Some people will hate me for this post and I debated even posting it because of that. But I do ask that you don’t post any mean comments. They will be deleted. Feel free to disagree, but please be kind and respectful. This decision is plenty hard enough… Harder than I ever thought it could be. And not just for me, but also for my children. 

We have decided to rehome Rocky. I talked at length with the woman from the shelter where we adopted him and she said we will find Rocky a home in exchange for adopting a dog that will suit our family better. Until they have a dog available that she thinks would be good with kids, we will keep Rocky so he isn’t living at the shelter. I absolutely do not want him to spend any time there at all, if possible. Other dogs stress him out very badly. I sent her pictures and she was showing them to a man who was looking for a dog like Rocky. I’m waiting to hear back from her. 

We adopted him from the shelter on Jan 26th this year. Almost a whole year later and things just keep getting worse between the kids and Rocky and us. He was a puppy when we got him and we had thought that surely him growing up with our kids would be the ideal situation and he would be a great family dog. And at first, he was! He adored Tru most of all and they did so well together. My kids are very good with him, having been around dogs since they were born. No eye poking or tail pulling happening here! But unfortunately, Rocky’s temperament as he has grown up is vastly different than his puppy self and at this point, the kids are unable to play with Rocky much at all, although they still love him.

He’s a sweet dog and VERY smart. I’ve literally never met a smarter dog. He’s also very pretty with his markings. He’s everything I want in a dog as far as smarts and looks… He’s just adorable. Unfortunately though, as he’s gotten older, I just can’t trust him around the kids. He is extremely hyper and unpredictable. One minute he’s sitting there and the next he’s knocking the kids down and absolutely will not stop jumping and lunging, even when we try to stop him. Could he be trained and this problem fixed? I think absolutely so! I have spent hours upon hours reading articles on training and spent countless hours working on training Rocky. He learns everything quickly… Except the things I need him to learn. If I could hire a trainer, I 100% absolutely would. But that is not even remotely possible financially, which is so hard to accept. (Side note: it would be really nice if trainers would make their services affordable for the average person. $2,000+ for a few one-on-one sessions is absolutely not reasonable. I’m sorry.)

On top of that, Rocky has a bit of temper than scares me. And I think he knows it. Ever since he was a puppy, he will growl when he doesn’t want to do what we tell him. For example “Go in the kitchen.” *Growl* When he was small, I thought it was odd but maybe just his little thing he did and no problem. But as he’s grown, it makes me very uncomfortable. I’m not super concerned for myself, but I don’t like that behavior around my small kids. 

The great thing about Rocky is, he’s an awesome watch dog! The day we brought him home, we could already see he was good at that as he was immediately watchful and protective. This is a good thing in most cases and something that I had actually hoped for. However, when we have people over, Rocky does this high pitched bark and growls and lunges at them. We tell him it’s ok but he doesn’t calm down. So we have to put him in his crate… Rocky is big enough at 45 pounds and extremely strong. He could do very serious damage to someone. Like I said, great for scaring off a burglar. But extremely scary when he was growling and lunging (and I could barely hold him back) at my sister and niece. 

Which brings me to his anxiety. He hates the crate for any purpose other than sleeping (he sleeps in it at night, door shut and everything, NO PROBLEM). He cannot be crated when we leave the house though because he will pull on the wires of the crate with his mouth and actually pulled the front of the (I bought the *heavy duty* metal!!) crate inwards when we left him for just one hour. We tried all the crating tips, gave him lots of treats and toys in the crate etc. But as soon as I walk to the door, he flips out and doesn’t stop till I come home. We have tried treating his anxiety with over the counter measures. Benadryl does calm him a little. Melatonin helps a ton! But it’s never going to cure the separation anxiety. Which I find odd because Rocky doesn’t even seem that attached to me in general, until I try to leave. 

And 1 final point, which is huge, but not enough reason to rehome a dog…. He is still not reliably house trained. That is to say, he IS house trained when he wants to be. But after a period of no accidents – even a couple weeks, he will start going in the house again. Generally he will just stand there and pee, looking right at us, and then run to the door to be let out. It’s aggravating to no end and I cannot find a way to stop this because I don’t understand why it happens. 

So basically, if I had the tools and the support of a trainer, Rocky could probably be our forever dog. I’m sure we could help his anxiety and teach him to be calm with our guests and dependably gentle with the kids. I’m sure we could eventually get him to a point where he doesn’t pee all over the house or chew on the furniture or shred the rugs (despite the multiple Kong toys and bones and chews laying EVERYWHERE!) and I believe we could coexist just as peacefully and easily as we have with our previous dogs. But unfortunately, that’s not even an option for us to work towards that point and eventually I realized that it’s not fair to us or to Rocky to try to force a relationship that isn’t working. We don’t or at least shouldn’t, do that in human relationships, so why do we do it with dogs? I truly believe Rocky’s ideal home would be a single-owner or maybe a couple. Definitely with an assertive but adoring owner. No other dogs or cats. (He ran away a few days ago, as he does every chance he gets, and he brought home a LARGE opposom that he killed. He doesn’t like other animals and has made that very clear on our walks. Which is, in my opinion, a normal trait for a dog. But I wouldn’t want someone’s pet to get hurt or killed.) 

Anyway, all this is so much harder than I thought it would be and I just wish wish wish we could make it work and keep Rocky. I’ve really grown to love his good qualities and I guess it’s just hard to give up the relationship that I had hoped for with him. I know he will make the right owner so happy and that they will be able to give him a good life. And I so hope that whatever dog we end up adopting will be perfect for our kids.