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Question
Posted by: Adele | 2011/02/23

Hyperactive doggie

Hi
I recently adopted a 4 year old female doggie from a shelter. She is an absolute pleasure but I am concerned about two things:
1) She was house trained when we adopted her but since the rainy period in Dec/Jan she is doing all her business in the house. I am never able to catch her so I can''t punish her. She has a doggy door and can move freely from the garden and into the house.
2) She is EXTREMELY busy for a 4 year old. She plays very rough as well. We adopted another doggie as a friend for her because we thought she was lonely but now the playing is even worse! She went to behaviour classes and did very well but she struggles to focus.

Thanks!
Adelé 

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Adele, lovely to hear from you. Unfortunately what has happened to you happens to many people that get a second dog to keep the first dog company - you end up with double trouble! Never fear, there are ways and means to help.There is a difference between obedience classes and behaviour modification. In obedience you are taught basic exercises such as sit, wait etc, but in behaviour we try to figure out why the behaviour is occurring and then put together a plan to help you. Will answer in point form as you have done (thanks very helpful!)
1. a.You have to clean all the areas she has soild with a product available at vets specifically for this or use a mixture of 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water and spray and clean areas with this (check the carpets are not affected first)
b. She will have to either be superivsed if in the house when you are out, or restricted to an area where she cant soil.
c. Go right back to the beginning with toilet training. I find it easier to figure out (over a weekend) what the dogs normal routine is and tie into that, but until then, take her out first thing in the morning, after eating, after playing, after sleeping and last thing at night, making a big fuss of it 'yea, weewee's' and acting a bit like a fool. This will make the dog more likely to follow you. As she performs praise with your new cue 'good weewee's' and immediately offer her a treat.
d. You have to do this over and over, and did i mention over? A dog will always perform behaviours that are rewarding and if you look at it from the dogs point of view, it is rewarded repeatedly - it get to interact with you when you run out the door - it gets your verbal praise - it gets a treat - the behaviour of elimination is rewarding it itself.
e. What is often helpful is to ask a friend for a stool sample (welcome to the world of dogs!)of their dog and put in a plastic bag and freeze. Take one out daily (defrosting so that it really has the other dogs scent) and place this in the area you want your dog to eliminate. Just make sure the other dog has had all its innoculations and has been dewormed first.
2. a. Stop the rough play, rather have games of ball or tuggies and stop every few minutes to 'settle' her down. Call her, let her sit with you and just stroke her for a few seconds, then tell her 'free' to go and play again. This helps to keep the excitement levels down and raises you in the hierarchy - bit like school bell going off at playtime!
b. She sounds like she may have some Collie or JR in her or similar breeds. Make sure she gets plenty of positive exercise by ways of walks which supplies mental and physical stimulation.
c. Leve chew toys around the garden which have had a bit of biltong or peanut butter smeered in them (rather organic as high amounts of peanut butter can be toxic to dogs. Just make sure that the two dogs wont fight.

Additionally i would bring in some of the basic rules to up you in the hierarchy by making her start to work for her living by sitting when she comes, or downing, performing waits etc.

Lastly, consider learning how to do TTouch which will go a long way to calm her down. Very often a dog that is 'over the top' is a dog that is stressed and this is how they exhibit the stress. With her background with is very likely.
Good luck and do let me know how you go, thanks Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/02/23

Hi Adele, lovely to hear from you. Unfortunately what has happened to you happens to many people that get a second dog to keep the first dog company - you end up with double trouble! Never fear, there are ways and means to help.There is a difference between obedience classes and behaviour modification. In obedience you are taught basic exercises such as sit, wait etc, but in behaviour we try to figure out why the behaviour is occurring and then put together a plan to help you. Will answer in point form as you have done (thanks very helpful!)
1. a.You have to clean all the areas she has soild with a product available at vets specifically for this or use a mixture of 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water and spray and clean areas with this (check the carpets are not affected first)
b. She will have to either be superivsed if in the house when you are out, or restricted to an area where she cant soil.
c. Go right back to the beginning with toilet training. I find it easier to figure out (over a weekend) what the dogs normal routine is and tie into that, but until then, take her out first thing in the morning, after eating, after playing, after sleeping and last thing at night, making a big fuss of it 'yea, weewee's' and acting a bit like a fool. This will make the dog more likely to follow you. As she performs praise with your new cue 'good weewee's' and immediately offer her a treat.
d. You have to do this over and over, and did i mention over? A dog will always perform behaviours that are rewarding and if you look at it from the dogs point of view, it is rewarded repeatedly - it get to interact with you when you run out the door - it gets your verbal praise - it gets a treat - the behaviour of elimination is rewarding it itself.
e. What is often helpful is to ask a friend for a stool sample (welcome to the world of dogs!)of their dog and put in a plastic bag and freeze. Take one out daily (defrosting so that it really has the other dogs scent) and place this in the area you want your dog to eliminate. Just make sure the other dog has had all its innoculations and has been dewormed first.
2. a. Stop the rough play, rather have games of ball or tuggies and stop every few minutes to 'settle' her down. Call her, let her sit with you and just stroke her for a few seconds, then tell her 'free' to go and play again. This helps to keep the excitement levels down and raises you in the hierarchy - bit like school bell going off at playtime!
b. She sounds like she may have some Collie or JR in her or similar breeds. Make sure she gets plenty of positive exercise by ways of walks which supplies mental and physical stimulation.
c. Leve chew toys around the garden which have had a bit of biltong or peanut butter smeered in them (rather organic as high amounts of peanut butter can be toxic to dogs. Just make sure that the two dogs wont fight.

Additionally i would bring in some of the basic rules to up you in the hierarchy by making her start to work for her living by sitting when she comes, or downing, performing waits etc.

Lastly, consider learning how to do TTouch which will go a long way to calm her down. Very often a dog that is 'over the top' is a dog that is stressed and this is how they exhibit the stress. With her background with is very likely.
Good luck and do let me know how you go, thanks Scotty

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