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I apologize in advance for this being so long....

So the last month or so we've had our dog we've been over the moon. She's beautiful, affectionate, and a great dog all around. She's a 3-year-old rescue pup which seems to be something of a brittany and cocker spaniel mix. She is very high energy and full of love and affection!

Now that we've had her for a month I've seen some issues surfacing.

1. Sleeps under our bed and refuses to sleep in the dog bed we got her. We recently got her a dog crate, whichI put against two walls in the corner of our bedroom and covered in a sheet to recreate the dark coziness of underneath our bed, but she wont go in it. I think she associates it with us leaving. We out her in it at night and when we are out of the house (no more than 4-5 hours). She will cry a little before bed but quickly settle down, but when we leave I hear her barking for a solid 5 minutes or so, which can quickly become a problem because we live in an apartment building which has paper thin walls.

2.Toy possessiveness. She is very posessive over her chew toys and will hoard them all under the bed. When we try to play fetch with her, she will run after the item and grab it, but then take it under the bed or onto the couch, and will not give it to you no matter what. She hasnt growled or shown any aggression, but is quite possessive.

3. She will randomly park and growl at passers by sometimes. But only sometimes. Most of the time she's great, will either ignore them or give them a sniff and walk away. But sometimes she goes totally ballistic, and barks and growls at absolutely everything. Jackyll and Hyde style. This is not ok in general but especially so in an apartment complex where there is always someone around. It is especially not ok as we plan to move onto our sailboat this year and a marina is a very close place and her barking all the time can get us kicked out.

4. She is impossible to train. And I'm the person who taught my old german shepherd mix to lay down, shake hand, heel, and stay... at the age of 7 years old. I do not believe that old dogs cannot learn new tricks, but this dog is literally impossible. Will not sit on command when you do not have a treat. I have been trying to teach her "shake" for a month and failing miserably. She will not even do the small little things that dogs do when they are still unsure. For instance, when you're teaching a dog to lay down, you will lead them down with a high value treat. Even if they dont go all the way down, but move a paw forward, you give them a treat, and in no time they learn that thats what you want. This dog wont do it. She will just try to lick your hand for the treat, but then if you dont give it to her she will just stare at you. I dont know if shes the smartest, honestly! haha

I am seriously considering getting a trainer involved because she basically does whatever she wants, and that's not ok! Please help! My husband and I are getting really frustrated, especially with the growling and barking at other strangers. People are just looking for a reason to sue and make a buck and I dont want to give them a reason to!!
 

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I apologize in advance for this being so long....

So the last month or so we've had our dog we've been over the moon. She's beautiful, affectionate, and a great dog all around. She's a 3-year-old rescue pup which seems to be something of a brittany and cocker spaniel mix. She is very high energy and full of love and affection!

Now that we've had her for a month I've seen some issues surfacing.

1. Sleeps under our bed and refuses to sleep in the dog bed we got her. We recently got her a dog crate, whichI put against two walls in the corner of our bedroom and covered in a sheet to recreate the dark coziness of underneath our bed, but she wont go in it. I think she associates it with us leaving. We out her in it at night and when we are out of the house (no more than 4-5 hours). She will cry a little before bed but quickly settle down, but when we leave I hear her barking for a solid 5 minutes or so, which can quickly become a problem because we live in an apartment building which has paper thin walls.

2.Toy possessiveness. She is very posessive over her chew toys and will hoard them all under the bed. When we try to play fetch with her, she will run after the item and grab it, but then take it under the bed or onto the couch, and will not give it to you no matter what. She hasnt growled or shown any aggression, but is quite possessive.

3. She will randomly park and growl at passers by sometimes. But only sometimes. Most of the time she's great, will either ignore them or give them a sniff and walk away. But sometimes she goes totally ballistic, and barks and growls at absolutely everything. Jackyll and Hyde style. This is not ok in general but especially so in an apartment complex where there is always someone around. It is especially not ok as we plan to move onto our sailboat this year and a marina is a very close place and her barking all the time can get us kicked out.

4. She is impossible to train. And I'm the person who taught my old german shepherd mix to lay down, shake hand, heel, and stay... at the age of 7 years old. I do not believe that old dogs cannot learn new tricks, but this dog is literally impossible. Will not sit on command when you do not have a treat. I have been trying to teach her "shake" for a month and failing miserably. She will not even do the small little things that dogs do when they are still unsure. For instance, when you're teaching a dog to lay down, you will lead them down with a high value treat. Even if they dont go all the way down, but move a paw forward, you give them a treat, and in no time they learn that thats what you want. This dog wont do it. She will just try to lick your hand for the treat, but then if you dont give it to her she will just stare at you. I dont know if shes the smartest, honestly! haha

I am seriously considering getting a trainer involved because she basically does whatever she wants, and that's not ok! Please help! My husband and I are getting really frustrated, especially with the growling and barking at other strangers. People are just looking for a reason to sue and make a buck and I dont want to give them a reason to!!
Hello!

Great to hear you have recused a pup. Its a wonderful thing to do indeed and great you are helping her out. As with any dog, rescue dogs require tons of training, attention, love and space. As for the crate, she may not be comfortable with it because of past experiences. I would try not to put her in it unless you absolutely have to, at least until she is crate trained which means you don't automatically leave her in it for hours, but work up to that by having her go in for small increments at a time. Also, try giving her a crate toy/treat that she ONLY gets when she is spending down time in her crate. I have heard doing this helps crate training as well as separation anxiety (which is seems she may also be dealing with a little) as it takes the dogs mind of of you leaving (they are keeping busy focusing on toy/treat), and it gives them something to look forward to. She may be sleeping under the bed to feel comfortable (dogs tend to like denning), but may not like a crate per say depending on history. I would certainly do some in-depth research on ways to overcome separation anxiety and proper crate training (if you must crate) asap, because the sooner you do, the easier it will be to get her to stop the actions you don't want.

I also find that dogs who have not been trained to retrieve, will most likely automatically take toys and not give. You have to work with her to learn to drop it, and bring it. I have a 9 month old rescue right now who did the same thing but everyday I work with her to ask her to bring it, and redirect if she won't, as well as drop it. Your dog won't automatically know how a game of fetch works, but you have to teach her how to. Also, maybe she never had toys before and this is all new - she wants them all to herself. I would make sure you play with her toys in front of her to show that you are the owner of them, but you are letting her play with them. This will rid the idea that shes in possession at all times of them.

As for the barking, thats another training aspect you will have to work on. You can use treats (or praise) to teach her to bark and to be quite. I can on command tell my lab to bark and she will bark, and then quite she is quiet. Mind you, if your dog is praise driven, I would do that instead of treats because I know from experience like yours, my dog tends to not want to listen to me as much if theres no treat. Just don't let her see the treats prior to training. Now I am working on the praise method. I was told my a dog trainer that if you are out and about with your dog on leash, common courtesy says that your dog should be on your left. That way when others are walking by with their dogs (hopefully on their left) the dogs wont meet. Dogs shouldn't be really allowed to meet random unknown dogs without proper and carefully planned out introductions. If your dog is barking at dogs or other people walking by, try keeping your dog on a tight leash (enough for them to walk COMFORTABLY by your side) meaning don't choke them out but also dont give them slack to run ahead of your or pull towards the person they are barking at. If they still park, maintain your pace and keep walking. Don't say anything because otherwise you are giving attention and bad attention is still attention to a dog. Only, maybe tell them quiet but that comes after they have learned that.

You say that you dog "may not be the smartest" because she won't do the trick but rather wants to treat, but I say maybe she is actually trying to outsmart you. haha. She could be very smart and rather stubborn or spoiled. I know my girl is!! If she truly isn't into treats, try lots of praise and affection when she does what you want or maybe even a favourite toy if she has one. My lab would not sit without a treat but more lately she has because shes learn that she don't have a choice in the matter anymore. Before if I didn't make her sit and she didn't want to because there was no treat, she would get up and walk away. Now, I gently sit her. How you can do this is grab the collar on both sides (facing her face) and push back very gently. This does not at all hurt the dog, but pushes them backwards which for some reasons makes them sit. The dog trainer showed up how to do that. I have done that ever since and she is making WONDERFUL progress in training without treats. Never of course use force or negativity when training, but don't let them not do what you are asking. You have to show them you are the pack leader and when you ask something of them, they are supposed to do it. So maybe research ways to train through praise the certain things you want her to know. Each thing will have different ways to teach her! Hope this helps!
 
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