Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Devil on His Shoulder

Bradie is a good dog, until he isn't.

Like many young, high-energy pups he seems to have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, fighting for control.  When he is focused and thinking you can see what a wonderful personality he has and how much potential there is.

Did I mention he's a boxer/deer mix?  Mostly deer.

But Bradie frequently finds himself listening to the devil on his other shoulder.  At home he cannot be trusted anywhere unsupervised.  The fridge is bare since he loves ripping paper off it.  The kid's rooms are shut so the stuffed animals aren't terrorized and tortured.  Even outside there is Bradie-proofing so he won't roll in manure and pop the basketball.

This has put Bradie's family in a tough spot.  Mrs. Bradie's Family loves him and sees that he will be a fantastic dog... someday.  She realizes that bringing him home with 2 young kids was stretching the limit, but Bradie adds more strain to that than the average dog.  Mr. Bradie's Family didn't really want him in the first place.  Between the money for day camp and training so he's at least tolerable and the stress of having a dog who never settles down has brought him to the breaking point.

So yesterday in a moment of insanity I offered to bring Bradie home for a few days.  He and Shirley play well together, and until Cody and Hannah arrive I need a dog who can keep up with her.  This gives Bradie's family the opportunity to evaluate the situation with a level head.  Even here, Bradie is a lot of dog (he reminds me of Skye).  While he hasn't been destructive or breaking household rules, the dog doesn't have an off switch.  He is incapable of controlling himself when Shirley is around- even if he can barely stand from exhaustion.  I've used a tie down to help him relax, but I'm suspecting he has a hormone imbalance (for more reasons than just this).  Regardless, he's here until Saturday.  He'll get plenty of play time, some structure that he isn't used to at home, and a bath.

I'm begging you- don't turn on the water!

From there, who knows?  I'm taking it one day at a time and enjoying the Bradie who uses his brain.  I'm also enjoying all the pictures that show Skye as a tiny little puppy next to this long-legged freak.

Whose got the ball?  Human does!

Anyone else been through a tough time with their dog?  Any words of wisdom or encouragement would be great!


  1. Bradie is beautiful! Is that part boxer & pit? Wow! I wonder if it's anxiety and maybe can be controlled with some med while training? Poor lil guy. I hope it works out. Truly is beautiful.

  2. He sounds like a typical over the top excitable dog. Hopefully he will gain some maturity and learn how to use his brain.

  3. That bath pic is the most pathetic, precious bath face I've ever seen. And there's some doozies out there! I hope all works out well for Bradie. It's tough being a high energy young dog and learning all the ropes, especially when the entire world is SO EXCITING.

  4. Oh my goodness, how sweet of you to give his family a break. He is a beautiful boy. And that shot of him in the tub is SO priceless!

  5. Bradie you sure are a looker! Now calm down & do not listen to that devil anymore.

  6. sending prayers and good-dog vibes so that you can work your magic with Bradie:)

  7. Sounds and looks like a typical Boxer puppy to me!

    How old is Bradie? I'm no Boxer expert, but I know that they grow UP before the grow OUT. Our Lucy (yes, she's stag red) wound up tall even so.

    We're a Boxer family. In the past (pre me), the DH has always gotten puppies, 'because he can mold them' (hogwash). I kept pushing rescue when it came time for the last new addition. We were lucky to have references for Boxer Rescue L.A. to get a puppy - fyi, they almost always foster puppies, otherwise they usually just get them back with more bad habits than they would have had in foster.

    Boxers are *wonderful* family dogs and we'll have them forever, but they're puppies energy-wise well into adulthood and emotionally forever. When the DH talks about 'molding puppies' rather than adopting from foster care, I just point to Lucy and hint out how well behaved she is - we love her much and wouldn't trade her for anything (although when she was a puppy, my mom asked if we couldn't 'take her back for a good one' ;-) For the girls, spays put weight on and help reduce zoomies. She's settled down now that she's 6, but she's still a character and has her wants & needs, as quite the talker, she let's us know what they are and the flip side is she's very sweet, loving and great with the other dogs and children - she's just a diva in a doggy suit ;-) All said and done, our house would be a dull place without her, the other four dogs (yes, 4, but not Boxer) not withstanding.

    As you know, he'll have energy for a long time, but manners can be taught IF they are consistent. If they decide he's just not the right fit, I hope he can find a higher energy, more dog centered family, who he can show the famous love Boxers are known for.

    Good luck,

  8. Btw, forgot to mention how much I loved the stink eye in the tub - now THAT is universal doggie speak! ;-)

  9. How could you turn the water on after that face???

    Stop on by for a visit

  10. Bradie has the tub face of the year! His energy reminds me of my parents' dogzilla giant schnauzer, who is finally settling down a little at almost three and a half. My parents have a farm and my dad has the beast run every day, but he's still a spaz for the first half hour when our 2 dogs come to visit. This weekend he kept stomping on Maggie until she bit him so hard he squeaked! The poor baby came over and leaned on me for a few minutes and wasn't so rough with her the rest of the day. Duke still got stomped, but he kind of thinks it's fun.

    Maggie & Duke are super shredders. Duke killed a black extreme kong in a few minutes, chopped a 6' nylon leash into 6" pieces and ripped a blanket in half with Maggie's help in under 20 minutes. We try not to leave anything out where they can get it, so people tend to think we're neat freaks when they come over. We used to crate the dogs when we were out, now we just leave them in the kitchen with their kuranda beds & peanut butter filled marrow bones. They really like having a schedule, and will wake up before the alarm every day. They know exactly when all of their walks and meals are, which really helped them relax the rest of the time. (The crack dog demolition racing in the field also helps.)

  11. I was hooked on the last pictures of them, they looks gorgeous on that post :D

    Dog Shock Collar | Puppy & Human Bond

  12. Poor are sweet to take him off their hands for a few days so they can talk things over. Fingers crossed that you might be able to give them some tricks to try to calm him down. :(

  13. Schultz gets extremely worked up and excitable/anxious in new situations. We got him a Thundershirt and it has worked wonders to give him an overall sense of calm. I don't know if it'd work for just plain ol' hyperness but he definitely benefits from it.

  14. What a cutie! Like others have said, mom says he sounds like a typical boxer puppy. We have several friends with boxers who do agility, which is a great way to burn off some of that crazy energy. It's so nice of you to give his family a little break!

  15. We have a pit/boxer mix just shy of 2 years and he was definitely the same way for the first 6 months we had him. We trained him like crazy but it seemed that he had no end point to his mania (despite being the most well-natured dog out there). We found that having a pretty strict schedule with him has worked wonders. His peaceful side comes out during his "down times" and I think he is happier to know when he can relax and when he can be full throttle (during play hours throughout the day). Hope this might help!


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