Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cats rule, dogs stink!

Before anyone gets upset, I am a huge animal lover and always have been. Any kind of animal, I turn into a baby talking mush mouth when I see something cute and furry. Growing up on a farm we always had lots of cats and dogs (and some rabbits that died a horrible wolfy death). When I left the family homestead and moved to the city, cats were all I had. I have never had a dog of my own. Until this year.

Last January we saw a notice on a local forum that fourteen poor little pups needed homes or they would be destroyed. We decided to take the plunge and rescue one of these creatures from certain death. We got ourselves to Playa del Carmen and picked out our cute little pup and named her "Lola Frijola". Here's a pic from her first day with us....

Now, Miss Lola was a cute little girl and we kept her both indoors and outside in our fenced, secure garden. Slowly she grew and rapidly became TOO MUCH for us, mostly too much of a jumper for our two year old. She knocked him down repeatedly and was nipping a lot. She started spending more and more time outdoors until it got to the point where she didn't want to come inside.

Fast forward to today. She is an outdoor dog pure and simple. I really don't like it, I want her to be inside with us, but she is impossible to control! Add to that the STINK, oh man, it seems no matter how much we bathe her she just has this doggy smell. Cats don't have that, cats bathe themselves constantly and I love to bury myself in kitty's freshly bathed fur. Lola is still a big jumper and an even bigger biter. I know she is just playing, but her play almost cost me a nipple yesterday! With Max being so accident prone, I just know that he will get hurt eventually so outdoors she stays. I try everyday to bring her inside for playtime, but it usually lasts about five minutes before either Max or I are screaming for her to "Get down! Stop biting!". Here's the grown up Miss Lola.

I love her, I do, I just don't like her very much, KWIM? Cats are so much simpler. And cleaner. And less smelly. Ok, so Changa just about killed me a few weeks ago, it's not like she has my fingers for dinner everyday. She doesn't crap all over the yard, just in one neat pile in the litter box. She doesn't chew on Max's underwear. She doesn't pee on the couch or on the floor. She doesn't bang on the door and scratch all the paint off when she is hungry. She doesn't get tick infestations (neither does Lola now since we started with
Frontline, but the first time a couple of months ago was disgusting!)

Soo, I'm definitely a cat person, I need more! Hubby unfortunately does not like the cats, so my next kitten will have to be a "surprise" (Ooops, it followed me home honey!) again, just like Changa was. I will have to suffer the consequences, but it will be oh so nice to have a warm fuzzy kitten in the house!

I'll take any and all suggestions on how to make Lola a nicer girl, one we want to have in the house with us! (Well, I'll take any suggestions that don't include having to spend any money, we'd love to send her to obedience training but cha ching, we do live on a Mexican wage!)


Chicagotom said...

I don't know if you have a cable TV program called "The Dog Whisperer" starring Caesar Milan. If you get it in Cancun, try to watch it. He is amazing with dogs. We have used so many of his methods on our dog and they are simple common sense things that really work.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I'm guessing that her crazy behavior comes from a)her age and b)the fact that she's only let into the house very briefly. If she were inside for longer period of time, and therefore understand it as normal time, rather than special time, she may calm down.

The biting, she may outgrow. Leo did! And the jumping you may be able to control by bringing up your knee when she starts. If you push, it probably seems like playing. Might be hard for Max to do, but you could.

When Leo was/is in a new place, it's crazy time but then can behave in "his" space, which is now my apartment and my mom's house. I bet Lola doesn't see the house as "hers" and that's why she gets all cracked-out.

You may consider training though. You know that I took Leo right on Chichen, but they're since closed. And he charged me 800 pesos for a month of daily, hour-long sessions. Good price, I think. Other places may be comparable.

My Way said...

I would try and implement some Lola time which begins with tiring the crap out of her (also known as walking & running them like crazy), and then spending some one on one time with her to help teach her the basics. Sit, stay, down, NO.

When I get home Diesel is spazztic and happy and excited and he's not always responsive to my commands. So I drop everything say hello, and I take him out for a walk so that he knows it's his time, and it gives him a chance to calm down.

Its obvious that Lola spazzes out so much when she's around you and the family because she is just super happy and excited to be around you and simply wants attention. She is so overcome with "WOW WOW WOW OWNER FUN LICKY JUMP BITE WOWOWOWOWOOW I'M SO DESPERATE FOR YOUUUUUU WOWOWOWOW BITE LICKY JUMP" because a) she hasn't spent any other special time with you today b) she hasn't learned her manners yet (that goes for both dog socialization and human socialization).

I know it's tough with Max around but if you or Jorge can give her at least 45 minutes a day consistently (dog one on one with mom or dad ONLY) you will start to see some changes. It doesn't have to be like that for the rest of her life. Just long enough for her to understand the way things work.

Dogs are just like kids in that they need a routine and discipline. If she knows she gets her Lola time where she can run and play and then be taught and rewarded for it, she will calm down when she does get that chance to hang with the family. By then she'll know, hey there are boundaries, and thats ok, because I got my special time already and get treated well for following the rules.

When I was potty training Diesel to go on the pee pads I almost threw my hands up and thought, he'll never get it. But I was consistent and he got it and boy is my life easier now that I stuck to the plan.

Let me know if I can help.

CancunCanuck said...

Thomas (welcome!), I wish we could get that show, I know the "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" helped with my son big time, I'd love the doggy version!

Melissa and Mexico Way, I know you are right about spending more time with her and I really do try. It just always seems to end in tears! I have her inside right now and she's already managed to get the blender lid off the counter for chewing, nipped at Max's penis (yes, he runs around nekkid) and taken a good combo "leap/bite" at my face. I wish she would just sit still for a moment to give her some love, but even trying to pet her results in a jumpy/nip! I'm trying, I'm trying, a bit longer everytime but I think think this is even harder than potty training Max. I try with commands and treats and all she does is knock me over.

Ok ok, more doggie time, more doggie time, more doggie time. But it's been ten minutes and Max's is crying hard now and saying "Lola bite me" so I better go check that out. When he is screaming and she is biting I just give up and put her outside, must figure out how to manage both of them!

If anyone knows where Gabacha's doggie trainer ended up, THAT sounds like a reasonable price. The other prices I have been quoted are in the thousands of pesos (last quote was 8000 pesos, gulp!)

Chicagotom said...

Here is Cesar's web site link:
Dogs are pack animals and they are den animals. They need to understand who is the pack leader. They will try to lead and you need to make them understand that you are the leader. Once that is established the rest is easy. They need consistant rules to follow. Simple things like, when it's time for a walk, YOU are the first one out the door, not Lola. Same thing when you return to your home. Dog after human. It demonstrats to the dog who the pack leader is! He has a lot of free tips on his site. Hope this helps. Suz and I are looking forward to introducing Chocolat to Diesel and Lola.
chicagotom & Suzie

CancunCanuck said...

Tom! Ok, now I know who you are, fabulous to have you here! I've bookmarked that page and will check it out when it's less crazy in here, lol! We look forward to meeting your family. :)

Thanks for the doggy tips, we need'em! I want one of those dogs that they have in the movies and commercials, all lovey and sweet and obediant. I had read about them needing to know their place, one site suggested being the "Alpha dog" in the house and actually growling at them and holding them down after biting! (Can you picture me? Grrrrrrrrr, me big dog, you bad dog, NO BITE, grrrrrrrrrrrr")

My Way said...

So did you run her tired before you let her in the house? LOL.

CancunCanuck said...

LOL, I would have to get out of my pyjamas for that, right? ;-)

CancunCanuck said...

Ok, been reading the Dog Whisperer site and see the importance of "The Walk" but have never been able to get Lola to wear a collar let alone a leash. We've gone through at least 5 different collars for her but she has them off and chewed in half the same day we put them on. The couple of times I have tried to take her for a walk she lays down and refuses to leave the yard. Sigh, someone want to take a two year old for a few months so I can train this dumb dog??

Chicagotom said...

You don't even need a collar when you walk her. Just take a leash and loop it thru the end and put it over her head onto her neck. When you walk her keep it up high on her neck as close to her ears as possible and perpendicular to the ground so you have control over her. have her walk next to you, not ahead of you. If she gets distracted,just bump her shoulder to divert her attention. You should never have to vocalize loudly to her. Just use your body language so she knows who is in charge. Get her attention, point at her forcefully and say ssssst, (or something like that). If she pulls you when walking, then she is dominant, not you. She must always understand the human is the leader of her pack. It's also important that all family members adhere to this regimine in order to provide consistancy. When she bites then challenge her space and she will become calm submissive which is what you want. If she gets really out of control put her on her back to make her submissive not letting her up until she shows submissive behavior. Dogs live in the moment so you can train her to behave even though she has developed bad habits since her puppy days. Ok..........I'm off my soapbox :}

Anonymous said...

we keep a running supply of different flavour rawhides/chewies-it really helps the dogs work off energy by chewing. plus they don't chew our stuff when they have their own stuff. for walking, try a harness. it distributes the pressure better than a collar and all of our dogs walk better on a harness than a collar.

Anonymous said...

You need the choke type chain collar (no biting through that) with a good quick tug and a big loud NO!! when it bites or jumps up onto someone will help for sure.

When I am working (land surveyor) we see alot of farm dogs and when one is a jumper, a quick knee to the chest and ONCE is all they jump up on me. It doesnt need to be a hard knee just enough to startle them. The loud NO is great too with the knee. They really do learn fast. YOU have to be the leader.

My Way said...

I agree the choker chain works really well with commands. And again, can't chew through it or break it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Canuck, Gringa again. :-) I have the Dog Whisperer DVDs. I'll lend them to you. They're great.

CancunCanuck said...

Wow, thanks everyone for your kind assistance! I'll do an update post this week and let you know how things are going.

Gringa, great to see you girl! Would love to borrow those DVD's!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cancuncanuck!

I really enjoyed reading your blog. I'm a Canadian living in Austin,TX...My fiance and I are going to Playa Del Carmen for our honeymoon in March...Anyway, that aside, you probably don't want to hear this but we ended up getting a doggie friend for our puppy and for whatever reason, this kept him busy and got him out of the bad habit. Perhaps, it was unrelated but I did see a significant improvement in his behavior. BTW... If your dog tends to scratch even when you put him on Frontline, it could have something to do with the dog food he is eating. A lot of dog food has corn which makes their skin very dry and itchy.

Good luck.

D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...