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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again, I'm the one who rescued a boxer in July this year even though I'm totally new to boxers.

My boxer Bailey has introduced a lot of new hassles into our home, especially for my husband. First he accepted her into the house, sight unseen, due to my and my daughter's long-distance insistence. (We called him from out of state just before we headed home and pleaded with him to take her in.) As I've said before, we've had a few mishaps with property destruction and house-breaking issues. Things were getting better. And then....

Last night hubby left Bailey alone in the living room (with the other dogs) for just a few minutes. When he returned, she and our other puppy, a 2-year-old beagle/rottweiler mix, were devouring the last of a roast chicken that had been on the kitchen counter. He was fit to be tied and immediately blamed the mess on Bailey (and probably rightly so given that the other has never counter-surfed and probably doesn't have that ability). The first thing he did was call me and say he did not want to deal with the extra security issues of having to make sure food is not available on the counter when Bailey is left alone. A few hours later, and this morning, he was able to reconsider and back away from his initial response, but he resents her (even as he cups her head in his hands and kisses her this morning).

Other issues he brought up were the possibility that Bailey might be training the other puppy to try and get food while we're away and his perception that Bailey doesn't care what we ask her to do so is "untrainable." The last item is related to her getting on the couch repeatedly (a no-no in our house), and sometimes acting confused when we tell her to get off. The other puppy has a more "anthropomorphic" response...a guilty look and a sneakiness about her that seems to charm the pants off of hubby.

I have a call into a wonderful trainer whose classes are full till November. I asked for a private session soon, but haven't received a return call yet. By the way, I also called the vet last night after the chicken fiasco and have enough information to make sure the dogs are okay (their stools were normal this morning and they are eating rice and boiled eggs for a couple days).

The other event last night was Bailey peeing on the carpet. The one night I leave the house. Yep. I think I'm the only one tuned to her whining signals that she needs to go out. In this situation, hubby was in our room, daughter took a shower, and son decided to turn in...Bailey was left alone.

Recap: Last night's counter-surfing, possible teaching of bad manners to our other puppy, and recurrent house-breaking problems are causing me to again doubt whether our home is the best place for Bailey. Unless...I can get my family on-board with the signals (daughter is more than willing to take Bailey in the bathroom with her next time, as I do) and extra security measures of moving food (especially the tempting variety) off the counter before leaving the house.

I know she needs training and that's in the works. Any other ideas, suggestions, or plain commiseration would really soothe my soul about now.

Thanks so much!
Pamela
 

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About the only thing I can tell you is to never leave her out of your sight. If your hubby doesn't feel that he can keep an eye on her every second that she's out, or if you feel that he won't be able to keep an eye on her all the time, you need to crate her when you leave and tell him not to worry about her - that you'll take care of her when you get home. It's much better that she spends a bit of extra time in the crate until you get some of these issues resolved, rather than out and causing conflict in your home and having her end up displaced yet again.

It now appears that she's being a bit *too* independent? :lol:

I think that it's unreasonable to expect any dog not to at least attempt to get food off of the counter. Let me put it this way, if you were a dog, and you saw a gorgeous, succulent roast chicken on the kitchen counter, what would *you* do? Personally, I'd go for it! :lol: . Knowing that this is now a temptation that is bigger than she is, I just wouldn't put her in the position to mess up in the future, and if this means that she stays crated until after dinner is over, so be it.

You do have to admit, looking back on it now, that it is pretty funny. . . Kind of akin to the Bumpus's dogs on A Christmas Story, you know? :lol:

As for the accident, I would just pass it off as exactly that - an accident. (Remember me telling you in the other thread that relapses would happen? ;) )

You are absolutely correct in thinking that she needs training, and if it is coming down to an issue of whether or not you feel that you are going to be able to keep her, I would call your trainer and tell her exactly that - that unless you are able to work on these issues soon, that you may have to rehome her. It may mean that you will have to be a bit more persistent in trying to get a hold of her; I'm sure that she gets busy from time to time.

BTW - Do you have any baby gates in the house?? If so, put them to work!

Another thing that you can do to ensure that she sticks close to you, rather than going off and getting into stuff is to stuff your pants pockets with treats. Walk into a room, and at random times, drop a treat out of your pocket and onto the floor. Pretty soon, you should have very little problem with the chicken in the kitchen.

Good luck, take a deep breath, take your dog into the bathroom with you, tell her to lay down in the corner, shut the door, draw yourself a nice, warm relaxing bath, and soak. You'll get a quiet moment to yourself and you'll be able to keep an eye on her to ensure that she's not getting into anything in the meantime. ;)
 

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It sounds like you have a boxer :wink:

Just as Burning River said - you need to USE THE CRATE.

OMG - Chloe is NEVER out when we are not watching her 100% of the time.  When we cannot watch her - she's in the crate.  If she's in the kitchen so are we - if she's in the living room - so are we.  Even then - yesterday she pulled the table cloth off the kitchen table and everything crashed down on top of her (hopefully it scared her enough to not do it again) - but I was there to keep her from getting at the food (which she sees as a reward for her behavior).  You need to look at this from the dog's point of view - every time they get a reward (food, etc.) for some action they will keep doing it - if they realize that they get a correction (squirt of water, loud sound, etc. WITHOUT a reward) then they will eventually stop doing it.

I understand your DH doesn't want to babysit - mine doesn't either.  So the nights that I have school she is in her crate more often.  DH can only stand running after her in the house for about 30 minutes at a time.  

Also - what is your exercise schedule?  Chloe is on walks 30 minutes at 5am and 30 minutes at 7pm.  A tired dog=a good dog.  Also - no food until after a walk - this way she understands she has to work for food.  We also make her wait for us to go through doorways AFTER us, so she understands that we are the leaders.

You can also try giving Bailey a bone when you want him to stay in one spot - that helps too.  Don't give up - maybe you can take more of a role with the dog and leave him in the crate when you are out so your DH is bothered with it - until he starts behaving better.
 

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Hi Pam, I must have missed this post of yours. I'm hoping things have settled down a bit since you wrote it.

The counter top surfing is a no-brainer, any animal is going to do that if you tempt them. Samson would if he thought he could, but I have always been dilligent about not leaving things on the counter. I had one episode with Buck & Tia where my ex left chicken on the counter(hmm what is it about chicken?) and the they ate it, same as Bailey did. That's a case where everybody has to be on the same page & understand what can happen. With rescue dogs especially you have no way of knowing what habits they developed prior to you getting them, so sometimes it takes awhile to work out issues. I was lucky with Samson, his only habit and he still does it occasionally is not to "come" when he's told.

Like Jessica said, the accidents you have to expect for a bit. Does she go out when the other dogs do? Or do you have to take her out on her own? I was thinking like the "follow the leader" mentality, one goes out to pee and the others follow.

As far as Bailey being untrainable, I don't think that is the issue. Very few dogs are untrainable, you just have to use different methods with different dogs. Like kids, they all respond different. Having said that, yes, she definitely needs some training, badly. But it is important that everybody follows through on what you train Bailey to do. Nothing will mess things up more than having one person not using the same method.

Keep Bailey with you, in what ever room you go in. Like Jessica said, if you have to take her with you into the bathroom, do it. It might also help create more of a bond also, which is a good thing. Samson used to always follow me everywhere in the house, but in his case it was more cos he was afraid he was going to be abandoned again. So, yea, every dog has it's own issues, it's just learning them & dealing with them.

Hope it is going better....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jessica, ssimons99, and Willow,

Thank you for all the encouraging words. Just about everything is going better. Bailey hasn't had any accidents since I last wrote, hubby's at ease because I suggested he put her in the crate when he doesn't want to watch her, and Bailey seems to be melding even more into our family, even to the point that I caught hubby with her on his lap on Monday. He was cradling her head and cooing to her. I think she's wormed her way into his heart. He told me Tuesday that it was up to me if she stayed. I'm biding my time for another week before I hold him to it (get his "official commitment" haha) - I want him to see Bailey do well as she has been since Friday.

I've been playing phone tag with the trainer and also thinking about waiting till November classes rather than pay the higher price for a private consultation. I might be able to manage the issues till then.

Main issue now is she peed in her crate two days in a row. (No problems at night except the first time she was leashed to my bed post - other nights she sleeps with my teenage daughter on her bed.) I know that today she was in the crate for no more than four hours...yet her bed was wet. She whined a couple hours after her walk and I thought she needed to go, but she did nothing when I brought her outside. She continued to whine inside and was even "stickier" (like velcro) than usual. Could it be separation anxiety or something else? She's fine in the evenings, in the living room with us (we use something like a baby gate to restrict her there with us), so I don't think she has a bladder problem.

ssimons99, I'm curious about walking before feeding. It's an idea I might be persuaded to try, though we have it reversed now (except we do take them out at 5am to pee first, then feed, then out again around 5:30am; same thing at night). It would be a major adjustment for all three of our dogs. I guess we could take them out afterwards just for a potty break, but my 2-year-old dog seems to need a solid walk to get her digestion working.

Willow, just as an fyi, our 12-year-old golden/lab has never in her life surfed the kitchen counter, and neither has our 2-year-old beagle/rott. So maybe we wouldn't be tempting every animal. In our house, when we see food off the counter, we have to assume (at least initially, until the other dogs learn to do it?) that Bailey is the culprit. I am explaining this because it plays such an important part in my hubby's perception "if Bailey would leave, we'd never have this problem." Fortunately, hubby's heart feels differently today. ;-)

I really appreciate your feedback and I'm going to keep focusing on Bailey's issues so I can help her deal with them and adjust to our home. Thanks again!!!!

Pamela
 

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pdenchfield\";p=\"885 said:
ssimons99, I'm curious about walking before feeding. It's an idea I might be persuaded to try, though we have it reversed now (except we do take them out at 5am to pee first, then feed, then out again around 5:30am; same thing at night). It would be a major adjustment for all three of our dogs. I guess we could take them out afterwards just for a potty break, but my 2-year-old dog seems to need a solid walk to get her digestion working.


Pamela
Well I am a super big "research geek" before I do anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ssimons99, thanks for the great ideas!

Fortunately Bailey already knows Off and Leave It. I'm grateful for that!

Anyway I appreciate your research-based perspective and it makes sense to order things by what humans want rather than what your puppy wants - a necessary socialization, I think!

Pamela
 

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Hi Pamela,
Was just thinking about you today and wondering how you were getting on! :)  So glad to hear that things are going better!

The peeing in the crate may just be an adjustment thing. Again, you've changed her routine by starting to crate her and she may be "off kilter" because of it. May just take her awhile to get used to the routine again. I would only begin to worry about it if it happens for a week or more, and even then, if it does, it will be best to have her checked for a UTI just to make sure. At least then you'll know for sure whether it is a health issue or a training/behavioral issue.

In the meantime you can treat it as if it is a training/behavior issue, however. I would start by filling her kong with the peanut butter/chicken broth combo and freezing it the night before. Then get it out and give it to her as you walk out the door to leave. This will (hopefully) distract her into not noticing that you're leaving, and it will crate a positive association with you leaving her alone (ie: mom leaves, I get goodies!)

If the peeing continues, remove her bedding. Many times, they find out that it's not so pleasant laying on a cold, wet, hard crate pan and they learn to keep it clean. The disadvantage of the bedding is that it draws the moisture away from the body so they don't have to deal with it. Taking the bedding away will give her one more incentive to keep her crate clean. You can give it back after she's learned to keep the crate clean, but for now it's best to nip this bud before it becomes a recurring problem.

Just some ideas. . . Hopefully it was just a fluke, and that you won't need them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Jessica! Last night Bailey peed on her bedding right in front of me. I corrected her verbally and with a hard tap on the nose, then took her outside to "go potty." I stood out there for five minutes with her in one spot and she looked bored and ready to go back in, but she wouldn't pee.

She slept leashed to my bed post and did fine - no accidents.

I think I'll try the no-bedding trick when we go out today for a few hours.

Thanks again!
Pamela
 

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Hi Pamela,
I also just thought of something else, LOL

Dogs have VERY sensitive noses. . . Even if you've washed her bedding, it will probably still smell like urine to her, and with animals, if it smells like a potty, it must be a potty.

They make enzyme cleaners specifically for the neutralization of urine and fecal odors from pet accidents. These cleaners sole purpose for being is to eliminate the odor completely so that the animal can't even smell it.

I swear by a product called "Nature's Miracle". They make one for dogs and one for cats (the cat version is just more concentrated, so I'm considering buying only the cat version from now on). I would pick a bottle up so that you can hand wash her bedding in it and then hang it out to dry completely before giving it back to her.

I always have a bottle of it on hand, and it especially comes in handy for potty training puppies, and for kitty accidents (and we all know how bad cat pee can smell. For whatever reason, if something significant changes in my cat's routine she'll have the occasional accident. The last time we had her shaved [maybe a year ago?], she peed on the carpet in the living room. Nature's Miracle For Cats was the only thing that took out the smell.)

They carry it at PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, Petco, etc.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Jessica! Good point! After I read your post I treated Bailey's clean bedding to Nature's Miracle. (I actually do have some in the house.) It's drying now for future use.

Pamela
 

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Hi Pam, Well it sounds like things are starting to get settled some what. Glad to hear that. Bailey, bless her heart is trying the best she can & with all the changes it's hard sometimes to know what's right. She needs continuity, which she is now getting. Samson for the most part has scheduled times he wants out..Since we don't have a doggie door, he has to let me know when he needs to go out & in the mornings especially, he is very good about that. If we aren't up by 6:30, he comes into the bedroom, stands by my side of the bed & talks to me.  Course he's an old man now, and absolutely hates having his routine upset.

Bailey is definitely a much more high energy dog than your other 2 are, so yes, you have to work with her differently. I'm not surprised tho that your other 2 didn't counter surf, just had to mention it. I figure if you don't leave it out to tempt, you won't have an issue. The only time I have had an issue with that with Samson is with venision. He will crawl through the oven to get it if he can.  :)

When are we going to see some pictures of this cutie by the way?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Willow, I sure appreciate your continued input. I just added photos for you to see! Enjoy!
Pamela
 

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Pam, Oh she is a cutie  :) It certainly looks like she gets along well with your other dogs. Hope everything is going well...
 
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