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kkparsonrt

HELP: 5 questions about my dog. How can i improve his behaviour??

15 posts in this topic

Hi everyone, 

Recently my dad has been saying he wants to get rid of our dog, to put him up for sale. But i don’t want that to happen. the reason he wants to get rid of him is because he can be quite the piece of hard work sometimes.

His name is Zac, hes a Parson Russell Terrier, 4 years old, and NOT desexed. We bought him hoping that we will be able to take him hunting but it wasnt the case, he wasn’t the dog for it. He came from a line of show dogs though his breed is generally used for hunting. Hes a very playful, energetic, loving dog, well loved by the family. During the day he’s home alone while we are at school and work.

When we first got him he was 2. He was sent from Sydney to Melbourne. When he arrived at our house he was very timid and cautious, scared of everything and everyone. He grew up on a farm and now hes in the back yard of a house close to the city (he isnt allowed inside the house, unless the weathers bad, hes allowed on the tiled area) 

He does occasionally cause a few problems, and dad has had enough. i want to work with Zac and try improve him and to teach him whats bad and good so we can change his mind and prove to him Zac is an good dog. Heres 5 questions ive got:

1. He urinates on our shoes and stuff. If he’s got the opportunity, he will go for it, take a leak on our shoes, and if the door is open to the garage he will take the chance and go in there for a leak. How do we stop him peeing on our stuff (preferably without desexing him)?

2. He digs, a lot. We are coming to believe that its not possible to be able to keep a nice garden, even a nice backyard if you also have a dog. He’ll dig holes in the lawn, garden beds, near the fence and under the trees. How do we stop him digging?

3. He is scared of everything. He has improved a lot since he first came but still gets scared from the wind, rain and even leaves blowing around. Are there ways to make him less scared? 

4. He gets really aggressive towards male dogs. He has been nipped on his balls before by a shitzu, i dont know if thats the reason but when ever a male dog sniffs Zac close to that area Zac quickly turns around and growls and even tries to attack sometimes, he shows teeth and the hair on his back stands straight up. Around bitches hes completely fine. Is there a way to get him to trust male dogs again?

5. Zac hates swimming. I wish Zac could be that dog that goes for swims with us and jumps straight into the water and fetches a stick. Are there ways to get him to like to swim?

Thank you, i hope to get some answers soon. If you need anymore information about him let me know smile.png)

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Zac sounds like a very unhappy dog, and I am not surprised.   If "he can be quite the piece of hard work sometimes,”  I am not surprised.  He sounds like a dog who is not understood, whose basic needs are not being met, one who is not being given any sort of life expect one of criticism and lack of understanding and lack of love.  I have four dogs and at times have had up to 8.  My garden is admired by all who visit me.  I won’t say any more except include the link below, because I can’t see through my tears for Zac.   

 

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/07/20/environmental-enrichment-dogs.aspx

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juice   

Sorry to be blunt, but i would rehome Zac for his sake, he is clearly an unhappy pooch who leads a boring and miserable life, hence his behavior.

 

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Ohhh..I am sorry that your family didn't get the dog you all wanted ..and I am sorry that Zac  is where he isn't understood .

Good  on you for asking these questions - but honestly, I think it is a bit late  now . 
Zac has habits  which have had years to  form ..and he has the personality he was born with .
Work can be done on these - but, they need PROFESSIONAL help - which is not cheap , and if your family would not have him castrated , I doubt they'd pay for a behaviour specialist to work with him and the family :(

Please do not just advertise him on gumtree or in the paper ....This boy has special needs, and will do best in an experienced home where someone is willing to spend a lot of time ( and maybe money ) to help him along the way .

Dogs aren't people ..they don't think/behave like people ..BUT  they get nervous and scared, they worry .they get anxious and upset when they can't be with family . They feel defensive after they have been bullied . They do stuff to try & make their place in the family/society ... in many ways they act like we do ..and so deserve understanding and respect , education and care .

Rehoming may be the best outcome for you all , and perhaps after lots of reading /research , you may feel ready to look for a different dog who you will treat as a family member ..and who will respond  with a very different way of behaving  because of it :)

 

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3 hours ago, juice said:

Sorry to be blunt, but i would rehome Zac for his sake, he is clearly an unhappy pooch who leads a boring and miserable life, hence his behavior.

 

I agree, but would be very concerned this family would shove him off with absolutely no concern for his well being.  But I guess it couldn’t be much worse.   

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1 hour ago, persephone said:

Rehoming may be the best outcome for you all , and perhaps after lots of reading /research , you may feel ready to look for a different dog who you will treat as a family member ..and who will respond  with a very different way of behaving  because of it :)

You are being too kind, persephone.  The dog is not allowed inside.  This family wants a dog to be all things to all people, but kept outside.  This family is totally unsuited to any dog.    

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juice   

I don’t know where you live but jack Russell rescue would be the best place . I really don’t think you can fix this , I know you are attached to him , but look at it from his side , he is getting nothing and it’s pretty sad for him , he is s terrier , bred to do s job , and he doesn’t have one . 

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I think the OP is a school kid ,  

Concerned  about the family dog , her dad wants to be rid of,  because  dad did  not train  the dog.

 

I think  this kid needs some kind  and  caring  advice,  not  harsh  comments that won't  help this dog at all.

 

Please be KIND when new members  post a problem,  not scare them away with critical harsh words. 

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It wouldn't be DOL if new people weren't jumped on, it's practically a tradition to do this then lament about everyone going to facebook. Rehome because the kid's family dog isn't perfect in a perfect life? They aren't going to learn if every time a few bumps pile up a bunch of random forum people demand they rehome the dog because of one forum post with some pretty normal challenges.

 

 

kkparsonrt, you are in a tricky position because it is not your dog. However, some of these we can help you work on, and maybe they will be enough for your dad to keep the dog in the family which will give you more time to work on the rest of it.

 

1. Talk to your parents about getting a shoe rack, to elevate the shoes out of his reach. It's likely he wasn't really toilet trained before coming to you, so he doesn't realise he is not meant to be peeing in the garage and thinks he is just "updating the news" so to speak.

 

Otherwise, keep him out of the garage.He really doesn't need to be in there anyway. If you are going into the garage and he is following, pop him on a lead so when he starts sniffing to pee on something, you can walk him outside of the garage quickly. If he pees outside, that is good and praise him! If he decides to hold it, no big deal praise him for holding it and then keep him out of the garage that day. If you're not fast enough and he pees in the garage...big breath, take him out and clean up the mess.

 

2. He is digging because he is an active and young terrier :) . Some things you can do are build a digging pit where he is allowed to dig (if your family would let you have this as a project). Also, before you go to school and when you get home from school - play a game with him! Start teaching him fetch, or tug. Something that can burn a bit of his energy off. 

Does he seem to like to chew? Play tug with a toy in the morning and let him "win it" just before you have to go. Then he has something to self-entertain with while you are gone.

 

If you have siblings, see if they would play with him as well.

 

What do you feed him? If he likes kibble, you can get a kong wobbler or food dispensing ball from any old store. Put the kibble in this for his breakfast and you have a game for him to play in the morning while you're all gone! Then when you get home, you can play some games with him to get the rest of his jitters off.

 

3. Being scared of lots of things is a hard one for everyone, where you must be patient and understanding that he doesn't want to be scared either. Does he have a kennel? Make sure it's super comfortable with lots of blankets so he has somewhere nice to hide. If the weather is playing up and he is on edge - this could be a good time to do something he likes, like playing fetch, butt scratches...whatever games you have concocted between the two of you, to help distract him and get some endorphins flowing.

 

4. He could become fine around other dogs, but that would definitely require your family getting the guidance of a trainer or dog school. Do you think your dad would let you enroll into one? It says you're in Victoria, if you're in or around Melbourne there are very many you could go to and most only require an hour or two on the weekend. If you and your dad go together, together you could learn loads on not only helping with being other dogs but chances to ask all those big and small questions I've no doubt you have!

 

Plus it will help build your dad's bond up with this terrier so he may be more understanding and help you in teaching this dog ;) and they can give you much faster and more accurate advice than this forum can, because they are seeing the dog in person!

 

5. I would not worry about the swimming, you have lots of other things to focus on right now  ;) Start him on the fetching part first and maybe later, if he really likes fetch, he might start fetching from shallow water. It's a bit cold right now to be swimming anyway, so work on that fetch!

 

Written down that is a lot of things, so can seem a bit overwhelming and daunting - a bit like thinking about all the things "wrong" with the dog. But most of it with some time and patience can become routine.

 

Here is the tldr version:

  • Talk to your dad about enrolling into a weekend dog school to help teach you how to teach the dog *
  • Give him breakfast in a food dispensing bowl if you can - or play a game with him in the morning before school!
  • When you get home from school - play something high energy for Zac. Fetch, tug, the two of you running around the yard. Something FUN!
  • If he is scared of something, take him away from the scared thing and give him some love - dogs really are just toddlers on four legs.
  • No more going into the garage.

There might be more you are thinking about after posting in the forum, and that is normal. But try not to focus on everything he does "wrong"! Focus on only a few things above and work on those for now, you can only work on one thing at a time. Remember your successes and try to have those more often.

 

Remember that if your dad does rehome Zac, you have been trying your very best and every day you will know a little more. The best dog to start with is the one in front of you and doing every little bit you can to improve their life. That is always a work in progress as you get to know dogs better :)  be kind to your dog and be kind to yourself!

 

(* and if your dad takes you there, he can learn too!)

Edited by Thistle the dog
mispelling makes sentence wierd
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@Thistle the dog   That answer  is lovely,  you must be a very kind &  caring  person,  :)

 

When new members post on DOL it would be great if they stayed on this forum,  numbers on here are going down.   :sleep:

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Dogsfevr   

I tend to agree with the others ,rehome home him.
This dog doesn't need to be a tool too prove your dad wrong .The whole family needs to be prepared to work with any form of training & willing to adjust the home rules .
It really sounds like your dad is not going to work with you & he has decided this dog didn't become a hunter so of no use in the home which is ashame as all hunting dogs still enjoy being pets .
This dog doesn't sound like a special needs case but a dog who is simply not thriving in the home situation .This isn't your fault but the dog is 4 & it also deserves the chance to live in an environment better suited to its desires .You have some tick list items this dog wont meet & you need to decide how important that is.Many dogs hate swimming ,if this is an absolute must have you will be disappointed ,
As for desexing your state laws may determine that path especially with the new dog legislation in each states,you may not have a choice but to get it done anyway .Your parents would be aware off this when the dogs council registration comes up for renewal .
In the end you need to decide how long does the dog need to be potentially piggy in the middle ,he is still young with lots of great things to give to the right home
 

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Everyone  if you pop over on   ( DogForum.com.au  )   you will have a better idea of this girl & dog , and her 5 questions .

 

Also note how they respond helpfully ,   

 

Best not judge so harshly,  this girl is trying her best & loves this dog.

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1 hour ago, PANDI-GIRL said:

this girl is trying her best & loves this dog.

and sometimes that is just not enough , especially when there is a parent  with the final decision :(

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Maybe it isn’t enough and maybe it is. Either way it starts the process of change and learning in at least one person and possibly the rest of the family too. Better than staying at the same level of ignorance for this dog and future dogs. 

 

Good owners don’t sprout fully formed out of the ground, they start somewhere and grow just like we all did. 

 

That and it’s a pretty small post with minimal info and no elaborations to jump to whole scale psychic interpretations of every family members feelings and intentions so the dog MUST be rehomed

 

Hoping they are being helped over there. 

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KobiD   

Well said Thistle.

 

I have found many people on this forum to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful, while others are simply judgemental. Such is life, and such is the internet. I frequent many forums for various hobbies and on the whole they're all slowing down in favour for the instant gratification/large audience that a certain social media platform offers. I much prefer forums for specific content!

 

To the original poster, googling your specific questions will also turn up much information which can help you, if you are willing to take the time to read and apply the knowledge that is available. Every animal is different, and every owners situation is equally as unique. 

 

DDD, what is wrong with an animal not being allowed inside?? 

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