Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My dog.

This is my dog Gracie.  I've had her since she was a puppy, almost 11  years.  I have always had the attitude that a dog is a dog is a dog is a dog.  They are animals, not family.  That is until you have to make a tough decision.  Gracie has always been a dominant dog.  She's territorial.  She perceives that all space is hers.  She always has, for as much as I think I'm the dominant in the house, and I am, she thinks she is 2nd in command.  I knew that she and any child would be a challenge.  Jacob doesn't really engage with her, he likes Gertie and will play with her but Gracie he pretty much leaves alone.  So over the past 11 months there have been 3 incidents.  Once Jacob did go in her space; she was hiding under the picnic table and he crawled under, she snapped didn't bite.  Then another time she snapped again, this time though she was on the couch, totally not her space, and he crawled up, she perceived it as her own and snapped, this time though she got the tip of his ear.  I consoled him made sure that he was fine then when he wasn't in the area dealt with her.  She's been outside ever since.  She comes in at night to eat and sleep but either than that she's out.  She does have a thick coat and shelter so she's fine out there.  I am at a loss of what to do though.  Does she become an outside dog now and that is how I deal with it, do I put her down, do I try to find someone who will take her?  I've emailed two trainers to ask them for suggestions or see if they would think she can be rehabilitated.  My dream is that we buy an acreage and then she can be an outside dog all the time with a doggy door to the garage.  This way she has warm shelter whenever she wants and all the open space she would like.  She doesn't go after Jacob, for the most part she ignores him as much as he ignores her, we only run into an issue when she thinks its her space and he's in it.  Ugh, I hate this decision.

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