My Dog is Bored…


Our golden retriever, Tackle, gets what the vet calls “hot spots” on his skin. They are sores, usually on his front paws, that he licks continuously until all the hair is gone.  I won’t go into details…it is pretty gross.  Usually, we can put some medicine on them, along with a lamp-shade type doggy collar to keep him from licking until the spot heals. 

This winter, Tackle has had these spots continuously.  We have tried a lot of different tests and medicines (expensive) to no avail.  Either he wears the lamp-shade, or he licks.  There is no in-between.  The vet has two final suggestions…doggy anti-depressants or get another dog to keep him entertained. 

I’m against both.  Not that it really matters…I only get my way when death is on the line.  The vet thinks he’s bored.  I’ve always maintained he is too stupid to get bored.  We will  try the pills and give him some more play-dates with his doggy buddies. 

Are two dogs twice the trouble?  I’ve never had more than one at a time.    


13 Responses to My Dog is Bored…

  1. Kevin Yoong says:


    I found a Labrador roaming around my housing area a couple of years back. The real owner came 3 months later but since he feels the Lab looks so happy with us, he gave it us. Ralphie has been living with us ever since.

    About 2 weeks back, I bought a Beagle. It’s over a year old when I bought him (both are boys – as I do not want to mix the breeds).

    My initial idea was to keep Ralphie “exercised”. You see, Ralphie sleeps all day long and the only exercise he gets is 2 walks daily (about 20-30 minutes) each and some tug-of-war with me in the frontyard. Even with the walks and games, he is ‘large’ – 45kgs, though he only eats about 350grams of food a day.

    As for looking after 2 dogs, it is frustrating if one of them is a Beagle. My Beagle roams all over the place, picks things up from the ground and is easily distracted – sending him to obedience training. Labs are obedient and very trainable. I think so are Golden Retrievers.

    So if you need to get another dog, go ahead. Unless it’s a Beagle, its not really twice the work or trouble.

  2. Pupster says:

    Thanks Kevin.

    I like BIG dogs (like Labs), so a Beagle was never a consideration.

    Although I’ve heard you can trade them for beer.

  3. kevlarchick says:

    pups, two dogs aren’t much different than one. Really. We’ve had three at a time at one point. They played together a lot and wore each other out.

    And the antidepressant/anxiety pills work very well. Our old heeler took them for aggression and they absolutely leveled her out.

    Or, commit to walking him more and playing with him more. Dogs are pack animals and need interaction.

  4. Pupster says:

    Thanks KC.

    I’m not buying the lack of interaction angle, he gets more attention than me.


  5. kevlarchick says:

    “of all the souls I’ve known, Tackle’s was the most…human.”

    – Capt. James T. Kirk

  6. S. Weasel says:

    I’m a one-pet-at-a-time person, too. When I accidentally inherited a second cat this year, I thought it might do my cat good to have some company.

    Oh, but she hates his guts with an incandescent white-hot loathing.

    But that’s cats. Dogs are probably different (once they get the whole alpha thing settled).

  7. Dave in Texas says:

    I’d rather slam the trunk lid on my dick than get another damn beagle.

    Did I say that out loud? What I meant was “hey pups, you want a beagle”?

  8. skinbad says:

    My only experience with this is from when we watched a friend’s lab for a few months while he was getting housing issues straightened out. We have a small boxer who is spry but middle-aged. The lab was about 8 months old and huge. She was a weapon of mass destruction for the yard and anything she could find in it. Our dog certainly got more exercise with the lab around, but it was mostly from trying to defend itself from becoming a chew toy. The lab had a sweet temperment but she WOULD NOT STOP. If I was ever to add a second, it wouldn’t be a pup.

  9. Pupster says:

    Beagles are O-U-T out!

    I adopted a black lab when I was a teenager. He was a former guide dog and an OK pet, but he would lose his mind if he heard fireworks, gunfire, or loud thunder and go on a fearful rampage and destroy anything he could get his mouth around. No fun around hunting season, 4th of July, or during a thunderstorm. He just went crazy.

    I’ve already said “Read my lips… NO NEW DOG”, but my wife is cruising around the internet, looking at dog rescue and shelter pages, and has read a few of the descriptions out loud to me. *sigh*

  10. skinbad says:

    What’s that smell? Oh yes. That’s placation.

    Good luck.

  11. Pupster says:

    It’s a plot I tells ya.

  12. Rev. Bill says:

    Two dogs is not only twice the trouble but also twice the expense. You have to think the worst and realize that there is a distinct possibility that both dogs will want to lick themselves silly (especially two boy dogs) and then the new dog might decide not to lick hotspots on his own hairy body but help the first one when he has the lamp shade on. Just something to think about and throw into the mix here.

  13. Fuzzy Threads…

    […]My Dog is Bored… « Pupster[…]…

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