The Dog Is Stressing Me Out. What Can I Do?

Updated on January 30, 2007
S.M. asks from Denton, TX
27 answers

We have a dachshund who is driving me crazy. She is very destructive. She chews everything. She is 1 year old. She has peed all over the house, including every cushion on the couch and my daughter's bed. It's not that we don't take her out enough-she peed on the couch immediately after I brought her back in the other day. I can't rest for five minutes without having to yell at her or chase her for something she has stolen and is trying to destroy. I am stressed to the max because of this dog. We almost gave her away; we found a good home, but the day after she went over there they called us and said they couldn't keep her because she was fighting with their other dog. Now we have her back. I was so relieved when she was gone; I could finally relax. But my husband and daughter were devastated when she left and now I can't bring myself to put them through that again. We can't afford training classes right now. My husband says we can get rid of her if I want to, but I can't stand to hurt him again. Do I get rid of her so I can feel better, or keep her so they are happy? Then my husband got mad at me because I told him if we keep her he will be solely responsible for taking her out and taking care of her-he wants me to take her out every other morning (she wakes up at 5:30 or 6:00) even though I come home from work at lunch and after work and take her out then. Sorry this is so long, but I don't know what the fair thing to do is.

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So What Happened?

Wow! Thank you all so much for your responses. The dog actually is already in a crate when we are not home. I actually think that is the problem-she has too much energy that didn't get worn off during the day because she was locked up all day. My husband has been taking her out every morning and that alone has really helped lower my stress level because I am getting more sleep. We are trying to buy a house (we rent now) with a fenced yard and get her a good insulated dog house so we can leave her outside to run around during the day (in good weather of course). We also got her the huge rawhides that she loves and she hardly ever chews our stuff anymore. Thank you all so much for all of your help.

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B.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

I sympathize. We have 2 small mix breed dogs and one of them is very high maintenance. When we first rescued her, she kept us up all night wanting to play. My husband and I finally put her in doggy daycare 3 times a week and that did a world of good. She was so worn out from playing with other dogs all day that she came home and slept all the next day. We also took her to a training session at PetsMart. We considered taking her to an obedience school (Man's Best Friend) but at the rate of $1,000 we chose PetsMart instead, which was only $60). If you are unable to do any doggie daycare or Petsmart classes, try taking her to a dog park to get rid of that extra engery. There is a great one in Plano near Spring Creek and Maumel. Good luck!

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T.D.

answers from Dallas on

My friend had a dachshund too, who got really pesty after the baby. She ended up giving her to her aunt (no kids), so they could still go over and see her when they wanted. It will be an adjustment, but it's not fair to you or the dog to keep her in the situation where everyone is unhappy and at the end of their rope! Hope you can find a great solution soon.

T.

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

I would like to 2nd the person who recommended the Dog Whisperer (Cesar Milan). He's great and his strategies really work. He comes on the National Geographic Channel several times a day. I have 2 golden retrievers that I got at the same time as puppies. With 2 young kids and 2 puppies it was a real challenge. I had no idea how much work it was! Now they are 1 1/2 years old, settling down, and with the help from the Dog Whisperer, I finally feel in control. He has a book out also. Good luck, I sure feel your pain.

M.

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J.A.

answers from Dallas on

Try sending her to a trainer. My crazy dog has been with a trainer for 1 month and we will get him back today (weather permitting). The trainer thought she could have him trained in 2 weeks but it took a month cuz he's such a booger. Let me know if you want her name and number and/or to see how Max acts now that he's home.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

You need to speak with your vet. I assume she is fully vaccinated, on heartworm prevention and spayed (all basic care for a dog)? You need to have her examined as well as a urinalysis performed. It soubds like you have never fully housetrained her. If you used newspapers or 'puppy pads' to try to housetrain her, that may be a big part of your problem. You need to fully research crate training, that will solve almost all of your problems, as well as being more diligent about her housetraining. Once again, you need to go see your vet for advice on this matter. When you are at home with her, put a leash on her so you can catch her every time she tries to pee in the house and take her outside. You should probably take her out every 30 min to 1 hour (use an inexpensive kitchen timer to help remind yourself). When you can't watch her, place her in a crate. Chewing behavior for a 1 one year old dog is NORMAL. This will diminish with age, and is also helped greatly by using a crate. Have you had experience with a puppy before? Once again, you need to consult with your vet on this matter. If your vet is unhelpful when you take her in for an examination, then get another opinion from a different vet. -JM

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

get a kennel ans train her to go in the kennel when your not home. If she chews get a muzzel. it has worked great for my dogs. If you catch her chewing on something put the muzzel on her. Eventually she will see the muzzel and know not to chew. good luck

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

Have you ever kenneled her? (Put her in a kennel when she can't be watched). That seems to be the best way to housebreak a dog, even at age one. She may not like it at first, when you put her in it to leave, but most dogs will go into their kennel (when left open)when you're home even. They like that cave type feeling. You need to make sure you daughter does not try and make her come out if she's gone into the kennel on her own. You could just explain to her, that she needs some quiet time and she'll come out later. You might want to put a blanket, chew bone, toys, etc. in the kennel with her, just to make her feel more comfortable when you are at work. A one year old dog should be able to hold it until you get home from work, provided you let her own before you leave, and immediately after you get home. As far as tearing things up, get a good squirt bottle and fill it with water. When she starts to do something wrong, squirt her with it. No need to say "no", the squirt bottle does that all on it's own.

If you need more help or suggestions, feel free to contact me. I've been training dogs (showed one in obedience)for 11 years. I also teach pre-school children with disabilities. I've been in the school district for about 21 years. I have a master's in education, with an emphasis on early childhood education. (Not trying to brag, just wanted you to know my background). I also have raised 3 kids, and have a 4 year old granddaughter with special needs. I've have lots of practice!!

J.

D.G.

answers from Nashville on

CRATE, CRATE, CRATE. I have had friend that never let their dogs loose in the house, unless they were directly supervised or outside, the dogs were in their crates.

Good luck- I feel your pain!!!!
D.

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
There are some pretty inexpensive training classes that you can look into. Petsmart has some. Avoid Man's Best Friend though b/c they are expensive and I don't condone their methods. Most of the reason for your dog doing this is her age. There are also a lot of books and videos on this subject. Good luck with her!
Amanda

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
This is gonna sound heartless, but my advice to you is do yourself and your family a favor and ditch the doggy. I was in your shoes, catered to my sympathy for the husband and kids, kept the dogs, and now nobody spends any time with them and they have cost us lots of money and lots of stress. Nothing, nothing, nothing is worth the sanity in your home that you deserve and should preserve as much as you possibly can. Dogs can be so wonderful in the right circumstance, but the exact opposite of wonderful in the wrong circumstance. The fair thing to do would be to do what you need to do to keep your home a peaceful place. Believe me, you all will benefit from that more than a few warm fuzzies for a pooch. And maybe you could substitute the dog for a fishtank or another small, low-maintanence pet. Hope this helps!

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

Have her trained for a urinary track infection. Her behavior could be caused from that or they also 'leak' if they are scared or overly excited, ours does.....good luck!

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I would highly suggest crate training as your first mode of operation and spaying of course. I have a doxie myself and know how aggravating they can be. I got him at 8 months old and he had already had 4 homes and developed very bad behaviors. So regardless of what happens I could not and will not force him into another family. I was concerned someone else would beat him to death for his barking. He is my baby. Would you remove your child from your home because they got to be a handful? Anyway he is an obnoxious barker, chases the cats, etc. but is crate trained and stays in the crate quite a bit during the day if the weather is bad or we are gone. It can be done and you can do it if you are willing to do it. I say go to bed and he goes and opens his crate door and gets in. I have said that from day one and he knows what to do.

Good luck and please do try the crate training. It can make a world of difference for her and you.

J.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

I have 2 yellow labs and this behavior seems typical for that age. Have you thought of checking out a book or video from the library about training? I had to crate train my dogs. When I adopted my girl she chewed so much and felt the need to mark my entire house also. She's much better now. But until you can afford classes, btw PetSmart has awesome trainers at great prices. It is frustrating with my dogs at times too but I couldn't give them up for anything. Best wishes always...

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

Who does the dog think is leader of the house? Does she think it's her? If she does, she needs to be put in her place. When I got my dog (mini schnauzer), I would get on all fours, tower over her, and growl. It sounds stupid, but that's what the leader of the pack does. You have to show her who's boss.

1. Crate her. It's not harmful. She's a baby, and babies like small, little caves for comfort.

2. Pick everything up off the floor. If she starts chewing on something she's not supposed to, take it away and replace with rawhide or her toy.

3. Have everyone in your family "dominate" her...even your daughter.

4. If she growls back at you, snaps, or bites, wrap your hand around her snout, get in her face, and growl at her. That's what their mothers do. If necessary, do that and put her on her back while you growl and tower over her.

I'm not saying at all to hurt her...just let your presence be known that ya'll are the boss. She probably thinks she is right now.

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T.O.

answers from Dallas on

I think it's too late for crate training. And your dog sounds like it has other problems.

I'd find the money and send her to the trainer the other post suggested. I had a friend that did the "away training" and it worked best for her. We trained our own and started with the crate (or a small laundry room will work too).

Or get rid of the dog.

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W.C.

answers from Dallas on

I am wondering if you have a crate for, and have crate trained the dog. I know that some people think that is cruel and whatever, but I volunteer for a boxer rescue and we all use them. Dogs sleep an average of 16 hours a day so they generally just sleep while they're in there. Mine will go in there when they are out and lay down. It's like their own "space," their own little den/bedroom. The crate will help with the destruction, obviously, but will also help get him housetrained. They tend not to use the bathroom in a crate, though they might have a couple of accidents until they figure it out. Just something to consider. :)

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know if you have cable but there is a show on called the Dog Whisperer and I think it is on the Discovery Channel. Well on there he gets dogs that miss behave to change to good dogs!!! If you don't have access to cable you can also look it up online. He says on there if you walk your dog everyday for a good walk and make them walk beside you on a short leash and don't let them get distracted that it will pretty much fix the chewing and peeing!!! I really recomend you watching his show because it really helps and here is the link where you can find him on the web:

http://www9.nationalgeographic.com/channel/dogwhisperer/

Oh and sorry he is on National Geographic Channel not Discovery!!!! They are actually having a marathon right now if you get this right away!!!!!

I really hope this helps and keep me posted on what ends up happening!!!! I too had a dog that fits yours decription to the T!!!!!

If you have any other ?'s just let me know!!!!

~C.

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L.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, It sounds like this is not the time for you to have a dog in your life. If both of you work full-time that means the pup is not having much fun. If you do not want to put in the time to really work with her (crate, take out consistently, teach to sit etc) then you are doing the dog and you a big favor by finding a new home for it. If you are yelling alot that can cause the dog to piddle from fear, that is how they show their submission to a leader in their pack. Call Dachsund Rescue or Operation Rescue to give this pup the chance for the right kind of home. HTH, Nana

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M.F.

answers from Dallas on

My adorable little dog became annoying almost as soon as we brought our first child home from the hospital. I'm not sure why, but the idea of yet one more needy being in the house was just too much for me. It's not that the dog's behavior changed, it's just that I didn't have time for her any more and didn't WANT to have time. My oldest is 3 1/2 now and we're finally to the point where we can give the dog some attention and remember to feed her regularly :-). Just yesterday I thought "ok, I like this dog again."
If this is new behavior for the dog, you might take her to the vet. My little dog had a UTI one time and it was causing her to pee indoors a lot.
If this is the dog's normal behavior...
Well, I think ALL family members should take part in giving her the care and attention she needs. If it's the family dog, it's a family responsibility -- assign each person a job. My 21-month old feeds the dog, the 3 yr old gets her water and lets her in and out of the back door to go potty.

However if the dog's behavior isn't correctable, I wouldn't feel bad about finding a new home for it or calling your local Humane Society.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Don't let the dog have run of the house until she calms down. Is she spayed? They usually calm down a bit after getting fixed. Keep her locked in a non carpeted room until everyone is home, ie: the laundry room or kitchen. Or you can keep her in a crate, but at least in a room she'd have a little more space. My 7 month old is head over heels in love with our Sheltie dog who gets on our nerves because he barks too darn much. I've wanted to give him away several times but my son adores him and vice versa. :/

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G.W.

answers from Auburn on

I'm not a dog expert but just wondering if its too late to try to crate train your dog. When we got our dog a few years back we were told for the first month to keep him in the crate for 45 minutes and then straight out to potty and then play the rest of the time then back to the crate. And it couldn't be too large of a crate so the dog wouldn't go to the back and potty. I know lots of people keep their dogs in crates while they work so they don't have free run to destroy the house. I'm sure you could find lots of info on the web on proper training since you said an obedience class is not possible right now. I know its tough on kids to let dogs go. We had to let the dog go that I mentioned above because it turns out he was a big alpha male and could be very aggressive especially if you got near his food. We just felt he was way too much personality for us with a small child. So he went to a good home with no kids to get near his food and get him riled up. It was tough on my daughter but she understood why he had to go. We'll try another one some day when her twin brothers are older and won't torture some poor pooch! LOL


Found this and thought I'd share:

Dog crate as a house training aid – Dogs instinctively want to keep their sleeping space clean. Use the crate as a bed and as a safe place for the dog whenever you’re gone or cannot watch him. Encourage him to go into the crate by tossing a toy or treat inside while commanding “crate” or “kennel”. Once inside, praise him and close the door. After a moment, let the dog back out. Repeat the exercise, gradually extending his time inside. As a general rule, a puppy can safely be left in his crate the number of hours that equal his age in months plus one – 2 months equals 3 hours.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

I think the city of Arlington/arlington humane society offers free dog training classes. I looked it up once for my "sister's" dog (which is now our dog) who ate all leather shoes, all underwear, the crotches out of jeans, etc. I don't think they do classes when it's cold, but you'll have to check the website. http://www.arlingtonhumanesociety.org/ (it has a suggested donation). good luck!

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C.E.

answers from Dallas on

I have a dachshund too. He is not so that distructive, however it has been difficult to house train him. The best thing for us has been a dog door. We have had probably 1 or two accidents in the past year.
We also went through a dog training program called Bark Busters. It is expensive, however it is a one time fee and if you ever need them again in the future it is free of charge.

Unfortunately I haven't had the time to really practice with the dogs (I also have a Beagle), but even after a few sessions with the trainers I could see a difference in the dachshund. They are small dogs, and so they tried and compensate for that in other ways.

Good luck

C.

PS: If you are interested in Bark busters, please let me know. I'll send you their contact details.

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D.K.

answers from Dallas on

I have a puppy training video if you would like to borrow it. My email address is [email protected]____.com

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P.P.

answers from Dallas on

Buy a portable kennel from Pets mart, just big enough for the dog the lay down and turn around. You can buy a pad, but don't give it to her until she doesn't use the bathroom in the kennel any more.

Then,
FORT WORTH DOG TRAINING CLUB, ###-###-####. Highway 377

I haven't been in a long time. But it used to be the you came once as a guest and they will call you and invite you back. It was Free, also.

P.

K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Listen to the others that are saying crate training ... give your dog the chance. We have a 3month old and 2 wimeriner/lab mixes that on monday will be 12months old. They have had some set backs recently with the comming of the baby and changes in thier lives the adjustments they need to be successful again will not be able to take place until we move to the new house in March, once we move and make the changes they will have 2months to adjust after that we will take further action. Use PetSmart's training or the other recommended that's free; DO NOT use Man's Best Friend we wasted $3000.00 that we were gonna use or the nursary that we thought were put to better use with training that did not work.

L.A.

answers from Dallas on

Every dog's behaviour is correctable, it just takes patience, training and CONSISTENCY! I definatley recomend crate training. Get some Bitter Apple spray and spray it on things she chews that is not hers. When she takes something she is not allowed to have, take it away from her, lightly but firmly say "No" and give her a toy she IS allowed to play with, and then follow with praise and petting.

This works with potty training as well. When she does something bad, consistently and firmly punish her for it, but then show her what is appropriate and always follow up with praise when she is doing something good. If you can't afford training, get an easy tp understand book about it... training mostly is for the humans to learn how to train the dogs anyways.

http://www.inch.com/~dogs/cratetraining.html

Here's a good link, there are tons. Also, teach her simple commands like, "Off the couch", "Down", "No" "Get your toy" "Sit". Training treats help too. Once she is more obediant, she will be happier and the peeing will stop too. Oh, and spaying will help with that in most cases. Any other questins, just ask!

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