Jump to content

Photo

Need advice on how to deal with dog's destructiveness


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#11 binzer

binzer
  • Jr. Member
  • 230 posts

    Posted 27 February 2009 - 12:54 AM

    Keep in mind that separation anxiety can also manifest itself when you're at home (your dog is basically venting it's frustrations). I know you don't feel it's SA, but the fact that your dog is low key when you're around indicates that it probably IS separation anxiety to some extent. He is mellow when you're home b/c he feels that he can finally relax, and he probably spends most the day being stressed out. A lot of dogs when they are home alone feel that they need to "patrol" and guard the house, and have a hard time settling down (this is partially why crating or only leaving a very small area for the dog can help). It also seems like he prefers to go after porous items that hold your scent (such as clothing) which is another major indicator of SA.

    Even if you feel like your dog is getting adequate exercise, keep in the mind that a truly tired dog won't have the energy to get into trouble. I edited my double post above (but for some reason it didn't go through) but agree with everyone else that doggy day care and dog parks are very good for your dog! Another dog will tire out your dog more than a walk will.

    The fact that your dog is frequently getting away with this kind of stuff while you're at home indicates that you're not paying him enough attention (no offense). Until you get his behavior under control, you're going to need to keep things like bedroom doors closed so that he can't run off and get into trouble. Getting away with that kind of stuff while you're at home just reinforces that he can do whatever he wants, and I'm sure you don't want that!

    Here's a link to a kong dispenser KongTime - Doggie Day Care in a Box

    It's super expensive ($140) but it sounds like it may be worthwhile in your case.

    #12 SunBride

    SunBride
    • Sr. Member
    • 1,499 posts

      Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:34 AM

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by binzer

      The fact that your dog is frequently getting away with this kind of stuff while you're at home indicates that you're not paying him enough attention (no offense). Until you get his behavior under control, you're going to need to keep things like bedroom doors closed so that he can't run off and get into trouble. Getting away with that kind of stuff while you're at home just reinforces that he can do whatever he wants, and I'm sure you don't want that!
      While I really appreciate your advice (honestly, I do and I will take it to heart) I think you should be more careful with your words. I don't appreciate being told I'm not paying him enough attention. This dog is our baby and gets a ton of our attention. Aside from walks we play with him inside the house and I spend lots of time cuddling, petting and just talking to him. I mentioned that the destructiveness while we are home happens maybe once or twice a month. I mentioned this happens sometimes, for example, if my husband is on his computer and I am gone shopping. I think both of those are normal things for us to do (it's not like we are expected to play with our dog 24h/d) and yes, when we are not actively paying attention to him, we will gate the upstairs, close doors and we try not to leave things laying around that we know he might destroy. we try very hard, but being human, sometimes we forget a door open or something lying around. I don't think the solution is to do this less as we are doing the best we can. Like I said it's only maybe two or three times a month, not every day. I know with puppies, you are told that if you are not paying attention to them then they should go in their crate. This is not something I think we want to start doing at this stage in his life.

      Also he does not "get away with it". Like I said, in the beginning we didn't discipline him if we didn't catch it until later, because that is what we read in dog training books that we should do (and I've read a ton of them) because they say the dog won't remember their actions and make the association with the punishment. But at this point we do discipline him when we find things destroyed, even if it's after the fact (obviously not like way later, but if we get home and find something destroyed), or find something in a room we know has been destroyed in the past hour. Not only do we tell him he's a bad dog but we ignore him for about 15 minutes (he hates this and will try hard to get our attention). I would like to do more to punish him but I don't know what. I would be open to suggestions. I am hesitant about putting him in his kennel (which he sleeps in and enjoys) because I read that this can teach the dog that the kennel is a punishment spot, and he won't like his kennel as much (and it's important he likes it as he gets put in it when he is left alone while we vising our parents who live out of town, and also to take the plane). I've thought about maybe locking him in the bathroom for 5 minutes as a punishment Kinda like a kid's time out?

      Anyways, we will try to walk him more and pay attention to him even more than we do now and see if it helps. Obviously a dog can't get too much exercise or attention so it can't hurt.

      #13 binzer

      binzer
      • Jr. Member
      • 230 posts

        Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:22 AM

        I didn't mean active attention, I just meant not keeping a constant eye on him. If he wasn't destroying things it would be fine..but in this sort of case you pretty much need to treat him like a 2-year old (if you can't see him or hear him, he's probably getting into trouble!).

        Also, don't completely eliminate crating as an option! I've watched a lot of dog shows where the trainer will take an adult dog that has never been crated, and the dog will adapt very well! I would try some other stuff first, but it honestly won't affect him negatively in the long run. In terms of using the crate as "punishment", the dog trainers I've talked to have said it's fine for a short time-out, but not long term punishment. Generally I think it's better to use something like a bathroom or a closet for time-outs, but I've used my dog's travel crate when there were no alternatives, and he still likes his crate just fine (he always wants to sleep in it when we're out of town and he's feeling a bit uncomfortable). I haven't crate-trained my dog since he was a puppy b/c he doesn't need it anymore, but it definitely helped train him initially. My friend has a german shepard who had similar problems to yours, and she recently started crating it. Overall it's been a much happier and more content dog b/c it always feels safe and relaxed, and isn't getting into trouble as much (which is an extra stress in itself). She even crates it when she's home if she can't keep an eye on it for some reason.

        Generally speaking, time-outs work GREAT. It was seriously the best training tool I had with my dog. The best thing to do is pick two words or phrases (mine are "enough" and "too bad"). If your dog is doing something bad, say the first word (in my case "enough") and only ever say it once. If your dog continues the bad behavior, say your second word, catch the dog, and give it a time-out. Only ever say either word once b/c these are meant to be "serious words" and your dog has to know you mean business. If you repeat yourself, your dog will learn that he gets a second chance. "No" tends to be used a lot, and is used more casually, so try to pick two words or phrases that you don't use a lot. Any time my dog hears me say "too bad" he either runs away or runs into the pantry (where I give him time-outs) and always looks extremely guilty (once you see your dog doing this, you know it's working!).

        Anyways, you have more than enough stuff to try, so good luck!

        #14 binzer

        binzer
        • Jr. Member
        • 230 posts

          Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:22 AM

          edit: ack, why does it keep double posting!!

          Anyways, I forgot to link some more food puzzles. You mentioned that you wished kongs would last longer. Here are some treat toys that are more difficult and should keep your dog busy for a lot more time (I don't even use my kong anymore).

          treat ball

          treat puzzle

          #15 **~Jenn~**

          **~Jenn~**
          • Sr. Member
          • 1,236 posts

            Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:46 AM

            I sometimes send Buddy to his crate when he is being out of control and just getting crazy to the point where he doesn't know when to stop, so I'll say, "Buddy..Cage" He stops whatever he is doing and will go sit there...I don't lock him in and it's only for a min, but he calms down and is ok again.
            However....If you do decide to start crate training...I wouldn't use it as a punishment, ever, in your case. Just because it's not a place he is used to on a Daily basis yet.
            When we first started crating Buddy, he always got a treat before we closed and locked him in there...So now, when I leave in the morning, I go to his treat jar and he automatically will go and sit in his cage and wait for his treat :-)

            To be honest.....My dog will still grab socks and pantys from the laundry and if there is something on the floor (During the fall we tracked in leaves alot) he will think nothing to pick it up, so the fact that your dog does certain things when your home isn't that surprising or unusual (to me anyway..lol)...that part you may be able to work on with some more basic training, such as taking away what he is eating or chewing that's bad and giving him a toy instead.
            This is something I need to work on as well!! LOL

            I also agree that it still could be seperation anxiety, which would explain why he is so calm when your home. He stressed himself out all day and when your home he's calm and relaxed.

            Another dog is another expense...and there is the issue of when you go away...And your right, you may get double the problem..However...Maybe you can contact a beagel rescue and adopt an older beagel who is in foster care with someone. Most likely you will learn everything you need to know about the dog from first hand experience since he/she will have already been living in a home. That may at least cut out your worry of double the problem and you will be saving a life (because now there will be room in that Foster parents house for another rescue..YAY)

            I know what you mean about the winter months being harder to really let our Dogs get the most out of there walks...If it's cold he gets a 15-20 min walk at night and that's it, but in the spring/summer he can go to the dog park or even the regular park for a while and that is a big difference.
            More exercise couldn't hurt...Even if you don't think that's what he needs, you never know.

            Good Luck! :-)
            Married @ Dreams Cancun 06/24/09
            My Wedding Reviewhttp://bestdestinati....24-09-a-45066/Pics By Juan Navarrohttp://www.facebook.....9&l=32db696cd3

            #16 SunBride

            SunBride
            • Sr. Member
            • 1,499 posts

              Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:36 AM

              Honestly, I would like to just put him in his kennel during the day. He is used to it and he sleeps there and we use it for travelling etc. So I think he's be fine in it all day, and I agree that if he is anxious when we are gone, then it will help. But I can't convince my husband

              We recently got my dog a new kong type toy, he loves it and it takes a bit longer than the kong, about 5-10 mins versus 2 with the kong.

              I was concerned about giving him more food treats because, like I said, we have to have to watch his weight carefully, and he doesn't eat much so it would be difficult to give him more without him gaining weight. But I just had the thought of carrots, he loves them and I've read they are good for dogs. I could probably stuff mini carrots or carrot chunks into the food toys.

              Thanks for the ideas for teh other puzzles, I am definitely going to get him a few more different ones. And I read one of the review somebody said they put carrots, celery and peanut butter and freeze it and it lasts more than half an hour, so I'm giong to try that. I had tried peanut butter in the past and Charlie wasn't that interested, he wanted something hard and crunchy, but I will try to mix the two and freeze it and see if he likes that.


              I've always thought his destructiveness was more out of opportunity than out of anxiety/boredom, i.e. he sees something (usually it is something that is not usually lying around, although not always) and he chooses to destroy it because it's fun. I thought it was more about training him not to do this i.e. teaching him that it's bad and that if he does it there will be consequences. But all the responses here are starting to convince me that it may just be a way for him to manifest boredom. I honestly didn't think he was bored as he seemed to adapt well to being home all day. But I guess the truth is I guess I don't know, I would need to have a video camera on him to be able to see what his day is like and how he acts.

              #17 trance_angelx0x

              trance_angelx0x
              • Jr. Member
              • 198 posts

                Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:44 AM

                Have you considered a personal training session? I know at Persmart they cost something like $75. We did our training at Petsmart and every time I have a question I just go back to the store and ask the trainers and always get excellent advice!

                We should have a puppy play date, I'm in Ottawa too :)

                #18 *Heather*

                *Heather*

                  VIP Member

                • VIP Member
                • 9,532 posts

                  Posted 27 February 2009 - 12:36 PM

                  SunBride I'm with you - i have a puggle (part beagle part pug) and as I was reading your post I felt like you were describing my dog! The only differences are that we did crate train Nixon until he was about a year and a half old, and he doesn't destroy things when we're home (he just goes into the bathroom garbage and chews up tissues sometimes). Most of the time he's fine, but every once in awhile we come home and find out that he has destroyed something. It's really discouraging because we think we do everything we're supposed to do (including lots of exercise) and we finally think "wow Nixon has been really good lately" and then the next day we come home to find he chewed or destoryed something he hasn't touched in over a year since it's been there!

                  We took Nixon to a dog trainer last summer and he told us that it was because Nixon has no respect for us or our stuff. He said that he isn't obedient enough, which I think is the truth. He said that Nixon should only be on the couch or bed when we invite him. Another thing was that we treat-trained him, which the trainer said was no good. He said "he's not obedient, he's just doing tricks for you to get the treat" which is totally true. Since then we've totally stopped giving him treats and we have been training him the way the trainer showed us, and that has helped...he's much more obedient now. What kind of obedience training do you do? My brother and his wife also have a puggle and he is SO obedient because my SIL did a lot of obedience training in the beginning that we didn't really do (we just did the standard sit/stay/come etc but always using treats). I think obedience and exercise are the answer. Or at least the best that we're gonna get. I was hoping Nixon would grow out of it but he's almost 3 years old!

                  #19 SunBride

                  SunBride
                  • Sr. Member
                  • 1,499 posts

                    Posted 27 February 2009 - 12:44 PM

                    Thanks for the advice Heather! I was also thinking we will start being more careful about showing that we are "pact leader". We did this much more in the beginning but less now. He used to not be allowed on the couch and now he is. He's also allowed to sleep in our bed sometimes. I'm gonna stop the bed. I might try to do the couch by invitation only thing. He does it for the bed (he sits there and waits for me to invite him in the bed) but he doesn't do it for the couch.

                    He is trained by treats, but he listens without treats too (i.e. he expects to get one, but sometimes we don't give him one).

                    My husband is going to start agility training with him in the spring (i.e. obstacle course type stuff) which will be fun for both of them and may also help with training/obedience.

                    #20 *Heather*

                    *Heather*

                      VIP Member

                    • VIP Member
                    • 9,532 posts

                      Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:00 PM

                      The trainer said to us that we need to ask nixon to do something ONCE, and if he doesn't do it, we go over and force him to do it. He will never get a treat, but he will eventually learn that if he doesn't do what we ask the first time, he'll end up doing it anyway because we'll make him, so eventually he'll just start doing it. He said that's the only way to really get Nixon to respect us and to respect our things and know that he can't touch or destory them. We've done well with some aspects but not as well with others. It's so much work and requires a lot of time and honestly, it's our fault that he isn't as obedient as he should be. We do the best we can though.

                      The trainer also had some other interesting methods of training that I wouldn't necessarily recommend. For example, he said one of his dogs (he has a ton of dogs and he does training for the CIA and stuff) used to eat high heels all the time. So one time he shoved a high heel in its mouth and put tape around its head and left it like that for hours. When he took it out, he said that dog has never touched another high heel! Interesting.




                      0 user(s) are reading this topic

                      0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users