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We got a 2-year old Boston(spayed female) a little over a month ago. She's very intelligent and she's a pretty girl. She has been in several homes prior to us getting her from someone who didn't give us her "issues" when we got her. She doesn't suffer from separation anxiety, but if she gets mad at us for not doing certain things with her, she then will tear-up a paper, magazine, OR pee or poop in the floor. She's house-broken, and she has a doggie door to go outside through. She's SPITEFULL! If she wants to go riding on the golf cart, and you don't take her, look out! We can be gone all day at work, and she won't mess with anything, but when we come home, we can go outside for only a few minutes, and if she's inside alone, she WILL do something to get "even". We're certain that this is why her former people have gotten rid of her. Funny thing is, she just recently got MUCH worse with this behavior. It's like the more attention we give her, the worse she is. We want to get her through this if at all possible, without re-homing her as others have done. I can't post a pic, because I don't know how here, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!......Rick
 

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I know a lot of terrier people think they can be spiteful but I just don't think dogs think that way. Definitely stubburn and have a mind of their own though.

What are you doing/not doing that you think is ticking her off?

We got a 2-year old Boston(spayed female) a little over a month ago. She's very intelligent and she's a pretty girl. She has been in several homes prior to us getting her from someone who didn't give us her "issues" when we got her. She doesn't suffer from separation anxiety, but if she gets mad at us for not doing certain things with her, she then will tear-up a paper, magazine, OR pee or poop in the floor. She's house-broken, and she has a doggie door to go outside through. She's SPITEFULL! If she wants to go riding on the golf cart, and you don't take her, look out! We can be gone all day at work, and she won't mess with anything, but when we come home, we can go outside for only a few minutes, and if she's inside alone, she WILL do something to get "even". We're certain that this is why her former people have gotten rid of her. Funny thing is, she just recently got MUCH worse with this behavior. It's like the more attention we give her, the worse she is. We want to get her through this if at all possible, without re-homing her as others have done. I can't post a pic, because I don't know how here, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!......Rick
 

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I know a lot of terrier people think they can be spiteful but I just don't think dogs think that way. Definitely stubburn and have a mind of their own though.

What are you doing/not doing that you think is ticking her off?
She wants to spend every minute with my wife and I when we get home. If her and I go to bed and shut the door, she gets mad. If we go outside or go out to eat supper and leave her home, she gets mad. But she knows that we are both gone to work during the day, and she "lets" us do that with no problems. But when we come home, she won't "allow" us to not include her in anything. She's spiteful. Thanks...
 

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Your Boston may be experiencing anxiety while you are not home and that is why she may not be destroying the house. She may be restless without being destructive. I have a Boston that was rehomed and the first few weeks I noticed that she was overly excited to see me when I came home during my lunch breaks. She did chew things up the first month and her prior owner reported that had not happened with her but she was an elderly lady who stayed home 99% of the time.
Spend some quality time with your pup to get her acclimated to her new environment. Small walks, if you are running errands take her with you when possible. Start some positive reinforcement training and watch how quick she picks up new tricks and basic obedience. The time spent with her will wear her out and she will start to associate that when you return home, you will be giving her attention.
My Boston is such a sweetheart now, that I was considering rescuing another before my current new rescue pup showed up at my workplace.
 

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Hmmm...I wonder if you are not behaving the way the previous people did and THAT is what bothers her. Maybe the previous person went to work so that in her mind is what she is used to and what is acceptable BUT she was probably allowed in the bedroom, taken out in the car, and allowed to shadow the first owner. Also she may be kinda insecure from being dumped. dogs like knowing what to expect and she's letting you know you're not doing things the way she is used to them being done...no fault of your own, how could you know how she was treated before?

Terriers are smart and energetic and I don't know what you are doing in terms of exercise but mine really needs and loves mental exercise...training, kongs, games, tug, etc.

Sorry you're having problems and hope someone can give you some guidance.
 

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Thanks for the replies! We are afraid to let her run loose in the yard, but her former owner did. When I have tried to do that, she won't listen, and runs around like something crazy. We are scared that she won't come back, or will take-off towards the road. We do live on a farm, but the former owners did also. They lived farther back off the road than we do, so perhaps that wasn't a factor. Maybe we should let her run free a little more? That may be what she's missing..
 

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We got a 2-year old Boston(spayed female) a little over a month ago. She's very intelligent and she's a pretty girl. She has been in several homes prior to us getting her from someone who didn't give us her "issues" when we got her. She doesn't suffer from separation anxiety, but if she gets mad at us for not doing certain things with her, she then will tear-up a paper, magazine, OR pee or poop in the floor. She's house-broken, and she has a doggie door to go outside through. She's SPITEFULL! If she wants to go riding on the golf cart, and you don't take her, look out! We can be gone all day at work, and she won't mess with anything, but when we come home, we can go outside for only a few minutes, and if she's inside alone, she WILL do something to get "even". We're certain that this is why her former people have gotten rid of her. Funny thing is, she just recently got MUCH worse with this behavior. It's like the more attention we give her, the worse she is. We want to get her through this if at all possible, without re-homing her as others have done. I can't post a pic, because I don't know how here, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!......Rick
Everything you've said here points to mild separation anxiety.

Dogs don't do anything out of spite, spite is a human emotion. Dogs have a very different idea of 'ownership' in terms of objects than we do. In the dog world, an animal only 'owns' something as long as it is in direct physical possession of it (that means holding it or standing near it). When you leave the room, anything that you were touching/holding becomes fair game again. So you see, the dog can't be destroying things to 'punish' you, the dog doesn't even associate those objects as belonging to you. Destroying objects is either fun or a stress reliever for the dog.
As for the soiling, either she is not fully house trained or this is due to anxiety. Access to a dog door is great, but she may need to learn that going outside is more rewarding than the instant gratification of going where she pleases. Also remember, dogs actually like urie and feces (ever had your dog add "cologne" on a walk? ;)), it wouldn't occur to them to use it as a 'weapon.'

Given her other behavior though (her attachment to your wife, destroying things when you are home but she can't get to you) I'd say it's more anxiety.
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Everything you've said here points to mild separation anxiety.

Dogs don't do anything out of spite, spite is a human emotion. Dogs have a very different idea of 'ownership' in terms of objects than we do. In the dog world, an animal only 'owns' something as long as it is in direct physical possession of it (that means holding it or standing near it). When you leave the room, anything that you were touching/holding becomes fair game again. So you see, the dog can't be destroying things to 'punish' you, the dog doesn't even associate those objects as belonging to you. Destroying objects is either fun or a stress reliever for the dog.
As for the soiling, either she is not fully house trained or this is due to anxiety. Access to a dog door is great, but she may need to learn that going outside is more rewarding than the instant gratification of going where she pleases. Also remember, dogs actually like urie and feces (ever had your dog add "cologne" on a walk? ;)), it wouldn't occur to them to use it as a 'weapon.'

Given her other behavior though (her attachment to your wife, destroying things when you are home but she can't get to you) I'd say it's more anxiety.
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Thanks for that reply! I am convinced, however, that highly intelligent dogs are capable of spiteful behavior. I've seen it too many times in my 50 years of having dogs. It may be a "rare" trait, but dogs are not predictable, mechanical objects. They have personalities and are quite capable of reasoning. :)
 

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I'll buy frustration, but not spite.

I'm curious, if dogs do not understand ownership in the abstract (dogs have no concept of permanence) how do you explain spiteful destruction?
That's equivalent to you walking out to the yard without the dog, picking up a stick she played with an hour ago and snapping it in half to punish her for ignoring you inside. What connection would the dog make? She likely woulnd't even notice.
Obviously you notice, but a magazine and a stick are equally valuable to a dog - which is not very valuable at all.

Dogs use urine and feces to communicate and (occasionally) as a food source. Neither are negative. How does something a dog likes, that has no intrinsic negative quality, turn into a punishment for you?
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