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Question
Posted by: horsiechic | 2011-10-19

a couple of doggy questions

hi there... i wonder if you can help, i have a few questions.

in total i have 4 dogs - 2 big, 2 small and we live on a farm in the natal midlands.

1. first big dog is a 2 and a half year old labrador x chow and she went through a phase of jumping out of the fenced in yard to be in the garden but is over that so am happy with her.

2. i have a cross breed i know he is labrador x chow x something he''s quite a big dog and is a year and a hlaf now, the problem i have with him is he chews stuff - only plastic - but everything food bowls, water dishes, flower pots anything. what can i do about it? right now i''m just hoping he''ll outgrow the habit.

3. then i have 2 jack russels (1 bithc  1 dog) who seem to have toilet issues, they''ll be in the yard all day and bring them into the house at night and they insist on going to the loo... everwhere... they are 2 years old is there anyway to re-house train them?

4. finally the jack russel dog, he''s a wanderer and a houdini, nothing keeps him in, when i''m at home he''ll stay and when i go out so does he, at the moment I am depressed he''s wandered off somewhere on the farm or one of the neighbouring farms and has been missing for 12 days now. when (if) he comes back any suggstions on how to keep him at home when i''m not there?

Thanks so much and sorry for the long post

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Horsiechic with dog issues! Nice to hear from you and no problem about the long post.

Am going to answer this in point form as per your question above which I think will be easier.

2. Even though we have large yards for dogs to run in and many people think this is more than sufficient, what needs to be borne in mind is that dogs have a sense of smell that is over 45 times more developed than humans, and they NEED the stimulation of new smells etc, which is achieved by outside walks and stimulation. When dogs re bored and frustrated they tend to revert to behaviours like jumping over fences (your no 1 and 4 point) and destructive behaviour - it is a way to relieve the boredom and frustration and it also serves to calm the dog down. What I would suggest is that you walk ALL the dogs and also provide mental stimulation by way of varied chew toys that are changed daily. Chewing is actually a way in which dogs release stress. The ideal situation is if you have 4 dogs, is to have about 7/8 varied chews available.
Do be careful however if you have dogs that will fight over chew toys!
3. If your dogs are not sterilized they will be more likely to mark in the home, so if so, number 1 step is to sterilize. I would then suggest that in addition to management by way of either crate training the dogs for night time or keeping them in a confined area (dogs seldom soil where they sleep)and also watching them like hawks and not allowing them access to the home unless under supervision, that you start toilet training them right from the beginning. I have put in a link to an article on this that appears on the site for you at the end. Additionally, make sure you clean the areas soiled with 1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water and throughly clean. After this put down some pure citronella oil on the areas cleaned.
4. As mentioned in points above, not being sterilized and/or not receiving sufficient physical and mental stimulation can cause this behaviour. Additionally, with a dog like this and as the behaviour of running away is so self-rewarding, I believe your best option would be management i.e. have the dog inside in a safe area where it cannot get out, or in a seperate area of the garden where it cannot escape.

If you do decide to go the route of the management above, please do get in touch with me and I will explain how to get the dog used to being kept alone, rather than just locking him up which could be even more stressful for the dog.
thanks, Scotty

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: scotty | 2011-10-21

Hi there, it wont let me paste the link here for some reason. Please just check out my friendsofthedog website and see the articles on toilet training there. they are in the pups section but also apply to adult dogs. You can get this address if you have a look at the About Me on this site at the front. Sorry!

Reply to scotty
Posted by: horsiechic | 2011-10-20

hi scotty... thanks so much for your advice, i went on a chew toy buying mission today, hope they like what i got them!

all the dogs are sterilized which was something that was confusing me about their behaviour.

they sleep and eat confined in our laundry at night which is a nice sized room its about 6m x 3m and the naughty jack russel poop everywhere in here. i will definately do the vinegar and water clean and the citronella oil, how would you recommend it best to re house train them? (sorry link didnt come up)

becuase of jack russel boy running off all the dogs stay in during the day and they dont seem to run off at night anymore so maybe have that problem solved, just hoping the houdini comes back.

thanks again, have a good evening HC

Reply to horsiechic
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011-10-20

Hi Horsiechic with dog issues! Nice to hear from you and no problem about the long post.

Am going to answer this in point form as per your question above which I think will be easier.

2. Even though we have large yards for dogs to run in and many people think this is more than sufficient, what needs to be borne in mind is that dogs have a sense of smell that is over 45 times more developed than humans, and they NEED the stimulation of new smells etc, which is achieved by outside walks and stimulation. When dogs re bored and frustrated they tend to revert to behaviours like jumping over fences (your no 1 and 4 point) and destructive behaviour - it is a way to relieve the boredom and frustration and it also serves to calm the dog down. What I would suggest is that you walk ALL the dogs and also provide mental stimulation by way of varied chew toys that are changed daily. Chewing is actually a way in which dogs release stress. The ideal situation is if you have 4 dogs, is to have about 7/8 varied chews available.
Do be careful however if you have dogs that will fight over chew toys!
3. If your dogs are not sterilized they will be more likely to mark in the home, so if so, number 1 step is to sterilize. I would then suggest that in addition to management by way of either crate training the dogs for night time or keeping them in a confined area (dogs seldom soil where they sleep)and also watching them like hawks and not allowing them access to the home unless under supervision, that you start toilet training them right from the beginning. I have put in a link to an article on this that appears on the site for you at the end. Additionally, make sure you clean the areas soiled with 1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water and throughly clean. After this put down some pure citronella oil on the areas cleaned.
4. As mentioned in points above, not being sterilized and/or not receiving sufficient physical and mental stimulation can cause this behaviour. Additionally, with a dog like this and as the behaviour of running away is so self-rewarding, I believe your best option would be management i.e. have the dog inside in a safe area where it cannot get out, or in a seperate area of the garden where it cannot escape.

If you do decide to go the route of the management above, please do get in touch with me and I will explain how to get the dog used to being kept alone, rather than just locking him up which could be even more stressful for the dog.
thanks, Scotty

Reply to Dog Behaviour Expert

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