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Please help, one year in with rescue dog

(5 Posts)
KateLennard Sat 08-Aug-15 14:55:58

We are first time dog owners, got a rescue terrier a year ago. Ddog looks like a westie but was found as a stray, and is definitely not a pure breed. she is about two and a half years old.

There are loads of wonderful things about her but I need some help with the tricky bits.

She wees on the floor whenever she is excited or goes up on her back legs, this doesn't seem to be a toilet training issue as if not excited or up on hind legs she never wees indoors, never has an accident overnight and can, occasionally go days with out it happening.
She goes ballistic when ever she sees other dogs. Barks, pulls on the lead.
We took her to puppy training classes but she spent the whole time going ballistic and it was really stressful.
She pulls in the lead all the time, we tried to do the things suggested in puppy training class, over a long period of time, but it just made no difference.
We daren't let her off the lead anywhere because while she will come back to us when called, she has this episodes where she sees or smells something, usually another dog, a squirrel, a bird, when she goes ballistic and forgets that we even exist. She scraped ds1's skin with her teeth one day because she saw a dog and wanted to get to it.
I should say that she has never hurt another dog and usually if she can get to them she just sniffs them, the worst is more barking, but there are always dogs she can't get to, or cats and she just carries on for ages as we drag her past.

We are on holiday at the moment and yesterday evening she escaped from the garden of the holiday cottage in the dark. We could hear her collar for a bit but she wouldn't come back when called, and then went further away and didn't come back for hours.

She is a lovely dog at home but really stressful to take out anywhere. I have a bad neck and shoulder and her yanking of the lead is really not helping with them.
As I said we tried puppy training classes but just going to then was really stressful. We tried all the stuff they suggested re pulling on the lead (harness, stopping and pulling backwards etc) but nothing seems to have made any difference.

Do you have any advise and suggestions on the weeing and on the way she behaves outside the house?

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sat 08-Aug-15 15:04:43

Have you seen a behaviourist? It might be worth contacting the rescue she came from and asking for their help.

KateLennard Sat 08-Aug-15 15:32:05

We asked the rescue and their only suggestion was to get a second dog so she had company (I work from home so she is rarely left alone).

What would a behaviourist do?

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sat 08-Aug-15 15:44:04

They work to identify the cause of the behaviour then come up with a plan to help you work with the dog to change it. Is she insured? Sometimes the use of a behaviourist can be covered by your insurance plan.

Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors is one body The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour is another that have qualified behaviourists.

KateLennard Sat 08-Aug-15 16:10:20

Thank you. I will look at those links.
I think because this is our first dog we don't know if it's us doing the training wrong/not enough, if we have unrealistic expectations, if she has issues because of her past (she definitely has abandonment issues) and therefore what we should do next.

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