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HELP! Need help training Max the Destructor

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by Joe Cool, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool New Member

    Well, it's been over two months now with Max. He made it through his neutering and all and now...a new problem.

    He's becoming progressively more destructive in the house when left alone. I know being an Aussie he is a high energy dog and requires a lot of exercise but I don't think we can do any more than we already do...

    Also he's extremely possessive of anything he can get his jaws into. Him and I have gotten into it several times over stupid things (Lego, BeyBlades etc). Up to now I've dealt with his snarling and snapping by donning leather welding gloves, grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and growling loudly at him , snarling "NO...BAAAD PUPPY"

    Any advice at all would be appreciated as I hate the thought of having to take him back to the Humane Society....I love him dearly but if I can't trust him...

    Please Help! I don't know what else I can do!!
  2. horse_child

    horse_child New Member

    Hmmmm, interesting situation. try spray him with a spray bottle before he gets to the object. and then if you can catch him make a loud noise to distract him while oyu sweep down to take away whatever is going to be chewed to pieces and replacing it with something else. then work on the "leave it' or "drop it" command.
  3. nern

    nern New Member

    Rather than scuff shakes and scolding you should really practice object exchanges with him. By making a big fuss each time he has something you don't want him to have you are making the object even more important to him. Punishment and/or scolding just creates stronger, more reactive resource guarders IMO.
    Once you master object exchanges then you can get started on "drop it".

    A few books you might be interested in reading if you have the time:
    "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson
    "Mine" by Jean Donaldson
  4. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    I second Nern's advice. I go straight for the food bin when Nala has a treasured object and trade her for a few bites. It works every time. When he drops whatever it is, step on it rather than trying to bend over to pick it up. Then when he moves off, you can pick it up.
  5. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool New Member

    All fantastic replies..geez I love this group.

    I found the site www.doggiedoor.com very very helpful too (ie. the 'Leave it' command). Everything I read made sense so we started making a few changes to his lifestyle. No more sleeping in bed with us (better for my back anyways and my wife can't blame stealing the blankets on Max anymore), as well as after his first walk of the day (15-20 min) I started taking him to the backyard and throwing a ball around for him.

    His food now goes up too before I leave for work and now we will be having our youngest give his bowl back at 5:00pm. All dog bones go up and go back to Max when he has been a good puppy for the day.

    I'm hoping all of this works...any more advice out there please feel free to share!!
  6. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    I don't think he will get the connection between being good and getting a bone at the end of the day. The two will not be linked for him. But if you don't leave his toys out and he has to earn them from you, then he will be more likely to listen to you because he knows you control the good stuff.

    However, he needs to have appropriate things to chew on while you are gone, or he will find his own stuff to chew on. The only way to get around that is to crate him while you are gone, with some good stuff in his crate to keep him busy.
  7. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool New Member

    I think you're right Jamiya, those little marrow bone things keep him good and busy for a while. He does have a HUGE bone we got him when he first arrived that he loves as well...man does it hurt when he drops it on your toes!

    Something we are doing seems to be helping lots. I don't know if it's the playing ball with him after his morning walk or not letting him sleep in the bed with us anymore...two days though without incident...further bulletins as events warrant!!
  8. Pekemom

    Pekemom New Member


    Not much more I can add, but just to tell you you're doing a great job. Sometimes it takes a psych degree to figure our dogs out. But you've put in so much effort now. I hope things work out well, and you keep him.

    do you know how old he is, BTW?? he may settle down some as he gets older, too.

    And thanks for the doggiedoor link. It had a terrific response to an aggression problem that I could really relate to, with my black & white peke (believe it or not ---B-I-T-I-N-G...)

    good luck!!

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