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Old 12-18-2010, 09:06 PM
cofrider cofrider is offline
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Default Rescue Dog Troubles

I'm not a very experienced dog owner.. I know my basics but that's it. I rescued a dog in August and have been dealing with some of his behaviour problems but now I"m stuck.

Problem 1: When I'm not home he gets very anxious. He IS house trained but recently took to peeing on a specific couch as if he's upset with me. I blocked off his access to the room and the problem seemed solved. Now he's starting to pee else where in another room. I thought of crate training but he freaks out when blocked in an area such as a room and I can't image trying to get him used to a crate. I don't know how to solve this problem as I only discover it after hours of not being home.

Problem 2: He's lately been taking to stealing food off tables. I feed him well each day, he gets lots of exercise, etc. It started where he would steal food off the coffee table if we left it unattended. We moved it out of his reach. Now he's some how getting onto counter tops (always when I'm not home) and destroying anything .. even tums. Today, he somehow got onto the kitchen table today while my mum was home and stole off her entire pizza. He slinked away when she told him off. Again, he doesn't do it when i'm home.. what do I do.

Thank you so much.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2010, 09:41 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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First off, welcome to Chazhound! And kudos to you for rescuing a dog

The two problems that you posted are actually pretty common with dogs. The problem with counter surfing, is its a very self rewarding behavior. The dog gets instant gratification -- the yummy food!
A lot of the training that you will need to do is mostly prevention, to be honest. Keep the food put away, and keep the dog out of the kitchen.

Smooth Ways to Stop Dog Counter Surfing

Leave it is a very useful command to use for problems like this But its going to take some training dog clicker training leave it cue


I also wanted to encourage you to crate train your new baby. Crate training can be useful in many situations... preventative, in cases like yours... Because you don't want messes, or for him him to get into something while your not home (something that could be much worse than tums next time something to make him really sick), or if he has to stay at the vet ever or on crate rest (I've had recent experience with this with my roommates dog ), travel, etc etc
Quote:
A Positive Approach To Crate Training Your Dog
Some owners believe crating a canine is cruel. They feel that confining a pet to a closed area is akin to locking someone in a garage. Many professional trainers, however, feel that crating offers a host of benefits for both the dog and his owner. For example, they suggest it can be a valuable tool for housetraining a puppy since dogs learn early in their lives to avoid soiling their "dens." They also suggest a crate provides a canine with a place of his own to which he can retreat at his convenience.

In this article, we'll explain how to crate train your dog so he begins to look forward to spending time in his crate. The approach you take is critical. Many owners unwittingly cause their pets to develop a strong aversion to their crates. We'll show you how to avoid making the same mistakes.

Building Your Pet's Level Of Comfort

At first, your pet may show hesitance in entering his crate. It is new to him, and thus he will be uncertain about what to expect. The key is making him feel as comfortable as possible. First, place a few blankets on the inside to provide him a place to lie down. Also, place a few of his toys just inside the door.

Second, position the crate in the middle of a room that receives plenty of foot traffic from you and your family. This will prevent your canine from associating it with being isolated from the people he loves. Leave the door open to allow him to enter and exit at will.

Third, use positive reinforcement as a constant tool to encourage your pet to enter his crate. When he does so, praise him and give him a treat. This will help him build a positive connection with his personal den, giving him a steadily growing level of comfort with it.

You may need to gently coax your dog by placing his food bowl near the entrance. Move his bowl closer and closer with each meal until it is positioned inside the crate.

Start With Short Periods Of Confinement

As mentioned, during the beginning stages, keep the door open so your canine will have the freedom to enter and leave at will. Once he is comfortable spending time inside, close the door for short periods. Start with two or three minutes to acclimate him to the feeling of being confined within. Stay nearby.

As your dog becomes comfortable with being confined in his crate, extend the periods he is kept inside. Make sure he can easily see you. If he remains calm, leave the room for several seconds before returning. This will slowly build his comfort and tolerance with being confined by himself.

Notice this approach is a slow, methodical one. Every canine is different; some will become immediately comfortable with their crates while others will need more time. Be patient with your dog, and let him gain a level of comfort at his own pace.

Mistakes To Avoid When Crating Your Canine

Earlier, we mentioned that owners often make mistakes when crate training their dogs, and as a result, create aversions in their pets that are difficult to break. In many cases, dogs that show a clear distaste for their crates have had poor experiences with them in the past.

First, never force your canine to enter his personal den. Second, never use it as a place to confine him when he has done something you dislike. He will begin to associate it with punishment. Third, avoid leaving your canine confined for long periods. If he is forced to urinate or defecate in his crate, he will likely develop an aversion to it. Fourth, make sure you purchase a crate that provides your dog with sufficient room to move around. If it is too small, he will become increasingly uncomfortable.

Crate training offers benefits to owners and their pets. Be willing to take a slow approach that emphasizes positive reinforcement while accommodating your canine's level of comfort.

Again -- Welcome to Chaz!!! Do you have any pics of your guy???
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Maddie CGC .:. Cocker Spaniel .:. 12 y/o
Bailey CGC .:. Shetland Sheepdog .:. 5 y/o
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2010, 09:49 PM
cofrider cofrider is offline
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Thanks

I'll start working on the leave it command. We just mastered stay from a distance and are working on down (he acts as if I'm about to beat him when I ask him to do it.. eek).

I know crate training has its benefits.. I just know how he is when I close a door in my room and keep him in there, I can only imagine how he will be in a crate.

He freaks out when I pull out a camera.. so I only have limited photos that someone ELSE took.. boo.
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2010, 10:17 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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ACK!!!! Sooooo cute!!!!

it sounds like he *may* be developing a bit of seperation anxiety from you... I would post more, but I'm on my phone lol so I'll let others chime in.

I just wanted to say how cute is he!?!?!
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Maddie CGC .:. Cocker Spaniel .:. 12 y/o
Bailey CGC .:. Shetland Sheepdog .:. 5 y/o
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