Mickey, the neph-dog, is finally out of my MIL's house and back with S's sister and her husband because they got a house that allowed dogs. SIL and BIL have a 10 y/o and a 9 mo/o kiddo. Both work full time. Mickey is 5 and has spent the majority of his life either behind a baby gate in the kitchen, in the back yard on a tie out so they didn't have to search for poop or in his wire crate due to life chaos. In the last year or so, S's dad would let him out of his crate at night and play with him but that's as much interaction as he's really gotten. Mickey never really bonded to SIL, so he's very indendent and is a door bolter. He's bolted 3 times this week so far. BIL believes in punishing Mickey by crating him but Mickey doesn't see the crate as punishment since he's been in it for a good majority of his life. He is also not food motivated. at. all.
Sooooo, given that they will. not. surrender the dog or make time/money for a trainer, give me steps to keep him safe (first and foremost) and, if possible, help teach him to not bolt while keeping some human sanity. It's a long road, I get that and I'm not sure they're completely up for it but I want give them all the tools I can. Mickey is really a lovely dog but just independent because he's had to be, which tells me he's smart enough to not be destructive and is able to self-entertain/soothe. Now this independence is what he knows and what he wants so he bolts.
I realize so many of you are screaming "Surrender the dog!". I am too but odds are really low, at least in the short term. In the meantime I want to keep Mickey safe.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP