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In need of immediate help with training my dog

788 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kensi
I don’t want to get rid of my dog, but cannot take it anymore. I adopted her from a shelter about 2 years ago, and have since had such a hard time training her. I have had many dogs in the past and successfully trained them. However, I knew there would be complications with her as she was an abused dog they found tied to a fence. She was doing well for a long time, but after my husband and I went on our honeymoon, we came back to a completely different dog. She was resentful. She is very territorial of my husband, and often times has even snapped at me for being near him/around him. We have tried multiple things, even letting him step back and me being the primary care taker, me taking her to the bathroom, me putting her food/water down - none of it works. As funny as it sounds, she looks at me as competition or like I am her bitch. Things seemed to get better for awhile there, but then things have recently went so downhill, it’s causing severe strains on my day to day life, to the point where I cannot even go to bed at night time because of her behavior. I can’t leave her alone, she destroys things, tools, couch cushions, her own bed, her blankets. Recently, she had started humping me and clawing at my legs, trying to bite me, snapping at me. And has now also turned her sights to my husband, and she now sits on our bed at night time, or any time we are in bed, and barks and barks and barks until she gets in our faces and tries to snap at us. She humps the side of our bed, she doesn’t listen. We have tried EVERYTHING. We have tried being stern with her, she is cage trained so we put her in the cage when she acts like this, we have given her a bed she sleeps with us sometimes, she’s well fed and well cared for. But now will not even let us sleep.. She has also bitten a stranger once before after letting the man get close enough to pet her. She is not fixed, but I am working on it. I am at my wits end and do not want to give her away or put her up for adoption, but do not have much of a choice left when nothing is working. I cannot afford a doggy boot camp or professional training for her, as money is tight right now, but she is totally out of control. I don’t know if medicating her will help, I have tried calming treats, I have tried literally everything at this point. She does not listen. Please, if someone out there has any other solutions I am desperate.
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Step one is taking her to the vet and getting her checked for thyroid and similar issues that can cause behavior changes, or sources of pain which may cause her to lash out. If she has a hormone problem or ongoing pain no amount of training or management is going to correct this issue.

How much exercise is she getting daily, and what type?

I hesitate to give actual training device over the internet regarding a dog that is already at the dangerous level of biting people. This really calls for an eye-on evaluation with a qualified professional. I strongly second the management recommendations above of slow feeding, rethinking how crates are used, and the use of a leash/collar around the house to make her easier to handle.

I know money is tight these days, but paying to see a behaviorist or a reputable, highly-qualified positive trainer (this dog is already way over threshold just in normal life...you don't want to see someone who uses shock collars or physically forceful methods) will be less expensive than a hospital bill or replacing damaged property. If it's at all feasible to do so, you need to.
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Thank you for taking the time to reply to my original post. We’ve taken her to the vet and since things have gotten a lot better. She runs around our yard a few hours a day and my husband is always playing fetch with her, she also runs around quite a bit with my sisters dogs. Thank you again!
Glad to hear it!

In my experience, nervous dogs benefit a lot from learning an organized skillful "job" like obedience or nosework. (If you find formal obedience boring, like I do, Rally obedience is a more fun alternative). If you use positive force-free methods it seems to build their confidence and engage their brains in something other than fretting. It also really improves the bond and communication between handler and dog. You might think about giving it a try...if you want something that's easy to do at home by yourself in limited time, maybe check out "Do More With Your Dog" trick training - they have Facebook groups and youtube tutorials and it's all very lowkey and upbeat.
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