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My husband bought a dog last summer that was a rescued dog. Dog background..what we know. Dog was tied to an old rusted car in the middle of a field away from the owners house. She was eating dead animals to stay alive. Someone else rescued her and we got her from them about a year ago. This dog is a flat coat retriever, very mild mannered dog especially with the kids that we have, amazing considering the start of her life. However the longer we've had her the worse her behaviour has gotten. She chews my kitchen table and chairs, pulls toys out of the toy bin to chew up, baskets, clothes really anything she can get at. She's started jumping on people and at the dog park she growls and bares her teeth while playing with the other dogs. I'm a stay at home mom of 4 and don't have a whole lot of time for this dog(which I didn't really want at that point in time. I wanted to wait until the kids were older.) My youngest is child 10 months old. My husband thinks that the dogs behaviour is fine and she'll just calm down with age. My husband also says that he doesn't know how to train an older dog. I can't stand this anymore. I hate yelling at the dog but she doesn't really seem to listen. Any information would be a great help...Thanks
 

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It's very possible to train an older dog - it does take time and patience though just like with a puppy
 

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It is most definitely possible to train a dog that is over a year old. It sounds like this dog is a good dog and is bored and poorly socialized. Since your husband is the one that brought this dog home when you weren't really on board, he needs to be the one to work with the dog and help her gain some basic manners so that she can be enjoyed, not a source of frustration. First of all, the behaviors in the house are typical of a dog seriously lacking in exercise and stimulation. A good long walk and some playtime every day (preferable more than once a day) would make a huge difference to begin with. Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation to keep from finding their own means to entertain and exercise themselves. Would your husband be willing to take her through a basic obedience class? This would help teach him how to teach her basic commands and manners, and to curb behaviors like jumping. As far as the dog park goes, I would not be taking her there if she is acting aggressively toward other dogs. This is a recipe for disaster. The dog park is not for all dogs, and with snapping and growling things can escalate and become dangerous very quickly. I hope that you can get things figured out, this dog had a bad start in life and is lucky to have a second chance. Please don't give up on her.
 

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Yes it's possible. I rescued a dog a couple of months ago who was pretty much a stray dog from the inner city and didn't really have any basic obediance, he is about 1 1/2 to 2 years old. I was lucky because he is such a happy go lucky dog and loves to please so his basic training wasn't too difficult. The key is finding something that motivates him, in my case my dog was pretty emaciated when I got him so treats helped out for 2 reasons, the fatten him up a little and to motivate him. Then is takes consistancy and constant vigilance so you can correct behaviours you dont want him doing. I watched a lot of dog training shows to get some ideas, It's me or the dog on Animal Planet was helpful.

Good Luck, it can be done you just need to patient and vigilant.
 

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If this dog is indeed a Flatcoat, you have a dog that is extremely high-energy and extremely intelligent. Flatcoats absolutely must have clear boundaries, plenty of consistent training and lots and lots of physical and mental exercise. This is NOT a breed for everyone! If their mental and physical needs are not met, they can and will become pushy, destructive and extremely naughty as they create their own entertainment.

You need to get this dog some structure and some training and some rules! She has no idea why you yell at her if you haven't spent the time teaching her right from wrong. Dogs don't speak English, and must be taught to understand your rules and expectations. The entire family has to be on board with clear and consistent expectations for this dog.

No dog park. Your dog is bored and is used to doing as she pleases, and she is being pushy with other dogs. You (the collective you, as in your entire family) need to get her behaviors under control, teach her some boundaries and instill a reliable recall before you try dog parks again.

If you feel overwhelmed by this dog and she is a Flatcoat, I can help you get her into rescue. As I said before, these are active, intelligent, driven dogs. They are bred to work all day long, every day, and that type of personality is not the right one for every home!
 

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My TFT, Beau, is eight years old and is still learning new things. He's almost to the point at which we're going to be competing for three new performance titles. Good luck with your training--you should do fine with a little patience and some delectable treats!
 

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"My husband thinks that the dogs behaviour is fine and she'll just calm down with age."

No, it's really not okay, and it's not likely to stop with age. It's obvious that you don't appreciate the torn up stuff around the house, and dogs who are flashing their teeth at other dogs at dog parks for any other reason than play really shouldn't be there.


"My husband also says that he doesn't know how to train an older dog."

You train an older dog just as you would a puppy.


"I'm a stay at home mom of 4 and don't have a whole lot of time for this dog(which I didn't really want at that point in time. I wanted to wait until the kids were older.) My youngest is child 10 months old. ... I can't stand this anymore."

If you can't handle the commitment, or simply don't want to, please look into turning this dog over to a rescue ASAP.


"I hate yelling at the dog but she doesn't really seem to listen."

Yelling at the dog isn't going to make the dog WANT to listen. Listening in the face of distractions, over distances and for longer than a moment takes training. Until you've done the training and you think your dog is most likely going to respond to your cue, don't give a cue, and most definitely don't yell it. Until you've made enough deposits into your dog's positive reinforcement training bank account, proper management is always going to be your best bet (think: crates, baby gates, leashes...).
 

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Exactly

You train an older dog just as you would a puppy.

If you had never gone to school and were a 20 year old that could not read, add, subtract, etc. You would not start in college you would start as a puppy.
 

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Yes it is possible to train or retrain a dog that is over a year old. When I adopted Lola she was re-trained by me.

Previous Owner; Would let her lay on her lap when she was eating dinner.

Me: I eat without Lola being on my lap and not begging for food.

Previous owner: Lola was always by her side and went everyplace she went. Lola would not have it any other way. If she did not get her way she would cry and bark. She had separation anxiety.

Me: Lola does not need to be around me all the time. She is left home unless it is a visit to the dog park, pet smart or the vet. Separation anxiety does not exist anymore.

Previous owner: Lola did not get along with other dogs that she had except for one.

Me: Socialized Lola slowly with other dogs at the dog park. First time there just stayed outside the dog park. Progressed from there.

Previous owner: Used to let Lola sleep in her bed with her.

Me: Lola sleeps in her crate. She did cry at first but after me not caving in she sleeps soundly in her crate. Lola does lay on my bed during the day and in the evening. If she is out in the living room she has a bed she lays in there or lays on the floor or lays on my lap. When I say good night to her she gets up and goes to lay on my bed. When I shut everything off such as lights and TV to go to bed, I enter the bedroom she then gets up from my bed and goes in her crate without me telling her to.

Previous owner: Lola did not like small children and would occasionally growl at them.

Me: Lola loves little children now and will even roll over for them so they can rub her belly.

Previous owner: Lola did not seem to be happy living with her.

Me: Lola loves living here with me and previous owner had also seen all the changes in Lola mentioned above along with her saying Lola seems to be much happier now.

Previous owner: Treated Lola like she was one of her children.

Me: I treat Lola like she is my dog and not a human and that is why she is better behaved along with being happier.

You need to train the dog as you want the dog trained. It must be done as a family and everyone has to train the dog the same way.
 
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