(Closed) My dog is getting destructive, help!

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
1052 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I feel for you 🙁 My mom has a year old sheltie and he is just the (sweetest) terror I’ve ever had to deal with. I spent all morning picking up toilet paper in the backyard after he stole a roll and shredded it because my mom left him out of his crate. He chewed one of our wood chair legs. He steals food off the counter. He ate my mom’s bra. He shreds all my dog’s toys. I have a 7 month old german shepherd and she’s an absolutely angel compared to him.

Is your girl fixed? My little one is in heat right now and I know their personalities can change. She may also just be entering her “butthead” stage where they become teenagers and act out. This is normal and unfortunatley something you just have to wait out. I’d really step up the training and go back to basics. Is she crate trained? Have you ever tethered before? I’d start by crate training her to reduce the amount of damage done to the house. Then I’d keep her tethered in a secue location or keep her leash clipped to you at all times so you can correct any bad behavior immediately. She has lost the privelage of being loose in the house and has to earn it back and earn that even though she thinks she’s all grown up, you’re in charge. Also, lots and lots of exercise so she’s too tired to get into trouble.

My mom’s dog has so many problems bc she is inconsistent with his training. We got him at 11 months after he’d been allowed to run free and destroy whatever he wanted and she hasn’t been successful in correcting that attitude. She’s now going back to the basics as well but you can see what happens when you don’t follow the rules.

Post # 4
Member
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Those are ENGERGETIC dogs!

She is hitting her teen years.

Excersise and alpha roll is very important.

Post # 5
Member
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

A lot of times dogs get destructive when they are bored or have excess energy. Shetland sheepdogs are bred to herd animals, which mean they need lots of exercise. Is she getting enough exercise? You could also look into doggie daycare. Also, there are lots of enrichment-type toys that makes the dog work for treats that can keep them occupied for hours.

Remember that a tired dog is a happy dog, so keep her as active as you can. Hope this helps! 

Post # 6
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m with the other ladies. Having three dogs of my own, I’ve learned that they definitely need plenty of exercise. If you don’t have time to exercise your puppy for a long time at once, try taking her on several shorter walks throughout the day. (When you wake up, at lunch, in the evening. Whenever you have the time.)

It also helps to let your puppy know what things are appropriate to chew on and what aren’t. When you find her chewing on something off-limits, I’m sure you scold her, but also provide her with a toy (I’ve found the kongs are the only things my biggest dog can’t destroy) or the bones with filling and praise her when she plays with them instead.

Post # 7
Member
5977 posts
Bee Keeper

Exercise, exercise, exercise. You need to pay lots of attention to her and take her for long walks. Just giving her a toy to play with isn’t going to wear her down. A tired dog is a happy dog.

Post # 8
Member
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

dittos on the high energy needs of a Sheltie.  Have you considered doing any doggie sports with her?  Agility is loads of fun, and will help her use her brain and body in a way that will keep her occupied :).  A good trainer may also be able to give you advice on how to handle the growling thing (does she do it randomly, or only after someone tries to touch something that’s ‘hers’?).

Post # 10
Member
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@MissComicBook: That is not nearly enough exercise. You have a high energy working dog. She probably needs 2 walks a day at least. One in the morning and one in the evening 45min – 1hr each.

A dog is a responsibility you have to make time for. You picked a SUPER high energy breed so getting her exercise is key.

I’d also recommend getting her into obedience classes so she can become acclimated to other people, dogs, etc as well as exercise her brain.

Shelties are also very smart dogs and need to have their brain (as well as their body) exercised as well. I’d also look into doing agility classes with her so she can exercise body and mind at the same time.

ETA: Until you get control of her excess energy you will have a very hard time getting her to focus on any type of training. If she’s got no outlet for her energy she will continue to be destructive and disobedient.

Post # 12
Member
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@MissComicBook: She needs exercise. What’s the issue with the leash? If she’s pulling, try a harness rather than a collar. Something like an easy-walk harness.

There really is no alternative to getting her the exercise she needs.

Post # 14
Member
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Hmm…it does sound like she’s somewhat bored (ripping paint from between the bars!).  There’s the old putting peanut butter in a kong and then freezing it trick (takes longer to get it all out, thus keeping them occupied).  Also various toys that take effort to make the cookies fall out.

On the cost of agility training: tell me about it!  I pay $100 every two months (ish) for my sheltie.  If it makes you feel any better though about the cost, it is loads of fun :).  Sometimes there are cheap herding tests you can take your dog to; if she’s already exhibiting the herding instinct, that may be right up her alley.  It would certainly allow her to play to her strengths.  If you have a backyard and want to try it on your own, you could put together some of the basic agility equipment and start training.  Even a largeish space indoors can work.  I know people who have made weave poles out of plungers, for instance.  Or buy a cheap made-for-kids popup tunnel.  It doesn’t have to be competition quality for it to keep them occupied.  http://www.affordableagility.com/agilityinbag.htm or if you want to start out cheaper: http://www.affordableagility.com/econojump.htm  EDIT: If you do try any jumps with her, set them with the bar very very low or on the ground.  She’s still a puppy so her joints and bones are still forming, and you can cause severe problems for her later if she jumps too high too soon.

I’m concerned about the growling; it sounds a bit like reactive behavior (sometimes dogs growl at things when they’re actually afraid of them).  A good animal behaviorist would be able to help you diagnose that, and keep it from getting worse.

Post # 15
Member
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@MissComicBook: Hmm…. you could try some of the mental activity toys they make for dogs. And work on training tricks such as teaching her to retrieve certain items when asked. If you engage her brain you may be able to start to engage her on the leash as well.

Also, when walking her, stop anytime she stops paying attention to you. If she wants to lunge, run, or do anything, immediately turn and walk the opposite direction. You may walk in circles for a while but eventually she’ll learn if she wants to go straight, she has to do so on your terms.

Also, work on clicker training. Associate the clicker with treats. Then while walking, periodically stop, have her sit, and tell her to watch you. When she watches you, click and treat. Do this anytime you see something she might react to, BUT you have to get her attention before whatever it is she will see to react to. If she sees it first, you’ve already lost that battle.

I’d suggest watching “It’s Me or the Dog”. Victoria Stillwell deals a lot with hyperactive and hyper-reactive dogs and has some great training tips. All the training is reward based so the dog knows that if it does something right, you will reward positively, rather than some of the negative reward teachings (i.e. Cesar Milan and alpha rolling).

 

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