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sabrinadort May 2nd, 2012 11:08 AM

BIG DOG Troubles - Crate or Not to Crate

I rescued two bullmastiffs in October, they are 8 months now and growing at an amazing rate. I don't like keeping them cooped up in their crate all day while my husband and I work. But if I do not they chew EVERYTHING and anything and poop and pee in the house. They are house trained and we don't keep them in the crate over night and there is never any accidents or distruction. PLEASE what am I doing wrong, I don't know how to correct this behaviour.

any suggestion will be very helpful.

Longblades May 2nd, 2012 02:29 PM

I agree with not keeping a growing dog, or any dog, in a crate all day. Can you try pens or a gated room? You'd need two pens or rooms of course. At least they could move around a bit more. I imagine you will need very sturdy pens. :) Or gates.

Other options other folks use is doggy day care, a friend to come in and walk them and at least let them out in the yard for a bit, or a professional dog walker.

Are they siblings? Regardless, at the same young age they are they should be doing things separately so they do not bond too closely to each other and not to you. One goes to DDC one day and the other the next day? As well as pens or gates? They should be going to separate dog classes too, accordings to other sibling puppy wisdom I've read.

sabrinadort May 2nd, 2012 02:37 PM

Thank you for your suggestions, but what shoiuld i do about the chewing everything and pooping in the house when we are not around??
We train them seperately and they are sibblings. They are obideant as long as we are around. they are still puppies tho maybe they are just testing us.

Longblades May 2nd, 2012 02:56 PM

When we penned or gated the floor was pee and poopable vinyl and easily cleaned. A pen would be best I guess as some dogs will chew the walls. We penned in our kitchen and had no damage. Imagine that, a Lab who doesn't chew. We were lucky.

I really, really am against crating to force a young puppy to hold on but yours are of an age where they should have the control needed by now. I realize you are attempting to potty train and can't since you have to work. Darn work, cramps all our style. :) So if you did have to crate till they learned control I'd recommend the DDC and a friend to come in and walk them. More than once a day.

Given their ages I think that would be good even if you used a pen or gates but you could cut down the outings once they've learned the potty. Though Bullmastiffs are not as active puppies as Labs are, I thinK? I have a Lab. The BM across the street, RIP Mocha, sure could not keep up to my Lab.

OH crap, better not call them BM when we are talking potty. BMtiff? :)

AND, we'd like to see some photos. Please? The BMtiff on my street was also a rescue and the most gentle, loving, wonderful dog you could imagine. OUr whole street mourned when she went too young, age 7, of cancer.

DobeOwnrX2 May 2nd, 2012 02:58 PM

I know what your going through. Here is some advice I would like to pass on to you; Your instincts are right it is not fair to crate large animals for long periods of time. Personally we transformed a portion of the basement into a kennel. I used chain link fence supplies on a wooden base. Its about 8x10ft and tall enough to keep a doberman pinscer secure. Keep in mind also that you have puppies. Dogs shouldn't be left out on their own until they have not had an accident in the house for 2 or more months (this period may vary w/ opinion). Working dogs are notorious for deystroying things. This is because they have a high drive, just being house pets often builds this frustration. Training must be engaging to the mind of the dog. You may have to spend more time tiring these dogs out. Another piece of advice is this; I don't know if they are both males, but if they are please don't ever leave them alone together (regarless of the fact they are litter mates). When male dogs peak in adolescents they tend to not tolerate each other all the time. If you leave them together (especially because they are the same breed) they may fight and you will not be there to separate them. One of your dogs could become seriously injured or worse. Please just take this point away if no others.

sabrinadort May 3rd, 2012 01:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Amazing advice. I think Im going to try the basement kennel. . . They are male and female. Both fixed.!! I try to get them as much excerise as possibel. At least 3 walks a day plus everyday we take them to a dog park to make "friends". I am very lucky that they are friendly because they can be intimidating to strangers and young children. ... I'm just looking forward to the accident and damage free days. They are my babies and just want the best for them. Please see attached picture of Tucker (left) and Charlie ( right). Im a new user... not sure if it will work please let me know.


Dog Dancer May 3rd, 2012 03:41 PM

Your picture worked fine it seems. Tucker and Charlie are fabulous! I love love love big doggies. :lovestruck: Charlie is an interesting name for a girl - how did that come about? And kudo's to Tucker for covering up his boy parts in the picture :D. See now I don't find them intimidating, I'd be the one coming down the street begging you to let me pet them and give them cookies. It's funny how with large dogs people assume we're going to our dogs eat them if they get too close...

DobeOwnrX2 May 3rd, 2012 03:47 PM

They look deceivingly innocent in this picture. Im sorry if I may have came off wierd about leaving them together (just a rule my breeder lives by). I bet they are no where to be found when they deystroy something...and they probably have that look on their faces (you know, the constipated owl). Like "Oh where did that come from, I didn't do that, geez..." They look like gorgeous dogs, best of luck, the basement kennel saved our sanity. We keep our younger male in it, and he seems happier than he would be in a kennel. They will stop deystroying things eventually

hazelrunpack May 3rd, 2012 09:41 PM

Wow, what gorgeous furbabies, sabrinadort!! :flirt:

sabrinadort May 10th, 2012 09:58 AM

Thanks so much for the comments Ill be sure to tell them how cute everyone thinks they are.
I've made the bigger kennel in the basement but am still having the same pooping issues??? Im dumb founded. They always ask to go out when we are home ... NO accidents during the evening when they are aloud to roam freely??
also .... they are still distroying stuff behind our backs lol. Sneeky and very quietly, for such big animals.
I wonder if they are lashing out because we leave them during the day. But there is always someone going over mid day so they can relieve themselves.

sabrinadort May 10th, 2012 10:01 AM

I chose Charlie because I wanted to name my parents dog Charlie (hes a boy) but they liked Odie better. So when I had the power to name my own babies. I did just that... and now I think Charlie is a girls name lol. Its suits her well.

Digston May 10th, 2012 11:13 AM

Hopefully the chewing thing passes as they age, I know how frustrating it can be as my one dog ate my window frame and part of the wall around it :censored: I kept my dog crated until he no longer chewed anything, it lasted until he was just about a year. He's no mastiff though, he's a boxer x.
I am working in a doggy daycare currently and you would be surprised how many people bring their dogs everyday... I know I was. The one I am at is more of a free 4 all style. It's a couple of size specific indoor/outdoor parks. It allows the dogs to burn off a lot of energy because they can play and run with other dogs. Negative side is that there can be injuries, whether from rough play or a full out fight.
The daycare I am at charges $20 a day, with a discounted monthly rate. But still, expensive. Too much for someone like me. I personally would try everything else before a daycare just because of the cost.

Choochi May 10th, 2012 12:16 PM

Even if you do daycare once or twice per week it can help, or try to make arrangements to have some one come in mid day to walk the dogs. Full day alone in a crate or not they're probably bored out of their minds!!!

sabrinadort May 10th, 2012 01:17 PM

Thats the thing we do gethome to walk them mid day... and we take them for 30 min runs with us in the morning, and to the dog park we go after work for roughly an hr and we do this daily...... trust me when I say for a "lazy" dog breed they sure are not lazy.

BastienBully May 10th, 2012 01:50 PM

Beautiful dogs!!! :D Good luck!

tenderfoot May 11th, 2012 11:08 AM

Between 8-10 months dogs go through a chewing stage that can be more intense than earlier chewing phases. It has nothing to do with teething and everything to do with teenage energy.
The importance of crate training is very apparent at this time. It keeps your stuff safe and keeps them safe. You do not want to come home to a shredded couch or a sick dog.
If you can secure a safe area for them to be then thats fine, but even a bathroom or kitchen has tons of hazards which bored mastiffs can tear up. It can also be a mistake to confine 2 large teenagers together in a small space. If they decide to challenge each other (which teenagers can do) there is no escape for the underdog.
These are youngsters with energy, not yet the mature lazy dogs they could
become. They need energetic outlets and rest. So if the time you have together is well spent then the down time is okay.
If you can do doggie daycare for one or both that would be great. Even 1/2 a day at a time is huge, and it is also a good idea to separate them a fair amount. You don't want them to be overly bonded to each other. Different days at daycare or separating them in crates can help with this.
These pups are not house trained. If they are soiling the house they are not house trained. Holding 'it' through the night doesn't mean a lot. The bio-rhythyms of the night are different, the body shuts down as we rest and sleep deeply. But during the day with activity we need to go more often. If they are forced to soil inside because no one is present to let them out, then we have left them for too long and/or not taken the time to teach them to hold themselves.
You have taken on a big challenge with these two gorgeous animals, and it requires a higher level of management and training. Thanks for bringing them home, but it will come down to good training to determine if this was a good choice for all concerned.

chico2 May 11th, 2012 06:25 PM

Wow,Gorgeous dogs:lovestruck:

Kirsten145741 May 17th, 2012 02:12 PM

What gorgeous fur babies!
We don't have a bull mastiff--but we have a large rescue dog that had the same problems around 8 months. I couldn't bare to leave him in a crate all day while we were at work so I understand where you're coming from there. As some suggest we gated him into "pee friendly" portions of the house even before the 8 month mark. He didn't have an accident in the house anywhere after 3 months except ONE particular spot. He peed there every day for a week even though I cleaned it up! So frustrating. Someone told me to clean it with a special cleaner so he couldn't smell it--after that he had no issues with going in the house. It was frustrating when he did go though because we had someone come and let him out every day and bring their dog for him to play with. So it definitely wasn't that he was inside too long. I also usually came home once a day so he was never alone for longer then two hours.
The BIG problem however was the chewing---anything we could think of he destroyed--the table cloth, a cake on top of the fridge (still trying to figure that one out!), shoes that were put up so high I could barely reach them--nothing was safe from such a large dog.
We eventually took him to puppy school at 9.5 months. The teacher suggested getting him a back pack. WHAT A DIFFERENCE it made! We had always taken him for bike rides, runs, or walks at night, and he had puppy play group once a week but such high energy we couldn't drain it. After I had him chase me on my bike for 5K with some weights in his back pack he was exhausted! I would do this in the morning usually so he just slept until I came back.
I can't speak to it being an issue with both dogs in the same place however, we just got another dog briefly (while someone had a baby and needed to move) for a month and the two dogs didn't have any problems in the house during the day--except most nights they were so tired from playing with each other they didn't want to go for the bike ride!
I'm no expert but hopefully I've provided some suggestions :thumbs up
Good luck!

tenderfoot May 18th, 2012 08:59 AM

So happy it worked for you.
However, I do want add a caveat to this theory. If you are exhausting our dog on a daily basis in order to create a calm dog - it can work until he takes a nap. Then he wakes up and is his same old refreshed self, and he hasn't learned a thing. Plus, this week 5k will do the trick but next week you are going to need to do 6k to get the same results because you are now conditioning an athlete.
Physical workouts are valuable and good for everyone, but mental workouts are just as tiring and actually teach. So the dog behaves no matter how much exercise they have had.

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