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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have had our dog for just about 7 weeks and I am so worn out! I am a dog person. I loved our old dog for her entire 10 years but this dog we adopted is so naughty! I just want to give up. She is 9 months old (now 10 months) and an owner surrender. She constantly nips at us and the children (ages 5 & 7), she jumps on us when we are walking by or have food. I'm talking all out run and lunge. She has jumped on our tables with all four feet like a goat. She cannot be left unattended for one minute! I'm working on getting her to walk better on a leash but that's not going well. We have a trainer who has come to our house to work with our family 2 times and we have already paid for and scheduled 4 more visits. I'm hoping that when school starts in two weeks we will have a stricter routine but I just don't like this dog. She's not mean, but she's not sweet. She can't just cuddle next to us. I'm at my wit's end. I feel like I cannot do this for another 10-15 years with her. I'd rehome her if my husband weren't such a saint. He isn't super fond of her either but says we can't give her away. My children are too little to be much help but my daughter tries. Please tell me that with work it gets better? I would never put her back in the shelter but isn't it possible that she just isn't the right one for our family? I'm so heartbroken that I feel this way towards her. I'm such an awful person, I know. :(
 

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This is different then your situation but I had a dog who did not like my family. People will say a dog doesn't think that way. I not only know that dog didnt like me, I could see it and feel it. Nobody can tell me different. I would put the dog outside and the dog would come in and poop and pee on the floor at my feet while looking at me. I first tested my theory and sent her to my sisters for a week. Not one time did she go on the floor. Brought him back home and right back to the same. I found a co worker who was looking for a dog and it was a perfect fit. He LOVE them and they loved him. I still see him once in a while and he is such a happy dog. Sometimes the hard thing is the best thing, not a failure.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I totally get what you are saying about the dog not liking you. I'm sure it works both ways. Stella seems to like us and perhaps its her way of being playful but it makes our home chaotic and two kids is enough chaos! We've lined our table edges with foil, as our trainer said it might break the habit of jumping up,but we will see. I'm committing myself to some more time. We'll at least complete the next 4 weeks of training. The thing is,no matter how unhappy I am with this situation, my husband is not the type of person who would consider finding her a new home unless the situation was very extreme, like aggression. She's not aggressive but her nips do hurt. I think that she may have been an alley cat in her past life. She jumps around all the time, hides her toys and bones under the pillows and then sleeps on them. She was super mellow at the shelter.
 

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It's not surprising she was mellow at the shelter - a lot of dogs really shut down in a shelter environment.

What kind of dog is she (she sounds like a herder)? How much exercise does she get? What kind of training do you do?

As far as nipping I would tether her to a table as you play with her. If she nips, redirect her to a toy. If she nips you again, walk away for a minute or so. But you have to be consistent. If teeth on skin ends the game, it has to always end the game.

Jumping up is one of those things that has to be supervised. If she jumps on the table, take her off. If she jumps up again, take her off. If she looks at the table and doesn't jump up, give her a cookie.

For leash walking, are you using any sort of tool to help? Like a front clip/no-pull harness?
 

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I admire your commitment! Dogs are soooo much work at the beginning. Even so my dogs added so much joy to my life right from the start. I hope all your hard work pays off and you end up with an awesome family member.

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Please give it at least 6 months. The dog is still adjusting to your home and learning the rules. Work with it as often as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I truly have no idea what breed of dog she is. She is very, very smart. She knows sit & stay and off already and we have trained her to jump through a hula hoop. Sounds silly but we're trying to build her confidence. When she came to us, she was shy around people. Not so much us, I am pretty certain she considers us her people. Just because she knows the commands, she doesn't always follow them, but we are still working on it. As for training, we are doing positive training as well as learning different ways to keep her mind and body occupied. I just bought a front clip harness. Hope that works well. The trouble is, I don't get a chance to walk her every day. I know this contributes to her behavior. I can't walk her unless I bring the children and its literally like 100 degrees here during the day. I'm going to work on this. We do have a yard and play fetch and with the flirt pole.

I'm certain that we never will find her a new home unless she was to become aggressive or majorly destructive. I will say that she's not really destructive. I mean, she chews shoes and toys that don't belong to her if we aren't carefully watching her. We've only left her home alone once uncrated and it was sort of a disaster but she just tore up little things. Nothing like furniture,carpet, or walls. I just feel miserable that I don't really get a break from her and I worry that when school starts even though we will be on a better routine, it will mean more time in a crate. I am a stay at home mom but we'll be in and out a lot more.

I'm attaching a picture... any ideas on breed?
 

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I have to admit your Stella sounds a bit like my Stella in terms of the energy. If she doesn't get a huge amount of exercise she can be a terror. She's very high energy and loud. If I had one, nonetheless two children in the house I don't think I could manage her.

I disagree with what TWade said about 6 months. I think that's a very long time to "Adjust" to a new dog. You've already had this dog for nearly two months. Not only that, but you are literally doing everything right. If Stella does not improve by September, and you still feel like this then I think it might be best to rehome her. There's nothing wrong with admitting a dog is not right for your family, especially when you try your hardest to make it work. This is especially true when it comes to families with young children. Even if she isn't being malicious, a very excited dog can hurt young kids. And trust me, even if you decide she's not the right pet for you the training and behaviors you have reinforced will help her find a new home.

Also the photo didn't load.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I

Also the photo didn't load.
I don't know how to do the pictures, obviously. If you look at the dogs on my profile, you will see a picture of Stella. Based on some of her behaviors we think perhaps part short haired border collie, but I truly have no idea!

I just feel really stuck. Also, she wakes up early every day. We will put her in her crate around 11:30 or later (my husband is working a weird work shift so he sometimes doesn't put her in until 1:00 or 2:00) and she is in her crate crying so loudly at 4:30 on a good day, 5:00. I can't even blame puppy bladder because she doesn't wake up and go outside immediately. We've tried letting her sleep with us. Often it just doesn't work because she's crawling on our faces and such but if she does happen to settle she gets up maybe an hour later, but she's quiet and goes about chewing things or peeing, so I just feel better with her in her crate. I can't really walk her right before bed because I'm home alone with her most times and my children are in bed by 8:00. I know these all sound like excuses. I don't know. I'm a mess. She's a mess. Finding her a new home is really just a dream solution in my mind. I'm not sure family would be on board. Husband is always about doing the right thing and I don't know what would convince him living with us is the wrong idea. My 7 year old daughter "loves" Stella and would be sad. My son, says he loves her but I don't think he cares.

I guess my plan is to finish the four weeks of training and give it a good go. By then we will see how she fits into the school day routine and if I'll be able to walk her more and if that makes a difference. If she's still as naughty and nipping, I can plead my case. Thanks all for letting me vent and any other suggestions for the nipping, jumping, baby gate climbing, table hopping are welcome.
 

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I've taken a look at your profile picture and I think she looks at least part Border Collie. Maybe even Border Collie/Lab.

Border Collies are amazing dogs. Smart, agile, and funny. But they are also essentially a full-time job. Batteries that never run out of juice and a brain that is always running 1,000 miles a minute.That brain, while easy for training, also gets themselves in serious trouble if not occupied.

You need to give her a job. Whether that is picking up her toys, letting her chase squirrels in the backyard, lots of tricks, or puzzle toys. Another thing is she NEEDS exercise. You are going to have to find a way to walk her every day or you're going to end up with a neurotic, over-excited Border Collie.

Finish the four weeks of training, but think long and hard about whether you can handle such a high energy pup with two young children in your home.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I really do think she is a part border collie based on some of the characteristics of her behavior. I know I will be able to walk her daily but not at night which will do nothing for the daily craziness and I worry we will never be able to leave her home uncrated which I feel is sort of cruel. I don't think crates are cruel but I think never getting to the point of being left alone without one is cruel. Our old dog was crazy when she was a puppy. She was 3 months when we got her and she was normal crazy puppy but she turned into a very sweet family dog. She was part beagle and part hound so not the easiest to train but very affectionate and protective and gentle. I'm not sure we have what it takes to get Stella to that point. I don't work so I'd say we are at home at least as much as the typical family if not more, but there are days when there are things at school with the kids or activities and she may have to spend 5-6 hours in a crate. I'd hope that eventually she could stay home that long uncrated but she's so smart she figures everything out. Jumping over baby gates. Moving the baby gate on the stairs so she can squeeze through it. Jumping up on the counters over the foil edges (our trainer said putting foil might startle her enough to make stop putting her paws up). She isn't too fond of walks yet but hopefully we can get there. She wasn't socialized as a puppy so she is fearful of new people and is fear reactive with other dogs. When our old dog was a puppy she went to doggy day care nearly every day (we were fortunate to have a friend give us a discount) and that helped so much. I'd say she did that for 2 years. Stella wasn't allowed to stay at the only day care facility in town because she was aggressive due to her fear. They said we could try back after training and we will but we'll see how it goes. If we finish training and things still aren't working out I don't know how I'll convince the family to do what's best for her. Ugh. Quite a mess. And she can't just cuddle without nipping at some part of us. She's really cute and not mean but its a lot to handle.
 

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Please give it at least 6 months. The dog is still adjusting to your home and learning the rules. Work with it as often as you can.
I respectfully disagree. There is an adjustment period, and certain phases of a dog's life such as the adolescent phase are more difficult to weather, but I think after 7 weeks you can see your dog's basic personality.

isn't it possible that she just isn't the right one for our family?
Yes. After 7 weeks you could still rehome her to a family or person who wants the very qualities you have difficulties with. Dogs are a lot of work, almost any relationship is a lot of work. But you will be way ahead if you start with a dog whose personality and energy index fits your way of life.
 
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