I know some of you just can't stand that fluffy new puppy who adores you, and want to get rid of her as soon as possible. If you can't find anyone to take this cute bundle of fur, here's how you can at least make sure she doesn't live out her natural life. Unfortunately, most of these also make your neighbors mad at you, but whatever.
Now, if you're one of those *crazy* people who just wants to keep their dog safe and happy, do the opposite of the suggestions below. 😉
Don't socialize your puppy with people, other dogs, new places, etc.Socialized dogs are less likely to become fearful or aggressive with strangers or other dogs. If your dog bites or growls, you're going to find it easier to put her to sleep. So make sure you avoid the big targets of aggression when your dog is young, so that she'll be surprised and scared when she's older - kids of all ages, people with packages/canes/hats/etc., and other dogs.Fears piles up and lead to a bite. For example, being scared of noises, surfaces, and objects like the vacuum cleaner can also help her bite a child, because she's already a bit nervous. So make sure she's not exposed to those while she's a puppy, either. The time you have to watch out for is through about 12 weeks, but to be on the safe side, avoid them for the first 16 weeks of your puppy's life, when she learns most quickly.
If you *do* expose her to new things, make sure it's over her comfort zone to freak her out. Whatever you do, don't give her treats around these new things, or she might learn to like them.If you really must do puppy class for some reason, try to find a puppy kindergarten that makes you wait until all of your puppy's vaccinations are complete, and only does obedience, not socialization. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists says that with a good program, puppies should start school 7 days after their first set of shots (distemper, parvo, etc.) You don't want a good puppy training program, so wait until you can find that perfect class that doesn't socialize the puppies at a young age, or you might end up with a well-socialized dog.At the very least, make sure you don't do any puppy class homework by socializing out in the world, and try to find a program where you can only go once a week, or again, you run the risk of socializing your dog and giving him a longer life.
- Feed your dog so much that you can't find the ribs. Obese dogs die almost a year sooner than dogs on the slender end of the spectrum. So plump him up! You shouldn't be able to feel the ribs or see a waist. Here's how to tell you've successfully fattened up your dog:Make a fist with your left hand. Run your right hand over the knuckles, the base of the fingers, and the back of your left hand. If you feel your dog's ribs and it feels like the knuckles, the dog is too thin. That's way in the wrong direction. If your dog's ribs feel like the base of the fingers, that's a 'normal' weight. To make your dog obese so you can get rid of him sooner, you want the ribs to feel like the back of your hand. Like no ribs at all. Here's more info on how to tell if your dog is fat.
- Don't vaccinate your dogs. Diseases like Parvo and Distemper make for a painful death. If you want to get rid of your dog before you even have a chance to fall in love with her, avoid vaccinations. Some people say you can also help by going the other way and *over-vaccinating* - that's definitely a much slower way to go about it, though.Going to puppy class after your first set isn't enough - they usually keep those darn places clean. But if you skip the shots altogether or, say, go to the dog park, you're on your way to getting rid of that puppy.
- Don't teach your dog to come when called. When your dog gets near something dangerous or runs toward another dog that's on leash most people expect you to call your dog.Now, you can always just not call your dog away from danger, but then you look like a bad owner. Just don't train a command that means your dog should come right away. That way, you can shout, "Fido, Come!" and there's no risk of him coming back to you, away from danger.Or only train him to come in the house, so you get the convenience of having him come to you when you need him at home, but not the unfortunate safety aspect of being able to call your dog outside. You could also train your dog that Come means "run away" by calling him for bath times, nail trimming, etc.
- Walk your dog off leash and let him run up to other dogs, especially on-leash dogs. This is my personal favorite, though it will definitely make your neighbors mad. Some of them will catch on and start avoiding your house altogether. If you don't want to make your immediate neighbors mad, just take your dog to the park (not a dog park, a regular, unfenced park) and let him run up to other dogs.Dogs that are on leash will be particularly upset by your dog approaching, so let your dog run up to as many on-leash dogs as you can.
As your dog crosses the street to say hello to a dog with a worried human, simply shout, "Don't worry, he's friendly!" This is an excellent way for your dog to get in a dog fight or get hit by a car, so we highly recommend it for people who want to shorten their dog's life.Heck, maybe even the other person is hoping you'll end their dog's life, too, so definitely let your dog run over and start a fight. If your dog is the one to snap first, be sure to say something like, "She's never done this before," whether it's true or not.If your dog does manage to avoid the cars, and just gets injured in a fight, your dog is more likely to be aggressive next time. Then you'll be able to put her to sleep with a clear conscience.
- Walk your dog off leash on a busy street. It's especially helpful to not train your dog to stay with you, but this will work eventually, whether you have trained your dog or not. You get to imagine the envy of other people see you with your off leash dog, so that's cool. You also can allow your dog to run up to other dogs, as I mentioned before. But the busy street is perfect because she's even more likely to get hit by a car.One day, a horn might honk at the same time a bicycle and a skateboard whiz past. A squirrel runs into the street and your dog, trained or not, has had enough. Then bam. Your 'how to get rid of the dog' problem is solved.
- When you see a behavior problem, especially fear, biting, or growling, either ignore it or punish the dog. There are lots of small warning signs that are easy to ignore. So don't bother learning about dog body language, and you get to automatically ignore them - stiffening near the food bowl, staring a little too hard at another dog, a high tail, a quick freeze, avoiding something scary. But when it gets to overt growling or biting, it's harder to ignore. You'll have to come up with some way to explain why you didn't do anything about the biting, like justifying the dog's actions - "he was just nervous with all of those people, that's all."Or if you're not the type to ignore, you can always punish your dog's warning signs. When he growls or snaps in the air, pop him with the leash, so that he never growls again. The beauty of it is that now he still feels upset, he just won't show it, because it's not safe. So instead of warning the child with a low growl, the dog is likely to actually bite.
The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Science has released a pilot study that found that 1/4 of dogs trained with punishment/pinning/growling were likely to respond with aggression, versus almost no aggressive behavior that resulted from methods like the ones used at Ahimsa. So go for the correction approach, so you at least have a good chance of making the aggression stronger.
- Leave your dog in the yard, unsupervised. Dogs that are tied up are dangerous. In 2008, 9% of dog-bite fatalities involved chained dogs and 78% of the human fatalities were by dogs in their own yard. So definitely leave your dog alone in the yard, to give your dog a better chance at biting and thus shortening his life.
So that's it. There are other ways, like fencing your yard but leaving the gate off, taking your dog who is afraid or gets in fights to the dog park, not teaching your dog to wait at doors, walking your dog off leash without putting them back on when you see other dogs or bears (or haven't trained your dog to come), or taking your dog to the fireworks display. Get creative, and I'm sure you'll find more ideas to shorten your dog's life.
If, on the other hand, you are like me and want your dog to live a long, happy, safe life, along with not endangering your neighbors, please avoid all of the above!
Any more ideas? Leave a comment!