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Old 01-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Stay away from someone who lives with us

So I just moved back in with my parents. While I was gone my Grandpa moved in. He is a grumpy old man to say the least, convinced Veda is a coyote and belongs outside. He's old and grew up in a time and country where all dogs belonged outside and were used for work only, not a part of the family, etc.
Our older dog Jack has been smacked and kicked by Grandpa enough he knows to stay out of his way and ignore him now. Veda doesn't. When he comes out of his room, I have to hold her back to keep her away from him. We put up gates to keep Veda and Grandpa separated throughout the house but if he needs to use the kitchen or whatever that doesn't really work. I can't always be there when he decides to come out of wherever he's been at the time and that worries me. He kicked Veda for the first time the other day (because "this GD coyote" was in his way) and I nearly smacked him. I've already asked him to just ignore her and if she's doing anything that's bothering him to just let me know. He forgets things and also chooses to ignore other things so I don't really know what to do
Is there any way to train my puppy to stay away from him? I feel like I'm constantly distracting her or holding her back to keep her away.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you talked to your parents about how you feel and what is happening? What is their thoughts on the matter. it might help if they asked your grandpa to respect their home and not kick their dog.

Being old or growing up in another time is not an excuse. I say that in the nicest way.

EDIT: Sorry I didnt read too well. I see you noted hes forgetful, so maybe some dementia....so Im a little more understanding. But I would still talk to my parents and ask them have a talk with him.

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Old 01-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They have... He just doesn't care My mom said to just keep doing what I've been doing and do my best to keep her away from him.
I wish grandpa could have a fence around him at all times


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Old 01-07-2014, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If moving out isn't an option would you be able to tether her to you?
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I stayed with my parents for 3 days a week during nursing school. Even though they love my dogs, asking them to deal with dogs running around all the time was not something I was comfortable doing since they were being so generous as to let me stay there. They have a border collie, so my border collie was allowed loose all the time. My shepherds were a different story. I only had them out when I was out and watching them. If I was at clinical or going out, I would crate them or shut them in my room. It had no ill effects what so ever. It wasn't that they were bad (although one was a puppy) but my male is big and he is just naturally in the way sometimes as well as slightly pushy about being cuddled and played with. Keeping control was the best situation, so he could spend time with his "gramps" without over staying his welcome.

If I were you I would put your dog in a crate when you cant be right there to ensure your grandfather doesn't act inappropriately. I don't know about your dog, but I would not trust my dogs not to react if someone kicked or hit them. A few times might be fine, but my dogs have a line that I would not want to risk someone crossing.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That sounds like a rough situation, but it's great you're looking out for your girl! I kinda doubt there's going to be any change in how your Grandfather acts, so I think the best thing you can do is manage your dog. Is she crate trained? If not, I think working on that right away would be good so you could crate her when you're not around. That way you don't have to worry about her getting in the way. I don't have any experience with this, and I don't know how old Veda is, but I imagine it won't take very long for her to figure out to keep her distance from your Grandfather. Not pleasant for you or for her, but I think dogs have a pretty good sense of who to stick with, and who to avoid. Maybe just reinforcing (with a high value treat) her coming straight to you when she sees Grumpy Grandpa will be enough to keep her out of range. If she's less than a year old, though, I would ignore my suggestion and wait for someone with more knowledge to advise you, because you don't want to set her up for fear and/or aggression. Good luck!

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Old 01-08-2014, 02:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That is super tough. It does sound like shutting the dog in a room or crate might be the only answer until Gramps is ready for a "retirement community" since there is some true getting old memory loss. True, certain regions & time periods were different, but it's hard to not be grumpy at Gramps fornot understanding the way things currently are. If you have any trainers in your area with crate training or Grampa training suggestions, that would be most handy. Wishing you lots of luck!

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Old 01-08-2014, 11:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would start practicing positive reinforcement on Grandpa. As soon as he sees the dog you will be nice to the old grump and distract him from Veda. Encourage him to pet her and to talk sweet things to her. Have him play with her by letting him throwing a ball for her. As soon as he is cranky you quietly, without any comments, remove yourself and Veda from the situation so he doesn't get a payoff.
I have had clients who practiced this technique on a grouchy neighbor and it worked within two weeks. Maybe he needs more quality time in his early dementia. Old folks can still be aware of their deteriorating brain which can make them sad or grouchy.
Try to appreciate the fact that you exist because of him if he is your biological one.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tethering her to me would be an option but I like her to be able to go off with my parents dog and play with him, play with my dad (he loves her, it's so cute), get a drink, or go nap somewhere when she wants/needs it. So that's why I've kinda been not wanting to do that :/

She is crate trained. She sleeps in her crate in my room at night and is in there when I go out. My room is in the basement so when I'm down there and she wants to take a nap, that's where she goes. Otherwise the basement is gated off from the upstairs because I've been trying to keep Grandpa and Veda separated as much as possible. Then she likes to sleep in the foyer by the front door.

I never ask my parents to deal with her. If I'm gone and they come home they'll let her out of her crate and hang out with her because they feel bad... even if it's just a couple hours (they've never been big on crate training). If I'm leaving and my parents are home one of them will let me know if she can stay out or not without me asking.

I seriously doubt my grandpa will change his ways/thoughts about the dogs... his "playing" with Jack is stepping on his toes and he'll do it 2 minutes after he smacked him! Ugh, I just don't understand it. His wife always had dogs but was forced to keep them outside when he was home, poor things.

wolfy dog I will try your suggestion. I hope it helps! Veda also starts her "Positive Puppy" training classes this Saturday so I'll see if her trainer has any advice.

I'm also afraid that me keeping her from him constantly will have some sort of negative effect on her in the future with elderly people... also afraid that if I let her "learn her lesson" by going to him every chance she gets the same thing will happen.


Veda will be 15 weeks old on Saturday.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would puppy proof an area of the house for your pup while your not there...or get the gates that attach to the kennel so she can move about. I would try to keep her out of harms way aka Gramps way. And remember one day when she's big and confident she may try to retaliate against your gramps :|

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