Sorry in advance for the long post. I'll break it down a bit!
My parents are going away from August-November for work. They asked my husband and I to watch their 2 dogs. We have our own Jack Russell, Dexter. In Sept I will be back in school full time, and working part time on the side. Here's a bit about each dog.
Dexter- neutered male JRT, 10yrs old. We adopted him from the shelter, and he is a sweet, timid, sometimes hyper JRT, Amazing dog!
Russ- neutered male JRT, 11 years old. (Only owned him for 1 year) Adopted. Sweet dog most of the time, but gets kind of neurotic.. when you pet him or walk in to a room where my mom or dad are, he starts growling like he's going to bite your face off. Once he stops growling then he starts crying like he's stressed out. Extremely high energy and always needs to be playing with or chewing on something. I love him but he growling and territorial issues worry me, but has never bitten a person.
Joe- neutered male Shepherd/Lab mix, 6 yrs old. (Adopted as a puppy) Sweetest boy in the world, extremely laid back and loves everyone.
I absolutely love both of their dogs. My only concerns are watching them for 4 months, (3 of which I am in school and the dogs will be alone during the day) We live in an apartment in town. Dexter is very quiet during the day. Joe and Russ are used to living their whole lives in the country where it's quiet. I am worried of them barking and barking and driving our neighbors nuts. On Dexter we have used a spray collar (sprays citronella when they bark and they don't like the smell) which has completely trained him out of barking while we were away. (We were getting complaints of him barking)
What are some suggestions to use while we are away that will help prevent the other 2 from barking. Use the citronella collar as well? I think Russ will be the instigator for barking and the other 2 will bark along as well.
My second concern: Last night we were visiting my parents and their dogs with our dog Dexter. Dexter was in the corner looking at something when Russ noticed and instantly came over to check it out as well. Russ started growling automatically at Dexter and I knew trouble was coming when Dexter backed out of the corner. As soon as he turned around and saw Russ in his face, he growled back and Russ bit his head, trying to put his whole head inside his mouth which gave Dexter a cut right above his eye. Dexter then grabbed him by the throat and would NOT let go, he was holding on incredibly tight. After about a minute we finally got them apart, luckily my dog did not give him any puncture wounds. Joe, (the shepherd/lab) could care less and took this time to snoop through the garbage can lol.
I am very very concerned about this happening while we are away at work or school. I also can't have the neighbors hearing constant barking which is something else I'm concerned about. My parents have tried and tried to find people to watch the dogs but we are the only people able to at this point.
I feel incredibly guilty but I've looked in to places to board Russ for the 4 months but I know that's not going to be possible as rates are up to $3000 for that length of time. I know Joe is not going to be a problem at all, it's Russ and Dexter that I am concerned about - fighting, barking, etc.
Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated. I don't know if its crazy to take in 2 more dogs for 4 months, it is a big responsibility while I am so busy but I love these dogs and they need a place to stay.