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Hello all,
We have a terrier mix that is giving us alot of problems. My roommate found her in the highway, trying to hide under moving cars. She did not have a chip when I took her to have it scanned, and we have been unable to find anyone missing her. She did not look like she had been taken care of for a while, so it’s probably safe to presume no one is missing her.

We have been unable to potty train her in the house. She seems to just go whenever and wherever it feels like, just as long as it’s not in our sight. We take it out often and reward her for going outside, but she does not seem to get it.

She also knows to come when we whistle, but she does not always choose to listen. She is very fast, finds herself on neighbor’s properties in no time, and only listens sometimes. It seems like the only safe time to let her out is when she is hungry because she knows she gets a treat when she comes. This is not acceptable behavior. We do not know what to do. I am tempted to get a shock collar, but I would imagine this forum frowns upon doing such a thing? She can find her way through just about any fence in no time due to her tiny size.

She also wakes my roommate up all night because she is full of energy, or needs to use the bathroom. She has more energy than can be imagined, which is often used for destruction. Is there any humane way to calm her down?

I am unable to correct any poor behavior verbally because she is already terrified of me, and easily traumatized. We theorize that she was abused in the past.

Thanks
 

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Thanks to you and your room mate for rescuing her.

House training: Make sure she doesn't have the opportunity to have an accident. Tether her to you with a leash if you can. Use baby gates to keep her in the same room with you. If you can't supervise her, have her in a crate or pen. Feed her and take her out on a regular schedule. She's likely been punished for having accidents in the past, which has taught her to go hide when she potties. Clean all the places where she's had an accident with a good enzymatic cleaner.

Not coming when called: Love is a leash. Keep her on a leash outdoors if you don't have a securely fenced area for her. My chain link fence has buried chicken wire along most of it, because I had a dog who would dig under it. Work on her recalls until they become automatic (this class starts February 1 https://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/12090 and is worth checking out). A shock collar shouldn't be used without expert training, and even then, only after a LOT of recall training.

Calming her down: Training! Short (like five minutes at a time) training sessions throughout the day. Nosework is another great way to wear them out (this nosework class starts February 1, as well. https://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/13342 ). A couple of walks a day would probably help, as well. At night, have her crated or in her pen. If she says she needs to potty, take her out on a leash, let her potty, then right back into the crate.

Don't try and "correct" her, simply offer her an alternative activity. If she's chewing on something she shouldn't be, offer her something acceptable to chew on, like a toy or long lasting treat. he tethering and crating will also help with the destruction, since if she's supervised, she can't get into anything.
 

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Great advice LeoRose. Love is a Leash, wonderful! I consider leashes safety lines.

I put my new to me adult dogs on potty training 101 when they come here. Outside every hour on lead. I just walk around the perimeter of the yard with praise and treat when they potty. Keep it quiet, you don't want to interrupt! Dogs can have very different potty schedules and it's better to understand then modify then attempt to impose one on the dog. My dogs are both 13 pounds, Ginger would potty once a day and poop 3x a week on her own while Bucky can pee 3x just in the hour after dinner! Take her out and keep track of when she really needs to go and drop the other potty walks. Also watch her behavior when you know she really needs to go, she will likely develop a 'tell'. Bucky looks at us and sort of nods his head towards the door then spins when we get up. Lucky people have dogs that scratch or bark at the door.

Use treats. There are dogs that work because they want to please and don't much like food but most dogs want to get paid when they do something they don't want to do. Terriers are independent hunters bred to work on their own. If you can reward a recall with a chance to kill a rat then you are good but otherwise food works. Train the recall. Start in the house from room to room, practice outside on lead and in many different places and transfer to a long line. The theory is if you always use food then the one time it's an emergency and you don't have food the dog will still come.

Training is an excellent way to settle a dog down. As well as Fenzi look into Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol. It's available for free and you can print out a nice PDF. It's place training, down stay training with really difficult distractions but you go at your own pace. Since it's all written out for you it's is all on the dog as to how fast you get through. Busy anxious Bucky sailed through and can actually stay on the mat if I walk out of sight to the front door, ring the bell and pretend to talk to somebody. I failed trying the same thing with another dog. Having the steps written out makes a huge difference. Or find a good group class that uses treats and positive training techniques.

At night agree with LeoRose, out on lead just around the yard then back inside. Soft praise and a cookie if she really needed to go. Also consider if sounds are getting her excited. Bucky was fine at night during the summer when the fan was on all night long but when it was turned off he started barking. I used white noise and he settled down better.

Last, how long has she been with you? Even my most stable rescue took many months to really settle in. Her yapping went down by maybe 50% after a year and now after 4 years she probably barks 20% of what she did when she came home to us.
 

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This is NOT a dog that should be corrected. She has no clear idea of what you want. Truly.

It sounds like she has been punished unfairly in the past for going to the bathroom in the house (that is why she does this out of your sight).

1.) Get a crate big enough for her to stand up in and turn around it. Put her in it when you cannot watch her. Every hour take her out to go to the bathroom. When she goes to the bathroom outside, give her a good treat and tell her what a great dog she is. A good treat can be a piece of meat such as hamburger or chicken. It need not be a large piece.. dogs remember quality over quantity.

2.) Have her on a leash in the house and outside of the house. Never let her out of your sight. If you cannot watch her, put her in the crate.

3.) When you call her to you, give her something delicious and let her know she is wonderful for coming to you. Do not let her off leash outside.

4.) At night put her in the crate so she is not jumping all over you. Terriers are very energetic dogs. Expect to take her on lots of walks on leash. Play with her with a ball. Make a flirt pole and use it.

5.) When you first crate her she may cry and make a lot of noise. DO NOT let her out of the crate for making noise. Only let her out when she is quiet and immediately put a leash on her and get her out.

6.) Get her a nice raw meaty bone to gnaw on or a Kong or similar toy and stuff it with non fat yogurt and freeze it and then give her that to work on to keep her busy.

7.) Get yourselves enrolled in a beginner obedience class.

If she soils in the crate you either have left her in their too long OR she is the product of a situation where the dogs were kept crated in their own filth. Be aware that to train her to go outside may be challenging but if you are persistent and get her out frequently and reward heavily for going outside, she will get it.

BE PATIENT.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. A problem I know I'll have with putting her in a crate is that she will decide I'm evil incarnate for doing so. She started running from me anytime she saw me when I'd put her in the bathroom at night like I was beating her. How am I supposed to get her into a crate without her deciding I'm the scariest, most awful, person alive?

I've trained plenty of other, larger, dogs without a problem without any formal training or need for outside input, but this dog is "special".
 

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Look up "crate games". Also, feeding her in her crate will help.
 

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Carry something she will eat with you at all times. When she looks at you praise and toss a bit to her. Never ever run and grab no matter how annoying she is being. Get a big really yummy cookie and trade for it. You have to play this game before she gets your expensive fragile whatsit so when the whatsit is in her mouth she'll happily trade. Really that whatsit needs to be kept where she cannot get it. My home has been tidier since getting dogs that's for sure. One game I play is Hot Toy. Take two toys she loves and start playing with one. When she gets interested and starts playing with you drop it and pick up the other. Switch as soon as she is having a great time. This doesn't directly relate to trading but it helps.

I love the kibble game. Rather than putting down a bowl of dead boring kibble I'll roll bits for dog to capture and gobble. Once she likes playing this game use it to play with the crate or that bathroom prison. When she likes running into crate/bathroom after the kibble tell her to go in there then release her to a kibble rolled away from that prison.

Before I have a good relationship with a new dog I use slip leads. I couldn't touch Bucky for several days after he arrived as he was so scared and bites. So I held a bit of fresh cooked chicken inside the loop of a slip lead then lead him to the yard to potty and back to his pen. Try leashing her before doing something she doesn't like. To this day for some reason both dogs love putting their heads into slip leads. Try tying a small loop in a bit of rope then run the other end through to make a slip lead if you don't have one. With larger dogs you can run the regular leash through the hand loop but that's too large for little dogs to be comfortable.

And treats. Best treats are what you are eating. Dogs cannot have onion, some say garlic, chocolate, coffee, grapes or raisins, macadamia nuts and watch how much you offer because she is much smaller than a human and of course needs much less food. Kibble is great, measure out how much she gets daily and use it. Warning, if you put food in pockets then lock up the laundry basket. Dogs will eat right through the garment to get the tiny bit of food in the pocket.
 

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And treats. Best treats are what you are eating. Dogs cannot have onion, some say garlic, chocolate, coffee, grapes or raisins, macadamia nuts and watch how much you offer because she is much smaller than a human and of course needs much less food. Kibble is great, measure out how much she gets daily and use it. Warning, if you put food in pockets then lock up the laundry basket. Dogs will eat right through the garment to get the tiny bit of food in the pocket.
I had a dog when I was a kid that would pick bunches of grapes off the vines we had growing herself and eat them all day long. I've heard that grapes are bad for dogs, but she lived into old age for a larger dog (13ish?) until my mom accidentally backed into her with the van and she had to be put down.

Edit: Although she did have hypothyroidism, and she was a wolfdog. Maybe their digestive system is a bit different?
 

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I know! It's a complete mystery why grapes and raisins are a problem now when dogs have been noshing on them since dogs came about!
 

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I know that some dogs are more sensitive to chocolate than others, so it's probably the same with grapes. For dogs that are sensitive, raisins are more dangerous than fresh grapes, since they are more concentrated.
 

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Yeah I'm in camp leash-all-the-time. Poor thing doesn't understand boundaries, is confused by her new surroundings, and unsure about these new people in her life. Also if she has past trauma, that will be really hard for her to get through for a while. About how old do you think she is? Above all, you just need patience. My last dog was a rescue who had clearly been traumatized. It took 4 months for her to even walk up and down stairs on her own - everything was terrifying, and if I even raised my voice a little she'd cower and initially she'd pee (she got over that). We just gave her space and time and lots of good food and love and eventually she turned out to be a fantastic dog. Always a little timid and spooked by noises, but far more confident and loving. It probably took a year for her to really come out of her shell. So take heart, there is hope. Go back to basics, like she's an 8 week old puppy you just got. Agree with enrolling in obedience, but perhaps in a few more weeks after she's used to her new environment - I'd worry that it would be too much too fast at this point in her rescue stage.
Keep treats on you at all times, play games with her like teaching her name, and learn crate games as well. Crating is not evil and there is a good chance she'll enjoy having her own safe space.
 
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