I could really use some advice regarding my re-home dogs behaviour please.(15 Posts)
Myself and DP re-homed a Papillion nearly three months ago. He previously belonged to my parents (my mother used to breed/show them) and we took him due to a combination of my DP falling in love with him and aggression issues between him and one of my mothers other three dogs.
Unfortunately the dog has not been well socialised and is very nervous of people and fearful aggressive towards other dogs. However these issues are slowly improving. The real problem is his interaction with myself and DP. I will outline the main points and see what people think.
When we first got him home he was really friendly towards us both. However his behaviour towards my DP has gotten increasingly odd. It's at the point now where he cowers away from him, hides under bed when I'm out of house etc. He will lie beside DP on bed though and interact with him on walks providing I'm there. He will reluctantly let DP walk him alone, but has to be kept on lead, and won't interact with ball games etc.
He is really clingy with me. He follows me around house, gets under my feet, hides behind me when DP is there. He's currently asleep squashed up right against me as I type this!
Toileting habits. We don't have a garden, but we do have a small yard space at front of house. At first he was happy to go down there with either of us for a wee. Then this changed to only weeing if I took him down. Then he started "pretending" to cock his leg for a wee when I took him, but not going. Now he will just stand or sit there and totally refuse, even if he hasn't been for hours. I noticed today that the cushion he sleeps on stank of wee. It looks like he has been weeing on it. He gets walked a couple of times a day, but now he will only wee if he is walked to park 5 minutes walk away! Also he will only wee if I take him and only if I let him off lead to do it.
I know there are probably some real anxiety issues at work, but I'm at a bit of a loss what to do about it. I contacted a few dog psychologist people, but they all quoted £100+ for a consultation and we really don't have that sort of money!
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
I'm a fellow dog owner and have had similar problems (toileting) which we've worked through. Also this past week my dog has become rather vocal and defensive towards males.... Has your OH had to reprimand your dog at all? If so this could be a possible cause? You could get him to continue to play and make a fuss of the dog and see if there is any improvement that way.
Toileting.... I would go right back to basics. Get rid of the cushion that he is doing his business on, take him out every hour/2hours and not go in until he's been. When he does go you need to praise and treat him. Don't tell him off for messing indoors; but if you spot him in the middle of it, make a loud noise to stop his flow and whisk him outside to finish his business.
Can you vary his walks? So that he isn't going to toilet in the same place? This may break his habit of only wanting to go in the park?
Sorry I'm not a professional but have gone through similar myself and thought this might help xx
OH has never really reprimanded dog. He might have slightly raised his voice to him once or twice, but certainly no more than I have. He's honestly trying his best to get dog to like him. He walks him, strokes him etc. Dog just isn't really comfortable with it unless I am there though. The exception being if OH puts dog on our bed with him. Then he's quite happy.
I will throw out the
really nice, handmade, leopard print beanbag cushion dog has been lying on as you suggest. The taking him out until he's been thing is difficult as he will literally just stand there for an age, shaking and looking downtrodden. It's a busy street which probably doesn't help. He didn't mind at first at all though. He's steadily gotten more nervous.
I do vary his walks, but for late night/early wees etc we only have one park that isn't further away. If he would just wee on the lead then I could walk him round the street, but he just won't do it! He used to wee on lead no bother at my parents house. Tonight park was closed and I had to sneak him into a church garden next to it, let him off lead and he had a wee there. I live in London, so there's very few safe places to let him off lead. I've never yet actually caught him weeing in house. I didn't even realise he was weeing on his cushion until today.
Perhaps I just need to go right back to basics puppy style like you say.
I really want to help dog bond with OH. We only really got him because OH wanted him so much. He's a lovely dog, but at the minute I am shouldering all the care and it's a little too much.
Yes get rid of the cushion and clean all around that are with biological washing liquid to make sure he can't smell where he's been. Eric doesn't pee or poop in our garden because he sees it as an extension of our house. He does all toileting on his walks, he has a morning, early evening walk and a quick stroll around the block before bed. He doesn't struggle at all holding it between walks.
I think you will have to go back to basics with toilet training as pp suggests. You will need advice on the other stuff from more experienced people on the board though.
I go to training classes and my dog is nearly 1 and a half and my trainer said that maybe this fear/anxiety of males could be her third fear stage or fourth fear stage. I don't know how old your dog is but this could be one of them?
Definitely try and go back to basics and if he does stand there for an age which is impractical for you then maybe whenever he does actually go just make sure to praise him and treat him.
If you're on Facebook maybe join a group, sometimes there are behaviourists on the groups.
My dog was like this a bit, it helped after we taught her a command word to toilet. Have you tried an adaptil plug in to help settle your dog?
Get your Dh to spend time feeding the dog Hugh value treats like tiny cubes of ham and cheese. It will get the dog to make a positive association to your Dh.
You could also post here if you have FB.
I would look around for some good training classes that you and your OH can take your dog to - local vet can usually give you details. They don't usually cost a lot, but I have found there is a wealth of knowledge at these classes and the people that run them love to help. They have experience of rescue dogs and might be able to pinpoint an issue that you are not even aware of.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Sofie He doesn't really have a fear of males in general. It's just my OH he is getting increasingly bad with. He was hiding under the bed last night and snarling and baring his teeth when my OH was trying to talk to him! Thank you for your advice though. Definitely going right back to basics with toilet training.
georgedawes I haven't heard of those plugs. I will definitely try one if you feel it would be worth it.
whothefuckissimon OH does feed dog treats. I suggested it to help them bond. Dog just acts terrified of him 80% of the time regardless. We will persevere though.
Bagelgoeswalking I have requested to join that group. Thank you.
justaboutafloat I would really like to start dog training classes, but dog is really bad with other dogs. He just hasn't been socialised. I've looked on website of a few in my area, but they all state dogs must be well behaved with other dogs. If anyone has any trainer suggestions in South East London then they would be massively appreciated.
It sounds silly perhaps, but it is really getting me down. I re-homed a cat last year and that cat went the same way with my OH. The cat just got more and more aggressive and terrified of OH until we had to re-home it with a friend. OH only ever tried to be friends with cat; just like he is with the dog. It's so bizarre.
He's trying to bite my OH now. I really don't know what is going on.
If the cat was terrified of OH and now the dog, I'd have a think about what's been happening when you're not around.
Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but there seems to be a pattern.
It does sound a little strange that your cat did it to?! What does your OH do for work? Maybe it could be a scent he carries in.
It must be horrible for you seeing your dog so scared of him for no apparent reason.
I don't know what to suggest I think you need to speak to the vet or a behaviourist ASAP.
I honestly couldn't imagine it being anything my OH has done Harriet I can appreciate why you would think that, but OH really has done nothing but be nice to the dog. He's a real gentle soul, too soft if anything. He walks him, feeds him treats etc. There definitely is a pattern though and I am at a loss as to why. The cat went the same way. He started off fine with OH and then got progressively worse. The dog adored OH when we first brought him home. I only really took the dog because my OH wanted him so much.
It's just so strange. Last night dog was trying to bite OH. Then later on I put dog on bed with him and he cuddled up to him for a stroke! It's like he's confident on the bed, but nervous on the ground.
My OH is a support worker Sofie He's actually being on AL for last fortnight and the dog has gotten worse during that time. I'm at my wits end to be honest. It is really horrible and also really frustrating. We are doing everything right. Dog gets walked twice a day, plenty of attention, really good food ect. Yet he's moping around like his life is appalling. When he was at my parents he basically lived in one room and was lucky to get out for a walk twice a week. Perhaps the change is too much for him at nearly 8 years old?
A vets visit is definitely in order. I'm stating to worry about that too though, as money is really tight at the moment and my vets is really expensive (in London) I really cannot afford an animal behaviourist right now, much as I would love to. I emailed a few and they all quoted £100+ for an initial session. It's money I just don't have unfortunately.
I should have also added that parents tried to re-home the dog before and the people brought him back after a month or two. It was a couple with a daughter of around 11. The dog got progressively more and more clingy with her, and it got to point where he would try to bite parents when they came near her. He also lost weight; just like he is also doing now.
I thought it would be different with us as dog has known me all his life. There's obviously some deep rooted issues at play though.
Join the discussion
Please login first.