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Hi everyone,

The people I live with (shared house, I have my own suite though) got a puppy recently. She's cute as hell, but I literally have never disliked a dog more than I dislike this dog, and that's really hard for me to say because I LOVE dogs. She's a breed that's very active (literally a mix of 2 herding breeds) and they don't walk her or really do anything with her. I know that active dogs need at LEAST one walk a day and that herding dogs are SO INTELLIGENT and have so much potential to be amazing dogs. So basically they got a dog that they don't have the lifestyle for, and have chosen to put her out in the (large-ish) yard and she basically sits there all day. They had a dog before who sat outside a lot, but she clearly enjoyed it (she'd be sitting in the yard and it was raining and she'd just still be there enjoying the rain) and was well-behaved. But this puppy is not even walked semi-regularly. The issue I have most is the jumping, biting, and scratching. I've lived here for about 5 years and so I have a good relationship with the family upstairs, so it's really hard for me to be this upset about the dog and it's really hard for me to talk to them about it/complain about it.

Listen, I've owned dogs my entire life. I have had naughty puppies before and I know sometimes it's a matter of training + waiting for them to get a bit older to settle down a little. But this dog bites/nips and I cannot for the life of me get her to stop jumping on me. It's so bad that sometimes I leave (my door is in the back yard, so I interact with the dog daily) to go to work or whatever and I have to turn right back around and come inside and change my clothes because she will be muddy and WILL NOT STOP JUMPING. I can't stress enough how relentlessly jumpy she is - I've literally physically held her down (to stop her from biting me). When she jumps, she bites/nips at anything and my arms are all scratched up from her nails. I go outside to smoke weed in the evenings (it's legal where I live) and she literally has jumped up and smacked my pipe out of my hand, and she also will bite the backs of my legs, behind my knees, and my ankles while she's jumping (when on hind legs, she's at butt height). One time she tore a sandal off my foot and ran away with it. She's not being aggressive, she's just WAY too high energy with ZERO manners. It's not that she'll jump and then I correct her and she stops and that interaction sucked. It's CONSTANT jumping that just does not stop until I remove myself from the situation. Ignoring her/turning my back on her has stopped working.

There is not much I can do because the dog isn't technically being abused. She doesn't bark all day outside, it's too warm out right now to complain about her being outside all the time instead of actually being exercised (the city will send them a note if a dog is outside when it's way too cold), and I can't force anyone to train their naughty dog.

So, my question is, what can I do when I'm having to interact with the dog? How can I work with her when I'm outside so that I can have better control over the dog/situation. I want to be able to leave my house without getting bitten and muddy. I want to stand on my deck and smoke without being bitten and jumped on constantly. Do I need to just suck it up and take their dog on walks when it's not my responsibility to? Any support would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Lukah (he/him)
 

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Your absolutely right, the dog is probably under stimulated and needs more exercise and training. I understand that the situation is very difficult and you can’t unfortunately force them to train/exercise her more. Since you have a good relationship with them; can’t you talk to them about this, explain how you’re feeling about the situation and ask them about how they’re thinking about having a high-energy breed without exercising the dog properly? Maybe it will be an eye opener for them, and they might realize that they need exercise her more or that she should be rehomed.

You can train her in different ways when she’s jumping but since that’s not the main problem and since it will take a lot of time and effort from you I definitely recommend to try and talk to the owners and try to make them understand. Otherwise just ignore the dog when she’s jumping, turn around, don’t touch, talk or look at her.

For the dog it would be great if you would take the time to walk her or train her but it’s definitely not your responsibility.
 

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I would also add that though it is possible to train a dog not to do this, it is a lot of work, takes a while, can be very frustrating, and requires that all the dog's needs are met - and this isn't your job. I hope you can find a way of telling your housemates that it's unacceptable for them to subject you to this and they need to do something about it.
 

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It's going to take time and effort to train her to NOT jump on you. As JudyN stated it will be doubly hard if her exercise needs are not being met.

Simply walking her is NOT the answer. What you'll have then is a dog that builds up stamina, and is bored. I'd build or buy a flirt pole and play with her with it. It will keep her occupied, exercise her mind and body, while you only have to put in minimum effort. While doing that, if she jumps on you, go back inside, wait 5 seconds, then go back out. If she does not jump on you she gets to play with the pole. Do that over and over, and she'll learn that jumping on you cause you to go away, but not jumping gets you to play with her. Once she's a bit tired, you can try training her if that's what you want to do.
 

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Another thought - when my dog used to do this in the garden, I'd carry a plastic trug round with me all the time. Holding it in between me and him was enough to deter him as it blocked him from jumping up. You could try something like that, keeping it within reach for when you leave the house and come home again.
 

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Simply walking her is NOT the answer. What you'll have then is a dog that builds up stamina, and is bored. I'd build or buy a flirt pole and play with her with it. It will keep her occupied, exercise her mind and body, while you only have to put in minimum effort.
Do you mean that she would get more bored (than she already is) if you only walked her? I’m not completely familiar with the word “stamina”, but do you mean that she would work up a better physic and therefore get bored? I’m not sure if I’m miss understanding you.

To use a flirtpole could absolutely be great but I would also be rather careful with it. For some dogs it works as a great explosive exercise and for some it can cause more stress and too much excitement if it’s used too much or too often (or used as the only exercise). I feel like the flirtpole is more of a complementary activity and shouldn’t make up the majority of the dogs exercise. In combination with other activities I think it could be great but it’s likely that it could create more stress if not executed properly. Considering she’s also a herding mix it’s likely that she’s more prone to stress. If only choosing one activity I definitely root for walks.

Is she food motivated? If so, you can try to throw out some of her food outside in the grass for her too search and eat. This would work as a distraction from jumping on you and would at the same time exercise her mind. You can start easy and just put some food/treats where she easily can find them so she gets the point and then you gradually make it more difficult, spreading the food on a bigger area, using less kibbles/treats. You could also try to use this as a distraction and reward whenever she’s jumping up on you. If she’s jumping, throw some food/treats on the floor. This will redirect her to a different behavior and reward her for not jumping.

There’s a lot you can do to improve the situation, different activities/exercise, training methods etc. But in the end it’s not your dog and it’s completely understandable that you don’t have the time or want to take the time to exercise and train their dog. The absolute best would be for the owners to realize that they need to change the situation or rehome the dog.
 

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Do you mean that she would get more bored (than she already is) if you only walked her? I’m not completely familiar with the word “stamina”, but do you mean that she would work up a better physic and therefore get bored? I’m not sure if I’m miss understanding you.

To use a flirtpole could absolutely be great but I would also be rather careful with it. For some dogs it works as a great explosive exercise and for some it can cause more stress and too much excitement if it’s used too much or too often (or used as the only exercise). I feel like the flirtpole is more of a complementary activity and shouldn’t make up the majority of the dogs exercise. In combination with other activities I think it could be great but it’s likely that it could create more stress if not executed properly. Considering she’s also a herding mix it’s likely that she’s more prone to stress. If only choosing one activity I definitely root for walks.

Is she food motivated? If so, you can try to throw out some of her food outside in the grass for her too search and eat. This would work as a distraction from jumping on you and would at the same time exercise her mind. You can start easy and just put some food/treats where she easily can find them so she gets the point and then you gradually make it more difficult, spreading the food on a bigger area, using less kibbles/treats. You could also try to use this as a distraction and reward whenever she’s jumping up on you. If she’s jumping, throw some food/treats on the floor. This will redirect her to a different behavior and reward her for not jumping.

There’s a lot you can do to improve the situation, different activities/exercise, training methods etc. But in the end it’s not your dog and it’s completely understandable that you don’t have the time or want to take the time to exercise and train their dog. The absolute best would be for the owners to realize that they need to change the situation or rehome the dog.
I'm not saying don't walk her, not at all. What I'm saying is that simply walking her is not likely to be enough. Another word for stamina would be endurance. What I mean by that is, if you simply walk a dog for 30 min and then put her back in the yard, pretty soon a 30 min walk will not be enough to tire her out because she's built up stamina, so then the owner may add another 15 min to the walk, but then the dog gets used to that. It can get to be a vicious cycle.

For a dog that's never walked a walk can be very overwhelming, especially a herding breed that may view any moving object as something that needs to be herded. I'm keeping in mind that this is not the OPs dog, this dog is very young, is never walked, and has very little interaction with her people. I can only imagine that this dog is going to take a LOT of training in order to even have a shot of having an enjoyable walk with her, and the OP already does not like to dog due to it's crazy behavior.
 

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I'm not saying don't walk her, not at all. What I'm saying is that simply walking her is not likely to be enough. Another word for stamina would be endurance. What I mean by that is, if you simply walk a dog for 30 min and then put her back in the yard, pretty soon a 30 min walk will not be enough to tire her out because she's built up stamina, so then the owner may add another 15 min to the walk, but then the dog gets used to that. It can get to be a vicious cycle.

For a dog that's never walked a walk can be very overwhelming, especially a herding breed that may view any moving object as something that needs to be herded. I'm keeping in mind that this is not the OPs dog, this dog is very young, is never walked, and has very little interaction with her people. I can only imagine that this dog is going to take a LOT of training in order to even have a shot of having an enjoyable walk with her, and the OP already does not like to dog due to it's crazy behavior.
Simply walking her won’t be enough but neither would it to use a flirt pole. The issue with a flirt pole is that it’s a very stressful exercise. It could be great for some dogs but bad for others.

If you already have a dog which is under stimulated, doesn’t get to use neither the mind or body, have a lot of pent up energy which is causing stress, and then choose to exercise the dog only through a high stress, high energy exercise, hyping up the dog more, this will likely cause even more stress. The dog will still be under stimulated from not working but at the same time over stimulated with the stress from the exercise, if that makes sense. If that’s the only exercise the dog gets it probably would get tired for a short period of time and then have the same energy as before but is left with the stress hormones that are being released during the flirt pole exercise.

If you have a dog that is sensitive to stress everything could be causing stress, even a walk. But the difference is that the purpose with a flirt pole is to hype up the dog and to increase the stress level. On a walk the dog gets physical exercise, gets to explore and use the nose.

I don’t really understand the “building up stamina” this would be the case for any dog? The dog needs to be walked anyhow so if OP is able to to that it for sure would be great for the dog. That being said, this is not the solution to the problem, but it would improve the situation.

The best would of course be if the owners started to give the dog the proper amount of exercise and training, or rehomed her to a suitable home.
 
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