Rottweiler with digging and chewing issues!

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Rottweiler with digging and chewing issues!

This is a discussion on Rottweiler with digging and chewing issues! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I know not every dog is perfect even my 9yr old Lightning isn't. In his old age he still pushes the limits I've put on ...

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Old 07-16-2013, 11:25 AM
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Rottweiler with digging and chewing issues!

I know not every dog is perfect even my 9yr old Lightning isn't. In his old age he still pushes the limits I've put on him. Usually with others more than myself since he knows I wont hesitate to take him out and run him back through his obedience that I taught him.

Now the pup is a different story, since I know from experience that a rottweiler bonds closely to one person in their lives and usually that's their trainer/owner I've tried to coax my mother into working more with her dog on obedience after I laid the ground work. To date I don't see much being done, the dog is big enough now shes too much to walk even with a choke chain I've trained her in on. I refuse to go to pronged collar because I've never had anyone show me the proper way to use one.

As of late her behavior has declined and is to the point I see where she behaves better when I'm home alone with her compared to when my mothers home. When its just me her and Lightning I have few to no issues she'll go outside play in the yard, I've stopped trying to walk her or my boy unless I can get an early start to do two separate walks or get someone to help me. She has a horrendous fence fighting urge that she gives into each time we pass a fence with another dog behind it. I haven't walked my dog lately due to me having a mass removed from his side and complications he had from healing up from that along with a recent internal infection he had.

None of this would bother me if the pup wasnt coming in without a limp but lately she's had one and has suddenly started digging again. A problem I've had with Lightnings mother that was fixed with ammonia water in the holes and filling them back up but not with her. Now don't get me wrong she gets mental stimulation, we have a fenced in back yard she has the run of and I do go out there and throw the Frisbee for them along with romp with them. I've noticed most of this digging isn't taking place until my mother is home this is with a lot of her behavior with rooting through the garbage or stealing napkins right out of the womans lap. To the point I've stopped trying to get her when my mothers home because my mother doesnt even try to correct her for the napkin thing anymore just laughs it off by saying 'I'm not worried its a napkin I know that she will pass'

To me it is worry some, right now its a napkin later on its something else, just as long as she knows she can get away with it. The pup already has a bad chewing habit to the point shes killed most of the dog toys along with several pairs of shoes, sandals, socks and what not. Not to mention the furniture shes went after. Even knuckle bones don't last that long with her she literally chews them up. Several of them now sport large grooves in them from where she's had a serious go at them. The walking issue I'm already making her look into a professional trainer for that, at least then she will be involved without without me having to step in but this other I need help. And this is coming from the woman that learned the hard way to keep Lightning from letting his herding instinct take over and herd everyone in the house. As well as to have great manners when people are over to the point he doesn't jump and allows them to enter -as long as- I say its okay.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:36 PM
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A problem I've had with Lightnings mother that was fixed with ammonia water in the holes and filling them back up but not with her.
For the love of dog tell me you didn't go all Koehler and drown her in the holes!

Supervise the dog outside. Redirect her from digging to something appropriate. If you have a determined digger like I do, set up a place for her to dig. Praise and reward for digging in the good place, redirect for digging anywhere else. It didn't take KAbota long to figure out where to dig.

As for the choke chain, please no. Look up "loose leash walking" on the forum, there's a great thread on it. If all else fails, a front clip harness works great. Choke chains have a huge potential for trachea/spinal/thyroid damage. It's just too risky.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:45 PM
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No dear god I don't. Its just a light spray in and around the holes. Nothing more, it was the same procedure as I did for Lights mother and it stopped. Thats the thing though when I'm home it doesn't happen just when my mother is does it seem to happen which frustrates me. I've redirected her with her Frisbee or a ball. I only work with the choke chains if they are trained to it. She will walk on a loose lead if I walk her and Lightning together its just too much to correct her when I have both of them by myself.

The chains are there only for quick reinforcement then released. They both walk with a halti as well which doesnt affect her it just frustrates her more. I've even put book bags on her and weighed them down only to have her shrug them off. Which I loved using on Lightning since it redirected him and caused him to focus on his walks more with having to work. With as bullheaded as she is I considered having her trained for cart pulling but as she isn't my dog to be making that call my hands are tied sadly.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:49 PM
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The choke chain and leash corrections will likely make her leash reactivity worse. In her mind whatever she's spotted is what is causing the correction so she's right to try and drive it away hopefully before the correction happens. You'd do best to ditch the choke chain, prong collar, e-collars, or any other equipment that delivers aversive corrections. I know, I know, you have a powerful pup that is trying to be a sled dog with you as the sled and one who likes to fence fight, you need some way to control her. Check out this stick thread http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...-walking-1683/ , it has tips and equipment for teaching leash manners. Also check out this thread, it'll help you work on her leash reactivity http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior...tration-12538/

For her thieving, you and your mom are going to have to be on the same page with the rules. If she lets her steal, but you don't, you'll wind up with what you have a part time thief. I'd try teaching her an incompatible behavior. Teach her to bring you the stuff she steals for a nice treat. It's a twist on the trading game, sort of like a dog that brings it's owner his slippers or morning paper. You should also teach her drop it, and leave it. Both are VERY useful. They'll also be fun for you mom to have her do, and she'll be less likely to let the dog steal things.

Have you tried designating a part of the yard for digging, make digging in that place the best thing ever by burying toys, chews, and dry treats there, and redirect her to that area if she tries to dig anywhere else. You can also try the same thing with a kiddie pool filled with sand. Sometimes it's easier to just go with a natural instinct and redirect it to an appropriate place rather then try to fight against it and get rid of it all together. Sort of like chewing, it's hard to stop chewing all together it's easier to give a dog appropriate chew items.

Speaking of chewing, pick up anything that can be picked up and put it out of her reach, try apple bitter spray on the furniture (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't), supply plenty of long lasting chews. Try antlers, bully sticks, RMBs (raw meaty bones), and when she goes after what she isn't supposed to chew redirect her to her chews. This thread has some ideas for tough dog toys http://www.dogforum.com/dog-toys/i-need-tough-toy-135/
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:51 PM
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Ok better answers posted while I was typing. Nevermind.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:11 PM
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I thank you all, I'll throw the ideas and suggestions by her while starting to work on things. Trust me I know the damage a choker can cause to a dog not trained to it I've taken vet courses and done research on it its another reason why i'm uneasy walking her knowing that even though shes used to it in the heat of the moment it can cause an adverse reaction.

The bitter sprays and even the home remedies of Vic's didnt work long even though Vic's worked the longest by about a day. Not even an hour after spray on the sprays did she go back after things. It took a lot vigilance to catch her in the act and redirecting her to her kong toy which is checked daily to see if she's done any damage to it or if it needs replaced. As of yet (Knock on wood) She hasn't even tore a chunk from it or put much of a dent in it.

The other things as I said I'll look into and bring up to her concerning her dog. Its sad but even mines stopped trying to correct her on some of her bad behavior like he did when she was younger because its being allowed when my mother is home. He'll still try to get her when i'm home but not when she is.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Prissrei View Post
No dear god I don't. Its just a light spray in and around the holes. Nothing more, it was the same procedure as I did for Lights mother and it stopped. Thats the thing though when I'm home it doesn't happen just when my mother is does it seem to happen which frustrates me. I've redirected her with her Frisbee or a ball. I only work with the choke chains if they are trained to it. She will walk on a loose lead if I walk her and Lightning together its just too much to correct her when I have both of them by myself.

The chains are there only for quick reinforcement then released. They both walk with a halti as well which doesnt affect her it just frustrates her more. I've even put book bags on her and weighed them down only to have her shrug them off. Which I loved using on Lightning since it redirected him and caused him to focus on his walks more with having to work. With as bullheaded as she is I considered having her trained for cart pulling but as she isn't my dog to be making that call my hands are tied sadly.
Oh, good! People do that, you know, it's horrifying.

A halti isn't the same thing as a front clip harness. The front clip harness fits over the torso and clips in the front. When the dog pulls, she gets swung around towards you. Fit is an issue with these harnesses, so measure carefully. Clearly, the choke chain isn't working, there's the potential for harm, so try something else.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:58 PM
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Clove oil for digging!!! Stopped Leesi for at least a week. Pure 100% clove oil. Smells very strong and quite disgusting.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:56 PM
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Oh, good! People do that, you know, it's horrifying.

A halti isn't the same thing as a front clip harness. The front clip harness fits over the torso and clips in the front. When the dog pulls, she gets swung around towards you. Fit is an issue with these harnesses, so measure carefully. Clearly, the choke chain isn't working, there's the potential for harm, so try something else.
Yes it is. We just want enough of the smell there to hopefully get her to leave it alone not harm her.

Part of the reason why I stopped walking her. I dont want to harm her and a quick snap correction isn't working. I wasn't aware there was that kind of harness we traditionally stay away from them because I've seen more often then not dogs pull more on them I'll have to look for the front clip one and see how she does with that. Since I'm really against using a pronged collar as I've seen the damage uneducated people have done with them when I was taking my courses for Veterinary technician. I have no wish to do that to this dog, the halti we used in hopes of snapping her head around and regaining her attention. We only use on it Lightning because I've had people approach him from behind to pet him and I needed a way to keep his head from snapping around so quickly in retaliation. Now he sees his halti and his choker as regular walking tools even though they are rarely used unless I run across a loose dog when I take him for early walks around the reservoirs and then hes trained to sit and wait for the uncontrolled dogs to pass while we wait on the side as Id rather not have a confrontation there with someone who thinks their dog is just fun loving but considered a threat to my dog who may see it as a threat to me.

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Originally Posted by LiliRay View Post
Clove oil for digging!!! Stopped Leesi for at least a week. Pure 100% clove oil. Smells very strong and quite disgusting.
Thanks! Will have to try it. Since we're not sure if the ammonia isn't working due to her just ignoring the scent (Which may be possible even though she leaves it alone after we first apply it) Or if the rain, since there has been a lot lately keeps washing it away.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:50 PM
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You could also try giving her a sandbox and teaching her to dig in it. Digging is a natural dog behavior...You might not be able to stop it, but you can control it. Same as barking.

And as for walking, I think it's vital to remember that pulling has everything to do with not having enough solid training and nothing to do with what tools you use. My dogs know what "stay close" means (that's the cue we use instead of "heel") and that's that. It doesn't matter whether I put a harness on them, a head halter, a slip lead, or a regular collar. I could walk them with a thread of string dangling from my pinkie finger and they will not pull because they understand fully what I want them to do.

It sounds like you have a reactive dog, which is an even bigger reason to ditch the choke chain. Dogs can become desensitized to physical corrections, and it can in turn require you to become harsher and harsher to get a result. This will only compound your dogs reactivity if the only time she receives corrections and pressure is when there are other dogs.

Remember that when she escalates into fence fighting zone, she's oblivious to you. She's zoned out, done, gone, forget getting her attention. Trying to correct her is pointless and she'll only associate corrections from the collar and the tightness on her neck with the other dogs.

You'll need to teach and start seriously reinforcing a cue for loose leash walking and practice practice practice. You can gradually start asking her to perform that cue in situations where there's more stimulation. In other words, don't teach her "stay close" and then expect her to follow it walking on a side walk next to fences with dogs on the other side. That's setting her up for failure. Set her up for success by starting in the middle of the street, far away from the other dogs. Get her focus so much on you that you become more important than other things.

You may also want to look into BAT/LAT. A good book for you would be Fired Up, Frantic and Freaked out, which can teach you how to manage and train reactive, excitable dogs.
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