Adult ADHD / Pets Gone Wild

Adult ADHD, meet Adult ADHDog

I keep having moments of “oooh, this would be a great blog post” and then getting distracted (ha). So let’s recommence this blogging thing, shall we?

I swear my dog has ADHD. He was nearly untrainable until 18 months of age. He’s actually very bright but (doesn’t this sound familiar) requires lots of reminders and refocusing, and you have to be able to do it FAST or you lose him entirely. Case in point: Generally it’s pretty normal to take a dog out and the dog knows what to do and does his business (our other dog does anyway…and every other dog I have ever known). Nope, not my dog.

He dilly dallies. This is far beyond looking for the right spot. He’s not even looking because he’s not even thinking about going to the bathroom. He’s noticing the air. He’s thinking about if he even wants to be awake. Or he’s really high on life that morning and shoots out the door like a leashed cannonball. He doesn’t like his feet wet, so if the grass is dewy or it’s rained, the potty trip is extended because he just can’t get over it. He just CANNOT.

It can be first thing in the morning and he won’t go to the bathroom because he’s too busy sniffing every square inch of the yard. And so…I have to remind him why he’s out there. He knows the words “poop” and “pee”. So…after I’ve had all I can STAND of the dilly dallying, I’ll look at him and say “Chico, don’t you need to poop, or pee”. He smirks. Yes, he SMIRKS, as if to say “oh…that’s right, I forgot”. And then does what I call the snort. It’s like if a human gave you a really impatient and annoyed “sigh”. You don’t know if he’s annoyed with himself, or with you, but he’s annoyed.

At least for the moment that it takes him to find something else interesting to do. Sometimes after he’s reminded, he’ll putter around and find himself a spot, but that’s only about half the time. If a dog barks in the next yard, or a cat runs by, or a bird makes a noise, or the other dog shuffles by, or he steps on something wet, or he finds a dead worm to roll on, all bets are off.

To give you a visual, if you’re just tuning in – he weighs 6 lbs. And he owns me. He could have been easily eaten as an hors d’oeuvre by a less understanding human. I’ve visualized those little drumsticks on a plate, with a nice sauce, many times – usually on a really early morning where I actually have to be somewhere on time and I’m standing there watching him discover every blade of grass like it’s the first one he’s ever seen.

It’s gotten a little better as he’s aged, and he’s four now…but he totally has Adult ADHDog. We need canine stimulant medication. I smell a pharmaceutical revolution. And it can’t come fast enough, because the “OMG MY FEET ARE WET” thing just about puts me over the edge (normally that’s first thing in the morning and my own meds may not have kicked in yet).

Snort.

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7 thoughts on “Adult ADHD, meet Adult ADHDog

  1. You could be on to something here. I ought my son a book called All Dogs Have ADHD. It’s lots of photos of frolicking dogs looking wild and having fun getting feet wet and bounding madly, and some rather lame text trying to marry the dog with some symptom. My ADHDer loves it tho. Dogs can get away with it tho, no meds needed…

  2. If you have two dogs, they will occupy opposite poles, as if they are a magnet and have to be opposites. After we got our second dog, who is very sharp, very sheet, vigilant, and misses nothing in whatever environment she is in, the first dog became more of what he’d been, and is now what I call Ferdinand. He’s dreamy. He goes out to pee and he sniffs his way across the lawn, might pee, or not, and on the way back to the house – for breakfast! – pauses at every blade of grass, sniffs under the lip of the steps going into the house… You get the picture. We are hosting Kevin Behan, founder of Natural Dog Training, this week at our farm (and ten others, and eight or so dogs), and he verifies this is universally true. On a hypothetical circle, two dogs will, behaviorally, occupy a spot 180° from each other. Three dogs’ behavior will be 120° from each other. It’s remarkable.

    • That’s very interesting. Well we are usually a two dog house. Our dogs indeed, occupy their own space, except when they’re feeling like they need to compete with one another, in which case they crowd right in and jostle each other around (which is funny because of course one of them weighs 8 lbs and the other weighs 50 lbs). We are sometimes a three dog house when my mother’s dog comes to stay over. They do stake out their own spots – I prefer three dogs to two though, just on a practical level (though I can’t afford another dog right now). I find that three dogs, for whatever reason, seem to be easier to manage than two. With two, they are two solo dogs, but with three, it seems like they start to act like a pack. (I love it that you have the dog trainer staying at your farm, that sounds like fun!)

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