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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19295
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog is 2 years old dominate male. He grew up in a hugh

Customer Question

my dog is 2 years old dominate male. He grew up in a hugh yard, doggie door freedom. I just moved to a place where Panda has to be on a leash when outside. The only time he is happy is when we ride in the car or go to dog park. When we get home he immediately gets under the bed. He also has had some problems. Help
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

What do you use to coax him to you?

What does he do when he is on the leash and you take him outside?

Are there lots of dogs in your neighborhood?

What does he do if you meet another dog on a walk?

Is he off leash at the dog park?

Is this his old dog park or a new one?

Do you go to him when he barks?

Any idea of whether dogs lived in your place before you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I go to him and try to be sympathetic with his new situation.First, he wants to chew leash but then drps it and we walk. he acts fineThere are some dogs in neighborhoodHe sniffs,acts like any other doghe is off the leash at dog park. Has lots of dog friends, runs and plays
This is the only dog park he has been taken toI do go to him most of the time when he barks. I know I shouldn't. he is spoiledThere was a puppy living here before we moved here
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 months ago.

I am not in a position to make phone calls at this time. It will take me about 30 minutes to type up my response.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. it is helpful.

Dogs are very opportunistic to say the least. Since there was a puppy there before you moved in, his initial fear may be from moving into a place where there was already the scent of another dog. That would make your new home the territory of another dog which may have made him a bit fearful.

When he went and hid due to it being a new place and the odor of another dog (which you likely would never notice), you comforted him and showed him attention and maybe even rewarded him with tasty treats while trying to lure him out. He learned quickly that when he hid in the other room, you showed him attention. They learn real quick how to manipulate their owners.

When you stopped trying to coax him out, he started barking and you responded by coming to him, so then he learned that barking worked. Now I don't know your current housing situation, but assume you have neighbors that will be disturbed if you let him bark. However, if you keep going to him, he will continue to bark. So we need to approach this a little differently.

First give the whole place a good cleaning especially wall corners and go up the wall a little when cleaning. Clean with an enzymatic cleanser. You can get a special light which will show up old urine stains on the floors and walls. Make sure those areas are thoroughly cleaned until their is no lef over odor. As I mentioned most cleaners fool our noses but not a dogs. Only enzymatic cleaners break down the protein and totally remove the odor. With the odor gone, he may no longer be worried about other dogs.

The second thing I would do is install some children gates to block off the bedroom and bathroom so he is unable to even go into those rooms until you want him in there. If he doesn't voluntarily come out in the morning for a morning walk, then don't allow him in at night either until you get the behavior under control.

When he grabs the leash, don't move at all. One way of stopping him even from grabbing the leash is to start out your walk with tasty hot dog slivers in your hand and feed him one before you start moving at all and let him know you have it. You can drop one every once in a while as you are moving forward initially. If he wants to grab it quickly he can not have anything in his mouth. That doesn't seem to be as much of a problem as his hiding and barking is.

It is going to take him some time to adjust to his new surroundings, but if he is in the main living areas where you are, he is more likely to get used to your new place faster. So I would get the light from your hardware store that shows old urine stains and do some cleaning and either install child gates or otherwise block off those rooms.

Doing some obedience work with him might help as well. I don't know if he has had any before so the following site mibht be helpful in teaching owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

You admit that he is a bit spoiled so training will help him respond better to your commands.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I am not convinced about other dog theory. I do agree about the training. I will not be bothered with neigbors if Panda barks and I know I must stop this behavior. One other question:
Panda had a problem of not wanting me in my bed and now when he gets in my bed and I am there, he chews on the sheets. Is he still trying to make me move out of the bed ?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 months ago.

He may be destructive as part of anxiety if he is still anxious, but many dogs soothe themselves by kind of suckling the sheets or a blanket. This might lead to chewing on the sheets as he suckles. It helps them calm down as it simulates nursing on mom. You might try a DAP collar. It simulates the pheromones a mom produces when nursing her pups and calms a dog down. DAP collars are proven to help with anxiety so it may prove helpful in more areas than one.

Destructive behavior would not make you leave though you might pay him more attention in an attempt to stop the behavior. You might give him his own little scrap of cloth or a stuffed animal that he favors. Often a favorite bear or stuffed bunny helps soothe them and they will carry that around instead of chewing on sheets and blankets.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 months ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. Let me know if my answer was helpful.