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Old 07-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #1
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Default I Want to Help My Mother's Dogs...

Hi,

I recently moved to my mom's ranch up in the mountains, and I really want to help her dogs, but I don't know what to do for them!

She has three dogs. a female akita, male akita mix, and female chow mix. They are outdoor dogs, but have the sunroom (it's nice and big) and a heated dog house for shelter. They are enclosed in a relatively large space, so they have plenty of space to run around. I suspect they're bored, though. I would like to improve their lives, but I'm not really sure what to do with them.

I have my own dog to care for, and I'm also a student who works, so time is limited. There's no way I would have time to walk 4 dogs every single day. Would it be helpful to them if I walked/trained just one each day?

Can I make any enrichment to keep their minds occupied? They're all pretty bad about resource guarding, so Kongs are kind of iffy.

I've already taken responsibility for feeding them (which I'm using to train them not to go crazy at food time), but I worry that their lives could be better.

Am I over reacting? Are they actually fine running around together out there? The akita is extremely dog aggressive (will murder anything that isn't the dogs she was raised with), the chow mix is reactive, and the akita mix is pretty good but doesn't get along with my dog.

It's really hard to find things I can do with them. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-25-2015, 12:49 AM   #2
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What kind of toys do they have, if any?
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:02 AM   #3
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Well to be blunt you have a akita that has servere aggression and all of the dogs have some degree of Resource Guarding not a ideal mix Does you mom help in any way I suspect she has taken on too much! What are the ages of these dogs? These 2 main problems will only get worse and not better. Is a trainer/behaviourist out of the question? Cause
personaly this would be best route to take.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:59 AM   #4
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They have some various kong toys and jolly balls. They run around with the jolly balls a lot. They pretty much destroy anything else.

And yeah, I know it's not an ideal mix. =/ She has definitely taken on too much, but she's very stubborn about it. I tried to help her rehome the akita a year ago, but she wouldn't let me. My mom doesn't really help a lot because she thinks they're fine. And they're not miserable or anything, I go out and play with them and they seem happy, just wayyyy too energetic.
The dogs are 6, 6, and 5. A behaviorist is probably out of the question because I already pay a behaviorist/trainer for my dog Harvey, and because they require other more important things currently, like getting heartworm tests and on preventative.
Fortunately, as long as I feed them separately, they don't fight. The resource guarding isn't a huge issue, and they all get along pretty well, really, it just makes giving them frozen kongs and bones kind of hard.

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Old 07-25-2015, 01:58 PM   #5
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Well that depends on how you look at it. Sure health is important but could you get your trainer/behaviourist to take a look at your mom's dogs? As a serious accident could easily happen. Please don't take this personaly but your mom is in denial to say they are ok, they aren't ok.
These 2 problems are serious either something gets done to help
her dogs or nothing is done and they have to be constantly watched!
I know what I would choose! We have trainers on here who could advise
further.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:14 PM   #6
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Hmm, do you really think they're at so much risk? They've been living that way for 6 years and they haven't fought. If you really think they are in danger, than of course I will do what I can to make them safe. Keep in mind they are also not my dogs.

As for the heartworm stuff, I don't know.. We're having a very wet year and we're seeing mosquitoes for the first time since she's had them, basically, and I'm worried. I mean, sure, they have thick coats, but surely it's still a risk?

Oh, and no offense taken. I know my mom is in denial and the dogs' lives could be improved, which is why I'm here. It wasn't super apparent to me until I started living on the ranch, but now I see and want to try to help with what I can.

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Old 07-25-2015, 05:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonAurora View Post
Hmm, do you really think they're at so much risk? They've been living that way for 6 years and they haven't fought. If you really think they are in danger, than of course I will do what I can to make them safe. Keep in mind they are also not my dogs.

As for the heartworm stuff, I don't know.. We're having a very wet year and we're seeing mosquitoes for the first time since she's had them, basically, and I'm worried. I mean, sure, they have thick coats, but surely it's still a risk?

Oh, and no offense taken. I know my mom is in denial and the dogs' lives could be improved, which is why I'm here. It wasn't super apparent to me until I started living on the ranch, but now I see and want to try to help with what I can.
Well the risk is there, and will always be there unless strict feeding routines are adhered to keeping them seperate etc, Which I see you do already but do really want to keep this up for ever?? Wouldn't you rather see them together all happy?! As for the heatworm risk (didn't realise this is spread by mosquitoes) then this is important too It's all about priotising what's the most important thing to do first! it's difficult I know. Try talking to your mom again
For Eg: is your dog agressive or has resource guarding problems? If not then great, in essence this is how it should be

All I can say is if my girl started getting like what you describe back at mom's home and her dogs then I would do eveything possible to fix the problem. Prehaps a compromise mom pays for the heatworm treatments and you pay for say your trainer to come and assess your mom's dogs or at least have a word with your trainer to see what they think! I do hope you can sort things out Please let us know how you get on!
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:50 PM   #8
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I'm confused. I feel like maybe I wasn't clear. My mom's dogs are fed separately by me (which I don't mind doing) and live outside with their shelter. They don't fight and are happy together, running around and playing all day. My dog(Harvey, as in a fourth dog, not one of my mom's three) lives inside and is never, ever allowed contact with her dogs (except for the dog friendly akita mix that I tried to introduce him to, but they didn't particularly like each other). My dog (Harvey) is dog reactive and selectively aggressive (which is why I hired a trainer, and he is improving greatly!), but it doesn't matter because he is given no chance to get near my mom's dogs because the akita will tear him apart for sure. His behavior has not been affected as he has no contact with these dogs.

I want to get the heartworm thing taken care of (which I must pay for, my mom can't afford it) before anything. And I will. But my real question here is what can I do to provide the outside dogs with more stimulation? I have time restraints and my own dog to take care of, but I would like to do something to give the outside dogs a more fulfilling life. I wouldn't say they're unhappy, but if I can find some I can do with them that will improve their lives, than I would be happy.

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Old 07-26-2015, 12:23 AM   #9
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I have read all of the previous posts and from what I understand, your mom's dogs are happy together and you just want to add to their enjoyment of life. You have mentioned that you have time restraints. If I was you I would buy a BIG ball (pet supply stores have them) and go outside and play with them, even if it's only for 15 minutes everyday. When you have finished playing with them, take the ball inside as it should be a special toy and not left outside for them to play with without you. Definitely get them checked for heartworms and get them on preventive medicine. I live in an area where mosquitoes are a problem and my dogs take HeartGuard every month all year around.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:28 AM   #10
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Excellent post Dunbar'sMom!!!!!!!

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