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#1 Fiery_WA

 

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        Posted 23 August 2015 - 12:56 AM

My Lab Collie X is now coming up to being 18 months old.  I have taken her to a Puppy Training School, although if I was to be completely honest was a waste of time.  I had already taught her the basics, sit, down, leave it.

 

Background on myself I am now a 50yo woman with a disability, I have owned two dogs, my first was a Shepherd, my second was a rescue puppy who I had for just over 15 years.  My third is my Labrador, Collie X, more Labrador.Background on myself I am now a 50yo woman with a disability, I have owned two dogs, my first was a Shepherd, my second was a rescue puppy who I had for just over 15 years.  My third is my Labrador, Collie X, more Labrador.

 

I am aware she needs exercise not only physical but mental, the best physical exercise I am able to provide her with is fetching a ball.  I did have a young girl who was taking her out for walks, something I am physically unable to do.  My partner works, when he feels like it, he will take her to the beach, but is either too tired or not interested in walking her.

 

Now to the problems,  SheezaWMD, I know it is probably because she isn't getting the exercise she needs, but she is a Weapon of Mass Destruction, she is chewing holes in the walls has chewed through a door, she is an opportunistic thief, and more recently, our neighbours who have a newborn have asked to keep her from barking.

I am trying my best to get her to come when called, (click and reward), she only does it when she wants to. 

My main concern at the moment is the destruction to the house, items she steals and barking.  I am ashamed to admit it, but I have found the only way to stop her destruction and barking,  is my partner now puts a muzzle on her when he goes to work, when I get up, the muzzle comes off.  Surprisingly she doesn't fight not have the muzzle put on her, doesn't try to get it off, and our home is still in one piece.

After a game of fetch, she is worn out (so am I), this is when she will start stealing things.  We have now made it standard practice to keep all doors closed, and have gated off the lounge room.

She is a high energy loving dog.  I don't like seeing her in the muzzle, but I am at my wits end, at how to stop her from doing what she knows is wrong.

 

 



#2 Kurt

 

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        Posted 24 August 2015 - 01:12 AM

Thank you for writing.

 

 It seems to me that the type of dog you have is not the kind you need. You have a Lab/Collie mix, both are very high energy dogs but with limited mobility and disability you can't keep up with them.  Plus at 18 months old your dog is still practically a puppy in it's behavior.  Labs require strength and energy to deal with. So do Collies.

 

 This dog needs outside exercise, have you tried Frisbee with this dog? It's lower energy than ball throwing for the human and more fun for the dog. Just make sure to get a Frisbee made for dog use. They are made of a softer rubber so it doesn't damage the dogs teeth and doesn't break up into shards. Does your dog have its own toys to chew on readily available to it?

 

 Your dog will need this kind of exercise on a daily basis. When training, I always recommend people start the training process off with 20 minutes of play and then train for 20 min and end with 20 more minutes of playtime. It seems to be most effective.  Another part of the problem is that dogs like to exercise with their owners. It's a pack thing. Dogs are happiest when the whole pack is doing an activity together.

 

It's really cruel to put a muzzle on a dog that doesn't bite and dangerous to leave it unattended with a muzzle on. The reason your dog is being so destructive is because it is frustrated over the lack of attention and exercise. And without additional exercise your dogs behavior will not improve.

 

Based on what you have said so far, I recommend rehoming your dog to a home where the people can give the dog the exercise it needs. I would call a local Lab Rescue Group rather than the local shelter. Some shelters will euthanize dogs and you don't want that. Rescue groups do a wonderful job of matching dogs with owners.  Maybe a smaller dog with less physical requirements would be best for you?



#3 Fiery_WA

 

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        Posted 24 August 2015 - 02:38 AM

Yes I'm aware she is still a puppy.

 

I have a Kong Frisbee that I play with her with also.  Multiple chew toys including a Kong Safestix, and a Kong Extreme Rubber Ball. 

 

Rehoming her isn't an option, no matter how much work she is, I couldn't do it  :(

 

I don't think I mentioned it, in my first post,  when she was around 5 month's old I took her to a Training School, I had already taught her everything they were teaching there.

 

I have an appointment on the 5th September with a different dog Training School, who offer one on one lessons, not cheap, but then the money I have invested in her and our home it is inexpensive.

 

I know that muzzling her is cruel, that's why I am ashamed it has gotten to the point that she is being muzzled even if it is only for a couple of hours.



#4 Kurt

 

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        Posted 24 August 2015 - 03:42 PM

I like the Kong Frisbee, it's nice and soft on a dogs teeth. Kong toys in general are pretty good.

 

Have you thought about kenneling your dog instead of muzzling it while you are gone? That's better and safer for the dog.

I do appreciate your honesty in discussing your problem with us. As for schools. The best kind I have seen are the ones where you go to a class and you work your own dog based on the instructors guidance. This method of training trains the owner as well as the dog.

I have seen people send their dogs off for private training, and in the end if there is no follow through on the owners part the dog ends up listening to the trainer, but not the owner.

 

-Kurt



#5 Fiery_WA

 

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        Posted 25 August 2015 - 02:14 AM

The kenneling would help with the destructive behaviour, however if you read my original post, that's not the only problem, she is barking, our neighbours have been good about it, so we are trying to take them into consideration as well.

 

As for sending her off to training without myself there, that would be pointless, my disability if I had to say one major thing about it, it would be mobility, I cannot cover great distances, and the ground and I tend to meet each other on a regular basis.

 

Even though she is my Partners and my dog, for a few reasons I am the one who has been left to train her, so I would be going with her for the training.  As I said have an appointment with Sheeza, with a different training school.  (They're few and far between where we live),  It was this particular trainer who said she wanted to meet us both, and from there would decide whether one on one training would be more suitable than a group class.  Which is what we did when she was younger.



#6 Kurt

 

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        Posted 25 August 2015 - 09:43 PM

 The reason you are having the barking with this dog is the same reason you are having the destruction to your house. The dog is so frustrated that it has all this energy to release and you are not really offering an outlet for release. This will continue and then it will get worse. I can't tell you how many times I have seen this.  Frustration eventually can turn into aggression. If the situation is not corrected somebody is going to get bit by this dog. It may not be tomorrow, but it's coming on down the line. The dog is sending you a very strong message.

 

-Kurt



#7 Fiery_WA

 

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        Posted 26 August 2015 - 01:28 PM

Okay one last question, am I wasting my time and money on getting some one one training lessons?



#8 Kurt

 

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        Posted 27 August 2015 - 12:44 AM

The one on one training is the kind where you take the dog to a class and the instructor helps you train your dog? Couldn't hurt. At least you'll get an evaluation of the dogs behavior and this alone may present additional options we haven't discussed. It's really hard to see what a dog is up to without actually being there. I just have to go by what you are saying about it.



#9 Fiery_WA

 

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        Posted 28 August 2015 - 06:51 AM

Okay that's what I thought, I just want to do the best I can for my girl, sadly my other half is of the opinion she will grow out of it, so he is not supporting my efforts to try and help her out



#10 Kurt

 

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        Posted 28 August 2015 - 08:39 PM

That's one part I can't figure out. Why your partner won't help you with the dog knowing that you have mobility issues. That's pretty cruel in itself.

 

 You can''t just let a dog grow without any kind of training. Especially a dog the size of a lab. Think of it this way, dogs in general want to please their owners. Dogs normal state of mind is happiness. They love to be happy. Training shows the dogs how they can please you to make you happy. In the end once  the dog knows how to make you happy (by behaving), then it will do so. When this happens properly everyone is happy. It's a win win situation.

 

But left to themselves without training a dog gets frustrated and doesn't know how to please it's owners (family). So the dog does what it thinks will make you happy. This is usually what will not make an owner happy. And not being able to get enough exercise to release the built up energy the dog has is not making things any easier.

 

All I can really tell you at this time is to do the best you can with what you have. And hope for the best.

 

-Kurt






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