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jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19678
Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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She's 20 months old - still acts like a puppy, tearing up

Customer Question

She's 20 months old - still acts like a puppy, tearing up things. (She's a Yorki-Poo. She can jump very high and will get on the kitchen counters when we're not there. She knows she's wrong - will jump down as soon as she hears us coming. Once we can get a hold of her, she'll go into the crate, but we had to get things to hold door closed. Even though she's only 12 pounds, she's very strong and has gotten out of the crate.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with She 's?
Customer: I forgot to say that her name is Ginger.
JA: Where does Ginger seem to hurt?
Customer: She doesn't hurt, but she'll break out of the crate, if we don't put two locks on it to keep her in. With one, I'm not sure how she gets out, without hurting herself. She's run into walls - doesn't even seem to notice she's done that.
JA: OK. No obvious pain. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Ginger?
Customer: She is mostly potty trained, but will go on the living room rug - seems to think that's her bathroom. She rarely pees in the house - just if she hasn't gone outside.
JA: Is this new behavior?
Customer: No, we've had her since she was 5 months - was very wild at the beginning. We thought she'd calm down as an adult dog, but she's still the same.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
When we go near the crate to open it, she goes crazy, so anxious to get out. I saw, watching Cesar Millan, that he leaves the crate open, and still gets the dog to stay in there.
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 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.

How often is she taken for a walk?

What obedience training has she had?

have you done any other types of training with her?

When crated, what toys does she have?

When is she crated and for how long?

Is she spayed?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She goes out four times a day. She's picky about the weather - if it's raining, she'll just go out and pee, and then go right back in, even if I put an umbrella over her.She had obedience training at the local PetSmart, which didn't help much. Actually, it didn't help any of the dogs - instructor mainly talked about his own dog. We also had someone who came to the house, but his methods didn't work. He said to use a certain sound, which Ginger didn't pay attention to from us - she did from the man. There were training tools that he gave us, but she treated them as toys. Nothing he said worked.She has a lot of toys, which she mostly tears up. She doesn't always have the same toys in the crate. We crate her when she's climbed on the counters and destroyed things/made a mess. We didn't use to crate her when we went out, but found that we have to. So, sometimes she's in the crate for a few hours to most of the day, but not in the evening, unless we're out.Yes, she's spayed.
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.

First get a good aluminum square bar type crate. They are often referred to as empire crates. You can see one here:

They are escape proof and due to the shape of the bars less likely to cause any injury to the dog if they try to escape. It is good if you rotate her toys in the crate. I recommend no bedding and indestructible toys like those Kong makes. You can fill the kong toys with yogurt or peanut butter that does not contain xylitol . You can freeze it and give as you leave to keep her occupied.

You did state she goes out 4 times a day but didn't really mention walks. Just like any large dog, she also need to have walks to keep her stimulated mentally as well as physically. I recommend some fast paced 30 minute walks. This will help tire her out. This isn't for her to eliminate but for exercise. So don't stop and let her sniff around. Stop partway through the walk to allow her time to eliminate.

Different dogs need different methods of training. The following site is helpful in helping 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. This is a method that I use when training.

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.

In addition to basic obedience training, I would start her on agility training. She has all that excess energy to it might be good to use that for agility to keep her stimulated both mentally and physically. The following site goes over agility training and tips.

At 20 months she is still going to have quite a lot of energy. Most large female dogs start to settle down around 24 months but smaller dogs often take a bit longer. I would think you have probably close to 9-12 months before you see her mature into a full adult and calm down a bit. If you channel that energy now into an activity like jogging or agility, you can get her calmer soon as she will have an outlet for that pent up energy.

Additonally, with the obedience training you can have her sit before opening the crate and waiting a few minutes before claling her to you and rewarding her with a treat for her good behavior. I favor hot dog slivers as you can get 30-40 treats from one hot dog and they coat your hand with oil which keeps your dog interested in you and obeying your commands.

She will be calming down soon but with the suggestions I've made, I think you will see positive results even sooner.

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 9 months ago.
First, spending another $330 on a crate is something we can't do right now, in addition to what we've spent so far. The wheels wouldn't work, even if they're locked, not with this dog! But my main concern wasn't addressed - jumping on the counters like she's a cat. How can I stop her from doing that? If she did this while we were there, we could do something, but she does this when no one is around, and gets down as soon as she hears someone coming.We do take her for walks, but were told that because of her small size, she can't go that far. They said to take her around the block. As I said, if it's raining, she won't go.I'll check what you sent, to see if there's something different than what we've tried so far. It's hard, because right before getting Ginger, we lost our 19 1/2 year old dog, and we're told that Ginger would be an adult dog at one year.
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

The jumping is the easy part. You can get a no jump harness for that. See one here:

These are often available at pet stores too. It will stop her getting on the cabinets since she won't be able to jump. Another alternative is an indoor fence system that keeps her out of the kitchen completely or any area you wish to keep her out of. See an indoor fence system here:

A small dog can definitely go farther than just around the block. Of course, a young puppy can't go much further than that but as they get older and walk more, the distance they can walk is farther. Part of it is also the pace of the walk. A leisurely stroll isn't going to tire her out but a fast paced walk where she is at a trot or fast walk will tire her out. A tired dog is a much calmer dog.

Do the obedience training. Once she sees you as the boss, she will go out with you when you command her to do so. Often tiny dogs don't like the rain, but I'm sure it isn't raining every day, so missing a day here or there won't be that much of a problem. As for her being an adult, she is an adult dog at 1 year of age, but just like an 18 year old human is considered an adult, their energy levels are much higher than say a 30 year old. Their maturity level is much lower as well. The same holds true for a young dog. She is an adult, she just isn't a mature adult dog yet.

I'd definitely investigate agility especially since you can pick up collapsible tunnels and toddler see saws used at thrift stores or second hand stores. This can be a fun activity for your dog and keep her occupied and is easily put away when you are not working with her.

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

I did forget to mention that perhaps little boots and a rain jacket may make her more likely to go out in the rain for a walk.

There are a lot on the market so shop around for the one you like best. I have a chi that hates the rain but if I put on his jacket he goes out without a hitch. He doesn't like the rain hitting his body. I assume it chills him.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Parts of your answer were helpful, but most wasn't. First, your crate suggestion. We already have a crate, and have something to keep Ginger in. We have no need for the expensive crate. It also looks uncomfortable, especially since you suggest no bedding. Why?You mention how long small dogs take to calm down. I think it depends on the breed. We had another small dog - weighed a little more than Ginger. He was a malti-poo, and calmed down very quickly. He lived for 19 1/2 years. I don't agree that all small dogs take longer, but it does look like its true for Ginger. We've been told by others, that it will take longer for her - one person said it would take until she's three.We do go for walks, but she can't go very far - not as far as our old dog would go. She gets very tired. Unfortunately, her energy comes back as soon as she gets home. Going for walks does help, though, but she can't go 30 minutes. I haven't actually timed our walks - just the distance we go. Our old dog also didn't want to go out in the rain. Maybe we just have fussy dogs. We've never had a problem putting jackets on our dogs (although they don't keep all of the dog dry, which is why our last two dogs hated the rain), but we were never able to have booties stay on our dogs, even though we tried several kinds. The jackets you showed looked like they might work, but with this too, I'd want to see if I could get this locally (I've never seen these), to make sure it fits.We've done a lot of training, but I'll check the articles you sent.The jump harness looks like it would be helpful, although seems to be for another reason - jumping fences. I would prefer to see if I could get one locally, to make sure that I could get one for a dog her size. One thing I've noticed, is that if I hear her throwing things down from the counter and don't go to her, she'll get tired of doing it, and will get off the counter without anyone being there. I've just noticed this in the last couple of days, since I went to see what she was doing right away before. Maybe she gave up when it didn't get her the attention she wanted.But the indoor fence system won't work with our house - it's too open. There are corals that dogs can be kept in, but we don't have room for that. We also don't have room for the agility items you mentioned.
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

The no jump harnesses stop them from extending the rear legs and thus stop them from getting any height. It doesn't matter what they are jumping, it stops the extension of the rear legs. If it is mainly the counters that concern you, you can get a scat mat. They can be battery powered and deliver a slight shock when the dog steps on them. So if you put it on the counter when you are not in there and she jumps up on there, she will get down quickly and be less inclined to get up there a second time. Each time she gets the IMMEDIATE correction, it discourages the behavior in the future. She seems very intelligent though and may watch to see if you put it up there and avoid it only when you put the mat on the counter.

Your dogs are actually training you. This one at least seems to be learning how to manipulate you. Yorkie-poos are much different dogs than malti-poos. Both are poodle mixes but the maltese is a toy breed while the yorkie is a terrier. Terriers have a lot more energy. Males are also different than females. Many males are a lot more laid back than females. Each dog is an individual. While there are general traits to small dogs and large dogs, there are always exceptions. The normal time for a female to settle is between 18-36 months with breeding dogs settling down quicker than non breeding dogs. A litter clams a female down pretty quickly. I also want to give you an idea of how much exercise your little one is able to do. This site sums up exercise requirements and what walking accomplishes.

I'm also not sure why you think the empire crate would be uncomfortable. The bars are flat aluminum and much wider than standard bars on a crate. You do not put bedding into crates as dogs will use the bedding to soak up urine if they decide to urinate but they also will tear it up and eat it especially if it is a dog that is already being destructive. .Most of the suggestions I've made are ones that I know tend to work since I've been using most of them for many many years.

One thing I didn't mention is that some people, me included have areas in their yard that are sheltered from the weather such as a bottomless tent or low awning. This helps dogs have a dry place to eliminate in during bad weather. Big dogs are not affected as much but they do prefer to be under a large trees. The smaller dogs just don't care for getting their paws wet. My little one (chihuahua) can't stand cloth boots but loves the rubber ones as they do keep the water out.

I mentioned the agility since she does have so much energy. the tunnesl collapse flat and teeter totters are basically a fulcrum and a board. Jumps do take up more room but even if you just did a couple of things and put them away when she wasn't using them it would increase her exercise and stimulate her mentally. You can also set it up outside for her to use.

All I can do is make suggestions that have proven to work for this type of situation. Hopefully she calms down sooner than I expect.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I agreed that the jump harness would be a good idea; just that I prefer to get it locally, to make sure its for her size. The scat mat also sounds like a good idea - I think I know where she gets on the counters.But as I've said, we don't need another crate. We also don't have room for the agility items you mentioned.I didn't say our old dog and Ginger weren't different - we know that the different breeds wouldn't be the same. I was just mentioning about our old dog, because he was also a small dog - just not as small as Ginger.I'll try those boots.
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 months ago.

I hope you let me know how things progress over the next few weeks.

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 9 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.