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We recently lost our beloved Rotty Tucker to old age (almost 13). My wife (who was not a dog person before we got married) grew to love him, but she is a "neat freak" and grew up in a messy house and therefore loves to keep her home extremely clean,neat and organized. Even though I knew she loved him. She always hated the shedding and general mess associated with owning a dog, especially a 130lb dog...she is a cat person, but unfortunately has become allergic to them. She swore that after Tucker passed, we would not get a dog again.

Having to take him to be put down was the hardest thing I've ever had to do and it tore us both apart.

To my surprise, about 1 month later, I found her on petfinder.com looking at dogs...Tucker had stolen her heart after all. we went to a few local shelters and found a very cute you girl (~ 1year old pit mix) who had a great temperament. I brought my wife to see her first, and then the kids...everyone was in love. after mulling it over for a few weeks we took her home.

We where not sure how she was going to due in the house alone all day since we both work and she is still very "puppy".

It has only been a few days and my wife wants to bring her back...not because she doesn't love her, but she can't deal with everything that comes along with a puppy.

This isn't my first puppy, so I know how much work will be required, and how to train her...but it's going to take time..some of it will be taught and some of it is just her being a pup...she craves constant attention is up your arse constantly. one of the biggest problems for my wife is that she will jump up on you when you come home, or she is excited....I'm trying to break her of this but it will take some time. She already knows how to give her paw, which is one trick that I can't stand...it teaches them it is ok to put their paws on you and then every time they want something they give the paw thinking they will get rewarded...so that is going to change.

I know IF I can convince my wife to put some time in and get through this "stage" I know she will be better with owning a dog again.

here are a list of her problems so far:

1. she jumps up

2. she try's to get on the sofa and beds (I send her down every time with a firm "down" and "good girl" once she is down...but she will try again when I'm not looking...may just take time and persistence

3. she is in constant need of attention, and follows you everywhere in the house...I think this will settle down some as time goes on.

4. she has peed and pooped in the basement a few times during the day, when we are at work she is in our basement which is ground level and has a doggy door out to a 16' X16' fenced kennel. being in the shelter, she already knew how to use the doggy door and pee and poop in the kennel. however she still has gone inside a few times....hard to give correction hours later..and it may just be the adjustment or anxiety about being left alone for 8 hours...we do have a crate, but I don't want to lock her inside that if I don't have to ...for 8 hours. she does go into the crate on her own and sleeps there at night with the door open.



SHE IS VERY INTELLIGENT AND VERY TREAT MOTIVATED.

therefore I am confident she can be trained well and broken of her bad habits.

my fear is that it can't happen quick enough and my wife will give up. she was not around when Our last dog was a puppy and never had to deal with the difficult years.

If anyone has any suggestions that can help ease her anxiety about owning a pet like this please bring them on!!!!


 

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What do you do with the dog when you are home? High energy dogs need alot of physical and mental exercise, and it makes a big difference with their behavior. Get her into some obedience classes, with your wife included, find fun ways to burn energy, and start over on the house training. If someone can comew home at lunch to walk to reinforce out door bathroom breaks would be helpful. Give her time to settle in, she is new and puppyhood is never easy as you know.
My ex husband was completely not a dog person, lol one reason why he is an ' ex', though he liked cute quiet dogs. I have super high energy intimidating dogs, they completely would run over him. He would not handle mostof them, as they could be quite dangerous with a timid person. Some types of dogs don't do well with some types of people. Usually with the correct training, and helping your wife learn to handle the dog, it will work out fine.
 

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thanks for the reply.

which ever one of us gets home first takes him for a long walk. It's only been a week but I usually spend at least an hour playing with her and working on some basic training. this will be our first full weekend with her and I will be spending a lot of time with her. some friends are coming over tonight with their dogs, so that should exercise her a bit. and will take her hiking Saturday and Sunday. I'm also going to be running some errands Saturday and she will be with me...I want her to get used to traveling in the backseat. no body is available durring the day to come by, so she will be alone on the weekdays....no way around it.
 

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She's beautiful!

Puppies are just a lot of work is all. That's why I'm not doing puppies any more. (I say that, I'll probably end up with 5 at once.) It's tough even when you're a total dog person, let alone when you're on the fence. Everything you listed is normal puppy/dog stuff that requires patience and training.

I feel for your wife, though. She has an emotional issue related to childhood and that can be hard to butt up against. Believe me, I know. I would recommend with her that you be especially patient and understanding. From her point of view, constant cleaning and vigilance is needed to avoid sinking into the dirtyness of her childhood, and the dog probably feels like the trigger that will send her back into that hell. Be sure to be extra helpful with cleaning to help show her that you're just as determined as she is to avoid that.
 

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You have a gorgeous pibble. She looks a bit like my other dog, Corky.

You cannot change your wife's mindset. It is hers to change or not. What, besides a clean home, does your wife value? Do you know her love languages? I wonder what would get her engaged in training the dog? Books and videos? Memberships on forums like this? Classes? A private trainer? A housekeeper? More verbal affirmation? More help with the house? You know her best.

Can a pet sitter come in mid-day to let your dog out?
 

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A year old is really more young adult than puppy.

1. This one is easy. No touch, no talk, no eye contact. Until the dog is calm, ignore her. When she jumps, step towards her not away, to avoid giving the impression that you're playing. Be consistent, she'll get it in a couple days easily.

2. They get on the furniture when we're not looking. We tell ourselves they don't, but they do. Just keep doing what you're doing.

3. If she's whiney or bugging you, ignore. She's bound to calm down over time.

4. Impossible to discipline after the fact, any attempt will just confuse her. She just doesn't know that the basement floor is not a toilet. The only way to convince her is to deny her the use of the floor as a toilet. Clean the mess up with isopropyl alcohol, or similar, to eliminate trace odors. Create a temporary small enclosure with access to the doggy door. Just block off a space with boxes or furniture or whatever is close at hand. I think if the dog has access to the backyard, she shouldn't care how small the indoor space is. I'd probably give it a week or so, maybe less before a full-basement trial.

Good luck.
 

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Beautiful pup!
1. Jumping: turn your back to her, ignore her, don't say anything, don't yell, don't scold. Cross your arms in front of yourself, and just "be a tree". When she finally puts all 4 feet on the floor, praise her in a calm, happy voice, and give a treat! It takes patience and repetition.

2. Getting on furniture: use the treats. "Down" is a command, if she does what you ask (get down) give her a command. We personally use the command "off" as not to confuse asking her to lay down "down". Anyway, when she tries to get on furniture, don't see it as misbehaving, see it as a chance to teach "off" or "down". Don't push, tell him off, you can lure him with a treat if you need to (hold the treat near the ground) and say off in a cheery voice. If he does it, give the treat.
Some opportunistic dogs will see it as a game "oh, if I get on the couch, they will offer me a treat to get off, so I'll just keep getting on the couch so I get lots of treats!"

One way to get around this is to distract the dog, after she gets off the couch, gets the treat, ask her to do some more commands, like "sit", "down", "look" or just play some fetch, so that you keep her mind off getting right back up on the couch.

3. You can use her crate/kennel during the day when you ARE home to get her comfortable being more independent so she doesn't have to follow you. Try giving her a frozen, stuffed kong, and putting her in the kennel for 5- 10 minutes. See if you can gradually increase the time.

4. At a year old, she should be ok with holding it while you're gone. But, anytime a dog goes to a new home, they usually need a review of potty training. Things smell different at your house, and besides that, dogs don't generalize well. So, if she got the point of what she was supposed to do at the shelter, that doesn't mean she will automatically understand what to do at your house. She's only having accidents when you're gone for your work day, right?

That does it for the specific questions. In general, the main issue, is....is your wife up for the challenge? I really feel that you have barely even had her for a week and a half, so she is still scared and unsure, and doesn't know who to trust completely, so I feel that time will settle everyone down.
 

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The pup is a rescue and may be clingy and jumpy because everything is still new. She should understand her new environment and calm down a bit in roughly a month.

Despite the hype, Pits can be much friendlier with people than Rotts... this is a good thing. Exercise, a 30 min. walk, before and after work can help reduce the jumping. In addition to what other folks suggested, also teach her to Sit. And, when you come home, have some treats hidden in a bowl close by, then cue her to sit before she can jump.

Help your wife understand that the pup will calm down as she begins to understand your environment, rules, and routine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for all the great replies.

we are ignoring her when we come home and it's making a difference already.

yesterday i taught her to fetch the ball (which she already did) however dropping the ball was a bit of a game...she now drops it at my feat and sits..waiting for her treat.

I would like to start using the clicker and I understand how the "charge" it and when to use it. my question is does the clicker eventually replace the treat at some point , or do you need to always use it?

she is also still using the basement as her toilet..only when we are away...so I may cage off a small area for her until she gets the point.
 

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Read a book and get someone to help you with clicker training to help your timing. A charged clicker is a secondary reinforcer that allows you to click to very precisely mark and communicate to the dog precisely when she did the right thing. It is also a promise of a primary reinforcer, the treat. For the most part, you always use the treat. There are advanced exceptions, but you'll need a trainer for those.

Let me suggest that you put down a thick layer of newspaper on the basement floor, b/c it can be difficult to clean a concrete floor and remove all smell.
 

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To get her engaged and yet calm, you should always train touch exercise first (http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/18662-targeting-aka-touch.html). This exercise will massively help you manage that extra energy she has. After that, next one should be "Look" command, so the dog just looks at you. This is IMO far more important than paw exercise. Super active dogs will do what they know without a command therefore if you train "Paw" first you'll have a dog pawing you all the time - what you really need is for a dog to focus and look at you, waiting for the next command. Training sit, stay, down, paw etc. is easy - training engagement and focus is the hard part and after you have that then you can easily train her anything else.
 

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Thank you everyone for all of the advice!

The wife is settling in nicely with the dog, we are still working on the jumping up and the getting on the furniture, but it's going to take time....it's only been 3 weeks. she now walks very nicely on leash...(thanks to the gentle leader head collar) and the "accidents" in the basement have stopped. we would like to trust her with run of the first floor, but I just don't think she will stay off the sofa...and I know she will scratch at the front door and destroy it.

our biggest challenge now is separation anxiety. (we do not tell her we are leaving, or say goodbye...just put her in the basement and go...) previously she was in the basement during the day with doggy door out to her 16 X 16 pen. the problem was as soon as we left she would scratch like crazy at the hallway door...she is completely destroying it. so we decided to put another doggy door in the hallway door and then put a 36" tall baby gate from the living room to the hallway. at least then she would have a nice warm comfy place to lay during the day. Today was the first day we tried it. we left for work and my wife watched her through the front window....within minutes she jumped the 36" gate.. what now? the largest gate I can find online is 41" I just don't know if she'd jump extra 4" that just as easily.

Our last problem is with other dogs, I have now brought her over two different friends homes who have other "dog friendly" dogs, it first she is very good, a bit submissive and then once comfortable she turns into a little "bitch" she will do a little sneak attack where she nips/bites and runs away once the other dog responds. I tell her no and put her in a "time out" but I have to keep following her around the house like a 2 year old. I need to find a way to stop this as all of my friends have friendly dogs and this will end up isolating her from many activities. she is however very good with the kids and the kids friends....(which earned her major points with the wife)
 

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You're puppy sounds a whole lot like mine! My dog is a pointer mix, she's adopted and probably about 1 year old. She constantly jumps on people, she doesn't come when she's called, tries to get on the bed, and needs lots of exercise. I've had her now for about 6 months and every day I work with her on not jumping on people. I've seen some improvement, but she still does it. Same with trying to get on the bed/other furniture. I guess all I'm trying to say is you have to keep working, at least that's what people on here have told me.

As far as your wife goes, I would take as much of the responsibility off her as possible. I live with my boyfriend and he tolerates dogs... at best. So I walk her twice a day, I calm her down when she's jumping, I make sure she stays off the furniture, I spend my time training her, I clean up after her when she barfs. All he has to do is reinforce what I'm doing (not letting her jump, etc). He still doesn't *like* the dog, but he lets me keep her. Which makes me happy:)
 

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Try a "double gate", basically two gates on top of one another.

As for visiting friends with dogs, and feeling like you have to spend the whole time following her around like a 2 year old, I say, yes, you do have to follow her. You have to teach her manners, both around other dogs, and in other people's homes, and you can't do that if you can't see her. So, yes, follow her, so you can see what she's getting into. OR, keep a leash on her so you can control her. The problem with that is, some dogs have leash reactivity. This is when they get frustrated on a leash, because it limits them, and they feel if they needed to defend themselves, they wouldn't be able to.

So, I'd keep following her.
 
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