chaquita again (kinda long) please help! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
Wacky Chimpnose
 
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Unhappy chaquita again (kinda long) please help!

ok, i really don't know what to do about the carpet thing. it has progressed into a new habit. she now chews bald spots into the middle of rooms in random places. spots are about 1-3 inches in diameter. i don't know what to do. its weird because i went through this exact same thing with penny except she did it to the walls. i am already going to have the replace all of the carpet in the whole apt (don't ask how much that'll cost). everytime i leave i fill up their 2 Kongs with goodies then i "hide"/throw a bunch of milk bones and treats all over the apt to keep em busy while i'm gone. its helped a little, but she still does this carpet thing every 2 or 3 times i leave for more that 30 min. she has done it when i take a 15 min shower! on 2 occasions i have been right there when she will begin to tug at the carpet and i tell her NO! and make sure she gets the message. she stops and that's that. so my ques is this:
should i:
A) get rugs to cover up the areas already messed up and hope that less floor space will help (getting rugs that don't resemble carpet and trying to spray the rest of the carpet with Bitter Apple which works).

-or-

B) ride this one through correcting her when i can (she does it mostly when i'm not looking) and wait for her to grow out of it (like penny suddenly did), then replace all the carpet.

please vote and heeeelp me!!!!!!!!!! my carpet looks like it needs rogaine.
i am trying to get into a house with nooooo carpet and a YARD!!!!!!!!

-jane

Last edited by Formula86; 10-21-2003 at 05:27 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 08:08 AM
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Hmmm, I'm gonna vote for an option you didn't list! I know you say she's got problems being crated or put in an x-pen but it really is your best option. She has already got away with going crazy while your gone (which I'm sure is a blast for her!) and your not doing her any favors by not training her "correct" behavior. Is she still a pup? (bad memory!)

IMO, I really think you should start crating or putting her in an x-pen. She may go psycho at first but in the long run it's your best option.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 11:55 AM
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I had the same problem with one of my dogs a year ago. Really the only thing you can do is put them outside while you're gone (which I'm guessing isn't an option if your in an apt) OR crate her. If she's doing this while you're gone, you're never gonna get her to stop, how can you correct the behavior when you're not home? Crating is the only way this will stop!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 03:23 PM
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I agree with Jodi and Pure14...I think the only way this will stop is crating her somehow, atleast when u aren't in the room or can't watch her. I know you said she doesn't like it, but in this case I think you tried everything else possible! lol. I crate all my dogs when I am not home. Kahlua used to stay out, but everytime we would leave, he would get into something he wasn't supposed to. I never had a problem of eating a carpet or the wall, thank goodness, but he got into everything else. The trash, the litter box, the treats...it got to the point where everytime we would leave I had to put eveything up, and come home to find I missed something. It is really for their own safety that they are crated when I'm gone, so they don't get into anything they aren't supposed to, etc. Jodi is right, she is having a blast while u aren't there! lol. It also sounds like a separation anxiety thing as well. I know you adopted her, do you know about her past? Alot of dogs cry when left alone, some chew things, tear up stuff, etc, it all varies. Jasmine used to screach and cry. Kahlua tears stuff up. We used to leave Penny out, too, but everytime we would leave, she would go number 2 somewhere in our apt, even though we took her out before we left, yet she wouldn't go if she was in her cage. Thus, she was angry we left. Have you tried gating her in somehwere with a tiled floor? I don't know how big your apt is. Like a kitchen or another bathroom?
I hope things get better with Chaquita!! :bfly:

~* Jackie *~

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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hi guys! the first thing that i thought of when this started was crating. i went and bought a crate and put her in there. she poopied all over herself, etc. i have a feeling if i put her in the bathroom she will destroy it. she is about 9 months old and i got her 6 weeks ago. they don't know anything about her. she is extremely submissive and she has anxiety pee-pee sometimes. she goes poopy no matter what when i leave her alone, even if she just went. i could try putting her in the kitchen while i'm gone, but i don't know if there is a gate tall enough. she jumps really high. plus, the cabinets are all old wood, and i think she would chew on them (maybe not). she just freaks out when confined and i'm scared she'll hurt herself (example: i took her to get her nails clipped and she freaked out so much she made her nose bleed and busted all the blood vessels in her right eye). i don't know.
MORE IMPORTANTLY:
DO YOU GUYS THINK SHE'LL OUTGROW THIS?????????
-jane
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 07:01 PM
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You ask a very important question - Do you think that this behavior will stop?

I don't think it will stop and I think it could get worse. Do I think it's possible to correct the problem and stop it? Yes

I'm a firm believer in confinement. Crating and in a lot of cases using an ex-pen in conjunction with a crate protects the dog and your home. It also is a great way to give the dog her own place which serves many purposes. Dogs are den animals. Having a space of their own goes a long way to eliminate a lot of unwanted behaviors plus it creates a sense of security for the dog. It's not impossible to teach a dog to accept her crate at any age. If the crate (and ex-pen) is introduced the day you bring her home the process is much easier, but starting from the beginning with a dog of any age is certainly possible and can be done with minimal stress. It may not seem so, but it really will eliminate a lot of anxiety and stress, for everyone!

It really sounds to me as if this dog has separation anxiety issues as well as possibly other anxiety issues. These problems are not impossible to correct. It takes patience, consistency and positive reinforement. Have a plan and stick to it.

Often in trying to correct unwanted behaviors we end up inadvertently rewarding them. Remember- even what we percieve as negative attention - is still attention! The most effective way to problem solve when it comes to our dogs is to have a plan. Set them up to succeed and try not to put them in situations where they fail. The more successful our dogs are, the more confidence they gain and often "problem" behaviors begin to disappear.

All that said! I really do believe you should consider crating and confining. Start from the beginning. Another important part of the plan should be doing simple basic obedience training for short periods every day. This is a wonderful way to create a deep bond based on trust and it really does wonders to foster confidence in your dog.

Good Luck! I know how much you want your dog to succeed. I have to imagine that this problem is really stressful for you. I'd be happy to help you develop a plan if you are interested. This isn't a problem that you have to live with, or wait out. You need to take assertive action, and we're all here for you!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 07:12 PM
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Well said Deja!

Jane, I don't believe she will grow out of this either. Have you tried making her crate smaller with less room? Usually they won't poop in their crate if the space is small enough.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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jgawana: in reply:
if i made the crate any smaller she wouldn't be able to fit. she literally poopies all over the floor of it and then just stands there in it for however long i am gone. she isn't poopying cause she can't hold it, she does it from anxiety. i just don't want to put her in a little crate where she can't move.

please keep in mind guys: i live in an apartment. i have very limited space to work with here.

i think what i'm going to do is put a baby gate in front of my kitchen and keep her in there. my kitchen is the size of most people's closets. i'll put them both in there, otherwise there will be problems.

when i asked if this would stop, i meant would she outgrow it. penny did this to the walls when she was this age (from teething, etc) and she just stopped all of a sudden. you guys don't think this is a phase like penny?

btw, if i seem mad in this posting, i'm not. i'm just trying to get a solution. i really appreciate all the help.

what do you guys think of the kitchen idea?
-jane
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 07:32 AM
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Hi!
I honestly thought of crateing too when I started reading your post, but considering the mess you come home to I think you should certainly give the kitchen idea a try first. It could work just fine unless your dog can climb up the gate like my mini dachshund use to do when she was alive. When my dachshund grew older she got worse and worse with distructive behavior and I did end up crating her when ever we left the house- but she didn't poop in there or go nuts. It sounds like you have your hands full and I wish you luck. I wouldn't replace that carpet until you get this problem solved though.
If the kitchen idea dosen't work you could still try and get her to accept the crate- which I'm sure there are ways(Deja knows I bet).
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 01:38 PM
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I would say try the kitchen, if it's safe b/c it sounds like there's a pretty good chance it might get destroyed. I completely understand on the crating thing, one of my dogs would kill herself trying to get out so I just couldn't do it, rough decision. My dog luckily grew out of it when she hit maturity (thank god!!), I hope your dog does too, for everyone's sake!


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 04:57 PM
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I know you are frustrated and looking for solutions. My personal feeling based on experience, is that without structured intervention on your part the dog won't outgrow this behavior.

As far as pooping herself in the crate- it's not unusual at all for an anxious or nervous dog (or pup) to have this reaction to any percieved stress (notice I said percieved). Dogs do not like to relieve themselves where they sleep or eat. Given the proper introduction (a gradual process like I mentioned in my first post) and conditioning, boosted with lots of positive reinforcement, it is possible to get even dogs with severe anxiety issues to accept the crate and actually come to rely on it for comfort and security.

Confining the dog to a small area with an easy to clean floor (the ex-pen idea) is definately something I would do. Young dogs shouldn't be crated for extended periods of time. The general rule of thumb for a dog that's been crate trained eary is usually one hour for every month of age- not exceeding 6 hours (during the day), and once fully and reliably housebroken the dog (or pup) can be crated through the night to match your own sleep schedule. The crate should always be accessable with the door opened. Treats can be thrown in it to encourage the dog to go in and out, exploring it on her own.

When using the ex-pen principle, the crate is left in the space with it's door opened. The confined area should have just enough room for the dog to enter and exit the crate, have access to water (I don't know if you feed on a schedule or free-feed) and/or food, room to lay down and turn around- but not run freely in this space. Soft bedding or towels can be placed on the floor in one corner, safe things to chew and a few safe toys should be in this area too. The idea is to get the dog to feel comfortable and accept the area as their own. They generally won't potty in this area because the basic nature of dogs is to keep their dens clean. Should they have an accident in their confined space and have no way to get away from it, they do learn that it's not pleasant. They will usually escape into the crate, even if they haven't fully accepted it as their personal "bedroom" or "spot". (It's kind of outsmarting them- and like I keep saying- setting them up!)

Should you come home and find the dog has relieved herself on the floor or tried to cover it up with the towels or bedding, just clean it up without looking at or talking to the dog. Don't draw attention to it.

Using this method the dog earns freedom. As the dog becomes adjusted and accident free, the area can gradually be enlarged.

Also- you are setting the dog up to succeed by not giving her any chance to destroy anything. During this process you should be working with the dog one-on-one for about 20 minutes a day doing basic obedience. All of this combined will work wonders to eliminate the nervousness and anxiety based unwanted behaviors. It will also teach the dog that you are the center of the universe, and you'll form a leadership based bond.

I think the kitchen will work. Is there any way you can protect your cabinets? Maybe you can inexpensively fashion something out of cheap plywood that will protect the cabinets and be removed when you are home to supervise the dog. Those hinged baby pens that can be bent to make an octagon or rectangular shape also work great. That's what I've used and suggest to people because the gates can be placed in front of cabinets, or anything you don't want the dog near. You can also add and take away panels to fit the area you are creating for the dog. I'm not sure if I've explained this item right!

One other thing I would suggest. When you create your safe confinement space in your kitchen - introduce your dog to it while you are home and have the time to make a big deal out of it! Get excited and praise the dog for being in the space with you. Start slow. Leave her in there for 5 minutes with a kong filled with peanut butter - something really yummy and safe that will get her attention and interest. If she is quiet and settled - even after 2 minutes... don't give her the chance to whine or fuss.. come back and lavishly praise her. She'll start *getting it* !! Increase the time you are away slowly. It's all about not giving her the opportunity to fail. Always feed her (and keep her water) in this area. This may sound silly, but lay down on the floor (curl up if you have to ) with her in there. Let her know that you like to be there too! Make a big deal out of "her space". Another thing to consider - make sure she's getting a lot of exercise- a tired pup is a good pup! It's also a great way to translate some of her anxieties into productive behavior.

I'm sorry I was so long winded (as usual) about all this, but I do have a lot of experience training and working with dogs. I've tried a lot of different methods and techniques to teach and/or correct behaviors. This method really does work. I rely on it!

Good Luck. Keep us posted. I hope you can solve the problem and put an end to the stress







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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2003, 01:42 AM
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Jane - How is she doing? Any progress? Keep us updated

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2003, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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hola.
well, since i last posted there has been one more hole/spot. i have not been able to get the pet store to get the gate. i will soon. i'm going to see how it goes in the next couple of days. i recently got them this football shaped rubber toy with holes in it (its hollow) and i fill it with milk bones, cookies and treats and that keeps her busy for hours. i think more than anxiety, she is bored cause she's done it when i'm in the house (in shower). i know for sure she needs more exercise so i'm going to try and bring her to my friend's house (with a great yard) more often. she likes it. when i walked her for an hour one day she was dead the rest of the day.
i'll keep you guys updated.
thank you!
-jane
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-26-2003, 02:54 PM
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Jane - try Toys R Us or Wal-Mart or any other discount store near you. It'll be much cheaper than the "x-pens" they make specifically for animals and sell at the pet stores, and it'll serve the exact same purpose

I'm glad she's doing better! It's sooooo true that a tired pup is a good pup

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