How do I get my dog under control?

I have a 10lb maltese. He’ll be a year old in August and he’s absolutely out of control. I’ve tried everything I can think of and everything I’ve found by doing research online. There are no dog trainers in my area, the closest one is petsmart and it is over 2 hours away. He chews up my things while I’m away (dvd cases, trash from the trash can, books, etc.). I’ve had to resort to putting everything in his reach behind a closed door or just out of his reach. He won’t walk on a leash. I’ve tried every technique I can find. He jumps all over company and won’t stay in a room with the door shut or on a leash tied to something because he whines so loud I have to shout to talk. I’m out of ideas as to what to do. When we try to walk him he pulls so hard against the leash that he chokes himself. I don’t want to have to pack up everything before I leave the house in fear that I’ll come home to my things destroyed. Does anyone know anything I can try that may help this problem?

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13 comments

  • nyssa m

    ok first off if possible it would be a good idea to crate the dog while your gone or if not that get baby gates and confine him to a certain area.

    as far as a leash the best way to walk a dog is if you are right handed put the loop over your left hand and hold it then hold the slack of the leash in your right hand. now keep a tight hold and make the dog walk directly next to your right leg. give no slack top the dog whatsoever just enough that you are not pulling the dog off the ground. if you are left handed simply switch sides.

    now with company, what you want to do is take every bit of attention away from the dog when company comes. when your company walks in the door tell them to completely ignore him. you too. no eye contact, no petting, no acknowledgemnet by name, and dont talk to him. do this until the dog calms down completely and lays down. when the dog does this reward him with a small treat, but stay calm, no high pitched voice or overly praising, just good boy and a treat, eventually he will not become excited when company comes because he doesnt get any attention upon arrival.

    hope this helps if you have any other questions or anything feel free to email me

    nyssa (volunteer with penny angels beagle rescue)

  • shock collar when ever he does somthing bad shock him\her

  • You have to train him. I know that sounds stupid and so simple. Your dog is clearly anxious and energetic, so take it outside…let it run, play with it, let it get some of it’s energy out so it doesn’t take it out on your home and your guests.

    As for the training…you can do it. =) You just have to be firm, lots of positive reinforcements. Dogs want nothing more than to please their masters so show him what is unacceptable but moreso what is acceptable. When you see him chewing on something, take it away, scold him, give him a toy to chew on and reinforce when he does so. Try the same technique for everything else and with time and patience you’ll have a very well trained dog.

    Also, crate training is a great help. Don’t make it a punishment though, make it a "den." And that way when you’re away you won’t have to worry about your things being torn up during the training process

  • Jocelyn7777

    Sounds to me like you need to invest in a crate, and crate train the dog. Then, you might want to go to http://www.leerburg.com and look up the info about how to properly use a pinch collar on a dog. Then, you need to get some good books or videos on training your dog.

    Good luck.

  • watch "its me or the dog" it really works . it shows on animal planet. also the trainer Victoria Stillwell had dvd’s and books! she shows you how to do everything and it works. it worked with my bros yorkie who was so out of control it was a hazard to have him. and just by watching her show he turned into a different dog.

    http://www.victoriastilwell.com/

  • When he’s crazy, roll him onto his back. That shows him who is boss and he should submit to you. You have to be the alpha dog and show you’re in control. To get him to walk on a leash, try a claw collar, which gently digs in if you pull hard. It reminds them of their mama’s gentle bite and they will comply better. If he destroys your things, he’s likely bored.

  • koukla_33

    Try getting him some toys, the kong range and soft toys are normally good. When he starts to chew on things, give him the soft toy and he’ll learn to suck on that instead. He is teething so please try to be patient. While your out the kong toys are good because you can stuff them with food and he’ll be more interested in getting the food than chewing on your things.

    You’ll need to slowly teach him not to jump on company by telling him no, putting him on the ground and when he’s being good and displaying the behaviour you want give him a treat so he knows he is being good. You can’t expect him to be in a room with the door shut though, because he’ll be bored and wants attention so you do need to teach him how to behave.

    In regards to the leash. I think all dogs do this in the beginning. Try to be patient and try not to let him pull. Keep the lead next to your body so he’s walking with you (next to your legs) and not pulling on the lead. He’ll learn how to walk on the lead properly just with time and consistency. good luck.

  • AlwaysWondering

    i am a new believer in crate training if done properly. it protects your home and protects the dog too from dangers he can get into. there are some great dog training shows on tv. one is on animal planet and the trainer is a monk in upstate ny. anyway, here is a good link for short training info videos to watch. if you do what they do, hopefully your doggie and you will be happy in no time! stick with it! 🙂 plus be sure your dog gets enough exercise and be sure to play and interact with him. good luck to you both

    http://www.petvideo.com/ on the left side it will say channels. that is where you will find the training videos. have fun 🙂

  • First off, go out and buy a dog crate..the kind with wire bars that he can see through and get the biggest one you can find. Your dog needs to be comfortable while it’s confined and should have room to stand up and turn around with ease. And then use it..at night, when you need a time out during the day, and especially every time you leave the house. I hate to tell you, but you have let your dog become the ‘boss’. Without at least one person who is clearly in charge, any dog will be willing to fill the empty space. For walking, get a collar called the gentle leader, and there is another like it but I forgot the name. Your dog cannot lead you with this collar on and it’s very humane, verses choke or pinch collars. You can also use this collar when company arrive as your dog will not be able to jump on people unless you allow it.

    There are many good books on training, but I haven’t read any in a long time. The two older books I would recommend are ‘Mother Knows Best’ by Carole Lee Benjamin, or ‘How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend’ by The Monks Of New Skete. I’m sure there are other good books out there, but these are the ones I have used and they are good. It might be geared more to puppies, but the principle is the same. But be prepared to accept that you will have to be very, very consistent or it won’t work. GL and I hope you get more ideas from others.
    P.S. Both books deal wit problem behaviors. Best of luck to you!

  • believer

    First off, you need to get a kennel. It sounds like you have a very very unstable dog. He is freaking out when you leave, being destructive, and really, he is only going to end up hurting himself by eating something toxic or dangerous. Kenneled dogs are contained, therefore they can’t eat your books, your couch, your books and so on.

    When company comes over, you need to have him on a leash, you can leave him free (meaning he can pull the leash around behind him). Ask a friend to come over, have them come in – they need to IGNORE the dog, no matter what. Your dog is an attention seeker and he has learned that with his foul behaviour, he gets it. They ignore the dog and if it jumps, they need to turn away. They don’t look at the dog, they don’t talk to the dog, they – and you – don’t even say no. Talking is a form of attention. Trust me, the dog will get bored very quickly. Once the dog calms down, THEN the person can give him attention. If he reverts to craziness, they stand up, turn and ignore. The leash is there to condition the dog to the leash and present in case the dog does something (like bite/lunge at your friend, you can have control quickly). Your friend needs to repeat this several times over several days (hopefully you have a friend who is more than willing to help to prevent getting jumped on). And you need to notify your other friends to act the SAME way when they come over.

    And you need to do the SAME thing when you come home from work – spend your first 15-20 minutes absolutely ignoring the dog. Your dog is doing anything it can to get attention.

    As for the walking – does your dog enjoy treats? Does it like to chase balls? If he likes to play tug of war, chase a ball, begin by exercising him that way. That will tire him out a bit. Then put the leash on him and have him simply drag it around the house with him – and praise him. Work on come with the leash dragging behind. Use treats if necessary. Somewhere along the line, your dog has associated the leash with something negative, and you need to break him of that.

    After he is tired a bot from playing something that he enjoys, take him out on a walk. Keep the leash loose. Don’t ever drag him. You may have to work up to longer and longer distances. Take a treat with you. Walk out in front – if you have a long leash this will work better, and then call him to come. You will look silly, but as he associates moving with treats, then you should be able to increase the distance you move. You may only be able to go a few feet at a time. Everytime he comes to you praise him. He will associate the leash and walking with something positive. And pretty soon, he will walk and you can phase out the treats and the constant praising.

    Right now, your dog is the one in charge, and you need to reclaim the control. Never use the leash to tie him up – he is learning that the leash is bad. Make leash time a positive experience. If you can, keep the leash on him in the house and walk him around the house on it and soon, leash time will be positive and not a big deal.

  • faith.trust*`

    He does sound out of control! Here are a few things you can do that may help with your problem:

    When you have to leave him alone, crate him so that he won’t be able to look for things to chew on. He also probably chews because he’s bored and it’s something to do. Try putting things up high and out of his reach. If you don’t want to crate him, I would recommend putting him in a small room and putting a baby gate up so that he can’t get out. Crating is not cruel, so don’t be turned away by that. At first, he’ll probably whine like he’s dying in there. Gradually get him used to a crate by throwing some treats in there and leaving him in there with the door open. Then, you can start closing the door for short periods of time and leaving him in there. Don’t make the crate seem like a bad thing or else he’ll never like it. Confining your dog to a small area while you’re gone will prevent him from chewing things laying around the house.

    When you go on walks with him, do you use a collar? If so, you may want to try a Halti/Gentle Leader. You’ll have more control over him than you would with a regular collar. First, get him used to wearing the Halti. He will probably try to get it off at first, but just give him a little time. Take him outdoors and start walking. The second he starts to act up and pull away from you, turn around and walk the other way. Keep the leash tight so that he’s not running all over the place. He’ll learn that he needs to walk with you, and not you walk with him. I don’t recommend a retractable leash; just a regular leash will work.

    Getting him to stop jumping on company will take some work. First, teach him to sit and stay. After he’s mastered those, you can work on getting him to stop jumping. Put a collar on him and hook it to a leash. Have a friend knock on the door and walk in. When he jumps up, give a gentle but effective pull on the leash, say no/no jump, and tell him to sit and stay. Make sure your friend doesn’t give him any attention or eye contact when he jumps up. When he’s sitting down calmly, your friend can get down to his level and pet him. If he starts jumping again, do the same thing. Don’t shout the commands no matter how frustrated you may get. When he keeps all four of his paws on the floor, you can praise him and give him a small treat. He’ll soon realize that when he doesn’t jump, people are going to be very happy with him.

    Be very patient and consistent with him. He’s still learning, and it’s your job to teach him what’s right and wrong. Don’t yell or hit him in any way because it’ll just make him act up more as he won’t know why you’re acting the way you are. I adon’t recommend alpha rolls (rolling the dog onto his back to make him submissive). I don’t like how they work, but some people think it’s a great training technique. Those are just a few methods that may help but there are many more that people have recommended and that you can find on the internet. Find the ones that work for you and your dog. Good luck, and I hope this helped.

  • myrottie family

    shock collar i have one for both my rotties and i only had to shock them once and its not cuz they are mean its because the male knows how to open doors and he likes to let all the other dogs around us that this is his place and they don’t like when people come by our fence i shocked him once and now i pick up any kind of remote and he knows that if he misbehaves what happens (there is also a button for a beep to warn them they do a complete turn around
    it also sounds like your dog has a separation thing going on also try create training him put some of your old clothes in the kennel with him for its got your scent on it get a kong (dog toy)fill it with peanut butter or dog food this can also be used as a rewarding thing they love p butter when hes good treat him with a special treat but save that kind of treat for when he does something you want him to good luck

  • Budd L

    Sounds like your a candidate for the dog whisperer. Check out Caesar Millans website http://www.dogpsycologycenter.com
    The chewing when you are gone is most likely some sort of separation anxiety. Some vets may prescribe an antidepressant like prozac or elavil. If you don’t want to medicate your pooch a professional dog trainer may be your best bet. Leash training is a first step. Making sure your dog is well exercised will drain some of that excess energy. However you could also be doing something that reinforces this behavior. Training is not just for your dog, but yourself as well.

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