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Hello! I'm new to the forums and I'm a brand new dog owner! My boyfriend and I adopted Rex on Thursday of this past week and he is wonderful! He's a 4 yr old(vet guess) 95 lbs Mastiff Mix. He was a unidentified rescue. I'm also waiting for my certificate to get him neutered. But, so far everything has been a dream with him!

I did a lot of research on breeds and training techniques prior to the adoption. I am brand new to dog owning, but I feel as though I'm doing a good job with training (although I suspect that he did have some training somewhere in his life, lol, seems almost too easy!) Within a day I had him a) in the bathtub getting a bath, b) loose leash walking, c) sitting, laying down.

There are two behaviors that I don't like. I'm concerned with when we're walking he is a little fearful of passing cars. He stops, turns to face the vehicle and sometimes tries to jump over the ditch to get away. I would like to desensitize him to this and I'm not too sure how. I try to keep him walking, but he's still aware of the cars.

The other behavior is very undesirable! My boyfriend and I are smoker, but smoke on our front porch rather than in the house (lol, for the animals, we have 3 cats too). Sometimes when we go out into the porch and I tell him to stay in, as soon as I close the door he runs up and pushes off the door, or he's paw it at the bottom.. he's putting digs in the natural antique wood door. We're really upset about this and I'm not sure how to correct it. I'm not physically with him to correct him, I'm on the other side. Does anyone have any suggestions? Also, he won't do it if one of us is inside. It seems he doesn't like being apart. He'll also whine a bit on the other side of the door. Just a half hour ago he did it again and put a nice dig in the door. I immediately barged in and said NO! loudly and told him to lay down. (I really startled him! I don't ever have to yell at him for anything. I correct with, lol, the Ceasar Millan "chhhhst!" with a touch and he listens. But I didn't know what to do in that situation!) So after I went back out he whined for a few second. When I went in, I ignored him to reinforce my disapproval. There's got to be a more effective way, though!

I'm happy that that's my only complaint with him! I think I'm pretty lucky with him since he is unidentified and nobody had any information on his background.

I appreciate any insite! Thanks so much!! :)
 

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This a great resource on fear and dogs: http://fearfuldogs.com/.

As for the smoking habit, why not give the dog a habit too? Everytime you go out for a smoke, give your dog an activity. I would offer him a frozen stuffed Kong for a calm stay on a mat while you smoke.

Teaching the dog what to do, instead of indiscriminately punishing him, is far more effective IMO.
 

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For the first, spend some time with the dog around cars from a distance, giving treats as each car passes. Have a baggie of small pieces of hot dogs, and as a car comes, toss some on the ground. He will link passing cars with something good. Then just slowly work closer and closer, til you can walk down a sidewalk with no issues with passing cars. The most important thing is to take it slow, and make it easy for the dog to succeed. You don't want to push it.

As for the second, I agree completely with CP. Frozen stuffed kongs are excellent for this, or any of the doggie puzzles where the dog has to figure out how to get at the treats that are inside. My girls love frozen kongs. I stuff cream cheese in the bottom 1/3 of the kong, then stuff the middle with peanut butter, then top it off with more cream cheese, then stick in the freezer. And if you are worried about a mess, none of my dogs have made any mess with it, and I do have carpet floors. No mess at all.
 

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Thanks for the responses! I really appreciate it.

I've been having him sit at the end of the driveway with me watching cars pass and praising him with good boys and treats. Hes okay with that. He seems to mainly freak when we are walking. Unfortunately, we don't have any sidewalks and live on a pretty busy main road. We live in a pretty rural part of the city. I'm thinking it might be a smart idea to drive to some side roads to walk him. At least until he's more at ease.

The jumping at the door thing has kind of subsided although he still is whiny when we leave. I'm also going to hang a piece of plexiglass on the back of the door so while we're working with him we can at least save the door.

I've been looking at the kongs. He's kind of weird in the way of he's really not a chew toy kind of dog. I bought him a bone that, I think looked really yummy, but he licked it a couple times and hasn't wanted anything to really do with it. He kind of likes regular raw hide. He'll chew for a minute or so. I'll try the stuffed Kong and see what happens, though.
 

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=RexLover;465380] I've been having him sit at the end of the driveway with me watching cars pass and praising him with good boys and treats. Hes okay with that. He seems to mainly freak when we are walking. Unfortunately, we don't have any sidewalks and live on a pretty busy main road. We live in a pretty rural part of the city. I'm thinking it might be a smart idea to drive to some side roads to walk him. At least until he's more at ease.
Good idea to drive to other side roads. You might want to expose him to people on bikes and skate boards, too (depending on where you live! LOL I live in FL). People with canes, wheelchairs, walkers; people wearing hats, uniforms; etc.

The jumping at the door thing has kind of subsided although he still is whiny when we leave. I'm also going to hang a piece of plexiglass on the back of the door so while we're working with him we can at least save the door.
That's pretty normal, since dogs want to always be close to us. True separation anxiety is extreme, and not what you're dealing with here. Plexiglass was a smart idea! The stuffed Kong should work, too. Esp. if it's filled with yummy stuff like braunsweiger (a fave for my dogs)! My new puppy had hysterical fits when I'd leave the room. Poor thing sounded like she was being killed! Stuffed Kongs didn't work (and she's very into food), but, time did. Took about 2 weeks of desensitizing and counter-conditioning. She's a "big girl," now! LOL

I've been looking at the kongs. He's kind of weird in the way of he's really not a chew toy kind of dog. I bought him a bone that, I think looked really yummy, but he licked it a couple times and hasn't wanted anything to really do with it. He kind of likes regular raw hide. He'll chew for a minute or so. I'll try the stuffed Kong and see what happens, though.
Do try the stuffed Kong; rawhide chews are laden with chemicals, and potentially dangerous (bowel obstruction necessitating emergency surgery, and possible death even with surgery).
 

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Do try the stuffed Kong; rawhide chews are laden with chemicals, and potentially dangerous (bowel obstruction necessitating emergency surgery, and possible death even with surgery).
Oh wow, I had no idea about the chemicals! Thank you. I'll definitely take those away.. fortunately he's not a huge chewer so he hasn't done much damage to the raw hide.
 
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