Need help with my boyfriends dog...

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Otis
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Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby Otis » Sun May 19, 2013 10:43 am

Hello all, it's been awhile! Ashes is doing great, she's 10 now but aside from some arthritis she's happy as can be!

I feel awful writing this. But to be blunt, I don't like my boyfriends dog. I hate this fact. He's had her about three years now, I've been living with her for two. She is a 6 year old pointer mix. Over the past few months her behavior, for me, is becoming sort of unbearable. The truth is, she doesn't do anything that bad. She has a few house training issues, she doesn't chew stuff up, she has a recall any trainer would be envious of. She's just not my kind of dog, and I hate that I feel this way.

I've had plenty of dogs come through my doors, some that have made me break down and cry over behavioral issues, but none that I truly couldn't groove with. I'm pretty dog tolerant after many years of working in kennels and day cares. I love dogs, all dogs.

Now for the issues, she obsessive. When you open a door she bolts through your legs full speed, only to stand on the porch to do nothing. I've accidentally shut car doors on her because she jumps through the door so fast when I am merely grabbing a bag of groceries. Feeding time involves spinning, barking, face pawing and incessant whining. I cannot say the name of, or pet, any other animal in my house without her jumping on my lap, jumping on the animal, or smacking her face with her paw (nails up the nose, in my mouth, eye). Everything is fast and crazy. She begs to go outside and use the bathroom, you take her out, reward her for going, then she will run inside and poop on the floor. The whining, barking, spinning, running, jumping, pawing, is driving me insane. The worst part is the guilt I feel for not being able to bond with this dog.

I think a lot of it spurs from the fact that I have my own dog. (Tessa is his dog, ashes is mine, we both take care of each others dogs, but both animal and human recognize this as true). My own dogs is 10 years old, I love her to death. My mind as shifted from training, exercising and behavioral modification to making her happy in her old age, preparing for and treating medical issues, ect. A five minute walk puts ashes to sleep for an hour. I cannot pet ashes without putting Tessa in the crate. I cannot call her to me without Tessa jumping on her head. It breaks my heart. When I call her name she starts trotting towards me, but Tessa jumps in front of her and she just lowers her head and walks away. We can't play nose work when Tessa is in the house either.

I wish my boyfriend would take more responsibility in exercising Tessa, she needs it. Every time I just work with Tessa my heart breaks for ashes. But even he is at his wits end with her, as he often takes her to work where she has free run for 8 hours. I'm sure he knows I don't groove with his dog much, but we don't really talk about it. I think even he is frequently annoyed, but who can admit that about their dog? We need help.

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby Curly_07 » Sun May 19, 2013 1:17 pm

My first thought is this dog needs some serious NILF and impulse control training. Have you looked into these? Maybe start over at ground zero with both? It will take some time for her to get it, as it seems she's gotten away with a lot over the years, but it can be done.

I feel for you. Really. My ex had one of his dogs that acted the same way for a while and I've had adult fosters that were similar.

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby BrokenAquarian » Sun May 19, 2013 2:24 pm

Hi!! :)

I was just thinking about Ashes yesterday - so glad to hear she's doing good.

What about being teathered in a room/space and you work on training with Ashes in the same room, out of reach. It might help as a beginning step to teach Tessa to control herself. While she's quiet and calm, that behavior needs to be reinforced. If she's controlled, you could train both dogs at the same time(time saver! :) )

Tell the boyfriend that running free for 8 hours is not exercise. She needs STRUCTURED EXERCISE. It's great and important for HUMAN/DOG bonding. Training is just as important and needed for Mental stimulation/exercise.

Too many people think that loving a dog, providing a home, food and play is enough to have a good dog. Many of those people have crazy/unruly or even dangerous dogs. Pent up energy and no impulse control is often dangerous - if not just too damn annoying to live with.

A happy well rounded dog needs impulse control. :)

What ever happened with that foster pup you had - I can't remember her name. Didn't you still have her when you were last on PBF?

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sun May 19, 2013 2:54 pm


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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby Otis » Sun May 19, 2013 3:42 pm

Thank you all! The boyfriend and I had a brief conversation today about it, I think typing everything out helped me word things better! We have different opinions on dog training, and it is time for me to step up and use my dog knowledge on his dog. I have much to learn, relearn, and apply. And knowledge and advice would be greatly appreciated.

I think you all are right, this dog is lacking structured training. She has a regular day, but daily disciplines are lacking. My dog day is worked for a 10 year old, not Tessa.

My foster mica is doing great! My sister adopted her. She's the only dog, of course, has a big backyard with a great fence and is truly loved and cared for! And I get to see her all the time!

I have some reading to so, it's been awhile since I've focused dogs. Ever since mica left I've been trying to sit in the easy chair, no more crate and rotate was a great break.

I also have need to focus on the good things about Tessa, that if I didn't have would be begging for. Her and ashes never fight, scuffle even snark at each other. She's also wonderful with the other animals, including cats, chickens and even pigeons.

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby jamielvsaustin » Mon May 20, 2013 10:01 am

H.O.L.Y cow. I'm so glad to see you back! Please stick around! I've missed you and your stories.

I know that your dogs aren't fighting, but are you opened to a crate and rotate situation? I'm thinking baby gates. This will take some work on "lack of impluse control" Tessa girl. But for now it's easy and you can kind of catch your breath and think about how you want to go about this. It really sounds like-as others have said-she's been allowed to act this way for who knows how long. She needs to expend energy and learn a structured way of living.

Part of the reason Austin and I have put a hold on fostering is the age of our dogs (and they're only 7ish)...so I can imagine the feeling you have when you want to interact with Ashes and Tessa jumps in. That's gotta be tough.


So happy to hear about Mica! Tell us about this boyfriend :))

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby BrokenAquarian » Mon May 20, 2013 12:23 pm

That's so awesome that Mica stayed in the family! :)

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Otis
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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby Otis » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:52 pm

I would love some more articles on impulse control if possible! I'm also working on compiling some videos of Tessa's behavior. Were getting kicked out of our house, and working tirelessly to find a place to keep us all together (dogs, cats, chickens and pigeons!). Good progress on getting a mortgage, but have been slacking on dog training!

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby Otis » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:17 pm

May I also add fear into this mix. Tessa warms up quickly to anyone who will give her attention ( paws on chest staring long fully into eyes), but does bark a lot, at everything. It appears to me she is fearful of commands, and not much else aside from thunderstorms. Any command is met with eye aversion and lip licking, a slow paw up to your knee, and ultimately rarely completes it. Down was our biggest struggle, and I believe this was a punishment in her past. We started with the slighest knee bend, and carried it down. Shell do it now, but reluctantly for treats (no matter what they are), semi excitedly for a bowl of food at feeding time (but not for treats, including kibble). Her favorite trick is dancing on her hind legs in circles, which she loves. I'm half tempted to abandon all tradtional commands in exchange for odd ball tricks she may find fun?

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby BrokenAquarian » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:24 pm

What about changing the traditional training words? Maybe it's the word "down" or "sit" that's negative for her.

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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby Amie » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:41 pm


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Re: Need help with my boyfriends dog...

Postby MarMar » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:29 pm

She sounds a little bit like my girl Becky. The constant over-the-topness can get exhausting and frustrating! Here are a few things that helped us:

1) Mat work (including the Relaxation protocol that Amie linked to)
2) Having her own "space": she has her own room where she can relax. Helps her be less overstimulated and also helps my other pets get attention without her.
3) A limit on over-stimulating exercise (she loves fetch and will pay for ages but continual ball throwing (we call it dumball) can make her even more worked up and harder to settle). Instead I incorporate walks, training, nosework, focus training etc. Sometimes I will even combine mat work with fetch.
4) Asking other people to avoid working her up (my roommate liked to wind her up by saying her name excitedly and I had to ask her nicely to stop).
5) If you're into books, I recommend Chill Out Fido! How To Calm your Dog by Nan Arthur and Fired Up Frantic and Freaked out by Laura VanArendonk Baugh. Both have good info on relaxing a hyper dog.


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