My Sister's Dog Is Now A Total Beeyotch.

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by threenorns, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. threenorns Well-Known Member

    there used to be two dogs here (at my sister's house) but now looseyfur, the goldendoodle, has gone to my mother in france (she owns the dog). my other sister doesn't want lily, the chi-mix. lily is chihuahua, jack russel, and pug that i can identify, but i suspect there's a good shot of piranha in her, too. P dumped lily on D bec she was landed with lily when her ex presented their daughter with a puppy for her birthday without even asking.

    lily is not housebroken - she craps and pees *everywhere*, specifically targeting pillows, mattresses, and laundry baskets.

    she is destructive - she destroys toys, shoes, remotes, the garbage, etc.

    she is food possessive - yesterday she went after dandy like a land shark simply because he walked past her (a good two to three feet away from her) to come to me when i called him to get his dinner.

    she is also people possessive - i won't let her on my lap or on the couch while i'm sitting on it bec the last time i did, dandy came up for kisses and she nailed him right below the eye. no blood drawn but he's lucky he didn't lose the eye.

    walking - she doesn't lunge everywhere but that's about the only good part. she's terrified of traffic, so every time a car, truck, or bus comes by, she bolts directly into my feet. i must've stepped on her or kicked her while tripping over her about a dozen times last night. she is aggressive toward bikes, skateboards, electric wheelchairs, etc - and it IS aggression.

    her prey drive is massive - she's killed, that i know of for sure, three small animals: the family pet hamster and mouse and a squirrel in the back yard.

    she jumps ALL over the place - she's gone right up onto the table, counter, or stove and gone after food. when i tethered the two of them to a railing so i could pop in and grab a drink (i was soaked with sweat from doing interval runs with them), she managed to squeeze under the bar to get onto the patio and then jumped up onto the table to bark at me through the window. (dandy was lying calmly on the sidewalk minding his biz and watching the cars go by).

    and the noise, noise, noise, noise, NOISE!!!! this d--d dog ***does not shut up****! someone comes to the door and it's YIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYI and she doesn't stop! you can't even hear yourself think, she has such a loud and penetrating bark. ppl passing on the sidewalk, branch brushing the window, someone on TV ringing a doorbell, doesn't matter - the slightest sound and off she goes and nothing stops her.

    on the good side, she's very soft and cuddly and always willing to be picked up. she's excellent around calm children and loves attention (i don't let kids under about 5 go near her, though, just bec i know she's bitten my older nephew who is, admittedly, a bit of a turd toward animals).

    bec of this, i can't see her being rehomed and D, although she hates, hates, hates, having cats/dogs in the home because of the hassle (she really does have a chaotic life and doesn't need it), will not get rid of lily because her daughter is in love with the dog.

    so far, i walk lily twice a day - i was thinking to avoid busy roads but frankly, that would mean either walking around and around and around the same block, or else going up and down and up and down the walkway. that's just stupid. so i will walk as usual but i need to get her to understand that she cannot go tangling up my feet - she needs to be less reactive. i think i will try walking on the sidewalk facing traffic and see if she's better when she can see the cars coming instead of having them whoosh up from behind.

    i don't let her up onto the couch or on my lap any more. i wait, then make sure she understands that the only reason is because i am permitting it, not because she's entitled. the moment she starts snarling or barking at dandy, down she goes and up he comes. when she's calm again, i switch them.

    for the food aggression, i need to figure out what to do - me, i can reach down and take the food right out of her mouth; she sits politely, ears back, with a very sweet "please, mum..." expression. it's just how to get her to stop going after dandy i don't know.

    the prey drive is a problem - she's so high-strung and wired for sound that any fast-moving object or squeaky sound sets her off into high gear and then dandy gets all excited and starts barking and jumping - at what? he doesn't know - he's just doing it. she had targetted a cat up a tree and dandy was barking at the fire hydrant.

    i've told my sister she needs to get back into crate training for the potty training - i can't see anythning else working.

    also, i'm going to refer her and my niece to the Toronto Centre for Canine Education - they specialize in problem behaviour dogs because, quite frankly, the lot of them need discipline and education.

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Yikes! How old is Lily, and how long has she been getting away with all this bad behavior? It's so difficult when you have so many issues to deal with, you don't know where to start and it's easy to get overwhelmed. I felt like that with Brody at the beginning. At least you have some experience that you can share, and confidence in yourself as a trainer.
    southerngirl likes this.
  3. threenorns Well-Known Member

    lily is 2yrs old and has basically always run rampant except for the rare occasion i'm here - i come down once or twice a year and i'm down anywhere from a week to a month. it doesn't help that i've got my dad, my sister, and her kids sabotaging - i say "no bacon! you're poisoning her with that stuff!" (the salt/nitrite levels are through the roof for a dog her size) and i get "she's a dooooog, she's fiiiiiiine".

    just now, i was treated to a heart attack and scalding tea down my front because she was sitting on the back of the couch behind me and suddenly went nuts bec a golden retriever was walking on the other side of the road. i don't know how she even knew - the blinds are down!
    brodys_mom likes this.
  4. brody_smom Experienced Member

    It's amazing what they can hear! Brody does the same thing. He can be in his crate, snoring away, then suddenly rush up to the front window, barking like the Russians are coming, even though I couldn't hear anything. Sure enough, within a few seconds I will see someone walk past the house.
    threenorns and southerngirl like this.
  5. threenorns Well-Known Member

    i was reading a blog entry where a woman went on about how "it hurt my heart so much" to see ppl using leash and verbal corrections - correcting behaviour problems should done "with love and respect for their selfhood". it was actually really irritating - i felt like writing her a terse comment but then figured why bother - such airy-fairy types generally don't listen to reason anyway (but i unfollowed her blog).

    i use corrections - pretty sharp ones - on lily. right now, her self-esteem and delicate feelings are NOT a priority. the priority is she has to STOP the barking and freaking out, regardless how i get it done. once she's learned that, then we can work on the happy-happy-joy-joy bit.

    my dad has a bad heart - five by-pass surgery. he also has a broken back (he was in hospital for 5 months after he blacked out while driving and ran the van into a hydro pole), a seizure disorder from the car accidents (neural damage), and also epilepsy from when he had a stroke. when lily barks, she can trigger a seizure if she scares him or an epileptic fit if she barks at a particular pitch or pace (if she barks a dozen times at regular spaced intervals, a seizure is highly likely). when she does her stupid running-all-over-the-place thing (not a single f--k given if you happen to be walking there or sitting down or in the middle of swinging a hammer - doesn't matter, she's in your face like a bad zit), she can easily trip him up and at 72yrs old with a bad back, the consequence could be dire. me dumping the tea down my front was what made me realize it - if it had been my dad dumping a scalding fresh cup of tea down his front, he'd've ended up in emergency for sure! old skin is fragile, damages easily, and heals very slowly.

    rehoming lily is not really an option - with her bite history (kids, dogs) and kill history (small animals), it would be highly irresponsible plus you never know what kind of person is going to inquire about an aggressive dog on craigslist.

    just like with my own dog, they need to clean up the mess they made. i'm willing to help - she's so smart! on our walk today, she did bark hysterically and start after a squirrel, but she stopped before she reached the end of the leash and returned to my side on command. this, after only two days working with her! - but i have *got* to figure out a way to get it through their heads!
    brodys_mom likes this.
  6. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Are you going to take her home with you? Sounds like anything you are able to "fix" while you are there will just go to seed once you leave. And, like you said, she is a serious liability where your dad is concerned.

    How do you use verbal corrections effectively for barking? I have read so much about how yelling doesn't work as the dog sees this as you joining in. Do you agree with that? What kind of sharp verbal correction cuts through the dog's own racket once it gets going? Do you keep a leash on Lily and apply a leash correction when she runs to the window to bark? I am 100% in support of positive reinforcement and hate the though of causing pain to a dog, but there are times when I feel (instinctively?) that a stronger message needs to be sent in order to correct a behavior in the short term. I know this sounds very "Cesar Milan", but I don't mean it that way. It's just that when Brody is all hyper, barking in my face for no reason I can fathom, grabbing at my hands or arms with his mouth (not biting, just holding), I struggle for effective, immediate communication. I have done things like close his mouth, gently but firmly, no squeezing, with my hands and growl "quiet". This doesn't hurt him unless he happens to bite his own tongue, but he doesn't like it much. What have you done in two days that makes that kind of impact on the dog? Is it just the fact that you are teaching her something and taking the lead rather than putting up with her nonsense?
    southerngirl likes this.
  7. threenorns Well-Known Member

    yelling does not work - neither does shouting her name or "shut up!!!!" bec you're right - it just reinforces the barking. the notorious "tsst!" or, in my case, a throat clearing does the job bec she recognizes it as a "nonbark" sound. also important is not to make it loud - just eh-eh-eh-HEM! (rather like a motorcycle revving up or a particularly offended butler) does the trick and when she looks at me, i call her to me, then praise her for sitting down next to me quietly. kind of a "not that.... this" thing.

    i don't do the leash around the house thing - i know it works great for many ppl but honestly, i just get really really annoyed bec i'm prone to sudden course changes and now i'm all tangled up in the leash or stepping on the dog and it's not her fault. totally the wrong message: "hi, i'm going to keep you REALLY REALLY close to me so you better pay close attention to me in case SQUIRREL!!!!!"

    definitely and absolutely, it's that i'm not yelling at her, i'm not throwing things at her, i'm not rolling my eyes and going "GAWWWWWWD you're so STUPID!!!!!!" and so on. it's also that i'm consistent - i'm not laughing at her being on the table eating someone else's dinner one minute and then shouting her for eating mine. just one firm lesson - think of a schoolteacher and an unruly little girl - and she hasn't demo'd the trash in days no matter how long we've left them alone in the house.

    i'll tell you one thing, though: she is ****fantastic**** for teaching saari how to walk a dog! saari has a habit of hopping and skipping all over the place and then she gets tangled up with lily. i tell her "walk forward in a straight line - do not step or turn to right or left bec she thinks that's where you're going next. just walk forward and if she charges off, bring her back to your side like so...". it makes walks with saari so much more enjoyable (she's so hard to control and so prone to impulsively darting off - it's very difficult for her to maintain focus and the dog, who is small enough for her to easily control, manages that for her.

    i did find out another source of difficulty: lily's actually not a fussy eater - she CAN'T eat very well! she won't even try to eat just a chunk of meat and if i snip it small, she picks up a piece with her head WAY on one side, chews, chews, drops it, picks it up again, chews, chews, drops it -- it's a very laborious process and i can see why she's food possessive (loosey used to bolt her food back in two seconds and then go sniffing for more). i'll upload it when i find my phone but when i finally took a look in her mouth today, her back teeth are so small they're almost non-existent and they certainly don't meet in a proper bite. also, either her jaw is too small or her tongue is too large bec it bulges out on either side from behind her rather snaggled canines. i'm used to dandy's picture-perfect dentition so that was a helluva shock to see, esp since i've been saying something's not right and was told the vet said she was fine.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  8. threenorns Well-Known Member

    i found my phone - pic of lily's teeth is in "health problems"

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics