Dog training help - I'm at my wits end!

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Dog training help - I'm at my wits end!

This is a discussion on Dog training help - I'm at my wits end! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hey guys, first post on this forum and I'm really hoping you can help me. I've got a miniature fox terrier cross that I rescued ...

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Old 07-05-2009, 10:24 PM
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Dog training help - I'm at my wits end!

Hey guys, first post on this forum and I'm really hoping you can help me.

I've got a miniature fox terrier cross that I rescued from the pound. I'm not entirely sure of his age but he is definitely a full-grown adult. I've had him for a while now and I really do love him... But he has one behavioural problem that I simply have not been able to sort out no matter what I try:

He cries. A lot.

When he decides he wants attention, he will sit at the door and just cry until he gets it. The worst part, really, is the inconsistency: Some days he'll be an angel, some days - like today - he simply won't tolerate being left alone.

I've tried all sorts of things to get it under control. I've tried ignoring him when he cries and praising him when he stops, but it didn't lessen the behaviour. I've tried telling him firmly "NO" when he cries. I've tried teaching him commands designed to limit the behaviour - like "Bed", which he knows means I want him to get into bed and lie down - but he does not listen to the commands unless I go outside and tell them to his face, and the moment I return inside he is back at the door. I made sure he always has food and water and his bed is clean and warm. He is an outdoor dog, but he receives plenty of company during the day and is scarcely left alone for more than an hour.

He doesn't have any problem sleeping at night, thankfully. He never cries at nighttime and is happy to go to bed and sleep when it gets dark.

I will be the first to admit that I do not know much about dog training, at least not at how to correct unwanted behaviour. I can train him commands easily enough, but when it comes to targeting this particular behaviour I am at a complete loss about how to proceed.

I love everything about this dog apart from his crying. If I can fix that, then he'll be perfect, because in all other respects he is an absolute saint. I know that you guys will probably point out a million mistakes that I've made, but I don't claim to be an expert at this and I am ready and willing to admit to anything I've done wrong and learn from the advice you guys have to offer.

If you need to know anything else before you can help, just ask.

Cheers,
Barmy
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:31 PM
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I honestly think what is going on is he sees you during the day and wants your attention...I think this dog needs to be an indoor dog at least part of the time during the day when you are home. Terriers are very attention seeking dogs in my opinion and if he is a rescue he may need the special attention. Have you tried bringing him inside during the daytime and just sitting with him?
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:17 AM
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Truthfully I would have him inside in an instant, but this is my parents' house and my Dad in particular will take lots of convincing. Of course, having informed people tell me that that's what's best would certainly help my case.

Is there likely to be any other way to curb this behaviour, though? I'd at least like to know if it is possible to get it out of his system.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barmy View Post
Truthfully I would have him inside in an instant, but this is my parents' house and my Dad in particular will take lots of convincing. Of course, having informed people tell me that that's what's best would certainly help my case.

Is there likely to be any other way to curb this behaviour, though? I'd at least like to know if it is possible to get it out of his system.
I don't know if there is to be honest. I would still wait for others comments.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:46 PM
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Barmy, I feel for you and for your dog.

His whining or crying is his way of telling you that he wants attention. Without knowing what his life was like prior to your rescuing him it is impossible to do any sort of in depth analysis.

Dogs being very social animals, have a tough time being alone. They tend to be very family oriented and especially when you have a dog that has been rescued they very often become so attached to either the individual, or the family, that they are afraid that when you are leaving, even for a short period of time, that they will become abandoned again.

This is a tough type of situation to deal with. Is there any way that you can set up an area in the house that he can stay in that he can see or be near the family without intruding on your dads space.

For example, there are wire playpen type enclosures that you can get at a pet store that can be set up that will give him about 3 or 4 square feet of area to move around, but still be confined to a specific area. Another thought may be, if you have a room, either a kitchen or a laundry room, or someplace of the sort from where he can see the family. Whatever you do don't put him in an enclosed room with the door closed all hell will break loose.

If you keep him outside, I'm afraid that the whining or crying will continue for quite a while.

These are just a couple of thoughts. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:42 PM
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any attention at all will reinforce it. So don't correct him. Just your presence reinforces crying (oh look she came back to yell at me!) Also correction increases his anxiety and it becomes a vicious circle...round and round we go.

He sounds bored and lonely...increasing exercise and training sessions will likely help....training not only wears him out, it builds his confidence, which might carry over to being alone (not always tho) Also don't expect training/exercise to be a quick fix and then give up...make it a commitment...you may need months of consistancy for it to help.

and now to the "not always" part...He might just not be a good candidate to be alone so much...som' dogs REALLY thrive on being inside and that might be your case.

Good luck



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Old 07-14-2009, 09:57 PM
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Dogs are social creatures. Luckily for us, they’ve been bred over the years to socialize just fine with humans. But this means that you and your family are his pack. Since smaller dogs are generally indoor dogs, chances are he has never lived outside before he came to stay with you. Right now, he is probably quite concerned about the fact that his new pack has decided to separate him from the rest of the group.

Terriers in particular don’t really make good outside dogs. They require a lot of time and attention. They are also intelligent and if ‘bored’ will find ways to entertain themselves. In my case, our terrier-mix began digging holes in the yard and escaping. Eventually, my dog was actually hit by a car. She survived, but was lucky to do so. She wasn’t an outside dog, but we can’t leave her outside for more than 10 minutes or so without her digging holes.

Convince your Dad to bring the dog inside. The only other solution I can think of that would make the dog less unhappy would be to give him a friend, a second dog he can socialize with. That may or may not work, but if your dad refuses, it might be the best option.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:37 PM
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This video I found might help you in starting training your dog properly, to start with the basic teaching him to come. YouTube - Teach dog to come
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:06 PM
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Hey, Barny just watch this video on how to train dog to come when called YouTube - Get your dog to come when called the first thing you should do in training your dog. Hoping that this can help ease your problem.
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