Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

If I can't train this dog I'm having him put down. Any advice?

2669 Views 35 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Erick Aguilar
1.5 year old min pin/ chihuahua mix weighing it at about 11 pounds.

He is fine at home and around people he knows. The second he finds a door that's cracked open or a way out of the house, he will chase down kids or people in our cul de sac and bark or even bite them. I don't know what to for him to stop. He can sit, come, and stay when in the house, but won't obey commands outside or when on a rampage barking and scaring people. Any advice you could give would be appreciated. Thanks
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
we need more info.

age of the dog, background, how you have been training him, any serious health problems, the dog's daily routine including the amount of exercise he gets, what does his body language look like during these "rampages" etc etc etc

everything you can think of

first thing I would say is he needs a trip to the vet regardless, to rule out any potentional medical issues that may be contributing to this..then you need to try to locate a behaviorist in your area.

will tell more after you give the info requested..
Well unless his name is Houdini I don't understand what stops dog from being picked up before door is opened. 1. I'm thinking of opening the door. 2. I now pick up dog and crate him. 3. I can open the door now. That totally eliminates the problem while you are going through the training needed to stop dog from door. I'm not trying to be rude, but it is a very little dog therefore should be easy to handle and would eliminate problem short term or long term if you can handle picking dog up.
^^You don't understand how incredibly fast and agile this dog is. My family is horrible and does not understand that they should probably look before opening doors, that coupled with a pretty big house with lots of doors means the dog can get free sometimes. He is very very hard to catch when his mind is set on doing something.

To previous poster:

The dog is 1.5 years old, I have raised him from about 8 weeks old. He gets let out or walked every morning and walked every evening. He has no medical issues, all vaccines are taken care of, and he was at the vet about a month ago for a routine check up....nothing is wrong with him except his behavior.

We trained him to sit, stay, stand on his hind legs, and shake, by giving him treats when he would associate the proper commands with the action we expected of him.
See less See more
I agree with zim and wvasko. We still need more information. How long has the dog been acting out like this? What is his body posture like? How does he act on leash? Has he actually bitten anyone? How hard? Definitely schedule a vet visit for the dog right away and begin managing him more carefully so he cannot practice the undesirable behaviors of escaping and chasing people down. Regular vet visits usually do not include things like thyroid testing, which may be a cause for this behavior. If you can't crate or don't want to, you could always puppy proof a room to put the dog in when you can't watch him, and keep a drag leash on him when you can watch him. Your next step would be finding a qualified behaviorist to work with you on counter conditioning and desensitization. Check out http://www.iaabc.org and http://www.animalbehavior.org
See less See more
Dog's don't generalize well so part of the problem could be that the training you've done in the house means nothing to him outside. What people said earlier about not opening the door with the dog around is a great suggestion and your response that, "My family doesn't work like that" is a cop out. It's something that can definitely be fixed.

Take the dog out on a leash and start doing the same training outside that you did inside. Train on recall, not fixating, not chasing things, etc.... only do it outside on a leash so you can control the variables in the environment.
You don't understand how incredibly fast and agile this dog is. My family is horrible and does not understand that they should probably look before opening doors, that coupled with a pretty big house with lots of doors means the dog can get free sometimes.
That is just silly. I have SEVEN incredibly fast and agile dogs and lots of non-doggy wise visitors (most with dogs of their own with them since I run a grooming business) in and out of our home every day that my dogs would LOVE to interact with. Knowing that allowing them all to interact would be both risky and a time waster, I manage my dogs so that they CANNOT get out. Yes, sometimes sh*t happens, but I choose to focus on what I want to happen and making that happen, not focusing so much on what I don't want to happen so I do not set myself up to think that is too difficult to make happen. You'd be amazed at what a few closed doors, baby gates, crates and treats can accomplish.
He has a very nice crate....that sits in the side yard no used. I guess I will clean it out today and start training him better. He has the typical min pin hackney gait and that's what he is like when he barks at people. He will also sit or stand the same way in the window while growling and following people outside with his head.

On a leash, he has been better. Off leash he has been crazy since we got him, on leash he has gotten better at not being aggressive with every person he meets, but I am still not comfortable when kids come up to him.

I try to train off the leash, but he just goes crazy when he runs outside. I can let him out when there is absolutely nobody around and he will go back in the house on command. It's when there are dogs, kids, and neighbors around that he won't listen. quite embarrassing
See less See more
one thing a lot of people miss it seems yo me when training a dog is generalizing

the way dogs learn is a funny thing an example...

if you teach your dog a cue, but the majority of the time only give him that cue in one specific location, the dog isn't going to make the connection that when you give him that cue in a different location, he is supposed to perform.

I catch a few hints from your post that this may be a piece of your puzzle here.

another thing. the more you allow an undesirable behavior to persist, the stronger the impulse in the dog to perform that undesirable behavior.

you can cut the escalation off simply as pp said, keeping a drag leash on the dog and taking the leash in hand before the door is opened. if the door opens unexpectedly you can step on the leash and stop him in his tracks.

if I were you...

I would add a series of of short training sessions to his day that focus on teaching the dog to control his impulses. Work on teaching him "wait" and "leave it". Work on these two cues in the house, on walks, at the park, in the car, everywhere that you take the dog. not only will this help as far as training goes, training itself is mental stimulation, which will help to wear him out and keep him calmer.

check out ALL the stickies in the training forum.

also. I would add a small bit of extra exercise to his day.

and as far as the vet visit goes, a routine check up won't cover some of the types of conditions that may contribute to these kinds of issues. call your vet and discuss what blood testing options they can provide.

and please consider a behaviorist.
See less See more
Also, if you don't manage to train the dog, and still have that ''put him down'' mentality, why don't you just give the dog to someone who could train him to more success?

He is like one of my dogs was, and sometimes still is, what do you need to do?
Walk him more often, socialize the dog all the time you can, take him everywhere you can.

This happens with dogs who are not taken on regular walks,that is also why the dog doesn't obey you outside, you've never trained commands with him on the streets, you might want to start doing it:)
Most dogs turned off leash without extensive training for desirable off leash behaviors are crazy. That's not embarrassing, that's just a dog being a dog and a reflection of how much training you have done with your dog at that point.
I am going to take a stab at this.. and if I get some things wrong (little info to go on) please correct me.

In your family you have people who do not think b4 opening the doors. I am going to guess that these people are mostly kids and that you are either a much older sibling or a parent. It is helpful to know this because as a parent you have far more authority and ability to do things than you do if you are a child (even an older child in their teens).

You say the dog is "let out" so this says to me you have an enclosed yard where the dog is allowed some doggy free time. If not, then the dog is just let out to roam? #1 is certainly acceptable and #2 is certainly not acceptable. If #1 is correct and there is a door that can be opened and the dog can go out into an enclosure, how about trying this: Put a NOTE on all the doors EXCEPT the one the dog can go out w/o a problem and have the note say something like "Where is the DOG? Don't let him out!!!" If it is a big enough note and it is placed so it interferes with operating the door handle, it MIGHT work.

Next, training not to run out the door. At the top of this forum there is a stickie about this and I recommend you read it. The object is to put the dog on a line or lead and to put the dog in a "sit' or "lie down" and then open the door. The line or lead will prevent him from accidently going thru the door. Shut the door the minute he breaks the sit command. Remember, whenever training a dog, the dog is NEVER to break a command UNTIL YOU RELEASE HIM. Any command, any time you cue it and anyplace you cue it. No excuses. Work on that too along with the door thing.

So.. dog is on a line and in a sit. You open the door, dog gets up and you quickly shut the door. Put the dog back in a "sit" and repeat... over and over until the dog does not get up with the door open. The FIRST time the dog sits and does not get up with the door open, REWARD REWARD REWARD and with FOOD and praise! Make NOT GOING THRU THE DOOR a BIG POSITIVE DEAL. You will have to do this with every single door in the house and you need to work on this for a couple of weeks.. at least. the other thing that is absolutely important is that the dog NEVER get out or the whole tr4aining will break down (put up those notes and talk to everyone living there).

As to chasing and biting.. it sounds to me like this could be play or it could be fear aggression or it could be prey drive. It is important to take this dog out on a leash with people around. The minute he gets reactive.. move back away from the people and the instant he refocuses his attention on you and is settled down, REWARD AND PRAISE. The object here to not cross the dog's reactive threshold while moving a little closer each time so he is eventually next to the thing he is reactive too.

It sounds to me like this dog could use some obedience school.. not so much for him but for you. There is something most peopkle don't know about training dogs and obedience school. You don't go to school to train the dog. You go to schools to learn how to train the dog. Dogs do NOT generalize behavior. A dog who "sits" at home will not (typically) sit out in the yard.. so it has to be trained there too.. and won't sit at dog school, so it has to be retrained there.. and won't sit in front of the supermarket so it has to be trained there as well. I have been told that for a dog to understand a cue or command every new place he goes, he has to have the cue re trained in 20 new places first.

It also sounds like you need to nput a recall on this dog. He probably comes when called in the yard and in the house, but does not come when called when he gets loose. Long line, lots of treats and working on recalls everywhere is a good idea too. Never punish a dog that does come to you.. even if he "finally" comes to you and you would like to wring his neck. ALWAYS make coming to you a big positive deal with lots and lots of praise and rewards (more food).

If your dog is chasing and biting out of pure aggression or out of fear, then your tactics change somewhat. If you believe he is biting out of aggression (espeically) you need a behaviorist as suggested by Pampered Pups.

Your dog's problem is a training and socialization problem that has probably been created by unknowledgeable handling or lack of/improper training. Seems a shame to kill the dog for the shortcomings of the ownership situation?
See less See more
^^excellent post, thank you.

I am a 20 year old college student, and I am leaving to permanently live at school so it's going to be on my family to keep the dog in good standards. If it were all on me, he would be properly trained, but my family is a bunch of people who think that they are right about everything. That makes it difficult to get the dog used to just one thing.

I will do my best to implement the training techniques and get him in shape before I have to move.

I know it's not just aggression out of nowhere. He has a lineage of very calm parents, and I know the owners of his brothers, and they are all normal dogs as well. I believe the mixed input is just too much for Jack (my dog) to deal with.

On top of that, I can't get my damn step dad to stop hitting him when he actually comes back inside the house, and my younger brother chases him around with a shoe over his head. If I could take the dog away to college with me, I would in a heart beat but the housing does not allow for it.....that, and my parents think he would die if I was left in charge.

I know, it sounds more like family issues than dog issues Hahaha. I will be more consistent with the training now and use this forum as a tool to do it correctly.

I wish I could just take him with me, I know he'd be better of with myself as the owner. I would feel bad having a dog in an apartment though, when at home he has the backyard to himself and a dog door that lets him into his crate (by the garage).
here's a picture of him just because:

See less See more
What a cute dog. How sad that your family treats him like they do. Is he yours? If he were mine I would rehome him if I could not take him with me, or find a way to keep him with a friend--something, anything before he ends up getting hurt or killed due to your family's ignorant behavior around him. You were talking about putting him down due to his lack of training (which is not his fault), so why not give him a chance and rehome him instead?
My dog is fast and agile, and he's big enough to plant you on your sit-bones as he barrels past. He's also got 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of crazy. Training even a dog like mine to wait until he's invited, is a piece of cake. Everybody thinks their dog is some kind of special hard case, until someone teaches them how it's done. Most people scream at the dog as he whizzes by. When you holler: "NO, FLUFFY! NO!", Fluffy hears: "GO, FLUFFY! GO!".

It starts in the crate as that's where you have the most control. You open the crate door, and body block the opening as soon as he starts to move. You don't say anything to the dog. If you can't control the entire opening, you only need to crack the door enough to cause him to attempt to escape. When you get to where you can open the crate, without the dog rushing the door, you can give a treat for standing fast.

When the dog has shown some self control in the crate, you can move the lesson to the front door. I would start at a door where the floor is tile. if you place the dog in a sit, he will be a second or two getting traction on a tile floor. Make it go like before. Open the door, and block the dog with your body (don't leave the door swinging open while you face the dog). Put the dog back--precisely where he was-- and repeat. When the dog doesn't move upon you opening the door, give him treats and praise.

You'll likely be amazed at how fast he learns. Until he shows some self restraint, keep a leash or cord on him at all times. A 15 ft. checkcord will give you the better part of 1 extra second to react, with the dog going past at full speed.
See less See more
he is mine, but my family has helped me with paying for vaccines here and there so they don't feel like it. We are also russian, so that means that techincally, everything I own is my families too. They don't respect my things, especially my 12 year old brother. couple with a living animal, things get crazy. I'm glad I'm finally moving out, but it's not going to be the best thing for jack. I'd feel bad giving him away to somebody, there has to be a way to fix his bad behavior before I go. The family loves him, they are just completely clueless (in regards to a lot of things it seems like).
I would also recommend re-homing him if you can't take him with you. If your family members are going to keep hitting him, the aggression is only going to get worse. Especially since you won't be there to mitigate the damage. I wouldn't risk his life by leaving him in a home with that kind of treatment.

I don't think his issues are so bad that he couldn't be re-homed. It's mostly an environmental/situational thing, it really doesn't sound like he has much of a problem at all.
I just practiced some sit and stay stuff by a few doors at the house, and he seems to pick up VERY quickly. I guess I need to just keep doing it daily until he gets it. He started letting me go through the door without chasing me out.
On top of that, I can't get my damn step dad to stop hitting him when he actually comes back inside the house, and my younger brother chases him around with a shoe over his head.
OMG.. that is just awful. NO WONDER HE WON"T COME WHEN CALLED.

I am so sorry.

The photo.. he is just beautiful. Looks very very smart.

It is not his lineage that makes him the way he is, it is the abuse. Believe me.. and what I have quoted is flat out abuse.

PLEASE find another place for this dog b4 you go to college and then pray that your family never gets another dog. Ever.
Sorry, I'm confused...

You'd feel bad giving your dog away to someone, but your first words on this forum were, "If I can't train this dog I'm having him put down"? Your family (co-owners of this dog) wouldn't want you to give the dog to someone, but your family would have been okay with you putting the dog down?
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.