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Thread: Calling all dog trainers!

  1. #1

    Calling all dog trainers!

    This is going to be long FYI. About 3 years ago a puppy bully breed dog was born. After about 4 weeks this puppy was taken from his mother, and sold to a lady. This lady had no idea what she was doing, and had no time for the dog. She cuddled him and then locked him in a crate once he was no longer cute. This young pup spent 24 hours a day locked in a metal crate without bedding in a garage even in the harsh northern winters. If the dog messed himself, he would have to lay in it until the lady came home from the bar, if she came home at all. After a year or so, lady could not keep the dog any longer, and put him on Craigslist. No one wanted the dog, he was a bully breed and not cute anymore. He was at that awkward teen stage. I knew the history of the dog, unfortunately the owner and knew that if he didn't find a home (or even if he did) he would end up in a shelter, and put down. He is not aggressive, just a handful. So I took him in. I was afraid a new owner would not get the whole story, and just deem him a bad dog and dispose of him. I didn't want to see that happen.

    I am home all the time, have a small farm and a warm home for him to sleep. I cook him food, and make sure he is taken care of, but he is driving me nuts. I need help. It took two years, but we finally got him house trained and crate trained. He is needy, very needy. Has to be touching me, laying his head on me all the time. He loves to destroy just about everything. His bedding will be destroyed if I do not watch him ever so closely. Nothing works to correct his behavior. Shaking a can full of pennies, screaming, calmly reprimanding, time out, shock collar, ignoring... NOTHING. The only thing that slightly works is a rolled up newspaper, but then he just jumps away from the paper and keeps being naughty. At times I swear he gives me this look like "ha ha you can't get me".

    Sometimes it is really funny, but most of the time it is not. I have worked with young children as well as special needs children, and I mean no disrespect but sometimes he acts like he is special needs. He is smart, and knows when he has done something wrong, but just doesn't care. He is not aggressive, but rather sweet. He is just very naughty and I don't know how to correct that. I have had many dogs, but none like him. He is a little more mellow when we can play fetch outside, but it is 11 degrees here and about 2 feet of snow. No one wants to be out there playing fetch. Does anyone have any suggestions? I love him, but he is a challenge and am just wondering if there is anything that would help us all out.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Moderator carolyn's Avatar
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    Okay. The good news for you is he is house trained and crate trained. I think you need to read blog on Dog Whisperer. http://www.cesarsway.com/channel/dog-whisperer-tv. Caesar Milan is very good. You need to become Alpha Mom. When you say--he acts like "ha ha you can't get me," you are not Alpha mom.

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  4. #3
    Thanks carolyn I appreciate the reply. I will check out Caesar Milan!!
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - Albert Einstein

  5. #4
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    Here's a tip I have that I've used on puppies that start to chew. Make everything smell like you. I would take my after shave/cologne and spray it on the couch corners and table legs. I've stuffed dog beds with my old shirts (unwashed). I've also put the same shirts inside their crates. What this does is establish your scent and your dominant claim over that object. Kinda like marking just you don't have to pee all over everything. I've found that my dogs would not chew or destroy my things that way. Also have plenty of dog chew toys available, you can swap them out every so often to keep the dog interested. Also stuffing a toy with peanut butter or spray cheese can keep them occupied for hours. Definitely try to catch him in the act. Reprimanding after the fact is ineffective.

    I've also had 2 dogs that were very needy. I made the mistake of letting them sleep in my bed from birth. After they got bigger and I kicked them out..major separation anxiety. I had on eat through the door, door molding, and drywall to get in my room. If he is need because of that its a bit harder to break. Let me know and I can explain in detail how to deal with it.

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  7. #5
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    Here's a tip I have that I've used on puppies that start to chew. Make everything smell like you. I would take my after shave/cologne and spray it on the couch corners and table legs. I've stuffed dog beds with my old shirts (unwashed). I've also put the same shirts inside their crates. What this does is establish your scent and your dominant claim over that object. Kinda like marking just you don't have to pee all over everything. I've found that my dogs would not chew or destroy my things that way. Also have plenty of dog chew toys available, you can swap them out every so often to keep the dog interested. Also stuffing a toy with peanut butter or spray cheese can keep them occupied for hours. Definitely try to catch him in the act. Reprimanding after the fact is ineffective.

    I've also had 2 dogs that were very needy. I made the mistake of letting them sleep in my bed from birth. After they got bigger and I kicked them out..major separation anxiety. I had on eat through the door, door molding, and drywall to get in my room. If he is need because of that its a bit harder to break. Let me know and I can explain in detail how to deal with it.

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  9. #6
    Member djjustice24's Avatar
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    Hello Butterfly,
    Ok what you can also do since this is a rescue puppy u can find a local dog rescue and let them know your issue alot of times to help owners not give up pets they will offer free training sessions at their facility. if might also do good to get another dog so your bully can learn to spend time with other dogs instead of always being with a human. this pet suffers from major anxiety because of the crate they previous owner placed them in. Remember dogs learn correct behaviour by treats and other stimuli. so if the dog jumps on the couch to lay his head on you simply carry or push him off the couch and tell him NO and if he doesnt jump up give him a treat. It will take time but im so glad you have saved this dog and wish you the best of luck in the future.

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  11. #7
    Member djjustice24's Avatar
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    also here is a great website for dog training forums just like turker forum this one is for dog training and issues hope somehwere there is more help then me http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/ dog forums dot com click dog training

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  13. #8
    Moderator carolyn's Avatar
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    Hey TKMSTR---my wonderful doggie has problem you describe with one door in house to outside. If I leave by that door, he will scratch, chew, destroy door and molding. If I leave by garage door he is fine. I can deal with that by leaving by garage door. But the main problem is this. When I take him to pet friendly motel, I cannot leave him in room. He destroyed a door about 2 months ago. If you have idea, please help.

  14. #9
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    It sounds like you have one of the same problems I had Carolyn. My other dog would always destroy the front door to the house. He'd chew the door knob, and the door. He couldn't get through since as the main door it was solid core with metal. I tried as many things as I could calling upon all my dog training classes when I worked for Petsmart/Petstuff. It eventually dawned on me that he would always see me leave through the same door in the morning for work. Majority of the time I came home and went through the garage or sometimes on garbage days the rear door. So basically, I would return randomly. He always targeted the front main door. No bathroom, garage, back, kitchen, or bedroom door. So I assumed his main freak out time was shortly after I left for work. This took months to fix and constant training but it worked and here's what I did.

    I would wake up everyday an hour earlier than normal....and on my days off too, no sleeping in. I would get dressed and go through my normal routine. Since I had an hour to kill it was plenty of time to begin training. I would leave through the front door, start my truck (an audio cue I was leaving), back out of the driveway, park and turn it off, then go back inside through the front door. Now in the process of doing that I could hear him whining and barking from outside. He totally did not expect it. Now here's the fun part. I'd go inside and totally ignore him for 5 minutes. If he jumped up, I'd push him off and continue doing something. Then after the 5 minutes, treats and all the love in the world. Now there is still more time to kill, so I'd do it again, and again. I could usually do it 4 or 5 times before I actually left for work.

    What I was doing was conditioning him to the fact that I will always return. After about a week, gradually increase the time you spend outside before you go back inside. The trick is for him to think you actually left, and then came back. Gradually keep increasing it as long as you have progress. Sometimes I would just sit in my truck listening to the radio. I eventually made it to the point I could go check the mail which was down the street. And then...to the gas station for coffee. I just kept increasing the time I was away. On my days off I'd be gone an hour or 2. Just keep at it. Eventually he stopped paying attention to me when I came through the door. That was probably the biggest break through for me. That day he was like "you left and I didn't care".

    Dealing with the destruction was a bit rough but eventually it stopped. I wrapped my sock around the door knob (be sure to remove if guests are coming over lol). And I put some chicken wire on the door. Oh bonus tip for those with dogs that dig, put down some chicken wire under the dirt where they dig. My dogs hated it on their claws when digging. My other dog that ate through my bedroom door was even worse, but I used the same process. I'd go into each room of the house close the door....then come back out. Hopefully you find something that works for you. Keep us posted of your progress.

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  16. #10
    Moderator carolyn's Avatar
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    Okay, I am going to try this. Thanks so much for taking time to write

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