Can't take anymore of this.(20 Posts)
I adopted a lurcher in July 2016. I love him and I've worked so hard with him and he has come so far but there are some issues he has just never improved on and I'm not sure how much more I can take.
He had been in kennels for about a year and had no history having come in as a stray. When I met him we just clicked (as silly as that might sound) and after he met my children, other dogs and cats he seemed like a good fit for our family. He's very calm and unphased by pretty much everything. He gets along perfectly with my other dogs and lives happily alongside my cats. Loves to snuggle on the sofa. He can be so silly and has the sweetest face. Vet thinks he's about 5 but he knew nothing. He's been very easy to train with most things - I had to toilet train him, teach him to sit etc., walk on a lead and so on. There are some things he just can't seem to stop.
We neutered him within a week of taking him home but he still marks in the house. Everything, all the time. I keep him attached to me by a long line when I am home but he still manages to wee on things. One time I didn't have him on the line and he ran about as only a lurcher can weeing on everything. He will come in from a 2 hour walk (where he can mark to his heart's content) and wee on the sofa or the fridge or anything he can reach really.
The most disgusting behaviour has started in the past month or so. I'm pregnant, 20 weeks, and he has started to wee on me too. I'm scared he will wee on the baby when it comes along.
He poos on my things. My clothes, clean and dirty, my handbag, my coat, my bed, my desk chair. He's capable of opening doors so has to be crated if he's not attached to me otherwise he will go straight upstairs and poo on my things after weeing everywhere in the room he was closed in. Even if I'm only in the shower or something rather than out of the house.
He has started to try and chase all children. He's never off the lead unless in a secure field we hire but we have to walk through a kid's park to get to the woodland path we usually walk and if there are children running about he tries to chase. Yesterday he did backflips trying to get out of his harness so he could chase some children. I don't even know where to start working on this issue.
He has become really reactive towards other dogs on walks. Even dogs he sees everyday. I'm doing my best to not put him in situations he might find frightening but I don't always have time to walk him on his own so we do watch me/LAT and he gets rewarded for not reacting but 99% of the time he is so fixated on the other dog nothing gets through to him. I know this is my problem and I have probably caused this somehow but right now it just feels like I can never help him overcome it. He's not my first reactive dog but it's been months with no progress.
His separation anxiety has improved so much. Before he had to have at least 1 person within his line of sight at all times but now he happily sleeps all night in his crate downstairs, even if the other dogs are in other rooms. If all people are out of the house he can last 1 hour before he starts screaming (not howling, awful screaming noise) and pooing/weeing in his crate.
If he is out of his crate then he just goes bonkers. Poo/wee everywhere, destroys things, even after 1 minute alone.
I've consulted two trainers and recieved pretty much the same advice from both. Tried lots of different stress/anxiety relief things for dogs. He's walked 2-4 times a day, we play games, train everyday so I think he's sufficiently stimulated.
I hate having to lock one of my dogs away but I just can't take anymore. My entire house stinks. I've had to throw away furniture. I'm tired of cleaning up after him.
DH wants to return him to the kennels and I have refused to consider it before but now I'm at my wits end and maybe it's the right choice. I hate the thought of sending him back there but how am I going to cope in a few months time with a dog who messes everywhere?
He's such a good and lovely dog in other ways.
I've recently had my hours cut right down but I have been saving for a proper behaviourist to work with him. I just don't know what to do. I really need some help and advice.
It sounds like you've done all you can. You can't have you entire house used as a giant toilet as thats just disgusting
I'm with your husband I'm afraid
Just a thought, someone I know has this issue with marking everything, she puts a nappy on - no kidding! Lets face it, with something like that, it's worth a go ?
The only thing I can think of is this sort of training www.calmer-canines.co.uk/ I'm no expert on dog behaviour, but we hired this trainer, in desperation, for our mad cocker spaniel and it did make a difference.
The theory goes roughly along these lines: the dog is stressed because he thinks he is 'top dog' (but of course isn't, because he's in a domestic home) and needs to be trained to know he isn't top dog- and to just relax because you're top dog, you're in control. You (and the family) are top dog - he needs to be sub-serviant to you.
Dominance theory and all the alpha dog/hierarchy bollocks has been completely debunked. No reputable trainer or behaviourist would have anything to do with it.
I'm so sorry to hear this, OP. My first suggestion if you haven't recently is to ensure your dog has a really thorough vet check - in particular look at whether he has a UTI. If he's pooing everywhere, I'd also discuss with your vet and consider looking at a change of diet. Once that's ruled out anything physical, then you are definitely looking at an appointment with a qualified behaviorist (APBC) who will ask for a vet referral so that they know anything physical has been ruled out.
It does sound very much like he is stressed and might do better in a child free environment, especially if they are very little (under 5). If you got him from a reputable rescue, it's worth phoning them for a chat and asking if he can go into emergency foster in a child free home so that his behaviour can be assessed. This might provide some definite answers.
As a more general point (not aimed at you, but at anyone reading who might consider adoption) this is why it is ALWAYS a good idea to adopt via rescues who foster their dogs first, especially if you are adopting into a home with DC. This way, the dog's relationship with DC, other animals etc can be thoroughly assessed - kennels are stressful for most dogs and only the most basic assessment can be given.
He does wear a nappy and a belly band but absolutely hates them and will do anything he can to get them off. Often he will still wee and poo when wearing them.
The kids generally leave the dogs alone. They are six. They have always been taught not to bother the dogs or take the dogs toys or anything like that. They pet them gently and will give them breakfast before school. The lurcher chooses to sit next to them when he has the opportunity and often brings his toys to them for them to throw. He doesn't seem bothered if they run about and make noise, just carries on snoring! Obviously it's still possible he doesn't like them and if that's the case I don't think he will cope with a baby.
We did consider a UTI but the vet said he's in great health now (not so great when we first got him). He's fed an 80/20 grain free kibble with a bit of raw duck/turkey/lamb at breakfast. Poo is firm and easy to pass for him. If he's been stealing from the bin or snacking from the litter tray then it can get a little runny but a bit of pumpkin or squash and he's fine again. He's had dental work and teeth are looking good now. He's back at the vets next week for flea/worm treatment so will ask again for a thorough health check.
I did not get him from a good rescue, unfortunately. When I moved here and could no longer volunteer at the great rescue I used to I found a local place which were desperate. It was dreadful there. I no longer volunteer there because it was so awful. I can't imagine sending my dog back there. He was there a year and had never had a proper assessment. Was often walked with a mesh muzzle(!! in summer, he was unable to pant or drink wearing it) because he had been reactive to a certain dog he was kennelled next to and they never once thought to move him away from that dog. Just awful.
He was just curled up at my feet and sleeping but stood up, stretched and then squatted to do a poo on my foot.
The kids have been in bed for hours, he's just been walked, fed and groomed. I don't get it.
Fwiw, he doesn't appear to have a problem holding it. He's clean in his crate overnight, for around 8 hours. He's let out in to the garden regularly as well as walked.
Sorry - but you can't have your house used as a gigantic toilet. Particularkybwith children and a newborn involved
I'm sure there will be posters advocating that you keep the dog. I suggest you try and arrange for one of them to take it if they are happy to live like that
There is a behaviourist - and you need a behaviourist, not just a trainer -called Jim Greenwood who specialises in lurchers, and rescue lurchers in particular. He'll have a chat with you over the phone or by email before making an appointment to see you. He's based in Cheshire I think but will travel.
I couldn't live with this either and my dog is far from perfect.
Do you think realistically he is rehomable?
What sort of trainers did you consult?
I've got to be honest and say who could you rehome him to? Likely his problems would get worse on rehoming as well. I'd try another trainer then have to consider euthanasia. Sorry
Is it possible he's stressed out by the other dogs and cats?
You will be doing the best and kindest thing if you put this dog to sleep.
I suggest copy-and-pasting your original post in an email to Jim Greenwood before you do anything; he'll give you an honest opinion if this can be helped.
If your vet can find nothing physically wrong then it has to be behavioural (or maybe neurological).
Is the dog neutered?
Ignore the last question, I just read the original post again. Sorry.
Could he become primarily an "outdoor" dog for now, better than returning to kennels and buys you some time to research other options?
Is it worth trying some kind of medication to help came him down? I know my cat had 'kitty prozac' once to stop her biting her fur off.
Please don't put your kids through this
He's shitting on your foot and pissing on you and you have to ask what to do?! You've become a toilet
Wow this is extreme. I'm so sorry, it must be awful for you. I can only assume that because he spent so much time kennelled whilst at the rescue and before that he was a stray, he had free rein to wee/poo wherever he wanted. A habit that has now become ingrained? However, that does not explain his excessive marking behaviour. I can only assume he is trying to claim everything in your house, is it something he does to ease his anxiety perhaps? Does marking reassure him that the house/you are his safe place?
This is a very complex behaviour pattern and I'm sorry to say I don't think there is going to be an easy fix, if any.........
I really have no idea what to suggest but personally I would not send him back to a rescue. I would find the best possible behaviourist that you can, not a trainer, someone who is experienced with this type of extreme behaviour and if all else fails, I think you will have to PTS.
You can get bands that go around the waist and cover the willy. Means they can't pee. Xxx
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