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Destructive behaviour

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by PsyKoViggy, Mar 5, 2008.


  1. PsyKoViggy

    PsyKoViggy PetForums Member

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    Well, my family has a 6 month old Northern Inuit puppy, and i'm not sure how to stop her destructive behaviour.
    She's ok if someone is with her, but if you even go to the toilet for 2 minutes she'll ignore her toys and chews and destroy something around the house.
    She gets very upset if we go out and leave her, even though we have another dog to keep her company and she'll just rip everything appart.
    We are also having to sleep downstairs on the sofa so we don't wake up to find the sofa in peices around the house.

    It seems almost impossible to stop behaviour you arn't there to witness untill it's too late, so any help would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. carol

    carol PetForums VIP

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    have you thought to crate her while your not there to stop her chewing??? :) :)
     
  3. PsyKoViggy

    PsyKoViggy PetForums Member

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    She hates that even more and get very stressed out and usually goes to the toilet in it and then sits in it and lays in it and just makes a really horrible mess.

    We have been considering getting her an outdoor kennel and pen, but that will take up a lot of space, time and money. Money being the thing we are mostly lacking.
     
  4. Gemma83

    Gemma83 PetForums Senior

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    Have you tried food treats inside toys? We find the kong toys quite good as you can put puppy paste and bits of kibble in, our 6 month sheltie gets that when we go out and he dosn't seem to mind us going out now as he has the treat to look forward to. Also our sheltie also stays in our kitchen and breakfast room while we are out/ bedtime so he can't get to the sofas and carapets.

    Are you able to secure him in a room where he will be unable to course damage to your belongings and potentionaly to himself?

    BTW we also found the crate was very unsettling for him with the door closed, with it open he quite happily takes himself in there, and we usally find all of his favioute toys in there. But close the door and he screams!
     
  5. PsyKoViggy

    PsyKoViggy PetForums Member

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    The kong toys sound like a very good idea, i'll attempt to perswade my parents to buy some at the weekend.
    We have a room that is almost completely stripped of everything now, mostly because she'd destroyed everything that used to be in it. T

    he only problem with that is that i can't confine my other dog in there with her, because the puppy is now bigger than her and a lot more bulky and is very clumsy so when she gets upset that we've left she jumps about and i worry she'll hurt my dog.. or that my dog will get a bit agressive with her which she has been known to do.. not overly agressive just barking a some warning snaps, but it scares our puppy half to death, big soppy thing, heh.

    Still, i'll attempt variations and hopefully will find something that works, then i might be able to go out and find a job at last, heheh.

    Many thanks!
     
  6. Gemma83

    Gemma83 PetForums Senior

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    we also use a plastic cup to put treats in, ours loves ice cubes, we 1st gave him one when his teething was really bad. So I just put an ice cube in the cup and shake it, the noise gets him excited and he then has to get it out the cup himself.

    Another thing - they were saying at puppy class a good way to break this habit is to get the dog used to being on another side of the door from you and slowly increase the time you spend away from him before his mis behaves that way he learns you always come back.
     
  7. karen

    karen PetForums Junior

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    She's ruling you. She's the boss in her eyes and she's showing destructive behaviour because she doesn't like her alpha role. She's not up to the job. Dogs are pack dogs and they dislike thier pack splitting up. that's why she misbehaves this way. You need to rebalance the pack structure. I've posted a new thread showing how to do this.
     
  8. PsyKoViggy

    PsyKoViggy PetForums Member

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    I have trouble believeing this i'm afraid.
    Firstly shes a puppy, shes 7 months old and at that age doesn't have a set place in the pack.
    She is very submissive and the only signs she has shown that are sometimes connected with dominance are things like jumping up, which at her age i'd put more down to excitement.
    When we are in the house she is very eager to please and shows submissive behaviour such a flattening her ears when she is called.
    She is also rather scared of my other dog, despite her being smaller, and will actually refuse to walk past her and will be very submissive and even have the occasional accident if she has to walk past her. (I'm hopeing this will change as the puppy gets older and clamer.) My other dog is also not at all dominant, just a little grumpy at having this massive puppy constantly wanting to play and knocking her over.

    She hates the pack splitting up and is hugely a pack animal, yes, but thinking shes the boss? Not a chance.
    My dad is very much the pack leader in my house (although its only the dogs that appreciate how he treats everyone at home the same way he treats his employees at work.)

    I will read your post as i do think it will be very interesting and i am not trying to knock that, i just can't see what you are suggesting in my puppy.
     
  9. Gemma83

    Gemma83 PetForums Senior

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    I see your point, but its a puppy! - puppys are destructive and chew a lot by nature!
     
  10. andrea 35

    andrea 35 PetForums VIP

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    there is a lot to be said about dogs dominant behaviour , and although she may be only 7 months she is from a breed that has strong pack mentality , a dog at any age will try and get the upper hand if they think they can or you let them , A goog book to try and get hold of is Jan Fennel the practicle dog listener she has her own web site to order the books from its a well worth while read very informative about the dogs way of thinking and how he thinks of you as a pack member . As you live in a fa,mily enviroment she needs to be treated the same by all of you when you descide what corse of action to take , strong dogs need strong owners to lead them so they dont feel the need to take the role themselves and they often do without you realising it . Chewing is a natural thing in young dogs but at 7 months it should,nt be because she is teething so its more a learned behaviour that gets attention ,to a dog good or bad attention is what they want from you even if its negative . Look at what you may be feeding her some foods will make a dog hyper a bit like sweets and children . sleeping downstairs is only putting you at her level and so getting her used to a crate if she cant be trusted is a good idea , but like most things with dogs its about perserverance ,giving in to her displays of behaviour while she is in the crate and letting her out gives her the idea that if she does this she will get let out so gentle persuasion with treats or feed her in the crate so she associates it with something good , a step at a time , but dont poo poo the idea that it could be dominance . we dont live in your house and can only give a general idea of what could be the solution . lots of people on here own strong minded dogs so maybe you will get lots more ideas of how to manage her not everything that suits one dog will suit another but its worth giving sudgestions a go .
     
  11. PsyKoViggy

    PsyKoViggy PetForums Member

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    No, i do understand, and i wasn't trying to sound ungreatful, and if i did i think it may have been because of the way her post was worded.. it sounded like a very definate 'this IS whats wrong!', but i honestly wasn't trying to be rude..
    I'm just very sure that isn't her problem.
    The sleeping down stairs is because she still isn't 100% about sleeping all night without needing to go out, and its a little unfair to tell her she needs to go toilet outside and then not give her the opportunity.

    Also, i sleep downstairs anyway and would let her sleep in my room, but i keep my skink's viv on the floor and sometimes he sleeps in the open so i don't trust her to be trying to wake him up all night.

    I'm still unsure about the crate, she never minded being fed in it or being in it but as soon as you closed they door she'd go mad and the mess really isn't pleasent.
    I will definatly try leaving her in a room on her own of growing periods of time so she gets used to the idea, and using the treats, but i really can't stand the idea of locking her up in a crate where she has to sit in her own mess and she could hurt herself.

    I'm confident i can deal with the sleeping issues as soon as i'm confident she can sleep all night without needing to go outside, its really just leaving her on her own during the day, which i'd also feel uneasy about leaving her in a crate for because she likes to stretch out and she isn't a bad dog, just needs to know the limits of what she can and can't do, and locking her up seems like a way of avoiding the problem and not really helping the dog.
    Just a personal view.
     
  12. AJ

    AJ Guest

    Kong's are a good way of relieving boredom! Doesn't sound like boredom though if she's doing it everytime your backs turned. I don't think its a dominance problem either, destructive behaviour is seldom anything to do with dominance.

    Like Andrea said it could be to do with her diet. Her food could be providing too much or too little of certain food groups. Making her hyper or making her search for what she's not getting enough of.

    It could also be an attention thing, bad behaviour is best ignored but make sure you give plenty of attention when she's good.
     
  13. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    She sounds like she is very dependent on the family and is scared of being on her own, The Kongs are a great idea, i would suggest you smear something very tasty round the inside, such as peanut butter or cream cheese put it down for her, when she is really chewing and licking at it, leave the room for 15 seconds, return pick the kong up, repeat gradually building up the time, just 15 seconds at a time, so she learns to cope with being on her own. Once you've broken the 15 minute barrier you've cracked it.

    She just a frightened pup, scared of being on her own.
     
  14. PsyKoViggy

    PsyKoViggy PetForums Member

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    That sounds a lot more like it.
    I will definatly do that once i'm well enough to get to the shops to buy the kong toys.
    She's completely mad about food so that should definatly occupy her mind for a bit, bless her heart.
    Thank you very much
     
  15. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Anything you can do to build her confidence would be good, she has a few worries at the moment shes worried about being left alone, she worried about your other dog, and can be submissive. I never touch a pup if it is in a submissive state, (lying on its back or raising its back leg), as it saps confidence, i would step back, take the pressure off call it into a sit then stroke and praise. In my experience of working with dogs, jumping up is just another sign of insecurity, the dog trying to appease.
     
  16. karen

    karen PetForums Junior

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    I understand what your saying but fact is she's not a puppy now. At seven months old she's a troublesome teenager manipulating those around her. You say she's submissive but dominance isn't about aggression. Aggression is a result of dominance that has been left to develope in a dog that doesn't have the nature to be the alpha leader. And those dogs tend to be timid shy types to start with. Even dogs that display very submissive behaviour can make their mind up to rule the den.
    You say your dads in charge, well that's maybe the case but a true pack leader will have no problem handling a dog in any senario. I'm not having a go here, I only have the information you have written. Sleeping downstairs with your dog is her leading you. From her point of view she sees it as" I destroy I get attention. I'm good I get left alone.
    If you really disagree then maybe you need to look at her enviroment. A dog this age needs constant handling. Strong guide lines and boundries to offer a stable enviroment. Young dogs get lost in translation because they don't understand their place in the pack. Don't kid yourself that she's too young to fall into the pack structure, they fall in line from day one.
    Also I would maybe take her to the vets. Prehaps you can speak to you vet and he can put you in touch with a behaviourist. I advise you stay clear of listeners though. Two day courses in canine psychology does not quilify anyone. I like the one of the posts author suggestion though just not her weekend workshop qualification.
    I'd also advice Jon Fisher books. Not all his advice I agree with but some very useful information and methods. There is insecurity here and firm but calm handlig should make a dog like this grow into a well balanced pouch.
     
  17. karen

    karen PetForums Junior

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    Had another thought. The Barf diet. google it and there's a forum with info on. You can encourage your dog to chew the right things. It's based on a raw meat diet. I feed all my dogs this diet and they are the peak of health for it. I have a eight month old dog who was destructive too. I leave him with a raw bone when I leave him alone. This encourages his food driven natural instinct and occupies his mind for along time. What dog would want to chew teh sofa when there's a juicey raw bone instead.
     
  18. AJ

    AJ Guest

    BARF Diet Specifics - Bones, Meat, Offal, Vegetables, Fruits & Other Nutrition Food Products for Pet
     
  19. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Why didn't you just "rebalance the pack structure".
     
  20. karen

    karen PetForums Junior

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    Jenny. I don't understand what you mean? The Barf diet was suggested, because the original post has a seven month dog that chews. Apart from getting rid of alot of additives, and stimulants it's a diet that takes a long time to eat and can help occupy and tire dogs.
    As for rebalancing the pack structure..?? I suggested that? simple trying to provide the original post with as much help as I can... Or wer eyou being funny? I there's an issue then speak up :rolleyes:
     
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