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I have a 9 month old boxer lab mix named Cloey. She is create trained great, and can stay in for hours at a time. My wife works nights and the dog usually wakes up around 3pm in the after noon, but my wife still need anther couple of hours to sleep. So my problem is this… It is now becoming winter and the weather will be quit cold so my wife will let her out side to potty, then put her in the basement. But she has been destructive and many times pooped on the floor. We think that she is doing this out of attention. Because when we let her out just an hour or two later she knows we are mad and scours with tale between legs.
So how do we train her to behave indoors? We don’t allow her upstairs unsupervised because we don’t want the same things that happen upstairs as in the basement.
And its not like she’s lacking physical exercise my wife and I walk/or play with her daily.
First off, how much walking and playing are you doing? Boxers are REALLY active dogs. Is she getting this exercise in 'her'morning (3PMish, it sounds like?) That would be the first change I would make. Secondly, I'd change her routine- if your wife can wake up and take her out, and then put her back in the crate, it will address the main problem, which is the destructiveness and the pooping in the house. I suspect she's not going potty when outside, then coming back in and realizing a bit later she's got to go- but your wife is already asleep. (When a dog first wakes up, they'll have to pee, but pooping can take everything getting loosened up a bit.) Ideally, she could take her for a short (20 minute) but BRISK walk- then put her back in the crate with a chew toy. (I'd recommend a Kong or a buster cube- something that's interesting and interactive, and you can get her her real exercise when you come home later. That will address everything in the short term. With it getting colder, osme indoor games (hide and seek, find treats, pick kibble off the floor, etc) may be useful, but just a schedule change will probably address this.
The next step would be to get her to have more appropriate house manners- so I would reocmmend more time spent with her supervised so that you can encourange GOOD house manners- playing only with dog toys and appropriate chew things, etc. More exercise will help here, too- a tired dog won't get into much trouble. Then start small with the non-supervised loose time, anywhere- try it for 5 minutes when you run out to check the mail, get something out of the car, or borrow an egg from next door. If she's successful with this, move it up a little more to a brief errand to the store, etc- it will probably be several months before she is trustworthy for hours alone- and these are all in dogproofed spaces with no tempting items like shoes, stinky laundry, trash, or throw pillows around. (DO leave 3-4 novel (not new, but rotate them every day or so) toys, including at least 2 chewing/interactive toys like stuffed Kongs or buster cubes. If she's like most boxers and labs? I'd honestly feed her her whole ration from a Kong and a buster cube- boxers LIKE to be busy. Then, once she's mastered that, try it with a few more temptations (don't make it hard. Pick things like a pair of shoes you don't care about and put them someplace out of the way.)
Your dog isn't afraid because she knows you are mad about the destruction. She's learned that when you come home, you are usually, but not always mad- you probably grumble and maybe yell and stomp around. Your dog is not stupid, she can figure out angry (dogs are excellent at body language) but why is not something that she's goign to figure out. (Time-delayed cause and effect, not so excellent.) You *can* scold her in the act of chewing on inappropriate items- scold, take away, replace with appropriate (and desirable) item, and praise whenshe interacts with that. I wouldn't scold for the housebreaking- you don't want her to start hiding from you when she eliminates, it'll make it VERy difficult to get her to eliminate on leash and she may not go at all while watched- which makes it hard to know if she's finished befoer you let her back inside.
Tail tucking and cowering are what are called appeasement behaviors- it's a canid way of goign "Omg sooooo sorrrrry won't EVER do ANYTHING again!" and it has more relation to what the other party in the relationship is doing than what the 'guilty' party just did. It's just a way of trying to get the other party to calm down. I would be wlling to bet if you put her in the basement for 10 minutes, came back, and acted angry (assuming you are a decent actor, LOL)? She'd do it then, too. She's not reacting to her own behavior, she's reacting to yours.
Hang in there- teenagerdom is tough. They *do* grow out of it, eventually.