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My boyfriend adopted a dog (estimated 6 months old at the time) from a shelter about 2 months ago. We weren't looking to adopt but we felt guilty leaving this sweet little guy to be adopted by owners that wouldn't be patient or caring. We found out he came from an abused home and that he had "a little bit of a piddling problem." We talked it over and decided that our other dog, Karl (1 year), deserved a friend and this dog deserved a loving home. So, we brought him home and named him Teddy. He's presumed to be a Maltese/some sort of terrier mix.

I'm going to attempt to summarize our experiences with Teddy by first explaining our training method. Knowing his past, we decided to be gentle and only reward with treats as opposed to yelling/hitting and overall try to reward good behavior as opposed to only recognizing the negative. I'll quickly run through our problems with Teddy: he pees often and it is triggered by almost anything. I'll lean over to pet him, he pees. He knows he did something bad, he pees. I'm brushing my teeth, he pees on my foot. I don't let him come in the bathroom with me, he pees outside the door. I chalked this up to separation anxiety but I stay at home and never let him leave my side (which is fine) but the peeing issue continues. Every time we have guests he pees on them. He also barks, jumps, bites and scratches a lot. Obviously, he's a dog and that is expected but my experience is that dogs usually pick up on what is hurtful to their owners and sort of back off. Teddy bites and claws my hands, face and legs. It's never malicious and always playful/loving but my legs are absolutely covered in scrapes. He also bites and taunts my other dog regularly. Karl and Teddy play often and I enjoy that they do but Teddy often tries to play with Karl by biting his face and neck while Karl is clearly not interested in playing 24/7. Teddy appears to have below average intelligence. He has been very difficult to train and often does not respond to "no" or "stop." Any time I have something in my hands he struggles endlessly to access it no matter what effort I put into stopping him. He has torn up trash and furniture and shoes. He pees on our bed so we have had to constantly monitor that he doesn't get up there. He often refuses to go to the bathroom outside if it's wet. His hyper level is beyond any I have ever seen including all the playing with me and the other dog. Absolutely most of all is the night time barrage from Teddy. Every single night he goes in his crate with no hesitation but then whines for at least 30 minutes-1 hour in addition to scratching and barking. We have read that the best approach is to ignore it but ignoring hasn't worked since we got him. Tonight he woke us up at 5 am by whining for an hour and a half. We let him out hoping he just needed to go to the bathroom. Nope. Usually we don't succumb to his whining because we don't want him to think he can get away with it but this night we had just about had it and we were exhausted so we just wanted the whining to stop.

We are extremely patient people and we have done so much research on what to do. From day 1 we loved and cared for this dog even in the roughest of times but it seems like he will never learn anything or change from his current role as a constant burden. My boyfriend is convinced that we should take him back but I feel uncomfortable putting so much time, love and effort into this dog just to see him put back in square one. But honestly I spend every single day at home constantly monitoring him and it has become a miserable experience. My job has become watching Teddy and cleaning up after him. He is very happy here but it is 100% at our expense. Things have consistently been so bad that we hardly feel anything but disdain for Teddy. It absolutely breaks my heart to say or feel this way but Teddy has never had a good day and my life is quickly turning into a miserable experience, constantly trying with this dog. We miss the days when all three of us weren't tortured by Teddy. I miss being able to love on Karl without Teddy assaulting both of us or getting a night's sleep or having a semi-clean house or not being covered in urine or not having scratches all over or not having to constantly play the "is this pee or water" game.

I feel bad because Teddy has had a pretty awful life before living here but we feel like we have tried absolutely everything and he still continues to be a nightmare. I honestly cannot think of one redeeming quality that Teddy possesses. He seems witlessly unaware that we have any ill feelings towards him and hardly understands that actions have consequences. We are very patient people but it appears that Teddy will never change. Personality-wise he is simple and happy, not sad/angry or otherwise. His personality is pretty lacking overall.

What should I do with Teddy? Should I keep trying or cut my loses and let him find a home that fits better with his needs? Which seems impossible considering how much attention and care I give him. Feel free to ask any questions. I feel like I haven't covered near enough on the issue. Thank you for your help.
 

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Caution! Wall of text coming! :wave:

You have Eddee's relative! :)

I understand your frustration! This is why I am writing you a novel. Lol!

I adopted Eddee a little over a year ago from a kill shelter. You are describing him to a tee. I found him in the shelter accidentally. He had been there for a couple of weeks ... for the second time ... and his owners did not want him back. :( He was listed as a "Live Wire" .... and they were not fooling!!!

I used NILIF (there is a stickie on this in the training section of this forum .... http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/6856-nilif-nothing-life-free.html) and I crate trained him. Eddee was a big time resource guarder, did all his business in the house, tore things up, kept my skin bleeding, marked everything, barked his head off, he would also cower and pee if you spoke too loudly or tried to pet him ... or walk up to him too quickly, tore up things, he was hyper beyond hyper!!! ..... I cannot remember all he did. He was a nightmare ... but I loved the little guy. He is a Schnuazer/? some have guessed Maltese mix or Cairn mix.

How much exercise does your dog get? It sounds like he may need a ton of physical and mental exercise. Sometimes the dog you thought was not trainable is actually quite intelligent ... and just bored. When they are bored they find not so nice things to do. You should see my kitchen chairs ... they used to be carved wood ... let's just say there are re-carved. I have had to replace the bathroom carpet and the hallway carpeting. He would poo in front of the toilet all the time .... for a year. It was not because I was not diligent in training ... but he was sneaky! And I was actually bitten 4 times .... once drawing blood ... from his prey drive and his resource guarding. :/

Let us put it this way .... if I did not keep him ... he would not have passed any tests in a rescue/shelter. I know he would have not been adoptable to just anyone. He probably would have been put down IMHO. I could not let that happen ............ so I committed myself to Eddee and his training.

It took a year almost to the day I adopted him .... and he is finally potty broken. I used a male diaper .... better known as a "belly band" ... http://www.bellybands.net/ ... while I was training him not to pee on everything. It was a temporary band aid. I used the crate for potty training as well as a "safe" place for him to go to. I kept his water bowl and a towel in his crate ... because he would chew up all his beds. I left a safe toy ... a filled "Kong" in his crate for him to chew on. I gave him treats in his crate. I made sure to feed all his meals in there too! This is important! All good things happen in a crate. There are a lot of articles here on DF about crate training also.

You need to start potty training him all over again just like he is a 12 week old puppy. For sure!

You also need to be sure and use an enzymatic cleaner or a 50/50 solution of water and White vinegar to get the pee smell out of the carpets and anything else. If a dog smells pee ... to them ... that is a pee place ... plain and simple. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=769

Also .... no scolding for peeing in the house. You just immediately take him outside to do his business. If he does not go ... back to the crate for about 5 minutes ... and then back outside. Rinse and repeat. When he does go outside make a huge party of it! Treats and loads of praise!

Like you ... I felt so overwhelmed and frustrated at times ... but had to remind myself that my dog could feel my emotions ... and that would not help at all! I had to stay calm and positive if I expected him to do the same. It took a boat load of time, patience, and determination on my part to see us through this.

Eddee has been with me for a tad bit over a year now ... and you would never know he acted the way he did when I adopted him. He is a totally different dog. :)

If you feel that you cannot or do not wish ... or do not have the time to commit to all this training as such ... please find your dog a rescue who will place him with a foster. I do not think ... like I did not think Eddee would survive in a shelter ... and more than likely be deemed "Unadoptable" and be euthanized. :(

I wish you all the luck in the world!

Just keep telling yourself that there is a "Good Dog" in there somewhere. I did with Eddee ... and I was correct! :D

EDIT: I almost forgot to mention that I already had two other dogs at home when Eddee came into my life. It can be done. :)
 

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Abbylynn is the expert in training spirited dogs. :) She is absolutely amazing! Listen to everything she says.

Sorry you're feeling so stressed and overwhelmed. You sound like you really want to make things work with Teddy.

A few thoughts I had, in no particular order:

- About the peeing, it sounds like some of it is what's called submissive urination; dogs do it when they're scared or to show they aren't a threat. Your dog may be extremely soft in terms of temperament and/or lack confidence. Positive training and patience can help.

- You mentioned that he seems impossible to train because he doesn't respond to "no" and "stop." Dogs don't know what those words mean. How have you trained him to understand? It's also good to think about training what you want him to do rather than what you don't want. Someone said recently, there are about 50 things you want your dog to do and 50,000 things you don't want them to do. As an example, you said he when guests come, he barks, bites, scratches, and jumps. Right there are four thing you don't want. Why not teach him that when guests visit, wonderful things happen for dogs who sit politely?

- Also about being impossible to train, it may be that you haven't found the right motivator yet. Maybe he's not so interested in food, but loves tug. Plus, more training might tire him out more that running and playing so he's less likely to be pain.

- I'm not sure he's unaware of your feelings; dogs are fairly sensitive.

- You might try using baby gates and/or expens to give him a little less freedom and to keep him out of trouble.

- A formal training class or a consultation with a qualified, positive reinforcement-based trainer might help you develop a plan and add some structure to his (and your) life.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Wow! What a wonderful response. This is what I hoped for and more! Thank you so much! To answer some questions, he gets some exercise but probably not nearly enough. And I think he might be a Maltese/Cairn mix! Haha.

The biggest thing for us is the piddling and the crate scenario. He is getting better but I have to tell my guests to not touch him until he calms down otherwise he will piddle out of excitement. He doesn't mark and mostly has his big pees on or around the puppy pad or outside.

With the crate... He has a good relationship with his crate and has no hesitation going in, he will even hang out in there when he's not made to. We made sure both of our dogs know that the crate is a wonderful place and never used for punishment. If I had a guess it would be separation anxiety that causes him to whine/bark/scratch. We have put clothes in there, toys, bones, but the problems continue.

I will most definitely try your suggestions. And we adopted him from a no kill shelter and wouldn't give him to anyone but them. I am very willing to try with Teddy and I really hope we can make it work. Thank you again! :)
 

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Wow! What a wonderful response. This is what I hoped for and more! Thank you so much! To answer some questions, he gets some exercise but probably not nearly enough. And I think he might be a Maltese/Cairn mix! Haha.

The biggest thing for us is the piddling and the crate scenario. He is getting better but I have to tell my guests to not touch him until he calms down otherwise he will piddle out of excitement. He doesn't mark and mostly has his big pees on or around the puppy pad or outside.

With the crate... He has a good relationship with his crate and has no hesitation going in, he will even hang out in there when he's not made to. We made sure both of our dogs know that the crate is a wonderful place and never used for punishment. If I had a guess it would be separation anxiety that causes him to whine/bark/scratch. We have put clothes in there, toys, bones, but the problems continue.

I will most definitely try your suggestions. And we adopted him from a no kill shelter and wouldn't give him to anyone but them. I am very willing to try with Teddy and I really hope we can make it work. Thank you again! :)
The peeing all over my house and pooing in front of the commode was my biggest issue too! Lol! Like I said .... the belly bands lined with a cheap feminine napkin works wonders while you are training ... and at least saves on some of the carpet and other items ... like your body! :)

Good luck and please keep updating so we can be of further help if we have any more advice! You can also search in the search bar for SA .... separation anxiety. Many posts and threads on this too. Abbylynn has SA so bad that I have to give her free roam or everything including herself will be destroyed. She has eaten comforters, woodwork, walls, broken out of her crate and had her entire jaw with her mouth open stuck in the crate. I thought I was going to have to call the fire department to get her mouth unlatched. :/

@cookieface - Thank you for the compliment .... I love those wild and wirey little monsters! Lol! Life is never boring!
 

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Look up Submissive Urination. It sometimes is grown out of, sometimes training them, so they build confidence helps. Sometimes you just need to manage it, by taking them out immediately when you get home (and ignoring them til outside). I had a Cocker that would do it. I learned to just ignore him when I walked in the door, and take him out, then talk to him and pet him. Doing NILIF can help build confidence and teach him what to expect in the world, so he will stop doing it so often.

I also suspect he's never been housetrained. Go back to housebreaking 101. Tether him to you , and supervise at all times. Take him out every few hrs at regular times, then you can gradually increase the time span.

Exercise him by walking him briskly for 30 min a day twice a day. Exercise him mentally by training him for 20 min a day.

Look up "The Bite Stops here", to help with biting. Also buy him Bully Sticks or antlers to help with the chewing.

Everything you described is manageable and can be trained out of him. Use positive reinforcement. I very rarely use the word "no" with my 3 dogs. I might say "uh uh", and redirect, but "no" means nothing to dogs unless you trained them what it means. You are much better off teaching them WHAT to do rather than wahat not to do. Then, if they are doing something inappropriate, you can say "Leave it", or Come, or go get your toy, and they will do that instead.
 

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I wanted to give you a secret weapon that I use. I take a spray bottle of 50/50 water and white vinegar and lightly spray around the areas where Eddee liked to mark ... like walls and furniture, carpet edges, the dishwasher, the freezer, the refrigerator. I still do this. The dogs do not like the smell. Once the vinegar dries the house smells really fresh too! :)

At one time Eddee and Blu Boy were having marking contests. I wonder if anyone really knows how much of a predicament it all was. Lol! :D

Just curious .... Does Teddy like sitting on top of the furniture and things in high places? Eddee does .... If you say yes .... I will think they are from the same mold! Lol! :)
 

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I was going to say, is this Eddee II? lol.

I remember Abbylynn despairing of ever fully housetraining Eddee, and I also remember her joy when it finally happened. Stick with it, eventually a little light will go on in his brain and things will click.
 
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