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I've not been on here for a while, but we're really in need of help. Dulcie is a 14 month old Doodle, who is, giving her her due, a passive non aggresive, lovable & loving dog but she is causing so much upset that it is now beyond a joke for us and we're exhausted. Dulcie went to puppy school and is very very good at commands, sit, stay, lay down, bed, etc. We have tried so hard to get her out of her bad habits, with training, distraction, etc but she is still -

BARKING LIKE MAD AT EVERY SLIGHT NOISE
JUMPING UP BADLY AT PEOPLE WHEN THEY COME INTO THE HOUSE
STEALING FOOD, TEARING RUBBISH, STEALING THINGS
DESTROYING PROPERTY
POOING - ONLY EVER IN MY DD2'S BEDROOM
WEEING - ONLY EVER ON MY DD1'S BED

I spend all day worrying about what she'll do next to upset or misbehave. She has a crate, gets walked, gets love & attention and time out. I feel so guilty for bringing her into the family and causing everyone else so much upset and feel terrible for Dulcie that I have failed her. We go away for Christmas where she will be in kennels for 2 weeks. She has been before and was fine, and I am hoping that it may help. We have had behavioural appointments at the vet where they say she suffers from separation anxiety from me because she is with people so much, but like this evening, when we're altogether, cuddled up watching a movie, she snucked out of the room to go up three flights of stairs to chew stuff out of the trash and wee on my daughters bed.

Could it be that I am doing somehting so wrong or could there be a blip in her make-up that is causing this unwanted behaviour? Please help. The children do love her so much as do we, but there is only so much I can take. Every time I feel we are moving forward with her, she does something so naughty it sets us back again. My husband would have her rehomed or put to sleep in a second (but don't misunderstand, he also loves & respects her very much), for the negative time & energy she takes up, when we'd rather spend that time enjoying her company as part of our family.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, your help will be so appreciated.
 

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Hi Laura, I'm so sorry to hear about all the trouble. I understand your feelings. Have you read "The Dog Whisperer"? I would start there to see if I was doing something inadvertently wrong. I have taken my dog to three different obedience classes but have also learned alot from reading this book. The author is Cesar Millan and he has a show on the National Geographic channel that I watch all the time. I'm sure there are other good training books and articles out there, too.

Another thing that comes to mind is only allowing your dog in certain areas of the house. When Doc is in the house, he only has access to the family room and kitchen and hallway which are all tiled. The bedroom doors are always closed and the living room and dining room are gated off. I still keep an eye on him all the time (he's almost a year old). Cesar Millan says that dogs need boundaries and limitations.

Dulcie is adorable!
 

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Laura
I'm so sorry for your problem. I agree with Kim's advice about the Dog Whisperer but even Cesar says you should consult a professional before you take behavior modification on yourself. Get some private lessons specifically targeting Dulcie's problem areas. The cure might be much simpler than you think. We have all experienced difficulty with our dogs and, generally, it's the human(s) that require retraining. Don't give up on Dulcie, and whatever you do, don't have her put down. There are plently of people on this forum that will help you rehome her if it comes to that. Keep the faith!
Diane (and Dakota)
 

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how long have you had her?


how long has she been the way she is now?

has anything changed? new home? new schedule? daughter leave for college? anything for her to develop an insecurity?
 
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Laura,
I sympathize with being at the end of your rope. Some days the 'one more thing' just puts us over the edge.
There have been great suggestions so far.
Dulcie is actually still going through her puppy phase (Labs tend to have 2 years of puppy behavior.) I strongly believe she will be a great pet for your family in a few more months. Hang in there!
In the meantime I would definitely limit where she can go in the house. I have the kitchen, laundry room, office and downstairs bathroom available for our puppy. The rooms are all connecting and do not have carpet or too many items for her to get into. I have gates at the entrances to the rest of the house. I do open the gates only when I can actively supervise or play with her. This will protect your property. If you don't want to confine her too much, at least gate your stairway. She does not need to go upstairs! :lol:
I know I have read an veterinary expert who commented on a dog doing their business on a person's bed. It was on a website where he gave out all this great advice on many different problems...and then he tried to answer that question. He said it is common and no one has been able to figure out why a dog would do that. :? It is usually a child's bed. His only advice was to keep the dog OUT OF THE ROOM :lol: That is the same advice the trainer gave me when Bella was using our office as her personal bathroom. He was adamant, that no matter how we accomplished it, that she could never be in the office. We gated the entrance for 6 months and the problem is now solved and the gate is no longer needed.
Our kitchen trash can has an automatic sensor on the lid. It opens when you pass your hand in front of it and then closes automatically. Bella has never gotten into the kitchen trash. She does go after the bathroom trash, so I empty it often or move it up to the sink :lol: .
Keep her busy, a tired dog is a good dog. Make sure she is walked twice daily for 20 minutes or longer, even if she has a yard to play in. Get her toys where she is mentally challenged or kept busy. Bella gets a kong filled with plain yogurt and then frozen. It keeps her busy for 45 minutes.
Sometimes I add tuna to the yogurt. She loves it.
Leave her alone for short periods of time, definitely at least once a day and don't fuss over her when you return. Give her a special treat/frozen kong when you leave to keep her busy.
Train her not to jump on people by stepping on her attached leash when you arrange for some visitors to stop by. You will have to do this numerous times to stop the jumping. Tell her 'down' or 'quiet' and give her a treat. Tell your visitors to ignore her totally! I like Jac's idea of posting a sign on your door saying you are training your dog, please be patient while you put on her leash, and please do not talk to the dog.
Don't feel guilty about the kennel. She will be fine and you all need a little break!
Don't give up. You have already done much of the hard work. She just needs a little 'fine tuning'.
Just keep reminding yourself that you are more than halfway there to a perfectly wonderful family dog!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dulcie

Thank you so much for your wonderful support and answers. I was half expecting a big telling off for having failed Dulcie, but I do so truly hope, given all the things that are going right that we will get there in the end. I found all of your comments really useful, like it takes a good two years - so be a shame to throw the towel in at 14 months. Nothing has changed in the family situation for her to have become upset, it just seems that everytime I feel I can drop my shoulders from the tension (and drop my guard) she does something really upsetting. The tension around it all from my husband and I is awful. We live in Cambridge, UK, but will look out for the Dog Whisperer on digital tv. There are some good behavioural trainers here, and I feel we need someone to come to the house and see us in action in every day life, as out and about she is much better behaved.

Great idea to freeze some yoghurt in the Kong - she enjoys her toys but gets the treats too quickly or goes through a bone in minutes. The crate has helped to keep her & the house safe when we're not about (but she does destory any blankets etc that are in there). We have also always used a childs gate to keep her to one part of the house (its a big house so 'her area' is still big enough, being the computer snug, shower room, laundry room, kitchen diner, deck & garden) but it only takes that sneaky time when the gate is left open (tricky to keep on top of it with three small kids, two teens & husband going through it all the time), or when we think it'll be nice to let her relax in the playroom or sit in front of the fire with us, that she wanders off and causes trouble. I feel like I can't relax, always watching her out of the corner of my eye. Why would she prefer to do that then have some chill out time with us?

She gets to go on walks, but nearly always only with me. I think it will benefit if other members of the family were taking her out too. Not only to enjoy her but give her some time with them and a bit of variety. She is so amazing when we go out and I always come back feeling so very proud of her.

I think that if we can tackle and solve one problem at a time, we'll really feel like we're getting somewhere, namely with the jumping. This I think would put her back in my husbands good books too, as he is really so fed up with it, and he is such a quiet gentle man, to see him getting upset, angry and frustrated with Dulcie is so sad.

I have always had dogs and never had a problem one. We thought long and hard before getting Dulcie, but did jump in quite quickly at buying from an unknown kennel. I did meet the parents, but am always being asked am I sure she's a doodle, as she is a funny looking lab to them. It doesn't help that she moults too! Which makes me feel that she didn't quite get an equal balance of lab & poodle. I feel I still have to grieve in someway for the doodle we didn't get. Hope that makes sense :)
 

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Sounds to me that Dulcie is just a little hyper right now. My LizzieDoodle has phases exactly like this. To use an American phrase, you need to to wear her a** out - every single day. And the rest of your family needs to be involved in that exercise too. If Lizzie swims/plays for an hour, she's the perfect little doddle. Sometimes its a burden but if Im too busy & can't get her out of the house for crazy play time we have the some of the same behavior you describe.

The training tips everyone mentioned are great, especially the Dog Whisperer. It sounds like Dulcie might have some pack leader issues.

LizziesMom
 

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Hi Laura, I am glad you are somewhat encouraged. Some of us on here are going through very similar things with our doodles. Doc has been a handful for me and I've had many dogs before. He is like having a toddler in the house again that takes alot of time and attention. I literally had/have to sit on the floor with him in the evenings and hold his rawhide bone while he chews on it or play other things with him in order to get his attention on something constructive. He is definitely improving, but, still alot of work. I wouldn't be able to sit and watch a movie with the family, uninterupted yet either, unless I closed him in the laundry room.

I agree with the others that you are "almost there" with her. I've entertained the thought of rehoming Doc at times, but, then I figured, after I've done most of the work, someone else would end up with this really nice dog! :D (Plus, when it comes right down to it, I couldn't because I love him and it would be kinda like giving one of my kids away when they were toddlers because they were so much work! :D )

When you take Dulcie for a walk, do you let her wander out in front of you and do whatever she wants? A dog learns discipline and training for the mind when you make them walk by your side and look to you as the pack leader. If they are out in front, then "they" are the pack leader.

One method I heard for the jumping up is to turn your back to them and ignore them. Thankfully, Doc never had a problem with jumping up, so I don't know if this will work for you, but I thought I'd mention it.

I understand about how hard it is to keep the gate closed. I bought some gates that have a "gate door" within the whole gate that extends across the hallway or doorway. It is easy to open and it swings closed all by itself. I think you can find them on Amazon.com. I got mine online from Target and Walmart but don't know if you can buy from them or not. (They are actually baby gates)

I use Bitter Apple sprayed on things I don't want Doc to chew on. It works for us but it doesn't work for some dogs. There is a Bitter Lime that is supposed to work for the dogs that the Bitter Apple doesn't work on.

When Doc started getting things off the kitchen counter, I left some things out and then went around the corner and peeked. When I saw him jump up, I rushed into the room and yelled "NO" and pushed his shoulder to make him get down. (It was loud and fast enough to startle him, but not to hurt him) I did that a few times and now he mostly just barks when he sees something on the counter that he wants. (When he barks once, I tell him "no bark" and he usually stops) I mainly try to keep things well out of reach between mealtimes so as not to tempt him.

Please keep us posted on your progress. :D
 

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P.S. Dulcie looks like a labradoodle to me. She just has a bit more of the lab look, but, I love her scruffiness! She's beautiful. :D
 

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HI Laura!!! I feel for you and know it is trying...hang in there.

I did see the whole Dog Whisperer series at Barnes and Nobles last night.
it was $39 US dollars but am sure you can find it cheaper on the internet. I am requested it as a xmas present-- "just in case" i may find a need for it.

I do know std Pooodles and Labs take about 2yr+ to mature...would make sense the same goes for a doodle.
Max is USUSALLY good but he goes thru stages of
" attentiontting "episodes.

I agree.... a tired worn out doodle is a GOOD doodle.

Jumping...what works for us is bring up our leg to thwart Max , took 2 weeks and he stopped. But anyone who comes to the house has to do it as well.

stealing is a daily event, however he doesn't have it for long as we make him bring the item to us, drop it at our feet and then distract him with his toy, bone etc.

All dogs goes through stages :roll: each one very trying so you're not alone.
You and your family will get thru this :D And you can always let off steam here :wink:
 
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Dont forget too that dogs are extremely sensitive and any tension between you and your husband will be picked up on immediately. I know it sounds crazy but when my husband and I start to argue I always say we need to either drop it or leave the room so Boyd can't hear us! :roll:

This could be adding to Dulcie's anxiety.
 

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I agree about the tension. Dulcie will pick up on negative energy and will react to it in a negative way. Do find the Dog Whisperer and watch his technique. He can bring a "crazy" dog under control by a simple "pssst" and a hand gesture. His adage is "be a calm and assertive pack leader.” But you are right; this needs to be a family activity. My problem with Dakota is he gets mixed signals. When our son comes for his daily visit--I may or may not be there--he thinks it's cute to teach Dakota to jump high but not touch him. Then my husband started doing it. It doesn't seem to register to them that guests don't like a 75 pound dog jumping like a kangaroo in front of them. I finally got through to my husband, but still catch our son doing it to Dakota . . . this makes it tough to retrain him. Consistency within the family is so important . . .
Diane (and Dakota)
 
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