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This is a discussion on need help within the Introductions forums, part of the DogForum Community Welcome category; Hi everyone, my name is Darlene and I joined this group to get some nonjudgemental, honest, and useful advise, as I am having some serious ...

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Old 07-19-2014, 12:57 PM
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need help

Hi everyone, my name is Darlene and I joined this group to get some nonjudgemental, honest, and useful advise, as I am having some serious trouble with my 7 year old dog, Oliver.

I want to give a little background to possibly help. I will admit that I adopted Oliver as an empty nester. With only my husband and I and my 2 kitties, I was able to spend lots of time early on with him. I hired a trainer, crate trained him from the day he arrived at our house. We lived in this house for nearly a year with Oliver before we had to move. I must have missed something in our potty training because he would have "accidents" in this wierd open attic room in the house. When we moved everything seemed better and I did not have any issues (Ollie was about a year old when we moved)

He actually was doing really well for a very long time. We took in a foster child about 4.5 years ago (and adopted him) and he still had no distructive behavior or potty issues. My husband went through long stretches of unemployment so he was home with Ollie. which I feel helped him with the transition of having a child in the home.

Over the last year, things have gone down hill fast. I mentioned our cats. Well our Max is nearly 14 and started refusing to use the litter box anytime he would have access to our childs "playroom" (an unused family room....because my cat can not jump over the baby gates we have successfully ended his going in that room) I think that Oliver took this as an invitation to himself go pee and poo in my home. He also has started to eat my son's crayons. I caught him one night working on opening a plastic diaper wipe container we keep them in, in order to get to them. He also will eat clothing, dirty or clean.

I am at my wits end. Right now advise given to me by a facebook group I am in range from crating him at night to getting a new trainer. I work all day and my husband works nights, this means I would have him crated a good 18 hours a day and I won't do that. I can not afford a trainer.

To be honest (this is where I BEG for nonjudgment) I am so past the end of my rope. My home stinks no matter how often I clean the carpets. They need to be replaced which I can not afford. I have actually brought him down to the local shelter but the woman there was not helpful she outright said to me no one will adopt a 7 year old dog with potty issues and they will try but most likely put him down. I brought him home. I put an ad on Craigslist but noone responded.

Its summer so he spends more time outside helping the situation some. But I live in WA and soon it will be Fall/Winter and it will be too wet and cold to leave him out and I will be back to my same situation. I need a solution I can live with. I either need to figure out how to find him a new home with someone that can afford to address issues with him and spend more time with him or I need a solution to fix this without him becoming an outside dog 100% of the time.

I have tried the enzyme carpet shampoo to discourage returning to the same place to pee, he will just go somewhere else or go in the same spot he don't care.

Thank you for sticking with me thought this long winded post. OH I am sure someone will want to know his breed he is Maltese, bichon, schnauzer and cairn terrier, about 14 inches tall to the shoulder
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:19 PM
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So... you're leaving him unattended in the house for all the time that you're working in the day? How long is that for?
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:14 PM
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From my understanding he has free roam of the house while youre at work which is very bad. I seriously suggest crate training him, and locking him up while youre not home or when you can not watch him. As long as he gets the right amount of exercise, the amount of time he is crated doesnt matter. Ny dogs are usually crated for 4 hours at a time (i come home at lunch) but they have gone 8 hours with no problems. Theyre also crated from 11 to 7 in the morning. I get up, let him out for a pee, feed him and give him water, get ready put him back in his crate go to work, come home at lunch, potty and play, when i come home from work potty, play and half of dinner then ill take them for an hour of hiking, running in a dog park ect.. then he gets the other half of dinner goes back in his crate at 11pm until the next morning repeat.

Do not have him just roaming the house or these accidents will never stop. It is not acceptable for this dog to just have accidents wherever he pleases. Dogs are crated all the time and it is completely fine if he is crated 18 hours a day as long as he gets enough exercise.

Invest in a crate and let us know if you see any improvements.


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Old 07-19-2014, 08:37 PM
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He is chewing on stuff and peeing in the house. The peeing is probably very annoying but the chewing things could be downright dangerous! What if he swallows something while no one is home and he suffocates? Or it gets stuck in his intestines and he'll need surgery?

I don't crate my dogs to be mean or because I don't trust them. I crate them for their safety. All it takes is a bored dog to chew something just this once and you might come home to a disaster (not talking about your stuff but the health of your dog).

You could also look into a playpen. You can get one a fair size so he won't be "cooped up" for the 18 hours but he'll still be contained to a safe doggy zone with only dog appropriate things.

The peeing - I would go back to Potty 101. Dogs pee because they figure it's appropriate. Period. It doesn't matter that they are "marking" over another smell or doing it "just because".

As a side note - you are obviously trying to do the right thing by him so it's very hard to imagine anyone judging you, it doesn't matter if anybody agrees or disagrees with your reaction - you are the one that has to make the choices you see fit. Too many people would have dumped him at the shelter and not looked back. Don't be too hard on yourself. It sounds like you are stressing yourself out more than necessary.

Sit down with the pup once a day for a little bit of 1 on 1 play time or cuddles and enjoy those minutes just loving on him.

I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:39 PM
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I hope you've had him checked by your Vet. Behavior changes warrant ruling out any possible medical problems.

Crate him but not for 18 hours. See if you can hire a dog walker to come in mid-day. If you can, increase the time you or your husband spend training with him. Get some puzzle toys. Teach him some tricks. Bored dogs often engage in destructive chewing and inappropriate elimination. I would imagine that you feel less close to this dog since you adopted a child. That's normal, as is behavior change in dogs when the family dynamics change.

I understand your frustration. I do think you have options and choices that will improve his behavior if you're willing to do the work.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:30 AM
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thank you everyone. I guess I always saw crating him all day and night as being unnecessary because for years him being able to roam through the house was not a problem. Last time I tried to crate him he ran and hid from me. Think he thinks of it as punishment? Honestly I wish I had all the time in the world to take him to dog parks and play catch.

My days look like this

up at 6.30 get in the shower
wake Jake up at 7
get us dressed, fed and out the door by 745
then off to work (I am lucky to work at the preschool Jake attends)
I am too far from home to drive there during my lunch hour to play and all with Oliver,

Off work at 515 but I am lucky to be out the door by 530, home by 6 -- get dinner fixed dishes done and Jake ready for bath/bed by 800 I then want to pass out by 9 but attempt some house work and hang out with my husband before he heads out the door by 1015

I then attempt to cram in a weeks worth of housework and errands on the weekend, sometimes sneaking in a few minutes for myself.

My husband helps out as much as he can but most days does not wake up till just before we get home.

I feel awful about being one of "those" pet owners. When I can we take Oliver with us whether its camping or visiting friends. And like I said its summer and mild most of the time so he spends his days outside.

But I think he is bored. and like a child wanting attention is willing to try even bad behaviors to get it. We keep him and any clothes/crayons away from him and have not had any of that happening. I will look into puzzle toys for him. we used to have stuffed toys and all for him (he never liked the hard plastic toys) but he would destroy all those in minutes so we stopped giving them to him.

what sort of toys should I look to get him? we have tried small ropes, kong balls, Frisbees, plastic squeaky toys and even the expensive soft toys without stuffing claiming to last through the ruffest play...HA they haven met Oliver destroyer of those. We took old sock and knotted those he like to play with them but not by himself. He no longer will play ball. He used to love to play catch.. I SERIOUSLY think he is clinically depressed.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:29 AM
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That is a long time for a dog to be left alone. I'm sure some people have similar hours and make it work, but it sounds like you are being run ragged and don't even have time to even walk him every day. Toys might help a bit, but to be honest they won't fix the actual problem which is that you haven't got enough time or energy for him. Sad though it is, I think you should look into rehoming as the best option for all of you. If your local shelter euthanises, put in the milage to find a no kill shelter who will be dedicated to rehoming him. He sounds like a good dog whose problems will probably be non-existent in a home that can provide more exercise, stimulation and routine.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:23 AM
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Zouzou, I have thought so too, but those are extremely difficult to find or I just don't know where to look
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:47 PM
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Hi Darlene,

You can do a search for rescue groups and shelters on this site:

https://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/

Another place to list your dog is ― Rescue Me! ― ANIMALS FOR ADOPTION ― Dogs, Cats & More

Back in January, I was able to rehome a dog by contacting a local rescue group, which in turn placed him in a private, no-kill shelter. Remarkably, they were able to very quickly place him with a new family. I would suggest throwing out the net widely by contacting as many rescue groups and private, humane shelters as you can.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:49 PM
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I also want to point out that while rescue groups may not be able to take your dog from you, they will often allow you to bring a dog to adoption events and to post courtesy listings for you on their websites.
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