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18 month old cockapoo- help!!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by DaltonDan88, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. DaltonDan88

    DaltonDan88 PetForums Newbie

    Aug 22, 2017
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    I am here looking for advice on an 18m old cockapoo with a number of behaviour issues.
    In no particular order:

    1/ At least once a week he wees on the floor overnight (same spot) even though he gets a 30-45min walk nearly everyday and is let out in the garden just before bed. He never does it during the day.

    2/Whilst out for a walk, he randomly tries to jump up at people walking past (doesn't growl or anything aggressive, and it's not every person walking past)

    3/ he jumps up at the kids and tries to pinch their toys, thinking they are his despite us saying no each time he does it.

    4/ chews when left alone. Plastic, kids wooden toys etc even if you're only out 20mins

    5/ Ties in with 4 in terms of when he's left alone. He jumps up at the kitchen worktop and grabs whatever he can reach (he is told no when we see him do it but at a complete loss how to train him not to do something he does when we are out!)

    My wife and I are at a loss as to what to do. We love him but if we can't correct his behaviours soon I'm afraid we may have to rehome him as we can't carry on like this.
    It seems to me like it's tied in to some kind of anxiety? However, I'm not sure how to go about sorting this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    A loving (but desperate) dog owner.
  2. taylorl25

    taylorl25 PetForums Newbie

    Apr 16, 2017
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    It definitely sounds like he has a bit of separation anxiety. Is he left with full run of the house? If so can you not try crate training, leaving him with a Kong so he’s safe and secure, and can’t chew things you don’t want him too. My lab would chew things she shouldn’t if she had her way so I view it as my responsibility to not leave things out I don’t want her to chew or restrict access to them.

    Similarly with kitchen worktops, I have to make a conscious effort to never leave anything out on there that she could get, as if he’s able to get food by countersurfing it’s highly rewarding to him. In terms of training that it would be to train an alternative behaviour, like going to his mat when you’re cooking but that would be for when you’re present, when you’re not there either ensure he has no access to the worktops or make sure there’s nothing he can grab.

    How much exercise does he get? Both walks and mental stimulation?

    The jumping up on people is annoying I know, I think at this stage you have to make sure he doesn’t have the opportunity to jump on people, the may be try look at that training or watch me when people go past, rewarding with lots of high value treats.

    If I’m being honest these issues all sound relatively minor and common with young high energy dogs, but if they are worrying you to the point that you’re seriously thinking of rehoming I would advise getting a session with a good, positive behaviourist who can observe the behaviour and make suggestions.
  3. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

    Oct 27, 2018
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    He could also be bored and under stimulated. I’m not sure that 30 to 45 minutes walking “nearly every day” is enough (and what happens on the other days?) Does he get played with? Do you take him to obedience classes? How long is he left on his own? At 18 months he’ll have a lot of energy which needs channelling.
    Cockapoos are lovely family dogs, but they are also very active dogs that need stimulation. Poodles are very intelligent dogs and Cockers have masses of energy. So, if your dog is not suitably occupied he will get bored and will make his own entertainment. That’s what he’s doing, in my view.
    #3 Ian246, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  4. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

    Mar 5, 2014
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    Your dog isn't doing anything that you wouldn't expect a teenage dog to do.
    The issue is that you don't know how to teach him alternative behaviours to the ones that you don't want.
    Chewing things is normal; you should be able to 'manage' this by giving him his own chew toys, and not leaving things around that you don't want him to chew when you're out.
    Worktop surfing is also a management issue. However much you tell him off it'll make no difference to the fact that he's already rewarded himself for the behaviour with whatever he's found there; again management, don't leave stuff there.
    Does he grab toys from the kids hands, or just take them when they've been dropped/left? Each of these takes a different training approach. Whichever, saying 'no' isn't going to teach him an alternative, acceptable behaviour. Does he have enough of his own toys? Is he doing this because he's bored, or because he's learnt it gets attention? No easy answer to that one but depending on the age of your children they might be able to be given strategies to avoid it happening.
    If he's jumping at people when you're walking on a lead, and assuming it's just cos he wants to investigate or play with them, then you need to make yourself more interesting and rewarding than they are. Use tug toys, food, silly voices or whatever it takes. Train a heel command to use so that you can tell him how you want him to behave when passing people. You may well need a trainer for this and in the meantime don't give him the opportunity to practise what you don't want him to do. Give passers by a wide berth; if it can be far enough away that he doesn't react then praise/reward him for behaving as you want.
    As for the wee in the house..does he definitely do a wee when he goes out last thing? You may need to start going out with him to be sure he does. Maybe go back to basic house training for a bit? Clean where he wees inside with a biological cleaner (I've successfully used biological washing liquid in the past) so that he's not encouraged to go there again.
    I don't think you have anything out of the ordinary to deal with here. I would guess that most dog owners have overcome some or all of these issues because they come with the dog-owning territory. If you really feel overwhelmed I would suggest you find a good, qualified, reward based trainer/ behaviourist to help. I think there's a sticky on here to guide you with that.
    Hope something in this rather long post helps.
    Sairy, tabelmabel, Ian246 and 3 others like this.
  5. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

    Oct 18, 2013
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    Excellent post there @Linda Weasel.

    That's it in a nutshell - teach your dog what you want it to DO. Have plenty well stuffed kongs about.

    These ostrich bones are pretty good and long lasting too. When your dog is settled chewing a long lasting bone, he physically cannot be jumping on worktops or chewing other things.

    An obedience class is great if you can manage as they'll give you ideas to work on during the week.

    And out on walks, get into the habit of calling your dog back every 5 mins or so to do a sit and wait/stay. Walk away a short distance then call him to you. Learning to sit and stay outdoors can be challenging but helps them settle.

    Rather than just giving treats outdoors, scatter a few in the undergrowth for you dog to find. All this kind of thing helps your dog engage with you and walks a bit more fun.

    When walking past people with dogs, try to get your dog's focus with a squeaky ball or a tasty treat (maybe a cocktail sausage) after successfully passing, throw the ball or give the sausage as reward.

    Your dog just sounds like a totally normal dog that needs the terms of his employment outlining! When you structure his day so that he knows what he should be doing, you will find he won't need to make his own entertainment quite so much.
    Sairy, Lurcherlad, JoanneF and 2 others like this.
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