Schizophrenic dog

Posted by stephanie-newland
Dec 20, 2012
We rescued a 1 - 2 yr. pit / ?hound? mix last May (2012) - Joshua. He seemed fine when we got him, friendly but a little shy, but we figured that was to be expected. He'd been in the pound since February. We live in the country - 6 acres w/ a creek, several neighbor dogs, lots of room to roam, deer to antagonize, etc.. We kept him on long lead for a few days and regularly took him on walks around the property w/ our other dog - Mason (who was free to roam), so he'd learn his territory. When we let him off the lead he took off. I was afraid he was gone, but he finally came back 30 - 45 min. later, so we figured he knew where his new home was. Josh seems very strange. When he's outside he will rarely come close to you. But he will come inside and will bug us to death to pet him, leans all over us. He seems pretty smart, although still very skittish of any noise and most people. We got him partly as an alert dog, if anyone's approaching, but he never barks at people, only all night at the deer and other varmints. My husband gets VERY frustrated that he won't come to us or obey any commands when he's outside, even though he will when he's inside. Why is he so schizophrenic? What can we do to train him to obey& trust us when he's outside? We both work and it's dark when we get home, so there's no way to do anything all day during the week. Are we just stuck with his weirdness?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Dec 25, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

I am afraid you let Josh roam freely too soon. There are a lot of interesting smells and animals to chase outside the house. I would retrain him inside the house for a few more months until he gets really trustworthy. Add distraction little by little. Take him out only on a leash. During the few months, make sure he gets out of his skittishness and totally trusts you guys. I don't think you and your husband have established a mutually trustful relationship with Josh.

You will also need to socialize him with more people. He is at the most difficult age, between puppyhood and adulthood and he needs to learn to be a confident adult dog by being exposed to a lot of people (but at his own pace) and all kinds of noises and sights inside and outside the house. Dogs learn everything by experience. (By the way, Josh has learned that it's OK not to listen to you when he is outside through his expenrience).

There is no shortcut on this. You and your husband just need to be patient with him. 10 mins obedience training every night will be helpful as well as daily wellk-structured walks (no free running) without letting him pull.

Good luck!