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Thread: Don't know what else to do

  1. #1

    Don't know what else to do

    Six years we accepted an adult dog from a woman in the Church. Daisy is a lab mix. Very timid. Good watch dog though. In the six years we've had her she has never developed social skills. She doesn't interact with the family. She hides most of the time. She's been like this from day one.

    The vet didn't find any problems with her that may cause that behaviour.

    Lately she has gotten to where she refuses to potty outside. She's also taken to trashing the house whenever we leave her alone for any length of time. I can't chain her out because she barks non stop if I do.

    I've tried to find her a new home. Being as I refuse to lie about her behaviour no one wants to take her. The humane society has a waiting list of several years. I hate to take her to the pound but I don't see a whole lot of options.


    I feel like it's a sin if I take her knowing they may well have to put her down. I also don't want to keep having my house smell like a dog toilet and continue to clean up all the messes she makes.

    I'd love some advice here please.
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23

  2. #2
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    Re: Don't know what else to do

    I'd try putting her in a kennel close to an outside door, and when she has to go, open the kennel and the door and let her out. That'll keep her from the rest of the house. A dog usually won't go to the bathroom where they sleep unless they have a medical condition with bowel/bladder control issues. You can also leave her in it when you leave so she can't trash the house in your absence.

    Just my 2 cents worth here.

  3. #3
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    Re: Don't know what else to do

    Have you thought about some training? Dogs are smart enough to know what to do to get a reward.

  4. #4
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    Re: Don't know what else to do

    It would appear that she’s suffering from Separation Anxiety when you’re absent from her. Until you can get this under control (sometimes anti-anxiety medications help for the severe cases, i.e., chewing up furniture, etc.), while you’re away from her, I would crate her inside the house.

    Secondly, does she run and hide from you? Is her tail often between her legs? Does she hide behind furniture when she’s inside the house? How is she around strangers?

    Too look for a new home with this behavior will not solve the problem for Daisy. And to place her in the kennel, they will probably just euthanize her immediately.

    There are a few things you can do aside from crating her in your absence that will help her bond with y’all.

    1. You need to establish yourself as the leader. She needs security
    2. You need to give her daily exercise and effectively drain that energy from her. Dogs have a fresh amount of energy each day and it needs to be drained from them daily. Otherwise, it just builds and they get frustrated (think of us as humans with “cabin fever” to give you an idea, i.e., moody, anxious, frustrated)
    3. You need to establish clear-cut rules and boundaries and be consistent with enforcing them

    Some exercises you can do to help her:

    1. Determine what kind of energy level she has. She will be either a low, medium, high or very high energy dog. A good example of a high to very high energy dog is a dog that paces back and forth; never really walks where they’re going but sort of just jogs all of the time.
    2. Secondly, leash her up each morning and walk her for at least 45-minutes at a brisk pace (this may or may not be enough depending on her energy level). While walking her, she is NOT to lead you but you are to lead her. She should be walking calmly by your side, never walking in front of you. In fact, in your peripheral vision, if you can see her, she is too far ahead and needs to be pulled back.
    3. When you’re done with the walk, if she has energy left (and she may), perform a breed exercise with her. She’s a Lab/mix so she has retriever skills in her. Play fetch with her for about 20 minutes and really get her running. While playing fetch with her, DO NOT use high-pitch tones or baby-talk with her. Keep yourself calm, low-key but happy. You need to keep your own energy at a peaceful, unexcited state for her.
    4. When you’re done with the breed exercise, then (if it’s a work day and you have to leave the house), place her in the crate inside the house. If you’re going to be gone for more than six hours at a time, arrange for a pet sitter or a friend to come by and give her a potty-break. However, after the potty-break, this person will need to re-crate her until you arrive home.
    5. When you get home from work, take her outside first-thing and tell her to go potty. When she’s done, reward her with affection.
    6. While she’s in the house with you, keep her tethered to you. This is where you will be establishing rules and boundaries clearly to her. (This process doesn’t take forever and should only take a few days at most.) Wherever you walk, she is with you but never in front of you. When you’re sitting down, she will be sitting down. From time to time, take the leash off of her and practice commands with her such as “come”, “sit”, “down” and “down/stay”. Try to get her to perform a “down/stay” for a full minute and then increase it to longer lengths of time. When you ask her to come to you and she does, make her sit and then you can give her a reward such as a treat or hug (whatever you want). However, in order to receive the reward, she needs to be in a calm, submissive state.

    Step #6 is to be done after step #4 if you don’t have to work that day. This process shouldn’t take you too long to get her adjusted to the family. And, it’s important to note that each and every family member needs to hold the same place as leader with her.

    Dogs need leadership. And if the humans won’t rise up and take that position, they will do so out of necessity! Except when this happens, destructive behaviors arise including things such as fear, fear aggression and all sorts of nasty things.

    I would start with all of this first. And, I would take the time to work with the dog. You’ve apparently had her for some time, so it sounds like you and your family are very kind-hearted, animal people. Please don’t give Daisy away to euthanasia but take/find the extra time to work with her. You will be glad you did

  5. #5

    Re: Don't know what else to do

    I guess I'm gonna work harder to try to train her.

    Thank you for the advice
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23

  6. #6
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    Re: Don't know what else to do

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker of truth View Post
    I guess I'm gonna work harder to try to train her.

    Thank you for the advice
    In my experience, training a dog is not really intuitive. We hired someone to come to our house a few times to show us some techniques; its more than saying good dog! bad dog! and handing out treats. It really did help a lot, and wasn't all that expensive.
    In Christ,

    -- Rev

    “To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.” – Daniel Webster, 4th of July, 1800, Oration at Hanover, N.H.

  7. #7

    Re: Don't know what else to do

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker of truth View Post
    I guess I'm gonna work harder to try to train her.

    Thank you for the advice
    I really like this answer.
    Why are you searching for love? Why are you still looking as if I'm not enough?

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