HELP! Need advice about misbehaving dog... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
*green*faery*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, Ca
Posts: 647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I really need some advice about my dog... this is kind of long, but if you have any experience with dogs, please help me...

Let me start by saying I love animal, but have never dealt with a problem like this before. I have two dogs, Casper, who is pretty good, a little sneaky, but listens, and Marley, a black lab mix who is driving me crazy. They are both about 12 years old, in pretty good health, they act and look much younger.

I don't even know where to start. I was gone most the day, I got home and threw the ball for Marley (he's addicted to the ball) a few times and went inside. I let him out a few times to pee in the coarse of the next two hours or so. The second time, right after I let him in (he was barking at the door to come in) he snuck into the other room and pooped in our house! I had just let him out. I was so mad, I'm pregnant right now and the smell of the pooh makes me throw up. I locked him on the side yard where he barked and barked. It was almost 10pm and I don't want to make the neighbors mad, but what am I supposed to do?? This pooping in the house thing just started about two weeks ago, and usually right after he has been outside and barks to come in. He has done it several times, and he has even come in and peed!!!!

We use to keep the dogs inside when we left. We have a very large yard, but no fence (we're working on it, but its going to take a while), so we built a smaller fenced area to keep them outside. After a while of staying inside, Marley learned how to open the fridge and freezer and eat everything he could reach. Of coarse anything on the counter and cupboards was fair game to him too. We bunggie corded the fridge, and left nothing within reach. It didn't take long before he figured out how to move the bunggie cord up enough (between the fridge and freezer door) to get in it again. He likes to spread everything out, through out the kitchen and living room. We also can't have a trash in the house because he will get into it and spread it everywhere any chance he gets.

Marley was adopted by my husband when Marley was 1yo. For the first couple years he was a wild hippie guard dog at a citrus and avocado orchard where my husband worked. A few years later I came into the picture. Marley sometimes listens to my dh, but doesn't listen much to me.

I know he hates it when we leave him home, I know he wants to go to the beach everyday and play ball. I know he wants more attention from my dh. My husband works a lot, and is gone at least 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. I am working 4 days a week right now. I know he is just a dog, he doesn't understand why we leave. But he is driving me mad! I am so frustrated! He continued to bark tonight, so I brought him inside and locked him in a different room, he hates that. Right now he is trying to knock down the door that divides the room (he's done it before). Am I doing the right thing?? I feel so bad. I feel like I hate him. I have never hated an animal before. He makes me so mad. I don't want to yell, I have a baby inside of me. Am I a horrible person for feeling this way??? I feel so guilty and I'm tired of it. I very emotional right now and I can't stop crying. I know, he's a dog, we are not the best doggie parents. We don't give them as much as they need. I throw balls in our yard for them everyday, but I only walk them with dh. Marley barks at people and freaks out when he sees another dog. If you have any advice or have experienced anything similar I would love to here your thoughts. Please don't judge me because I said I feel like I hate him. It is something I would never say out load, and something I can't tell dh. I really do love animals, I have been vegetarian for 12 years, I know I'm being defensive, but it sounds so bad. Can you help???

*erin*
: #1 edd 10/29/05 :

Happily married, Waldorf-inspired homeschooler to Kylan (8yo), Everest (6yo), and Bodhi (2yo)
*green*faery* is offline  
#2 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 03:13 AM
Banned
 
boongirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: a place where freedom lives
Posts: 4,636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ooooh, so sorry to hear this. Pet misbehavior sucks.

If I had to take a guess I would say that Marley has established the hierarchy in your house as your dh (top dog), Marley, and then you. Not sure where Marley would put the other dog. Anyway, dogs like hierarchy. They have a pack mentality. I bet Marley also knows that your are pregnant and change is coming. He is most likely trying to tell you that he is unhappy about the way his life is going. I could be wrong. Maybe he has a health issue. To be safe, I would talk to his vet and have him checked out. (Sidenote: We had a cat do this and it turned out he had an intestinal blockage.) If it is a training issue, then he needs to have some training from you to establish that you are higher up than him. This should come asap, before the baby. You will not want to deal with this and a newborn. Is there a class you could get him into asap? Could you talk to the vet about training and get some ideas, books, etc? Otherwise, I would be it will get much worse after baby. Once he is trained, he will behave much better because he will know the rules and understand that you are higher up on the scale than him. In the end, you will all be much happier.

Sorry no easy answers.
boongirl is offline  
#3 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 09:49 AM
 
boxersnbabies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: The Garden State
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For the short term problem of what to do when you are not home, invest in a crate.

Long term, invest in a behaviorist. Your dog has issues. ITA with boongirl, establish heierarchy with your dog. Make him sit and wait for his food until you release him to eat it. Make him earn his keep - anytime he gets attention, either a treat or petting or whatever, he has to sit, or go into a down stay. Games of tug of war should only be won by you or your DH. Dogs with dominance issues should not be allowed up on furniture or beds, as this only heightens their sense of themselves as alpha. A good behaviorist can evaluate you and your dog and work with you both to achieve a better balance in your relationship.

Also agree with the suggestion of a physical. Behavior problems can often be linked to a physical issue.

Good luck with your dog.
boxersnbabies is offline  
#4 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 10:05 AM
 
Itlbokay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,397
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with the others, your dog must know his place in order for there to be peace in the house.

I like the pp's idea about the dog food, I had read that somewhere when I was training my pup (who was my first actual puppy, all the rest were already grown when we adopted them). I would fill his bowl, set it on the ground (dh would make sure the dog would stay sitting) and then we would release him. I would interrupt his eating every now and then...put my hand in the bowl and then let him resume his meal. Lots of praising.

If one were to obsere wolves in the wild the Alpha dog (highest) eats first, the Omega dog (lowest) eats last. It would also be a good idea to eat your meal, and then feed him. All of this is good preperation for having a baby in the house as they all like to experiment with the dog's dishes.

Every dog needs/wants to know their place in your "pack".
Itlbokay is offline  
#5 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 11:44 AM
 
shannon0218's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, I'll be the voice of disent. This dog is 12 yrs old right????? Has he always been like this or is this new?? Honestly I see little in your post to make me believe he is dominent over you (possibly that he doesn't listen to you--but the most submissive dog in the world will not listen if he hasn't been trained to do so) First things first, this dog needs a physical. There are meds available now to treat dementia and senility in animals, and for the most part they work. My second guess would simply be that he knows you're pregnant and is anxious about upcoming change--for that in a 12 yr old, I'd go with a combo of meds and some behavior modification excercises. A younger dog I'd just look at behavior modification, but this dog is a little old for that.

So, first things first, book an appt with your vet. Then go and invest in a dog crate for him--get a wire one not an enclosed one--and don't go cheap, if he's a houdini he'll get out of a cheap crate. Try to find a midwest collapsable kennel. When he goes outside, watch him and make sure he goes to the bathroom outside--if he doesn't, when he barks to come in, let him in but put him in his crate. Offer to let him back out 20 min later and again watch. If he poops outside, run out and make a big deal out of it, throw him the ball and love him up. Keep all doors shut inside so it's harder to get to an out of the way place. Have you ever booby trapped things he's likely to steal??

This is discombobulated but basically, from your post, while if I was doing a behavior consult with you, I'd ask a whole lot more questions but my guesses are in order as follows--and actually I think it's a combination of a few issues.

1) Mild senility setting in
2) Anxiety issues from knowing things are changing
3) Some separation anxiety

last but certainly not least, if his behavior changed suddenly and is spiralling down, it's a terrible thought but brain tumor is something not to be dismissed, especially at his age.
shannon0218 is offline  
#6 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 11:48 AM
 
shannon0218's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Btw Erin, if you have a good long distance plan, Pm me and I'll pm you my business number, I'd be happy to do a phone consult with you for no charge--just really need a bunch more info before making much of an assessment.
I just can't even imagine having to deal with what you're dealing with while I was pregnant!
shannon0218 is offline  
#7 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
*green*faery*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, Ca
Posts: 647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you so much for the replies.

I talked to my husband about finding behavioral help, but I think taking him to the vet is a good idea. I really didn't even think of physical problems.

The dogs both use to sleep with us, but as soon as I got pregnant, we moved our bed into a different room & wouldn't let them on it. They sleep on the couch in the same room. I really would love for them to not sleep on the couch. We have had dog beds before, but one of my cats, Poppy, likes to claim them by peeing on them (he's a good kitty otherwise). I have finally trained them "out of the kitchen", so they don't stand under my legs and wait for crumbs while I cook. We use a kiddy gate for them to stand behind while I fill there bowls, and the don't go get the food until I say OK. The bad thing is Marley growls while he eats (I feed Casper in a different room) and there is no way I could touch his bowl while eating.

Marley has always been kind of rebellious, always snagged food of the counter when he could (his favorite is watermelons, whole watermelons, rind and all, tomatoes, and avocados) and gotten into the trash. Over the past 2 years he has gotten way worse.

Thanks again for your replies. There is a holistic vet not far from me, and I am going to talk to dh about seeing her. Last night did not end well, we basically gave in because dh needed sleep and Marley would not stop barking and shredding the door.


*erin*
edd 10/29/05

Happily married, Waldorf-inspired homeschooler to Kylan (8yo), Everest (6yo), and Bodhi (2yo)
*green*faery* is offline  
#8 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 03:11 PM
 
Itlbokay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,397
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
green faery, sorry I didn't read your post as well as I should have. I was in such a rush this morning, I should have taken more time in reading it.


Shannon gave you some great advice (she always does ) let us know what happens.
Itlbokay is offline  
#9 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 03:52 PM
 
shannon0218's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 11,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, so food aggession now does tell me there are dominance issues in play as well, but I think at this stage in Marley's life, dealing with his anxiety is more important. Erin, I responded to your pm, just email or pm me your phone # and I'll call you tonight when I get Molly to sleep-my long distance plan includes the US and is all inclusive.
shannon0218 is offline  
#10 of 10 Old 06-04-2005, 04:09 PM
 
mother nurture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Barefoot on the Beach
Posts: 1,112
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Erin~

When I saw your thread I was drawn to it, b/c we had just started having problems with our dog. Ironically, when I read your post I realized that our dogs are both Marley! And they both are pooping in the house! Our Marley, is 3 years old. I was so frusturated with him today b/c I took him and dd for a LONG WALK and he didn't poop. As soon as I got back in and started vaccuming, he pooped in the middle of the family room

With ours, I know that it is because he was upset with us. I hope that you work this out with your Marley.

Beth, Mama to dd , wife to dh , teacher :~ Living, Loving, Learning...everyday.
mother nurture is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off