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Discussion Starter #1
Need some tips. Maybe even a virtual hug. Overwhelmed with untrained "teenager".

Hi all. We adopted a 7-8 month old cattle dog mix (though I'm pretty sure she's full ACD) and brought her home last Saturday. We named her Ember (symbolizing "hope" and "potential", but it's fitting her more to symbolize brimming chaos, lol). It's been a week now and I've had nothing but moments of "what am I going to do" and "will she ever break this behavior?!" and "am I the right dog mom for her??"

She comes to us as an addition to the family - we have two kitties and a 5 y/o Australian Kelpie mix, Riley. When we brought Riley home he was 4 months old. Riley came from the same rescue that Ember did. While he was crazy - typical to a high-energy breed puppy - he calmed down with walk-jogs and hikes, and was pretty well behaved. He was so quick to potty train, learned that the cats were pack very fast, and he earned run of the downstairs during the day (he had been crated) within just a few months because he was so good when left alone.

So far Ember is proving to be quite the challenge. She is absolutely INSANE. She has no manners whatsoever, jumps all over everyone she sees, bites, mouths incessantly, nips the heels (she is totally a herding dog, lol), listens only when she deems it appropriate, and seems to just be very independent. She is like the equivalent of a teenager who has been allowed to do whatever they please for their entire young life with no repercussions. She is taking forever to potty train, not giving any signals that she has to go and just squatting. If she isn’t let out every hour then she will go in the house. She does at least seem to know that “potty” = go pee and “poop” = … go poop. But she hasn’t put the “do you have to potty?” sounds to mean “do you have to go outside to pee/poop” yet.

After one week, I have seen SOME improvement, but I’m still worried that I’m not going to be able to train her into a well behaved dog. She seems to pick something up and then the next day is back to ignoring. She gets a lot of exercise… in the mornings we go for a 1.5-2 mile pack walk-jog, then once back home she plays in the yard with Riley (we have a big fenced in yard). She is crated during the day while we are at work, and does good in there. She doesn’t potty in her crate and goes in willingly because she knows she gets her special treat in there. She is a spaz when she’s let out but that is just her… she could be in there for an hour or 8 hours and she comes out jumping every time. When my husband gets home he lets both dogs out and then they all play until I get home, then it’s dinner time, hike time, training time, and the dogs are allowed to play for a bit to tire her out before going back in the crate for bedtime. She seems to be very happy with us and absolutely adores Riley.

I am using a clicker to train her and she is OK during training sessions as long as there are minimal distractions.

Now for what I need help on. HOW DO I GET HER TO STOP JUMPING ON PEOPLE?!?! OMG it’s horrible… she is such a spaz that when she does it she’s not only jumping dang near three feet into the air, but she’s mouthing, nipping, scratching and biting too. The approach I have started is to ignore her completely, including not even giving her a command like “DOWN” or “SIT” and only paying attention to her when she sits on her own. But then as soon as I give her the attention she gets excited and starts jumping all over again. She does this ALL THE TIME. Constantly. We could leave the room for 2 seconds and when we come back she does it. When Riley comes up to us for love – calmly and well mannered, I might add - she freaks out and does it, which pisses him off because she’s not only stealing attention but she’s all up in his face too, so it starts a spat. When she appears to be calm for once and possibly even starting to nod off we’ll try to finally pet her and there she goes, super spaz mode once again. It’s so frustrating, and she loves people so much that I’m afraid if I can’t train her out of this behavior she is going to hurt someone.

Any advice? Maybe just some reassurance? I knew going in that there was going to be a lot of time spent training and that it was going to take a while for her to be able to not get crated, but I’m just feeling like she’s never going to learn :cries:
 

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She'll learn. It hasn't even been a week, and already you've seen improvement. It's just overwhelming these first few days, for both you and her, so I think you need to just cut each of you some slack.

And, it seems to me you are doing everything right so don't really have much to offer. Have you considered having her drag a leash while in the house, so if she does start her jumping, etc., she's easer to get control of and perhaps be escorted to a different room, away from everybody, for a few minutes?
 

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I agree with @Dia - you've only had her a week, and she's right in that puppy adolescent stage. Jumping is an incredible tough behaviour, because it is so easily enforced. All it takes is one person saying "Oh it's alright - I love dogs!"

I would try having her on a leash attached to a harness, and stepping on it, just to prevent her from jumping. If she jumps on the person, lead her away, and then try again. It will take some time, be patient. :)
 

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Slightly off topic and pretty useless to the subject matter but I am very, very glad to hear your rescued pup is a happy and lively little critter. A lot of times the stories here of rescues are of shut down, fearful and anxious dogs, and it's such a breath of fresh air to hear about one that's happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, guys! It makes me feel better. :) I definitely need to cut us both some slack, lol. I think the fact that I am on severely limited sleep now since getting her has just made me emotional. I haven't tried the leash bit yet but I do like the idea - I'll try that out this weekend. :)

And Redwood, for sure! She is such a happy little love. Whoever had her before really did love on her because she LOVES people. I just think that she wasn't given any kind of training whatsoever and was possibly a farm dog kept in a barn because she just seems to not be used to be in a house very much. But oh my yes... once she settles down a bit I know she is going to be one helluva fun dog. After we get through basic obedience I'm going to start her in Agility.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wanted to update quick on Ember!

We have had her for just about three weeks now. She has really, really good days where she listens, does what she's asked to do, comes when called, and doesn't incessantly annoy our other dog, Riley. And then she has really bad days where she is completely defiant, forgets what SIT means, constantly play fights with Riley which stresses him out, jumps CONSTANTLY, and is just overall a PITA, lol. Her good days however are amazing so I know there is progress there. :)

I started to take her to doggy daycare and I have mixed feelings about it. For one, I don't really want to take her there. Our other dog can't go due to his exemplified stranger-danger issues, so that right there causes confusion in her life. ... "Why am I going in the car with the girl-who-feeds-me-makes-me-potty in the morning? Why isn't handsome-older boy-pup coming with? Why are we going to this place that is just like the shelter except I get to come out and play in this big play area with all these strange dogs?" ... I have to carry her in to the place every morning because she refuses to get out of the car and through the doors, so I don't think she really likes it. For another, my husband leaves for work well before I do, and so he will never be able to drop her off there when I'm not able to. And unfortunately, in two weeks I am going to be gone for a week for my job. She's not yet able to be trusted out of her crate when we aren't home, and his schedule is constantly changing. He leaves at about the same time every morning, but some days he gets home at 1pm, and other days he's not home until 6:30pm. It's the days he gets home late that I take her to daycare. So, I'm a bit stressed about what we're going to do for that week I am gone. :( I'm hoping that we can get her to the point where she can just be gated off in the kitchen during the day.

But back to daycare, even though she doesn't get excited when we arrive, she does seem to love all the techs there (and they all gush about her) and seems alright when I pick her up. Yesterday it was very apparent that someone spent a lot of time with her, because she was such a good girl. Relaxed, relatively calm, and not spending the entire night trying to get Riley to play fight with her. Other days I've picked her up and you wouldn't have thought she had been in daycare at all. :(

We are starting an obedience class with her in two weeks, and I'm hoping that the trainer will give us some tips to help us understand how to work with her. She's just so different from all my other dogs... I've never had one as headstrong as her. She's definitely a challenge! But ultimately she is a sweetheart who just wants to be loved.
 

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Those headstrong balls of energy are some of the best dogs out there- if you can survive the puppy years, that is!

Can you pay someone to drop by the house while you're gone? Even just once a day for a 30 minute walk or play session would be better than nothing.

Day care, I dunno. Kabota got all kinds of dramatic about being left with the groomer for a few hours and I know she wasn't hurting him. It could just be she doesn't like change too much, but once she settles in at daycare, she's fine. Or it could be that they're not being very nice to her. It's possible.
 

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The only problem with having someone come by the house to let her out during the day is Riley... he doesn't let anyone in the house when we aren't home except a couple of our friends, and they aren't available during the day either :( And my husband is very much uncomfortable with using a pet sitting service, even though I've explained to him that the people employed all have background checks and we have security cameras....

We are going to start weaning her towards being gated in the kitchen. Hopefully that will work :)
 

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I have a border collie who was quite troublesome as well when I first adopted her! Recall was a HUGE problem. She was great in the house, but as soon as you let her off lead (or, more likely, when she slipped out of her collar as a larger dog was meandering by) she'd bolt. I'd call her for AGES and she wouldn't come back. I wound up having to trick her and tackle her! And THEN I read a book called "Really Reliable Recall". It's 28 pages long, 6 USD on amazon for an ecopy, and WORTH EVERY CENT. You can read it in an hour, and it's a life saver! I highly suggest investing in it. It gives you a step by step on how to build a solid recall and keep it interesting for your dog, and it has little quizzes to test your progress. Bryn's now the QUEEN of the emergency recall.
 

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Oh do I know this feeling. I adopted an Aussie who did the exact same thing. Hyper, jumping, nipping, etc. I'm glad you're having progress.

What I found really worked for me was totally ignoring the hyper behavior. As in, turning and walking away the second she started up. It sounds like you're already doing this. Good luck though!

In lieu of daycare, have you considered dog parks? They are not always good of course, but can be a real asset.
 
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I used to take my other dog to the dog park, and there is one around us that is better than most, but for the most part I really dislike them. People are just too stupid. They don't understand basic dog behavior and just let their dogs run rampant without paying any mind to them at all. I had too many instances where Riley was stampeded and bullied and the owners just laugh saying "dogs will be dogs". :( Now, not ALL dog owners were like that, but too many made it just not enjoyable for either of us anymore. Ember might be different since she isn't as submissive as Riley is, but I don't have enough control over her yet to trust that if anything happened at the park and doggy emotions got a little out of control that I'd be able to call to her and she'd come. We do at least have a big fenced in yard though, and Ember loves to chase balls. :)
 

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Well that's good that you have a yard. My dog absolutely doesn't fetch which makes me sad. Flirt poles are also excellent to drain energy.
 

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Well that's good that you have a yard. My dog absolutely doesn't fetch which makes me sad. Flirt poles are also excellent to drain energy.
I ended up buying a flirt pole - so funny to watch them play, lol :) The challenge now is that only one can play at a time, so I have to leave one dog in the house and take the other out, which they howl at the unfairness of it all, lol.
 
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