Returned an adopted rescued doxie and regretting it. Should I try to get her back?

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Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 12:54am PST 
Hello - I have no prior experience with dogs and would really appreciate any help you can provide. My entire life I have had a phobia for dogs. When I was a kid I could not be near a dog without almost crying of fear. However now as an adult I try to use reason and logic to help me get through my fear and now I can be around dogs as long as the owner provides some guarantee that the dog will not attack or bite me. My current partner is a dog lover and has had dogs her entire life. This past weekend we decided to adopt a rescued doxie. My partner immediately bonded with the dog and I did my best to pet the dog, feed it, walk it, etc to also form a bond. However, within 72 horus of having the dog in our home she barked and growled at me four times. My partner works from home and spent a lot of time with the dog. She also knows how to handle and cuddle dogs, so clearly the dog loved her. However, I work outside the home and the first day I came home with the dog there she barked at me. I tried to show the dog that I am part of the home and that I also take care of her. That evening I walked and fed her. However later in the night she jumped out of her bed at me barking, which triggered my phobia and I screamed and jumped back. I received some advice from a trainer and tried to follow it however, she growled at me again the next night. My partner and I decided to return the dog today, after just under three days with her. Even though I was scared of the dog when she barked at me I felt that I really started feeling as if the dog was mine in the sense that I was constantly worried if she was ok, too cold, hungry, needed to pee/poop, etc. I set up some training classes but we were worried she would bite me before we could get any training in. When we walked her she would snap quickly at anyone approaching her so we didn't put it past her that she might bite me. My partner was perplexed because she thinks that after having me home for several hours she should not jump, bark or growl at me. When we dropped the dog off at her foster home I cried like a baby. I feel very guilty about giving her back and so does my partner. Any advice you might have would be much appreciated. Thank you

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 3:13am PST 
hug I think it's wonderful that you are working on your fear and that you have improved enough to try having a dog in your house. hug I know three days isn't a long time to work on a dog's behavior , but it sounds like this paticular dog may have been reactive. Sone people are willing to work with a reactive dog, but having a reactive dog in a house with someone working on a dog phobia sounds like a really bad combination.hug Sometimes a dog is just not a good fit for a particular household for many different reasons. For instance, Bunny is not good with cats. Having him in a home with cats would be a diaster. Not the fault of the dog or the catssmile I think that explaining the situation to a rescue would help find a much better match. I would suggest an older, calmer dog who instead of reacting in fear when it senses yours, would react by easing yours. I commend you on working on this phobia and don't give up . The right dog for your household is out theresmile

Edited by author Thu Apr 18, '13 3:16am PST


I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 5:51am PST 
The behavior you are describing is pretty normal for a rescue Doxie, and not that uncommon for any Doxie at all really. They are not the calmest of dogs, generally speaking, and tend to be very alert, ready to bark at perceived threats. The dog is most likely picking up on your fear and reacting to it as well.

I think because of your situation, and that of the dog, it may not be the best fit. Reactive dogs are stressful to take on walks and will often elicit reactions from other dogs too, which wouldn't likely help your anxiety.

Doxies also tend to be one-person dogs. Meaning, they bond with the person they spend the most time with and not necessarily every member of the household. My dog is strongly bonded to me, with a decent attachment to my husband. But my sister who lives with us barely gets a greeting at the door. However, she is accepting of anyone who stays in our home (in terms of not barking or growling at them) whether she seeks their attention or not.

Obviously it's your decision, but my advice would be to try a trial adoption (or foster) with a more low-key (not-so-barky) breed. Many rescue groups offer this. At the very least, they should be aware of your phobia and be able to recommend a more suitable placement.

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 7:09am PST 
I agree that this little dog in particular didn't sound like a good fit for your family, despite how you may have grown attached to her and it was the right thing to take her back. She will find a home that can meet her needs and handle her reactive behavior too.

That said, I do think it's commendable that you are trying to overcome your fear, and I would also recommend a 'trial adoption' or 'foster to adopt', in which you take the dog into your home for a determined amount of time to figure out if the dog fits with your family. Tell the rescue about the phobia you are trying to overcome, and that you're in need of a calmer, more low-key dog that is free of these types of behavioral problems so that you can feel more comfortable as you adjust to the new family member too. MANY rescues will be very helpful in finding the right placement as long as you're open about what you are and are not up to handling in a dog.

Want small? Say so. Want a calm dog? Tell them that too!

A senior may even be a good fit, actually.

The little doxie sounds like she was insecure and a little nervous with you, likely due to your fear too - this can happen.

Don't feel bad for owning up to what you can and cannot handle. She will be fine with her foster parent - and you can focus on finding and rescuing the dog that better fits your family and your family's needs. hug

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 7:37am PST 
Sorry if this comes off harsh, but NO..do not try to get her back. I totally understand what you feel, but a dog is not something you just get, return, then change your mind again.Returned after 3 days for growling? Ugh.
Do research. There is a trend of people adopting/rescuing on impulse. Then they return the dog for myriad of reasons. This puts a huge strain on rescues. Now they have a dog who has been returned. Regardless of reason, this will be disclosed to other potential adopters, possibly impeding the chance of being adopted again.
I suggest you volunteer at a shelter for a few hours a week. This will expose to you all kinds of dogs & help you work through your fear. You will also find out what breeds you *click with. Then...as someone said...be very specific with rescue organizations so they can help you make the best match.

forever loved
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 9:08am PST 
I think you did the right thing returning the Doxie, even though it was hard for both of you. It sounds like she has more issues than just 'growling' if she was snapping at people on walks. I don't think there is anything wrong with looking for a dog that is a better fit for you, imo, this is not the same as "I don't want to deal with it, etc"...phobias are different than if it was just them not liking the dog. Especially for a first-time dog-owner with a phobia, you really need a dog that is calmer and less fearful. I def agree with most of the others about NOT taking back the doxie, and asking the rescue to help place an older, calmer dog with you. Good luck!way to go
Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 10:19am PST 
I t hink you did the right thing. I had a reactive dog that wreaked havoic on my social anxiety issues. But we were able to work with it and he became an outstanding service dog.

Not the story for everyone. I'm going to second the recommendation you pick up a senior dog. I have one of those too and she has been a great pick. Sweetie is very calm and tends to just want to sleep 100% of the time. Okay maybe 98% since the other 2% of the time is eating and getting pet.

Also do more research into dogs that tend to be calmer. I've known a few doxie and they were barky and one people person dogs. wishes
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 12:24pm PST 
Your own phobia and nervousness could also have been spiking his insecurity. Dachhsunds are pretty sensitive and are not against being defensive when they feel it is in their interest....they are naturally more assertive, and you may have been making a dog who was already a little anxious re the rehoming more nervous. You'd do best going for a very calm and steady type dog next try. Don't beat yourself up....dogs always teach us something, and now you are wiser to get it right next time smile

Member Since
Barked: Thu Apr 18, '13 9:04pm PST 
THANK YOU so much to everyone for your response. This has helped me A LOT. Its true that we didn't really know what we were getting into adopting a rescued shelter dog. My partner knew most about dogs but she's always raised them from puppies so it's much different. I agree that people should be more informed going into these decisions but what I've learned is that rescue operations are often extremely short staffed and working on extremely limited resources so I imagine they sometimes can't cover all bases. I walked into this with every intention of making it work so perhaps this outcome wasn't easy to anticipate. Regardless, your responses have me feel much better about at least making the effort instead of feeling like a total failure. Next time (if) we try I will definitely do my research. Thanks!

Looking for my- forever home!
Barked: Sat Apr 20, '13 11:13am PST 
Where are you, Guest? If you're in the northeast, pm Tiller. She can guide you wonderfully, and I know a nice, calm dog who would love to have two people! laugh out loud
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