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Feeling discouraged again.....


Barney's Mom
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Well, we decided to broaden Barney's horizons a bit today. He had free reign of the basement steps! We gave him his ball and toys and he had a blast dropping his ball down the steps and then snarling all the way down to get it! He had been out recently, but after about the 6th time down, he decided he would pee on the carpet... Naughty number 1.

Then I thought I would go check my email in my office for a few minutes since he was so happy playing. Ha. He got a hold of a tiny thread on the carpet and pulled out a whole weave of it, then went on to the rug on the landing and tore that up. If that were the only thing he has destroyed, I wouldn't be so upset, but he has ruined so much in my house. I am quickly losing my patience.

He turned one in March. I feel like I cannot take my eyes off him for even a minute or he is ruining something. Is this ever going to end???? Will he ever be trustworthy? I feel like he never will. Is there any way to break destructive habits in dogs?? They say dogs destroy things out of boredom. Well, I can't give him any freedom to curb his boredom or he destroys things! If he has any more toys available for him, he won't have room to walk! It's a catch 22. I can't give him more distraction!

He gets LOTS of exercise, I give him lots of toys and chewies, but he would rather chew on what he SHOULDN'T chew on when the bone or toy is right there!!!!

I am feeling a lot of regret today and a lot of jealousy for those of you who have these mellow, submissive, don'tdestroyanything Cairns. Maybe I should have stuck to cats... But they destroy stuff too!!!! AAAAHHHHH! I can't win!!

Someone please tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that things will improve sometime before Barney is ready for the

geriatric ward at the animal hospital!!

Barney's Mom

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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Hi BM

I can tell how frustrated you are :( Barney sounds like a tough one.

Maybe Barney needs to be supervised 100% if he's out of his crate. Maybe if he is corrected every time he does something wrong, he will learn. Has he been to obedience school? That might be fun for both of you and might help or if you can afford it, maybe a trainer to come to your house.

You sound like a great doggie mom. I hope this helps.

Barbara

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Mett & Bratt will be 2 in May. They have very limited freedom when we are home- I try to keep an eye on what they are doing- But still they do destroy things and get into mischief which I believe they think is their 2nd job. The 1st job being barking at anything that moves or is thinking about moving.

I have seen Mett & Bratt maturing as they get older, but still they have a bit of the devil in them which can be a tad bit trying....but we take it in stride... they are Terrier's after all.

So hang in there, Barney is still young- and in a dogs eyes "Can I eat it? Chew It? or Pee on it?" is the mode of thinking.

Mett & Bratt do have accidents in the house, and I am working on better understaning the signals. I take them out every 2 hours, and if someone stares at me or give any kind of indication we go out.... Just last night 45 mins after being out Bratt sat in front of me and stared at me....... he did indeed have to pee again. I do feel like each time I get the signals our bond grows and I understand him more. Mettwurst will sit in front of the door looking at it... his signals are better to see and understand. Bratt's signals aren't as easy and mostly involve staring at me. LOL So take a deep breath, have a cocktail, it will get better.

Edited by Mysticsol8
Tracy, Brattwrust & Mettwurst a.k.a The Gremlins
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I am so sorry you feel discouraged. Puppies are much like children and we always think maybe we did not get a fair hand. The reality is that those of us who have the "laid back, non-destructive dogs", only brag abut it now. Scruffy was a very difficult pup and I had her literally tethered to my husband (I was working out of the home when we got Scruffy) and we had a personal training in the home weekly, and then continued education with group classes. I think puppies have to be taught what they can play with and what they can not. I know you have put a ton of attention and time into Barney, but he may be a "special ed" pup. I use positive reinforcement training, but I also implemented "correction" training too. Scruffy stayed on a choke and a leash til she was 6 months. When she played with or chewed on something not allowed, she got a pop. When she played with her toys, she gots tons of praise. She was also praised for being quiet and submissive. It is always work in progress and always will be, but I look forward to my training time with them. It creates the most beautiful bond with you and your dog and respect for you and your property.

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Yeah, I wouldn't get discouraged about it right now- you have to think of them as little kids. You wouldn't trust a 3 year old by themselves, right? And dogs don't understand what they can and can't get into without a lot of training. My dog tore a hole in our linoleum floor in the kitchen...and tore off the baseboard...and has ripped my clothes to shreds. The good thing is that he isn't as destructive anymore (he's 2 and a half)- it's something they grow out of most of the time. Another thing is that I learned not to leave him where he can be tempted. My dog has more freedom these days, but we still watch him about 90% of the time.

Don't give up hope- it'll get better as time goes on :) And keeping your dog limited to certain rooms in the house isn't bad either.

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awww I feel so bad that you and Barney have been through so much turmoil this first year. You obviously love him very much and want what is best.

Cricket will be one year old tomorrow and while she has her moments, she is generally very obedient, content and doesn't get into trouble.

Cricket has a playmate though since she came home with us and a doggie mentor, my 4 year old Lab Lucy..she has shown Cricket the ropes and helped us raise a centered dog.

I believe having an older dog here when Cricket arrived made the difference. She seemed to catch on to things quicker. Had Cricket been the only dog in the house I think she would be a huge handful. Lucy and Cricket play together all day so that really tires her out. Also, taking Cricket to training class starting when she was 12 weeks old or so was really was essential in raising a dog I can live with. She has the potential to want to take charge if I let her. Obedience training really established a bond and that I am the leader in the household. The other key that helped with Cricket is that I am fortunate enough to live where I can take her off leash everyday and run with my Lab...this winter she had to trudge through deep snow to keep up..she loved it and when we got home she is too tired to cause trouble.

Obviously most Cairn owners don't live where they can run and tire out their Cairn with off leash activities..

but there are a few things you can do possibly to alleviate Barney's troublemaking tendencies.

One thing I would recommend is getting Barney into a training class if you haven't already. Doesn't have to be fancy or real strict. Just somewhere you can go together each week to work on bonding, socialization and basics. And to continue on with classes. Not only would it sharpen his skills at listening and obeying, it would also give Barney a "job" and help beat the boredom. I know when I take the girls to an hour training it stimulates their mind and makes them even more tired than if I went for a hike with them.

If Barney likes playing with other dogs, how about taking him to doggie daycare once a week? That would give you a break and Barney could play to his hearts content. While I don't take Cricket every week, I take her to daycare about once or twice a month to give her a chance to play with dogs her own size and keep her doggie social skills sharp. She comes home POOPED and happy to plunk down on her bed and just hang out.

Sounds like Barney is one smart dog...and smart dogs need alot more than just toys, chewies and love. Perhaps after taking a training class or 2 you could try an agility class or rally or something to burn off that smart dog energy.

I hope you can find what works for you and Barney.

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Barney is still a little guy and has a lot to learn yet. I know it's frustrating to have a dog that destroys things. I agree with the suggestion of tethering Barney to you so that he can't get into things that he is not supposed to. I wish we knew about this technique when Scout was a puppy.

Scout loved to get into things and her love for chewing leather maddening. She managed to chew my DD's shoes, purses, belts....the list goes on. Each time she destroyed something was when she was not supervised. It's very, very, hard to watch a dog in a house with kids, or even guests! She stopped getting into things around the age of 2 and this is when she was let out of the crate and given free reign of the house. Scout is now 5 years old and after several years of not getting into things, she chewed up my night guard a week ago (a brace for night teeth grinding)! A very expensive object...about $500....sigh.....but it was my fault because I left it by the bed and didn't put it in it's case.

Finch, on the other hand, has never chewed anything up. I don't know what makes some dogs "curious" and others not. Barney is still very young, and although it's frustrating, it WILL GET BETTER! ((hugs)).

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Scout is now 5 years old and after several years of not getting into things, she chewed up my night guard a week ago (a brace for night teeth grinding)! A very expensive object...about $500....sigh.....but it was my fault because I left it by the bed and didn't put it in it's case.

OMG just this morning, I had taken my guard out becuase hubby was trying to talk to me (I sound like elmer fud with mine in) and I placed it right next to my head- Brattwurst with lightning speed grabed it and was out the bedroom door. I cornered him in the living room and got it back intact and unchewed- I got mine about 14 years ago for my TMJ, and think the total cost was somewhere around 1400.00 with all the therapy visits to get my jaw back in alignment..... I would have been so upset if it would have been destoryed, I can just imagine how you feel. Maybe your doctor still has the paster casts of your teeth :confused:

Edited by Mysticsol8
Tracy, Brattwrust & Mettwurst a.k.a The Gremlins
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I think if I could look ahead to a more mature Barney, it would help a lot. As bad as he is sometimes, he isn't so bad that I would rehome him (although the thought has crossed my mind sometimes!!) I can see tiny glimmers of change in him sometimes. Like for instance he got a hold of a clothes pin today. I got a treat, told him to sit and he let go of it to get the treat. When sitting, I took it from the floor right in front of him without a problem. In the past he has lunged for my hand when I try to take it. I have learned that calmness is the key, as well as sweet talk in a happy voice. ANYTHING negative backfires with him. Unfortunately I have yet to convice my husband that. Barney is a really sweet dog 90% of the time. And as some of you mentioned, he usually destroys something when we walk away for a few minutes and leave him by himself. But I just can't watch him 100% of the time. I think I am going to try tethering him to me and see if that works. I may need to see the chiropractor after a few days, especially when I go one way and Barney takes off like a rocket in the other direction! :surrender:

Many of you have mentioned training. Barney was "best dog" in his training class. He is outstanding when it comes to sit, wait, down, and stay. He is also really improving with loose leash walking. He must perform for everything: meals, treats, toys. He must wait before going down the steps to the yard. That kind of training is a go all the way.

I think I get more frustrated because my husband keeps dwelling on his faults and telling me I made a huge mistake by getting Barney. Therefore, any misbehaving or bad destructive behavior falls on my shoulders because, hey, if we didn't have Barney we would not be dealing with it. And since I wanted Barney, well, you get the picture. So not only do I have to deal with negative vibes from hubby, I have to deal with a naughty dog. I think if Barney didn't bark at everything and anything, it would be easier for my husband to take. But his barking is so loud and bursts out of nowhere, making us jump out of our skin! And to complicate the matter, hubby only sees Barney AFTER work when he is tired and low on patience.

I personally think Barney is here in our lives to teach us patience...in a way that we couldn't learn anywhere else.

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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I'm so sorry you are having issues with little Barney.

I agree with the others that he's still not mature.

Maturity didn't hit Teona until she was two....yes TWO!

She is just now beginning to settle down and be trusted. The first year with her was hard and hubby felt the same way yous does. At times I too thought I had made a mistake bringing another dog into our family. I am proud to say that now hubby loves little T (Teona) to death. She is our sweet little lap dog that I always wanted. If you're relaxing she wants to be in your lap. Tabitha likes to lay by herself and has never been a lap dog.

I promise it will get better. I do have to admit that at age 8, Tabitha will still potty in the house if given the opportunity.

For this reason our entire house in being converted to tile floors. All the carpet (except 3 bedrooms) is being replaced with tile. This way the girls can have free run of the house again.

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Just like each breed of dog has their differences, even those of the same breed can be different. Having three Cairns, I see first hand how unique each one is. Kiara and Hannah potty trained easily and have never chewed up something that they shouldn't. They stand at the kitchen door when they want to go "potty" and only bark for a reason. They both are allowed the freedom of the house, but sometimes Kiara loses hers when she goes after one of the cats. Hannah is pretty close to perfect, but is somewhat demanding of wanting me all to herself.

Then there's my Abbey girl, who is 3 1/2 and STILL not allowed to roam freely around the house. She will still pick up and chew anything that looks fun and exciting to her. My dd has lost stuffed animals, papers, note pads and small trinkets to Abbey. When not supervised, I keep her on tile. I can't even keep a kitchen rug under my sink because Abbey will chew it up! The only thing Abbey won't destroy is her bed or the blankets in her crate. She has plenty of toys, mostly destuffed ones, but doesn't enjoy them unless someone else wants it. I could hardly say she's ever bored, being I'm home most of the day and take time out to play w/ all of them. If she's not playing w/ Kiara or Abbey, she's playing w/ my dd. She's just my little chewer and she's worth giving up my kitchen rug for. :)

<img src=&quot;http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/maiwag/terriersiggy.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

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Barney's Mom-are the uprights in your household movers and fidgeters, or can you sit and relax? I found that my pup would act up more when we were moving around for no good reason, and learned to relax when my husband and I learned to relax. My hubby is a HUGE fidgeter, and I had to work to retrain him as much as I had to work to train the dog! It's just something that I noticed in our household, and while you need to keep on Barney, perhaps the signals you're sending out are making as much trouble for Barney as he's making for you.

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Hi Barneys Mom

I now understand how you feel. My husband never bonded with Scruffy and was always way to quick to point out her faults. She had a lot of "Dr Phil" issues when she was little. My husbands discipline always has contradicted mine. That is actually why I got Sparky. Granted, Sparky was a huge blessing as we all love him (including my husband), but we tend to be overly sensitive ,like it is our fault, when we have a spouse that just does not get it. If my husband had not come around, well......I won't go there today...I am not trying to make your problem bigger, but the second dog was not only a cure for my husband, but Sparky was such a healing source for Scruffy. Sparky is a little angle with 4 paws.

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Look at it this way, if you survive Barney you can handle pretty much anything, which should make your knowledge of behavior issues something you could get rich off of. :magic: . No seriously, there are many dogs that take a really long time to grow up. Barney may be one of those dogs and even when he does grow up will always be a little bit high maintenence. You will probably have to develop an insane amount of creative juices to keep his little terriorist brain occupied....

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I don't think I can add anything else that might help you except HANG IN THERE. You are one of the great cairn-mommy's that is trying to learn and understand your dog...not just give up the second time he chews or digs something up!

6amigos.jpg3amigospose.jpg3amigos.jpgRoscopuppy.jpg3amigos2.jpg

We're the Cairns of America

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I'm so sorry that Barney continues to give you a run for your money. I'm a "single mom" and quite honestly doggie daycare saved my life. Brady has an incredible amount of energy and even with at least three good walks a day he is still running around at night while I'm ready to just collapse. Now I try to take him to daycare at least once a week. It isn't cheap so it is a sacrifice but it has made an incredible difference. I drop him off before work and pick him up on my way home. He comes home exhausted (even falling asleep in his carseat!) and his energy level is manageable for the next few days. He loves playing with the other dogs and I feel less guilty about leaving him home during the day. I've found that a tired puppy is much less likely to get into trouble around the house. I don't know if this is an option for you but I can't stress what a difference it has made for me. Good luck!

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I am also feeling discouraged. I have learned how to get things fixed though. My optometrist can put new earpieces on my glasses (2 pair now!)

I know how to put a new cord and plug on any appliance (fountain pump, pressure washer, extension cord) and I know where to buy and how to wire sprinkler valve solanoids (also 2 now). I buy garden gloves like they are disposable and don't get too attached to any plant in my backyard. If we can get through skunk mating season this summer without Cassie getting sprayed I will feel much better. Sadly she is not as smart as many Cairns I have known so the learning process is longer. She is currently hunting bumble bees which I have told her are not good prey but that will be a lesson she may have to learn the hard way as well. This little dog hunts 24 hours a day which makes her a perfect Cairn, just a difficult housemate.

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