Author Topic: Destructive behavior with no end in sight  (Read 3782 times)

cjkpass

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Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« on: June 07, 2012, 07:48:02 PM »
Hello
I was hoping that maybe someone could help me with problems I am having with my boxer pup. Sorry if this seems so long but I was trying to give as much info as I could. Bella will be 10  months old in a week.
We brought her home at 11 weeks old and she  was very hyper but friendly. I had her looked at right away  by my vet who gave her a clean bill of health and we followed up with all the shots she needed. She is completely  up to date. Well, the problems are: she is very hyper and  jumpy, afraid of everyone and scared to death of a sudden noise. Yes, we brought her everywhere we went to have her met and play with as many people as we could. She is great with kids and housebroken. She is very, very  destructive!!!!! I have many aggressive chew toys, balls, Kong, muscle balls, rope toys and of course Milkbone for her to chew but I cannot get her to stop destroying things. My deck had been chewed in various places, kitchen table and chairs, all my  throw rugs are gone, wallpaper, woodwork and anything left on the counters. She eats rocks, sticks and acorns. It just never ends..We remove everything we can before we leave a room but somehow she finds something. I have a large yard, not fenced in, and we run all day long, toss a ball or frisbee and I give her quite a workout. I also have a upper and lower deck outside, each 24' by 30' and she is free to roam and jump as she pleases, of course with my EYE on her. I have been trying to walk her on the lease since day one but she still acts as though she thinks I am going to hang her. Flipping, twisting and zig zagging. She gets attention all day! I do not work so  I spend a lot of time with her. I have to crate her when I leave the house for both long and short periods of time as this is what she does. My eyes can never leave lose sight of her! When the family is sitting down to watch tv, we of course let her in with us. She immediately runs trough the house, up the stairs, leaping on furniture until I yell "time out" and put her back in the kitchen. I give her 3 minutes to relax and then let her back  in. Generally this goes on for about an hour before I give up and just leave her in the kitchen with the gate up. I  have been doing this since we brought her home. She is only crated when we leave. My patience is running out and I really am lost as to what to try next. I have had boxers before but never one like this. Of course puppies will be puppies but I've never been so exhausted...I joined a training class the town was giving but I guess you could say she was throw out because I could not keep her calm. She jumps at people, still at my husband and 17 yr old  daughter.  The vet says, 'She's still a pup", well I know that but her behavior is going backwards not forward. This morning I woke to a noise in the kitchen and found the wallpaper in my half bath, which is right next to the kitchen, chewed off the wall. I generally don't close the crate door at night because once it hits 10pm, she jumps in the crate and refuses to come out until the morning. She has been very good at bedtime, almost like a Cinderella, with her set 10pm curfew!! 7 months of this and I am getting nowhere..
 Any advice would be greatly welcomed!!! AND please tell me if you think I am doing something wrong...Thank You!!!

BoxerPerson

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 07:10:51 AM »
Ha ha, not laughing at you, but with you, been there, done that!  Boxers ARE pups for an extra long time.  Sounds like Bella would greatly benefit from some obedience training.  First  would get her in a puppy class to teach her basic commands like sit, down, off, stay, wait, heal...all these are needed when raising a pup.

I think you are doing anything someone with a crazy 2 year old would be doing!  That is what Bella is, a 2 year old.  She needs a firm but loving technique to calm her down.  Once and when you get her thru puppy classes, I would continue with her training.  I still need to reinforce with all mine (almost: 2 year old, 5 year old and 6 year).  I use the NILF technique.  The premise is...you want this?  Then you MUST do this.  If you don't you won't get what you seek.  Also, I think she may have some separation anxiety, and that is why she destroys things

Snookie, my newest rescue was so frightened, had no idea how to walk on a leash and her house manners STUNK! She now walks very nicely, I made her walk...how?  I had a squeeky form a toy she destroyed and used that as a lure.  We did short walks first, gradually building up to where she now can walk over a mile, and NEVER pulls me. (BTW, I have fibromyalgia and some ruptured disks in my neck & lower back...my dogs need to behave when on a leash, and this ONLY happens when we are camping.  So, they also MUST remember how to behave nicely on one.) She still shies from strangers, and my sons when they stop over...but little by little she is coming around.

As far as destruction...I have a mountain of toys that the dogs CAN destroy.  I firmly believe if you have enuff interesting toys and chew objects, you can curb the destruction of your things.  Albeit, you still need to keep your things put away. I would continue to crate her or section her off from things when you are not able to watch her closely.  I still crate 3 of mine to be safe.  Snookie also is a rabble rouser and loves to get the others going.

I am sure others will have great ideas for you too...but one thing I know...patience, love and someone that if consistent & firm in their methods, always will get a pup to come around...that and Bella hopefully will outgrow this one day (I had one that it took almost 4 years to grow out of it...but she did come around to being one of my most beloved memories :heart: Hailey :angel:)

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Theresa

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 07:16:33 AM »
I hate to say this but she sounds like a typical boxer puppy going through her bratty phase. My Beasley when through his for months (he'd howl/whine all night to sleep in bed with us)
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Bruins_Boxer

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 07:40:30 AM »
It seems she may have too much freedom . If you can not watch her put her in the crate or on leash atatched to you .. She can not get into trouble that way . Unfortunately she has already learned some bad habits and it will be harder to correct them .

As far as the freaking out on leash ,  she will eventually get used to it . Put her on leash but don't force her to walk . Then only a few steps and let her lead you . Eventually work up to a longer walk .

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BranwenBoxers

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 08:46:12 AM »
I would also like to add that maybe finding a local kennel club that holds OB classes would be best .  The classes at pet stores are not all that good .    Bruins Boxers is right , she has to much freedom .  Keep her in the kennel when you cant watch her , or tied to you .   When you bring her out of the kennel attach her to a leash and take her outside , don't give her a chance to run around crazy .  Alot of NILF ( Nothing in life is free) work would be good for her . 

Also maybe a behaviorist might be in order as well , she sounds like she has some anxiety problems to .

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 08:55:57 AM »
I agree too......it sounds to me like she has too much freedom and that she needs more crate time. I really would put her in her crate with the door shut if you cannot watch her, and if you need a break. Maybe a more structured day time would benefit her - have a play time first thing in the morning and wear her out with some ball/frisbee throwing, then put her in her crate for a couple of hours with a kong, or some sort of bone for her to chew on. Take her out and do a short obedience training session, try a short walk, give her some loving and then back in the crate she goes. It may sound harsh, but it kinda seems like both you and her need that. She should definately be crated at night with the door shut so she cannot get out and cause trouble.
I also think you have to figure out how to take her on walks with her behaving - start small and build up. There are various type of harnesses out there that may work better for her - and that curb pulling.
Obedience classes are also a MUST from the sounds of things. I know you have tried them already, but it sounds like you need to find better classes to go to.  Is there any place else in your town?
I agree with what has been stated on NILIF - do some research (google) on how this works.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 08:58:42 AM by RocketBoxer »
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Patti

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 09:30:59 AM »
She needs to be supervised at all times and if you can't be there with her she should be in her crate (with the door closed). NILF will help and maybe a behaviorist? Have you thought about training classes for something like agility? Maybe she needs a structured outlet for all that energy!  

Also maybe being a little more lenient on your part could help the stress of it all? She's a puppy, and a boxer puppy at that. She is destined to be crazy and zoom through the house like a wild dog :) My boy will be 6 years old in 2 months and he still burns through the house and leaps through the air and jumps on furniture ...every single time we come home (even if we've only been gone for 5 minutes), every single time anyone new comes to our home, every single time he gets a new toy, every single time he comes in from being outside. It's just who he is. He settles down after a bit. I don't think keeping her gated in the kitchen while the rest of the family is in another room is helping her learn how to act around people.  :shrug:
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 09:32:57 AM by Patti »
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cjkpass

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 09:34:54 AM »
 Also, I think she may have some separation anxiety, and that is why she destroys things

Thank You all for the advice....as to the separation anxiety.I'm not too sure about that one...we are never hardly ever separated as I am here with her most of the time. I would think that she is probably sick and tired of watching me watch her. lol.. I never take my eyes off her and we are tuned into listening to any noise she makes wondering what she might have now. Yes,  sometimes its like a comedy hour around here and we all have a good laugh, a reality show with her would be fun.

We did try the obedience school, she jumped, whined, continued to wrestle with the other dogs, she was frantic and I believe we were asked to leave, but in a nice way....lol

My sister comes to visit weekends and she has 2 goldens, a 2 yr old and a 5 month old, Bella is so crazed that neither dog will go by her. I have had 3 people ask me if she was a rescue dog. Not really sure why they asked that but I guessed that it would be because rescues would be shy, timid and not used to affection and would need time to know they were now safe and loved.

What about keeping her on a leash when I bring her into the living room so that she stays calmer. I have a 6ft and also a 12ft leash and this way I don't have to chase after her or give her time outs???

I've been reading everything I can get my hands on and a lot of what others on this site have posted. I'm not giving up yet!!!!

Again, Thank You....Oh No!!!! I hear something now that just doesn't sound right....Will check back later!!!!

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 05:37:11 PM »
Believe it or not, being with you most of the time is probably WHY she has separation anxiety.  Puppies need to learn how to 'self soothe' and be alone.  I'm currently not working and raising a pup (12 weeks this week) and I'm purposely setting aside times where I run errands without her, crate her while I'm home but can't watch her, etc.

Because she's causing so much havoc, I would consider going back and pretending she's 12 weeks old again.  Puppy-proof the house as much as you can, keeping in mind she'll even eat what IS nailed down.  Keep her restricted by a tether or confined into your immediate area. When you sit down to watch TV, she either has to be tethered (to you or sturdy furniture w/the tie in your view so she can't chew it) or gated into the area you can see or she has to be crated away.  (I know you think the kitchen is a good middle ground, but with a dog that is willing to chew walls, I wouldn't use it) 

Start getting her used to the leash by making her wear in inside or dragging it around.  Then start carrying it while you let her walk around however she wants.  Then start guiding her.  Make the sessions short and positive, with treats or toys to reward her.  If you start to get even a hint of a negative reaction for her stop and evaluate - what can you change? did you increase the requirements too quickly? where was she last comfortable?

I might also invest in some bitter apple and see if she dislikes the taste (important to test this BEFORE spraying it on things - some dogs love it!).  If she dislikes it, start spraying things in the area you'll have her.  So if you are in the kitchen and she's gated in there with you, take a moment to spray any cords, chewable corners, etc.  Don't spray it at her though and if she's nosy about you spraying, you may need to spray the items while she is crated away.
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Christina

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 09:18:51 PM »
I've worked with foster dogs that started out completely feral. The best way I've found to get them used to a leash is to just let them drag it around in a safe area. Make sure they don't get caught up on things, getting a stick "chasing" them doesn't help much, but after they're used to it being around, just pick it up and follow.  Let her go where she wants for a little bit. Gradually try leading her, but for the first little bit, let her lead.

Crate training is a must, closing the door too, especially with her destructive tendencies. I've got a 5 year old boy that will still revert to flipping the trash can and zooming around the house like a madman. My 8 year old still shakes and throws toys while zooming, so some of this is bratty boxer behavior.

Keeping her on a leash is so she doesn't sneak away and get into mischief, when she's attached to you, she can't get into those things.
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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 04:16:37 PM »
My advice would be she needs first of all a way to fully burn off all that lovely puppy energy we all LOVE.  Take things slow like someone said let her carry the leash around herself first. This might slow her down by not sure what that extra thing is dragging behind her. Then start letting her go where she wants encouraging her behavior with food or toys. Be sure to not give heavy praise cause it sounds like she has plenty of energy all by herself she doesn't need the added energy you would project by being excited. I would start off by putting her on leash and getting her attention with food just letting her smell it (cooked chicken does great). Just when she gets distracted steal her attention back by allowing her to sniff the food seldom give out small bites. You might not be able to get but a few minutes of attention at a time but I would do this as many times as you can. The ultimate idea here is teaching her to respect you by not being so hyper for one also trains her when food is around she must be calm before getting her reward also patience which is the best thing you can ever teach a dog IMO. Tell everyone that comes in contact with her to pretty much stay completely calm when shes around that also means not getting frustrated just take a few breaths and try to relax I know this can be very frustrating. As for the destructive behavior the only way I've seen this be changed is for you to challenge her at her little game. Start off by taking her toys away from her. She should not be given them back to her till she has calmed down. This would be a good time to use the food to re direct her focus to a relaxed state. Once you have mastered this skill of removing them from her you can start putting things on the floor she would tear up and not allowing her to come in contact with these items. Claim whatever it is either by your foot or hand and give her a slight correction if she tries to get too close to that item. She will eventually learn that you own that object and that she is not to mess with it because it belongs to you. This training does not fix a dog overnight but nothing really will. Hard work WILL pay off at the end. If you do chose to practice this form of training and would like more ideas and advice you can message me or email me anytime. Thanks for reading my ideas and Good luck

cjkpass

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 09:09:05 AM »
Hi Everyone!
This is Bella! Well, I'm thrilled to pieces that my Mom found this site. When I first heard her telling my dad about all the posts she has been reading, I thought, 'yea" not only did I eat parts of the deck floor, now it looks like I can eat the deck 'posts", but I was wrong. Thanks a lot for telling her I have too much freedom, now she's leading me around the house on a 12 ft leash and I have to follow her. Don't you all know just how much fun I was having watching her chase me through the house yelling, 'You gotta be kidding me", well, looks like the party's over..AND now I have to sit with them and watch all those police shows with mom and the history channel with dad..on a leash..Boring. I'm still aloud to run around the yard chasing balls and frisbees because she said I'm good at not crossing over the property line. Now she started closing my crate/bed door at night, I don't mind that much because 10pm is MY bedtime, that's what I like, but how am I supposed to finish eating that wallpaper in the bathroom, I was doing it so well. She always keeps toys in my crate for me to chew on and I have a toy box in the kitchen for all the extra toys, now she's dropping extra toys in my crate and this gives me more work at night trying to bury them under my Scooby Doo, teddy bear and monkey fleece blankets that I sleep on. Oh and also, before I was getting treats just for being me or for sitting when she said to, I love chicken and turkey, and all kinds of bacon treats, but now I can't get one until I sit nice and relax. I'm not a old timer you know and all this calm down and relax talk is getting on my nerves. Mom's in here now reading more advice and I'm afraid of what she'll read next. If only I could figure out how to eat the computer, I'd be all set and "I" could rule the house but its not looking too promising. I'm still pleading the fifth on all that stuff she told you.

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 09:32:16 AM »
 :thumbsup:


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BoxerWB

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 10:30:22 AM »
That is a fantastic post. Bravo!
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BoxerPerson

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Re: Destructive behavior with no end in sight
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 11:33:12 AM »
:2thumbsup:
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