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I'm really at a loss about how to deal with my boyfriend's dog. I've read up on Separation Anxiety INSANELY and all the symptoms are there. But all the advice I've read up on are completely and utterly useless with this dog.
We're expecting a baby in November. If I could have my way the dog would be gone, but it's not my dog, and I'm not going to tell my boyfriend to get rid of him if he doesn't want to. So, I'm just hoping that I can get some advice. I honestly feel the best answer is just to get rid of the dog, but my boyfriend loves him dearly..
Anyway..

His dog (Named Capo) is a 5 year old Lab/Pit mix. He's a very friendly dog towards people and other dogs. He's almost too friendly. It can actually be quite annoying.. He's not neutered (yet, my boyfriend is going to be taking care of this in a couple weeks), he's got disgusting habits, and he's verrryyyy destructive when we're not home.
According to my boyfriend, he rescued him from an abusive owner when he was still just a puppy. Unfortunately, I don't have too much insight on what his "puppyhood" was like with said owner.
I'm just going to list off the issues that we're having with him (and he's always had with him and has never been able to fix). They're not all majorly horrible issues, some are just annoying, but still should be fixed nontheless.

1. He thinks he's a princess. I'm serious. This dog will not learn that the floor is his place. My boyfriend says that he never encouraged him to get on the furnature in the first place (of course, he never prevented it either). I wouldn't even mind this so much, if he wasn't so irritating about it. Basically, what he does is try to overtake you if you're on the furnature. And gives a horrible look when you tell him to get down so you can sit on the furnature. Often times my boyfriend or I will be sitting on a chair, and he'll sit and stare at you for a while. Eventually he comes up and stands on his hind legs while putting his front legs onto the furnature. Then he'll just stand there and stare at you with this look like, "Are you going to get off or let me up yet?" If you ignore it he'll eventually crawl up onto the furnature/your lap like he's a chihuahua or something. If you push him down, he just starts the routine all over again. If/when he finally does get off, he sits on the floor where he knows you can see him, curl up in a little ball, and I swear he intentionally tries to make himself look extremely uncomfortable so you'll feel sorry for him and let him up. If you get up out of your chair to get something (say a glass of water), he will instantly get up on the chair while you're absent, and when you get back, he just stares up at you with this look like, "What are you going to do about it?" And when you tell him to get down, he continues to just stare, doesn't make a move. When you repeat the off command, eventually he gets off.. but he sure takes his sweet time doing it. I often times find myself raising my voice at him because I get so irritated about this. I know it's not going to solve anything, but I don't know how to get him to listen. Also, there are times when my boyfriend will put something on the floor. For example, the other day he dropped some laundry on the floor for a second before he went downstairs to wash them. Capo looked at up at him for a second, then instantly curled up onto the clothes (and it was then a pain to get him off of them) like he thought that my boyfriend put them there - just for him. This isn't the biggest issue on the planet.. but man I wish there was a way to just get him to learn that his place is on the floor, not all over anything that's cushier.

2. He whines SO MUCH! Everytime this dog sees other dogs outside or hears them barking, he starts running around and whining as if someone were torturing or abusing him. Actually, it's almost identical to that of a new puppy who was just brought into his new home. Just a hear wrenching whine (although my heart doesn't ache for him at all.. in fact, I always envision myself picking him up and throwing him off a building when he does this). My boyfriend thinks that neutering him will fix this - I like to think so also. But is there any other way to teach him that this is unacceptable behavior?

3. I like to call this "Poop Tongue." Again, another small, but utterly annoying and quite disgusting antic about this dog. I don't know if this is related to his "sex hormones" or what.. so I don't know if neutering will stop it. Anyway.. this dog takes every opportunity he gets to lick another dog's butt. I feel ridiculous even talking about it, but it's extremely embarrassing. He really enjoys doing it, and you can tell, because he's always drooling a waterfall afterwords if he isn't stopped immediately. And he's way more intense about it after the dogs have been outside and taken care of their "business." He knows my boyfriend hates this, so he does it minimally when he's home, but often times the instant my boyfriend leaves to go somewhere he immediately runs towards his other dog and starts violating him with his tongue basically. And you can tell this makes his other dog uncomfortable because he tries to run away from it. I don't know why he thinks that I think it's acceptable.. because I probably yell at him more for it than my boyfriend does. Anyway.. to make the matter worse, he has a really annoying habit of licking people to get their attention. If you're sitting in the chair and ignoring him, he licks you. When you come home the first thing he does is lick your hand. If I'm walking across the room, he comes up and licks my hand or arm. And does it smell like dog breathe? No. It smells like ass. Not to say I habitually sniff my hand everytime it comes into contact with something, but I have, and that's what it smells like. I keep envisioning him licking the other dogs ass and then coming over to my baby and licking him in the face or something.. it honestly mortifies me. Not to mention, when we have company over, it's extremely embarrassing for them to see that he even does that in the first place.. Is this fixable?

4. SEPARATION ANXIETY = DEATH. So this is where his major issues bunch up into a much grander problem. And honestly, I can put up with all his other little issues, but this is the issue that truly concerns me. When we're gone, he performs all of the standard symptoms of separation anxiety. I mean ALL OF THEM. He chews up the door, gets into the trash, urinates, deficates, tears up furnature, clothes, rips up the carpet, and so on. Can't keep him outside because he starts whining like he's going to die. Can't keep him in ANY type of kennel or crate - he's gotten out of every single one we've tried on him. Heck.. one time he managed to knock over our outside door in our old apartment and JUMPED OFF the SECOND FLOOR balcony! And another time he jumped through a 12x12 window (which had a glass and a screen he had to break through). You can't give this dog a chew toy, because he literally chews it to shreds within minutes. You can't keep the trash "hidden" or put up. Trust me, he'll find it, knock it over, eat what he can, and pees all over it (making it SUPER FUN to clean up when you get home). He doesn't behave like this every time we're gone, I've actually been pleasently surprised at times when he was perfeclty fine while we were gone. So I have felt like he's only been doing it out of spite because he's ticked off that my boyfriend left him. But supposedly dogs don't do that.. I have my doubts with this one. But he knows when he does something wrong. More often than not I come home and he sulks and hides. I'm not proud to admit it but there have been times when the house was so trashed because of him I couldn't help but lash out at him for it.. I know that's not right, and I feel like a horrible person when I've done it.. but I don't know what to do about this. Nothing works. You can't contain him, you can't distract him. Even if you take him out for a long walk to burn his energy he still does this crap!

We can't afford a behaviorlist, and we don't have/aren't going to have the time to "desensitize" him or anything.. because of the baby. But I can't have him doing this. I can't have my baby crawling on a floor he's peed and pooped on. I can't have him tearing up all of my baby's things. We can't afford to fix every little thing in the house that he tears up, or replace doors or windows or carpet.. I honestly feel like the only way to completely solve the problem is just to get rid of him. But my boyfriend says that he can't do that. "I've had him for 5 years, I can't just abandon him." Quite frankly, I don't think he'd ever find another home anyway. If someone liked him and adopted him, they'd probably quickly get rid of him after dealing with these problems day in and day out, and he would never have a home. I can understand that my boyfriend loves him - I have my own dog who's about 5 years (MUCH BETTER BEHAVED) who I would literally take a bullet for - So I don't have the backbone to tell him to get rid of him...

Is there any other solution?
 

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Sorry to say your only option is time...you two have to slowly desensitize him to things...I don't have time for a lengthier detailed descriptions of ideas but others will and most give great advice, but time is what this dog needs so you gotta give it to him
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Hi and welcome :)


1. He thinks he's a princess
Consitancy is key here. You should intro a release word, like "ok" before he can get up on furniture. If he gets up without permission, say off ONCE and then guide him off. He also should have a comfy dog bed near you guys and begin to teach him to go to his bed. Give him attention and treats on his bed, and stop the moment he moves. :)
2. He whines SO MUCH!
hes just anxious and frustrated he can't see or get to the other dog. I'd try uping his exercise or stimulation and see if that helps. It should
3. I like to call this "Poop Tongue." t


This is very likely because hes unaltered. When he does this, interupt him and give him another task to do. If he goes back to the other dog, on the second time remove him and don't let him interact for a few moments. After the time out, if he still tries, its time to go home, or send the other dog home.
4. SEPARATION ANXIETY = DEATH.
hes not spiteful, hes having a panic attack essentially. There is som'thing called DAP (google it) you should try. Its not cheap, but not an arm and a leg. It also may be time to ask a vet about an antidepressant and uping the amount of training/exercise he gets.




all in all, he simply sounds like hes understimulated.



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The only thing that will help this dog is proper training. He will only be worse when the baby comes if you don't take the time to work with the dog. Really, you can't spare 15-30 minutes a day?
Not every dog needs a behaviorist. Most work out good with common sense. If you are not willing to take the time to work with him, then the only other option I see is re-homing him. Or re-homing yourself, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The only thing that will help this dog is proper training. He will only be worse when the baby comes if you don't take the time to work with the dog. Really, you can't spare 15-30 minutes a day?
Not every dog needs a behaviorist. Most work out good with common sense. If you are not willing to take the time to work with him, then the only other option I see is re-homing him. Or re-homing yourself, lol.
I'm sure that I could spare 15-30 minutes a day. The way a lot of these sites I've been looking at have made it sound like it would take HOURS to try and fix his issues (well, I suppose it would over time regardless). We both work full time jobs (common sob story, I know.. lol) so it's hard to implement the time. But I'm worried that once the baby is here there just won't be any time at all.. It all really depends on how our schedule pans out. That and we're not a permanant living situation right now, so I don't feel that it would be any help, because he will probably revert back when we make our move into a permanant home.. I guess only time will tell. Do you think there's a point in trying to train him before we move into our permanent home? Or will it all backfire?

Hi and welcome :)




Consitancy is key here. You should intro a release word, like "ok" before he can get up on furniture. If he gets up without permission, say off ONCE and then guide him off. He also should have a comfy dog bed near you guys and begin to teach him to go to his bed. Give him attention and treats on his bed, and stop the moment he moves. :)
He hates the word "off".. lol. I'll have to see if we can get him a bed and see if he'll actually use it. He seems to draw himself towards the most comfy piece of furnature in the house.. and will settle for nothing less..

hes just anxious and frustrated he can't see or get to the other dog. I'd try uping his exercise or stimulation and see if that helps. It should
I know that's the problem.. but he does it EVERYWHERE. Not just in the house. If we're out taking him and his other dog for a walk, he instantly starts going on an emotional rampage when he sees another dog, even though he is being excercised.. it's really embarrassing. But I can try and look into what can be done to divert his attention a little better..


This is very likely because hes unaltered. When he does this, interupt him and give him another task to do. If he goes back to the other dog, on the second time remove him and don't let him interact for a few moments. After the time out, if he still tries, its time to go home, or send the other dog home.
I thought as much.. would getting him neutered even help at this point? He's 5, so I fear that it's something that will be habitual at this point. Unfortunately, the dogs live together, so unless one's outside and the other is not.. there's no way to separate them. And if one's outside and the other is inside, all hell breaks loose.. because the dog that stays inside thinks that the dog who's outside is getting something better or something..


hes not spiteful, hes having a panic attack essentially. There is som'thing called DAP (google it) you should try. Its not cheap, but not an arm and a leg. It also may be time to ask a vet about an antidepressant and uping the amount of training/exercise he gets.
lol I know he's not being spiteful.. it sure seems like it though, because he's inconsistant. My mom thinks some "doggie downers" will help, but I don't know how much my boyfriend favors the idea of having him "drugged up." But if it will help him calm down.. I would very much like to try..




all in all, he simply sounds like hes understimulated.
That's probably the case overall.. I'm sure you're right. I feel like it doesn't help if we take them on walks, but we've also been lagging on doing that lately because of our jobs (and being 8 months pregnant.. I don't particularly favor walking for extended periods of time if I can avoid it.. even though I probably should.. ).



I really appreciate the advice you guys! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Food puzzles.. I guess I'm not familiar with that. Are you talking like toys that you put treats in and they have to work to get them out? I know I used to have one of those laying around at my parents house.. My dog doesn't play with his..

I always fear buying his dogs toys.. it seems like no matter what "undestructable" thing they're made out of, the toy is completely dead in a matter of minutes...
 

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Don't let him have it unsupervised. And yes those are what I mean. They help with mental stimulation. I live in a hot hot state and during summer my dogs are limited on outside activities like walks so I give them a food puzzle
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Buster cube works wonders for giving destructive chewers some mental stimulation. Its made of hard plastic, so they have trouble putting a dent in it. The point is for them to be busy rolling it around to get the treats out rather than chewing it to bits, so once they realize chewing doesn't get the treats they usually stop trying and play the game :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Supervised or not.. he still shreds toys.. lol

I'll have to see if I can find the one I bought for my dog, since he doesn't use it, or get his dog a new one and see how he takes to it. I hadn't even thought of that. Definetely worth a try. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Buster cube works wonders for giving destructive chewers some mental stimulation. Its made of hard plastic, so they have trouble putting a dent in it. The point is for them to be busy rolling it around to get the treats out rather than chewing it to bits, so once they realize chewing doesn't get the treats they usually stop trying and play the game :)
I have something similar to this that I bought for my dog at my parent's house.. but it's a giant rubber ball. I need to find it!! lol
 

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Here's the buster cube website: Buster Cube - Home

If you go to the dealers page there's a map for you to find where the nearest place that sells them is. Or you can buy them online, both PetSmart and Dr. Fosters sell them from their websites. Its a pretty inexpensive toy considering how long they usually last.
 

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Yeah, I will definetely have to look into one of those. He has two dogs, though, would it be wise to get more than one so there's no jealousy?? lol
 

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Yep, having two so there's no arguments over it is a good idea. Plus, if one dog is emptying the cube really fast while the other is "slower" at it then having two lets both dogs get their fair share. Well, until they start swapping cubes halfway through ;)
 

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anti depressants will not "drug" him, as in, make him dull and drowsy. They will simply remove the anxiety :)


As far as the behavior on walks, does he like food? I would carry food with you (hidden) and when he whines, back up (literally) until you can gain his attention, and then reward him for looking at you. :) Since you are already walking him anyway, this wont add much time to your day :)



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anti depressants will not "drug" him, as in, make him dull and drowsy. They will simply remove the anxiety :)


As far as the behavior on walks, does he like food? I would carry food with you (hidden) and when he whines, back up (literally) until you can gain his attention, and then reward him for looking at you. :) Since you are already walking him anyway, this wont add much time to your day :)
We could definetely try that.. but isn't there a possibility he'd think we're giving him the treat as a result of his whining?? Ugh.. I should know this, I did obedience training with my dog at home.. lol
 

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We could definetely try that.. but isn't there a possibility he'd think we're giving him the treat as a result of his whining?? Ugh.. I should know this, I did obedience training with my dog at home.. lol

haha, its a daily dose, so it would go in with his food. The drug suggestion is of course, after all other things have been tried. I would really recommend the following :)

Amazon.com: DAP Dog Appeasing Pheromone Electric Diffuser (48 mL): Kitchen & Dining

to be used in conjunction with training. :)


Bustercubes are awesome BTW. Its hard plastic, he shouldn't be able to destroy it....I would separate the the dogs when its in use.

I also like this one

Amazon.com: StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy: Home & Garden

its a bit easier to figure out for the dog.



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