She can't be my dog

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She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Tue Jun 09 2015, 18:25

Evening again....

This time i have some behavior issues....Actually not issues we are back to day 1....She wrecks havoc inside the house (today i came back to see my sofa pillows killed,she even had ripped apart her "diaper")...
The past 3-4 days drunna is another puppy certainly not mine....She keeps ignoring me no matter what i say or try to show her....We named the whole house toilet again....
And the worst part is that she has become aggresive towards me...When i scold her for example she growls or barks and if i try to catch her she runs away or if she gets caught she tries to escape from me....None of this was something she would do.....Her body stance seems friendly i think but she is defiant , rebelous....

Now i know she is a pup i can understand i need to be patient and all but suddenly i cannot recognise my girl....
I would really appreciate any advice or explanation i'm at my limit cause i am trying my best so that she can feel happy and safe....
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Inez Maria on Tue Jun 09 2015, 19:19

I am afraid it is consistency and patience, and I could have pulled my hair out upon times.Just stick to good exercise, mental stimulation also. Distract bad behaviour and reward good. I do promise it does improve. How old is she now,as she i probably testing boundries and how far she can go. Is she crated when you are out also? Big Grin


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Tue Jun 09 2015, 19:34

She is 4 months old almost....and no one of my many mistakes is that i never got a crate for her....The sofa was her "crate" up until today....
I rly don't know how i should distract her as i don't like yelling at her or even worse using violence....I hitted her only once and seeing her being afraid of me made me think that using violence would never build the type of relationship i would like to create with her....
But as i said i don't know how to show her that see must obey sometimes that we are a family but i am the father Tongues Tongues

Crate makes so much diference??? When i am at work i am away almost 9 hours she should stay in there that long??? Is it to late to get her one now???
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by LizP on Tue Jun 09 2015, 20:26

I don't think a crate will be a miracle cure for you. I don't have anything against them but they are no substitute for good training and management.

Reading your post, it sounds to me like you are worrying her. You shouldn't need to scold, chase or try and catch a puppy. Doing any of these things will not make her want to be with you, and will also worry her in the house which will then lead to the behaviours you're getting.

Have a look at at least some of these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0C724F6F6A597540

Look how she draws a puppy to her, how she praises for small things, how she only ever asks of the pup what it can actually do and then loves it for being so clever.

Be patient, and above all don't get frustrated. And above even that don't get cross. YWhen you get it right for her, she'll be able to get it right for you and then you'll both achieve so much more.


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Inez Maria on Tue Jun 09 2015, 20:31

On hearing you are away 9 hours no perhaps a crate is not a good idea, and wasnt suggesting she be in there that amount of time.


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Rachel33 on Tue Jun 09 2015, 20:42

If you're leaving her for 9 hours a day, what exercise/stimulation/toilet breaks is she getting in that time?


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Tue Jun 09 2015, 20:53

It's not everyday but at that time she takes no excercise but she has the whole house for herself in order for me to be redeemed hehe...
As for toilet breaks she has the window open so she can get outside if she feels like it although she prefers to do it allover....Just to point out that 3-4 days ago she only got out by herself for toilet when we where not out for a walk....
Some of the days that i will be away long hours my girlfriend takes over so that Drunna has some company or go for a walk.....
As for excersice usually she goes out with me to a rather good dogpark near our place either early in the morning or at night....
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Inez Maria on Tue Jun 09 2015, 21:27

A window to get out from? Sad


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Tue Jun 09 2015, 22:03

yes i may be writing it wrong...we leave in an apartment at the moment but we have a nice balkony quite big at the frond and an even bigger back yard Big Grin...

So the inside of the house is small but the outside is more than spacious for my little devil...hopefully if i get promoted by the time drunna is 1 year old we will be able to move to a quite bigger house at the outskirts of athens so she should be fine....

Both the balkony and the back yard for now are fully controlable and safe for even a smaller dog....

I believe you misunderstood the window thing
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by -Ian- on Tue Jun 09 2015, 22:19

I had visions of her leaping out the window Laughing

Unfortunately and I know sometimes it can't be helped but leaving a young dog for that long will lead to mischief as they inevitably get bored and look for entertainment... Hence the dead pillows Rolling Eyes

As for the toilet, it's all training. Clean the mess up as soon as you can with a deodorising cleaner and take her outside to do what she needs to do. It takes time and of course will take longer as you can't be there through the day to reinforce the training.

As you've found, she didn't react well to any kind of physical telling off. Smacking achieves nothing except fear and in the end, resentment. Positive training will always yield better results, bit like humans in that we will do things for reward but will rebel when told to do something.

What you are seeing with the aggression isn't aggression at all, puppies don't know what that is at that age. Defiance could be the case but more than likely it's a come play voice.

Good luck with the promotion, I would love to visit Athens again one day  Big Grin


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Inez Maria on Tue Jun 09 2015, 23:02

Sorry yes just a misunderstanding, agree with Ians advice above re boredom and mischief,sure you will get it sorted soon Big Grin


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by RiV on Wed Jun 10 2015, 03:06

As above said sounds like boredom 9 hrs is a long time to be on her own.

Cheers
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by AussieStaff on Wed Jun 10 2015, 03:57

Thanks for asking for advice, there is a lot of experience here. My views are that at 4 months she is still very young and needs guidance, you can toilet train her but it takes time and patience and the key is to wipe up any accidents inside quickly and spray with purpose spray to remove the scent or it encourages her to do it again. I leave my puppy for 9 hours a day on average, sometimes more sometimes less, and ensure he has a big walk in the morning and a smaller at night. Leave plenty of toys etc. out and accept some things will get destroyed because of boredom (my BBQ !) but I promise you it DOES get better but it takes some time, my boy is now nearly 20 months and sleeps most of the day, a little digging in my garden and the odd toy destroyed but nowhere near the damage done previously when younger. It's sad if your puppy is fearful, rebuild the trust with positive reinforcement and under no circumstances hit your dog please as this does no good for either of you. Let us know how you get on Smile


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Mia05 on Wed Jun 10 2015, 08:38

Cant add to above advice


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Wed Jun 10 2015, 16:06

Guys thx for the replies...I read everything you guys said and besides boredom which is understandable i came to the conclusion that the actuall problem is not Drunnas behavior but my inexperience....I didn't know how to react most of the time or how to "make" her do what i wanted and also lost my temper....i've also watched most of the videos LizP suggested and i will watch the rest of them today....I think i forgot she is actually a baby and that's where i lost it....
Now i think i know a little better how to approach her (we even learned the down command last night hehe) so we are starting from scratch....Hopefully it's not to late for us hehe...

Thx again for any advice i admit i really needed them....I'll let you know how we are doing in a couple of days Big Grin
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by LizP on Wed Jun 10 2015, 16:50

Don't worry, you'll get back on track Smile. Your last post has given me great confidence. It's hard to stick your hand up and say 'my fault!' but once you've done it life becomes easier.

Enjoy your girl in her puppy months, they're over far too soon. They can be frustrating, that most definitely, but as long as you keep love, fun and joy, and remember that when things aren't working you're the one who can find the solution, you'll be fine.

We're all here for you, just ask if (when!) you hit another glitch.

Have fun!


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by -Ian- on Wed Jun 10 2015, 17:49

So pleased we've been of help Big Grin

As Liz says, any advice you need simply ask away Smile


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Inez Maria on Wed Jun 10 2015, 19:35

Drunnos wrote:Guys thx for the replies...I read everything you guys said and besides boredom which is understandable i came to the conclusion that the actuall problem is not Drunnas behavior but my inexperience....I didn't know how to react most of the time or how to "make" her do what i wanted and also lost my temper....i've also watched most of the videos LizP suggested and i will watch the rest of them today....I think i forgot she is actually a baby and that's where i lost it....
Now i think i know a little better how to approach her (we even learned the down command last night hehe) so we are starting from scratch....Hopefully it's not to late for us hehe...

Thx again for any advice i admit i really needed them....I'll let you know how we are doing in a couple of days Big Grin
thumbs up thumbs up Sure you will do just fine now,yes do let us know how things are going Big Grin


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Tue Jun 16 2015, 23:26

Evening everyone....

A week after our last talk i must say i am more than impressed....Me and drunna have made big progress especially me...I approached her calmly without demanding anything from her but simply showing her what would be nice to do and she responded almost instantly...I took a few days off from work in order to stay at home and it worked perfectly....
We also had a small health issue after the little devil decided to chew on some wooden furniture but all anded well also....
The only troubling thing i noticed though is that she actually gets aggressive...Not towards me but on other dogs...For example last night we went for a walk at the dog park near our house and we met a pitbull puppy a little bigger than drunna....They started playing and everything was cool but suddenly Drunna got scared she lowered her tail and started growling at the other puppy....When the other dog didn't stop playing drunna attacked it for no apparent reason...
And after that she simply cowered under my girlfriends legs and didn't move untill the moment we left....
My question is how should i react to that??? she hasn't done it before and i got confused...She always plays well with other dogs...What should i have done to calm her??? i tried pating her to show everything is ok bu i think it was wrong since it could be translated as me giveng her credit for that behavior....
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by -Ian- on Tue Jun 16 2015, 23:38

First off it's great that your reading her body language so well, this can help in all sorts of situations. Drunna had probably had enough and decided to tell the other dog exactly that so now you'll begin to learn what's a telling off and what is a full on "I don't like you". At this age she probably wouldn't be showing true aggression so it will need to be something to watch out for as she gets older and bolder.

As for your reaction, I think reassurance that everything is ok is fine but am happy to be corrected by others that might have a better insight into Dog behaviour. Smile



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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by LizP on Wed Jun 17 2015, 08:23

How much dog interaction does she get, Drunnos? Have you seen anything like this before?

Rather than let Drunna cower and then leave, I'd pop her on the lead and encourage her to come out from hiding and sit quietly near the other dog then, when she settles, you can leave. More than patting or stroking, it's the walking off that might get misunderstood by her.

Learning about scary things works sort of like this. There's something I don't like, I want to get away from it, what do I do to get away? If she learns that growling/cowering/hiding gets her away from the worrying dog, then it's worth doing it again. What you need to do instead is set Drunna up to do what you would like, i.e. sit quietly, and then you can walk away.

Any time you get a reaction like that, or another you don't want, see if you can find a way of getting Drunna to do something positive before she gets her reward. It might be sitting quietly, it might be looking at the scary thing, it might be looking interestedly at something else so no longer being worried.

You've probably already noticed I'm a bit of a training geek so if I'm waffling on and you don't get what I mean, do ask!


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Wed Jun 17 2015, 13:45

I did notice Liz and to be honest i was actually hoping you would answer....

I never got a reaction like this before at least not so intense....She gets a lot of dog interaction cause my friends have dogs and besides that we got our casual dog park adventure at least 2-4 times a week for at least 2-3 hours....What i don't understand is when she gets scared and starts growling or barking how do i calm her....She doesn't give me any attention at that time or she runs off....

As Ian said i am trying to understand how she feels each time by paying attention to her reactions but i cannot fully understad the signs...Was she simply overwhelmed by the puppy or did she actually got angry??? And if she gets angry how do i show her it's not right and calm her down???

And some more info since she is still a baby i never walk off from her...Iam watching her up close not to close but i don't walk away....I feel that by staying near everything she does she might feel safer and for sure i get to watch her in various situation and learn to understand her better....

Ian that older and bolder thing got me scared you know Tongues
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by -Ian- on Wed Jun 17 2015, 14:08

Drunnos wrote:
Ian that older and bolder thing got me scared you know Tongues

Laughing .. It wasn't meant to worry you. What I was meaning is that as they get older their play can look aggressive and can easily be mistaken for aggression when it isn't which is why learning her body language now will be usefull as she gets older Big Grin


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by LizP on Wed Jun 17 2015, 14:28

Drunnos wrote:I did notice Liz and to be honest i was actually hoping you would answer....

Oh dear. I'm that obvious, am I? Laughing

In most cases, what looks like aggression is worry. It's a dog's way of saying 'I'm not sure about you, so if I make myself all big and ferocious hopefully you'll leave me alone'. Real aggression, i.e. I'm angry and want to pick a fight with you, is very rare in puppies. If you think about it logically, not only do they have little reason to be angry, by picking a fight you are risking injury to yourself, especially if you're young and vulnerable.

We went through this with Millie (the middle one in my avatar) a month or two ago. She'd been thoroughly socialised with other dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes, as well as living with Nola and Chaos. The suddenly one day she did just what you describe, growling and hiding behind my legs, and would have run off if I'd let her. For about a week, I put her on the lead when we saw other dogs and stopped before we actually got up close. That puts her in the zone of being concerned but not very scared. I'd then ask the other dog's owner if we could just stand and chat for a minute while Millie worked out what to do. If she tried to hide behind me, I blocked her with my leg, otherwise, I just let her think and decide.

Standing there, nothing bad happened. Hmmm... not a puppy eating monster then. The first couple of times we left it at that. Next time, I carried on nattering for a little while longer. Her worry was already less and she could now decide to explore a bit. She'd go up for a sniff and... oh, it's just another dog, well that's ok then! A day or so later she tried playing, and after a few days she was back to herself.

I'd suggest you do similar. Go to where you'll see other dogs but pop her on the lead and let her just watch them. If she tries to slink behind you or your girlfriend, just move you leg to block her, then stand and watch, wait till she's happy and walk off. I wouldn't make a big deal of it, maybe a treat and a word of praise, but otherwise dogs are just one of those things. Build up over the next few days, keeping an eye on her body language. If she lowers herself, braces her body backwards, drops her tail, she's feeling concerned. Just stop there, let her watch and let her see it's ok.

Do let her play with dogs she knows well, but while she's playing keep watching to make sure she's happy. If you see her start to get concerned, just a little bit even, ask them to stop playing, pop Drunna on the lead, then stand and chat with her owner while she regains her confidence.

Having said all that, Ian's right too (of course!). Staffie play can and sound look like they're trying to kill each other sometimes. You will get used to how she is and with time will work out what's play and, if it happens, what's not. There is a distinct change in tone and intensity when they go over the edge, impossible to describe. I don't know about others, but to me you do know it when you hear it. However, if you're not sure, just call time. My dogs know the command 'enough', which means stop playing. It's a useful one to teach.

Anyway, enough of me for now. See how that goes and if you have any problems just ask.


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Mia05 on Wed Jun 17 2015, 14:34

Brilliant advice liz .


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Wed Jun 17 2015, 22:23

I'm starting right away..From tomorrows walk.... and i'll get back to you....I got concerned about it cause as you said when it is not game you just know it....It's a weird feeling you get from your dog i cannot describe it better....

Anyhow i'll go with your plan and see how it goes....She looks eager and curious enough to learn so i think we will be fine...

And plz liz feel free to tell how do i teach the enough command i honestly believe it is going to be my favorite for the days to come Smile
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by LizP on Thu Jun 18 2015, 08:35

Teaching 'enough' - the way to most dogs is through food. A lot of my commands start off the same way and sort of mean the same thing early on to the dog - stop what you're doing and you'll get a treat. So 'enough', 'leave it' and 'quiet'. As you go on the distinctions become clearer.

The way I do it is to set your dog up so she's doing something that's fun but not super high value, so playing with a toy for example. Then, holding a nice (smelly!) treat, I go over and stick it under her nose at the same time as saying 'enough'. The dog stops playing to get the treat, which you give straight away. Repeat this until she understands what's happening. You might find she doesn't want to play again straight away because the treat is better than the game, so you end up having to do your repeats later.

You then change it a bit by not showing her the treat first. So instead of play-present treat-command-reward, you move to play-command-reward. When that's working well, make the play a bit more exciting. You and your girlfriend could work together on this, so one of you playing with Drunna and the other stopping the play with 'enough'. As the person playing with her would also stop (but not necessarily get the treat!), that would really help enforce the meaning of it.

Then it's time to do it for real. Always make things as easy as you can to start off with, so instead of actual play with another dog practise first when she's just quietly interacting, on the lead maybe. Say "enough" and she should to get her treat. If she doesn't, pull her away gently with the lead, just so she's broken contact, and then give her the treat. She can then go back to the other dog if you like.

Then you build up from there, waiting a little longer until she's more excited when she's ready for the next step.

Teaching 'leave it', a really useful command', is just the same. You give her something to hold in her mouth, present the treat and say 'leave it', then build up as above. My 3 will all drop anything, including a still live chicken (thankfully for the chicken!).

'Quiet' is good if you have a barker. Just the same as with the other 2 commands, when she barks you say present the treat and say 'quiet'.

I've always taught these with one command first, 'leave it' is the easiest, and find that once they understand the rules of that game they catch on to the other two really quickly.



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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Wed Jun 24 2015, 20:35

Evening everyone....

Yes yes the tiring old me is back with more questions Tongues

We are almost there on learning enough and leave it so i guess it is only a matter of time...Plus she seems to be more more obidient by the day so i am more than pleased with the progres both of us have made....

What came up the last 2 days is the fact that Drunna became obssesed with one of door casings....Which is wooden....And if she keeps this up she firstly destroy it and more importantly i know that wood is something to be scared of when it gets eaten....Is there any way i can stop her other than containing her??? I tried those sprays that are suppose to keep dogs from chewing stuff but to be honest i think it doesn't work Tongues Any advise would be most welcome Big Grin
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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by LizP on Thu Jun 25 2015, 08:20

Chewing wood's not great but the main worry is with sticks as they can swallow chuncks which can then cause all sorts of problems requiring surgery.

Is there some way you can block off access to that door? It can sometimes be enough to break the cycle for a couple of weeks. Even if you could just make a barrier around the relevant are from a plastic crate or something like it might do the trick.

I've not tried it myself, but some people swear by mustard or chilli as a deterrant.

And, of course, make sure she's got something nicer to chew on instead.

Really pleased to hear that the training's going well. Are you enjoying it?


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Re: She can't be my dog

Post by Drunnos on Thu Jun 25 2015, 11:29

I think I will be able to block it somehow .... And to be honest the chilly thing actually makes me wanna try it hahaha.....

Yes I am Liz..... Every hour I spent with her is becoming more and more fun and rewarding.... We get to understand each other better and finally we have set up our boundaries which makes life at home a lot more easier and relaxing.... She seems happy and calm which makes me even happier .... We are also trying to learn a few things when we are outside on a park or for a walk....
It is a lot harder but we have made some progress ... I believe she likes the more relaxed me she seems relaxed herself Smile
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