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That's it for Matty

sprayeddog
June 10th, 2006, 04:04 PM
Matty's destroyed yet another dry wall and I am afraid he's drawn his last straw.

We've been trying to give as much as we can, and be as patient as we can with Matty, but you know, it's a 2-way street. Matty is a 14 mths old lab, and he's turned our home into a living hell for the last 6 months. Those who've been following our story knows how Matty's been. We can't leave him alone for 30 sec's at home or else he'd destroy something. Some suggested Matty's just bored, and I've been waking up 20 minutes early to run with him in the morning, he goes for walk everyday, and as a working couple we've given him as much exercise as we possibly can.

Yet his destruction behaviour doesn't stop. Worse, when I run with him or take him outside for a walk, he jumps, nips, tries to bite my hand ... he's behaving like an untrained dog, when we've been doing our best to train him.

Matty's not our first dog, yet he's by far the WORST dog when it comes to obedience. Maybe it's just his age? Maybe, but I don't want to live in this living hell for another day.

I've done all that I could for Matty. Love is a 2-way street. We've stepped up to the plate, but Matty's only got worse.

Matty will be rehomed, and that will put an end to our frustration. I'll be extremely sad everytime I see a dog from now on, but I can't stand another day of this. My wife's already having depression, and I am close to losing my nerves.

It's a very sad decision, but enough is enough.

Puppyluv
June 10th, 2006, 04:33 PM
I'm very sorry to hear this news. If you are sure about this decision, than nothing can be said to change your mind. I do however, think that there are so many options that have not been pursued completely: a profesional trainer specializing in difficult dogs, doggy day care, dog walkers etc. I think, just as an anecdote (and because it's a really good book) you should read "Marley and Me" by John Grogan, it's about a man who has an extremely poorly behaved dog, but they lived with him to 13. I do hope things work out, but if they don't I hope that Matty gets the loving, attentive, committed home that he deserves.

Prin
June 10th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Yeah, labs are chewers and that is why there are usually tens of thousands of them on petfinder and in shelters. That's why I got two.

If you ever decide to try again, please research the breeds beforehand and if you don't want to deal with a puppy, get an older dog. There are so many who need homes.

joeysmama
June 10th, 2006, 05:26 PM
Poor Matty :sad:

I hope that he goes to a home that apreciates and loves him lots. And I agree with Prin. Please research breeds if you decide you want to be an owner again, and consider an older rescue dog. You'll be able to get some feedback on their personality and energy levels before you make the committment.

chico2
June 10th, 2006, 05:28 PM
I am sorry it's come to this for Matty:sad:
Would it not be nice if you could tell him,if you chew another wall,that's it for you,you're gone!
If he knew,this was it for him,he would stop..but unfortunately they don't understand.
You realize you will have to be truthful to any potential adopter,or in the end it will really be IT for him.

Shamrock
June 10th, 2006, 06:05 PM
That is very sad. I know this is an extremely difficult situation for you.
As mentioned.. it will be necessary to be forthcoming and open about the reasons you are rehoming him.
It may be a real challenge to find the right home for him, I hope poor Matty can find this.

Mom_Of_Two_Dogs
June 10th, 2006, 06:08 PM
Before you do give him up, try crate training and check out this link:
http://www.wonderpuppy.net/canwehelp/dbdestructive.htm

rainbow
June 10th, 2006, 06:10 PM
DITTO to everything that everyone has said to you.

Please don't just dump him at a shelter as that will only add to his behaviour problem. And please be up front and truthful to potential new homes.

Lissa
June 10th, 2006, 07:53 PM
Poor Matty. I am so sad that it has come to this. :sad: I hope you will find him the forever home he deserves.

LL1
June 10th, 2006, 08:04 PM
Thats awful,what trainers did you work with and did you hear of crate training or doggy daycare when you arent home?Please do not get another pet.

meb999
June 10th, 2006, 08:46 PM
That sucks. I hope Matty finds a home where they'll be willing to get him some professional help, although with the hundreds of 'easy' labs on petfinder and in rescues all over the country, I doubt it. He'll probably die because you didn't have the time or the patience for him. May everyone in your life show you so much loyalty. Please do not get another pet.

mafiaprincess
June 10th, 2006, 09:29 PM
This is why my dog is crated when I am not home. I get to know she is safe, and I also know the house is safe.
I feel bad for Matty. He sounds liek a typical lab, and will doubtfully have much of a second chance with someone else. I ditto everyone else. Research or not, it's not fair to get another pet.

kaytris
June 10th, 2006, 09:36 PM
http://www.lrro.on.ca/

phoenix
June 10th, 2006, 09:50 PM
Please do not get another pet.
I agree.
Sorry Matty.

Puppyluv
June 10th, 2006, 10:53 PM
:( I just can't stop thinking about this thread :(
So many people have given such good advice. Tenderfoot gave more advice on Matty than on any other dog. If you look at your posts, you'll also see many people reply "I know what you mean, my dog is doing/did the exact same thing". But none of them ditched their dog at a year.
Matty is still so young, a one year old is smack dab in the middle of rebellion.
The only training you ever mentioned was obediance one. If it went so well, why not continue on? He probably liked having things to learn and practice. Labs are working dogs, and from the looks of it, he is an "American Lab" which means he has even more energy than the classic, stocky, "British Lab". I understand that you and your wife both work, but there are so many ways to exercise a dog when you are at work.. whether it be hiring someone, taking him somewhere, or coming home at lunch. I don't understand why you would get a lab puppy knowing that you couldn't (or rather, wouldn't) come home until the end of the day.
I know this is probably a lost cause, but I find it so upsetting, and I really think that there are so many things left to try. Please don't give up on Matty, how would you feel if the people you loved gave up on you whenever you didn't meet their expectations?:sad:

badger
June 10th, 2006, 11:02 PM
Ditto. Sorry, sprayeddog, your comment that 'it's a 2-way street', which of course implies that you did your part and the DOG didn't step up, well, the premise is so flawed, I don't know where to begin.
There's no 2-way street, just you, with your expectations (which nobody here particularly reinforced, as far as I could tell), and Matty, who couldn't cut it.
The main thing I noticed in reading this thread is that you had few moments of real pleasure interacting with Matty, because you were too busy keeping score. And I think that's what defeated you in the end. Nobody can say you didn't try. But if there is no pleasure, or if the only pleasure (which naturally is communicated to the dog) is based on him 'stepping up', then I don't see the point.

Prin
June 11th, 2006, 12:14 AM
Good posts, Badger and Puppyluv.

jesse's mommy
June 11th, 2006, 08:49 AM
I just don't even know what to say. I jus can't believe you are giving up after all the advice that was given to you. Why are you so against the crate? Some dogs need it. Jesse needed it for about 8 months and we were able to slowly introduce her to new boundaries. I'm going to stop now because obviously this is useless. You've already made up your mind. http://bestsmileys.com/frustrated/4.gif

phoenix
June 11th, 2006, 09:15 AM
jesse's mommy, your emoticon is expressing my feelings exactly. I can't believe I spent so much time posting to you, sprayeddog. As well as Lissa, and everyone else's advice...
anyway I'm thinking that this may be the best in the long run for Matty, as badger said, SD wasn't getting pleasure out of that relationship but I can't think that Matty was either.
Please contact lrro. Hopefully someone who understands the nature of dogs and labs in particular will show this boy what life's all about.

Lucky Rescue
June 11th, 2006, 10:07 AM
Sorry, sprayeddog, your comment that 'it's a 2-way street', which of course implies that you did your part and the DOG didn't step up, well, the premise is so flawed, I don't know where to begin

That floored me too. A "2 way street" expectation is applicable in relationships between equals, not human beings and animals considering we're supposed to be the ones with the big brains. Very strange indeed....

jesse's mommy
June 11th, 2006, 10:12 AM
Just one more question sprayeddog, why do you you feel Matty failed you? Why won't you realize and accept you failed Matty?

tenderfoot
June 11th, 2006, 10:20 AM
I am sorry for you .
I am sorry for Matty.
If you have children I am very sorry for them.

One of the greatest benefits to having a dog in our lives is the joy it brings - but in addition to that it is the lessons they teach us. Patience, forgiveness, & unconditional love. If you have kids (sorry I don't remember) please think of what this teaches them. If they behave badly enough you will quit on them - love will not prevail - only predetermined limits will win out.

Was crate training so tough or unthinkable that getting rid of Matty is preferable?

It is best that he moves on. If the love had been great enough - all of our comments would be moot. He deserves better and I pray he gets it.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
June 11th, 2006, 12:27 PM
Sorry about Matty - I understand that some people give their pets away and others work find ways too make it work. I know I am guilty we gave our last dog away - I actually didnt want too - but eventually agreed with decision - which to this day I regret. Never again though I made it clear to my family that we would not again be giving away another pet. Its to painful for the dog and I still feel terrible about it. We have a new dog that is more suitable for us. He is not perfect and neither are we at training him he has issues with other dogs and can be moody too at times - he doesnt walk fast enough on walks and will steal food off the table when we are not looking oh and he chews not dry wall - but plastic and kids toys -

I am forever prying stuff out of his mouth. We still have pictures of Timber our old dog and I feel sad to look at them - dont think I will ever really get over us not learning to live with his particular personality. Also the kids keep asking to go get him and its been over a year - so if you do have kids that could be a factor too. Anyways good luck hope Maddy will find a good home.

jesse's mommy
June 11th, 2006, 12:30 PM
But JECM, you are sticking to Joey and working with him and from your updates have made considerable progess. You are putting in the time and effort it takes to have and understand Joey.

pitgrrl
June 11th, 2006, 12:56 PM
I'm not familiar with all you've been through with Matty, but from your post it sounds a lot like the first year (maybe two...) with my dogs. They destroyed everything, books, a couple of couches, walls, a mattress, the list just goes on and on. I had no idea what I was doing with 2, very high energy, adolesant dogs who were untrained and had pretty bad seperation anxiety.
The thing is though, as hard as it was, and as many times as I thought I should just give up, I am so happy I didn't. This will sound really cheesey, but please trust that it comes from someone who has experienced the complete destruction 2 dogs can cause to an apartement: As a dog owner you can not expect that the dog will know how to become the animal that is perfect for you, rather, it is your responsibility to become the owner that is perfect for your dog.

I can not think of anything more satisfying in my life than having worked through all my dogs issues, and truely, they have a bunch, as most do. There is really nothing that has taught me more than having to step up to the plate take responsibility for my dog's behaviors and well-being. It's too bad that you are taking away the potential for such a rewarding relationship.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
June 11th, 2006, 12:57 PM
Thanks Jesses mommy - I just wanted to give a perspective from someone that did give away a pet and just how it affected us - I hate having to tell people that we gave him away - and thats another thing people will always ask you what happened - didnt you have another dog before.

joeysmama
June 11th, 2006, 01:17 PM
My wife's already having depression, and I am close to losing my nerves.



Please don't be insulted by what I'm about to say. Be very very cautious about getting another pet. And if you don't already have children then please consider some counseling before you decide to start a family. I've had some very trying times with my pets, and I've also raised two children. If you lose your nerves with a pet and don't do a great job well it doesn't affect society all that much. And at least there is a chance (I really hope that Matty has a chance) that someone will come along who is better suited to their personality.

But believe me, with kids there are teachers, and homework, and sports and dance, and rooms to clean. And there is physical and moral danger. Hurt feelings. There are days where you'll wish that your biggest worry is that the kids will chew the drywall. :rolleyes:

I'm not minimizing the importance of pets. My kids both say we favor Cooper over them. ;)

But maybe before you think about another pet, and certainly children, you might want to have a serious discussion about what went wrong here with Matty.

And please let us know what happens. We would all love to hear that you've found him a loving home !!

we3beagles
June 11th, 2006, 04:12 PM
The only thing wrong with Matty is you. People who have little time and patience for training should not get a dog. Unless you can communicate what is right and wrong to Matty it is not his fault he does what all puppies do. Mine went through 3 square feet of linoleum out of our kitchen and a bunch of drywall in our new house. We however, did enough research to realize that this was normal and how to get them to chew only their toys. If you leave a puppy alone they need to be in a crate. My dogs love their crates as they have plenty to keep them busy in there. There are puzzle balls and toys available to help them adjust. It doesn't sound like you have tried to help him at all as any good behaviorist could have told you that. If there is a rescue in your area please contact them for fostering or immediate adoption. I cannot imagine giving away a puppy for being a puppy. What happens if your kids wet the bed or break a heirloom vase. It is a little more socially unacceptable to give away the kids. If I sound a bit angry it's because I spent all day yesterday with a family that is giving away their dog because they don't have time for it now that the kids are born. You get really upset with the human condition when you see this on a weekly basis. :mad:

BernerLver
June 11th, 2006, 07:19 PM
It's very unfortunate that the situation has come to this. I have been following your story and agree with the pp's that you have received copious amouts of excellent advice and suggestions.

Now I realize what I'm about to say may sound strange but have you ever considered the possibility that Matty needs some less "structured" time? In many of your posts you describe how you are always making him do commands etc. Have you considered the possibility that he needs time just to go crazy, run around and blow off some energy?

Bailey is also very high energy and when he stated to chew things I tried longer walks, more toys etc. I found that the thing that worked best was giving him off-leash "unstructured" time at the park before work on the days DH and I are on days. Maybe Matty just needs to "let loose" and relieve some excess energy.

I too work full time and commute to work as well. 5:00 is a VERY early time to get up each day but in my mind if it means my house is in tact when I return home, it's worth it.

Puppyluv
June 11th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I too work full time and commute to work as well. 5:00 is a VERY early time to get up each day but in my mind if it means my house is in tact when I return home, it's worth it.
I agree Berner! I start work on sundays at 5:30 am, which means I'm up walking Layla at 3:30 am (when everyone else is coming home from the bar). It's an ungodly hour, but it's essential. She NEEDS an hour walk in the morning or else it just woulnd't work, not to mention I would feel guilty as heck.

jawert1
June 11th, 2006, 07:41 PM
I don't mean to sound crass, but dogs are not iPods. They don't work right out of the litter, they don't just automatically do what you want with little or no serious input from you. I sincerely hope he finds his way to a caring, committed home that understands:
a) he's a puppy with little real training
b) he's a lab, ergo working dog with real exercise needs that supercede your idea of what you THINK he needs
c) he's an extremely intelligent breed that needs MENTALLY exercised just as much - running him through commands with no understanding of your own body language or tone of voice is ineffective if you don't check where YOU are in this equation.

A two way street is no way to think of your relationship with your dog, he's better off rehomed and you petless until you get a real understanding of what YOU need to do to be a good pet owner.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
June 11th, 2006, 09:52 PM
Sprayerdog before you make your decision if you havent already I think you should read "Marley and Me" by John Grogan if you havent already. :D He was a character right up to the end and you'll have crazy stories of your lab to pass on.

dtbmnec
June 11th, 2006, 09:54 PM
I've got two cats, albeit not the same as dogs, however they are both demons! Pawz gets into the tub and can't get out (its especially funny if the tub is wet :D ), Leo and Pawz will attack the curtains, the windows, the chairs, and anything that moves (including my boyfriend, my friends, my family and I), Leo will steal Pawz's food, they eat me out of house and home, and inevitably at 6am they meow at the door/stomp/pounce on us for their food! I have had my kittens for all of about 3 or 4 weeks now, and I would not trade them for the world! In fact the only thing that would stop me from would be a serious medical crisis where I wouldn't be ABLE to take care of them anymore! (ie. I'm in a major car accident in a coma, or I suddenly become deathly allergic to cats for some reason)

It is going to cost me huge amounts of money (to me anyway) to neuter them both, if they get sick my finances will become the toilet flushing....would I give them up? NOPE. Not a chance! They aren't perfect and I could do without the 6am wake up calls but I love them and couldn't possibly give them away! To top it all off I'm flying by the seat of my pants as far as training or vet care or anything goes and I may not do a perfect job and they may still find our hands enticing in several years as chew toys, but I'm still not giving up on them! My demons! My funny little loving demons who fight all day with each other.

Yes I understand dogs are more time and effort to train and I have seen what happens when you get a particularly intelligent dog (my boyfriend's little sister is having tons of trouble because Ollie has a mind of her own) and I've seen what happens when you get an idiot (think Jack Russell chasing a school bus down the road :crazy: ) for a dog....With the right training and the right amount of time spent Matty will get better! Patience and time and unconditional love! Even I know that one and I've never owned a pet before Leo and Pawz...

Megan

Puppyluv
June 11th, 2006, 09:58 PM
Sprayerdog before you make your decision if you havent already I think you should read "Marley and Me" by John Grogan if you havent already. :D He was a character right up to the end and you'll have crazy stories of your lab to pass on.
LOL, good suggestions JECM ;)

(I think, just as an anecdote (and because it's a really good book) you should read "Marley and Me" by John Grogan, it's about a man who has an extremely poorly behaved dog, but they lived with him to 13.)

Brat
June 11th, 2006, 10:02 PM
Oh wow, I was just going to suggest that book. I read it a few weeks ago and I laughed and cried until the very end. Read the book. True story and maybe you'll re-think this.

sprayeddog
June 12th, 2006, 12:47 PM
Wow. I'm overwhelmed by the comments but then again maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

I don't even know where to start.

I guess on internet forums like this, it's easy to trash on the guy who said "I've had enough with my dog." I guess on a pets forum, it's easy to look at things from the dog's perspective ... I question if any of you have even tried to understand how difficult a decision it is from my perspective, and what we've gone through emotionally?

Yeah, it's easy to say harsh things like "You're a bad owner". "I wasted my time giving advice to you." "Don't ever get another dog. You don't deserve it." "Don't have kids." "I feel sorry for your kids if you have any." if you are to assume the owner bears 100% of the responsibility of this relationship, regardless of what the dog does.

A lot of people say I haven't done enough. I wonder how many of you realize how much I've actually done. Everyday, the only 'life' we have is the 1hr before we go to sleep. Every other minute either I'm either sleepting, working, or else I'm playing / training / exercising with Matty. Never mind he's not even being obedient while playing / training him.

I'm not saying "I've done a lot". But if giving everything you have, save for 1 hr every day, is 'not enough', then I don't know what is.

Matty is not our 1st dog, as I've said. And as I've said, if Matty is a dog that requires me to go the extra mile, then I'll go the extra mile for him.

And I think I have.

Matty destroyed the first drywall? Ok I got him a crate to protect him as well as protect my house.

He destroyed the dry wall that's beside the crate? Ok, I move the crate to the middle of the room so he can't touch the drywall. Plus, I give him more exercise so he's a more tired doggy. Tired dog = good dog, right?

He destroyed the hardwood floor underneath the crate? Ok, I'd just forget about the flooring, and I give him even more exercise. I wake up earlier to run with him until he's literally catching his breath when we get home. I take him for 2 walks instead of 1 in the afternoon, 1 when I get home and 1 at night. I spend more time playing and exercising with him at home, physically and mentally.

He actually moved his crate 5' from the middle of the room to a drywall to destroy it. What can I do about that?

Matty's received little training? Ok I took him to beginner obedience class, and still not enough? I signed him up for intermediate class, but he's behaving so badly the trainer told me he's distracting the rest of the class and asked me to either re-take beginner class or take my refund.

Matty's life is 'too structured' (isn't it funny how I can "under-train" matty and 'over-train' matty at the same time?!) Ok I spend an hour just 'playing' with Matty and let him 'be a dog'. I play soccer with him, and let him do whatever. I wouldn't expect him to do anything, but of course, he'd still jump up on me and nip my hand, which I still gotta correct.

Can I do any more than that? I don't know, but if he's a dog that requires me to give more, I have definitely given more.

And I do all that not to expect Matty to be a model citizen, but at the very least so that he can stop wrecking our house and at the very least co-exist with us in the same house.

And when that doesn't happen obviously I'm going to get extremely discouraged.

Don't tell me owner-dog relationship is not a 2-way street. Don't tell me if you do as much as you can to love and care for your dog, and all you get in return is disrespect, disobedient and destructive behaviour you won't hurt your realationship with your dog. You go the extra mile to try to build a better relationship, and your dog jumps up to bite your hand. Now tell me that doesn't break your heart.

Most of you are quite willing to jump to a conclusion that Matty's a dog that's under-cared for and udner-exercised, and I'm a bad owner who hasn't given enough, without even trying to understand how much I've given and sacrificed time-wise, financially and most important emotionally.

I guess this is an internet forum, where people can trash on one another and question other's character without even trying to understand the situation.


==============

I don't even know why I bother telling you people this, but anyways I went back to the trainer on Sunday and spent a long time talking to her about the situation and challenge I had. She patiently listened to my whole story.

And I was surprised by what she told me. She started by saying if I really want, she can introduce me to lab-rehoming services, that would be the best for owners looking to rehome their labs. She went through the specifics with me, but she then she said she does NOT recommend me to do that. And I was stunned by the reason.

She said she knows how we've been with Matty through our training, and she doesn't think the new owner, whoever it might be, will be able to give as much as we have for Matty. She said she is really touched by our love for Matty, and how we've been giving everything but 1 hr of our daily life to help Matty fit-in.

She said Matty is a dog the requires A LOT. From her experience, labs are high-maintenance high-energy dogs but Matty's more than just that. She said it's not our fault that it's not working out, and it's not Matty's neither, but that's just the way he is.

She said if we can hang in there, there's a chance one-day Matty will turn the corner. But if we rehome him, she really questions if the new owner can give as much as we can for as long, and chances are Matty will be rehomed again very soon, and again and again, just because of his destructive behavior and extreme high energy. And that's a very bad thing for a dog to be rehomed every few months or so ... .

She asked us to reconsider it over the wkend, and if we still want to rehome Matty we can call that service. BUT, if we decide to give Matty some more time she's volunteered to spend some 1 on 1 time with Matty and us, after her usual class time for free. All that because she sees how much we love Matty and how tough it's been for us over the last few months.


So my wife and I have talked about it over the wkend. We couldn't decide, my wife's past the point she can be with Matty anymore but I still wanted to give him some more time.

This morning, I was running with Matty as usual, and at the park, he was pulling so hard that he actually broke his collar and ran free. I just stood there, thinking again about whether I should just give him away or not. But then he didn't really go far. No matter where I went, he would stay reasonably close to me (all this without other ppl or distraction at the park, obviously) ... eventually I stood there looking at him and he came over, and started licking my leg. I just held him in tears and I don't think I can ever really give him away. (of course, then he started biting my glasses and I needed to correct him but that's beside the point)

Yes he's disobedient, he's destructive, he drives us absolutely crazy most of the times. I didn't think there's any more that I can give, but then there is. If what the trainer said is right, and I trust her professional experience, then chances are Matty is going to be in a worse situation if he's rehomed.

For that, I'll try to give him some more and wait and see if he can turn around before either I go completely crazy or my wife files for divorce. Matty's going to stay with me, as I'll try to give him a little more.

So that's my story with Matty. I don't think most of you even care to go through it. And I'm a 'bad owner' who's such a 'waste of time' for your advices I don't think I'll be posting here any more.

Just a little advice - next time a devastated owner comes here, completely out of hope and faith, maybe you can try to put yourself in his shoes and understand his situation before jumping to the conclusion he's another one of those 'easy give-away' owner. There are bad owners out there, but there are good owners who really love dogs and just have bad experience. Sometimes a pat on the back is all they need. I am glad I turned to my local professional trainer for advice.

happycats
June 12th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Please don't leave!
I think you and Matty can find useful tips and great support here (I know it doesn't seem that way right now) Many of us came here for support and advise, and were flamed, and left feeling like a horrible pet owner, but give this place a chance, I think you and matty would benefit from it!

I commend you for all that you have done, to make this relationship work, and I for one am here to offer support and advice, to help you and matty get through this trying time.

Many here are involved in rescue, and in "rehomeing" dogs like matty, so may come across harsh, but I am sure given all the facts, they are here and will help in any way to make this work for you and Matty.

So WELCOME to you and Matty, chin up, put your feet up and stay awhile!

jessi76
June 12th, 2006, 01:30 PM
I remember when you first joined here. I remember matty's puppy pics. I remember posting numerous times (with either good or bad advice) about Matty. I cried when I read you were giving up.

your last post did make me smile though, particularly the part where you realized you could never really give him away.

I'm glad to hear the trainer has gotten though to you about the re-homing issue. that's really great news that you're willing to stick it out. Just remember one thing, you made a commitment when you brought this dog into your home.

At this point, all I can really say is... re-take the beginner obedience class.

and when you're done, do it again. If you have to take that class 12 times before Matty gets it, then so be it.

I wish you the best, in fact, I always have. (as many ppl here have done also) it's just heartbreaking for us to read that someone such as yourself (who HAS given time & patience AND implemented alot of the advice given) would just give up. so just as you ask us to be more understanding, I ask that you too, be understanding and respectfull of our opinions on the matter. A good majority of us have read your posts and seen pictures of matty's development, feel like we know him, and are hurt when he's given up on.

like I said earlier, I'm glad you've changed your mind, and I do wish you the best of luck.

Mahealani770
June 12th, 2006, 01:30 PM
I just want to say that I have been following your story since the beginning and I don't know where you get the strength to go on with Matty. You have been through so much with him..much more than most people would put up with. I'm not sure what the answer is here, as there are no winners in this situation, but I commend you for sticking this out...even at the possibility of your wife leaving you. I know my partner would have BEEN left me over this situation, especially when Matty started destroying walls. My heart just breaks for the three of you. I was in tears reading your last comment.

Is it possible that Matty could be put on meds? I'm not a fan of medicating animals but it just seems like he has serious issues that training can only do so much for. That question is for you and the experts on this board.

Anyway, I have felt like you do now, as far as people getting on your case, but please hang in there and don't leave. It's hard for other people who aren't in your situation to understand exactly what you're going through. I know it's frustrating when you've followed everyone's advice, you've done all the training classes, got kicked out of the training classes, and the behavior is still terrible. I am, however, soooo happy to read that someone is going to volunteer her time to you and Matty and that you are going to keep him. That is great.

So please don't leave, and do keep us all up to date on Matty's progress. If you need to or want to talk to someone privately, feel free to PM me anytime.
You're in my prayers,
Mahealani

Puppyluv
June 12th, 2006, 01:46 PM
I'm so glad you posted this, and I truly hope you continue to post. True it is "easy to attack" over the internet, because we are spread out all over the world, and have met few, if any of the other members in person. I think everyone would agree that Matty is a "difficult dog", and yes, many of us, myself included, questioned the amount of work you were putting into him. I was raised in a family where our dogs got 5-6 one hour walks a day, so reading your old posts made me think he was being drastically underexercised. But your new post is exactly what we needed all along. You have clarified so much for us, and I commend you on taking the time for doing so.

I hope you stay. The people here are so knowledgable. We litterally have an "expert" on every topic, and you could get so much useful advice, both on training and on other aspects of Matty's life. Also, just think about the advice you could provide to the next person who comes here with a "matty".

I really hope these one-on-ones will help. Matty still has a few more years of "puppydom" in him, so I hope you can hang on for it! My parents' dog was a "puppy" until she was 6, so I won't pretend it will all be better soon, it won't. It will take time, you already know how much effort is needed, now you just have to maintain it.

BoxerRescueMTL
June 12th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Matty destroyed the first drywall? Ok I got him a crate to protect him as well as protect my house.

He destroyed the dry wall that's beside the crate? Ok, I move the crate to the middle of the room so he can't touch the drywall. Plus, I give him more exercise so he's a more tired doggy. Tired dog = good dog, right?

He destroyed the hardwood floor underneath the crate? Ok, I'd just forget about the flooring, and I give him even more exercise. I wake up earlier to run with him until he's literally catching his breath when we get home. I take him for 2 walks instead of 1 in the afternoon, 1 when I get home and 1 at night. I spend more time playing and exercising with him at home, physically and mentally.

He actually moved his crate 5' from the middle of the room to a drywall to destroy it. What can I do about that?
I highly recommend purchasing an extra large Vari kennel plastic crate. There's no way he could get the drywall through that. I like the extra large size because they have a stronger door and lock. They are 100% worth the $$ and you can maybe find one used online for less.

Lucky Rescue
June 12th, 2006, 02:24 PM
Sometimes a pat on the back is all they need.

Often this is true, but from things you've said - the dog is driving you crazy, your wife is depressed over him and can't stand being around him, and that "2 way street" comment, implying that this dog made some kind of bargain with you and is reneging on it, make it seem like a pat on the back isn't going to do it.

If I may sidetrack for a moment: I have a feral cat who I have showered with affection, good food, warmth, soft beds etc for the last 3 years. She won't come near me and will NEVER return one iota of the love I have for her. Am I hurt at her lack of gratitude? Of course not. She's an animal, and never asked to be brought into my home nor made any bargains with me.

As for Matty, there is also the possiblility that there is something wrong with your dog. So many Labs are being churned out by so many bad breeders that a lot of problems (genetic, temperament) can be expected and are showing up. True, Labs mature slowly and can be a pain for up to 4 or so years, but yours sounds beyond that.

Dog Dancer
June 12th, 2006, 02:26 PM
Poor Matty. I've been through this as well, my Shadow has eaten many doors, window frames, blinds, chairs, flooring, and taken down more drywall than many people working construction. We had to fit our lives around hers and it wasn't easy. The crate didn't work for her at all, and finally when my husband passed away I had to take her to doggy day care. If you don't think that wasn't a big strain on my finances think again! But let me say this, her issues were from separation anxiety and when she had to face that at the day care centre, and she had to deal with the daily stresses at the day care centre she improved vastly. It has been six years now since she started day care and two years now since she stays home alone - mind you she is never left inside when we're out, she has to stay outside on a locked/fenced patio. She's fine with that now. She's nine years old now and I'm proud that we never gave up on her. Almost did more than once, but in the end I had just make it work for her she was just too good a girl to abandon her. Please try again with Matty. It's rarely easy, but always worth it in the long run. If not please make sure you responsibly rehome Matty and make sure the new owners are fully equipped and know what Matty's issues are. Lying about it will relieve you of the problem but won't ease your soul any if you know she's going through it all again somewhere else. It will haunt you if you don't handle it well - trust me, been there, done that and never again.

Esaunders
June 12th, 2006, 02:34 PM
Hang in there.

My background is much more in horse training than dog training. There's a few things that I learned in that field that may be useful.

- When things get desparate, get real life help immediately. Forums are great for venting but no one can SEE the situation so snap judgements (and very unworkable suggestions) are way to easy to make.

- Some animal/person combinations ARE NOT MEANT TO WORK OUT. This is more readily recognized in the horse world where a mis-match is more likely to result in serious injury to either or both parties. Unfortunately, the animal that is near-impossible to deal with is that is almost impossible to place in a good home.

The best thing that can be done is to train-train-train the animal in question so that a good home will want them. Deal with it like a rescue, this is no longer your dog but a dog that you are rehabilitating for an unknown someone else. When that point is reached, one can step back and re-evaluate. You may find that good home for the animal in your own.

- Sometimes the most challenging animals can be the most rewarding, after alot of blood, sweat and tears. (meant literally btw) I've owned and worked with a few like that. Make no mistake, it gets worse before it gets better. That is where professional help is so vital. They can help you see if you are going to turn a corner or if you are following a dead end.


Best of luck, you have a challenge ahead of you. I hope this gets better for all of you. When in doubt, ignore us ALL on here and listen to the pro. They can see the situation, we can't.

Dog Dancer
June 12th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Wow people were busy posting while I was. So much has changed already! Glad to hear that you're going to pursue a bit more. Good luck. Of course I hope you realize that I do understand also what you're going through and your frustration with it. I also have a 5 year old lab who is still just a puppy brain but fortunately not destructive (but can you say noisy???) It's so hard and yes, sometimes our people here while meaning the best can be bluntly harsh. Try not to take it personally. Give Matty some time and he'll come around - back to beginning again. Good luck to you, your wife and Matty. The trainer you have sounds good and very aware stick with it. Like I said we did day care for a long time and all the obedience you can handle, but in the end the obedience didn't help the destructive issues - stress management for the dog did:) Oh and we did try some of the doggy drugs too, but everybody thought she was sick when she was on them so we dropped those, but I would imagine they've improved vastly now and may be worth a try if you need to.

chico2
June 12th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Sprayeddog,I did read your whole post,as I have any others you've written.
I can really not judge you,I am not that experienced with dogs,but Matty could be Cody(black lab/German Sheperd)almost 1yr old.He lives across the street from me.
He is incredibly obedient,but when left alone in the house is slowly destroying it:sad:
I am glad you have an understanding trainer,who could tell you like it is.
I too would probably go nuts if my dog would destroy my house,but drywalls,floors etc..can be fixed,while Matty would probably not stand a chance in a shelter.
I believe you love your dog,he might never become a perfectly obedient dog,not many are,but he will give you love and comfort in return,he's not going to be a puppy forever.
One day you'll be glad you did not give up on him.

dtbmnec
June 12th, 2006, 02:53 PM
When Matty finally gets through this you will be soooo happy!

Pawz and Leo have finally figured out how to jump *out* of the bathtub so I don't have to go "rescue" them anymore! I am so proud of them! Now if only the 6am wake up calls could stop....

hehe

If all else fails....find the nearest wall and bash your head off it! It works....so long as its not hard :p either that or pick up a particularly violent video game or something and kill stuff in it! lol (It works for me....with you maybe not so much...)

Good luck and Happy training :)

Megan

P.S. If I came across as particularly mean, I'm sorry....didn't mean to just yeah.... :(

phoenix
June 12th, 2006, 03:03 PM
Hi sprayeddog. Good post. I noticed that you reached 100 posts and figure they are all about this one issue, aren't they? I'm glad you stuck it out with the board.

I know that we can be a harsh bunch. The thing is, very often, people give you advice and it seems that you don't hear it, and that has been so frustrating throughout... but I couldn't be happier that you decided to see that trainer and that she talked to you and seems to have made an impression on you.

When my dogs were puppies, they chewed through door frames and baseboards. Even now, I've had to put fences up around my garden to keep them from eating expensive flowers, but most days I come home to find the heads chopped off of them. Sam peed ON my husband yesterday. I had a week a little while ago when the vet asked me if I lived there, she had seen me so often. I have also raised a horse who was extremely violent and untrusting, dangerous, one that people had given up on and ended up with a beautiful, loyal animal after many many years of work. You need to understand where I am coming from (and where others who post here are coming from, who do rescue these dumped dogs all of the time). We know a little something about frustrating canine behaviour.

I am on the fence about whether Matty's life will be better if you keep him or if you rehome him. As your trainer said, rehoming him could be a death sentence (or a life sentence which could even be worse). He could go from bad home to bad home. Maybe your family is the best one matty will ever have.

Certainly the way he is behaving is not going to be attractive to a potential owner. You have a responsibility to Matty to get him at least to the point where he could have a positive new life.


I question if any of you have even tried to understand how difficult a decision it is from my perspective, and what we've gone through emotionally?

Of course. But you have a voice and you have power, and the dog does not. In the end, you come here and vent, and we try and read between the lines to help, but sometimes we read (what might not be true...) impatience, selfcenteredness, unwillingness to try. These characteristics are usually in direct conflict with pet ownership.

Don't tell me owner-dog relationship is not a 2-way street. You go the extra mile to try to build a better relationship, and your dog jumps up to bite your hand. Now tell me that doesn't break your heart.

As LR said, it is not. Sorry that's not what you want to hear. Animals are not people and sometimes they don't meet our expectations... but that is our fault. It does break your heart when you don't get what you expect.

Most of you are quite willing to jump to a conclusion that Matty's a dog that's under-cared for and udner-exercised, and I'm a bad owner who hasn't given enough, without even trying to understand how much I've given and sacrificed time-wise, financially and most important emotionally.

OK, here's where I get frustrated.
You came here looking for help and ideas. We gave you the ideas we had from our experiences (get more exercise, etc). Then we are accused of trashing you as a bad owner. Every advice I gave you worked for me. I don't know why it hasn't worked for the two of you- the options are either that you aren't following through on the advice, OR Matty doesn't respond to the tactic, and that's that. You shouldn't be interpreting that advice as us accusing you of being a bad owner necessarily. We don't know you. But in our experience, we've presented some causes for Matty's effects.

Yes he's disobedient, he's destructive, he drives us absolutely crazy most of the times. I didn't think there's any more that I can give, but then there is.

:thumbs up

See Matty has given you a gift already. There is your '2 way street'. Do you know what a valuable lesson is expressed in your quote above?

Prin
June 12th, 2006, 04:03 PM
- Sometimes the most challenging animals can be the most rewarding, after alot of blood, sweat and tears. (meant literally btw) I've owned and worked with a few like that. Make no mistake, it gets worse before it gets better. That is where professional help is so vital. They can help you see if you are going to turn a corner or if you are following a dead end.I so agree. When you spend so much time with a hard dog, somewhere down the line, you realize that the bond you have with this hard dog is stronger than any bond with any other dog you've had.

I know with Boo, who is 5 and still is stubborn as hell, I see a distinct look in his eye when he's pretending to ignore me. Most people look at him and don't see anything where I see tons of expression and communication. He is still very frustrating at times, but I wouldn't trade him for anything... even if he still manages to run away and end up INSIDE the neighbor's house alone. :D

The dog might never change, but you will. You'll learn to read him and predict him and give him exactly what he needs- like in the park off leash. Some dogs just need a little trust sometimes.

It can't all be negative attention either, you know, or the dog will think that's all there is and crave it.

I wish you so much luck with Matty... Luck and patience.:)


Oh and for the two way street- I agree with Lucky... I did everything for my old yellow lab and never got any love back. She was in love with my dad and my bro (who didn't give her the time of day) and didn't have room left for me. But she still made me laugh and was still a dog, and that was enough for me.:)

sprayeddog
June 12th, 2006, 05:01 PM
Thanks for some of the nice comments, like happycat and Mehealani's. I really appreciate the kind words.

What I find esepcially offensive, is how I'm questioned of 'unconditional love' and how Matty is my committment and my responsibility.

And that's true, and that's fine, because this is a pet-centric forum, and everything starts from the dog's perspective.

But what about my wife?

How about the woman I married? Don't I have a committment to her as well? Shouldn't I show unconditional love to her as well?

Those who said they followed my story must know I mentioned my wife has had a nervous breakdown. She still can't really stand seeing our house, which we renovated and decorated together and was so nice before, gets destroyed bit by bit day by day.

And she put up with all that, not to mention her depression and all her emotional problem, because she loves me.

If there's anything I am self-centric for, is that I've continued to defer my wife's request to rehome Matty, at the expense of puting my wife through the mental torture which she has been experiencing.

I just don't understand how someone who's been following the story can just overlook something as serious as a nervous breakdown, and make harsh comments like "I feel bad for your kids if you have any".

Sure, we made the decision together to get a lab a year ago, but Matty is a lot more than what we signed up for. I mean, unless you're telling me "lab owners should expect 1 dry wall destroyed every 3 months despite you give him all the exercises you can, and put him in a crate even at 1 yr old" for a lab. Like the local trainer said, she's seen a lot of labs but Matty's destructive nature and energy level is a lot more than what is expected of an usual lab.

I'm willing to go the extra mile, but can I blame my wife for not being as strong as I am when it comes to this matter and suffered nervous breakdown?


I don't know why I come across as unwilling to try. I started posting on this forum when Matty came home with the barking problems. We tried everything that was suggested here, and eventually it worked. Matty then destroyed the first drywall in his fenced area, and we were suggested to get a crate for him, which we did.

Matty's behavior problems continued, and we were suggested to step up the exercise level to tire him down. Which I again, did. First by spending more time to exercise with him, and when that isn't enough, I wake up earlier to run with him.

We were then suggested we should run a boot-camp for Matty. Everything he does should be earned. Which we did.

Later on, we were suggested we should go in opposite direction, and just let Matty be a dog, which we again, did. I spend 40min - 1 hr playing soccer with him everyday, without asking him to do anything but just play, and only correcting him when he does something completely unaccetpable like jumping on me and biting my hand.

We were suggested to spray bitter apple on his leash to get rid of his biting the leash problem, which we tried, but didn't work. I even went as far as shortening the leash to a minimum while we run as per what's suggested here, despite I expected that would trip me over really bad when I'm running at full speed. And sure it did, leaving bad bruises on my elbow, knee and thigh.

I've tried almost everything that was suggested here, which is why I'm just scratching my head why I would come across as an owner who "doesn't try". Some advices work, others don't, but I've always been grateful for every advice that people give me whether they work or not.


As for this '2-way street' thing, let me put it this way. Matty's had all kinds of behaviour problems, and while it doesn't bother me was much if he say, doesn't sit the first time I tell him to, it is a different thing when he is destructive.

So I come here and ask for advice on Matty's destructive behaviour, and I'm suggested to wake up earlier, spend more time exercising with him, spend more time playing with him, tire him down ...

So obviously, while I go the extra mile and do all that, there *is* an expectation. The expectation is not for him to be a model citizen, but at the very least, that the increased exercise would tire him down so he'd be good enough to a point that we can co-exist in the same house.

(I find it funny how I'm told I have the responsibility to at least get Matty to that point so he can be rehomed ... heck, if I can get Matty to that point, then there isn't a need to rehome him at all. I don't really have high expectation for Matty. Just to be a happy dog who isn't destructive.)

So when I step it up, and he doesn't respond with ANY improvement, isn't it normal to be discouraged and disappointed, especially when he continues to be in a destructive state and is wrecking a part of our house every week?!

Or, is expecting a 1 yr old lab not to be destructive too much?

LL1
June 12th, 2006, 05:06 PM
Many dogs are destructive well past being a year old.Where did you get your dog?

phoenix
June 12th, 2006, 05:09 PM
(I find it funny how I'm told I have the responsibility to at least get Matty to that point so he can be rehomed ... heck, if I can get Matty to that point, then there isn't a need to rehome him at all.

do you find it as funny to think of him going home to home, or being euthanized for his behaviour with someone who is not as great an owner as you are???

I don't find it funny at all.

I think your primary responsibility is to your wife. But, you took on another committment that you couldn't handle. Doesn't matter whose fault, no one ever said life was about having only one responsibility and the rest can go to ****. Now, you don't have to get Matty into training, or pay for even one more thing to make him better. But lots of people reneg on their committments with animals (heck, with people too)... so why should this be any different.

People suggested that you might rethink more dogs/or children and you took offense. But from this last post, I'm in agreement. If there's nervous breakdowns happening for real (hopefully you are not just using this as a term of speech, but really mean the kind where you need medicine and care etc) then for her sake, they really do have a point. Wait until a teenager trashes your house when you're gone. Now there is trouble.

dtbmnec
June 12th, 2006, 06:17 PM
do you find it as funny to think of him going home to home, or being euthanized for his behaviour with someone who is not as great an owner as you are???

I don't find it funny at all.

I think he meant it as a sarcastic kind of funny...a "ha-ha" funny not a "i'm going to laugh because its slapstick" kind of funny...

I haven't had a whole lot in the way of dog experience. Heck the only time we had a "pet" was when we were dog sitting a lab. She was well behaved inside but outside.....oh outside was horrible! She was used to an electrified fenced yard and she wasn't taken for walks and had no idea how to walk with someone. I had the (dubious) pleasure of taking her for a walk once or twice (once in the summer time and once in the middle of winter). She was still a puppy, probably about the age Matty was, was probably 150 pounds to my 80 (at the time). The walks.....were not fun....in the winter time I had to be fished out of the snowbank/hedge that she'd run us into by my ankles.....the summer? Well my 85 pounds weren't much deterrent to her to run across the road to visit the neighbours dog and I was told I was a horrible person for "letting" her run across to meet this slightly agressive dog. Telling her to sit didn't work, neither did stay, nothing worked and I was the "bad owner" for trying my hardest to keep her away (I was pulling with all my 85 pound might against her and it was nothing to her...she only had a collar on and it was choking her and she still went after the other dog)

At the time I hated those situations, after a few years I look back on it and laugh (except for the "bad owner" part)....in a few years I'm sure you will look back and laugh at some of these things. :) Are you seriously not going to look back and laugh at the few spills you've taken with him? At that time that he actually retrieved the ball the first time (even though he might have nipped at you)?

Megan

pitgrrl
June 12th, 2006, 07:00 PM
I really hope that you know that others have been where you are, and it can work out. In absolutely understnad your level of frustration, and having a spouse that is not up to the challenge.
Your posts have brought back so many memories of my first years with my two dogs. Picture Matty with a twin bother, except you're a 105lbs and the dogs are 170lbs together and have some very serious prey drive on top of the destruction, through the roof energy level and total lack of any ability to focus on training......oh, and they're pitbulls, so you can imagine what we looked like to people on the street.

Anyway, I'm telling you all this because by the time they had reached 2 years old I had so many scars from being dragged around, had had so many fights with my boyfriend about all of his stuff getting destroyed, and had put so much money into fixing the apartement I was renting that I was very, very close to the point of just giving up, but I am so happy I didn't.

Now that the dogs are almost 5, I can almost miss the days when they were wild beasties, almost. I can't imagine that my relationship with them would be as strong had we not been through so much together. I would not trade one minute with them for anything. The dogs I used to envy, the super easy, well behaved dogs who happily sit by their owners side and ignore the other dogs, squirrels, pigeons, etc, now seem totally boring to me.

I really hope that you can stick with it and get to enjoy the rewards that come from having a dog you really, really had to work at.

Prin
June 12th, 2006, 07:02 PM
I can say that expecting a 1 year old lab to not chew things is expecting too much. My old lab chewed till the day she died. But by then we of course had the house super, super dog proofed and we let her keep a shoe she mangled to chew on just in case.

Labs chew. That is why so many of them are up for adoption at exactly this age. They're cute puppies, but they grow up to be chewers- that's the life of a lab in a nutshell.;) I don't know why your trainer says it's exceptional, other than maybe that she's trying to get you to keep him.

Will he do poorly in a new home? I have two Matties that in total 7 people couldn't handle. They're wonderful dogs to me. And the proper rescue organization wouldn't adopt Matty to just anyone, given that they would know the FULL truth about him, right? I'm just saying...



Honestly, I'd get a new crate... If he can still chew the outside world from inside the crate, something is wrong with the crate.

phoenix
June 12th, 2006, 08:01 PM
Will he do poorly in a new home? I have two Matties that in total 7 people couldn't handle. They're wonderful dogs to me. ].

I completely agree, if he is placed properly. That is why I'm on the fence. If he ends up at the SPCA, he could be sold to the first comer if he makes it out, but a rescue will try to find someone who knows how to handle this type of dog if they can.

Oh, and Megan? If I had an emoticon hitting its head on the wall... duh I know he didn't mean funny.

Puppyluv
June 12th, 2006, 08:15 PM
For phoenix: (;))
http://bestsmileys.com/frustrated/4.gif

phoenix
June 12th, 2006, 08:20 PM
many thanks. i'll have to learn how to do that, i know someone explained it in another thread :)

jesse's mommy
June 12th, 2006, 08:22 PM
Sorry for the threadjack, go to www.bestsmileys.com hit page index, click the subject and copy the URL for the smiley and paste it here. :thumbs up

Puppyluv
June 12th, 2006, 08:32 PM
yup, there's even a whole section for "frustrated" smileys :D

puppy4ever
June 13th, 2006, 12:30 AM
Just to leave this back on topic...

I'm not sure if I have responded to you before or not....I think I've tried and by the time I'm finished, I'm logged out and my message is gone.

Anyway I can really relate to your post as I have been through hell with my puppy too. He has gotten really aggressive lately and sometimes I just see him as the devil in a fur coat! :evil:

This helps me get through the tough times...

I read somewhere that if your dog shows any aggression, it is more humane to have your dog euthanized than to rehome him as he will just get rehomed again and again (because let's face it, most people are not willing to sacrifice all their waking hours or kids safety for a dog!). So when I'm feeling so frustrated that I can't breathe, I think of writing an obituary for my guy. When I think of this usually things like this come up - "I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you through this life without fear"...then I can't even imagine why I couldn't give it another day! Sorry if this sounds morbid or cheesy...just speaking from the heart.

Good luck to you!

Beau'sMom
June 13th, 2006, 08:46 AM
I completely agree, if he is placed properly. That is why I'm on the fence. If he ends up at the SPCA, he could be sold to the first comer if he makes it out, but a rescue will try to find someone who knows how to handle this type of dog if they can.

Oh, and Megan? If I had an emoticon hitting its head on the wall... duh I know he didn't mean funny.

A Lab rescue, like the one previously posted would be best. Just check them out if you go that route. I just learned the very hard way that not all rescue's are honest :mad: Privately a few members have been kind enough to give me referals to one's they have had good experiences with.

We had a lab/great daneX years ago who could not be crated in a metal crate either. He got his paws through and detroyed carpeting, and ate drywall. I can picture the damage you are describing. :o The large plastic crates may cost more $$$ but truly as previously posted worth every dime.

Good luck with Matty. Do you have someone to take him for a weekend so you can get a little Matty-free vacation to recharge your batteries?

Mahealani770
June 13th, 2006, 08:55 AM
I also think that life with Matty is going to require him to go to a kennel or to someone for one weekend a month, just so you and your poor wife can get a break. Especially now that you're at a crossroads with this decision. Maybe you need to step back for a few days and look at the situation before you do anything drastic.
Also, you never told me if your vet has suggested medicating Matty or if you've tried it yet?
Good Luck,
Mahealani

meb999
June 13th, 2006, 09:38 AM
Honestly, I'd get a new crate... If he can still chew the outside world from inside the crate, something is wrong with the crate.
I agree 500%
Do you have a wire crate? I know ALOT of dogs that can break out of a wire crate and/or chew flooring through them. I had a wire crate, but had to throw it out (actually,m I didn't throw it out, I gave it to rescue ;) ) because Buster would break out of it and make a mess. I agree with BoxerRescueMtl, you should get a plastic crate, the varikennel kind. There not as 'open' as the metal crate.
Give crate training another shot.

technodoll
June 13th, 2006, 10:27 AM
if crates are the issue... you might consider getting a "gorilla crate". completely impossible to break out of, to chew up, to cause any descruction when in the crate. they're expensive but tested & approved by akita owners with big, strong, stubborn dogs! :thumbs up

http://www.petedge.com/jump.jsp?itemID=4466&itemType=PRODUCT&path=1%2C2%2C408%2C433%2C435&KickerID=2233&KICKER

StinkyT
June 13th, 2006, 10:29 AM
I've read a lot of the discussion about Matty and have never felt the need to post as I don't have any experience with misbehaving dogs but sprayeddog, I do want to pat you on the back for your patience and hard work in this situation and all at the expense of your wife's sanity, yours and your house.

There is a high standard set by pet owners when it comes to owning and living with animals but people are not perfect and neither are animals. We try our best and sometimes the best isn't quite enough. How many times have we all endured life trials and wanted to quit? How many times have we tried to tackle some project only to fail or realize the limits of our abilities? I think you've gone so far above and beyond what most people would do for your family that I don't see how anyone could possibly paint you as a quitter or unloving person.

Most people wouldn't even make it this far in the race and I'm not saying it's a right or wrong issue because people do have their limits. When you invest so much of yourself into your pet you hope that there's some return. When there isn't it's a natural response to feel disappointed and like you've failed. I do believe that most people do start out trying their hardest and some may fail but we can't condemn them because they couldn't be the perfect pet owner. That's just how it is. If we were all perfect pet owners then perhaps we should be perfect parents too, perfect citizens and perfect spouses. And I know that we don't throw away our kids if do something wrong but people and animals are different creatures. I will be crucified for saying this, but babies become kids who eventually turn into fully functioning adults. Dogs and cats will always be just dogs and cats.

phoenix
June 13th, 2006, 10:57 AM
but babies become kids who eventually turn into fully functioning adults.

boy do i ever disagree with this. first of all, kids do get thrown away. and secondly, they don't automatically turn into fully functioning adults- a lot of social work and money goes into dealing with this societal problem. As I said before, people view many relationships as throw away- spouse, parental, etc... it is hard to argue that pets should not be throw away too with this rampant attitude out there.

StinkyT
June 13th, 2006, 12:04 PM
Right. I knew I should have been more specific. I meant most people don't throw away their kids. And I never said that becoming an adult was an automatic process. But admitting defeat isn't a rampant throw away attitude. This guy has obviously put in a lot of effort and time with this dog, if he's failed as a dog owner will you crucify him and force them to remain together for life even if it's a miserable existence? Yes, perhaps he made a mistake in choosing a breed but who has never made a mistake before? Like I said, people aren't perfect. We do dumb things and there are consequences we have to deal with. But there's no point in punishing him for life, it doesn't change the fact that he and Matty don't understand each other. Please don't attack him simply because you were able to deal with a difficult pet and he isn't. It doesn't mean he's not a good person.

I agree that he should give due attention to his wife. If she's mentally unwell and is depressed these are real medical problems. He needs to take care of her. Whether he sends Matty to doggy daycare or rehome, he needs to focus on her well-being.

technodoll
June 13th, 2006, 12:13 PM
i once adopted a young dobie male from a girl who was moving and couldn't keep him anymore, she was very selective about rehoming him and we seemed like a good match (i had had two and was familiar with the breed, had the space & the time for him, etc). We got along fine for the first two meetings, and then Hell began when I took him home... he had seperation anxiety, which i was not made aware of, and I did everything I could at the time to make our "relationship" work out but... there was just NO click in personality, no bonding, only stress, frustration, and unhappiness from both sides. I had made a mistake.
So I found him a new home, with a nice couple in New Brunswick who drove all the way to Montreal to pick him up, they owned an excavation company so he went to work in the country everyday with his new dad, in the truck and all, had a girl-dobie for a neighbor, and lived the ideal, perfect life, his new family just LOVED him.
So sometimes... problems with one family doesn't mean problems with another... but you have to find that Perfect Match.

SarahLynn123
June 13th, 2006, 12:35 PM
My opinion is a bit different. If your wife is having as serious mental problems as she is, I think you should contact a lab rescue and rehome him. If you decide to have kids in the future and the baby is screaming bloody murder all night while Matty is jumping around and chewing things, your wife's stress level will be higher then ever and Matty will have to leave then anyway to save your wife a trip to the hospital.

Im sorry, but I dont see things working out.

phoenix
June 13th, 2006, 12:42 PM
But admitting defeat isn't a rampant throw away attitude. This guy has obviously put in a lot of effort and time with this dog, if he's failed as a dog owner will you crucify him and force them to remain together for life even if it's a miserable existence?

i agree. (as far as the rampant attitude, i was referring to society, not the poster). this is why i said i'm on the fence. on the one hand, he could be the only chance this dog has. on the other hand, maybe someone out there who will understand better will be able to be a better match.

We do dumb things and there are consequences we have to deal with.

also agree. consequences. not throwing away. to me, that means taking responsibility for the committment (like, using a rescue, or finding the ideal home, or putting the dog in training so that it can be rehomed. Honestly, would you take Matty the way he is???? Who would want to, if they knew the whole truth?? That is what i mean by consequences. If the dog is impossible, maybe it should be euthanized (look how many labs are on petfinder who have no problems except their energy levels). If the dog is not impossible, than the owner needs to look at him/herself and why the animal has become the way he has.

Please don't attack him simply because you were able to deal with a difficult pet and he isn't. It doesn't mean he's not a good person.

I am not attacking him. The point of telling the board about my own difficulties in pet ownership is not to 'show him up', but to let him know that others have been through the same thing and survived... and end up happy that they went through it. A good person is judged by his/her actions, not intentions. In my opinion (which you risk hearing because you post on a public board), throwing away a pet is not synonymous with 'good person'. Doing everything you can, figuring that you have neither the skills nor ability to deal with the animal, and then doing everything in your power to make sure that someone who is capable ends up helping/rescuing/etc... that would be the mark of a good person to me.

phoenix
June 13th, 2006, 12:43 PM
My opinion is a bit different. If your wife is having as serious mental problems as she is, I think you should contact a lab rescue and rehome him. .

no, not a different opinion SarahLynn! I agree 100% with you.

happycats
June 13th, 2006, 01:08 PM
I don't know about re-homing, because it's obvious that he love Matty, and wants this to work and posted out of total frustration, and for support.

I believe a pet feels what we feel, and if you and your wife are stressed, I think Matty may very well be reacting to your feelings. I thank maybe a vacation for all would be helpful, and allow you the time to re-group, and seriously think about what to do with Matty. I'm sure your wife and yourself could use a vacation, even if it's just a break from Matty.
I'm sure Matty would behave differently in a new environment.

I believe happy well adjusted dogs, are ones who know there place (you and your wife are pack leaders, not Matty) If you waiver with this at all, it stresses dogs, and causes behavioural problems, as well as make some dog neurotic.
Maybe some lessons on how to be the Mattys "pack leader" would help. Make Matty earn every ounce of affection, make him work for you attention, once a dog figures out he's not in charge, it's almost like a relief, the stress totally melts away, they don't have to worry about things anymore, because that's the pack leaders job. JMO. I wish you, your wife and Matty the best of luck and hope everything works out for all of you :grouphug:

Cathy1
June 13th, 2006, 09:01 PM
I haven't posted for a long time because I have been very busy but I know what you are going through.I am having the same problems with my 9 month old Shepherd/Collie Jasper but I am working very hard at it. We also renovated and he has chewed cupboards, drywall,doors,flooring and my coffee table. I tried crate training from the start but he freaked everytime, howling and barking all night. As long as I let him sleep in our room he is great through the night.Since he hates his crate so much I have used it to train him with his destructiveness. When he does something bad I let him know it's wrong and he goes in his crate and I put up with his howling and barking but it has worked. It only took about one month and he hasn't destroyed anything in the house since April 17. He still helps me with gardening by digging up the yard but we are working on that also. Everytime I saw something chewed up I felt like giving up too, but I decided to keep trying everything I could think of to try and stop this behavoir. Everything I did may not work on every dog but it worked for me and I now have a great dog. Please continue trying.It was a lot of work but well worth it. Here is Jasper. Don't let his face fool you, he can be a handful.:evil:

LM1313
June 14th, 2006, 11:08 AM
Before you make a decision, I suggest going back to all the previous threads about Matty and reading them through thoroughly with an open mind. I always got the impression that you were dismissing a lot of good advice out of hand or so dubious of it that you expected it to fail. I'm not trying to flame you, truly; but that's my impression.

Also, I would get a sturdy plastic crate for Matty, one that he can't reach the walls/floor through. I'm very cautious of overcrating, but in Matty's case he obviously needs it for his own safety and the structural integrity of the house.

I do think a lot of his behavior is probably adolescent hijinks due to the fact that you said for his first six months he was a perfectly normal lab puppy.

To relieve your wife of her stress, perhaps enroll Matty in doggy daycare, at least one or two days a week.

Also, I recommend learning how to use a check chain (choke chain) and trying that on walks. I know a lot of people here don't approve of them, but on a dedicated puller they are useful. But only if used properly. Letting the dog strain ahead while on a choker will not work and can be harmful. The leash must be LOOSE except when you are issuing a correction, which should give only an instant of pressure before the leash and collar go slack again. Also, always keep the dog on one side (usually the left side is preferred) or the collar won't slacken properly.


~LM~

SarahLynn123
June 14th, 2006, 01:04 PM
I agree that sprayeddog loves Matty very much, but he also has his wife to consider. If it was just sprayeddog and Matty, I would be 100% for trying more to keep him.

I dont think it matters how much time he puts into Matty, unless is wife takes the reigns, goes to classes and practices at home, Matty may never respect her. From his previous posts, I dont think his wife can mentally do that at this point in her life.

I also dont think the situation is fair for anyone involved. His wife is at the point where she is having breakdowns and possibly suffering from depression over Matty. She may not beable to put all her feelings aside and work with Matty without falling into a worse mental state right now. He is waking up early, staying up late, and spending as much time as possible with Matty trying to make him a model citizen and his techniques dont seem to be working which is frustrating, plus his wife cant help much right now, so he's pretty much alone in the training. Matty probably feels unwanted by his wife, and knows he's not living up to his Dads standards.

I still think it would be best for everyone if he found a good lab rescue who can place Matty in a home thats better equipped to handle his behavior. Further down the road, when they are ready to try again, a rescue can place a more suitable dog with them.

Prin
June 14th, 2006, 07:59 PM
Sprayeddog, have you seen this thread? http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=27690
It's a tally of all our dogs' chewings...

At this stage in the game, I wouldn't advise a choker. Matty seems to already know he can win a lot of "contests" and winning a choker contest will only injure him. Without a trainer to show the OP how to use the choker exactly, I wouldn't recommend it.

doggy lover
June 15th, 2006, 02:11 PM
Prin I remember that thread, Tucker is 2 now and still gets into chewing things just not as often and mostly his own things, like his bed or blankets. It has been a wile since he ate part of the house, and yes he could eat drywall through his cage and the carpet under his cage. My hubby still doesn't know all he ate:D , like holes in the mattress of 2 beds in our house I just patched them up and he never changes the sheets. Mind you Tucker does eat the odd undies that he can get out of the laundry:yuck: I just replace them, I could never get rid of him for this and the puppy chewing does stop, eventualy.

Mahealani770
June 20th, 2006, 04:01 PM
Sprayeddog, How are things going with Matty? Do you still have him?
How is your wife? And how are you?

Sincerely,
Mahealani

Me and Kayla
June 21st, 2006, 12:43 PM
I'm coming in at the tail end of this conversation and I must admit that I haven't read all the threads word for word....so if this is a repeat...my apologies.

Call BARK BUSTERS

They did wonders for my HOUND FROM HELL Kayla (a pitbull) and my relationship. The best part is that they come to your home and work with you and the dog in YOUR environment. It's amazing how well that works. Kayla went from a dog that I was actually becoming afraid of to a well behaved, lovable and trusted pet. I know some people on this board have a problem with Bark Busters, but personally I think they are well worth it. You buy the program when the dog is young and you can call them back anytime for 'free' for the life of the dog. I've called them back 4 times in Kayla's young life (3 years) for various issues that I had trouble dealing with and each and every time, one visit did the trick....problem solved.

Which ever way you choose to handle Matty....I wish you all well.

Me and Kayla

mafiaprincess
June 21st, 2006, 01:05 PM
Really.. I've only heard of BB horror stories, and incompetant people running their programs..
Met a good 2 or 3 at woofstock.. All were as clueless as most petsmart trainers..

Me and Kayla
June 21st, 2006, 04:08 PM
Really.. I've only heard of BB horror stories, and incompetant people running their programs..
Met a good 2 or 3 at woofstock.. All were as clueless as most petsmart trainers..

Sorry...can't speak on rumours that you've heard or people you've met, but CAN say that I have had personal dealings with 4 different individuals from BB who have come to my home and trained Kayla and 'me' of course, and each of them showed a great love and respect for dogs and had a solid understanding of dog behaviour and psychology.

What the heck....it can't hurt if you've tried everything else without any success, can it?

Bearsmom
June 22nd, 2006, 08:15 AM
So, where is Matty now?

Our lab mix Bear ate all of my left shoes before he turned one year old. He never touched anything of my husbands. He was certifiably insane until he turned 4 years old, then all of a sudden, it was like, "poof" good dog appears. Sheesh.

Mahealani770
June 22nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
I don't know, Matty's dad hasn't posted anything in a long time. I'm a little worried that he doesn't want to tell us anything about Matty anymore.
I hope he comes back and gives us an update.

OntarioGreys
June 22nd, 2006, 11:47 AM
I am not surprised at all that Matty's dad has not returned especially after some of what was said.

I have raised several pups, mostly hounds most have the typical normal puppy behaviour, but I had one that was an ADHD dog, like humans you can have some that are attention deficient and very hyper and these dogs are very wired and extremely hard to handle, and obedience does not really work with them because they cannot stay focused and are high energy, I had years of experience with dogs by that time and he still drained the heck out of me. I also raised an ADHD child and the dog was worse in many respects because you don't have the same ability to communicate, plus their energy levels are a lot higher than a childs, and when they go thru there rebellious teenage period it is many times worse than the average dog. I went thru 3 obedience classes with Jazz and he failed them all, even the trainer tried spending an hour trying to get him to heel and managed for about 5 seconds, with a dog like this you need to dedicate about 6 hours of hard exercise every single day, and I do not mean walks and even still they are very demanding of attention and very hard to settle down If I had a dog like Jazz today I would not be able to handle it, does that make me a bad person for saying that, not in my opinion anyway , to me it is being realistic, I was 15 years younger and had a teenage son to help with the exercise and to supervise and it was still quite draining both physically and emotionally.

From some of what has been posted I suspect Matty may be ADHD as well, if so I have a lot of sympathy for this family, especially with the criticism they have recieved and the guilt they'll feel if they decide they simply can't handle him any longer, they probably would be great dog owners if he had been a regular puppy, instead they are left feeling like the worst and will probably never feel worthy enough to have another dog, which is truly sad because there are a lot of homeless dogs that likely would have suited them well and would have been a very cherished member of the family. Had they kept Matty their own relationship which sounds like a very loving and caring one could have been destroyed because of their various levels of being able to cope with Matty needs and behaviour , it does not make them bad pet owners just unequipped to handle him. Maybe amphetamines would have help make more manageable, but there is no guarantees. And it lasts till they are about 3 to 4 years of age before they start to settle down.

Do dogs get "attention deficit disorder" or can they be "hyperactive"?
While hyperactivity disorder does exist in dogs, it is rare. Dogs that are hyperactive, a condition also known as hyperkinesis or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can be diagnosed by veterinary examination and testing. Dogs with hyperactivity disorder are difficult to train, respond poorly to tranquilization, may exhibit repetitive behaviours such as incessant barking or circling, may have gastrointestinal disorders, and can be extremely resistant to restraint. If these dogs do have attention deficit disorder they may respond paradoxically to amphetamines. This means that instead of getting more excitable when given amphetamines, these dogs tend to calm down.