Hi everyone... I've been meaning to do this for a very long time
but my dogs have been giving me a run for my money, no joke here!
I got the first one, Lady, about last August (she's one year old
now) from some guy in Indianapolis and what I can remember is
that there were four other dogs there (I got two but one later
ran away and got hit by a train -- had to bury him)... anyway,
Lady has always been a chewer but... geez... everytime I catch her
(always after the damage has been done) its something even worse
than before... she started with... ohh... books, newspapers, pens...
Then, she went for my leather shoes... Now, she's on the carpet and
plants (as of yesterday)... more on this soon...
I got the second dog over Thanksgiving Break in NYC... saw him in
the middle of 102nd and 80th... cars were driving right by him and
some even came close to hitting him... So, I went out and surprisingly
he gave me no trouble when I brought him into my car... I did advertise
"lost dog" in the papers but no one called... checked with the animal
agencies and the whole works... nothing... so decided to keep him...
After taking him to the vet, it was a surprise to find that he was
diagnosed as a very healthy dog (after seeing him eat undescriable stuff
off the streets in NYC)... he did have worms and after a few pills,
they were all gone.
Now... he has a tendency to poop in the house but lately, he hasn't
done that and I have been doing positive reinforcement -- when he poops,
I just bring him over and tell him bad dog and say "no pooping in the house!"
and then I make him stay there for approximately 20 or so minutes, staring
and smelling his poop and then he watches me clean it up. (I do the same
thing with the other one) and it has proved to be effective... both dogs
wake me up in the morning when they have to go really bad and when they
are outside, relieving themselves, I call out "good dog" Anyway... that's
Now... I live with three other people and there are times when no one is
at home and we used to let them have the run of the house, but after
seeing newspapers, books, magazines strewn all over the floor, we decided
to chain them up to a central location (close where they sleep for the
night -- so it wouldn't be a totally unfamiliar environment) Rover has
responded favorably and is very good with this... HOwever, for Lady...
she goes bersek... just plain rips up the carpet (at first I thought it
was the chain being too short or *** her but when I come home, she's
breathing well and it has slack...) and generally destroys whatever's
in her reach -- the couch, the plants, the carpet... while Rover just
sits and watches the show...
I've had five other dogs before Lady and Rover and none of them have ever
done this... yeah... they've chewed things up but when I gave them their
toys along with positive reinforcement, it just stopped. Now... for Lady..
I got the old Kohler dog training book and for this kind of behavior,
when positive reinforcement fails, it recommends "taking it all out" on
the dog... now... at first, it might be nice to be able to vent my anger
on the dog for failing to listen to me... However, Lady acts disciplined
(most of the time) when someone's home... its when no one's home that
she goes crazy... So... I'm thinking of building a crate and just putting
her in there every time no one's home... is this a good idea or... what?
I've seen that she's very afraid of other people although she has had
many positive exposure with strangers... I guess she was really treated
badly before I got her... she sleeps at my bedside every night and
sometimes sleeps on the bed with me... (it doesn't bother me and she
sure doesn't mess up the room while I'm sleeping)... any ideas here...
My girlfriend (yes, I live with her) feels hopeless and... this is
her first dog (after much cajoling from me at the beginning) and she's
not really reacting to the damage as optimistic as I am...
I would much rather give the dog the run of the house, to know that I
trust it completely, but when this ... damage happens... I gotta contain
her some way... Crating is becoming more and more of a reality and it
might help her feel more secure or might make her go even more crazy
and try to claw her way out of the crate... I've never done it before...
So... any ideas would be appreciated!! BTW, fear not, I would never
lay a hand on Lady, I believe that would be more of a negative reinforcement
and just aggravate the problem more... hmm... oh I wanted to say that
I thought maybe she was being lonely, but Rover's right there... how,
in the world, would she feel lonely when the other dog's right there
and is just so calm... it just puzzles me... oh... one last word...
please do email me a copy of your responses because my news admin flips
through the news so fast that the posts remain on for only two or less
days... :'( I'll try to check the news as much as I can but... I might
miss something that would work... :') Thanks for "listening" to this
very long post...