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Sprocket is a Wheaten Terrier that just turned 1 year old. Sprocket…is nuts. I work really long hours (I had to change jobs pretty much immediately after I got him, so this wasn’t planned) and this has resulted in several problems:

1) I can’t possibly exercise him as much as he needs. 2X a week he goes to doggy day care, where he spends 11 hours running and playing. These nights with him are glorious. I take him to the dog park for at least an hour, at least 2-3 other times per week (not days of day care). He still comes home and is destructive on those days.

Recently, it's been suggested that he's overstimulated at day care and I should cut it out entirely. Do you think that's a good idea?

2) He gets BORED. No matter how many toys I give him, he just get himself into trouble EVERYWHERE. He bites everything and has thus far eaten (and occasionally been hospitalized for): a scented candle (with the plastic wrap around it), 1/4 lb of moldy cheese (with the saran wrap it came in and the garbage bag he had to get through on the way), my medicine, 1/4” off the tip of a wooden knitting needle, straight up garbage bag, a whole bag of trail mix (no chocolate, but it had a WHOLE lot of peanut brittle!) I say no and he DOES listen…until my back is turned or he goes somewhere else to be naughty.

3) I never PROPERLY housebroke him. As I said, I sometimes work very, very long hours. This means that there are some days where I can’t get home for 12 hours. I definitely take him to the park once I get home, but I can’t walk him mid-day. I thought it would be cruel to make him wait that long, so I trained him on wee-wee pads. He’s actually really good about this. The problem is that he’s a boy and he pees on the edge so…still lots of cleaning to do! I’m wondering if maybe there’s a logical way to switch? Or do…something? I have no idea. But having people walk into my home and it smells of pee is really embarrassing.

4) He WILL. NOT. STOP. Jumping! I know it’s a wheaten thing, and I’ve gotten him to stop jumping on me for the most part but he still jumps on others!

5) He barks nonstop at day care. I’m told he has barked straight through the citronella collar spraying him. He just gets SO excited by people coming and going! Otherwise, I’m told he’s a very good boy there. Very social and friendly!

Please help!!!
 

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Most of these could be controlled by containing him during the day, either in a crate or a room that is dog proofed. If he is going to chew all kinds of things, including dangerous ones, when you're not home, I wouldn't leave him loose unsupervised. I'd put him either in a crate or that room and give him plenty of safe things to chew. This also might help with the housetraining.

I wouldn't stop the doggy daycare. It sounds like it helps him get an outlet for exercise and socialization that he needs. I would see if you can add in someone to come and walk him halfway through the day on the days he's not there so that he isn't crated or confined for 12 hours straight.

Does he bark all the time at home as well or only at the daycare? If it's only at the daycare, there might be less you can do depending on the number of dogs they have to manage there. If they are able to work with him, see if they can treat him whenever he's quiet. If he does it around you as well, then there is more you can work with.

For the jumping you may have to enlist the help of some friends if he no longer jumps on you but jumps on others, but the same training methods that work (I think there might be a sticky around here) may work there, too, just with the guest treating for 4 on the floor. I also think there is a kikopup video on this on youtube.

Good luck! :)
 

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Most of these could be controlled by containing him during the day, either in a crate or a room that is dog proofed. If he is going to chew all kinds of things, including dangerous ones, when you're not home, I wouldn't leave him loose unsupervised. I'd put him either in a crate or that room and give him plenty of safe things to chew. This also might help with the housetraining.

I wouldn't stop the doggy daycare. It sounds like it helps him get an outlet for exercise and socialization that he needs. I would see if you can add in someone to come and walk him halfway through the day on the days he's not there so that he isn't crated or confined for 12 hours straight.

Does he bark all the time at home as well or only at the daycare? If it's only at the daycare, there might be less you can do depending on the number of dogs they have to manage there. If they are able to work with him, see if they can treat him whenever he's quiet. If he does it around you as well, then there is more you can work with.

For the jumping you may have to enlist the help of some friends if he no longer jumps on you but jumps on others, but the same training methods that work (I think there might be a sticky around here) may work there, too, just with the guest treating for 4 on the floor. I also think there is a kikopup video on this on youtube.

Good luck! :)
Pls dont crate him for 12 hours a day - hes too energetic for that-- I would go for the doggie proofed room. He is only1-- still a youngster (you can read on "your dogs rituals of annoyance" thread all the things my 17month old has chewed-- he sounds like your dog)....
It will get better with time (sorry not sure how to shortcut that)-- and yes I second keeping doggie care as well as getting a midday dog walker....
As to messy pee pads-- my suggestion is go get a big cardboard "lid" (think upside down shoebox lid but giant) you get them at big box stores like Costco (look at the chip display aisle or where they keep the kitty litter- or even the flat cardboard sheets in between stacks of toilet paper (the pallets)-- then lay your pee pads on top of some newspapers (you can tape them down) on top of the cardboard-- I also put like 4 pads together to give my boy a bigger target (hes a giant breed) -- and the cardboard sure helped protect the floors....
Goodluck! Remember hes just a teenager and full of beans! (and pee apparantly)....
 

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Funny story about pee pads and cardboard lids. We got a couple of the big cardboard box lids from Costco and thought it would make a great holder for puppy pee pads. Well, Sam decided it made the best dog bed ever, laid down in it, and refused to use it for its intended purpose. We gave up and moved the pee pads elsewhere and put an old towel in it and voila! Sam's custom dog bed. ;)

BernerMax - I respect your opinion on crates and don't expect to change it. :) For us, our dog prefers his crate for the times he must be confined over any other place. He'll cry if he's left in his pen, but curl up happily in his crate and chew on a chewie or nap. I think the OP meant that the 12 hour days are the extreme and not their average workday and, with a break in the middle, a crate might be an option. Having crate trained dogs, I don't think it is cruel to crate a 1 year old dog for a day, but I do think having someone come and give the pup a break in the middle of the day would be needed. To me, 12 hours straight in a crate, with no breaks in the day, every day, would definitely be extreme and excessive...I didn't mean to in any way recommend that.
 

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Dear Oogabooga7,

Unfortunately terrier breeds are intelligent, active little dogs that LOVE company, so I real feel for you in your circumstances. The doggy day care will be brilliant for your weaten as it gives him exactly what he needs - so keep him going if possible. Over stimulation isn't generally the problem for terriers - it's the sharp contrast between under simulation and over simulation that so often makes them destructive in the former and highly strung in the latter.

I'm not sure of your home set-up, but if you have a secure yard then putting a cat flap in for a terrier can be absolutely transformative. You then only have to teach them how to go in and out through the flap by pushing them out through it gently (nose first) and then call them from the inside, perhaps with a treat for them to smell and repeat (you may have to hold the flap open for him to come back in through at first until he learns to push against it). Just being able to go outside can relieve a lot of boredom as there are funny things to smell, hear and see. Additionally you can put a digging box for him out there and bury things in it for him to dig up and chew. This would also solve the housebreaking issue - just move his pad to the door and then just outside until he gets the idea. If this is not a solution that works for you there are terrier training tips on chewing on this site, and I would highly recommend this housebreaking training system.

The jumping up is a real difficult one with terriers - the only thing that I've found to work is ignoring them and turning your back when they jump up, but it takes a while and you have to be really consistent.

Good luck - you'll get there
 

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Funny story about pee pads and cardboard lids. We got a couple of the big cardboard box lids from Costco and thought it would make a great holder for puppy pee pads. Well, Sam decided it made the best dog bed ever, laid down in it, and refused to use it for its intended purpose. We gave up and moved the pee pads elsewhere and put an old towel in it and voila! Sam's custom dog bed. ;)

BernerMax - I respect your opinion on crates and don't expect to change it. :) For us, our dog prefers his crate for the times he must be confined over any other place. He'll cry if he's left in his pen, but curl up happily in his crate and chew on a chewie or nap. I think the OP meant that the 12 hour days are the extreme and not their average workday and, with a break in the middle, a crate might be an option. Having crate trained dogs, I don't think it is cruel to crate a 1 year old dog for a day, but I do think having someone come and give the pup a break in the middle of the day would be needed. To me, 12 hours straight in a crate, with no breaks in the day, every day, would definitely be extreme and excessive...I didn't mean to in any way recommend that.
OK then agreed on the no crating for 12 hrs straight (you just never know this IS the internet).... And I did notice all the Costco cardboard in your cute Sammie pics.... I also like the doggie door idea as well....(as long as there is secure fencing..)....
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'd put him either in a crate or that room and give him plenty of safe things to chew. This also might help with the housetraining.

I wouldn't stop the doggy daycare. It sounds like it helps him get an outlet for exercise and socialization that he needs. I would see if you can add in someone to come and walk him halfway through the day on the days he's not there so that he isn't crated or confined for 12 hours straight.

Does he bark all the time at home as well or only at the daycare? If it's only at the daycare, there might be less you can do depending on the number of dogs they have to manage there. If they are able to work with him, see if they can treat him whenever he's quiet. If he does it around you as well, then there is more you can work with.

For the jumping you may have to enlist the help of some friends if he no longer jumps on you but jumps on others, but the same training methods that work (I think there might be a sticky around here) may work there, too, just with the guest treating for 4 on the floor. I also think there is a kikopup video on this on youtube.

Good luck! :)
I don't even have a crate anymore - he outgrew it so fast! Also, he HATED it. He was fine w it for nighttime, but he just could NOT (no matter how much training) handle himself in it during the day. He would pee and freak out even more! So now we just have him baby-gated in the kitchen. There are baby-proof covers on the gas knobs for the stove (he almost blew the house up one day by turning on the gas!).

In terms of doggie day care, this was what was told to me in another forum. Tell me what you think about it:

Wait, he plays for eight hours? Can you get the daycare people to take some videos? Especially toward the end of the day. That is really not typical. As in, as far as I know, it’s way outside the realm of “energetic dog” behavior. It really makes me think that daycare is more stimulating for him than he can handle (hence the barking). A lot of your problems may stem from that--he’s like a kid at Disneyland, so amped up that his head is about to explode. And then the rest of the week, he’s like a kid who just got back from Disneyland. Tired and stressed, which leads to poor impulse control.
It was suggest to me that I take him out of day care altogether and just work on the walking instead of wee-wee pads, which should wear him out anyway. I'd hire a dog walker to come in once a day to walk him. Dog walking is $16/half hr and doggie day care is $33/day, so 5 days of walking is the same as the 2 days of dog day care, which I do now. I can only afford one or the other. Advice?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am in the top 2 floors of a house, with no access to the backyard. I'd LOVE to have a backyard, but it's just not in the cards for me right now.
 

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Try reading the book Fired Up, Frantic, or Freaked Out: Help for the Overwrought Dog. Not to say your dog is overwrought, but what the book teaches is you how to teach the dog to relax when presented with triggers that get them worked up and out of control. Once the dog knows how to do that you don't have to be present for it to happen, it could even work for doggie day care.
 

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I'd continue the doggy daycare. He needs socialization and activity.

Double doggy proof your house. Make sure there is nothing, nothing, nothing he can get to. You may need to cut down on the decorative items and candles and such that you have out in your home. It reminds me of when my nieces and nephew were toddlers and would come spend the weekend with me, or a week or so in the summers, I would literally pick up all my candles, picture frames, decorative stuff, and put them in a tote with a lid, or in a cabinet. Anyway, it's all a matter of helping your dog be successful, so, don't leave anything out. Food, too, make sure you put things away in cabinets. Medicine, also, in a cabinet. Knitting needles in a drawer. Literally, nothing out and about.

If you doggy proof your home super well, and only leave toys out, then that's all he can play with, right?

I hope it doesn't come off as harsh, but, even if you were able to get him to stop getting into stuff by putting things away and dogging proofing, you're still going to have issues if you can't find time to exercise him more. Can you wake up an hour earlier in the morning, and get an extra walk in? Can you fit a walk in in the evenings? He's so full of energy and needs that exercise to vent that energy. Also, just as for humans, exercise is a stress reliever for dogs, too. And, being home on the days he doesn't go to daycare might be stressful (as well as boring). So, to have that outlet for his pent up energy and stress is so important.

As for the potty training, that's a tough one, because, in order to potty train, you need to be there to redirect him outside when you know he needs to go, or you need to be able to confine him in some way, so he himself feels the need to hold it. So, if you're working long hours, it makes it difficult, and not having a crate (plus he hated the crate) doesn't help either.

Do you have a small-ish room you could use, as opposed to a crate? Like a laundry room? Or even a bathroom? Get a baby gate to block off the door, don't just shut the door. And, double and triple dog proof whatever room you use.
 

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Wheatens are dogs who get very, very attached to their families and like to spend time with you. Having a wheaten (or basically any dog for that matter) when you are at work for 12 hours per day and cannot spend time exercising him or her is not the best idea.

Have you done formal obedience training? He needs to learn and needs mental stimulation. He is very, very smart and is probably going insane from being lonely and bored.

I would NOT stop the doggie daycare. It sounds like the only real outlet for his energy that he gets.

Wheatens need to run, and need to be exercised, or they will be destructive. The same is true for most terriers. It just sounds overall like not a good situation for your dog to be in, I'm sorry to say. I don't mean to come off harsh....but any one year old (baby) would be having major issues in this situation.
 

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You mentioned physical exercise, but it sounds like he needs mental exercise, too. As you said, he's bored. I'd recommend an activity that allows him to use his brain. You'd be surprised how much energy this can use up, even if the dog isn't running around like crazy. Have you ever tried clicker training? How about a basic obedience class? Tricks? Nosework?

I own a breed that gets stereotyped all the time for needing tons of exercise: the border collie. What most people don't know is that they need stimulation, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a 10 mile run, chasing a ball, or running around the dog park for hours. They can still be mentally unsatisfied after all that exercise. My dog gets her best sleep after agility class, because that's where she has to think AND run.
 
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