/r/Dogtraining

Photograph via snooOG

DogTraining: A forum on dog training and behavior. Here you'll find content that will help you train your dogs. Dog training links, discussions and questions are encouraged and content related to other species is welcome too. This community is geared towards modern, force-free, science based methods and recommendations. Make sure you check out our WIKI for recommended resources and articles about common problems.

Welcome

This is a forum on dog training and behavior that focuses on a least intrusive, minimally aversive approach.

The advice here is not a replacement for professional help. If your training is not fun and effective, or if you need additional help, then please find a certified trainer for assistance.


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Posting Guidelines:

Please read our rules and posting guidelines before posting or commenting. Posts and comments that don't follow these guidelines will be removed. In particular, please note that recommending the use of aversives like pain, startle, fear, or intimidation to train dogs is not permitted here.

Please flair your posts using its flair link (not [help], and so on)! See our flair guide for help.


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For content relating to the physical care of dogs, try our sister subreddit, /r/DogCare.

/r/Dogtraining

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1

Jumpy/Mouthy Shelter dog

I work at a shelter and am in the behavior department. I have been working with this dog called Dalia who has exhibited severe jumpy and mouthy behavior. She is off limits for staff to walk so only behavior can take her out. When she is taken out she will immediately start jumping and mouthing, grabbing arms and hair at times.

She is a mix of what appears to be a Belgian Malinois and 10mo, she has been at the shelter for 2 months now having come in as a stray. Her sister was able to be adopted out no problem to adopters who will train her to be a service animal. I want to have the same faith for Dalia, but I risk injury most days when I decide to take her to a yard or on a simple leash walk and I don't trust anyone to walk her or do I trust her to be able to appropriately walk with them.

I have tried working with her on several things such as impulse-control games, adding a toy into the mix to prevent further mouthiness, training basic commands, running away from her, but having a treat low to the ground so when she approaches she is not jumping, regular walks, puzzle games, and just walking away and ignoring her when she becomes mouthy. She seems to get over stimulated and frustrated very fast and I am not sure how to work any further with her because she is not longer progressing. I am trying my best to avoid any outcome and I have already gotten her off a list for two weeks now where her stay was being discussed because I saw she was progressing. Now she is regressing and I am not sure where to even start with her. I will continue to work with her daily, but if there is anything I could work with her on to potentially reduce her jumping and mouthing please let me know!!!

She was progressing slowly, but about a week back she has been regressing to the point I feel that if she may not be too far from going to rabies quarantine from inflicting a puncture wound on someone.

Any tips will be so helpful so I can help her!!

7 Comments
2024/06/24
15:10 UTC

10

2024/06/24 [Loose Leash Walking Virtual Workshop]

Welcome to the fortnightly loose leash walking virtual workshop!

Join us as we compete with the squirrels, cats, other dogs, fresh urine scents and things that go zoooooooom!

Resources

Articles (All have videos embedded)

Youtube (Many of these are videos which are embedded in the above articles)

See our page on leash reactivity for help managing and training dogs that bark and lunge while on leash.

APDT webinar

3 Comments
2024/06/24
02:00 UTC

1

Puppy training classes (partially vaccinated) NYC

Hi all i’ve heard there’s puppy only classes where they sanitize and it’s for puppies who aren’t fully vaccinated yet. My pup is 12 weeks and has had 3 rounds but vet wants to do 2 more to get him to the 16 week mark, and that’s when he will get rabies etc. I want to get him in training and socializing sooner rather than later if possible. Does anyone know if this is something I can do in NYC before puppy is fully vaccinated in a clean safe environment with other young puppies?

1 Comment
2024/06/20
17:19 UTC

2

4yo dogs fighting in the home - help

Hi all, thank you in advance for any advice and sorry for the long post. For a bit of backstory, my husband and I have two dogs, a shih tzu and a chug who are both 4 years old that we’ve had since they were pups. Over the years we’ve had some problems with them fighting, it started at about 1 years old, which we were able to deescalate straight away until there was an incident in the garden. We had stepped away for a moment when a fight broke out, which resulted in the shih tzu needing to go to the vets and have his eye popped back in. From this point we kept them separate for a while, had them both nurtured and crate trained and everything was fine for a while. Last summer it started up again with the main trigger being in the evenings after we would have dinner. We tried having them away during this but that didn’t work and we were scared of any serious injuries occurring. At this point we put them in a residential 4 week training program that specialised in these types of issues. They came back and everything has been better and we continued all the training. They are supervised 24/7 when they’re out together and if we sense either of them being funny, they go away with one being out at a time. They’ve had a couple fights again in the last couple weeks and the last one resulted in the shih tzu having a deep laceration on his leg, this one happened because I had left the room for 1 minute to get something. The last few days we’ve had them separated again. I don’t know what to do at this point and feel like we’re running out of options. Almost every fight they’ve had, has been because of the shih tzu, he gets in a funny mood and growls at the chug, the fight will then happen if the chug feels cornered or trapped by the shih tzu. I also feel that the shih tzu is very protective of my husband as it’s always when he’s in the same room.

TLDR; 4yo Shih Tzu and Chug having fights in the home, I don’t know what else to try. All I want is both the dogs to be happy and feel safe and feel like we’re running out of options. Any help or advice would be appreciated!

12 Comments
2024/06/19
14:09 UTC

44

My dog both pees and poops inside every single day, absolutely every single day, without fail.

My dog (An 8 month old Chihuahua) pees and poops inside every single day, absolutely every single day, without fail. I've been trying to potty train her for probably 3 months now, and it's not working at all. I've taken her to the vet. There is nothing wrong with her. Every single day she poops inside the house multiple times a day.

I walk her every two hours. Sometimes she is able to hold it. That's why I graduated from one hour to two hours. But other times she just doesn't bother. It would be one thing if it happened every couple days. or every week or something. But it happens every single day, multiple times a day. Every time she goes outside, she gets the good treats. I praise her. She understands that going outside is good. but she can't seem to understand that going inside is bad. I spray the place where she goes with enzyme cleaner, or at least I used to and it made absolutely no difference whatsoever. She would just continue to poop in the same spot. No difference at all.

She doesn't have any sort of presence of mind and I can't get her to alert me when she wants to go outside (or communicate with me at all. Like the last dog that I had used to whine when she wanted something, she would try to get me to follow her if she needed me to do something for her, she would scratch the door if she wanted to go outside. She communicated with me. This dog does not. She never looks guilty like my prior dog did. She doesn't seem to understand that there are things that she can do that are bad. It doesn't seem like she has thoughts. She's all action, all energy, no presence of mind what so ever. She loves me, and I love her, I really do, but it makes things so hard. Sorry I just had to vent a little.)

She enjoys the good treats, but she doesn't seem to care about getting them enough to modify her behavior. Like she's not interested in holding her pee just to get the good treats, She doesn't care that much. She doesn't seem to have any concept of holding her waste, except when she's in her crate or sleeping in my bed. Sometimes. Not even all the time, but generally she doesn't pee in the crate and she doesn't pee in my bed. But she constantly goes on the floor.

I live in a one bedroom apartment. Her favorite place to go is behind the couch. where I can't see from where I sit and work at my computer most of the time. II can't tether her to me. because she's often sleeping and I. have to get up to go to the bathroom or go to the kitchen or whatever, and I should wake her up every single time? That just seems cruel, don't you think?

I don't understand how I can be watching her 24/7. Like, how can I live my life if I do that? There are a lot of things she can hide behind. I'm just supposed to stare at her? And follow her around? How do people do that? How can you get anything done if you do that? How can you abandon your life for, Let's say it was very quick and it took two weeks, just to stare at the dog? It's not that I don't want to or that I don't love my dog, but I don't understand how I could lead my life if I just watch her all the time for even a week. I'm so confused about this.

Please help me. I'm so frustrated. It's not getting any better.

88 Comments
2024/06/19
08:09 UTC

234

Dog purposely ignoring me when using low-value treats now! How to handle?

So every morning, I spend a few minutes doing basic obedience using low-value treats with my dog before feeding her breakfast. She was usually excited and responsive because she's hungry and ready to eat.

For a few days in a row, I switched to high-value treats. She was super responsive and super excited. But then I decided to stop using high value treats and save those for only more difficult situations like leash reactivity and recall.

But now she ignores me in our morning training refresher with a return to low value treats. She sees I'm using low-value treats and she will just look off into space for a good minute before responding to commands. And then she'll reluctantly execute the commands very slowly. This morning she outright refused to lay down.

I just walked away and haven't fed her yet. How do you handle a dog that knows the commands very well but either responds glacially or completely ignores you because she is disappointed with the treats?

141 Comments
2024/06/18
14:20 UTC

8

2024/06/18 [Separation Anxiety Support Group]

Welcome to the fortnightly separation anxiety support group!

The mission of this post is to provide a constructive place to discuss your dog's progress and setbacks in conquering his/her separation anxiety. Feel free to post your fortnightly progress report, as well as any questions or tips you might have! We seek to provide a safe space to vent your frustrations as well, so feel free to express yourself.

We welcome both owners of dogs with separation anxiety and owners whose dogs have gotten better!

NEW TO SEPARATION ANXIETY?

New to the subject of separation anxiety? A dog with separation anxiety is one who displays stress when the one or more family members leave. Separation anxiety can vary from light stress to separation panic but at the heart of the matter is distress.

Does this sound familiar? Lucky for you, this is a pretty common problem that many dog owners struggle with. It can feel isolating and frustrating, but we are here to help!

Resources

Books

Don't Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog's Separation Anxiety by Nicole Wilde

Be Right Back!: How To Overcome Your Dog's Separation Anxiety And Regain Your Freedom by Julie Naismith

Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices by Malena DeMartini-Price

Online Articles/Blogs/Sites

Separation Anxiety (archived page from the ASPCA)

Pat Miller summary article on treating separation anxiety

Emily "kikopup" Larlham separation training tips

Videos

Using the Treat&Train to Solve Separation Anxiety

introducing an x-pen so the dog likes it (kikopup)

Podcast:

https://www.trainingwithally.com/the-podcast

Online DIY courses:

https://courses.malenademartini.com

https://www.trainingwithally.com/about-2

https://separationanxietydog.thinkific.com/courses/do-it-yourself-separation-anxiety-program

https://rescuedbytraining.com/separation-anxiety-course

Introduce your dog if you are new, and for those of you who have previously participated, make sure to tell us how your week has been!

2 Comments
2024/06/18
12:00 UTC

3

Puppy won't pee outside

Help! Just adopted a rescue pup around 6-7 months old and she's been with us for a week and we take her on walks 4 times a day (8am, 1:30pm, 6:30pm, 10pm), keeping walk times consistent and same route every time, but she won't pee outside. She pooped outside twice, once inside, but keeps having pee accidents in her crate about once a day, and not at the same times each day. The first time she pooped outside, I gave her her favorite treat as a reward, but the second time she did it, she wasn't interested in the treat at all. We are crate training her as required by the rescue org. (2 hrs in 2 hrs out). We've kept her crate space pretty small so that she should only have enough space to sleep and play with some chew toys because she's teething. What is motivating her to pee in her crate and not outside? And what do we need to change? We love her, but it's becoming inconvenient for our schedules as my partner has early days and we're also doing a lot of laundry due to the accidents. She has grown very comfortable with us inside and always trying to play with us and has a lot of puppy energy.

20 Comments
2024/06/17
03:53 UTC

30

Training anxiety

My dog is 8 months old and I’ve had him for 2 months. We adopted him from a shelter and before that he was a stray. He is very smart, but he’s stubborn. I trained him a little bit at home (sit, stay, break, drop it, leave it). He had an evaluation with a trainer who said she thought he would do great with group training.

We started group training last week (it is a 6 week course for 1 hour each week). The first class went well, but he is very shy at first. The second class did not go as planned. He pooped as soon as we walked in. Then he wouldn’t listen to any commands. He seemed bored and uninterested. Even treats didn’t get him to respond. The class has 3 other dogs joining us. The trainer wanted him to try a pronged collar (I had him in a slip lead prior). The pronged collar she put him in was too big and he seemed to do worse with that than the slip lead. He honestly just seemed bored out of his mind. He laid down when I wanted him to do things. He’s not usually like this, but the trainer didn’t seem to help me much.

The classes are already paid for and maybe it was just “an off day” but I’m so anxious to go back because it was stressful for everyone involved. My boyfriend observed the class and thinks I’m not pulling the leash hard enough for redirection. Any tips?

77 Comments
2024/06/13
18:05 UTC

16

2024/06/10 [Loose Leash Walking Virtual Workshop]

Welcome to the fortnightly loose leash walking virtual workshop!

Join us as we compete with the squirrels, cats, other dogs, fresh urine scents and things that go zoooooooom!

Resources

Articles (All have videos embedded)

Youtube (Many of these are videos which are embedded in the above articles)

See our page on leash reactivity for help managing and training dogs that bark and lunge while on leash.

APDT webinar

1 Comment
2024/06/10
02:00 UTC

1

I need help on my dogs obsessive behavior and the guide didn't help me

My brother just got Agnes 3 days ago, she's a dachshund, the dachshund community made it clear they're a social breed but she's not being social, she's comfortable around the other dogs and my brother but the second I'm not around she's pacing and crying and looking for me and crying some more. I'm 16 so I don't have a job and I have online schooling so most of my friends are online friends, I don't have anywhere to go to leave, but I'm going to camp on the 17th this month and won't be back until the 21st, and I don't think she'll be ok unless I distance her from myself.

The guide only helps for people who do leave the house every single day, not a single thing for people that are planning to be gone for a while because they're teenagers, so please don't take this post down. I'm seriously going to have to consider not going just for her and this was something I've never been so excited for. It was my brother's choice to bring home the dog, not mine.

2 Comments
2024/06/05
20:37 UTC

1

Puppy Pad Training

Hi, just a question in relation to puppy pad training. Any advice and tips would be greatly appreciated.

I have a 3 month old Shih tzu puppy. We are trying to have her pee outside, but she hasn’t made a signal to us that she needs to go outside yet and is having accidents indoors.

She does pee on the pad when it’s put down initially - we make a fuss, lots of praise, feed her a treat etc… But, she proceeds to pee in other areas away from the pad after. Just wondering will she not pee on a soiled pad? Do we need to change it every time?

The pads are about 60cmx60cm, just don’t want to overuse or waste them.

Any advice appreciated. 🐾

3 Comments
2024/06/05
19:44 UTC

1

Dog seems to want to eat new kitten - is great with adult cats

Today I got a new kitten, not thinking there would be any issue with my 8 y/o husky/malamute mix. We have three other cats, ranging from 8-13, with one growing up with him. He likes cats, and gets along with them pretty well, if they'd allow it. One of our older cats does like him and they sleep together sometimes/play.

As soon as he smelled the kitten, his prey drive kicked in. He was 100% fixated on the kitten and trying to lunge at her.

We have them completely separated and intend to continue to do so for the safety of the kitten, but I'm just at a loss as to why this kitten sets off his prey drive, but none of the other cats do.

The only thing I can gather is that the kitten is small, and probably smells like milk/differently than our adult cats.

Has anyone else has this issue? Did it ever resolve? I'm hoping I can just keep them separated until the kitten is a bit older, and then he might see her the same as our other cats. Other advice for working this out is also very welcome.

Thoughts?

2 Comments
2024/06/05
19:39 UTC

1

Protective or Playful?

My partner and my dog has a strange behavior I can’t seem to find an answer to. It only happens if:

  1. I’m napping in bed or resting on the couch

AND 2) he’s in the room with me, just the two of us AND 3) my partner enters the room (maybe would happen with others too)

He jumps on him and barks at him and wags his tail and enters like an “agressive play” mode… he gets between me and my partner but isn’t agressive towards him per se, just jumps on him and barks at him and “mouths” his hands like he’s rough playing.

It’s not that he misses him, he could have seen him 2 minutes beforehand, and it only happens if I’m in the room laying down. He’s not agressive per se but engages in rough play with barking and growling.

He’s definitely more “my dog” since I’m usually feeding him and taking him places so I assume it’s a protective instinct but it’s confusing since he seems excited/happy but is active defensive. Any ideas? Thanks Reddit!

2 Comments
2024/06/05
15:35 UTC

1

My parents' older dog lost his best friend and now hates our new puppy

Our shepherd-mix Charlie (12M, 90lb) and my parents' lab-mix Hudson (10M, 100lb) grew up together. They were best friends, slept in the same bed when we visited, and got along really well. So when Charlie passed away, it was heartbreaking to visit Hudson without him, and our whole family struggled missing him.

About half a year later, we adopted a new puppy, Rudy. He's a much smaller guy, only about 43 lb, very friendly and energetic. The only problem is, Hudson is extremely aggressive towards him whenever we visit. I don't blame him, I know he's an older guy set in his ways, and he's probably very confused about where Charlie is, and who this new dog is.

The good news is at Rudy is very well-behaved around Hudson. But Hudson won't let him get near him, he growls and barks very aggressively, and we need to keep Rudy away for fear of safety. It's heartbreaking, because otherwise Hudson is so gentle and sweet. We've never seen him act like this before.

We don't let Rudy go in Hudson's personal space, and we keep them both on leashes at all times. We've tried meeting Hudson at a neutral park, on the sidewalk, in our yard, in Hudson's yard, in both houses. Location doesn't seem to change his aggression. We've also tried different people holding the leashes to see if that makes a difference, but nope.

They also only see each other approximately every two weeks when we visit, and I feel like that's another issue. The only thing that seems to work is keeping Rudy is a kennel while we visit, then Hudson is calm and ignores him.

We don't want to cause Hudson (or my parents) stress. These pups don't need to be best friends, but we're trying to somehow make Hudson calmer and more comfortable so we can all visit in peace. Any advice?

2 Comments
2024/06/05
12:22 UTC

116

Is early puppy bootcamp worth it?

My partner and I made the decision to bring a puppy into our lives. We still have several months until the puppy is ready to come home. In the meantime, we have been researching how best to set our puppy up for success.

The breeder we are using offers a service where at 8 weeks, instead of picking the puppy up, we can send the puppy to a trainer where it will have 1 on 1 training for 2 to 4 weeks before going home. The person who recommended this breeder to me used this bootcamp and was happy with results, as their puppy came home potty trained and well behaved. They swear to this bootcamp as the program that helped them start off on the right foot.

My partner is not convinced that this program would be a good idea. She has heard from family members that it is important to bond with a puppy while it is weaning from its mother. Her biggest concern with the bootcamp is that she doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her connection with the puppy. She still wants to do a live-in bootcamp for the puppy, but just after a month or so of living with us as opposed to before the puppy comes home.

Noting that we are first time dog owners and live in a city.

My question to you: have you heard of others who have used these early puppy bootcamps? What is your take on them? Is sending our puppy to a bootcamp going to get in the way of eventually bonding with them?

149 Comments
2024/06/05
11:47 UTC

1

Anxious 1y golden retriever

Hi there. I'm hoping to get some advice about socializing my pup and what to do in urban situations.

I have a 1y old female golden retriever, really sensitive soul. We've started training since day 1, socializing her slowly to traffic, restaurants, public transportation so on.

When she encouters a new stimuli or loud noises: Her initial reaction is to throw herself to the ground and refuse to walk, but if I'm relaxed, praising her and sitting down at her level she eventually comes to me.

The past weeks she got really scared in several situations, although they weren't new to her:

  • metal stairs: started shaking and refused to go down on them
  • mall: threw herself on the ground and under benches, refused to walk
  • at night, on the sidewalk: i don't even know what she saw, if it was some light reflection
  • manholes

External factors are people seeing her reacting like this and starting to go to her to pet her "omgggg she wants to be cuddleeeed/pet". If she is off leash, she rarely wants to be petted by strangers, only by some toddlers and some women. She just sniffs them, wags her tail and leave.

Is it a new fear period? What can I do to help her? How can I do things differently so it can be easier for her?

2 Comments
2024/06/05
05:57 UTC

1

(Mostly) potty trained puppy will not go on leash

My sweetheart puppy is a 6 month old, deaf, border collie German shepherd (or something, idk that’s my best guess we got her from a rescue).

We have a big fenced yard and 2 other dogs, so she always just gets let loose in the yard with them to potty. She hasn’t had any accidents in the house in a few weeks, she’s doing great!

Today I had to take her to work with me, and she would not pee/poop on the leash when I took her out and we don’t have a fenced area at work where I can let her just loose. She walked around in the grass and sniffed a ton probably a dozen times, but didn’t go. I have to take her to work with me again tomorrow, and I am really worried about her. I have to bring her temporarily because my husband just had surgery and she is pretty energetic and still jumps when she is excited. She loves being a dog so she is usually excited. Our adult dogs are easy for him so I’m taking just the baby to work.

She also barfed in the car on the way to work and the way home, so if anyone has tips on helping car sickness, the interior of my car would appreciate it. I’m more concerned with her not relieving herself than I am my car though.

Overall she seemed to have a nice time while she was at the office and she enjoyed all of the attention she got from my coworkers! She behaved herself beautifully and I loved having her with me.

2 Comments
2024/06/05
01:56 UTC

1

One problem, Two dogs

So, I have two heelers, one is red, and one is blue. My Red Heeler is a little on the chunky side (we are working on that I promise) and the Blue Heeler is normal. However, the real issue begins with our sleeping arrangements. There are a total of four of us, my bf, me and the two dogs. My bf said that the Red Heeler needs to start sleeping on the floor, but just the red heeler. His reasoning she is too chunky so when she scoots in close for cuddles the two of us get trapped and he doesn't sleep good. Granted I sometimes don't either but that's do to him moving closer to me at night and touching me (I am not a cuddler).

Anyways I need advice on how to get the Red Heeler to just sleep on the floor. But also, I think more than anything I need advice on how to handle the flip side of not caving to my emotions and just letting her stay on the bed. Any feedback is gratefully appreciated, I just really don't want to hurt my fur baby's feelings, but I also don't want this strain on my relationship.

2 Comments
2024/06/04
23:16 UTC

7

After 2.5 years with her, my dog bit someone for the first time, and it's someone she loves. She has shown aggression towards other dogs before, but not people. She's quite sick, so that might be why, but now I am terrified. Should I be?

My dog (4ish-year-old adopted female akbash) absolutely LOVES my roommate, and he loves her. On Sunday night I got home from a 4 day trip, during which he watched her, and they had a great time together.

However, yesterday, strange things happened. First of all, she woke me up around 5am to let her out and she had bad diarrhea. She was sick throughout the day. Very lethargic with bouts of rapid, heavy panting. Around midday, my roommate wanted to give her an ice cube just to see if she'd like it to cool off. She took it from him and then dropped it. He tried to pick it up, but the ice cube had fallen near her favorite toy, so she lunged at him while barking and snarling. It was really scary, but she made no effort to bite him.

She has occasionally reacted this way before when people have tried to take things from her or came near her while she had a special treat or object, but she has never bitten. It's always been a warning growls. She's extremely possessive of food and toys with other dogs, so I just don't let her around other dogs anymore, but people have been less of a problem. Otherwise, she has been the sweetest, most incredible, loving dog.

Later that night, my roommate and I were on the couch watching Point Break. Despite having lived together for 7 months, we had never sat on the couch together and watched anything before last night. We were being cautious with her because of what had happened earlier, but after a while, she fell asleep on the couch. However, at one point, he leaned forward towards the coffee table (and me) to grab a snack that he had set there (which she had shown no interest in) and she suddenly jumped up and bit his face. She jumped off the couch immediately after.

It definitely wasn't as hard as it could have been, but he had a tiny puncture which bled. We were both completely shocked. I have kept her away from him since and, honestly, I feel terrified of her now. She's acting like herself today, if still a bit lethargic, but I can't get past it. She's 97 pounds and I'm deeply aware of how much damage she could do if she wanted to.

I took her to the vet this morning and they said it's probably just because she's sick and that she has a very sweet temperament (which she almost always does). They also said it could have been because my roommate and I were on the couch together and she was feeling protective of me, but it was unexpected since we've never sat on the couch together (or hugged or anything like that) before.

That said, even if she is totally normal once she feels better, or we avoid a potential couch trigger, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to recover from the "What Ifs" now. I have OCD and the intrusive thoughts are turned up to 11 right now. I can't stop imagining her brutally attacking someone else, or me.

I love my dog more than anything in the world, but I found myself lying awake last night crying, wondering if I might need to find her a new owner who can invest thousands of dollars in long-term work with a dog behaviorist. I cannot afford that. I could maybe afford a few sessions.

Am I jumping the gun after one incident, or should I seriously consider something as drastic as rehoming? My heart is breaking right now.

5 Comments
2024/06/04
19:51 UTC

1

Marking in the House

My family has recently started struggling with our dog. He is a five year old 11 pound Maltipoo. We got him as a puppy, and trained him to use pee pads in the house. He learned pretty quickly, and has not had any issues up until about two months ago. He was home alone, and peed on the couch. He had also peed on the floor beside the couch. My mom took him to the vet, and he did not have a UTI. He has still been peeing in the house, but now mostly in our kitchen. So we stopped allowing him in the kitchen, however he just peed on the floor right beside the couch again in the living room. I've read that you're supposed to correct them while they are doing it, but he only ever does it sneakily when we're not looking at him. We're not sure why he's all of a sudden doing this as nothing has changed in our house, and he got fixed when he was 6 months old. Any advice or further questions that I can answer will be greatly appreciated.

2 Comments
2024/06/04
17:21 UTC

1

Puppy won't go outside- please help

Hello, I am new to this, and I am reaching out because I am at a loss on how to potty train our new puppy. I have had dogs before, and so has my significant other, and the way we have previously potty trained our dogs just is not working with our new little guy. He refuses to go to the bathroom outside. Here is what we are currently doing and have found 0 success.

-Limit water intake

-When he is out of the playpen, he is tethered to us by his leash

-We take him out when he wakes up from a nap, first thing in the morning, right before we put him in his crate to go to sleep, after playing, after training, 15 min after eating/drinking water, and whenever we notice him giving cues.

If we do catch him squatting, we say, "Wait," interrupt him, pick him up, and take him outside. He will not finish, which is our problem. He will lie in the grass hangout. He will sometimes cry while we're out there, and I know it's because he needs to go to the bathroom, and we stay out for a minimum of 10 minutes up to an hour with no luck. As soon as we go inside he will pee or resume peeing if interrupted. On a few occasions, he has peed outside (typically first thing in the morning); we say "go potty" as he's peeing, "yes" when he's done, and shower him with lots of praise, affection, and treat.

Please help, we are open to any and all suggestions.

3 Comments
2024/06/04
15:37 UTC

21

2024/06/04 [Separation Anxiety Support Group]

Welcome to the fortnightly separation anxiety support group!

The mission of this post is to provide a constructive place to discuss your dog's progress and setbacks in conquering his/her separation anxiety. Feel free to post your fortnightly progress report, as well as any questions or tips you might have! We seek to provide a safe space to vent your frustrations as well, so feel free to express yourself.

We welcome both owners of dogs with separation anxiety and owners whose dogs have gotten better!

NEW TO SEPARATION ANXIETY?

New to the subject of separation anxiety? A dog with separation anxiety is one who displays stress when the one or more family members leave. Separation anxiety can vary from light stress to separation panic but at the heart of the matter is distress.

Does this sound familiar? Lucky for you, this is a pretty common problem that many dog owners struggle with. It can feel isolating and frustrating, but we are here to help!

Resources

Books

Don't Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog's Separation Anxiety by Nicole Wilde

Be Right Back!: How To Overcome Your Dog's Separation Anxiety And Regain Your Freedom by Julie Naismith

Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices by Malena DeMartini-Price

Online Articles/Blogs/Sites

Separation Anxiety (archived page from the ASPCA)

Pat Miller summary article on treating separation anxiety

Emily "kikopup" Larlham separation training tips

Videos

Using the Treat&Train to Solve Separation Anxiety

introducing an x-pen so the dog likes it (kikopup)

Podcast:

https://www.trainingwithally.com/the-podcast

Online DIY courses:

https://courses.malenademartini.com

https://www.trainingwithally.com/about-2

https://separationanxietydog.thinkific.com/courses/do-it-yourself-separation-anxiety-program

https://rescuedbytraining.com/separation-anxiety-course

Introduce your dog if you are new, and for those of you who have previously participated, make sure to tell us how your week has been!

12 Comments
2024/06/04
12:00 UTC

1

Cant break trigger focus

I've got a 3 year old rescue pitbull with a bite history and arthritis in his hips. I've had him about 7 months. We've completely bonded. He listens to me, for the most part. Has good manners, for the most part. And is extremely bright and has been easy to train. But I just can't break his trigger!

While on our walks, if he sees a cat, a rabbit or another dog, he wants to chase it, kill it or to say hi. He focuses on it and won't move. At first he was lunging in that direction, walks great on the leash otherwise, but now I've gotten him to at least sit and stay. I'd like to be able to gain his attention, soothe him or correct him, so that we may continue our walk, but I can't break his focus. I've tried distraction techniques, his favorite treats, but to no avail. He doesn't acknowledge either. I kinda don't know what to do. At the dog park, the few times I've taken him, he seems almost shy and doesn't really approach but does play. But on leash, he whines and crys cause I won't let him say hi. Others are afraid of him cause he's a pitbull and the one owner that let us say hi, idk what happened in a blink of an eye, but the other dog got started and started barking at mine, who, as far ad i could tell, still wanted to sniff. Leo is territorial and has snipped at some make houseguest and workers in the back yard. He was obviously abused previously and us very much NOT am alpha. I do have some experience training and my last two dogs were immaculately trained. I know Leo has the smarts and willingness but i haven't found the key. Help? (I can't afford professional assistance.)

4 Comments
2024/06/04
07:51 UTC

1

dog not happy with our cats

To keep a long story short ish, my fiancé and i have been together for 3 years and before we met she rescued a pitbull as a puppy. We have 3 cats together and just recently got a 4 month old kitten. Over the years the dog has guarded her food heavily but only with the cats, not with humans. I usually separate them when she eats or when her food is out but my fiancé thinks im paranoid and her dog can do no wrong.

It got worse. Our boy cat really really loves our dog. He wants to be around her all the time. He rubs on her and lays with her and a few months ago, she started growing at him any time he came near her and shows her teeth. I freaked out over this. Shortly after, our friend brought over a frenchie and our dog was acting like she wanted to kill the poor thing (lunged at him, made horrifically scary noises, and wouldn’t stop staring at him). We put her on antidepressants (vets orders) and for a few months it was better.

Now, since getting our new kitten, just today she showed her teeth at it for no reason. She is constantly licking her lips and shaking when the cats try and be affectionate with her and my fiancé doesn’t recognize that these are warning signs. i am fearful of this dog. I know she is unhappy and i feel guilty for bringing in cats into her life, but i am a cat person and will never not have cats.

I’m just asking, does anyone have an advice on how to correct this behaviour or is it a lost cause?

2 Comments
2024/06/04
07:38 UTC

1

Rescue dog doesn’t stop barking at night.

We have just rescued a 1 year old dachshund which sleeps with our very old dachshund in the kitchen at night. The new rescue sleeps in her cage at night whilst the older sausage dog (15 years old now) sleeps in her normal bed in the same room.

The trouble is, the rescue DOES NOT STOP WHINING AND BARKING AT NIGHT! It’s constant and can range anywhere from her starting at 2am after us leaving for an hour to her starting at 6am.

We’ve tried everything, treats when we leave and she doesn’t bark or whine, telling her off when she does, in and out the cage, in different rooms etc. she just doesn’t stop.

Our older dachshund when we got her did this for a few weeks and then she stop as we were training her and rewarding for good behaviour. She still doesn’t cry or whine when the rescue is doing it at night.

Please offer suggestions as we really want to keep her however, may not be able to with people barely getting any sleep anymore for 5+ months!

2 Comments
2024/06/04
06:03 UTC

1

Dog suddenly will no longer pee outside at night. At my wits' end.

We have had our rescue Chihuahua mix (~5 years old, neutered male) for a little over a year. We live in a triplex with no fenced yard or anywhere for him to roam free, but there is a small front yard-like area where we take him out on the leash.

For the first month or so that we had him, we had trouble getting him to pee outside at night. He would sniff and sniff, sometimes lift his leg and immediately put it back down, sometimes if we took him up the street to a fire hydrant or telephone pole he would pee there but not always. He would sometimes pee inside the apartment as well. Time, patience, and using the "go potty" command fixed the issue to the point where for the past year he's been totally fine going outside, finding a place to pee in under a minute, and letting one rip.

That is, until about 3 weeks ago when he randomly stopped peeing outside the front yard. It has escalated to the point where he will only pee on walks. Our routine the whole time we've had him has been: my fiance takes him for a 10-15 minute "sniff walk" in the morning, we both take him on a 20-30 minute regular walk in the afternoon, and I take him out front for one last pee at night.

We are absolutely at our wits' end wondering what the hell has happened to this dog that he won't pee out front anymore. Not one single thing about our routine or our living situation/environment has changed. Now whenever I take him outside at night he spends several minutes sniffing around (I give him a time limit of 5-10 minutes to do his business). He doesn't even lift his leg and then immediately put it back down anymore, he doesn't appear to be searching for a place to pee, he's either sniffing or staring into space. Sometimes he will even sit and cower for a few minutes and refuse to move.

My fiance's working theory is that he is purposely holding in his pee so that he can mark to his heart's content on their morning walks (he looooooves to mark). If this is the case - why would he start doing that suddenly after a year of doing well, and how can we train that out of him??

We've tried everything: treat reinforcement, endless repeating of the "go potty" command, spraying "Potty Here" pheromone spray by the bush out front, refusing to take him for a walk until he pees out front, locking him in his crate and doing another attempt after 10 minutes, etc. One thing I am not trying to do is give in and take him up the block at night - he needs to (re-)learn to pee out front. I am holding firm on this.

His behavior otherwise has not changed, he has no signs of a UTI, no signs of extreme boredom, has a normal level of energy and gobbles down every meal. Does anyone have any advice - please, I am just completely exasperated trying to figure out wtf is wrong with this dog because he can't communicate anything to me and I can't communicate anything to him and it's driving me insane. Thanks in advance for any advice!!

2 Comments
2024/06/04
03:58 UTC

1

Is this aggression or humbling/complaining?

We have a new foster that we’re trying to figure out! He’s 6, very sweet and cuddly, has some excitement reactivity on walks when we encounter other dogs, but otherwise pretty well behaved.

He does very well in his crate normally - he even goes in on his own to relax. However when he doesn’t feel like going in he, what sounds like, growls at us. I know I was extra annoying him in this video, normally we just stop what we’re doing, reset and try again, but I wanted to video his grumbles. Is this just normal complaining or aggression that we should be aware of/work on?

3 Comments
2024/06/04
03:26 UTC

1

Help with reactive dog

Hi all, first time here and I’ve been reading a lot of your posts, super helpful but I’d love some advice for our specific situation. We have a 3 year old great pyr we rescued from a family back in NC. He is a pure GP (as far as I know) and was born with one or two brothers. I adopted him when he was around 5 months old. He lived outside when we adopted him and had never been inside a house at all, let alone a car. I lived in a tiny tiny apartment at the time in the middle of downtown (I know I know, super crappy and irresponsible on my part as his new owner) and it was.. tough. He was absolutely terrified of everything from the beginning. Cars, people, it took him about a week to go inside the house without any problems. Let me also start by saying our GP male is not neutered. We have two cats at home he likes (never growls at them, but loves to annoy them and chase them around the house, but always playfully lol) and we have a young child (under 5 years old) who he adores, she is the only one that he has NEVER growled at. His favorite person for sure. (That changed recently, read on)

We didn’t take him to the dog park or around other dogs at all at the beginning, which I regret a lot. When we adopted him he was already 5 months old and had never been socialized with people or dogs before, but I never noticed anything wrong until I took him to the vet for the first time and he snapped at the vet. I was shocked and embarrassed, and that’s where the problems started. The first time he growled at one of us at home was over human food, which was also very scary for us.

Bringing people over became such a stressor, he would growl and snap at everyone. Inside or outside of the house. At the time when we lived at the tiny apartment I had to try to time taking him out for bathroom breaks or walks, so there were no other people/dogs in the hallways we might pass. It was so very stressful and I was terrified. He’s a large dog! Growling and snapping coming out of an animal that big is scary. I didn’t want all of our neighbors to think “oh there’s that mean dog again” and they all did. I tried working with a trainer at the beginning but we only did one trial session. I was extremely nervous the whole time and every time he snapped at her and growled at her it stressed me so much I didn’t want to go back.

Anytime I would have people over at the apartment, he would growl and scare any and all guests away. Kids, adults, men, women. Didn’t matter. If they acted scared after he growled, he would growl and lunge MORE. He has NEVER bit anyone or anything. Just snaps and growls at ANYONE or ANY dog.

I did so much research on people coming over and how to make it a chill process for everyone, but we didn’t get very far. We greeted people outside, I would let him see me giving my guest a treat to toss to him, slowly coming inside all together, it helped a little bit but honestly he still would scare the crap out of guests. And he’s so interested he wanted to go right up to people and follow them around the house, but I just knew he would snap if I let him get close to them, so every time someone came over I would do this stupid “separation” between him and the guest, and would have to physically keep him from coming close to them…I just stopped letting anyone over to my house at all.. no guests ever. it was really tough. Still is.

We then moved out of the city and to a much bigger house with a huge fenced in yard for him. Dogs on each side of us, a pitbull on one side and two tiny dogs on the other side. He barks and barks and barks anytime a dog passes the house at all, so you can imagine how fun it was when he would see them outside at the same time as him.

THEN we started having problems with the crate. At first he was okay with the crate and I didn’t even put him in it when we left the house, but then he started causing trouble in the house when we weren’t around. He’s not the type to chew up pillows or wires and mess up door frames, but he absolutely will claw at the doors and bite on the handles to try and make it outside, to make it to his family. He absolutely has separation anxiety. He just has a lot of anxiety in general. We were renting our home and I couldn’t take any chances of him messing up the homes interior, so I started to crate him when no one was home. It became hard to get him to even go in the crate, then he started growling at us when we tried shutting it. He then started busting out of the wire cage completely and one day we came home and he had cut himself and had blood everywhere. I never put him in a wire crate again, and had one custom built for his size that he absolutely can’t break out of, it was almost 2 thousand dollars, I felt like I didn’t have any other choice. The only reason he hasn’t broken out of this crate is because he physically cannot. There are serious scratches on the inside that tell me he is still trying. I work from home so he is rarely in his crate anyways, but when no one will be home, we don’t have a choice. I’ve tried to introduce the crate as a safe place for him over and over; only give treats inside the crate, only give him his special chews inside the crate, don’t use the crate for punishment, short increments inside to build his confidence, feeding only in the crates (which we stopped bc it was getting so nasty every time) etc. nothing works he absolutely hates it, and no one even wants to put him inside anymore bc we’re all scared of him snapping at us. Safe to say we don’t ever do things as a family bc we don’t want to leave him alone.

I do want to mention, he is OK when someone is watching him when his family isn’t around. For example, I had a friend (who he’s known since we adopted him) watch him while we went on vacay. When she first came over he was snapping and growling at her, when we left for our vacation, she said he never gave her any problems and was a super sweet boy the whole time. Is he just super protective of his family??!!

Not to mention he pees on everything. It’s gotten better over time but he still pees inside. A lot.

I did ALOT of research and I decided I didn’t know enough to give him what he needed, so hired a ridiculously expensive trainer to take him for 4 weeks. She said he had no issues going inside his kennel at her home (WTF REALLY?!) and would sleep there all night. If I try to put this dog in a cage he snaps at me.. so what am I doing wrong that she did right?

He was gone for those weeks and honestly it felt so nice to be able to have people over, to be able to leave the house without constantly checking my camera to make sure he was okay. She worked with him a lot, she used the e-collar method (which I’m still not sure about) and he made a good deal of progress, was able to walk by a fence with dogs around and not react, and was able to go into stores like tractor supply and be able to walk past people/animals without reacting. I was so very proud of him and had so much hope that things would get better when he came home. The trainer I used was over 5k, and it was supposed to come with “lifetime support” or else I wouldn’t have ever paid that much. The 4 weeks ended and when he came home I literally had ONE HOUR with my dog and that trainer to go over everything he had learned. One hour was not nearly enough and I never got another one-on-one lesson with her again. Right after he came home, the girl who actually trained him quit the company, and so basically I had no support whatsoever, and I couldn’t talk to anyone who actually knew my dog and his habits. I wasn’t confident enough to implement what he was taught, so this whole time I’ve been going based off of memory and what I recorded from that hour-long session after he came home.

Basically the only thing that DID stay from training: place command. he follows the place command and so we use it religiously, I’ve had some luck with people coming over and keeping him on place, but am I supposed to make the dog stay in place the entire time if someone is visiting for hours/days?! What do I do in that situation? Sure I can put him on place when they enter the home, but how do I deal with someone staying for an extended time? I can’t leave the dog on place for a month to keep him separate from guests.

He still hates dogs, still hates the crate, still hates everything basically. Safe to say I still don’t let anyone come over to our house. Forget about boarding him for a vacation, I’m terrified he’ll bite the boarder or scare other dogs. I have no family or friends I can leave him with (would be scared too anyway, who would want to watch a dog they see as mean??) so we just don’t do anything or go anywhere as a family at all.

So basically, our GP doesn’t like any human or dog outside of his family, and he even growls and snaps at us. Once again he has never actually bit anyone, so I’m sure he’s just scared and reactive instead of aggressive. I could be wrong of course, I’m no expert. Recently though, he’s been growling at our 4 year old, it’s happened 3 times in the past week. Any time it’s happened she’s doing something he doesn’t like, and we’ve warned her not to get close while he eats, don’t pull or tug on him, be gentle, if he growls back away immediately, but why is he even growling at her? He has never done that in his entire life, she’s the only person I was so confident about him playing with, but now I’m scared to leave them alone together. Today he growled very long at her because she tried to put a bow on him. I warned her three times not to do it, and she waited until my back was turned, did it anyway, the dog scared the crap out of her and now she doesn’t want to go near him.

Before you come for me, here are some things I THINK I know;

  • he needs more exercise and mind stimulation to make the crate time easier
  • He is a guard dog, naturally he will guard. How do I teach him not not hate everyone and everything though? And only guard when we actually need him to.
  • I am lacking consistency with him. I can’t expect him to keep up with training himself.
  • I should get him fixed, although I’ve heard it can make his aggression worse, and to be completely honest I’m so scared to take him back to the vet. We’ve brought him maybe a total of 6 times and each time it’s worse. Him growling and snapping at them just makes me want to hide in the corner and cry. I KNOW he can feel my stress and it makes him feel even worse and more scared around new people. How do I stop feeling scared or anxious around new people to help him feel more at ease? I don’t even want to walk him because of how he acts when we pass other dogs. It’s simply so embarrassing and scary.

The absolute amount of stress I’ve had since adopting him is sad. I’ve cried so much over this. I’ve spent over 10 thousand dollars trying to help this dog. What do I do guys? Please help without judgement. I never thought about re-homing him, but after this past week and him growling at my daughter I’m just not sure what to do anymore.. should I try another trainer? Should I try to get him fixed? My mother in law and my sister in law are coming to visit for a MONTH in about 10 days. I am terrified and don’t even want them to come at all because I don’t want to deal with the stress of having to keep him separate from a woman and her child (10 years old) for four weeks. How am I going to do that?!!

So all in all, my dog hates the crate, he hates other dogs, he hates any stranger, is terrified of everything, and now I’m scared he’s going to hurt my daughter or one of us if this continues.

We can’t go on any vacations, we can’t take him with us places bc of his reactive nature, can’t leave him with friends or family, can’t have anyone come over to the house etc. It’s like all our lives are super limited and revolve around this big fluff, which we love so very much but if it’s affecting our lives in a negative way and has been for the past two years, what do we do? If we give him the max amount of exercise and give him practice with people coming over, going on more walks…will it get better? I know if we don’t do anything it will just get worse, but it’s like my fear and anxiety about taking him out or having people come over, is keeping me from doing those things all together.. it’s a terrible cycle, and I know it’s up to me to help him.

EDIT; a couple things I didn’t mention before. He seems to not mind smaller dogs, when he came back from his training he would stand right next to the two little dogs who lived beside us, and would just sit and wag his tail while they barked and barked and barked. He still wasn’t fond of the pitbull on the other side though.

We just made a huge move out of state with him, and are now in Florida. Much smaller backyard for him which sucks, but we are just renting and had to make adjustments with the huge rise in the cost of living VS where we were in NC. Haven’t noticed a huge difference in his behavior except for him now growling at our 4 year old. No other huge life changes to note.

We want another baby, we want to be able to have guests in our home, i want to be able to take him on walks without him lunging at every dog he sees. I want to be able to have an stress-free life with a dog who doesn’t hate anything and everything. I feel so lost 😭 I don’t want to give up on him. He’s really a sweet scared baby who just needs me to be dedicated and consistent. ANY advice would help a lot. Thanks for reading.

2 Comments
2024/06/04
03:13 UTC

3

Retrieve Training Protocol

I’ve read the guide and scanned over the recommended resources. What I’m looking for is a book that provides specifically content on training retrievers. I like the bare bones, technical style books…Jean Donaldson’s book Mine was great.

Which of the resources (or other book) might have that?

5 Comments
2024/06/04
02:26 UTC

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