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Training problems

April 28th, 2008, 03:53 PM
I have two dogs:

~Zeus: male, not fixed yet (he is getting fixed August 11th), 2 years old (born March 15th), German Shepherd, Husky mix.

~Nikki: Female, Fixed, 2 years old (born August 5th), German Shepherd, Sheltie, Husky mix.

They are both very friendly with the family (2 adults, 17 years old, 15 year old and 2 year old) and with each other.

They were both sorts of rescued dogs,
Nikki was gotten at the SPCA when she was about 7 months and was very obviously abused (she is scared of everything like: chairs moving, sticks, brooms, closed umbrellas and used to lie down & whimper every time we told her no).
With Zeus I was asked to watch him (I do pet-sitting) until he found a new home because his owners could keep him, after a few days I emailed them to tell them he could stay any longer (because of his problems which they didnít tell me about) and they didnít answer their phone or email until I finally got a email saying they didnít wasnít him and I should do whatever I want with him. We had started to really like him, he got along really well with my other dog and were told he would be put to sleep if we brought him to the Humane Society and we couldnít find him a new family so we decided to keep him.

My problems with them are:

1. They both know most of the commands (Sit, Lie Down, Come, Stay) but they do not listen to them, If I tell them to sit they take a while to finally sit and when I say stay they wait until I am out of site or like 1 or 2 minutes and get up again.

2. When anyone knocks or rings the doorbell they both flip out barking and Zeus growls and will not stop whatever I do.
They also bark and Zeus growls when anyone walks by the front window.

3. If someone new or someone who has not been here in a long time comes into the house he Zeus will growl and bark at them and I let him get near them he will bite the back of their leg and run off (only once he made someone bleed).

4. Nikki will steal food and toys from the 2 year old living here and take any food that is left to close to the edge of the table/counter or that falls on the floor, she also gets into the garbage. Zeus will also steal food from the baby and any food near the edge or on the floor but he also has figured out how to open cupboards and will eat/destroy all the food and containers in them.

5. Zeus has figured out how to get out of his cage and knock down gates and he will pee on the floor (when we are here he always asks to go out and never has accidents).

I have brought them to classes but they are always well behaved there and I have been looking for someone to come to my house (where all the problems are) and train/help me train them. All the trainers I have found either do not call back or I just really don't like their training methods. Things like: lock them up every time they do something wrong, never let them get anything they want (asking to go out, asking to be pet, etc).

If anyone knows how to solve any or all of these problems I would really appreciate the reply or it would also really help if anyone knows of a good dog trainer (preferably one that comes to my house) in my area.
I live in Ottawa, Ontario in West Hunt Club.