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I'm beginnging to reach a point...

Mogsmum
October 13th, 2010, 02:37 PM
where I think I need to rehome my dog, Rexx.

Let me preface this by saying it's been ages since I posted on here. Last time I did was to find some advice on dealing with CRF in my cat. She's doing fine btw, still going at 20, has not been on subQ fluids yet. All I did was change her diet :)

But, now my next task.....Rexx is an almost 3 yr old GSD/retriever mix. We adopted him when he was about 1 yr old. We knew little of his background as he came to TAS from a Montreal shelter. The Montreal shelter caught him as a stray.

Don't get me wrong, I love that dog. He can be a real doll, he's gorgeous to look at, he has such character, the kids lve him, everyone he meets seems to really like him, we always get compliments on him, but......

He's an a-hole. To put it mildly.

We've had him almost 2 years now. It has been 2 years of frustration and tears. He is by no means a stupid dog. He's very smart, and a sneaky little devil. But, it's like he refuses to learn some things, like walking decenly enough on a leash. We've gone from normal collar, to halti, to choker to prong. He doesn't care what we use, he pulls like a sonofagun. Even with the prong, I can give a full force yank, which would have most other dogs yelping, and he doesn't care. He ignores it 95% of the time.

He has no respect for our house, or for us. He'd just as soon run you down as he would cuddle up with you. I can't watch him 24/7, I have 3 kids a job, and a life, which I wanted to include him in, but at this point......it may not be the right life for him.

Our dog guy (that we were having work with us) seems to have vanished, I 've emailed him several times with no reply. I think Rexx was too much for him and he just doesn't know how to say it. I could see that Rexx had him perplexed on several occassions.

Yesterday was just about the final straw. I took him out, with the baby in the stroller. It was 7am, no one else was up, and I can't leave Abbey with the kids even if they were up.....

So, I took him to the park behind us. I figured he can go off-leash for a bit, get his yayas out, and then we'll go for a walk. Well, the second he was off-leash he took off running, as always. Next thing I know, he's spyed a squirrel on the other side of the park. He takes off like a bat out of hell and chases the squirrel, which ran up the fence, and along the fence top around the corner down the lane-way. So Rexx followed, down the damn lane-way. Out of my sight. Dammit!

So now I'm in the park, with a 1 yr old in the stroller, and my bad ankle which I can't run on, and the dog is out of sight doing god knows what. Total panic set in. I went a few steps towards the lane-way (which was a good 200 ft or so away from where I stood) and yelled at the top of my lungs. Rexx reappeared, thank god, and started running back to me, until he saw another squirrel......thankfully this one was closer to me, so when he got closer I yelled at him again, and after some indecision (which required me yelling at him 2 more times), he came over to me. Leashed him up and said "Tough pal, we're going home".

Little buggar saw 2 more squirrels on the way home and went bonkers over them, almost pulling hte leash right out of my hand, because I wasn't about to let him tip the stroller!

Last time I let him off leash at the park he turned around and jumped at my hands just as I took off the leash. He's alwasys done stuff like this is he's off leash...runs at your full tilt, he's jumped at me as he's run by. When we were in the house with the backyard, if anyone was out there with him he was constantly charging at them, he'd never let the kids play while he was out there, he would always run at them and jump at them, so they didn't want to be out there if Rexx was there.

So, I'm thinking I may have to rehome him. He needs a farm or someone with no kids and loads of time. and he needs someone who will be hard on him from day 1. He's very dominant, very very dominant. He has no respet for us. I don't think he even respects hubby. I think he fears him more than he respects him.

Rexx has been the cause of many arguements in the house with hubby and I as well.....I know hubby isn't helping as much as he could or should, he even said it last night. But he's only willing to commit so much time to a dog. And he won't commit enough time for Rexx, which leaves a lot of it on me, and there are only so many hours in the day that I can be awake dominating over the dog...I have to sleep at some point.

I'm always up for a challenge, but I sure wasn't prepared for the amount of challenges Rex has in him. I truly didn't think we'd only have moved inches from square one in 2 years. I figured we'd have made much more improvements by now. I know part of it is Rexxs personality, he's stubborn, disrespectful and dominant. He literally doesn't give a crap about anything but himself an his food. That dog loves his food, but don't food train him..he becomes aggressive over it (he doesn't like food being held away from him for too long, he's not food agggressive if it's in his bowl).

He's a jerk about being brushed, a jerk about having his nails clipped. He can be a jerk about peeing or pooping in the house if he gets worked up too much or has to wait an extra few minutes to go out. He's now started trying to sneak into the garbage (something he didn't do until recently).

I seriously am at my wits end with him. I'm tired of being frustrated, I'm tired of not enjoying having a dog around, or not enjoying walks.....

I'm debating one last ditch effort with him. I've been in touch with another trainer. He'll come for a 2 hour session. I was in touch with him some months ago, and he well remembered my emails! Before I have this guy come in and spend the money, I'm oging to lay it all on the line for him. I want hi mto come and give an honest assessment of Rexx and how likely we are to be able to rehab him. If I get the sense that he's only coming for hte $ and keeps insisting the dog can be rehabbed (at $X persession for an undetermined amount of sessions), I'll tell him to get lost. If he can come up with a plan, a timeline and we see some progress, I'll stick with this dog.

I just feel like if I re-home him, that I've given up on him, and I really don't like that idea. The idea of dumping him and his issues on someone else....I mean, that's kinda how I got him in the first place.

I'm turning to you guys to see if you have any helpful suggestions or advice. I had forgotten all about this forum for the longest time. I should have come on here months ago and looked for some help with my loco pup.

Any ideas/suggestions/comments are welcome :)

BenMax
October 13th, 2010, 02:41 PM
There will be some advice to you no doubt. I however can only respond with the following:

If you cannot keep your dog please give him to a rescue. I will recommend one if you wish.

Good luck.

Masha
October 13th, 2010, 02:54 PM
If you feel that you cannot work anymore than you already have, please find a reputable rescue that will ensure that your pupp gets a great home.

As a side note -- your guy is not being a jerk. If he is behaving the way he is, it means that he thinks that its ok. Some dogs need more of a stricter upbringing to ensure that they accept the household rules (by strict i mean NILIF -nothing in life is free- for as long as necessary, a lot of exercise to drain the excess energy, and consistency in training). I foudn that a lot of behavioural problems are caused by under exercising a dog and by inconsisten training (you allow something on one day but not the next).

Please take benmax up on her suggestion to recommend a reputable rescue. The last thing you want is to give your dog to a place that will give up on him and put him down (or worse).

Rgeurts
October 13th, 2010, 03:19 PM
So, I took him to the park behind us. I figured he can go off-leash for a bit, get his yayas out, and then we'll go for a walk. Well, the second he was off-leash he took off running, as always. Next thing I know, he's spyed a squirrel on the other side of the park. He takes off like a bat out of hell and chases the squirrel, which ran up the fence, and along the fence top around the corner down the lane-way. So Rexx followed, down the damn lane-way. Out of my sight. Dammit!

If you know he does this, why would you let him off leash in an area where he could get away and potentially hurt himself or others? Have you taken him to any training sessions in the last 2 yrs?


So, I'm thinking I may have to rehome him. He needs a farm or someone with no kids and loads of time. and he needs someone who will be hard on him from day 1. He's very dominant, very very dominant. He has no respet for us. I don't think he even respects hubby. I think he fears him more than he respects him.

What he needs is someone who will take the time and have the patience to socialize and work with him. COLOR]

Rexx has been the cause of many arguements in the house with hubby and I as well.....I know hubby isn't helping as much as he could or should, he even said it last night. But he's only willing to commit so much time to a dog. :wall::wall:

And he won't commit enough time for Rexx, which leaves a lot of it on me, and there are only so many hours in the day that I can be awake dominating over the dog...I have to sleep at some point.

I'm always up for a challenge, but I sure wasn't prepared for the amount of challenges Rex has in him.

[COLOR="royalblue"]What in the world did you expect from a rescue dog?! Who knows what his past was like, how many homes he had etc. Poor guy :(

I truly didn't think we'd only have moved inches from square one in 2 years. I figured we'd have made much more improvements by now. I know part of it is Rexxs personality, he's stubborn, disrespectful and dominant. He literally doesn't give a crap about anything but himself an his food.

I'm pretty sure I could pinpoint a big part of the problem just from the way you describe and talk about him, and it's not his personality... You refer to him as selfish, a jerk, a-hole, "the dog" etc.

He's a jerk about being brushed, a jerk about having his nails clipped. He can be a jerk about peeing or pooping in the house if he gets worked up too much or has to wait an extra few minutes to go out. He's now started trying to sneak into the garbage (something he didn't do until recently).




Please, it seems obvious he's more of a burden than a joy, so please allow him the home he deserves with love and patience and do as Benmax and Masha have said and surrender him to a reputable rescue. Good luck.

14+kitties
October 13th, 2010, 03:19 PM
There will be many people in here to help you with your dog issues. Please let me say this is not Rexx's fault. He has been allowed to rule the roost for two years and he relishes it!
There are a couple of programs you can go with that will work well with your dog but you have to be consistent with your part of it. You cannot let Rexx away with something once and the next time punish him for it. One thing I would not recommend is to let him off leash until he is 110% under your control. Recall must always work.
Masha mentioned NILIF. Here are a few sites to explain that a little better.....
http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm
and
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/nothingfree.htm
The other method is umbilical training where Rexx is attached to your waist by a leash, rope, whatever every single minute. For umbilical training there is.......
http://www.dogtipsdaily.com/umbilical-training-gets-your-dogs-respect.html
and
http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/umbilical-cord-training.htm

I am sure with time and persistence you can have a happy household with a very happy, well behaved dog. Dogs live to love and listen to their masters.
One last thing - please don't put a time line on his training. All good things take time.

luckypenny
October 13th, 2010, 03:24 PM
What training methods did your old trainer use? And the one who'll be coming to meet with you?

If you're looking to consult with a new trainer, please take the time to read these first so that you can choose wisely and hopefully come to understand the most effective methods whereby Rexx can understand what it is you expect of him.

http://www.wagntrain.com/OC/index.htm Links to important articles are in blue on this page.

http://www.apdt.com/petowners/choose/default.aspx Ditto for the links in blue.

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/Combined_Punishment_Statements.pdf

luckypenny
October 13th, 2010, 03:31 PM
Unfortunately, NILIF alone doesn't teach a dog what's expected of him in all instances. I'm willing to bet Rexx has been acting up even more so lately out of anxiety, not because he's been allowed to get away with everything :shrug:. Before trying to teach a dog anything, it's crucial we understand how they learn.

free
October 13th, 2010, 09:09 PM
with rescue animals it can take years to get them to where you think they are perfect.it is babysteps all the way. are beau would chase a squirrel or bunny if he was loose because that is his nature and i really believe he tunes us out when he sees anything move so i would never leave him off leash in an open area. he is not perfect but 90% better than when we adopted him 6 yrs ago. just like kids animals will not respond positively if you are calling him names acting mad and frustrated they will only push more buttons.

BenMax
October 14th, 2010, 08:25 AM
I understand the frustrations that some people may have when it comes to rescues. What is important to understand is that animals are sensitive to human emotions or there lack of. This goes for any animal rescue or not.

With understanding, kindness and a good knowledgeable trainer or behaviouralist, you will be able to overcome some issues. Other issues may be work in progress for many years, but it is worth it in the end. A rescue or shelter animal has gone through trauma of losing their home, abandonment, neglect, suffering and maybe abuse. If you think of a human going through the same, then think again that the animal has not the same logic, or complex thinking as we people do. In saying this, understand that their recovery is more difficult due to the lack of being able to communicate verbally with your rescue. Someone with knowledge on animal behaviour will be able to assist you in reading and understanding what your dog is trying to relay to you.

I wish you luck in your decision. If you feel you do not have the strength and/or the finances to help your pet, then do consult with a rescue. If you come to that decision, I can recommend a few. I am not advocating that you get rid of your dog, however if you cannot do whatever necessary to keep, then please seek out a good reputable rescue that will find a home committed on helping the dog become a great canine citizen.

Best of luck to you.

Mogsmum
October 14th, 2010, 10:43 AM
First of all, just because I'm not all love dovey over my dog, in the way that I speak, does not mean that I don't love him. Quite the opposite really. He's very well cared for. It's the frustration of trying to deal with his issues over the last two years that is coming through. If I only spoke about him in a sunshine and rainbows fashion, that would convey how I felt about him, not the situation. As it is, the situation is rather frustrating, ergo, I'm frustrated. Not angry, just frustrated and perplexed about what to do next.

Someone asked what training he'd had over the last two years?

Well, shortly after we adopted him, we did an 8 (or was it 6, I don't recall) week training class. He was the least improved dog there, and the trainer very helpfully suggested that he had doggie ADHD, that he was extremely distractable and wished us good luck with him. For the money we'd spent and what we got out of it, it was a waste of time.

I've tried clicker training with him. He would respond to the clicks, but when it came time to reward for his reposnse, he started getting very pushy, almost aggressively so, over the small amout of treat he was getting. I tried rewarding him in other ways, like with a nice pat or a "good boy", but he always looked for the treat and would get mouthy with my hands. I stopped using the clicker when he bit my hand in an attempt to get a treat. Even to this day, if you click the clicker, he starts looking and mouthing for a treat.

Thanks for the offer of suggesting some rescues. If you could PM me those, just so I can be in touch with them and see what they are all about, I would appreciate that. I'm not in a hurry to find him a new home, and I have never put a timeline on his training. However, I do think that in the 2 yrs we've had him, we would have progresed a little more with his on-leash training.

I have tried to be as consistent as possible with him. I have tried doing the umbilical training with him, outside. It is almost impossible to do it inside, our 1 yr old daughter would be clothes-lined every 2 minutes. He is one strong dog, and does put up a fuss, of which I feel I have very little control when he is tied to my waist.

In all honesty, there are many signs that point to this guy as being "feral" before being picked up by animal services. He will eat anything, any time there is food available, he will eat garbage (well ,try to!), he used to try to eat rocks when we first got him. He is extremely smart, very stealth in his movements at time, very sneaky. He once ate all the peaches and bananas from the fruit bowl, and hid the peels & pits under his dog bed :) He is permanently on high alert, his head and ear are always moving...he won't relax on walks. We've had him at the park playing with another dog for an hour, an hours of straight playing and running, and he still pulled on the way home.

He has come quite a away from when we first got him. He used to chew on loads of things, and would routinley destroy our house if we weren't home. He once turned my entire living room upside down, knocked over plants, ate all the tea light candles (and pooped wax for two days!).

He was something of a menace when we first got him 2 yrs ago, but he's been worked with. I know he can learn, it's a question of hitting the right switch with him. He learned sit, down and paw in about 5 minutes and will do them on a snap or hand signal now.

He is much better behaved in the house than when we first got him. Keep in mind, I've got 3 kids, one of whom was born after we'd had him almost a year (and I didn't rehome him then ;) ). I wasn't sure how Rexx would react to the baby, but he's been very good with her. They are of course, always closely supervised, but she loves him, she hugs him & pets him, gives him her snacks, tries to feed him with her bottle. He's quite tolerant of her, the only thing getting him in trouble with her around really is his large size and lack of respect for little ones (but generally I think he doesn't have much respect for people, as a whole). He doesn't realize that he can't just plow his way through a 1 yr old playing with her toys, but there is a learning curve.

He learned to not chase the cats in our house. And if I tell him "leave her" then he stops bugging them and goes and lays down.

Trust me, this dog is not allowed to just get away with things. He doesn't rule the house, but he does try too. We worked with a fellow who followed the "leader of the pack" Cesar Milan mentality, and yes, we had some challenges with him. What else would you expect when you try to dominate a dominant dog to show them you are in charge? That did help, with his behaviour inside the house.

Rexx has also learned to sit if another dog is approaching. As much as he wants to play with him, he must wait til they approach him. He's getting quite good about this the more we do it.

As for exercise, he gets out for about an hour to an hour and a half a day, in 3 walks. And I walk when I take him out, I don't stroll. He's part GSD with the typical GSD trot gait. He actually responds better when you go faster. Slow is frustrating to him. Now, before you start saying "jog with him, bike with him", which I would love to do, I have bad knees and bad ankles, so jogging is out. Biking could work and it's something I've been thinking about trying (must get a bike first!)

He is always walked before he is fed. In fact, even after his walk, he must come in and so a series of sit,stay, down etc before even being allowed into the kitchen to eat. And he's only allowed into the kitchen to eat once he's told it's "ok". Even if the kids wish to give him a treat or two, they know he must do something for it.

I do have a dog backpack for him, and need to use it more often.

One of my biggest stumbling blocks is my husband, who is not willing to commit any more time or money to Rexx. And he's not consistent on the training as he "doesn't have those problems with the dog", so he says. And to a point this is true, Rexx does listen to him quite well, most imes, but I think it's out of fear, not respect. He thinks those are the same thing (he's quite a frustrating man sometimes!) When we first got Rexx, he would run from my husband when he called him, so hubby would go after him and drag him back to where he wanted the dog. I told him not to do that. I suggested that he just call the dog, and if he ran, then he ran. "Don't chase him" I said "You'll give him a reason to run" (and sometimes submissve pee!)...over time, Rexx would slowly start going closer to hubby and stop running away.

I know he came with issues, I honestly wasn't thinking he would have as many as he did. He's overcome a lot of them, we've over come a lot of them. The one that we are honestly having the most trouble with is the walk. Walking your dog should be a fun exercise time, not a frustrating drag & pull time.

I understand he's a high energy dog (and I don't believe in tossing them out into a backyard in place of a walk, it sure won;t hel pwith his leash skills). I truly want this dog to stay, but for that to happen, we need to get him under control on a leash, listening on a leash instead of trying to drag us all around the neighbourhood.

We're talking about a dog who used to jump up on people, rush the door, jump up and try to bite me for food, or just for the sake of trying to dominate (me over him, or him over me). He's drawn blood on my arms or hands, left bruises on my legs when he runs full tilt into me, as I won't move for him, he needs to go around me. He's jumped up on the kids, he won't allow his nails to be clipped, he fights being brushed. In general, he always wants to be in charge, I know that, I've been dealing with it for 2 years. I've taken my share of bumps, bruises, bites, and yet, I DO still have him. Lesser people would have rehomed him for much less or when they had a baby. I didn't do that.

I want him to be a go anywhere, do anything dog. I don't mind having a constant shadow, as long as he's a decently behaved shadow :) He has made lots of progress and I'm proud of that. I've put a lot of time and energy into this guy, and I'd hate to re-home him and feel it was all for nothing.

Jim Hall
October 14th, 2010, 11:02 AM
well from reading this it sounds like you have taken a lot of time and patience with rex and have gone way beyond baby steps is ounds like hubby might have to be trained a little :D

BenMax
October 14th, 2010, 11:05 AM
Firstly what you are describing is not a feral dog. We have had ferals and their behaviours are very unique and different from what you describing as has always enjoyed human contact. What you are describing is a dog that has been neglected in many ways.

The reason your dog is gorging on everything is because he was a stray and probably had to survive on whatever was available. This can take time to overcome.

It is important that the whole family is committed on helping this dog. It is the same as child rearing. If one parent does not support the other....it will not work out.

This dog requires maybe a job to help him overcome some of his energy. Did you think of agility?

Masha
October 14th, 2010, 11:17 AM
By your reply it sounds like both you and Rexx have made a lot of progress over the past two years -- which shows that he is very capable of learning and listening. I really think he is the kind of dog that woudl benefit from more exercise. I know its hard sometimes to give them the appropriate amoount of exervice -- is he good with other dogs (if so he can go to a dog park). running/biking with him would be ideal -- can someone else do that several times a week with him (a neighbour/friend that wants to helpout or earn a few bucks)?

Marty11
October 14th, 2010, 11:27 AM
YES try agility. People don't realize the obedience associated with agility not to mention the bond and connection that goes with it.

Love4himies
October 14th, 2010, 11:31 AM
I DON'T have experience with dogs, but do with cats and yes, some are much, much, much more active than others and cat with cat ADHD can be a challenge too.




It is important that the whole family is committed on helping this dog. It is the same as child rearing. If one parent does not support the other....it will not work out.

Absolutely a must!!!!

This dog requires maybe a job to help him overcome some of his energy. Did you think of agility?

This dog, like my very overactive fosters or Jasper, need a LOT of exercise and stimulation to poop them out. Agility training would be an excellent way to stimulate and exercise this dog :thumbs up. What a great alternative to jogging. Great idea, BenMax

I, personally, would love to have a dog to jog with, perhaps a neighbour who jogs may be willing to take your pup with him/her? All you would need is a long leash that can be wrapped around the waist. It would be bonus if this person was willing to do some training too :thumbs up.

AmberP
October 14th, 2010, 02:16 PM
I noticed you mentioned problems with clicker-training. I can say that it is, 99%, the (almost) best way to train a dog to listen, make good choices, and be confident. Not that Rexx seems to need that. If he's mugging your hands for treats after a click, you need to teach him some Zen. And since thus far in his life is pushy attitude has gotten him everything he wants, he is going to get MORE pushy (He may actually get violent, be forewarned) before he gets LESS pushy.

First, you need to... desensitise him to the clicker. Sit down, presenting a side to him, don't look at him, click. Since he's so pushy, I'd start without a treat at all. Let him act like a total butthead over you, until he gives up. If he starts to hurt you, stand up, keep presenting your side to him. If he continues to hurt you, walk away into another room, close the door. If he damages the door... I've got no idea. Start with him in a crate next time. That would be a really, really determined dog, and at that point I'd have no ideas except hiring a totally positive trainer who CAN help.

Either way, when he's calm, give him a treat. Maybe it was on top of the fridge or hidden in the couch, somewhere he can't get it. You want him to stop MUGGING you for a second so you have a chance to produce the yums. Eventually, by letting him know he can't beat you up for what he wants, he'll chill out and start waiting for it. And I do mean this can be applied to everything.

Then you can re-charge the clicker (Maintain his Zen!) and start properly training him with it.

I highly reccommend "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training" if you don't have it. It's a fantastic read, starting with WHY your dog acts this way, HOW you can fix it, and then some step-by-steps for basic behaviours. It even has day-by-week training charts, if you need help. They're very basic, you can fit them into a busy day easily.

I know your dog is driving you mad, I know you've tried a lot. I know there's also a point where you just can't anymore. Some dogs aren't meant for some families, it's the simple. Not every person can live with every other person, why should we be expected to get along with every dog? Personalities (and petonalities) are different, and not all can mesh. Coupled with his poor training and potential ADHD, Rexx may just be a dog you can't get along with.

Akadma
October 14th, 2010, 07:48 PM
Your dog can feel when your frustrated, angry, upset, etc. and it makes him uncomfortable and act out even more. When you are trying to train your dog to do anything you have to stay calm and assertive, or there is really no point.

Are you sure you are using the pinch collar correctly? I have a Mastiff mix rescue, who is even more of a hand full then your dog, if you can imagine that. I'm keeping a troubled rescue dog that is a HUGE handful that is VERY stressful on my life. I must be crazy. But it's not his fault...

I've been dealing with mine for 3 years, since 5 months old. He was abused badly, left outside 24/7. His issues are very serious, your dogs seem like they are caused more by a lack of discipline and structure. Dogs must have structure and a pack leader, they are pack animals. By knowing that he takes off every chance he gets off the leash, and then you let him off, how in the heck is he supposed to know that's wrong? What do you do when he charges? When he jumps? When he pulls on the leash?

When using the pinch collar, it has to be tight on there neck without even pulling on it. Not strangling the dog, but so the pinchers are slightly turned in. It has to be high up on his neck, and you should be using a 2 foot leash. He should be at your side, never in front of you. If hes walking in front of you he feels he is the one in charge. (It seems to me like he thinks he runs the house. Which happens a lot, if no one assumes the leadership in the house the dog will.)

When you take him out for a walk, it is not for leisure, it is not for fun. You make him sit to put on the leash, you make him sit before you open the door and then he should sit in front of the wide open door and wait for you to let him know it's time to go out. Once you're out the door and he starts to pull, you give a pull on the leash and say "Heal" or "No" or whatever word you wish to use and use it firmly. Make sure it's not something complicated like "Dog stop pulling now!" 'Cause that won't sink in very quick. If he continues to pull after the first initial pull and firm voice correction. Then you should stop, and make him sit every time he pulls. If he wont sit and wait and starts acting like a retard, turn around and walk back towards your house. He doesn't get to be the boss, he doesn't get to go for a walk if he can't behave.

Please don't give up on this dog, you've already rescued him from a rescue because someone else didn't love him enough. If you love him like you say you do, you can fix him, you can help him.

lilwhitefurball
October 15th, 2010, 06:40 AM
i'm definitely with Akadma on this one:thumbs up:

Please don't give up on this dog, you've already rescued him from a rescue because someone else didn't love him enough. If you love him like you say you do, you can fix him, you can help him.

Pets do have issues within them to and on this case, Rexx had this behavior issues within him for so long with no one with all the patience to correct even before he got to your home.

You can help him deal with this by letting it sink to him the what he gotten used to are not always right and will not please you. Stick with a training method and don't try one over the other or shift methods very so often it will cause him confusion. will frustrate him and will just make things even worse.

Seek help from a professional especially an animal behaviorist to do for the doggie ADHD issue. As he can come up with prescriptions to help out Rexx deal with the condition. ADHD is a physiological/psychologicall issue which greatly affects activities and focus. Of this is regarded and dealt with accordingly, then things will become much more smoother.

Good luck and again, please don't give up on him, he is a dear boy and you know that.:pray:

AmberP
October 15th, 2010, 06:54 AM
Oh, this too. I don't know how to quote, but he may need meds to control the ADHD, if he has it. Or even to just calm him down if he's secretly not a confident dog, and actually very anxious, and the anxiety is causing him to "act up". You can also look into "Dog Appeasing Pheremone". It works for SOME dogs, not all, but when it does, it works to calm them down. You can also look into lavender and other calming essential oils... They'll work for everyone in your house =)

I know other people have taken offense to some of your language... But one thing I notice you repeating is that he is dominant. He may, very well, be a jerk. I'm of the belief that is not John Locke's: nothing is born a blank slate. Dogs are born with a percentage of their personality/temperament ingrained, and the rest is nurtured. Maybe Rexx naturally has a very pushy, assertive personality, but he is not dominant. Wolf packs are not dog packs, but regardless, wolf packs don't work the way most people think. Alpha is ALWAYS mom and dad. The kids may get whiny, they may act up, but they don't take over, not until mom and dad can't keep up anymore with maintaining their pack territory. Even then, it's comparable to sticking mom/dad into a nursing home: either it goes quietly, or somebody kicks up a fuss, and there's a lot of heartfelt yelling and biting (Er...). Even with this, dogs don't live in strictly organised hunting packs, they live in loosely organised scavenging packs.

Try looking up the dominance myth, or dominance debunked. Dominance and compulsion training can do more harm than good.

bendyfoot
October 15th, 2010, 07:56 AM
In all honesty, there are many signs that point to this guy as being "feral" before being picked up by animal services. He will eat anything, any time there is food available, he will eat garbage (well ,try to!), he used to try to eat rocks when we first got him. He is extremely smart, very stealth in his movements at time, very sneaky. He once ate all the peaches and bananas from the fruit bowl, and hid the peels & pits under his dog bed :) He is permanently on high alert, his head and ear are always moving...he won't relax on walks. We've had him at the park playing with another dog for an hour, an hours of straight playing and running, and he still pulled on the way home.

LOL. You just described my Gracie (not just this, but lots of the other behaviours you described too. She is a high-alert, dominant, ridiculously intelligent, high-energy dog. The first year with her (she was a one-year-old rescue) was hell. Tears, frustration, FRUSTRATION, tears. Basically doggie bootcamp to get her to a point where she would not resource guard, and would obey a "sit". It took four more years to get to the point where we could get another dog; she was incredibly dog-agressive. Now, she's about 9 years old, we have two other dogs in the house, and we find ourselves contstantly saying "boy, Gracie's a good dog". She's FINALLY matured and really come into her own. She's now our "easy" dog. She is a terrier/husky/collie/who knows mix...all active, intense, working, high-prey-drive, ocd-tentency-type breeds. They can take a VERY long time to mature (GSDs are no exception).

I would strongly, STRONGLY suggest formal obedience training, private lessons, with a respected trainer. Not distracting group classes, but good, solid one-on-one work that will allow you to channel your dog's energy in a positive way and build your bond. Learning to heel on walks will be part of this work. Agility would be great once your pup has mastered more of the basics.


He has come quite a away from when we first got him. He used to chew on loads of things, and would routinley destroy our house if we weren't home. He once turned my entire living room upside down, knocked over plants, ate all the tea light candles (and pooped wax for two days!).

He was something of a menace when we first got him 2 yrs ago, but he's been worked with. I know he can learn, it's a question of hitting the right switch with him. He learned sit, down and paw in about 5 minutes and will do them on a snap or hand signal now.

He is much better behaved in the house than when we first got him. Keep in mind, I've got 3 kids, one of whom was born after we'd had him almost a year (and I didn't rehome him then ;) ). I wasn't sure how Rexx would react to the baby, but he's been very good with her. They are of course, always closely supervised, but she loves him, she hugs him & pets him, gives him her snacks, tries to feed him with her bottle. He's quite tolerant of her, the only thing getting him in trouble with her around really is his large size and lack of respect for little ones (but generally I think he doesn't have much respect for people, as a whole). He doesn't realize that he can't just plow his way through a 1 yr old playing with her toys, but there is a learning curve.

He learned to not chase the cats in our house. And if I tell him "leave her" then he stops bugging them and goes and lays down.

Trust me, this dog is not allowed to just get away with things. He doesn't rule the house, but he does try too. We worked with a fellow who followed the "leader of the pack" Cesar Milan mentality, and yes, we had some challenges with him. What else would you expect when you try to dominate a dominant dog to show them you are in charge? That did help, with his behaviour inside the house.

Rexx has also learned to sit if another dog is approaching. As much as he wants to play with him, he must wait til they approach him. He's getting quite good about this the more we do it.

You've clearly got a smart, trainable dog. This is not a lost cause.

As for exercise, he gets out for about an hour to an hour and a half a day, in 3 walks. And I walk when I take him out, I don't stroll. He's part GSD with the typical GSD trot gait. He actually responds better when you go faster. Slow is frustrating to him. Now, before you start saying "jog with him, bike with him", which I would love to do, I have bad knees and bad ankles, so jogging is out. Biking could work and it's something I've been thinking about trying (must get a bike first!)

Does your husband every walk the dog? How are HIS knees?

He is always walked before he is fed. In fact, even after his walk, he must come in and so a series of sit,stay, down etc before even being allowed into the kitchen to eat. And he's only allowed into the kitchen to eat once he's told it's "ok". Even if the kids wish to give him a treat or two, they know he must do something for it.

I do have a dog backpack for him, and need to use it more often.

One of my biggest stumbling blocks is my husband, who is not willing to commit any more time or money to Rexx. And he's not consistent on the training as he "doesn't have those problems with the dog", so he says. And to a point this is true, Rexx does listen to him quite well, most imes, but I think it's out of fear, not respect. He thinks those are the same thing (he's quite a frustrating man sometimes!) When we first got Rexx, he would run from my husband when he called him, so hubby would go after him and drag him back to where he wanted the dog. I told him not to do that. I suggested that he just call the dog, and if he ran, then he ran. "Don't chase him" I said "You'll give him a reason to run" (and sometimes submissve pee!)...over time, Rexx would slowly start going closer to hubby and stop running away.

I think, if I'm reading between the lines correctly, I'm hearing you say "my husband is not helping, I feel frustrated because I'm trying hard to make this work, but all we do is fight about the damn dog and I'm sick of it." You're well in your right to be p-o'ed. I suspect (and I'm saying this as someone who has lived in a marriage with a "problem" dog), that your frustrations with your pup are more about frustrations with your hubby.

I know he came with issues, I honestly wasn't thinking he would have as many as he did. He's overcome a lot of them, we've over come a lot of them. The one that we are honestly having the most trouble with is the walk. Walking your dog should be a fun exercise time, not a frustrating drag & pull time.

I understand he's a high energy dog (and I don't believe in tossing them out into a backyard in place of a walk, it sure won;t hel pwith his leash skills). I truly want this dog to stay, but for that to happen, we need to get him under control on a leash, listening on a leash instead of trying to drag us all around the neighbourhood.

We're talking about a dog who used to jump up on people, rush the door, jump up and try to bite me for food, or just for the sake of trying to dominate (me over him, or him over me). He's drawn blood on my arms or hands, left bruises on my legs when he runs full tilt into me, as I won't move for him, he needs to go around me. He's jumped up on the kids, he won't allow his nails to be clipped, he fights being brushed. In general, he always wants to be in charge, I know that, I've been dealing with it for 2 years. I've taken my share of bumps, bruises, bites, and yet, I DO still have him. Lesser people would have rehomed him for much less or when they had a baby. I didn't do that.

I want him to be a go anywhere, do anything dog. I don't mind having a constant shadow, as long as he's a decently behaved shadow :) He has made lots of progress and I'm proud of that. I've put a lot of time and energy into this guy, and I'd hate to re-home him and feel it was all for nothing.

You've done a ton of really good work with this dog. You HAVE to get your husband on board. The two of you need to go, together, to a trainer, to work on the leash pulling. You both need to have consistent approaches, techniques, and expectations for the dog so it's crystal-clear what it is you want him to do. This is totally not a lost cause.

aslan
October 15th, 2010, 07:56 AM
I don't want to go back and re-read everything again,,was Rexx diagnosed by a vet as ADHD or did someone just suggest it to you,,if not properly diagnosed you might want to do that right off the bat. To me it sounds like learned behavior,,more than likely from long before you ever set eyes on him..kinda like don't pick up a baby everytime it cries thing...

What i am going to suggest is look at some of the excellent advice you've been given and pm the person who posted it,,they will more than likely be able to give you more advice without distraction of all the other post or better yet can refer you to a qualified trainer or behaviorist near you...I know Lp knows a good behaviorist but they may not be in your area..

Last thing,,,,,i read you have cats in the house...DO NOT use lavander essential oils..they work wonderfullly on dogs but are toxic to cats..

Bailey_
October 15th, 2010, 11:05 AM
Little buggar saw 2 more squirrels on the way home and went bonkers over them, almost pulling hte leash right out of my hand, because I wasn't about to let him tip the stroller!


Walking a high energy dog that is not leashed trained while pushing a stroller or looking after kids is EXTREMLEY stressful and can be very scary!! It's not fun at all, and it almost adds to the experience in a more negative way. No *wonder* you have been so incredibly frustrated, and kudos to you for continuing to try.

My initial suggestion would be to sit down and talk to your husband, if this hasn't already happened. Your dog CAN be trained to walk well on leash, and also respect the stroller when you take it out - but you cannot do this alone. He TOTALLY needs to be on board and help you! It would be a good idea to start walking your dog seperately, without your kids along. I'd still take the stroller with you however and keep using it with your dog - regardless of whether or not there are kids in it.

In my class, I'll often set up a row of pylons and use shopping carts, bikes, skateboards (usually on strings so owners pull it behind them), and strollers included - and have owners weave in and out of the pylons with their dogs, doing figure eights, or complete circles, as well. The key is teaching the dog to focus on their owners movement, as well as showing them that whatever they are pushing means serious business and they need to pay attention.

Mogsmum
October 15th, 2010, 11:19 AM
YES try agility. People don't realize the obedience associated with agility not to mention the bond and connection that goes with it.

Yes, I wanted to get to that point with him where he could do some agility or flyball, however his obedience levels are not up to par for those yet. The dog needs to focus on the job and the handler/trainer. Rexx cannot do that for a long enough time period yet.

Mogsmum
October 15th, 2010, 11:32 AM
I've got 3 kids, 4 cats, a hamster, a rat and this dog. My oldest cat was diagnosed with CRF just over 2 yrs ago, I went to the ends of the earth to find out what I could do for her and how to go about dong it. I reasearched til wee hours of the morning.

When my previous rescue dog (a rotti/dobe mix) was ill, I took him to the vet, when the meds werent working I took him back, when they wanted to do xrays and iv fluids and ultrasounds, I paid for all of it. And when they told me my dog had protate cancer and they couldn't do anything, I bawled my eyes out for days, and days. I was the one strong enough to say "I have to do what's best for him". I was the one who held his lovely head and stroked his beautiful face while the vet gave him the needle. I was the one who stayed with him afterwards, until I was sure he was gone. I am the one who still bawls my eyes out over him, almost 2 years later.

I purposely adopted a rescue dog because I refuse to perpetuate the back-yard breeders and the puppy mills. I knew there would be issues and I was fully prepared to deal with those issues. I won't just dispose of pets because they have an issue, or they are sick. They are MY responsibility.

Edited by Mod - Issues between members should be taken to PM not in open forum

Mogsmum
October 15th, 2010, 11:35 AM
Walking a high energy dog that is not leashed trained while pushing a stroller or looking after kids is EXTREMLEY stressful and can be very scary!! It's not fun at all, and it almost adds to the experience in a more negative way. No *wonder* you have been so incredibly frustrated, and kudos to you for continuing to try.

My initial suggestion would be to sit down and talk to your husband, if this hasn't already happened. Your dog CAN be trained to walk well on leash, and also respect the stroller when you take it out - but you cannot do this alone. He TOTALLY needs to be on board and help you! It would be a good idea to start walking your dog seperately, without your kids along. I'd still take the stroller with you however and keep using it with your dog - regardless of whether or not there are kids in it.

In my class, I'll often set up a row of pylons and use shopping carts, bikes, skateboards (usually on strings so owners pull it behind them), and strollers included - and have owners weave in and out of the pylons with their dogs, doing figure eights, or complete circles, as well. The key is teaching the dog to focus on their owners movement, as well as showing them that whatever they are pushing means serious business and they need to pay attention.


Thanks Bailey. I've talked to him numerous times. He just won't commit anythhing more that what he thinks is necessary. Hence why I just take it all on myself. Maybe he'll get the message when I start leaving the baby at home, and she's yelling at him for an hour straight :angel:

Mogsmum
October 15th, 2010, 11:42 AM
When you take him out for a walk, it is not for leisure, it is not for fun. You make him sit to put on the leash, you make him sit before you open the door and then he should sit in front of the wide open door and wait for you to let him know it's time to go out. Once you're out the door and he starts to pull, you give a pull on the leash and say "Heal" or "No" or whatever word you wish to use and use it firmly. Make sure it's not something complicated like "Dog stop pulling now!" 'Cause that won't sink in very quick. If he continues to pull after the first initial pull and firm voice correction. Then you should stop, and make him sit every time he pulls. If he wont sit and wait and starts acting like a retard, turn around and walk back towards your house. He doesn't get to be the boss, he doesn't get to go for a walk if he can't behave.

Please don't give up on this dog, you've already rescued him from a rescue because someone else didn't love him enough. If you love him like you say you do, you can fix him, you can help him.


Yes, I've been doing those things, or rather, attempting to do them, since day one. He does sit for his collar/leash, he does sit at the door, he does sit if he pulls. If I stop, he's learning he best sit if he doesn't want his neck yanked. He is always trying to be ahead. A walk with him is a constant battle to keep him beside me.

I'm not giving up on him, but there are times when you, as a responsible pet owner wanting the best for your pet, have to have the maturity to realize "I may not be the right person for this dog". I'm not tossing him out the door tomorrow. And if I cannot find a suitable place or rescue for him to go to, then he stays with me, and I deal with I him as best I can, it's that simple. Right now I am weighing what my options are and considering a few other training ideas that I havent' tried yet and just gathering advice.

Mogsmum
October 15th, 2010, 11:50 AM
Bendyfoot, so you're telling me there is hope? :laughing:

I know he's a smart trainable dog. I know that a lot of his issues are dominance -related issues and I know it'll get worse before it gets better. I know he will fight back to not lose "his ground", his alpha role, we've had a few of those fights. One really nasty one was in front of the dog trainer guy we were working with earlier this year. I ended up with scratches all down my arms, tooth marks all on my hands, some bleeding...I didn't care. In the end, I won the battle.

And this, this was all over me claiming one of his posessions, his bed.

However, now he moves from his bed if he sees me approaching it. He moves for the baby as well :thumbs up

bendyfoot
October 15th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Bendyfoot, so you're telling me there is hope? :laughing:

That is kinda what I was trying to convey, yeah :D



I don't know what the right type of training/trainer is going to be right for your dog...I know lots of people here have very different and very excellent ideas about what the "right" type of training is. I personally think every dog responds to, and is motivated by, different training methods. What worked for Gracie does not work for our Jaida, for example. You may really have to fish around a little to find out what makes him tick, what motivates him to work. I'd also be cautious about trainers who allow you to get into situations where you're getting injured...although one of our trainers used similar approaches (with great success), scenarios were carefully controlled to ensure that neither dog nor human was ever injured.

One of the most important things I learned from Gracie's trainer (and this was well before I ever heard of Cesar Milan) was the importance of being aware of our own emotions, behaviours, and body language, since these all have a tremendous impact on the dog. I also learned how to read body language reasonably well (as much as a non-dog can reasonably expect to perceive, considering most inter-canine communication happens in a blink of an eye). This allowed me to a) be aware of how I was setting up Gracie for failure (I say "I" but it was "us"...both DW and I worked with the trainer and practiced with Gracie daily) and how I could help her succeed b) be aware of her triggers, and how to stop the cycle of unwanted behaviour, which I had not realized before was highly ritualized and predictable, before it escalated to a point where it was too late to stop without a major kerfuffle.

Love4himies
October 15th, 2010, 12:04 PM
I've got 3 kids, 4 cats, a hamster, a rat and this dog. My oldest cat was diagnosed with CRF just over 2 yrs ago, I went to the ends of the earth to find out what I could do for her and how to go about dong it. I reasearched til wee hours of the morning.

When my previous rescue dog (a rotti/dobe mix) was ill, I took him to the vet, when the meds werent working I took him back, when they wanted to do xrays and iv fluids and ultrasounds, I paid for all of it. And when they told me my dog had protate cancer and they couldn't do anything, I bawled my eyes out for days, and days. I was the one strong enough to say "I have to do what's best for him". I was the one who held his lovely head and stroked his beautiful face while the vet gave him the needle. I was the one who stayed with him afterwards, until I was sure he was gone. I am the one who still bawls my eyes out over him, almost 2 years later.

I purposely adopted a rescue dog because I refuse to perpetuate the back-yard breeders and the puppy mills. I knew there would be issues and I was fully prepared to deal with those issues. I won't just dispose of pets because they have an issue, or they are sick. They are MY responsibility.


I really love your commitment to this dog and I hope you find something that works :pray:. The way you are living now is not fair to the dog or your family.

Marty11
October 15th, 2010, 12:54 PM
AGILITY is training disguised as fun. I'm telling you the right trainer will be able to help you. Wish you could go to mine. I've seen puppies train. If the dog really enjoys it, you will see he will want to please.....

aslan
October 15th, 2010, 01:06 PM
Bailey is a trainer and maybe able to give you some sound help.

pattymac
October 15th, 2010, 03:18 PM
I'm no expert here, but your dog sounds alot like my Bayley...shep/husky and maybe a few more thrown in but her mom was a sled dog. She's 4 and until recently it seemed the husky part of her brain worked more than the shepherd part. Until she turned around 3, she was a major handful. As a puppy she was a dog/shark all teeth. What do you mean walk nicely beside mom....ahahahah. One trainer where we lived told me that if you can get her trained, you can train anything! She still has her moments, but I take my time with her. Now she knows how to heel, she still prefers to be in front or behind but I let her as long as she doesn't pull!! I don't care where she is, as long as the leash or line isn't tight. She knows in town she stays close. She's also super smart so we work on tricks in the house. She learned not to grab treats and watch me with the closed hand with the treat. Sure you may get slobbered on, maybe gnawed on a bit but it works wonders and teaches them patience.

As for her recall, I will admit we've never had much of an issue but a long line and lots of praise and goodies works wonders. Also if we were say at a dog park, or just out on the trails, I'd call her back to me, give her some loveys or a little treat and send her off again. That way, she'd realize that just because I'm calling her doesn't mean that we're going home.

The tricks are great too, to help them focus on you. In the mornings, we work on her bringing me things that I ask for, so she gets her morning cookies. She has to bring me my shoes and slippers and anything else that I name that she knows the name of. If she brings me something I didn't ask for she doesn't get the cookie. She also can't just drop it on the floor, she has to give it to me. I don't use a clicker for that, just YES and a cookie. We do use a clicker for things like shaping, but I think to get to that they need to be able to be calm and think without getting too excited.

I don't know if that helps, I'm not a trainer and Bayley's just my 2nd dog. I remember one day when she still had her puppy teeth she nailed me good, drew blood and I really doubted myself for getting her. Now though she has awesome control over her teeth and while she does mouth when we're wrestling, there's never any pressure and most of the time she has a toy in her mouth.

Rgeurts
October 15th, 2010, 05:34 PM
Edited by Mod - Issues between members should be taken to PM not in open forum

Have a great day.

bendyfoot
October 15th, 2010, 06:43 PM
Of COURSE she was speaking negatively, she's frustrated as heck, and she was venting. It doesn't mean her intentions aren't good and that she doesn't deserve support; that's probably why others didn't respond to it. If you've never had to work with a very, very difficult dog then maybe you can't understand that the negativity is not about the dog, but about the situation. I love my dogs to the end of the earth and would do anything for them, but you can be sure that I've used the words "that dog" and "a-hole" and "jerk" to describe them when I was at the end of my rope. It doesn't make me a bad person or bad dog owner, just an exasperated one. These comments are not helping the dog or the OP reach a solution. Please offer something helpful or refrain from commenting.

bendyfoot
October 15th, 2010, 07:00 PM
I think maybe I just know where she's coming from. Sometimes I couldn't even stand to be in the same room as Gracie, even though I loved her tremendously. I would get THAT upset about her behaviour. I respect the OP for working as hard as she had and wanting to stick it out and find a solution. She's not saying she's giving up, she saying she desperately wants to fix the problem...she's looking for help, not criticism about the words she's using. We're all only human...sometimes we say/think things we may not be proud of later when emotions are running high.

GateKeeper
October 16th, 2010, 12:34 AM
Let's keep this thread on track and on topic please. Rudeness will not be tolerated by any member, issues between members should be taken to PM.

Thank you,
GateKeeper - Mod

marko
October 16th, 2010, 03:23 AM
Yes please. The OP came here for help. If you cannot help in a friendly way...
PLEASE do not post in this thread. It is obvious that this person is not a troll and has come to us for help. The name she called her dog out of frustration is not important here, so please choose to help in a friendly way or choose not to post.
Please do not respond to these above comments but feel free to help move the thread forward in a positive way.

Thanks in advance
Marko

Mogsmum
October 17th, 2010, 10:34 AM
Thanks Marko and Gatekeeper.

I appreciate the helpful comments that you all have made. I know Rexx can be worked with, I know he's a smart dog, I know he'll get "it" one day.

I think, more than anything, what I'm questioning is, am I the right person to teach him to get "it". Would he have improved faster with someone else? I dunno. Does he need to improve? Definitely.

My goal for him was to pass the canine good neighbour test, maybe do agility or flyball, and just be the tag along dog, the dog who could go anywhere because he behaved so well. Maybe that's reaching a bit high :laughing: Right now I'd settle for a decent 5 minutes of walking without going berserk over a squirrel, or trying to pull my arm off and constantly staying ahead of me.

And I know dogs can sense frustration or anxiety or stress, but he behaves like this even on days where the house has been completely calm and cool for days.

I've got a few more options to try with him, so, as I said, he's not going anywhere tomorrow, next week, or next month. If I reach the end of all the things I can think of to try and get him under control, and we're made zero progress, then I'll start considering finding him a new home.

Bailey_
October 18th, 2010, 12:23 PM
I've got a few more options to try with him, so, as I said, he's not going anywhere tomorrow, next week, or next month. If I reach the end of all the things I can think of to try and get him under control, and we're made zero progress, then I'll start considering finding him a new home.


Keep us posted. :thumbs up As Bendyfoot mentioned, sometimes all it takes is finding the right niche for you AND your dog. Have you been able to find any local agility courses starting soon?

Whatever comes of it, if you need to rehome your dog as the absolute last resort, there are some very great reputable rescues here that can help - and people on this forum that can refer you to some.

pbpatti
October 18th, 2010, 02:46 PM
Mogsmum, hope that your weekend was good and that Rexx behaved himself. I am training to become a Tellington TTouch practioner and perhaps some of these techiques can help you. There are body wraps that help calm animals and touches that may also help. I believe there should be some practioners in your area that may be able to give you some help. It is worth looking at at the least. One other idea is the Thundershirt, this is a "shirt" that fits tightly and makes the dog feel secure, brings the anxiety levels right down. It was designed using the TTouch body wrap ideas. pm me if you want further information. patti