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PLEASE HELP.. am at breaking point!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Staffielove, Apr 18, 2011.


  1. Staffielove

    Staffielove PetForums Newbie

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    I have two rescue staffie x's, one male aged 4 one female aged 2, the female has behavioural problems which a recent dog trainer told me, but at the moment she is causing lots of problems between me and my partner.. he has had enough of her and wants me to rehome her, I do am at breaking point but am aware because of her breed she is not likely to ever be rehomed, she is getting onto the kitchen workstops and stealing food from the side.. today she has gone into the sink and taken out an empty food tray which I had just put in there!.. I dont know what to do.. am really stressed by the whole thing.....
     
  2. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Is it only the countersurfing or are there other issues with your girly?

    The stealing is something, with a little commitment that can be managed and modified (its a combination).

    First thing is serious management - people training.No more leaving food or food related stuff on counters, push chairs in so she can't use them to get up and so.

    Babygates so that she doesn't have access to areas such as the kitchen where she may be rewarded for stealing.

    Here are lots of things to help with stealing dogs: Canine Capers – dogs who love to steal | Pet Central's Pawsitive Dawgs Blog!

    I would also recommend a ton of slef control work, exercises here: Essential Exercises for Cerraazzzy Canines: Good Things Come to Calm Canines | Pet Central's Pawsitive Dawgs Blog!

    Plus crate training - essential for the stealer: Crate for Calm | Pet Central's Pawsitive Dawgs Blog!
    and
    http://petcentral.yolasite.com/resources/Doggie Den.doc

    Also matwork: Settle & Matwork | Pet Central's Pawsitive Dawgs Blog!
     
  3. jessegee

    jessegee PetForums Member

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    can the rescue place advise?

    jessegee
     
  4. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    Some people have success with putting tin foil slightly crumpled on the edges of the worksurfaces, it i supposed to suprise them abit as its a strange colour and sound.

    No idea if it works but worth a try.

    My Spaniel was a bugger for counter surfing and now i just keep them clear and turn off the cooker if he is in the kitchen alone because he has nearly set fire to the house before :eek:

    Just realised i never tried the tin foil thing myself :blink:
     
  5. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    What is the extent of her behavioural issues? If she's stealing food from the side that's pretty straightforward to deal with, keep food completely out of reach and the links tripod posted are really useful. I definitely don't see it as something worthy of rehoming. Why does your partner want to rehome her? That's probably where a great deal of your stress is coming from.
     
  6. Staffielove

    Staffielove PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks guys... i am so unhappy and stressed by it all.. feel I have bitten off much more than I can chew with her.. they live in the kitchen most of the time.. so not sure how I can keep her away from the sides etc ??......
     
  7. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    You say they live in the kitchen most of the time - is there a reason for this? Maybe the counter-surfing and other difficult behaviour is because she's bored, unstimulated, with too much energy.
     
  8. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    You just have to keep them clear; my dog is a champion counter surfer and scavenger. I just have to keep all worktops clear of food (defrosting stuff gets shut in microwave), the sink empty of water (he will drink the water) and any washing up either done immediately or stacked out of reach; if it's in the sink he will try to lick it. I also have a bin that locks, child locks on the bottom cupboards and a baby gate to stop him having access to the room at all if food is left out unattended.

    Also, never feed her bits of your food as you are eating.

    With a lot of perseverance I have managed to teach 'away' so that he will go and lie on his bed whilst we eat (that was a monumental battle) but have not yet managed to stop the counter surfing.

    So...if you have got this far, I think it is all about management.
     
  9. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    What are the issues you have with her? Is it just this countersurfing issue? Do you leave food out? Are their beds in the kitchen that's why they're in there most of time or is it some other reason?
     
  10. Staffielove

    Staffielove PetForums Newbie

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    Shibby.. she is a very needy dog.. I recently did some training with a lady and she said on spending time with her that she has learning difficulties..
    My partner does just not like her and the things that she is doing are just not helping...
     
  11. Staffielove

    Staffielove PetForums Newbie

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    McKenzie.. they have always been kept in the kitchen.. and yes you could well be right that she is doing it out of bordom.. they are both quite lively and seem to fight when let in the front room.. unfortunately they annoy everybody when in the front room.. hence being kept in the kitchen.
    I feel very sad and deflated by it all really.. and somehow think that I have rescued them and then let them down..
     
  12. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Maybe they get over the top when allowed in the front room as they rarely are and it is a novelty? Could you maybe start letting them in with stuffed Kongs or something to occupy them or on a houseline; each time they get too rowdy, lead them back into the kitchen. Once they are calm, let them back into the room...and repeat multiple times until they associate nice calm behaviour with being allowed in the front room?
     
    Lulus mum likes this.
  13. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    I've never heard that said about a dog before, some just take longer to learn things than others and this is often the case for a lot of rescues who may have come from homes with very little structure/training. Was it a reputable trainer? It can be a bit hit and miss with trainers/behaviourists. Members of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) or the UK Registry of Canine Behaviourists (UKRCB) may be more expensive however you're more likely to find a reputable one. Do the rescue you got her from offer an aftercare service?

    Like others have said, I agree that this is mainly a management and training issue, if you leave food lying around it's fair game for the dog, even if it is on a counter-top. Just like if you have a teething puppy, you can't blame them for chewing your shoes if you leave them on the floor. Has your partner ever 'liked' her? She's not going to learn on her own and will need input in order for things to improve, as frustrating as it is for you, it will be equally frustrating for her. What do you currently do when she countersurfs?
     
  14. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    You could try rehoming the OH!:tongue_smilie:
     
  15. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Dogs don't have specified learning difficulties as have been identified in humans :rolleyes: There may however be neurological issues that can impact learning. These would be diagnosed by a veterinary neurologist.
     
  16. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    PLEASE OP don't shock your dog as suggested by Adam.
     
  17. Staffielove

    Staffielove PetForums Newbie

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    Shibby.. I only saw her do it yest. we were in the garden and she appreared at the window.. by the time I came in the back door she had jumped down.. it was only then I realised she had had a bowl of bbq food that was on the side.. I put her in her crate..
     
  18. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    You can rectify this problem with a bit of effort on the owners part, without the use of overpriced, harmful junk! Shock collars should not be promoted.
     
  19. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    What's got you to breaking point then? Sorry for all the questions! I just don't know much about your situation. It sounds like your partner is perhaps placing unrealistic expectations on the dog? And this is the cause of a lot of the stress? Boredom, excess energy/lack of physical exercise, owner behaviour, diet and inadequate/incorrect training are some of the main causes of behavioural problems. To change the unwanted behaviour, it's better to change or remove the cause (e.g. boredom) so if there is no motivation for the behaviour, it should then stop. If whatever issues you're having did stop, would your partner still want to rehome her?
     
  20. Staffielove

    Staffielove PetForums Newbie

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    Hi shibby... thats ok I dont mind all the questions.. thanking for taking the time to offer advice.. to bes honest he has never really liked her from the begining.. so now when she does things wrong it makes the situation ever harder.. I guess I feel responable for her behaviour as Im the one that wanted her.. but having read everyones comments and advice.. I know it is down to me to rectify these problems and do some assertive and persistant training.. sometimes I feel out of my depth with the dogs ( i know that probably sounds stupid) and I need to know how to do things and make sure im doing them right!... at this moment they are both sat very calmly by my feet.. having repetively told them NO when trying to get onto the sofa...
     
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