Stubborn Dog

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mamaof5, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    I am at my wits end with my dog. I swear I have a dog with some sort of form of dog ADHD...

    He's six months old. He's smart but stubborn and hyper as all ...BLAH.

    I've crate trained him (took to that like a fish to water) but the moment he's out of the crate he's wreaking havoc. He knocks the kids over, he pees on the floor where he stands (even caught him trying to pee on the door frame the other day), he eats the garbage despite several bazillion times of correcting him. He grabs food off the table and counter like he owns the joint (again a bazillion corrections and he still is stubborn).

    I say he's stubborn because he knows he's in the wrong the moment he gets caught by one of us doing something he's not suppose to, he hangs his head and gives me the "crud I've been caught" look. He ate a dozen and a half cookies (homemade) two weeks ago right off the plate off my very high counters. Just scarfed as many as he could before getting caught doing it.

    I don't know what to do. He potties outside perfectly fine but purposely will take a pee at our feet randomly it spite? Is it stubbornness? WTH is going on with this dog...

    I'm so frustrated right now. This morning one of the kids makes the school lunches and this dog goes and scarfs all the sandwiches while my kid turns him back to get something. Right off my kitchen table. I've even caught this dog ON the kitchen table (he's freaking 90lbs, this dog is going to break my piddly little kitchen table).

    He ate my pool tubes, he ate my kids barbies and dolls, he ate one shoe (he's lucky it was just one shoe, I hate shoe eating), he eats kids poop out of the toilet...sigh. I'm really starting to hate this dog...that's not good...not healthy...for either him or me.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Well, at 6 months old...he's still a puppy. And it sounds like he is engaging in typical puppy behaviors (chewing, playing, testing boundaries).

    Until he grows out of this - you've got to keep your home "puppy-proofed".

    No poop left in the toilet! (Preferably, keep the lid down)
    No garbage left in the kitchen.
    No food within nose reach.
    Keep toys, shoes, etc put away - provide the puppy plenty of chew toys and kongs for gnawing on.

    Make sure he gets plenty of exercise each day to burn off some of that rambunctious puppy energy.

    That should help.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sending my sympathies. Yeah, I know he is a puppy but we had a "counter surfer" and it drove the whole family nuts. No eating sandwiches and watching football games. No relaxed play for the kids as they had to protect their toys. Yikes. It really disrupted our whole family as we had to keep adapting to the dog instead of vice versa. For us it just wasn't the right combo.

    Meanwhile, I truly admire those who are more patient than I am. lol DDD
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    On top of everything else, in terms of doggy development, he's heading into doggy teenage. Which means that he's guaranteed to be a handful.

    Is he neutered? If not, it makes things worse.

    The pee thing, though, can be a "submission" thing.

    If he's chewing everything in sight, then he needs something to chew on - multiples, usually. Show him what he CAN chew on.
  5. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    Know what the one thing that drives me coo coo the most...not so much the peeing at my feet, not even the bowling me over at the top of the stairs (cause heck he doesn't know he's 90lbs or that strong really). It's the table and counter surfing ...

    I have a strict food budget and since he's started literally (I do mean LITERALLY) table surfing and\or counter surfing I've gone over my budget for the last 2 months by almost 200 bucks. He has been caught pushing a chair up to the counter to stand on it (smart little grumble grumble grumble) to reach the counter at the back. A chair, pushing it....counter...little bugger is way too smart for his own good gosh darn it...
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What kind of dog is he?
    Sounds like he's got working-dog blood.
    Which means, smart.
    Which means... either YOU give him real jobs to do that keep his brain going, or HE will come up with things to do.

    Start clicker training.
    Teach him basic commands... down, sit, stay (that one's hard), then tricks... shake a paw, beg (no, don't do that one until he's REALLY good at obedience).
    And you need really good treats to do that with.
    But "good" to a dog, and "good" to a dog-treat maker, are not the same thing.
    Best one we've found? Buy cheap chicken wieners, and chop them up - lenthwise, then crosswise into 40 or 60 pieces per weiner. Keep in container in fridge.

    Then teach him on and off (of, say, a rubbermaid stool). Through a hoop (not jumping, until over 1.5 years), between your legs, weaving between poles. Walk nice on leash.

    Jobs... depends on what breed(s)...
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    At six months he's still in that awkward adolescent half-grown puppy stage and should calm down some when he gets a bit older. It's equivalent to the "terrible two's" in children. No matter how big he is, a six months old dog is still a baby! What breed of dog is it? Some breeds require massive amounts of exercise and if they don't get it, they will react just like yours is doing! They need long, long walks and real running-till-they-drop exercise, really wear them out! The peeing on the floor could be submissive or it could be that he's being crated for too long and can't wait long enough to get outside. You might want to have your vet rule out any kind of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) too. If you're yelling at him for the inappropriate behavior, the peeing could be submissive. But it's a good sign that he knows what he is and is not allowed to do, he just needs it reinforced. Something that you might try ... get a metal soft drink can and fill it with pennies or little pebbles. Then when he tries to steal food or tries to get something off the counter, rattle it at him the minute he tries it! Makes a horrible loud noise and they quickly learn. Something else too ... some of the chain pet supply stores like Petsmart have puppy classes that teach basic obedience and teach the owners to effectively work with their dogs to teach them manners. I think they're fairly reasonable and I've heard good things about them. And you do need to "puppy-proof" your house. Give him good dog toys to chew on like the hard rubber Kong toys, but keep an eye on them so he doesn't swallow pieces. Keep the garbage put up where he can't get at it, and no toys or shoes or other forbidden objects where he can get at them. Not easy with kids around I know, but a dog can have serious issues with intestinal blockages or can even die from swallowing plastic toy pieces. I know a girl who lost a gorgeous, much loved dog who swallowed a plastic bag he got out of the garbage, even though she got him immediate medical care. If he swallows the wrong thing you will be in for x-rays, possible surgery, massive vet bills, and possibly the loss of your dog.

    You do have my sympathies though. My brother used to have a huge Basset who learned to open their bi-fold pantry doors and would eat whole loaves of bread and anything else he could reach on their kitchen counters. He would only do it when left alone in the house ... of course they should have gotten him a crate and put him in it when they left but they never did.
  8. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    He's a husky, boarder collie, timber wolf mix (we call these types of dogs reserve dogs because that's where most of the hybrid wolf dogs are bred and found). Yup two working breeds in him, one with an massive need to pull, one who is smart as a whip and one who is a body language\vocal breed.

    I don't leave him in the crate unless I go to bed or am out (which is rarely more than 3 hours at a time for going out, usually way less - he'll tear up the house and garbage if I don't crate him). At night I go to bed at 2 or 3 am and get up at 7 am the latest (sometimes 730). It's at night when he does the pee at my feet thing when we're all up and he signals for the back door to go out (runs and points his nose at it or sits at the door).

    He already knows sit, look at me, head down, lay, sleepy time (crate) and potty time (outside). I think I will get a clicker to train him. He's stubborn about get down, stay and heel, literally does not comply despite all the efforts of treats and attempts at training.

    Time to get some treats he will train for. He'll eat anything ...ANYTHING. I have to be careful not to drop medications (kids or mine) or he'll scarf it right off the floor before I can pick it up but I expect that of a puppy. My biggest annoyance is the counter and table surfing. The fact he is smart enough to move the kitchen chairs around to get at what he wants makes this a conundrum because normally I'd just move the chairs in a way that they'd be away from both table and counters. I'm half expecting to find him standing on my counter top one day...wouldn't surprise me in the least.

    I've got my 9 yr old husky hybrid trained to go in the bathtub if he can't hold it long enough, no clicker, no treats - just does it. He's getting old so it's harder for him to hold it now. The puppy is starting to mark territory (grrr) and is causing the 9 yr old dog to remark territory over his markings (last night the older dog did this and he NEVER does those things).

    Time to neuter the puppy I think, that'll stop that... hopefully. Maybe calm him down too.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, I will try them.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    My first question was going to be "is he neutered?".
    Second is he getting enough exercise? I know I walk my 2 youngest 45min. to an hour almost every day. It keeps the hyper barking down and the energy to be overly oppositional to a minimum.
    I use dried liver treats. They are pricey so I cut them in quarters and keep them in zip loc bag with me for giving positive reinforcement.
    Good luck.
  10. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    If he hasn't already been neutered, that should definitely be done ASAP. I have never had experience with a wolf hybrid but I know that Border Collies are supposed to be the most intelligent breed there is! Of course with a mix, you never know what traits they will end up with from each breed but my daughter had a Husky and that was the most stubborn, obstinate, difficult to train dog I have ever had! She was not unintelligent but she was just goofy, everything was a game to her! If I would tell her to get off the sofa, she would hunker down, wag her tail at me, and get this big grin on her face like she was saying, "Make me!" I could almost hear her giggling! They are extremely strong and needs lots and lots of strenuous exercise. She was sweet and gentle and loveable but could climb fences when ever she felt like it and would dig huge holes in the yard and sleep in them. She was a gorgeous dog with the ice blue eyes, but just to show you what a pain in the butt she was, someone once stole her right out of our yard ... and RETURNED HER the very next day!

    They need lots of training at a young age by someone who is very firm with them and will not let them get the upper hand. You might want to see if you can find a good dog trainer who will come to your home and work with you and the dog together, or check out the puppy classes at your local pet supply store. If they don't have classes, they may still be able to recommend a good trainer.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    The husky sounds exactly like my son. Shame I can't farm him out to a trainer. :)
  12. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    *snickers* I have the same thought pattern when it comes to wevil and this puppy. They are two peas in a pod those two. One a fur version of the flesh one and vice versa.
  13. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    We took in a boxer puppy last December that within 2 weeks was as big as Scooby Doo. He was sweet and gentle and usually went outside but when he didn't - OMG! We use the high outdoor garbage cans inside and he got into those, ate off the table, etc. We finally had no choice but to rehome him - our back yard isn't fenced and we couldn't just let him out. I had planned to neuter him but overslept and missed the appointment which worked out well because his new family plans to breed him. He was beautiful.

    Last month, we got a Sylvester kitty. Much more my style. Youngest boy named her Bast (the Egyptian cat goddess).

    If you can't train the dog, consider rehoming him before his habits become unbreakable.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I can think of only one name for THAT kind of mix... trouble.

    None of the traits overlap. Very hard to tell what you're working with.
    For example...
    - husky is a working dog, but works "for" rather than "with".
    - border collie is a working dog that works "with" rather than "for".
    - a timber wolf doesn't care about anybody else.
    - and NONE of them is "dumb".

    Examples of similar-breed crosses:
    If you have a spaniel/collie cross, both are "working with" dogs.
    A terrier/husky cross would be a mix of "working for" dogs.

    In your case... I'd be calling a trainer who's used to working with reserve dogs!
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I know due to breeds, that's he's a big dog........errr baby. BABY. Big baby. But he's still very much a baby. Also due to breeds, that boy is going to need to be exercised in some sort of heavy duty way at least 2-3 times per day for at least an hour each time.

    You need some baby rules.

    No food on the counters AT ALL.

    Baby is crated during all feeding times, including snacks. Include that baby is crated during cooking times too. (keeps him from snitching while you're busy)

    Keep trash can empty or in a room baby is not allowed to enter. (PITA but at least you're not cleaning it up a zillion times a day)

    Not sure what the peeing on your feet is unless he's trying to mark you as his??

    Get thee to the nearest Pet store and look for this huge plastic balls, they're hard and hallow and great for "herding" as in in you roll it and let him herd it until he's exhausted. lol Molly used to do hers for HOURS. Now only about 15 mins at a shot but she's old now. The balls aren't cheap, but ours has lasted 9 yrs and it's good as new. So you get your money's worth and then some.

    Raw hides or beg the butcher for some big beefy bones you can boil up for him to gnaw on instead of everything else. You can try the kongs and peanut butter......but my dogs all look at me like I've lost my mind and refuse to play with it. lol

    Walks.........with some running thrown in for good measure. Have the kids teach him to fetch a ball and throw it to him for about a half hour at a shot.

    You've got lots of baby energy to burn off. LOTS.

    Molly is a Shepard ridge-back mix and the first 3 years it was like having a new kid in the house. To some extent our days centered around her training, her exercise, and her playtime just so we could make sure she stayed out of trouble.

    It was worth it though. Molly is the best dog I've ever known, with Rowdy taking a close second.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    He needs exercise, someone to be dominant to him, to be neutered ASAP like in the next couple of weeks if you want to have a prayer to stop the marking which is what a lot of the peeing may be, and he needs a JOB.

    It is time to put him on a leash when he is inside the house and not in his crate. he must be WITH you, like within six feet on a leash so that you can correct these behaviors every time. It is a PITA but it also WORKS. LOTS of the peeing, esp if he has been outside to pee recently, is to mark what is his. This includes you and your kids. That is why he is peeing on you unless he is afraid of something like you are yelling or banging something. As soon as he starts to hike his leg you give a command to stop and he goes outside right that second.

    The mix of dogs in him is a tough one unless you have a LOT of room for him to run, herd, chase with-o getting into trouble or hurt or you can walk him for miles and miles each day. Border collies need to NOT be trained for things like frisbees until they are a year because they often develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) if you do. My bro trained his male border collie to catch a frisbee at about 6 mos. The dog is the most Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) animal I have ever seen. Until bro started ignoring him (because he first taught the dog to NEED 2 hours of training/frisbee throwing/herding per day and then went to grad school and had a kid and didn't give the dog even ten min per day), if you wanted the dog to stay somewhere you just put a frisbee there. He would watch it obsessively for HOURS. If he didn't get frisbee time each day (hours, not minutes), he acted out, all sorts of destructive behaviors started that were ALL bro's fault for teaching the dog to expect so much attention/traning per day and then just stopping cold turkey because he made other life choices. It has been a hard 5 yrs for the dog because he cannot be left home alone because he ends up hurting himself.

    The wolf hybrid is very unpredictable. I have known some that were great and some that chewed through solid core doors and broke heavy tempered glass if they wanted to get out and were locked in. Crates may or may not work when he is older. I have known a few who broke through them - even very heavy duty ones. The vet bills were incredible.

    Keep the dog with you unless he is in the crate or is outside for exercise. On the leash. Do clicker training if that works for you. Get some of those feeder toys that the dog has to do something to get his food. He will have to push the toy around and a few pieces of kibble come out at a time. This will keep him busy and reward him for keeping busy. You will eventually need several so that one is out and used until he gets tired of it (bored) and then you can get a different one out for a while and put that one up. The people I know with dogs like yours often ahve 3-4 of these and rotate them every few weeks.

    Figure out how to be dominant to him. Watch some of the Dog Whisperer shows and/or read his books. Figure out how to be the alpha in your pack because otherwise your dog will think he is alpha and you won't have much success in training him. Esp if you want him to not pee on people/things - that is what the dominant does and if you are not dominant then the dog is. I know one woman who would get the dog by the scruff as a puppy the way a momma dog does, and another who did other things but I can't remember what.

    Remember that the wolf part is NOT domesticated and there may be a time when that becomes more dominant. It is not predictable and if you are not clearly the alpha to this dog at all stages of his life then it can get really scary. Several people who used to breed wolf hybrids here have stopped because the wolf part of some of their dogs saw their kids as not dominant and were threatening the kids - some after years of being loving and protective of the kids.

    The food toys work instead of a dish of food. They have to work to eat and it can keep them occupied for hours for each meal, which gives them less time to get into trouble. Walking/exercising the dog until he is exhausted is also important.

    Whatever you do, do NOT use a laser pointer to help exercise the dog. They will chase them, but they won't see any difference between a laser pointer and a flashlight or headlights. It was a mistake my bro made with his dog at first, and it took several near misses where the dog almost got hit by a car before he realized that the laser pointer chasing was a huge part of the problem.

    I hope you can work through these problems and enjoy the dog.
  17. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well.........since last year I accidentally adopted what turned out to be an American Dingo..........I can really relate. This girl, was NON STOP. I think there are quite a few posts about her in the archives. LOL.

    My random advice -
    -GET HIM FIXED ASAP. His peeing is a dominance issue, not an "I need to potty issue".

    -Every time he misbehaves send him a strong 'NO' and then remove him. Whether that is putting him in his kennel or outside, he needs to "feel" the consequence. That does not mean swatting him, because in my opinion that causes worse behavior.

    -Use lots of treats. Give him a cheerio or whatever treat you want every time he does something right

    -If he doesn't respond to verbal commands, back them up with hand commands. Like a closed means hand NO. That sorta thing.

    -EXERCISE. That is THE most important piece, and I don't think it is just 'walking" them on a leash. Tesla needed to run, hunt, be a real wild dog. She still is not content unless she can "hunt". Yesterday she nailed down a stray PBJ sandwich, horse dung, and a chicken carcass - all while running in a field. (She was happy, albeit, I was digusted)

    You have to remember these dogs are smart, mostly thinking wild, and have more energy than any human I know. Oh, yes, kinda like our difficult children. LOL. I can tell you that Tesla in her puppydom walked 5 miles a day....she was more than a handful. She has started to reach her equilibrium - but good god - it has taken patience. Don't give up though!!!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I wondered how Tesla has been doing. Glad she's winding down some :)
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, my tesla is awesome.....she has turned into the most unique, wonderful dog I have ever had:)
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911

    My first question?

    HOW long is he in that cage each day BEFORE you get home and "LET HIM OUT" ........


    Collies, wolves - neeed to run.

    If the answer is : Longer than 2 hours............then your FIRST problem is - to get a dog walker and/or get a fenced in yard (ABSOLUTELY NOT A CHAIN) or a dog sitter - during the day. He's a 9 day clock in a 3 day box and when you get home he's sprung sister - and I mean SPRUNG..........wild, crazy - OMG look. people - wow.....koo koo......Like a felon out of a 23 hour lock down.

    a.) He's high energy dog that needs at THE VERY LEAST 1 hour of HARD play a night and by that I mean - a field with a ball chasing it, bicycle running beside it, tread mill, or beach swimming....ONE HOUR MINIMUM. If you can't commit to that while he's a baby? While he's a teen? My advice is to give him up, and get a dog that suits your needs or these problems will NEVER correct themselves. You are going to end up with a dog that is miserable, annoyed, and out of control.

    b.) OBEDIENCE CLASSES at a local pet smart for YOU......and him. IMMEDIATELY. He's six months old - HE and YOU are ready. IMMEDIATELY. He lacks discipline and control of ANY kind. THAT will help with some of the peeing (submissive -I don't know WHO to roll over for, be under to......who is my master???) and when you (YOU) say NO about the counter surfing it will have MORE effect - not perfection but NO will mean NO in a bigger sense.

    c.) The crate training was easy because it was a SAFE place - not because he was a genius. (FYI) Some dogs take to it - some don't.

    d.) KEEP the bathroom door shut for now......and KEEP HIM blocked off to only rooms YOU want him to be in - I recommend NOT allowing him access to the entire house until he's trained.

    if you can get the exercise thing down. I've had mine 12-13 years and we STILL get 1 hour of play on days we can due to weather.......(and less now due to age) no matter.......even if it's dark.....(they sell glow in the dark toys) - and if something keeps us from playing and it's not possible? They have a sandbox, and outdoor toys, and indoor toys that are they don't get bored......and tons of different snacks.....their own cookie jar.......and it's a big deal to get snacks from the magic bag or whatever....not just OH here's a biscuit. And peanut butter - they love a little taste -----variety so they aren't bored. Rides in the car, trips to the park....just even around the block. Think about HIS life from HIS point of view....then ask yourself if you would be happy being HIM. It's not that hard. Be him for a day.......then see what you think of his thoughts as a child - not just THE DOG.

    Take it one day at a time........Hugs & Good luck.......

    Oh and the garbage? That ones easy - Lidded trash can OR put the trash up until it's no longer a problem for him........OR sit in the kitchen with him.......and in a deep THREATENING voice - SAY over and over as he approaches it...........NOT YOURS......when he leaves it alone.......say good dog.......or good boy or good (name) and wait a minute then toss him a bit of treat. It takes time too.

    I have one foster dog - (who am I kidding) that will walk WIDE circles to avoid the trash can......just to get a biscuit. lol. But it was NOT YOURS........for two days.....OMG she was horrid - but after living OUT of trash cans I thought she'd never get it.