New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

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kawaiidesu343
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:23 pm

New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by kawaiidesu343 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:31 pm

I adopted my dog about a week and a half ago from the SPCA. He is a 2 year old lab mix, and he looks like he definitely has some hound in him. I don't know his story, all that they told me was that he was seized and that it was evident he had never had enough to eat. He is a great pup, I am loving him already, but he is starting to drive me crazy.

It appears he is house trained, when I take him out he will do his business no problem and generally doesn't have accidents in the house. However, he has taken to doing number 2 in the apartment and destroying whatever he can get his little teeth on when I am at work. I wasn't planning on crating him (I have owned a few dogs over the course of my life, and we have never used a crate) but I think that this will be the best course of action. Thoughts on that?

He is also peeing in the house, but it doesn't seem as though it is an accident. I took him outside today and less than a half an hour later he peed all over my bed! He will sometimes pee while walking down the hall, when nothing exciting is happening. When he peed on my bed I didn't even yell at him, I was in such shock, and he just kind of slunk out of my room. This I could really use some advice on.

And lastly, the jumping and the biting. I play with him all day long, but if I am trying to take a break he will come over and starting chewing his toy on me and a lot of times ends up getting skin/clothes caught in it. I have taken away his toy due to the biting and he then just gnaws on my hand. Ignoring it doesn't work, telling him "off" doesn't work, (his name is "Geno", so I use the word off instead of "no" since it sounds like his name.) pushing him away makes him think you are playing. If I ignore him he just chews my hand. I don't know what to do about this.

He is very smart! I have taught him to sit, shake, lay down, and stay in the 10 days that he has been with me. It is just these few problems that are driving me nuts and I don't even know where to start to train him out of them.

troop
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:50 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by troop » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:40 am

Hi
You havent had him long so chill dont panic yet. First call i reckon would be vets to check he doesnt have something wrong with him with regards to the peeing. Have you got the chewy kong things or treat balls you could try giving him those to distract him when you need peace. You say he chews when you go to work but that you play with him all day :D . How long are you at work for? How long are his walks?
im sure you will get tons of better advice and i havent popped on here for ages. Take care and have fun with your newbie im sure things will settle down once you have got on top of everything xx

kawaiidesu343
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:23 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by kawaiidesu343 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:26 am

I work from 11am-3pm or 4pm until 11pm. I have a roommate and we usually have opposite schedules, so we rarely work together and only leave him home alone if I have to drop her off at work or vice versa. We got him a treat ball, but he chewed through the darn thing while we were sleeping. He has a nylon bone, I won't give him rawhide because we had an aggression issue with it when we first got home. I

He gets one long walk a day, and then a ton of shorter walks whenever we take him out to use the bathroom. We rarely go outside, pee, and then come back in unless it is super late at night.

troop
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:50 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by troop » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:56 am

It sounds like you are already well set up and its just a case of shaping boundaries until pup settles. Typical about him killing the chew toy :shock: . :roll: . I find with any of our new additions (i rescue/foster) it can generally just take time for them to settle in and learn the rules. Can you put a lead on pup and remove from room just for a short while if he starts to chew on you?

jacksdad
Posts: 4885
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by jacksdad » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:45 pm

absolutely recommend a vet check. And not just the go see the vet, take his temperature, run hands over dog type check. But as complete a check as seems logical and you can afford. at the very least you want to rule bladder infection or some other medical cause for his urination in the house. particularly the peeing as he walks down the hall.

However, I don't think all his going in the house can be chalked up to medical issues. It also sounds like you have a very nervous/anxious pup there. The peeing on the bed, the going while your at work in the house, destroying things while your out are all symptoms of stress and anxiety.

So, what to do in addition to the vet check.

First, don't assume a solid house training just because you dog is of an adult age. Take a page from the puppy house training, take him out fairly regularly and really reward him for going out side. for example if he can hold it for 1 hour, then go out between every 45 min to 55 min. go a bit earlier than his NEED. if it's every 2 hours go out a little earlier than a full to hours. that kind of thing. Really, really make sure he gets a chance to empty him self before leaving him. And close off any parts of the house you don't want an accident in. And continue to never yell or punish for accidents in the house. A great example of why is a anecdote by Patrica McConnell in "other end of the leash". By yelling at and punishing his dog for going in the house, a guy ended up essentially teaching his dog to go to the bathroom on his bed/pillow. other people have related stories of dogs no longer going outside in front of their people and holding it until their people were gone, leaving only going in the house as an option and as things escalated finding "hiding" places in the house to go.

I would also suggest doing some "separation anxiety" work. Where you build up his tolerance for being alone. And you use tools like food stuffed kongs to help ease your leaving him. SA isn't my strongest "skill set" so I will let others pickup and advise here.

Crates are a tough call here. on one hand it would possibly help, on the other it could make things worse. It will only help IF he is used to a crate, feels safe and secure in a crate and you have built him up to being left alone in his crate. The crate absolutely MUST represent fun, safe, secure or it will make things worse. If he isn't crated trained, doesn't see the crate as a safe, secure, fun, stress free place, you "pop" him in there and leave a very real possibility is he will try and "dig" his way out. if he were to do this, best case is your out a crate, worst case is he not only destroys the crate, but need emergency vet work to fix his injuries from "digging" out of his crate.

On the chewing. taking away chew "toys" will actually make this worse. when he show signs of needing/wanting to chew, make sure he has something ok and safe to chew on. anytime he starts to mouth/bit you. stuff a toy in his mouth that is ok to chew. Another option is to get up and walk away and just ignore him for a minute or two and do something else. chewing is a way dogs also deal with stress and anxiety. removing his ability to have this outlet is making things worse.

lastly, you have only had him less than two weeks. it isn't all that unusual for rescue dogs to take 6 months, sometimes as long as 18 months or more to settle in and feel secure and at home and bonded to their people. Remember you will bond quicker to your dog than your dog will to you. it's nothing personal or against you, it is just the way things work out sometimes. With in the first week of getting my dog we were in the vet for what turned out to be an epileptic seizure. at this point (just 1 week) he was already showing signs of not wanting to be separated from us when we had to leave him over night. BUT it took close to 6 more months to really bond with him from his perspective.

So, get a vet check, don't assume he has solid house training, make sure he gets a chance to go to the bathroom before you leave, close off any parts of the house you don't want an bathroom accident in, provide him with things that are ok to chew. IF you do need to remove the chew toy, do a trade. example, I give you a piece of supper yummy chicken for that "boring" chew thing. do try to minimize this though.

If someone doesn't come by soon with some SA tips I will break out my SA books and refresh myself on some strategies for you.

kawaiidesu343
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:23 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by kawaiidesu343 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:40 pm

Thank you very much! I will continue to work and keep hoping for improvement.

SLWeber
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:01 am

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by SLWeber » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:14 pm

We found a line of products at Walmart called "Out!" to decrease "going" in the house and chewing. We researched them and found quite a number of good reviews, but didn't have much success with them ourselves, so only time was the solution to our problems. Maybe you would have better luck. There is one spray you put outside where you want him to "go." Another product is for you spray on items you don't want him to chew, as it supposedly has an odor we can't detect that is adversive to them (Red seemed to find it delicious). Two others are for cleaning and deodorizing hard surfaces and carpet. These two really do work well at removing the smell, and supposedly, that decreases the dog's desire to "go" there again.

Good Luck!
Stacey

kawaiidesu343
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:23 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by kawaiidesu343 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:27 am

Just an update! He has stopped peeing in the house, with the exception of him peeing on my bed the other day because I think he was mad that I didn't want to play at the time. I was doing something on the computer, and he jump on my bed and peed right on it. Not more than 10 minutes after we had been out.

He is getting better about destroying things when I am gone. He did tear up a DVD case of all things the other day, but it has lessened.

We are still working on the jumping thing. It is a real problem since he is so big and can seem rather scary when someone comes over.

I have one last question. I'd like him to sleep in the bed with me, but he is having a hard time understanding that when we get in the bed, it is bedtime. He climbs all over me, shoves his toy in my face, etc. I was thinking about somehow training him to not get on the bed unless I invite him, but I don't even know how to go about this. When I am on my computer, like now, he often lays on the bed, which is behind me. Should I teach him that the bed is mine and he gets to lay on it when I say so? And how do I even begin doing that? I know that if I pull him off of it and tell him "off" he will think it is a game and jump right back on.

Ari_RR
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:07 am
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Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by Ari_RR » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:36 am

:lol: of course he will jump right back on!
Well, my take on the "big bed" thing is - Ari comes and goes as he pleases.. Of course, his normal routine is to fall asleep in his own bed, and come to the Big Bed around 4 am :lol:

Well, anyway, in your case, since you don't really mind him in bed with you, I would just take him out for a walk and some play or training before bed time, so he simply doesn't have much energy left for toys.

ladybug1802
Posts: 1991
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:39 am
Location: Surrey

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by ladybug1802 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:42 am

I just want to say...he wont have peed on your bed because he is mad at you - dogs just dont think like that!

As for the bed thing....that is totally up to you. If you would like to keep the bed for only when you say he can get on it, start by, each time he gets on it uninvited, luring him off with a treat and saying "off" as he gets off. You will have to do this a LOT seeing as he is used to getting on there when he wants, but be consistent. And then you can start inviting him up onto the bed when you want.

My dog only gets on the bed when I ask him....if he wants to come up for a cuddle he goes to the far side of the bed, stands and looks at me and wags his tail so I know! I then tell him "up" and pat the bed, and up he gets...but he never gets up there unless invited. He has done once or twice at the beginnig, but I just asked him to get off and gave him a treat...he hasnt tried since!

jacksdad
Posts: 4885
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by jacksdad » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:28 pm

SLWeber wrote:We found a line of products at Walmart called "Out!" to decrease "going" in the house and chewing. We researched them and found quite a number of good reviews, but didn't have much success with them ourselves, so only time was the solution to our problems. Maybe you would have better luck. There is one spray you put outside where you want him to "go." Another product is for you spray on items you don't want him to chew, as it supposedly has an odor we can't detect that is adversive to them (Red seemed to find it delicious). Two others are for cleaning and deodorizing hard surfaces and carpet. These two really do work well at removing the smell, and supposedly, that decreases the dog's desire to "go" there again.

Good Luck!
Stacey
While well intentioned I am sure, we do not advice, endorse, or encourage the use of aversive methods or tools to train dogs. while there are non aversive tools to assist with training, over all nothing replaces training and there are no quick fixes.

jacksdad
Posts: 4885
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: New Shelter Dog. I may be in over my head.

Post by jacksdad » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:01 pm

kawaiidesu343 wrote:Just an update! He has stopped peeing in the house, with the exception of him peeing on my bed the other day because I think he was mad that I didn't want to play at the time. I was doing something on the computer, and he jump on my bed and peed right on it. Not more than 10 minutes after we had been out.
I agree with Ladybug... I also doubt this was him being mad at you, more likely causes are there is still some insecurity on his part being in a new home, you might have scared him without realizing, he was over excited OR.... despite having being out "not 10min before.." he hadn't finished emptying his bladder.

My thoughts on the bed...as long as you don't slip into thinking not allowing him on the bed or only allowing him up on command somehow teaches him you are in charge verse him, it's completely up to you. Your dog wants on the bed because your on the bed or your smell is on the bed AND its' nice and comfortable and cozy and up off the ground. It doesn't compute to him that being on the "human" bed some how makes him in charge.

My two cents. keep it simple. he is either allow on or not. if not, realize that the only way to keep him off when your not there is to prevent access to the room. so close your door or put up some baby gates for when your not in the room.

If you do allow him on the bed, nothing wrong with teaching a solid off for times you need him to jump off or move etc. maybe have a blanket that lays on top like a "bed spread" that helps deal with shedding etc.

My final thought. in addition to not slipping into to thinking this is about ensuring "in chargeness" (is that an actual word? :lol: ) don't make the bed a contested resource and battle of wills. There are far, far more important things to focus training energy on than "control" of the bed.

As for his "pestering" you at bed time, as Ari suggests you need to ensure his needs are met. Did you make sure he got his proper walks/exercise. did you "work his brain" and so on. If you have done that and he still does not appear to have an off switch or is still being pushy there are things you can do.

Stay in touch, sounds like things are moving forward in the right direction. well done.

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