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At my wits end! Any suggestions would be great.

Starliight
January 26th, 2006, 02:08 AM
Hi all, I am new to your community, and in desperate need of advise. I moved in with my boyfriend a few months ago, and he has a pit bull/akita female dog who is about 3 years old. She is absolutley out of control and will not respond to any sort of discipline we have given her thus far. She has always been a "bad" dog from what he told me about her before.

Her main problem is that she is destructive and steals food at EVERY opportunity she gets. She ate the entire bottom off the master bedroom door while we were gone because she wanted to get into the room. She has eaten the entire bottom off the guest bedroom door, along with eating the carpet in front of it. She urinated on my suitcase after I got back from a trip delibratley out of spite. She breaks into the bathroom and eats tubes of toothpaste. That is for the destruction part.

She steals food and tears thru the garbage every chance she gets. She used to only do this when we were not home, but recently it has gotten out of control. I have watched her do her "rounds" just about every 30 minutes or so, she goes to all the counters, tables, and desks she can find sniffing to see if there is food up there. We literally have closed the door for a matter of seconds to leave and forgot something, come back inside only to find her already digging thru the trash if we forgot to put it up, or with her paws on the counter top searching for food. But now she is taking our food, and digging thru the trash while we are home. She has stolen food off of the kitchen table off of our plates when we have turned our backs for a split second. I have a 4 month old puppy, the two of them get along fine, but we keep their food seperate because my boyfriend said she can be food aggressive. I had his food in the closet on the top shelf in the guest bedroom, and yesterday while we were gone, she somehow managed to crawl thru the hole she chewed in the door, and got it off the top shelf along with my puppies treats and ate all of his food. She had an entire bowl full of her own food downstairs.

My boyfriend put her kennel back together lastnight and we scolded her firmly, showing her what she did wrong, and left her in there for about 2 hours. This morning after breakfast we caught her digging in the trash again, put her back in the kennel for the entire day after scolding her. While I was cleaning up after dinner, I let her out of the kennel for literally less than a minute, I walked into the other room and she had taken food off the kitchen table! After being punished all day, first thing she did was steal food! On a side note, everytime we leave the room her kennel is in she tries to break out of it, and has broken out of it several times in the past.

We have tried a few different approaches to disciplining her, and none seem to be working. I have been around dogs my entire life, I am a certified dog groomer, and owned a pet sitting buisness for 4 years. I have never seen such a disobedient dog in my life. She has been to obedience classes, and we have tried a few different means of punishment. She is not responding to any of it. My boyfriend told me the only reason he kept her as long as he did is because she protected the house when he first moved in here when someone tried to break in. We are considering placing an ad in the paper to get rid of her, or taking her to a no-kill animal shelter this weekend because we are both at our wits end. She is slowly but surely destroying the entire house. I know that she resents me being here, and her actions have become worse since I moved in, but he told me she was always destructive and stole food beforehand.

If anyone has ANY suggestions please feel free to let me know. I know that he loves the dog, but his job doesn't allow him to be home as much as he would like so I am the one that is stuck here 80% of the time with her. I want to be sure we have tried our best before we look for a new home.

Thank you all in advance, I look forward to any advice you can offer!

Inverness
January 26th, 2006, 07:36 AM
Hello Starliight,

thanks for coming to the forum for advice. Please hear me out. Placing an ad in the paper to "get rid of the dog" or taking her to a shelter is not a solution. Barely dumping the problem on somebody else. If you have any love for this dog, which you surely have since you are here seeking advice, stay with us and we will try and help you. If you ever decided to part with this dog, please research reputable rescue groups in your area and discuss all behavioural issues with them in the hopes that they can help your dog prior to adopting her out. I am posting this now and I will address your concerns in subsequent posts. There are many resourceful people on this forum as well as certified trainers that will certainly try and help you.

Inverness
January 26th, 2006, 07:47 AM
OK. So first, a few things I'd like to point out, in bulk: your dog being a pit/akita mix, she quite possibly has a strong mind and is very intelligent, and that can mean trouble. We have an Akita owner on this forum. She can tell you more about the breed. As for myself, I am a pitbull owner and I can tell you that scolding a pit, punishing her, using any kind of negative training will not work. Pitbulls are highly intelligent yet super sensitive dogs. They can sense your every mood and know exactly when you are losing it. From what I read, your dog knows that you don't know what to do anymore. I also believe very strongly that your dog - does she have a name, may we see a pic ? - is extremely anxious. The behaviours she is showing are all signs of her being unhappy, uncomfortable. She misses something and she is trying to tell you big time. She might need more exercise, she might not be happy with the new puppy, she might need a very regular routine to avoid becoming anxious. Her being destructive has nothing to do with being "bad" and there is no such thing as a "bad dog". Never. There are dogs with problems, yes, and although most problems have their source in a human mistake, sometimes it happened in the first few days of the dog's life or even in utero and we cannot change much about it. We can only deal with it because at some point we decided to become responsible for this dog.

Of course, you cannot go on like this. Your dog is destroying your house and driving you nuts and I can imagine what it is like. There are many things you can do to change this, and they would be very likely to work well, but you would have to be really willing to work with your dog. And while we can give you advice and help you as much as we can, this is a decision we cannot make for you...

Think about it...

I'll post this and be back...

Inverness
January 26th, 2006, 07:59 AM
First thing first:

A kennel is NEVER to be a punishment ! Quite the opposite, this is the only place your dog has to feel safe and secure. It's a den where she can relax, out of the new puppy's reach, out of your way, where she can play with her Kong toy, chew her bone or sleep. Each time she goes in, she must be praised ! Each time she goes in, it has to be a pleasant experience because in your case, crating you dog will be the only way to save your house from destruction !

Since your dog seems to be able to unwheld any wire crate, you need to get her a Vari-Kennel type of crate. She won't be able to get out. This is where she will sleep, you can even feed her in there, and you will need to crate her when you cannot supervise her.

I guess if the destruction has gotten as bad as you say, you would also need to use the ombilical cord method which means you would use a leash and tie the dog to yourself so she has to follow you around during the day. This way, you keep her under control all the time. Seems like a lot of work, but the results would show quickly.

But then again, everything would be in the way your dog perceives you... if you are stressed, angry and impatient, you won't get anywhere with her. You have to work on you first. Every interaction you have with her must show you are calm and in control and she is not getting at you. You must make her feel like you understand something is going on and you will work it out with her, but that she won't be the one to decide how you will go about doing it.

There is much more I could say about all this, but I'll let the others tell you what they think and you tell us how you feel about it.

Don't let your dog down. She's only got you in the world. :thumbs up

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 26th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I think the leave it command also would come in good in this situation too. This is what Tenderfoot posted in one of my former threads a while back.

Get him to "leave it" with all of his favorite toys, treats, etc. This tells him to back away from the very thing he might be interested in - before it becomes a 'drop it' issue. Start with objects/food that he might want and put it in the middle of the floor and then move on to dropping things intentionally on the floor in front of him. Have him on the leash to ensure success. Tell him to 'leave it' in a firm tone and if he goes for it step towards the object with a stomp (throwing energy at the object and towards him - to get him to back off), and/or a correction on the leash as you say 'leave it' again. Pretend in your mind that the object is a baby bird and he absolutely can't have it. Use whatever energy that evokes in your voice and body language to get him to leave it alone. Then, while he is still on the leash, place the object between you and call him to come. He should put his own imaginary circle around the object as he comes to you. Now he is respecting your word and understanding that everything is not his to grab, but you call the shots and he needs to respect you.
Catching him before he rushes to something can make a huge difference. It's easier to stop him before he makes his move than to have to stop him in mid-stride. This gives you a greater vocabulary to use with him as well. Which gives you the chance to 'talk' him through his choices. Be sure to praise him when he makes the good choices - so he is clear when he has done the right thing.
__________________
Love Them & Lead Them,
~Elizabeth & Doug
www.TenderfootTraining.com
Dog Training the Way Nature Intended

also Stacey B had an excellent version as well that she PMd me but I cleared out my in box so I dont have it still.

Lucky Rescue
January 26th, 2006, 08:16 PM
We are considering placing an ad in the paper to get rid of her, or taking her to a no-kill animal shelter this weekend because we are both at our wits end.

I just have to comment since I see and hear this kind of thing ALL the time.

Do you think there is someone out there thinking, "I'd really love someone's castoff 3 year old dog who is food aggressive, will pee on my stuff and totally destroy my house!"

ANYONE who takes her for free is liable to end up seriously abusing/chaining and/or dumping her.

Anyone who pays for her will bring her back and demand a refund.

No kill shelter? Do you think spending her life in a kennel is fair?

Trying to pass off this problem to someone else is not going to work. This dog is your responsibility and no one else is going to want her, unless it's for some no-good reason.

After being punished all day, first thing she did was steal food!.....She has been to obedience classes, and we have tried a few different means of punishment. She is not responding to any of it

I"m sure the obedience class didn't recommend "punishment", and it's not working, so why do it? Other than that, what and how much exercise is this dog getting. I ask because I don't see any mentioned..

papillonmama
January 26th, 2006, 09:09 PM
hi Starlight,
I also acquired a naughty dog and have been through craziness to the max, so I know what you are feeling, hopefully, like me, you and your man will be able to look back at when she was three and laugh about this. For now, it's frustrating. I know, that with a lot of work you can get through this.

Having a new puppy is great, especially when the older dog's behaviour is such a dissappointment. You need to put this aside and spend "special time" with your over-grown pup. (Or your new pup is likely to follow in past paw prints, monkey-see-monkey-do). Not just giving her (the older dog) the cuddles that she needs, but spending lots and lots of time re-training and exercising. You also have to re-train yourself and your BF.

Take away her opportunities of doing things behind your back by, tethering her to you, or creating a safe place for her to be while you are unable to watch. A dog is like a kid, and when you have a naughty of either, leaving them alone is like asking them to find trouble. Try to keep the counter clear at all times that you are not able to watch. I once saw on a Stanley Coren (trainer) show (Good Dog!) where a very naughty dog was baited, you should check out his books, they could explain how to do this properly, meaning, without psychological repprucussions.

Scolding doesn't work unless the dog knows what you don't want her to do. She's been running the house for so long, she's confused. Which is why I reccommend positive reinforcement, then when she understands that there are rules to follow in the house, the mildest "What are you doing?" seems to grasp attention.

Aside from putting her into time-outs, what other forms of discipline have you tried?

I need to ask this... Why do you watch her make the rounds and not do anything? She's probably taking advantage of the fact that you are too tired to say no anymore. If you are there 80% of the time, you really need to keep her with you 100% of that time. I swear, I followed my pap evvvverywhere, anytime I noticed that she wasn't in the same room as I was I would go and see what she was doing. Let her know that you are watching and that you could show up at any time.

Because she's older and has had run of the house for so long, it will be tough to re-train her, but worth it for all of you in the end.

Good luck!:fingerscr :fingerscr :fingerscr

Starliight
January 27th, 2006, 03:03 AM
Hey everyone. I really appreciate all of your feedback and suggestions. A little more background on our dog. Her name is Roxy, I will try to get pictures posted sometime tomorrow. The way that my boyfriend came about her was that their family dog was elderly and they thought that getting a new puppy might rejuvinate him a little bit. The saw an ad in the paper for an "Akita" (which was the breed of their elderly dog) and when they got to the place, they saw a disgustingly run down house, and the puppies were malnourished and living in an unsanitary enviornment. She looks like a full bred Pit Bull, I don't see many charastics of Akita in her at all, infact possibly some Boxer.

His family took the dog in and his Mother trained her, and she attended obedience school. She was food aggressive from the start, was kennel trained not as punishment but for when she slept at night, but stole food and was destructive even while going thru obedience classes. She would break out of her kennel at every chance she could get. When my boyfriend bought his house, he took her with him. He works long hours and is not home enough to train or discipline her the way she needed/needs to be. He is a police officer and his hours change from week to week. The dog has everything she could want or need here though. She has chew toys, a box full of play toys, food in her bowl at all times, a fenced in back yard to run in, he takes her to the park to play about 3 times a week. Since I have been here she has had constant attention.

As for my puppy, who is a 4 month old male Jack Russell named Vallon, I got him before I moved in with my boyfriend. I lost my best friend in November of 2004, my Rat Terrier named Vlad, he was 8 years old, and his death was one of the most tragic things I have had to go through. After almost a year of grieving I was not sure if I was ready to move on or not, but my Mother encouraged me to try to move on and find another little buddy to love. So she and I searched for sometime until we finally found Vallon, which was the day before my birthday! He is an amazingly great puppy, he is not destructive in any way, and listens and learns very quickly. Roxy and Vallon get along for the most part except when food or treats come into play. They play for hours on end with their toys in tug-of-war and chasing each other around. But when food or treats are introduced she will try to keep Vallon away from them all. As I mentioned before, Roxy had eaten the bottom of the guest bedroom door off, and crawled through there and into the closet where I had Vallon's bag of dry food, his wet food I mix in from time to time as a treat, and his chewies...all of which she consumed (which were on the top shelf meaning she had to stand on her hind legs to get to). The boundries we set for her weather we are here or not do not sink in. A closed door should mean do not enter, not to chew thru it.

Someone mentioned her breed mix being partially a reason for her behaviour. She is a VERY smart dog. I know Akita's and Pit Bull's are very headstrong dogs in general. This dog knows that she is doing wrong yet she still does it, even right before your eyes. I cannot watch this dog 24 hours a day though. Sometimes when we leave and come home, you know before you even see the house she has done something bad because she has the "look of guilt" written all over her face. I have been doing what you suggested papillonmama for about 2 weeks now, every chance I get that I cannot see her in my vision I go to check up on her. If I see her doing something wrong I firmly tell her NO Roxy, or Bad Girl Roxy. My boyfriend would tell her no when she did something bad and put her outside for a few minutes.

You are right papillonmama, for me right now, when I watch her do her rounds, I shake my head in disbelief that she just doesn't listen. She has a very loving home here. Has food, a yard to play in, sleeps in the bed etc. Before you ever put me into the equasion of living here, I don't know why she was stealing food and destroying things. But I do know that since I have been here we have been trying many different ways of discipline. This dog is very very very headstrong. As you said, I don't want the little one learning bad habits from her. Infact he tells on her when he sees her doing something wrong, he has come to me a few times this week crying and walking toward where Roxy was doing something bad.

I will be totally honest here. This dog was not and is not "my" dog. She is my boyfriends dog. He has told me he does not want to and cannot put the time into re-training this dog because of his work schedule. I know he cares about her, but things don't just fix themselves on their own. I will not tether a pit bull to me and make her follow me all day, and since I am the one here with her most of the time I do not think it is fair for him to push this problem off on me. I am more than willing to help him, but if he is not willing to put the time in, I don't see why I should do the "re-training" for a dog I honestly have no attachment to.

I know this is not an easy task, and I don't know what the outcome will be. Short of tethering this dog to my side and watching her 24/7 is there anything else you can think of to try? Please keep in mind how headstong this dog is.

Joey.E.CockersMommy, I really do not think this "leave it" approach would work. Even "if" we could get her to walk around the "leave it" item while we were present, there is no way she would follow that rule while we were gone. I am going to try it though, just to see, because you never know.

Thank you again everyone for your replies. I really do appreciate it, I am trying to be as patient as I can be with this dog.

jessi76
January 27th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Just because she has attended obedience classes doesn't mean the training ends, and she SHOULD know it all. Obedience is for dog AND owner, and you BOTH need to continue everything you learned in class, at home, everyday. I really think you would benefit from attending training with Roxy, since you are the one with her most often, and it seems she could use a refresher course. Perhaps through positive training, you'll develop a bond with Roxy, and she with you - resulting in a more harmonious & respectfull relationship.

as for the crate.... I'm sure you are smarter than the dog, devise a way that makes it impossible for her to break out. She needs to be crated while you're not home, for her own safety, and to save your house from anymore destruction. Also, using the crate as punishment will not make her WANT to be in it. You should really focus on making the crate a GREAT place for her so she really likes being in it - then she may not try to break out.

You say she's smart.... why not put those smarts to work for you? there are many toys on the market that encourage the dog to THINK to get to the treat - I'm sure she has lots of lovely toys as it is, but do any of them make her work or think? instead of chewing through doors to get to food, she can work on an appropriate toy to dispense treats.

you don't think it's fair that this problem is passed off on you... yet, that's exactly what you're considering doing to someone else by "getting rid" of her.

Lucky Rescue
January 27th, 2006, 10:03 AM
I see you say she goes to the park 3 times a week, and in the past has been left alone a lot.

She has a yard to run in.

3 times a week is not nearly enough exercise for a young, energetic dog. Dogs will not exercise themselves in backyards. I have a fenced 1/2 acre for my pit bull, but she still needs to get out, go places, see things and walk.

I think a big part of this problem is a bored and frustrated dog with no outlet for her energy.

This dog should be exercised until her tongue is hanging out. It's really true that "A tired dog is a good dog".

Instead of punishments and crating all day and making her frustration and boredom worse, this dog needs to run run run and then she won't be nearly so interested in tearing things apart.

Writing4Fun
January 27th, 2006, 10:24 AM
This dog knows that she is doing wrong yet she still does it, even right before your eyes. I cannot watch this dog 24 hours a day though. Sometimes when we leave and come home, you know before you even see the house she has done something bad because she has the "look of guilt" written all over her face.
OK, I have to comment on this. My dog is not the greatest when left alone. In the beginning, we would come home to all sorts of garbage all over the house - she seemed to prefer napkins, loaves of bread and baby diapers (the clean ones, thankfully!:eek: ). So we would crate her when we left the house. We gradually started weaning her off the crate, making sure not to leave any tempting items in plain view for her to shred. Lately, she seems to be doing very well (we will probably always have to take great pains to hide every temptation, though), so we've left her loose every time we go out. One day recently, we had left her alone, and when we came home she had that same "look of guilt" you talk about above; ears back, slinking around, tail low & wagging frantically, etc... My husband immediately presumed that she had done something wrong and started searching the house for the evidence. He found nothing. She hadn't destroyed a single item. She was just nervous because, previously, every time we went out, we'd come home mad. That's all she knew. Dogs don't put things together the way we do. They can't connect the scolding you're giving them now to the destruction of five minutes ago. So, unless you walk in the door and find her killing a pillow right before your eyes, you need to completely ignore any other destruction you find, take her out back without making any kind of fuss, and then clean up while she's not watching. Having said that, it does sound like your dog came from a really bad place and she probably has residual issues. Sounds like she needs an evaluation by a behaviourist, not just obedience training. Good luck!

joeysmama
January 27th, 2006, 10:32 AM
I don't have nearly the experience as many of the other members here. But just from my limited experience and common sense I have a few comments.

You are using the crate as punishment for an energetic dog. The length of time you are leaving her in there suggests to me that she doesn't even remember WHY she was put there in the first place. And smart breed or not she is still a dog after all. And she is probably not thinking "Well I just spent and entire day in that crate because I chewed on something, I'll have to remember not to do that anymore."

Even a very smart dog has a less complicated thinking process than that. After being cooped up for hours her most complex thought is probably more like "Yippee !! Freedom !!"

And now that she has been used to one way of living a new lady moves in with her new puppy and her life is completely different. It's not too different from blending a family with children. And if you had come to this relationship with a child and you were complaining about your boyfriends child then people would tell you to stop showing favoritism.

And I don't mean to offend you because I'm sure this is very very frustrating. And puppies are very cute and easy to love.

But don't you think you could at least TRY to find something about this girl to love? I think it would go a long way towards getting your household under control.

BernerLver
January 27th, 2006, 10:54 AM
The dog has everything she could want or need here though.

Clearly not or she wouldn't be acting this way.

He has told me he does not want to and cannot put the time into re-training this dog because of his work schedule.

Then why did he move with the dog to his new house since he is clearly too busy and more to the point obviously not willing to put forth any effort at all with respect to training and caring for the dog.

I am more than willing to help him, but if he is not willing to put the time in, I don't see why I should do the "re-training" for a dog I honestly have no attachment to. .

You must have known about the dog and the issues it had before you moved in with your BF. If you were not prepared to deal with them why make that move in the first place?

I feel so sorry for this dog. How sad to live in a home with 2 people, one of whom can't be bothered to put forth any effort to correct problems and the other who doesn't want to because its not "her" dog.

I'm sorry to sound harsh but this kind of situation makes me so mad. People just get a dog on impulse thinking it will be smooth sailing then when there are issues or problems and they have to put forth the slightest bit of effort they decide that having a dog is too much work, they don't have the time and want to give it away.

Please do take to advice that others have given. This dog deserves the chance to learn how to be a part of your new family together.

littlesister
January 27th, 2006, 11:12 AM
You could try Barkbusters. They charged me 350.00 for training including a guarantee for the life of the dog that they would be available for questions, visits, etc. They go through a "dominance model" of training depending on your dog. Now, I'm no dog expert myself, but I had them come out for my Aus. Cattle dog, and they sent out an Australian lady with tons of experience with these dogs and their tips worked pretty well. So ask if they had a pitbull specialist, they probably do.
Good luck.

StaceyB
January 27th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Many things have been said here so I won't repeat them. I just have a couple of things to say.
This dog is not getting nearly enough exercise and requires more obedience training. I would actually enroll both dogs into classes.
When a dog continually gets rewarded for their behaviours, you saying no don't do that is not going to work. You need to set her environment up so that she is not getting these rewards. You may not be the one rewarding her but she is getting them anyway on her own. It sounds as if she is good in the crate so I would crate her any time she is not being supervised. This will decrease your frustration with her.
Also, she is not doing these things out of spite and she doesn't know that whatever she had done is why you are upset with her. For example, if she got into the garbage in the morning and you are getting mad and punishing her hours later, she doesn't know what it is for. Unless you catch and correct at the time she is doing it there is no sense in correcting her.

You will need to be consistant with her.

CyberKitten
January 27th, 2006, 03:43 PM
I cannot add too much except to say you have been goven some great advice. This dog needs more training - and someone - probably both of you if possible - need to take her for training. And as Lucky Rescue and others have noted, this dog needs sooooo much more exercise. I thought 3 X a week was a typo to be honest - my brother walks his chocolate lab - and you know labs, like pitties, they have lots of energy (and most dogs do really) - sometime 3 X a day. He will come home at noon and take him for a run and then another around dinner time and maybe another later before bedtime - and that dog sleeps well!! Most days tho, it is once or twice a day but certainly at least once a day at the very least!!! Anthing else and the poor dog will have lots of problems, behavioural and medical in the future (kind of like us when we do not exercise and wonder why we have illnesses brought on by certain types of lifestyles. Dogs actually help people to loose weight because they need to be walked at least once a day or more - so someone needs to make time to walk both these dogs.

The dog is prob stressed with all the changes and the addition of the new puppy which you naturally (he is your baby right?) give more attention to. The pittie needs extra attention too - dogs have feelings, not in the same way we do as Joey'sMom said, but since you moved in, you have to assume some responsibility or your bf needs to realize his dog's needs have to be addressed. Someone needs to care for this dog - you may think he has everything but it is how you use it that is imortant and what dogs want most is your love and attention and care!!

chico2
January 27th, 2006, 04:33 PM
After reading all the posts,not knowing much about dogs,I believe this poor dog senses your hostility towards her.
She is probably partly acting up because you,a stranger to her,moved in together with a pup.
Being let out in the yard alone does nothing to a dog,I've seen it with a dog I look after.The owners let her outside on her own and all she does is do her business and then just sit there,when I go outside with her,she runs around like a puppy.
She is destructive and I can understand your frustration,but I cannot understand how you can say,she's not yours and you don't care for her.
She is an obviously unhappy bored dog,please try to love her,she is a dog,not a human,she does not understand why you don't love her.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 27th, 2006, 08:59 PM
Joey will get into stuff too, but he is a lot smaller so probably easier to control, I have learned to make sure the door underneath the kitchen sink is shut tight so he can't access the garbage, I need to make sure that any food is cleared off the table or he will go for it when he thinks we are not looking. He will even sneak up behind me and steal food out of the fridge that is on the bottom shelf. I dont consider this Joeys fault but mine for leaving the tempation there for him.

He will obey the leave it command if we are in the same room, but if we are not he will go for pretty much anything that is within his reach.So now I just try to not leave anything up that he can get into because thats just setting him up for failure.

Also I never use the crate for time outs, its his place to when he needs his own time. Actually now thanks to my husband he associates scooby snacks with the crate and will run in there at the sight of one. Apparently my hubby was crating Joey when he went out with the kids and would give Joey a Scooby Snack.

StaceyB
January 27th, 2006, 09:11 PM
Do you let this dog play with your puppy? Did your boyfriend see that there was a problem with this dog before you moved in or is it you that is more focused on what the dog does?
I sure hope this dog that was there first isn't given away to keep puppy. You think that a police officer would be more aware of being responsible.

Lucky Rescue
January 27th, 2006, 09:47 PM
When I adopted my pit bull, she was 2 years old. Nearly pulled my arm off on leash, lunged at all bikes and skateboards, ransacked the garbage, got into the cat's litterbox, peed on the floor and chewed up some valuable items.

I took her to obedience class, practiced with her all the time, exercised her like nuts and taught her manners. I never "punished" her and it was a lot of work, but worth it as she is now a wonderful dog.

Had I done none of those things, and stuck her a crate all day, I hate to think of what her behavior would be by now.

As a trainer told me, "Dogs are seldom the problem. The problem is usually at the other end of the leash."

mastifflover
January 28th, 2006, 05:56 AM
I must say Lucky's last post hit the nail on the head any of us who have rescued have dealt with distruction and seperation anxiety and you have both. They are correctable trust me my Neapolitan Mastiff ate a queen size mattress, 2 down pillows and a down duvet in one afternoon so I know what you are talking about. The destruction is SA for sure maybe not the crying and whining type but the dog misses you during the day. You need to give the dog a ton of exercise for one. Go to the park and play fetch or hide and seek something that requires your interaction with the dog. Yes I play hide and seek with my dog. It also builds there confidence in themselves. But I would definitely enroll both in obedience because when you have two they learn from each other and you certainly do not want a JRT to follow in the older ones pawprints. JRT's can be the devil in disguise if not trained properly. Good luck and keep us posted be patient

BernerLver
January 28th, 2006, 11:08 AM
As a trainer told me, "Dogs are seldom the problem. The problem is usually at the other end of the leash."

:highfive: Exactly! Well said.

Starliight
January 28th, 2006, 01:02 PM
StaceyB, yes the puppy and her play all day long together, and they get along really well. My boyfriend was more than aware of her behavioural problems before I moved in. Just want to clear up that the puppy was not brought in to replace her, because I got my puppy before I even knew I would ever move in here. He is not a factor as to why we would consider getting rid of her if we choose to do that.

Don't have much time right now but wanted to update and thank everyone for your replies. We are not putting her in the crate anymore for punishment, and are trying some of the suggestions you have put on here.

gomez
January 28th, 2006, 01:29 PM
Do you have a room that could be her "safe place"?

For example, when we go out, Gomez stays in the kitchen that is closed off with a baby gate - we are careful not to leave anything out that he could get into - no food, no garbage cans and some low level cabinets have baby locks on them - this way he cannot possibly get into trouble -

A large bathroom would work as well, but the key is not to close the door, but use the baby gate, just make sure it's bolted well into the door frame and is high enough she can't jump over it - it's really not too hard to dog-proof one room...

tenderfoot
January 29th, 2006, 01:47 PM
This young man has had too much freedom and not enough parenting.
One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to give their dog too much freedom (recess)as they are maturing and learning about the world. This dog does not respect anyone and does as he pleases 24/7. Your BF doesn't seem up for the task so if you hope to live in harmony in this home it is up to you to get the ball rolling.
This dog needs to be better menaged while you are teaching him manners and respect for your word.
He needs more exercise, more training, better boundaries, more engagement, more toys, more fun and a great leader. I would suggest putting him on the leash attached to you as much as you can stand it in the house. This is not to punish either of you but to take him out of recess and put you in charge. Ask him to do lots of tasks throughout the day, be ready to correct his bad choices and guide him into better ones. Play with him by your rules - want this toy? Sit. Okay here's the toy. Want to eat? to go out? go for a ride? Anything he wants he has to do something for it. He should have a 30-40 words vocabulary right now, so get to work. Make him find his squeaky, his bone, etc. Send him out of the kitchen. Send him into the bedroom. Walk nicely by your side. The list is endless. Every toy has a name, every room in the house has a name, every action he can perform has a name.
I suspect he is very smart and will respond very quickly to good training. He will respond even better to great leadership. This means love, trust and respect. I am not sure he has any of this in multitude. I know you said your BF loves him but with love comes responsibility, training, time well spent, playing, and boundaries.
The time you have spent being frustrated by this dog could be much better spent teaching him.

mummummum
January 29th, 2006, 06:02 PM
And don't forget to reward YOU for doing all this fine work ! In my humble opinion, The Boyfriend needs to cough up the cash for a spa day every other week while he babysits the furkids.:love:

StaceyB
January 29th, 2006, 08:10 PM
It is really not fair that you have to train this dog but unfortunately if you don't nobody is going to. You are training a young puppy and setting boundries for him. Can you do the same for this 3 yr old.
If you were to set up some rules for both to follow and spend short periods of time, several times a day for training(10-15 min/3X a day) you would have a happy house in no time. You already have to exercise the pup so adding the other into that time would not be much different.

I would get both enrolled into classes but choose a time when boyfriend can come, help and learn. He has to have some spare time to help you with this. I would not let him have the choice of just giving up. The only choice he has is training his dog.
I tell my students to practice their skills several times a day in short periods. I find the best schedule to be 15 min before breakfast, 15 min when he gets home from work, 15 min before dinner and again before bed. If he is walking the dog twice a day add in training to the walks and play times. Even if he didn't get to all the set up sessions he would at least get to some of them. I find if someone tries to set aside an hour at a time(per day) they tend to miss it more often and the dog doesn't get all that he should out of one long session. Also take advantage of times throughout the day where training can be added in, setting the rules of the house.
Good luck