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Hi, there, sorry for the dramatic title. But really, I don't know what to do with my four legged friend. A bit about her that I believe is crucial to understanding the situation-
The light of my life is a one and a half year old pitbull named Darbie. I've had her for almost a year now. I adopted her when she was 9 months old from a couple I was living with. Before I came upon her, she was severely neglected. Lived in her crate with a few trips out of it only to relieve herself outside, then she was returned to her small enclosure. Even when we were all home. She'd never had a bed or toy and she was infested with fleas. Darbie and I bonded instantly. I began taking her out on hikes and built her stamina and strength up. She responded remarkably well to training. She's never been hostile, she takes treats ever so gently from your hand. Through instinct, she's also done wonders to help manage my anxiety. I love her and would never give her up. We live on our own now and she has an entire house to herself. HOWEVER she has separation anxiety even now, a year later. If I'm gone for any length of time, she has to stay in a little doggie cove I've set up for her because if she isn't confined she'll destroy the house and do her business on the carpet. Or my bed. She has no problem with her bladder/bowel control when I'm home but if I leave, I return to urine and feces spotting the floors. I work two jobs and so I'm gone nearly every day, but she is exercised frequently. My mom has a farm and I run her out on her land a few times a week and we play and spend every moment I'm not working together. I've tried leaving treat puzzles and bones and the puzzles are solved quickly and then she satisfies herself by breaking them apart. Her pittie jaws go through the toughest bones after only a few days. And every dog bed I buy has turned to fluff. Quite frankly, we are in a tough spot financially and I can no longer afford to replace all those things several times a week. So with those destructive outlets gone, she's gone back to urinating and defecating all over her room. I have to give her baths now as frequently as I was replacing her toys and beds and I swear my house will never smell the same. I've heard dogs who do thsee things may not necessarily have separation anxiety, just boredom issues, but I'm chalking it up to the former due to her previous neglect and the fact that whenever I've left her with my mom to babysit, I've come back and received reports of how for the first ten minutes after my departure she'll sit at the window and cry and then the second my mom turns away, she pees or poops on the carpet. I might add here that while she responds well to MY training and cues, she's never listened to an order from anyone but myself. Also, when I come home, she greets me with suck veracity that I'm often left with bruises. I really don't know what to do here. I spend every day at 2 jobs where I clean up after animals all day and I genuinely miss Darbie. I am so sick of coming home and immediately getting mad at this creature that is overjoyed to have me back in her presence. As mentioned before, I will never consider giving her up. BUT for the sake of my sanity this can't continue, I lost my temper today and shoved her face in her own feces. Do you know what she did? Looked at me in utter shock and then jumped into the bathtub lol
Please please help us!
 

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I wish I could give some advice which would help your situation but I'd be full of it if I tried however I do have one thought about this comment you made " I am so sick of coming home and immediately getting mad at this creature that is overjoyed to have me back in her presence." I'm not certain if it is a common thread with all dogs but to many dogs, any attention ( good or bad as the human views it ) is attention and most likely perceived as "good" by the dog and it creates situations where you pay attention ( good or bad) to the dog, so the dog continues its behavior in any form to captivate your attention but not necessarily your approval. Attention is attention. I know that sounds strange but dogs certainly aren't on the same wavelength as humans many times and we have a hard time trying to understand why they do what they do but as long as it puts attention on the dog, the dog will continue its best to acquire that attention through its behavior ( good or bad ). You'll probably get some crap from other members here about the " I lost my temper today and shoved her face in her own feces.", but I would wager that this attention you gave her just reinforced her behavior to crap in your home again because you displayed strong emotion ( attention ) toward her which she very well might perceive as attention and she loves your attention and presence.

If it were me, I would start a very strict practice of leaving your dog and give her a command of sorts such as " watch the house " and not let her crowd you at the door as you leave and down her in a position which is unique to you leaving and she isn't coming with you. You have suggested her threshold is about 10 minutes before she starts her undesirable behavior, so I would start there. Leave and return at 10 minutes and do not have a big ordeal with her when you walk through the door, you can just be calm and cool, say hi and proceed with normal life. The next time you do it, do it for a minute or five longer, issuing the same command and downing the dog in the same place which is unique to only this situation where you will leave without her. Keep building the duration and consistency. I understand your situation with work makes this difficult but a weekend could go from 10 minutes to an hour or two using this process. If the dog fails, do back to a duration where you had success and slowly build from there.

I'd at least try some management efforts and put the dog in an area where it can do the least damage to your home in the mean time. Sounds like the doggie cove is an effort at this.

It's tough having a dog that misses you so much that this behavior weighs on the overall relationship and I somewhat believe having a big ticker tape parade upon your arrival after being gone could very well make things worse, so some indifference on your behalf when you come back home might help as well. To purposely somewhat shun a dog that is overjoyed to see us upon our arrival is so opposite of our emotion and desire but at times, it might be the best medicine.

I wish this situation and behavior was easier to modify.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for responding! And I know losing it with her and shoving her face into it was wrong and I know she had no idea why I did it but I just snapped. I've never done that to her before, I know it doesn't work and that punishing her for something that she could have done hours beforehand is pointless but my inner she-hulk got the better of me. A year of the same thing happening over and over despite my efforts have waned my patience.
I will definitely try your advice, it's a solid plan so, thank you!!
 
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