What dogs are bred to do

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Diddy Gardener

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What dogs are bred to do
« on: November 02, 2013, 14:15 »
I have a 6 year old border terrier. He's a character and I love him to bits. Now, border terriers are bred to hunt, and mine is no exception.

I have a problem. My husband left the gate open this morning while doing something in his car and wee Brodie escaped. OH then left, saying that Brodie would come back when he's ready. I'm a bit more paranoid and ran upstairs to chuck some clothes on. I found Brodie. He had broken into the rabbit hutch next door and killed their pet rabbit. The neighbours were great: "it's a rabbit, terriers are bred to kill these things, our daughter will be upset but these things happen".

This is a great attitude... they would have been well within their rights to call the police and maybe demand that my dog gets PTS. It doesn't help me feeling that this is all my fault (well, OH's) and that I should be looking at rehoming my dog. Maybe on a farm, a working dog, as a ratter maybe. It would absolutely break my heart to do this as he is a huge part of our lives.

So, not really a question, just sharing a dilemma...  :( :(
Lucky Mother of 2 dogs, 2 cats (RiP Sherlock) and 4 chickens (welcome Brenda and Harriet)

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finleyfreyaseth

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 14:24 »
jeez that's one very understanding neighbour :blink: I realy don't think id be that understanding ,id probably not call the police but id sure as hell be mad :mad:,as your neighbour said its not the dogs fault as its bred to hunt ,so the blame realy lies with yourselves,i know your probably very good owners so I think you need to recompense your neighbours, ps this is not a dig at you :)

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Diddy Gardener

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 14:39 »
I totally agree with you. I am more than willing to recompense my neighbours, I offered to buy them a new rabbit and repair their hutch but they didn't want me to do that.

My garden, due to having a border terrier, is like Fort Knox, the only way he can get out is if a gate is left open... which is what happened this morning.

If this had happened to me I'd be absolutely livid... not just mad. I just don't know what to do to make it right. I did buy a huge bouquet of flowers this morning, not delivered them yet as wasn't sure if it would be appropriate.

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maxyboo

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 15:02 »
I must admit I would be extremely upset if that happened to one of my rabbits. I would be blaming your OH rather than the dog but we all make silly mistakes, unfortunately this one had serious consequences. But you are trying to make amends and I would suggest you leave the offer of a new bun and perhaps a more secure hutch and run as an open offer that they can think about at a future time. Please do not think about rehoming your dog just based on this one episode though. If it was a mistake on your OH's behalf and one you are both determined will not be repeated then try to move on from it. Take the flowers around sooner rather than later as it shows you are thinking of them. You can't make everything all right again but there is no point letting guilt eat away at you, especially as you didn't actually do anything wrong!

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Trillium

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 15:11 »
I agree with maxyboo, it's not your fault but offering the flowers will assure your neighbours you take the whole incident to heart and will try to avoid it happening again.

Suggest you sit down with hubby (and other family members) and insist your gates be kept shut/locked at all times to avoid this happening again. Dogs cannot help what they do naturally. People can. 

Next time, and it will happen again if the gate is left carelessly open, the neighbours won't be quite so understanding and your beloved friend will have to be rehomed, if not worse.

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8doubles

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2013, 15:14 »
Sounds like you have a normal terrier and really great neighbours !

Most cat owners turn their cats out to kill what they like every day so don`t feel to bad about one incident where your dog did what comes naturally, they do not need to be trained to kill.

There will probably be a way to make good with next doors daughters other than a new pet !

I expect the terrier has already realised he is not in anybodys good books.

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Diddy Gardener

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2013, 15:25 »
8Doubles... the 'terrier' and I haven't spoken all day. He's been ordered to do things and has done them without question with his tail between his legs. I know it's not his fault and have told hubby in no uncertain terms that he is a complete tool (I used MUCH stronger language) for leaving the gate open.

I think hubby should take the flowers next door, after all, it was his fault... he's being stubborn. I will wear him down. If I take them I'll cry, I know I will.


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compostqueen

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2013, 16:20 »
Your husband is at fault and he should have gone after the dog right away. It's his responsibility and you can't let dogs roam, and to say that he will find his own way back is not on, especially when you know your dog's potential for trouble.  I had a JR who was an absolute swine and he got up a wall and over a fence to get next door's rabbit out of its hutch. Fortunately I was constantly vigilant to his doings and was after him, so fortunately the rabbit survived, but it was touch and go.   Our house and garden was like Fort Knox but terriers are so cunning and have more powers of escape than Houdini that you're constantly anxious. I couldn't relax unless my eyes were on the dog   :nowink:

If the dog gets out and attacks cats or small pet mammals, or chases motorbikes etc, it's down to you. There's no hiding place. Also the dog could get knocked down and that would be terrible.  It's no good trying to rationalise with the dog over this debacle as they have no feelings of guilt, unlike us. You have to put it behind you and move on.  Your husband needs to man up and take responsibility.  Maybe a Border is not the dog for him if he wants a quiet life  :(

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barley

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2013, 18:21 »
if it makes you feel any better I looked after mums terrier whilst they went on holiday

I know she will kill wild rabbits etc out here in the country and locked our chooks in safely whilst she was here , but in a split second she managed to squeeze past me at the run and grab a chook  :ohmy:

thankfully she didn't kill it but you will never stop terriers doing what terriers do - they are born ratters & killers

just one word of advice if ever your in the country side farmers will shoot a dog if it attacks livestock - they are perfectly within their rights to do so -

maybe a country life for your dog would not be the answerer

can you put a spring closer on your gate so it shuts behind you ? 

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Oliveview

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2013, 18:38 »
Our neighbours dogs got out and killed loads of chickens, luckily they belonged to his cousin, so the police were not called, it cost him around 250 or more to replace them!

Pamela


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ANHBUC

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2013, 19:16 »
What an awful experience for both your neighbours and you.  It was an accident but if someone with a large dog let it out and it killed your terrier I don't think your husband would be too pleased with the dog owner.  You should be able to train your dog to not leave your house or garden.  It would take a lot of work but well worth it to keep him safe and out of mischief.   :)
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.

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easyonthebrain

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2013, 19:46 »
Training could help but that takes time and patience, for an immediate fix you might consider a radio fence around your property http://www.freedom-fence.co.uk/ Just a thought as there are plenty out there.

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shoozie

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2013, 23:16 »
It doesn't help me feeling that this is all my fault (well, OH's) and that I should be looking at rehoming my dog. Maybe on a farm, a working dog, as a ratter maybe. It would absolutely break my heart to do this as he is a huge part of our lives.

So, not really a question, just sharing a dilemma...  :( :(
Hi Diddy G - If today hadn't happened the way it did, I guess it wouldn't be in your thoughts tonight about rehoming Brodie.  So, please take your time to recover from a traumatic day, and your neighbours, hopefully.

I imagine you'll already have gone through things a thousand times about the chain of events that started the whole thing off and be thinking how to try to minimise that happening again.   

Barley's comment below sums up BT's perfectly I think ....

in a split second

A border underground, facing prey much bigger than them,  can't afford to take a second 'second' to think.  That ability to think independently away from their handler is their greatest strength as a working dog.  And probably their least acceptable trait when living as a pet dog, when they hive off on a mission or with smaller animals next door that they don't distinguish as pets. 

You'll already know all that - much, much better than me right now, as I just have a border pup - but maybe others are less familiar with these wonderful dogs.

Don't beat yourself up about things that are done and you can't undo, and think about what needs to happen next.

Apart from my farming neighbour trying to adopt my dog - she thrives on activity that makes her focus and think, so when she's a little older I'm thinking about investigating agility - or something similar. 

Hope you're ok x

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compostqueen

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2013, 10:31 »
I hope things have calmed down a bit and you can reflect on what's go on and whether you are going to keep the faith with your dog  :)


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Diddy Gardener

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Re: What dogs are bred to do
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2013, 12:08 »
Thanks all for your comments.

Today is a better day, I'm even talking to Brodie again, albeit not using my usual terms of endearment for him.

I don't think hubbie will be leaving the gate open again in a hurry and has been told he needs to be more aware of where Brodie is at all times.

"when they hive off on a mission... "

This is Brodie all over, spends his time with his nose to the ground, his nose knows no boundaries, then when he gets the scent of something really interesting, he's off... which is why when we're out, he spends all his time on the lead, his hunting instinct is sky high  :wacko:





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