Our expert says:
Dog 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.
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