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New dog, 1 yr old Bernese, some issues...

jackacc
October 12th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Hello everyone,

My wife and I just bought our 1st house and have talked about getting a dog to take advantage of our fenced in backyard. Out of nowhere, a friend of mine told me a guy he works with had a Bernese Mtn dog he had to give up due to a new job that required travel. We picked her up this past Sunday and she really is a sweetheart. However she has a few quirks I want to work on.

1. Bites at the leash when I walk her. I have been trying to take it from her mouth and continue then give her pup corn when she walks normally. However, sometimes I am down the street in front of my neighbors house looking like I have a monkey on a leash, she gets out of hand with the tug of war. Gentle leader maybe? If I use the GL, will I eventually be able to go back to a regular leash? I tried spraying bitter apple on the leash but she still bit at it.

2. Destroying things when left unsupervised during the day. I left her in the kitchen and she crawled out of her gate and chewed up magazines, books, and floormats... We are afraid the couch or the tv stand is next... :sad:

3. Peeing and pooping on the floor. She peed right in front of me yesterday 2 feet from the back door we let her out! :rolleyes: I pulled her right outside and told her NO. I always treat her when she goes to the bathroom outside. I left her for 20 mins an hour or 2 after that and she pooped on the floor right next to the pee. She peed again last night while I was sleeping. She left our bedroom and peed in the hallway. It is very possible she smells the last owners dogs (they had 2 bernese and 1 german shep) But she peed 2 times on our brand new carpet yesterday too...?? Is she just adapting to the new place? How can I help her stop?

Problem is my wife and I are out from 8:30 in the morning until 5pm. I really want to be able to trust her in the house but I am having doubts about leaving her that long without limiting her. We are up at 5:30 with her and spend every waking minute by her side (and vice versa) she is very attached to us. I'd hate to have to crate her. Right now we leave her gated into the kitchen with wood floors when we leave. When we are here, we give her more of the house to live in.

We feed her at 6:30 when we are back from our walk, then take her out right b4 we leave. Then again at 6 at night. Maybe feeding her earlier to give her time to digest then eliminate? :confused:

It is our first dog (aside from our family's dogs growing up) so we are newbies at this. We want to make sure she is happy and ok, but we also can't afford new carpet and furniture :)

She came from a breeder that was training her to be a showdog (supposedly) :rolleyes: and the prev owners only had her for 3-4 months. She is a little skittish with strangers at 1st but warms right up in a couple minutes. Gets along great with other dogs and she and our cat.. uhh..."cohabitate" but the cat is not happy.

Sorry for the long post. I am just a new wide eyed dog owner that wants to do the right thing. I think she has so much potential.

Thanks!

jackacc
October 12th, 2005, 01:10 PM
Arrghh... I came home from work early today to spend some time with her and see how she was doing... She was great for the 3 hours I left her... no mess, no damage...(gated to the kitchen)

I took her out, she peed, then I brought her in, (let her have the family room to roam too) went out to the garage for 15 minutes, come in and she peed on the carpet again (same spot) I guess I need some of that natures miracle and a steam cleaner huh?

I don't get it... This was a brand new carpet, I don't know whay she would have peed there in the 1st place. But her last 3 accidents (pee and poop) have been within 1 foot of the same spot.

Rottielover
October 12th, 2005, 01:13 PM
Take her to urine to the vet, sounds very much like a UTI?. Also is she spayed. If not, I would reccomend you do it...Better for her long time health

jackacc
October 12th, 2005, 02:54 PM
We have a vet appt this saturday morning so he is going to take a good look at her and make sure she is tip top. Hopefully no UTI. I am hoping she is just out of her routine since this was a big change for her. She was just spayed last week actually too. I don't know if that would affect her behavior?

jackacc
October 13th, 2005, 06:07 AM
Yaay, she made it through the night last night!! I took the advice of a few other posts I read here and took the water bowl away by 9pm and took her out at 10 before bed and did not come in until she peed. So far so good!

Now if she would just adjust to our schedule :) Her prev family woke up at 5! So now we are up at 5 as well, haha. I am just happy she didn't wet the rug last night... hopefully it will last!

StaceyB
October 13th, 2005, 07:57 AM
If the previous home owners dogs had accidents throughout the home on top of a new home, new people, routine can all explain your troubles with potty training. If urine had soaked into the floor boards under the new carpet the smell would still be there. I would pick up a black light to find all the areas in the home that need to be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner. If the majoity are old spots I would treat each individual spot. Steam cleaners tend to spread it out into a larger area.
Even though she is a year old doesn't mean that anyone really took the time to train her. You may need to start from scratch. Don't give her freedom in the home until she is ready. For her basic manners and cues I would enroll her into a training class.

BMDLuver
October 13th, 2005, 08:48 AM
Berners are very bright dogs. They have difficulty adjusting to a change in home as they can be extremely loyal to their family. I have had several come through rescue now and each one has had a good month to get into the routine, become comfortable and be less velcro. They are fantastic dogs and once she has become settled you'll look back and say wonder how I ever lived without a Berner in my home! :D

jackacc
October 13th, 2005, 10:19 AM
Yes StaceyB, the prev homeowners dogs more than likely explain why she is peeing on the rugs. She has yet to pee on the wood floors yet. I will get a black light tonight and start the hunt! I'm glad you told me about the steam cleaner, I was about to buy one today! I'll just use natures miracle.

Yeah she has been bounced around a bit for a 1 year old, between the breeder for 8-9 months, then the previous owners, then us. We are really trying to make her feel the praise when she goes outside or when she doesn't pee when we leave her alone. And we are going to enroll in Petsmart basic classes in a couple weeks when schedules permit.

BMDLuver, yes she is soooo attached to us (like velcro) haha... Everywhere we go, she has to go! She never takes her eyes off us! It is so cute (although sometimes hard when I am trying to put my sneakers on in the morning and she decides to use me as a jungle gym, haha) We feel so lucky to have ended up with her especially since we could have never afforded one if we hadn't rescued and (although we love all dogs) they are our absolute favorite dog! This weekend she meets our good friends Saint Bernard, hopefully they'll be lifelong buddies! She has been excellent with all the other dogs we have brought her around too! (a little skittish with new people but 5 minutes and she's licking their hands)

BMDLuver
October 13th, 2005, 11:25 AM
So........ Photos Please!!!! :D It is a prerequisite you know. ;)

jackacc
October 13th, 2005, 01:49 PM
So........ Photos Please!!!! :D It is a prerequisite you know. ;)

What was I thinking! Here are a few on a web page of my wife, Jinx and I. (sorry for bad quality, the batteries were dying)

http://www.jacktevnan.com/jinx.htm

Rottielover
October 13th, 2005, 02:39 PM
A very pretty girl, I do not know why she was tossed around so much :(

BMDLuver
October 13th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Oh she's lovely! Thanks so much for sharing her photos. :thumbs up

jackacc
October 13th, 2005, 09:07 PM
Thanks!! We love her!

Well the story is that the breeder had plans to show her but she was skittish with the judges so she wound up selling her to the people we received her from.

These people were great and the whole family cried when we left with her. But there was a divorce situation and a change of jobs so noone was there for more than 10-11 hours a day sometimes. They just wanted her to go to a good home. We feel bad that we are usually gone 8 hours a day during the week but we make it up to her when we are home. And she sleeps on the floor next to the bed so she gets to at least be near us at night.

I think she is a happy with us. She took to us instantly. We went to Petsmart tonight with her to get some new toys (some natures miracle) and sign up for beginners classes! She definately draws a crowd!

dogbyte40
October 14th, 2005, 10:59 AM
:) Start with your biggest issue first, perhaps the one that will eventually cost you money..Chewing. I think crating her may help with a few of her issues, I understand she is confined to one room however, It sounds like she may have some seperation anxiety(cant spell) and the crate will save your possessions and keep her from chewing up somthing and getting a blockage. :clown: Hello everyone,

My wife and I just bought our 1st house and have talked about getting a dog to take advantage of our fenced in backyard. Out of nowhere, a friend of mine told me a guy he works with had a Bernese Mtn dog he had to give up due to a new job that required travel. We picked her up this past Sunday and she really is a sweetheart. However she has a few quirks I want to work on.

1. Bites at the leash when I walk her. I have been trying to take it from her mouth and continue then give her pup corn when she walks normally. However, sometimes I am down the street in front of my neighbors house looking like I have a monkey on a leash, she gets out of hand with the tug of war. Gentle leader maybe? If I use the GL, will I eventually be able to go back to a regular leash? I tried spraying bitter apple on the leash but she still bit at it.

2. Destroying things when left unsupervised during the day. I left her in the kitchen and she crawled out of her gate and chewed up magazines, books, and floormats... We are afraid the couch or the tv stand is next... :sad:

3. Peeing and pooping on the floor. She peed right in front of me yesterday 2 feet from the back door we let her out! :rolleyes: I pulled her right outside and told her NO. I always treat her when she goes to the bathroom outside. I left her for 20 mins an hour or 2 after that and she pooped on the floor right next to the pee. She peed again last night while I was sleeping. She left our bedroom and peed in the hallway. It is very possible she smells the last owners dogs (they had 2 bernese and 1 german shep) But she peed 2 times on our brand new carpet yesterday too...?? Is she just adapting to the new place? How can I help her stop?

Problem is my wife and I are out from 8:30 in the morning until 5pm. I really want to be able to trust her in the house but I am having doubts about leaving her that long without limiting her. We are up at 5:30 with her and spend every waking minute by her side (and vice versa) she is very attached to us. I'd hate to have to crate her. Right now we leave her gated into the kitchen with wood floors when we leave. When we are here, we give her more of the house to live in.

We feed her at 6:30 when we are back from our walk, then take her out right b4 we leave. Then again at 6 at night. Maybe feeding her earlier to give her time to digest then eliminate? :confused:

It is our first dog (aside from our family's dogs growing up) so we are newbies at this. We want to make sure she is happy and ok, but we also can't afford new carpet and furniture :)

She came from a breeder that was training her to be a showdog (supposedly) :rolleyes: and the prev owners only had her for 3-4 months. She is a little skittish with strangers at 1st but warms right up in a couple minutes. Gets along great with other dogs and she and our cat.. uhh..."cohabitate" but the cat is not happy.

Sorry for the long post. I am just a new wide eyed dog owner that wants to do the right thing. I think she has so much potential.

Thanks!

goldengal
October 14th, 2005, 12:22 PM
My 14 month old Golden, Montana, and I live in my daughter and SIL's home. They have a 19 month old Berner, Louie, who is just the most laid back dog I have ever seen. He is wonderful and has been since I brought Montana home when he was 8 months and she was 2 months. Unfortunately, because he was so easy going, he let Montana away with a lot which is now causing problems. We have a 3 month old Leonberger puppy (my daughter's also) who arrived a month ago, and wow, is she different from the Berner - definitely NOT laid back.

doggy lover
October 14th, 2005, 04:06 PM
Oh what a beautiful dog, congrats. BMDluver and I have a soft spot for these dogs. It sounds like she is just trying to adjust, give her some time to settle in. As BMDluver said these are very smart dogs, and VERY family dependent, which they have a hard time adjusting to a new one, she is still young so she should settle in ok. Get some books from the library or get dog training for dumbies it is not too bad. Good luck with your new pup and keep us updated with how she is doing and oh yeah lots of pics...........

Mills.val
October 16th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Wow!! what a beauty!!!! thanks for sharing her with us.

_gemini_
October 21st, 2005, 09:13 PM
Here's my two cents worth. :) Forgive me, but I haven't quited figured out the "quoting" thing yet.

1. Bites at the leash when I walk her. I have been trying to take it from her mouth and continue then give her pup corn when she walks normally. However, sometimes I am down the street in front of my neighbors house looking like I have a monkey on a leash, she gets out of hand with the tug of war. Gentle leader maybe? If I use the GL, will I eventually be able to go back to a regular leash? I tried spraying bitter apple on the leash but she still bit at it.

Patience is the key here. You won't find a quick fix, and most likely you'll be working at this for a while - some dogs "get it" a whole lot sooner than others. I'd definitely give a gentle leader or halti a try. In most cases I've had experience with, or have heard of, you shouldn't have a problem using another walking aid in the future. There are plently of exercises that you could use here, but you've mentioned taking her to training classes - be sure that these classes include "loose leash walking" or equivalent.

2. Destroying things when left unsupervised during the day. I left her in the kitchen and she crawled out of her gate and chewed up magazines, books, and floormats... We are afraid the couch or the tv stand is next... 3. Peeing and pooping on the floor. She peed right in front of me yesterday 2 feet from the back door we let her out! I pulled her right outside and told her NO. I always treat her when she goes to the bathroom outside. I left her for 20 mins an hour or 2 after that and she pooped on the floor right next to the pee. She peed again last night while I was sleeping. She left our bedroom and peed in the hallway. It is very possible she smells the last owners dogs (they had 2 bernese and 1 german shep) But she peed 2 times on our brand new carpet yesterday too...?? Is she just adapting to the new place? How can I help her stop?

First I'd have to say take the time to make sure all signs of odor are eliminated. Next, I'd definitely suggest that you look into crating her. It will not only protect her from getting into mischief and harmful things, but it will also protect your own personal surroundings! Crating her will also provide you with the opportunity to fully manage her. ie, take her from her crate to the area where she is to eliminate. Make sure that you're giving her enough time to do this outside as well. Dogs may urinate quickly, but number two takes a little longer. :) Until you are absolutely sure (or close enough) that she will provide you with the correct behavior when left alone, do not give her the opportunity to be unsupervised - this includes at night. She needs to learn how to behave first - what is acceptable and what is not.

Also, in another post you mentioned that she sticks to you like glue sort of thing. Although this may be cute, it could be leading to more problems down the road. As much as you may want to spend every available minute with her, and as cute as she is, I'd advise against it. You want to teach her that there are times when you will not be available to her, when she needs to learn how to "settle" on her own and entertain herself (with appopriate toys). This will help prevent her from developing separation anxiety in the future, and also give you the space when needed.

Hope this helps.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
October 21st, 2005, 09:32 PM
She is beautiful I love Bernese Mountain dogs........By the way I do like your new house too. :D

Bearsmom
October 22nd, 2005, 06:18 AM
Congratulations on your new addition, she's just absolutely gorgeous!!!!

Take some time and read through the training section on this bulletin board, we have our own special "wild child" in our house, and I gained a ton of valuable advice from those threads.

If I may offer some suggestions:

1. Definitely get a crate, it becomes the dogs safe haven, and since dogs hate to eliminate in their dens, chances are she'll hold it a bit longer. I myself hated the idea of a crate, but it really helped us with housebreaking Kaos (our youngest dog). He's still not allowed to roam free when we're not home until he proves he can be trusted. They do have extra large breed crates available.

2. Since it sounds like you've got a pretty steady work schedule, it should be fairly easy to housebreak her (it sounds to me like she's not housebroken). Are you going outside with her and staying with her until she pees or poos? It may seem tedious, but praise the heck outta her when she goes outside. If she does have an accident in the house, put her outside as soon as she goes inside, that way she can start to relate that peeing belongs outside.

3. If you can, please try to stay away from petsmart training(now this is a personal opinion). We took Kaos there, and I found that it was all treat based training, and we wound up with a puppy that wouldn't do anything without a treat (which I hate). Look into obedience schools in your area (I'd recommend my trainer, but he's probably a good 12 hour drive from where you are hahhaha).

Keep us posted, she's a beaut!

Tracey F
October 28th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Congrats on such a beautiful Berner girl! :thumbs up

Ok Here is my 2 cents worth.. :D

I have already experienced these wonderful quirks with my berner pups, and although we are generally well behaved, we definitley have our moments.

1 for the leash biting, might you consider a balanced leash? Or even a harness leash as an alternative. A Balanced leash (although timely to put on, but used when you are training on walks) works awesome with the berners, since they are such powerhouses to pull. this style uses a double clip lead, a harness and a gentle leader (this would all be temporary until she gets it in her head to not chew, and B be good on leash).. hook on clip to the harness and the other to the halter.. whenever you need her focus on you give little pressure on the halter, when you want her to slow down, stick beside you put pressure on the harness.. This is so gentle and easy my 3 year old neighbour can walk my full grown male using this method. This will also help with the skittishness, my male berner lost all confidence in strangers after he was attacked by another dog, by giving more control to you she will feel much more confident in others come up to greet her.

As for the paper destruction, welcome to life with a Berner, they most likely will not go for your furniture or what not, but they will tear and shred every last inch of a newspaper, bills, and your favourite house plan magazine :rolleyes: my pupheads will even sneak into the closet if its left open and help themselves to a fresh roll of paper towel.. oh WHAT FUN! I have totally given in on this obsession at this point and started to leave my community or old newspaper out for my Bryans tearing pleasure during our absences... as soon as I started giving it to him.. he left it alone.. go figure :rolleyes: As for the gate I hope it lasts and works for you, We had started with Bryan in a crate, to which he soon learned to work the mechanism to open it, I will never feel right locking a crate, so we moved him to the kitchen, he would climb the gate and go where he pleased, we then decided the bathroom, but the ecoustics for his yodelling practices were just perfect, we even tried to give him company with a radio going, myneighbours started asking me when Bryan was going to be on Canadian Idol he had been practising so much (apparently he really likes Celine Dion :rolleyes: ) Not to mention he would climb the toilet and try to reach the window for escape (the scratch marks are there to remind us), eventually we puppy proofed the whole house and we restrict access to most rooms except the main floor and bedroom. Finally we gave in and got a second Berner, Bryan is much happier during our absence now. As for the peeing and pooping I wish I could help, Bryan was a year when he finally gave that up. Kaycee is still learning and covering Bryans tracks :rolleyes: there is a product called proxy from the swish store that does get the stains and smell out.. I always have 2 bottles.

As for the velcro, she will relax in time and not be your shadow 24/7, however if your outside she will want to be outside, if your inside she will not want to be outside.. if your sitting on the couch.. she will want.. well you know.

Good luck with her, keep us posted on her progress!