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It's been forever since we've posted here. It makes me sad to come back and see all these signatures we had made.

We've had Lily about 7-8 years now.

She's a chihuahua/something mix...most likely Jack Russel.

I'm sure some have had this happen. Lily was our little baby and then we had a baby...still we found time. Now we have 2 babies (now 2 and 5) and we rarely find time for Lily. We both work full time and have very busy lives through church etc. Sometimes Lily is home alone all day 9+ hours.

She stays in our utility room downstairs and has her own little house.

Lately as we act like we're leaving she bolts to one of the beds and hides underneath. The only way to get her out is to drag her out.

Well my spouse had enough of it today trying to get the kids out the door and is thinking it's time to get rid of her. I'm sure 70% of that is out of anger, but there is some truth.

So I wanted to ask your opinions here.

Any suggestions on dealing with the issue? I love the little girl, but I also can see how boring it would be and why she would be acting out this way.

Is the responsible thing to find her a home with someone who can give her all the TLC she needs.
 

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If you truly do not have time to give her what she needs, than yes it would be best to rehome her. Just be sure to take the time to find a good home. :)

If you would like to try to fix the situation, I do have some suggestions. Me and my husband both work full time and we have a 10 yr with medical issues and 5 chis. :) So it does get busy and hectic and with so many little dogs I have had to be creative in how I make sure everyone gets some one on one time and individual attention.

Does she sleep with you? This is a lot of time that she can be very close to you without you needing to shift your schedule at all.

Will she chill out in a doggie sling? I got a doggie sling for about $25 on etsy and I can hold a chi while I do laundry dishes etc so they get some holding time even if I'm busy.

Can you take her with you when you run errands? I swing by my house after work and grab a dog or two to ride along on errands. Gets them out and about.

Is there something you can just drop from your schedule to allow more time for your dog?

Can you work in short 5 min training sessions several times an evening?

Have you considered another dog to keep her company while you are gone at work? (not a puppy bc you dont have time for that but an adult)

Can you make it a point to every time you walk by her speak to her or pet her or something so that she feels loved. This does not take a lot of time.. just a bit of effort.

Can you keep her in the same room with you in the evenings so that she is part of the family?

Does she have a kong and some toys and things to do while you are at work?

And lastly .. if you want her to stop hiding than you need to also make things more pleasant. Be sure to pick her up a lot just to love on her so she does not just associate being picked up with bad things. Give her a yummy treat or something she likes a lot before you leave.

This is not an unworkable situation unless you and your husband simply are not willing to do the work required here. And its not a matter of not 'having' time. Its whether or not you are making time for your dog. I understand that life gets busy but you really need to sit and prioritize your time to make some time for your pet. Create a routine that includes her as part of your family.

If you simply do not want to make time for her and make that a priority and you know that she is unhappy than it would be better to find her another more attentive owner.
 

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Kind of a touchie subject as folks are bound to get ticked off or take offense if things are said they don't agree with... with that in mind I will say this...

I am sure you love her and her needs are being met, she is fed, has her water and a warm roof over her head. But 9 plus hours in solitary a day for your work schedules and then additional hours in the evening with social commitments ~ I personally think that is just too much alone time for her & while she has everything she she needs as it relates to food, water, warmth and medical attention ~ emotionally she has to be suffering to a degree because dogs are social. That coupled with your husband being angry with her behavior when she finds a bed to hide under just makes for an all around tense situation (I would imagine).

I am not say to keep or rehome because that's really only a choice your family can make and I am sure its such a difficult one, but I would try to make the choice based on what makes for the very best outcome for her. She is part of your family and you have loved her & if nothing else she deserves decisions to be made regarding both her physical and emotional well being in a manner that the outcome for her is one that is stable, loving & fun.

* I am sure there are dogs who get on fine with that much alone time & I am not knocking anyone or their choices ~ I personally just think 9+ hours a day alone for such a social creature is too much day in and day out.
 

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Honestly, my first thought was to suggest that you should get a second chi. The problem with that is that some time to train the new addition will be required even in the best of circumstances. But if you could make that happen it would provide your current dog with a companion while you're away. I would only suggest this if you think that your current situation is temporary, though, and that in the future you fully intend to make more time for your dog(s).

Otherwise, you can take some of the suggestions mentioned above, but it might just be more humane to rehome her. I would make sure she goes directly into a foster program or straight into a person's home rather than to a shelter. A lot of small dogs don't do well in shelters and are often euthanized for "deterioration." They're usually the first to become hand-shy or aggressive because they're so small and easily frightened. A foster home would be another home and would probably make the transition more smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
She does sleep with us every night, so she does get that attention. To my amazement...she's been very good with the kids. While she doesn't trust them and won't really let them pet her. She rarely growls and has never bit them, although sometimes they drive her nuts. She can dish it out as well though:)

We try and allow her on our laps when possible, but usually there is a kid that comes in.

I think we'll try and build more time in and let her know she's loved.

Do you think getting another dog would be wise? I know Lily has never taken well to other dogs. When out for walks, she doesn't hesitate to go after any other dog. She's always been kind of spoiled.

The one thing that won't change is the fact that we both work a full 40 hr / wk jobs and she'll be home alone from 8am to 5pm. But I think she's gotten used to that. It's been that way since we got her. I just think not having any time with us from 5pm to 10pm due to the kids being at a very dependent stage and other evening/social things coming to play have made it tough.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm always willing to try and fix something.
 

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I think adding another dog to the mix right now is an invitation to disaster. ONLY add another dog if you have the time, resources, and love for another being. Chi's are needy. Even if you have two, they will still seek you out for attention and then you have TWO dogs to deal with (potty training, vet visits, behavior training, socialization, etc.) If one dog is overwhelming right now, adding a second dog will not make things easier!

Only you can decide on re-homing her versus keeping her. I would hope that you could keep her and work through her issues. But if there is resentment or you just don't have time, then re-homing to a home that could provide love, stability, and training is the kindest thing to do for her.
 

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My daughter is 6 so we are pretty close in little ones ages. I know at night she really enjoys just getting down on the floor and playing with the dog and her toys. That might be an option when time permits to get the kids some attention and the dog and also the dog could become more tolerant of the kids. One thing is for sure it will be great for the kids to learn how to be gentle and love and care for a pet. Nothing special and it really doesn't take a bunch of time but it is something that could be enjoyed by all.

Even a story with you and the kids and the dog hopped up and in someones lap might work.

I am just trying to think of things that you could do that the kids would enjoy and the dog would too :) Something will work out, I am confident.
 

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Yeah, I'm re-thinking my suggestion of a second dog for your case. Teddy is my first chi and I sometimes forget how needy they can be. When I had my Jack Russell (who was dog aggressive), adding Teddy helped to make her more stable and less needy. But two chis will probably always desire your constant attention, even if they have each other.

Can you maybe work in training sessions where you involve the kids? If you use positive reinforcement (treats and praise for good behavior), even your kids should be able to participate in training. Here's an easy trick:

"Touch" (aka. hard targeting) -- touching a person's open hand with her nose

1. Use your right hand. Keep your hand flat and hold a treat in the middle of your palm. Fold your thumb over it to hold it in place. (It will look a little like you're trying to show someone the number four.)
2. Hold your hand up to your dog and let her sniff your hand. She will naturally try to sniff, lick, or paw at the treat. Whenever her nose comes into contact with the treat or your palm, say "Touch!" and drop the treat immediately. (Try to drop it the second she touches you with her nose.)
-- Repeat 3-5 times until she is familiar with the game.
4. Keep a treat in your right hand as you have been. Next, hold a second treat in your LEFT hand and hide it behind your back. This time, when she touches you with her nose, feed her from your LEFT hand instead of your right. The treat in your right hand doesn't move.
-- Repeat 3-5 times.
5. Finally, remove the treat from your right hand entirely. Hold up your open, empty hand to her. Keep it flat as if you're giving a high-five. Ask her to "Touch." Wait a few seconds for her to figure out the game. If she takes longer than a minute, go back a step and work up to it again. Reward her from your left hand for touching your palm with her nose.
6. At the end you should be able to hold up your open hand an say "Touch." She should touch your palm with her nose, and you will feed her from your left hand. Give lots of praise!

Once you lay the groundwork for this trick, it's a very kid-friendly thing to practice with your dog. Any kid can hold up an open palm. It teaches kids to be confident with dogs and dogs to be confident with approaching open hands. The whole experience should be positive and fun. :)
 

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The second dog could really help though. My Susu had horrible seperation anxiety and couldnt be left more than about 2 hours.. When my husband was looking at working outside the home instead of from home, we got Ginger. Now we are regularly gone for 5-6 hrs each day and sometimes longer and he is fine. But you really have to look at the temperament of the second dog closely and you have to prepare for the extra time it takes initially. But for us it was a great choice and honestly we only got Ginger for Susu. But it has done well and he is much happier.
 

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As said ! I think your children can help you(and Hubby )have play time together make it a family time with the chi have fun and games.I wouldn't get another,she needs all the TLC and one to one you can give her.
 

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I probably wouldn't get another dog yet. Like you said, your work schedule isn't changing so they would still be left alone for 8-9 hours per day. That would be hard with a new puppy because you probably would have to confine it to a playpen. You also sound very busy with your kids ,and new puppies take a LOT of time.

Can you take her for a nice walk in the morning before you leave? Even just 10 minutes around the neighborhood? At least then she will be tired and not be so upset when you are leaving. Would you be able to hire someone to take her for a walk in the middle of the day maybe?
 

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I think you should consider keeping her. Your oldest child is 5. Soon there will be school for her, and as she gets older your dog will get more comfortable playing with her, or enjoying her company. With your 2 year old it will take loner, but you will get there. These little dogs live a long time, so in the long run this might make sense. Make more time with her, or figure out how to work her in, like if you bring the kids to the park, take the dog too, and the spouse to help manage it all. :)
I would also consider another dog. If your dog likes other dogs, this may be just the thing, and sometimes what they want most is each other's company. I'm out of the house A LOT. My Chihuahua JJ did pretty well with it becuase we also have a cat that kept him company. We recently got Monty, a rescue chi, and that seems to be working great too. The main thing is companionship, so if you can't provide a ton of it, maybe getting your dog a friend is just the thing. If not a dog maybe a kitten? Cats are pretty low-maintenance and if you get a kitten it won't really think to be afraid of the dog.
 

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I think there are some good suggestions here. I HATE being away from my chis all day for work and a terrible commute. The only way I can even begin to rationalize leaving them is they have each other, and when i come home, it's all about the Chis. They are also all rescued from kill-shelters, so at least they have life and one another and Mom at night and on the weekends. Whatever you do with your beautiful girl, re-home or otherwise, I am certain you will not put her in a a shelter to an undetermined fate.
 

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Yeah, I'm re-thinking my suggestion of a second dog for your case. Teddy is my first chi and I sometimes forget how needy they can be. When I had my Jack Russell (who was dog aggressive), adding Teddy helped to make her more stable and less needy. But two chis will probably always desire your constant attention, even if they have each other.

Can you maybe work in training sessions where you involve the kids? If you use positive reinforcement (treats and praise for good behavior), even your kids should be able to participate in training. Here's an easy trick:

"Touch" (aka. hard targeting) -- touching a person's open hand with her nose

1. Use your right hand. Keep your hand flat and hold a treat in the middle of your palm. Fold your thumb over it to hold it in place. (It will look a little like you're trying to show someone the number four.)
2. Hold your hand up to your dog and let her sniff your hand. She will naturally try to sniff, lick, or paw at the treat. Whenever her nose comes into contact with the treat or your palm, say "Touch!" and drop the treat immediately. (Try to drop it the second she touches you with her nose.)
-- Repeat 3-5 times until she is familiar with the game.
4. Keep a treat in your right hand as you have been. Next, hold a second treat in your LEFT hand and hide it behind your back. This time, when she touches you with her nose, feed her from your LEFT hand instead of your right. The treat in your right hand doesn't move.
-- Repeat 3-5 times.
5. Finally, remove the treat from your right hand entirely. Hold up your open, empty hand to her. Keep it flat as if you're giving a high-five. Ask her to "Touch." Wait a few seconds for her to figure out the game. If she takes longer than a minute, go back a step and work up to it again. Reward her from your left hand for touching your palm with her nose.
6. At the end you should be able to hold up your open hand an say "Touch." She should touch your palm with her nose, and you will feed her from your left hand. Give lots of praise!

Once you lay the groundwork for this trick, it's a very kid-friendly thing to practice with your dog. Any kid can hold up an open palm. It teaches kids to be confident with dogs and dogs to be confident with approaching open hands. The whole experience should be positive and fun. :)
Wow what a fantastic idea! I needed something to keep Cricket from cowing every time I try and pet or pick her up. I will try this. I think all the ideas are great. A way to integrate your family with your dog. The best thing in the world. But sounds as if she maybe a little jealous too.
 

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I don't think you need to add another dog, but I will say having only 2 kids is not really a great reason to feel she needs rehoming, we have 4 kids and currently 2 dogs, we have both worked out of the home with this mix & honestly thankfully Chi's are small dogs and do quite well when left alone during the day, ours sleep.

Don't feel guilty that you cannot spend all your free time with her, dogs are smart they just want to be near their people! even in the same room just hanging out. Here is a question, why can you not just let her have run of the house when you leave? we NEVER crate our dogs, they just lounge and sleep when we are out maybe she has anxiety about being segregated?
 

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I have to say, regardless of how genuine the concern is I feel so bad for dogs who are rehomed because of children being added to the family. I realize nobody EVER plans for that to happen. But to me, I see having a dog as an equal commitment to having a child. Certainly if you or your hubby are feeling some resentment toward her then yes, maybe it is in her best interest for it to happen. But it makes it really hard for me to relate because it happens SO often... and the thing is I see no way to really "prevent" it. Since nobody expects it to happen, what can you really do? I don't have kids, so I can't offer much advice; but I do know it Is possible for someone to give their dog(s) plenty of attention even with having children and working full time. How they do it I don't know, I just know it happens lol.
I don't know.. I guess my advice would be to reevaluate the situation and see if you're doing everything you can to give her attention. If there's any way you can incorporate the kids INTO time with her, like training as someone suggested above, that would help enforce her position in the family. I would never suggest someone keep a dog just due to principle of commitment. The dogs well being should come first, in any situation. Looking back is there anything you would've done differently? Even if you find that she would do better in another home, maybe you can find a way to take your experience and help offer suggestions for other "new parents" so that they don't have to give up their pets as well, since it seems it happens so frequently.
 

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I have a 3 yr old and 3 dogs.. although i am a stay at home mother at the moment. I understand what you mean.... My daughter is VERY into the dogs as I am .. She knows how to correct them :) she does a little "eh eh" when they find a paper to shread or something.. They stop and leave it alone for me to clean up. She plays fetch with them. I find my female is NOT the best pet for a child. The males are much better pets. But they all listen to my daughter when she tells them to "sit" or "stay" and they even (all 3) try to climb into her bed at night time LOL.. But I would say try to get your children involved with her and the training. Its very good for them to know how to interact with her aswell as teaching her to trust. even though I understand the little one will not be as consistent as your 5yr old may be. But with time. She will learn that your children mean good things :) like treats and maybe a toy thrown so she can fetch it :)

Also, I take my dogs everywhere with me. my 3 yr old also takes one dog on her own to walk around the yard. My female sophie usually goes off leash, and will stay right by your side and comes back when called the 1st time. so that is the dog my daughter takes on the leash. less consequences if my daughter drops the leash... these are all things that will greatly help with the time you ARE home.. she will look forward to when you are there. :)
 
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