Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this and for the advice.
My main thing right now is not so much in arguing the 'alpha' issue but in my concern that he is crated for too long- mentally yes that is going to affect him, but furthermore I'm concerned for his health and that is why I think he needs to be placed elsewhere.
I'll have to mention the dog walker again. She actually told me she thought that dogs could hold it as many months as they were old.... I had to explain that it's typically true for crating a young puppy, to add a month but that ends after 8-9 hours... and such and such yadda, yadda.... I explained these things to her back when we spoke and she was ready to give him up.
Will she read stuff? Maybe you can find some authoritative website, brochure, etc (something short and not too obviously “you’re doing it all wrong”!) which addresses the places where you think she is going wrong. So she’s not just hearing it from you...but from somebody “official”.
Tell her you figure she already knows the stuff, but that you liked it and learned some new stuff yourself from the info???
Thanks mel, that is the kind of stuff I'm looking for. I'm sifting through my resources list trying to find things regarding the other side of the argument with the 'alpha, followers, hierarchy'.
She actually said "I finally figured out why he's peeing in the kennel or on the floor. It took a lot of research of alpha dogs and their obedience the peeing is him asserting his dominance and not wanting to listen or comply. [...] been excruciatingly overwhelming not knowing exactly what I have and all that entails to keep him as a follower and not an alpha.
I don't know what information she has been looking through but I'm worried about his health being crated 10+ hours a day. I hate to sound like a downer, and those of you who've 'known' me on here are aware I'm not the first to consider a re-home, but, I think this is what is best for them both.
She thinks, somehow that she has figured out the answer--dominance! Well, from your description and my experience with herding dogs she's wrong.
Heelers are tough, hard wired dogs (that's about the biting)--herding dogs make their living with their mouths and it took much longer to teach my Australian Shepherd puppy to not bite, nip or mouth than it did any of the Doberman puppies. But it still took me only about a month (Dobes take me about a week)--so for a heeler to still be biting at 14 months is about training and not dominance.
This, Dobebug. Exactly what I had in mind when she describes him.
The urination--you and I both think he's being crated for too long each day and that can cause problems--if it were my dog I'd also contact several breeders and ask if heelers have a problem with crystal or stone formation (and I'd do that specifically because I have a foggy recollection of having read, maybe, something about stone formation in Heelers).
Yeah I'd like to have him vetted again and more thoroughly.
A rehome with someone knowledgable about Heelers would be the obvious solution but I don't think you will convince her.
Why on earth does she want to keep him if he's such an unsatisfactory dog in her opinion.
I have no idea. She seems very disillusioned. If this gives you any idea: she actually told me she believed he was part dingo. She showed me a photo of him at 5 weeks when she got him (and that photo looked very much
like a puppy of 7-8 weeks) She also showed me a more recent photo. He looks like a red Heeler.
I wonder if his vet knows how long he is crated each day; that might affect his diagnosis and recommendations to her.....except I don’t think there’s any way you can reach out to him to tell him she needs some counseling.
Probably does not know. I'm going to try and talk to her about having him see the vet again for crystals and such. I'd imagine that him attempting to hold it is causing him problems and making the peeing issue worse. If anyone has any concrete information/links about urinary conditions (aside from UTI) that he could be experiencing- that I could pass along to her that would be helpful!
Sounds like a chocolate mess. I love the advice from Dobebug’s husband, “Never try to tell someone something they already know.” I’m putting that up on the frig! It meshes perfectly with my favorite mantra for things like this: You can’t reason with an unreasonable person. Poor dog...
Good luck with this one, Bleh.
One last thing - Maybe your friend can fence in a big area - to let him work in - keeping a Aussie or Heeler in a pin for 8 to 10 hours a day - In my book - IS animal cruelty - But - that's just my thinking .
Yeah, if she is not going to have a walker come in, then doubt she will build an exterior, safe area for him to stay during the day. On a side note, he did come from an unregistered litter in Indiana.
Bleh...if you find a way to get through to this person, let us know. Might be a helpful technique to know.