennel a little bit (blanket, sheet)? I've heard that helps with the anxiety a little bit for some dogs if the kennel is wire or has holes.

    Keep with that training. Find a trainer you like and believe in - anythings possible with some hard work!! :) :)

  4. awww YAY DRAGON!!!!! keep up the great work!
    i'm so happy you didn't give up on her <3

    and i agree with Anna about the blanket. my brother's dog was shelter pup (5 yrs ago) and still has mega separation anxiety when my brother leaves, so he puts a blanket over the kennel to keep him calm.

  5. good luck with Dragon :) hope it keeps getting better!

  6. I hope it keeps getting better!! Poor Dragon :(