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a question by Jan 22, 2011
I have spent at least $7,000 on my dog in the 1 3/4 years of her life. None really life threatening. But isn't it time to put her down anyway?

She pees on the floor, bites, and thinks she owns the house anyway.
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CampingDog's Answer
answered:    January 22, 2011
No!  If she's less tthan 2 years old, she's still a puppy - unless she's one of the toy breeds.  You didn't specify what her physical issues are, so I can't comment on that.  However, if she has all kinds of behavior problems, that may well have more to do with training than health issues. 

If you don't take a proper "big dog" position in your home, then she is forced to try to do so.  It sounds like you may not have the training YOU need to learn how to train a puppy.  And training a young dog takes patience and knowledge.  Unless you're willing to take the time to learn how to manage a pup, I'd suggest you consider finding her a new home.  There are lots of shelter groups who will foster and place unwanted dogs.

I have to admit that the fact that you're considering putting her down because of her behavior put my teeth on edge.  Imagine how small our human population would be if we "put down" children because they weren't well behaved.   Would you, personally, have made it past the age of 3?

If you're feeling like it's more than you can handle, please do consider the shelter/foster option.  Or, if you'd like to keep her, consider getting training - either have someone come in to your home and show how to do it or take her to classes.  It is well worth the time and expense - and a lot of fun.

If you find a good trainer, it's a great thing -- I learned SO much about myself and how I was contributing to my puppy's behavior without realizing it.  I think Cesar Milan is right -- we get the right dog for us.  We just need to be open and willing to learn what we need to learn.

Good luck!
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January 23, 2011
I am only kidding, I would never do that. We love her too much. Although, I always tease the little beast that I am going to give her to Michael Vick. :) Or let the doctor stick a big needle in her. The good thing about dogs is you can say mean things to them and they don't know any better! Although if I keep having to spend so much on vet bills for her, we all three (me, her and my wife) might be sitting on the side of the road with cardboard sign begging for food.
January 24, 2011
What kinds of issues does she have? If it's stuff like hot spots or allergies, there's a LOT that can be done with nutrition to resolve those kinds of things.
January 24, 2011
Right now it's allergies but we can't figure out exactly (as in the vet) what the allergy is. And she also has issues with foods. For example she was eating expensive organic food but it gave her the runs so we feed her IAMs which she likes and seems to suit her digestive system. Any thoughts on anything else we can do would be appreciated!
January 25, 2011
There are allergy tests available that could help isolate what the specific allergens are for her. Has your vet run any of those tests on her? I do have a couple of thoughts. For one thing, you might want to think about what you're using around your home for cleaners and the like. For example, if you use things other than natural cleaners on your floors, it's entirely possible that there's a chemical she's reacting to. Since her nose is much closer to the floor at all times ... As far as food goes, for a long time I had my lab on a home-made diet. it's SO easy and you can make up a big batch once a week. I posted an article here a while back on making your own homemade dog food. It's easy to do, inexpensive, healthy, nutritious, and can be a great way to start testing to see what food items she might be reacting to. Look through some of the articles I've written - I just can't remember at the moment exactly what I called it. Might be worth a try. I know that it made a big difference for my dog. Good luck!
 
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answered:    January 23, 2011
I love my cat to death but I would never spend that much money on an animal. Like everyone else I dread the day that you have to finally put a pet down but scarce resources are much better spent on human beings. I had to put down two young cats when I was around 18 because they simply could not be housebroken. I cried all the way to the shelter. I'm sure it is much more difficult when a younger animal is involved. Still, I would rather donate that money to my church. Always remember, there are hundreds of animals waiting to be adopted at your local animal shelter. If you hang on to an ailing or problem pet too long one of those animals is going to be euthanized instead. I have found in recent years that the thrill of liberating one of these animals from a shelter quickly helps to erase the pain of having to put a beloved pet down.
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