help, please!

Posted by LifzTewShort
Apr 27, 2009
i have a 5 month old english mastiff puppy i'm about at my wits end with:mad:! i have had many puppy's in my life but never encountered one quite like this! besides destroying everything i own with her teeth, she is p'ing EVERYWHERE! she doesn't care if it's in her crate, on the couch or on MY BED! she's SHREDS puppy p pads into unrecognizable bits, THEN p's on them...when she doesn't shred them, she'll p on them and then sleep on them! she p's on the bed / couch if i leave the room to go p myself! i take her out every hour on the hour, and every time she walks near the door. she'll p outside, then come in and p 5 minutes a place she's not supposed to! i've been told and told dogs will not p in the places they sleep...but i'm not a believer anymore! she will p then lay on it and take a nap! i don't know what to do and i'm losing my mind! please help!
Posted by KOPsarah
Apr 30, 2009
Hi and thanks for your question. I think we need a many pronged approach to your girls problems here. First of all from what you describe here I would say that your girl has dominance issues.

Currently your dogs is unsure of her position in the pack because she doesn't identify anyone as leader. She is therefore adopting various aspects of the dominant role herself. Because she thinks of herself as leader of the pack she thinks she has the right to pee where ever she likes and destroy whatever she likes.

Following the alpha dog training will definitely help show her her position. It is important to remember the key points of dominance.

In a wild dog pack the dominant pack member controls :
-access to food
-access to favoured sleeping areas
-any interactions with lower pack members
-access to favoured items such as toys

In order to show your dog her position as bottom of the pack you and your whole family can take advantage of these keys points. For example

1) The dog must be the last to eat at every meal and should never get treats from the table.

2) She should never walk through doors before you. A good way to practice this is to walk around the house and make her sit at each doorway and wait.

3) If she is lying in the hallway or anywhere you have to get past make her move.

4) When you arrive home completely ignore the dog for 15 minutes. Don't look at her, talk to her or pat her. After this go to her and give her some quiet attention only as long as she is relaxed and calm.

Only interact with the dog on your terms. If your or someone else is petting the dog or playing with it and it becomes badly behaved immediately remove your attention from the dog by either removing yourself from the area or moving the dog to another area. You should do this without displaying any emotion such as anger just be a calm but decisive pack leader and the dog will appreciate knowing where it stands. Similarly you can assert your dominance by not allowing access to beds and couches or by only bringing out favourite toys when you want to play and removing them when you are finished.

As the second part of the approach I would suggest wearing off some of her destructive energy by giving her heaps of exercise. As she is still young and growing it is probably not a good idea to run her on a lead for long distances but take her out for long walks, play with her and let her run free at parks if she will come when called. Also wear her out by challenging her mentally with treat balls, kong toys stuffed with food and other toys that require lots of thinking and time. Also keep up her obedience training as this will challenge her mentally as well as restate your dominance.

Finally I would also recommend keeping a very clear schedule that your dog can predict and follow. This means certain times when she gets up in the morning, gets fed, gets sent out to the toilet (which should be hourly as you say and after every meal), gets walked etc. As with children having a predictable routine and knowing the boundaries and who is in charge can have a very settling effect on pets behavior.

I hope this helps and if you have any further questions please ask.
Posted by scb2005
May 28, 2009
I'm dealing with an issue with my 15mo old Boxer. She is a good girl, she's smart and easily trainable, but is exhibiting very destructive behavior over the last few months. She eats couch cushions, pillows, grabs anything she can off the top of the dryer and worse yet...she will completely shred & eat any type of bedding in her crate. She eats the dog beds, blankets, cushions etc. She doesn't like to get in if there isn't something 'soft and cushy' for her but she destroys everything in there. On top of that, she will pee in her crate. She goes in for the night the same time every night and wakes the same time in the mornings. We've put her on Vit C as well as Cranberry extract to ward off any urinary issues but she still doesn't mind p'ing in her crate and being in there with it. I always thought that they would never pee where they sleep but that is not the case with her. :confused: Her 6 yr old Boxer 'brother' and her play and get along wonderfully. I work from home, she's exercised and well fed so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Nothing has changed in the recent weeks to warrant this change. Vet says she's fine and we truly love her but she is wearing my patience down.
Thoughts? Suggestions?