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Frustrating behaviour

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Nataliee, Sep 5, 2013.


  1. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    Oscar has had some issues since the day we got him. He cannot be crated, he gets extremely stressed & some how manages to get out, so we leave him with the other dogs. Some days he's good, some days he's not.
    We've had him 3 months now & whilst the original behaviours have improved his most recent favourite past time is opening doors, trashing rooms & scent marking. We have changed the handles on most of them, so he's chewed the handle & scratched the door to bits. The 2 rooms that we haven't managed to change the handles on yet he has got into every day for the past 3 days.
    I've just gone out for less than an hour & come back to find he pushed all the baracades I put up in front of the doors, jumped the gates & raided the bins, which is what he does every time he gets into a room- raids bins. It's getting extremely frustrating now for all family members coming home to find their rooms been trashed yet again, and having to remember to 'Oscar proof' the house every single time we leave regardless of whether its for 30 mins or 3 hours. This morning when the other family members left he went straight to one of the rooms to open the door, which thankfully I heard.
    He's exercised well, has lots done with him, we start training classes this month & then wanted to start agility & tracking. He's left with lots to keep him occupied. He is also on zykelene which is not cheap :( Our next step is to obviously get the last 2 door handles changed so that he hopefully can't get in there, he will have the run of the kitchen, living area & hallways, but my concern is he will just trash what he can in those rooms instead.
    This behaviour can't continue there's nothing more we can do to protect our house from him & he's costing a fortune in damage & it's devastating to come home to a house that looks like its been burgled some days, its tiring cleaning up the mess he's made.
    We all understand that he is still a puppy & will hopefully grow out of it, however the other family members are getting extremely frustrated now & have started discussing rehoming him.
    I'm not sure what else to try with him
     
  2. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Take the bins out of his reach then he has no reason to raid the rooms.

    Make sure nothing tastey is left in his reach.

    Have you got baby gates ???
     
  3. Bagrat

    Bagrat PetForums VIP

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    In the meantime you could try reversing door handles so "up" movement is open. Should take a while for him to work that out.
     
  4. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    We'd have to put all the bins in one room, I don't think it would stop him though. We are good at keeping anything edible out his way but he's really not fussy, last week he broke into a room that had nothing of interest so he just chewed a bottle of shower gel instead and some boxes.

    We have some standard baby gates he can jump them, we have 2 extra tall baby gates that he hasn't managed to jump yet but they cost nearly £40 each so we can't get anymore just yet.
    My bond with him has really broke down the last week because I've spent so much time being angry with what he's done that I don't want him near me
     
  5. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    Tried that one, he just knocks them upwards, the handles aren't that stiff so it was easy enough for him to do
    I will get some more round handles this weekend so fingers crossed we have the breaking into room thing sorted then, but I don't think it will be a case of oh I can't get in there so I'll be good, I think it will be hmm ok so what can I do in the areas I can access then
     
  6. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    Well got the other doors sorted today. Popped out for just under 2 hours, he chewed the mat by the door, but that seems to be it. Fingers crossed he improves from here
     
  7. Kunakizz

    Kunakizz PetForums Junior

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    I don't know your dogs history other than what you've just posted but can you not de-sensitise him to a crate? If he tore his cruciate for example jumping baby gates he'd HAVE to be contained in some way :(
     
  8. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    It's a work in progress, but he really is not good when left in a crate, if he couldn't get out of it he'd start barking & getting himself in a state.

    We've had a few really good days with him when being left, with only the occasional item being stolen/chewed. However he's now decided to become un toilet trained. He won't go in the garden, he walks straight back in, and he's not pooing much on walks anymore, and instead is doing it in the house when left :mad2: he kept peeing over the same patch so I cleaned it with bio washing powder which worked but he's now decided to start peeing up walls instead
     
  9. sazzle

    sazzle PetForums Senior

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    He sounds a little confused to me with the toileting.

    He could well be picking up on your distress which is affecting him.

    Look at this dog and ask yourself if you really think he is doing all this on purpose, hopefully you will feel less angry with him then as your answer will be no.:)

    My dog is not a chewer or destroyer so I cant understand your pain. All I can suggest is start again from step one with toilet training and crate training. (Loads of tips on here for starting off))

    If he likes chewing, have you tried a stuffed kong? Could you leave him some empty plastic bottles to play with? Im sure another forum member on here had a destructive dog and used to put newspaper in cardboard boxes for their dog to play with.

    Dont give up hope just yet, hoping he improves for you. :thumbup1:
     
  10. Kyo

    Kyo PetForums Junior

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    I understand the feeling of losing your bond because you're always angry. When i lived with my ex fiance he brought home a little american bulldog one night, she was beautiful but deaf. Being in a dog cage, even one three times the size as her, terrified her and one time she actually tore up her own skin very badly getting out of it, so we binned it and i havnt used one since. If we were going out for a long time we would run her till she was tired before we left and then she slept most of the time. For shorter trips out the kong was a god send to us. If you cant afford a kong cause they are expensive and need refilled a lot, then you could take the lids off bottles and put a piece of tasty smelling food in there and he'll spend a hopefully a good while trying to lick the food out of the bottle. I read a good piece of advice in one of the other comments, take a minute and look at him when hes happy to see you, he really doesnt mean to upset you, just try to start from scratch again with the toilet training, it's an easier fix than the destructive behavior. I wouldn't use the crate, some dogs dont like being confined just like some humans dont like small spaces, well thats my opinion anyway. I hope i helped a little with my lil bottle trick. I wish you the best of luck, we got through that stage with Rory and it made us closer because it had been a struggle to get her to where she is today, especially with her being deaf. I pray you get through it too.
     
  11. Prowl

    Prowl Guest

    Crates are not bad but not all dogs take to them. Some dogs actually relax in smaller spaces and go to sleep its like a den.

    A dog who is not used to a crate should all ways be introduced before being put in one. A dog needs to understand nothing bad will happen to them while their in it.

    It can take a while to get used to a crate but they are very usefull things to have in the begining. I no longer use one but my dog went into her crate on the first day we got it as she had been used to one at the breeders.

    She treated it like her bed when it was bed time she went in.

    When I leave my dog alone I leave the radio on i'm not sure if the OP mentioned this :>
     
  12. EmCHammer

    EmCHammer PetForums VIP

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    I have a very chewy pup well he is 16 months old now.

    Will post properly later as off out for the day but what worked best for us was containment (kitchen behind baby gate fixed so he couldn't pull it diwn) and keep him very tired and amused with a shed load of stuff frozen kongs stuffed hoof cardboard boxes filled with other boxes and newspaper and kibbles plastic bottles with food in all sorts
     
  13. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    To me he seems very stressed - and putting a youngster on medication for it doesn`t really help IMO.
    I would ask a behaviourist ( a qualified one that doesn`t subscribe to the Cesar school of testosterone-driven dog management by force ;)) to come and observe the routine in the house.
    Outsiders sometimes spot the blindingly obvious! :) And an objective eye is always good.
     
  14. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    The last 3 days since he's been unable to get into the other rooms he's been really good, it's just the scent marking that's been a problem. Worked out last night why he won't go in the garden, he doesn't like the rain, so i'll just have to take him on a quick walk down the road to try and encourage him to go.

    He is left with kongs, nylabones & a different variety of toys that I rotate between daily. There is also a pile of cardboard & empty bottles that he can help himself to & he often does.
    If he carries on the way he's going, minus the scent marking, then I'm pleased with that & can cope with the occasional bad day
     
  15. EmCHammer

    EmCHammer PetForums VIP

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    My Scout was good until he hit 8-9 months old then he turned into a destructive little bugger!

    I thought he might have SA, but he will be destructive when I am here as well if he gets half the chance and last week snuck upstairs when I was mowing the lawn and de-stuffed the pillows.

    We decided to restrict him to the kitchen and make sure the baby gates were secure, they seem better with the baby gates as he can see the other dog. We leave the telly on too.

    I got a dap defuser at one point - he chewed it when it was plugged in !!

    I think he goes through a boredom stage as well - he would de stuff the sofa and look on the mantels /table for anything to chew nothing was safe.

    He always was worse in the afternoons, I think he knew when I was due home and would get himself excited and frustrated too. In the mornings and evenings he was better as would have a walk and a meal and so must have hit a natural sleep cycle.

    With him shut away too we can leave him 5-6 things to do, without worrying about spats over food.

    We also take him for as long as walk as we can before we go out.

    Seems to be working, he hasn't got too many options to get it wrong, but it is much more relaxing getting home and knowing that the house will generally be intact - we are hoping that he grows out of it soon!
     
  16. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    The last few days he's been brilliant when left, the occasional thing has been chewed but not every time. However for the last 5 days in a row he's pooed in the house :mad2: one of the times he was only alone for an hour & had been walked. The scent marking has got bad too, he is peeing on his bed every day, up walls, up the furniture, up the tv stand, over the toys, in the water bowl. The house stinks of urine & we are scrubbing the carpets daily with washing powder & carpet cleaner to get rid of the scent but no sooner than the carpets are drying out he's gone & done it on another area. This morning I was in another room & whilst I was in there he's peed up the wall in the living room :mad:
     
  17. Nataliee

    Nataliee PetForums VIP

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    Just discovered he's peed up the stairs & up the tv stand again. I can't get rid of the smell because its impossible to keep track of where he keeps doing it.
    I'd keep him in the kitchen (the only non carpeted room that he doesn't do it in!) but then I think we'll create new problems having him confined from the other dogs.
    This is so frustrating & the smell of the carpet is foul, the house feels so unhygienic right now :( the carpets are less than a year old
     
  18. DogFather2

    DogFather2 PetForums Newbie

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    I really feel your frustration, Nataliee. Oscar sounds like a very stressed and confused puppy and, even though it is really hard not to be angry or frustated with him, he's only able to express his anxiety or frustration in these, to us, inappropriate ways. It sounds like a classic case of separation anxiety and you can find many great articles on the net to help deal with it. Just avoid any which suggest the use of any form of punishment or dominance. Here's my two penneth:

    1) Have you considered whether his food could be a contributory factor, many commercial brands of dog foods have additives which can contribute to hyperactivity. If he is tolerant to food change try a high quality feed with low additives - I use Canagan, expensive but absolutely no digestive problems

    2) What's his behaviour like when you and the family are at home? Does he get lots of attention and stimulation. Is he allowed too many privileges without earning them? Does he respect you and other family members? If so a program of establishing yourselves as benevolent leaders might be appropriate i.e. nothing for free - ask him for some calm behaviour (such as sit or down) before he gets: food, play, stroked, invited on the sofa, let outside, etc, etc

    3) Always reward and reinforce appropriate behaviour rather than focussing on the 'bad'. Scolding, shouting or any attention you pay to inappropriate behaviour can be reinforcing to some dogs. Never punish him, particularly after the event, this will just confuse him even more. If you catch him in the act, as gently as you can redirect him into something more appropriate and reward him well when he does it

    4) It is most important that everyone in the family cooperate with whatever plan you adopt - everyone will benefit from this

    5) Try to see things from his point of view, remembering that he doesn't see our world from a human perspective. See if you can understand the underlying causes of his behaviour - a dog's needs are fairly basic: food, security, exercise, mental stimulation, social interaction (just like us really :D) - which of his needs are not being fulfilled?

    It sounds like you're making a lot of progress so I hope you can stick with it - he's come into your life for a reason and I'm sure you'll learn a lot from him :thumbup:
     
  19. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    Are you sure he doesn't have a urine infection? I agree with Claireanddaisy about getting some expert advice.
     
  20. BenBoy

    BenBoy Banned

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    How old is he and what breed? Sorry if this has been mentioned already.

    I would get a crate that is much bigger than him unless you have this already, put the crate where you are most of the time with the door open and encourage him to go in using treats, toys etc. Lots of praise when he goes in. Be patient, as mentioned he needs to see the crate as his safe place. You can get big crates second hand on gumtree/preloved. You can get kongs online much cheaper than in pet shops.

    What other dogs have you got and how old are they?
     
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