|"I know it's wrong, but this is my favorite thing!"|
But, she hasn't come without some issues we continue to struggle with, issues that maybe you can help us with. She is a nervous dog. Part of that is her breed and part is probably due to her being shipped to us on a plane flight from Missouri when she was just 8 weeks old. Because of delays at one of the airports, she spent 6 hours in a cage, being buffeted by sounds and sights that probably terrified her.
To this day, she barks at things, both real and imagined. Shadows, the wind in the trees, even one of us entering a room abruptly can set her off. Other dogs or people walking by the house, and delivery people coming to the door are her two biggest triggers. We have tried all the training techniques we can think off: treats for silence, clicker training, and leash control but that tiny body will still quiver with energy and spout a stream of barks.
We have taken her to local pet stores, malls, and neighborhood dog parks in an attempt to desensitize her and help her socialization. We play with her in the house and backyard to help burn up some of her nervous energy. But, the barking continues. Frankly, if we can't get it under control our plans to get an RV and take her on vacations with us are in jeopardy because leaving her in a kennel for up to a month is not an option.
So, you who have dealt with this issue, we need your suggestions. "She will grow out of it" may be true but we don't want to simply let her get tired of barking at some point in the future.
|Daddy..I want to go that way!|
So, pretend you are that high-priced dog trainer invited into our home to help Bailey (and us) conquer these behaviors. Shock collars, crates, and any physical approaches are non-starters. Anything else....let her rip!
While we are on the subject of dogs, a reader has asked if I'd address the topic of the cost of having a pet. Again, she would like your input, too. I can provide the information on what Bailey is costing us. But, as a puppy, she doesn't have some of the expenses that older pets incur. I also have no feedback on the costs associated with cats, so if you can shed some light on that she would be appreciative.
For M (and anyone else wondering) here are the costs for Bailey the puppy as of today:
- $800 to buy her and have her flown to Phoenix
- $430 for one year preventive care at Petsmart. This includes unlimited doctor visits, all the first round of shots, and spaying.
- $25 for some other pills
- $275 for a second doggie door and other initial supplies
- $14 a month for food (wet & dry)
- $34 so far for doggie day camp (for desensitizing work)
- $94 for two haircuts, nail trims, and baths
- $420 for various toys, spray cleaners, collars, outside stuff, gates, etc
- $35 for a 'Thunder shirt' for calming training
Next year we will not have the $431 preventive care expense, though we will have to pay for any vet visits and meds. Also, the large up front costs to buy the dog and get all of her initial supplies will not reoccur. So, for 2013 I am budgeting $100 a month.
|What is that over there? Can we go see?|