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So Frustrated...

Mariannee

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I know for a fact a dog never ever forgets abuse. I had a cocker spaniel once who was the family baby but had bitten outsiders more than once out of fear. Just one more aggressive episode and the city was going to put her down. After we had her ten years I put my leg up behind me to straighten a sock and the dog ran yelping and skittering away in fear. TEN YEARS! Thankfully she ended up dying in my arms at the ripe old age of 17. But I really advise against striking in any way a dog which may have been abused. I have learned that fear biters are the most dangerous often, and though your family are not abusive he may forget that in a panic of fear and strike out at one of you. I hope you find a resolution to this problem as soon as possible good luck with him. :hug8:
 

Hrtofau2

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:highfive: :hug8: Do you have a bicycle? Give that dog a good run for 45 minutes every day and you will see a different dog.
Taking a dog for a human walk a few blocks is not going to do anything. You need to "sprint" that dog.

The only way to burn that energy off is to actually burn it.
As Usual John has hit the nail on the head. :D

As an owner of a high energy breed, and have for years. I can tell you, a tired puppy is a good puppy. Dogs as a whole are NOT good on a few block walk once or twice a day. Heck, most breeds a 2 mile walk three times a day just does not cut it. The dog needs to RUN a good two plus hours a day. Fetch is a great way of doing this, as is taking him for bike rides. You say he is mostly good outside, but that he is a nut inside. What exactly do you mean? Is he kept mostly outside and super excited when he gets inside to be with you? Or is it that he needs to work on his house manners, as in not pottying, chewing ect?
Either situation can be solved very simply. How? A dog how is not given the opportunity to misbehave, cant. For example, if he is super excited to be able to join the family from the back yard, the best thing to do is look at when you are letting him in to the house. It should be done AFTER he has done his running. 1) he is going to be calmer because of the exersise. 2) he is going to not be as excited because he just spent time with you. It will help to calm him down before bringing him in. Also once he is inside, (or if he is having issues with general house manners such as chewing/pottying) he has to be shown HOW to behave. I accomplish this task very simply. I get an easily removable belt, loop the handle of his leash through the belt and attach my pup to me. This ensures he is never far away from me and I can supervise. If I cant supervise, my pup is kenneled. Period. They are never given the chance to misbehave. I am right there to correct potty mistakes, ensure they have proper chew toys, and that they do not go running around the house like a bull in a china shop. Gradually, as the pup learns the house "rules" the leash/belt combo is weaned gradually. First, I require that the pup stay in the same room at all times, then start leaving the pup out of sight for short periods of time. (Say to use the bathroom.) If they slip up and say start to chew a shoe while I walk out of the room. Its back to the step before. (So if pup is ok on leash in house, and then ok when I am in the room, but slips up if I step out for a second. Then its back to must be in the same room at all times.) My dogs must earn their "freedom" through good behavior.

While having your dog on leash so close to you, is a great time to work on simple obedience such as "Look at me" (handy for training dogs to avert triggers to bad behaviors, like cars or running kids), Sit, lie down, stay. It is also a great way to over all bond with your dog.

Good luck with your pup, I hope that I have helped some! :)
 

Ark

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I have a super high energy husky, and he was a complete terror the second he was unsupervised when he was younger. I agree with the other posters that it really comes down to wearing a dog out every day, because even long walks won't put a dent into the needs of a high energy dog. My solution was to buy a cheap treadmill. My husky will run on it for forty minutes straight and then ask for more. He still gets his regular walks, but that's mostly for mental stimulation. The difference in his behavior after getting the proper amount of exercise was like night and day. He's happier, well-behaved, and eager to learn new things instead of pretending to not hear me when I give a command. Training is also so much easier when they're tired.

While a treadmill may not work for everyone, there are lots of other creative ways to wear them out too, as a few other people have referenced. I don't have any first hand experience with them, but I've heard good things about doggy backpacks. Dogs can wear them during a walk and the added weight will tire them out in addition to giving them a "job" and sense of purpose.
 

dolldid

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when I got married we had 27 great danes in a 5 room bungalow 8 were full grpwen the rest were puppies lol we boarded dogs dogs which were on trial for there life we had 1 dobie we had to laso it to feed clean everything and the day we went to trial we had a family with small children who wanted it there children could put clothes on this dog
when the judge saw this he couldn't beleave it this dog grew old with this family I am sorry but you need to train and the easy way is with a leash a few hrs a day when you do dishes have hin on a leash besid you laying or sitting and always when walking on a leash by your side walk hin through the house on a leash room to room every one take turns so he knows what you all expect from him this is what hes lacking and you all use the same command raw chicken and beef bones are good for your dog but never cooked did your vet do blood work is he lacking anything this could be why hes acting up if your dog has something in his mouth just walk ove and open his mouth and take it BUT don't show your afraid of him
now as for taking your dog for a run that's easy look in the internet for a used 3 wheel scooter a disability scooter NOT a 4 wheel a 3 wheel and use that to run your dog there is no easy way in training it like telling a child today NO it has to be NO the rest of his life it cant be yes even 1 day remember that
what tou and your family have to work togather or nothing is going to work and if this cant be done please take this dog back to the shelter give him a chane either by working with him or giving him up cause if you don't he is the one that will suffer in the end and if all of you are going out crate him he will be fine make sure you have a rug in it and something he likes or a raw bone and water
remember its you that need training in order to help your dog and don't forget to prase and treat the dog for being good I my self prefer prase I do not beleave in bribing a dog to do what is expected of him prase is the biggest reward you can give remember that
good luck
 
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JLcribber

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Putting a harness on him and making him pull you around on a skateboard/rollerblades is a great idea. He gets a good thorough workout and you get a free ride.

Major is a high energy border collie that is 10 years old. He still needs to run everyday. We run (and I mean RUN) on the bike for a minimum of 5 km at a time (usually 8 to 10) twice a day.

Finding a way to really exercise that dog is going to be the key that unlocks the doors to the other behaviours you want.
Truth be told this dog will whip you into shape if you're not already and if you don't step up to the challenge the dog is going to win. And you will have regret.

You can't go buy a bird and plump him into a small cage with some seed and be done. You have to adapt and go an extra step to provide what they really need. The dog is no different.
 

Greycloud

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I took on a foster boxer that we have since adopted that had a terrible problem of nipping and grabbing our clothes for fun. He wanted our attention. We were almost knocked down when we came in the front door. We have corrected this behavior by totally ignoring it. When he approached us and nipped we kept our arms folded up on our chests and turned away from him. No eye contact what so ever. He would do his darndest to try and get us to look at him. We would continue to turn our backs and ignore the nips. It took time but he is now a very well behaved dog that waits for us to offer attention to him. Hitting him and yelling is a reward to him. It is negative reinforcement. He still gets your attention even though it is not nice.

Join this forum. There are several very good dog behaviorist there.
The Dog Forum - A friendly online community for dog lovers.
 
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southernbirds

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There are many people who have the ability, time and experience with this breed. Before he gets older and become more Alpha in your home, you might consider re-homing. It is not a failure on your part. In fact it is recognizing that this particular animal is not the proper fit for you and your family. Sometimes we can be an animal's stepping stone before he finally reaches his forever home. Good wishes!
 

Bartleby

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Like @Greycloud said, the nipping/mouthing is just for attention...any attention will do. So the smacking etc is rewarding for Spectar. I would go even further than Judy though and say that when teeth touch skin or clothing you don't just ignore the behavior you actually get up and leave the room. Completely remove yourself from his space. Go into a bathroom or bedroom and close the door and wait 30 seconds or so or until he settles down...as in isn't howling or jumping or barking. Only give him attention (good, bad or passive) when he is being relatively calm. Which, in his case right now, will probably mean more like "not completely out of control."

You'll be exhausted because you'll be up and down 100s of times a day. You'll sit down and he'll nip, you'll get up, leave and wait. You'll re-enter the room, he'll nip and the cycle will repeat. Rinse and repeat. Eventually though he will get the message that when he nips all the fun stops and the behavior will disappear. The key is consistency, everyone has to do it and do it every single time. When Freya was a pup I swear I spent months on end in and out of the bathroom teaching her that it was never okay to nip.

If he is only responding to commands 50% of the time then he doesn't know the command. Go back to the beginning and reward faithfully for the behaviors. Dogs don't generalize well so if he knows sit in the kitchen, he very well might not know it in the living room, out on a walk or at the pet store. Look up Kikopup on YouTube. She has tons of free videos that will help teach all sorts of useful manners and behaviors.

Generally speaking dogs aren't willfully disobedient or bad. They do things because they don't know any better, not out of spite. They will do whatever behavior because it gets them what they want. If there is no reward for that behavior they will stop doing it, plain and simple. So, you say he's potty trained, but then poops in the crate. Start rewarding and praising him for going outside and he will stop pooping in the crate because it is not rewarding. Don't punish him for misbehavior because that "punishment" is actually rewarding...especially if he comes from an abusive background. NILIF is about only giving him rewards (in his case you will get far simply with attention because pit mixes are so people oriented) when he doing what you want. So don't pet him unless he's calm, don't give him his food bowl until he is sitting nicely, don't give him a treat until he has sat. He doesn't go out into the yard until he is sitting nicely by the door. The leash isn't put on until he sits. Every single little bit of interaction is not done on your part until he has exhibited a positive behavior (whether that is actually sitting or simply the absence of something negative...like being calm instead of jumping, barking and nipping).

Also, dogs do not "attack out of the blue" or "start to turn". In almost every single case there were plenty of warnings that people ignored...sometimes blatantly and others times simply because they don't know. I can't tell you how many videos I've watched on YouTube where a dog is throwing calming signals left and right, clearly showing that what was happening to them was making them uncomfortable and the people around are giggling and clueless. I often wonder if years down the road the dog is finally fed up that it's been trying to communicate its discomfort and no one has been listening, so eventually it will bite. Dogs can't tell you that what is happening makes them uncomfortable, they try to show you with their body language, but when that fails they use their teeth. For some dogs their threshold is so far out there that they might never bite...for others their threshold is very, very low and they will bite from just a little discomfort.

To get something away from your dog that you don't want him to have start to play trading games. Where you take something away, but give something back. You start this with stuff that you don't mind him having and you're showing him that you're not stealing what he's got and that he'll be getting something good in return. Eventually he'll be gladly giving up even the most yummy thing because he knows that other yummy stuff will be coming his way. Watch out, though, sometimes they get so good at the game that they find stuff to bring you knowing that you'll trade them for something else!

Lastly, like many others have said he needs exercise, but he's only 9 months old it is a really bad idea to run him hard on paved surfaces at this age. His joints are still growing and that sort of exercise can do really serious damage in the longterm. Instead exercise him in spurts on softer surfaces until he's at least 18 months old. Your instincts were right and a dog park is not a good option for a young, exuberant, under stimulated pitmix and would just be asking for trouble. Instead, look up a flirtpole. It's great exercise when space is limited. It needs to be played with in a controlled manner, which means your dog needs to sit and wait, drop, leave etc and when done correctly it teaches your dog self-control in no time flat. It's cheap to make and there are no shortage of instructions available online. If your area has a fenced baseball field those are often great big spaces where you can exercise your dog off leash without fear of him running away or strange dogs interacting with him. Just be sure to pick up after yourself and in most cases nobody minds. If you can find somebody with a well socialized dog who has a similar play style and let them play together (while supervised of course) that is another way to drain some of his energy.
 
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crystaljam

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He's young, and going through puppy adolescence.

You've had a LOT of good advice - getting him a job, and getting him proper exercise (running, running, running).

If you feel he has been abused previously, never. Ever. Ever. raise your hands to him (you shouldn't do this in any case, but it's moreso important for him based on his history).

Dogs react differently to fear, some react by cowering and being fearful of you, others become more direct.

He needs proper training. A few lessons with a private instructor will help guide you in the way that he needs to be guided - you can do work on your own at home, but a good professional can help assess your situation in a positive manner and direction.

I grew up with a dog trainer dad, always at the training facilities when I was growing up. BUT when we rescued Fynn (breeder had dementia, and the stories we received were convoluted) at 14 weeks old...he missed that socialisation period, would eat his food in less than 60 seconds out of fear that someone else would steal it, would NOT spend time with us as he'd rather be alone, never held his head up or looked us in the eyes, lacked so much confidence, and so much more. with the wrong or an experienced family, I guarantee you he would of been relinquished back to the breeder or bitten someone by now. He is still struck with anxiety, but he is trying to be the best dog he can be. We will never expect him to be perfect. But we've slowly built our relationship and his trust of the world around him over the last 4 years. Trust me, it has been VERY slow. He still has puppy energy at times, but our key words calm him down immediately, and he automatically lays on his side for rubs until his "Fynn-o-meter" level goes down.

The best thing we did was get an outside opinion from a private trainer (my Dad is a jerk and wouldn't lift a finger to help his own daughter when she asked...if I weren't related, he'd more than happily have helped out).

Perhaps there is a trainer who can come to your home to assess what steps need to be taken?

This will help your family and new addition. Your family needs to be trained to train him properly based on his needs. He is still young...don't miss this window of opportunity to let him blossom into the dog he wants to be.
 

Bartleby

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@Bartleby
Did you go to the Michael Ellis School?
I have not had that pleasure yet...someday when it is easier to travel for a week+ a course or two will be on the agenda. I do have quite a few of his training videos.
 

Cara

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If he's misbehaving in the yard (or anywhere) by being physical in ways that you don't like, cross your arms and turn your back and don't respond to him. Like a parrot, there's an extinction period so it might get worse before it gets better. Also, I agree, exercise, exercise and more exercise is going to be your salvation. We have neighbors that adopted a very, very active pit/boxer mix who can't be off-leash. He gets walked separately by mom, dad and teenage son every single day regardless of weather. Three walks a day - and each walk is about 3 miles. If you can't get him to an area where he can be off leash, get him one of those really long 25 foot leads and throw something (ball, frisbee, ropie) for him. I have also purchased some simple foraging toys for Brodie to keep him occupied. My dogs have to sit quietly and wait before they get food or treats. It teaches a bit of self-control. Pulling would be awesome if you can figure out a way to have him pull you on a skateboard.

My parents last dog was adopted as a 'one year old, 50 lb puppy'. Turns out he was 6 months old and ended up at 90 lbs.
 

TalkinTimneh

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My daughter adopted a Pit Bull (less then a year old) about a year ago and "Kona" was absolutely wild...but growing up with German Shepherds, my daughter knew the basics. She started the training by keeping a lead on Kona at all times as Doll suggested and crate trained as well. She (dog) was always attached to someone at all times while in the house and taught that there was a time for fun and a time for quite. She also started with basic commands and simple tricks...once mastered she moved on to more difficult things and added 5 mile or longer walks/runs twice a day, having Kona carry a doggy backpack that has pockets for you to add weights. She started with a couple of food cans and gradually added more weight as her pup gained strength and confidence. Now, even though Kona is pretty well behaved, my daughter still continues with the training/walks knowing that she has a strong willed dog on her hands and that she'll probably be this way for a few more years.
Just remember that along with the training, your pup should still have some free time to be just what it is...a puppy. Believe it or not, even with the workouts my daughter's dog gets, she still gets the zoomies every now and again and will zip around the yard like there's no tomorrow.
Good luck with your pup.
*My daughter's dog was also abused...when someone step in, she was found bound to a tree on a 5' length of towing chain and suffering from starvation and dehydration during the middle of winter, along with three other dogs left to fend for themselves.
 

Danita

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I have not had that pleasure yet...someday when it is easier to travel for a week+ a course or two will be on the agenda. I do have quite a few of his training videos.
I went to his school and your pretty much said everything I learned there :)
 

Klomonx

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Because a lot of you are saying the same things, I'll just reply in one big post without tagging each of you.
Spector walks nicely on a leash/harness when we go for walks. He doesn't pull unless he sees a dog or person. He's inside the house with us at ALL times.. If he's outside, he's with someone. He starts barking when we barricade him to a room of the house and we have to leave for a second, say, to go to the bathroom. And if we take him to the bathroom he'll bark at us for taking too long, which, again, becomes an issue with my dad.
Today he had a two hour walk through the cemetery near us, he's sleeping now.
I tell my parents not to hit him but my mum especially gets so frustrated that she has to vent it out somehow, especially when she comes home from working 12 hours and the dog decides its time to be bad when he's been fine for me all day. We're also not consistent, I know this, because my dad is more 'old world' dog training, so the dog tends to listen to him but walk all over me and mum because we're trying to do other things. And while I try to ignore bad behavior, mum gets frustrated when the ignoring doesn't work after one or two tries, and decides its better to hit, because he'll stop immediately then.
Due to our schedules, classes or instructors aren't happening. I've been told outright.
Neither my mum nor I can really..jog? We walk, I for one have no balance and what ends up happening is that the dog runs faster than I do and gets in front of me, causing me to trip. Or he decides to bark at neighborhood dogs, so we have to stop and deal with that. Or a person comes at us so we have to stop to cross the street. I'm not an active person, it's nearly impossible for me to do a jog for any length of time, the walking I do with him is the best I can do.
Like I said, we didn't want a high energy dog, the shelter lied to us.
He won't be rehomed, parents don't think it's fair on his part because he'd have to go back to the shelter or someone we know - no one we know wants a dog, and obviously this shelter is horrid and might put him down, and that isn't fair. The shelter made us sign things specifying if we rehomed him that those had to be met.
He doesn't get how to play with us. We try to teach him fetch, and he just...has no interest. He'll chase things, and maybe act like he'll bring them back, but good luck getting him to drop it.

I'll look into other forms of exercise to see what we can do. Even when he's in the yard he can be bad, though. He's chewed up mum's plastic lights in the back yard, and loves to get stuck in a giant bush we have. Yay. Even when we watch him he'll just do these things.
 

Danita

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I don't know Anastasia, you should really do what you think is best for the dog. It seems like you have many reasons why the dog can't be trained.
Giving him to a home that wants him, one that understands him a bit more, and one that does not use physical abuse as a training tool, might be a better option.
There are lots of homes like that.
 

Greycloud

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When you are walking him and he sees another dog or person and reacts immediately change direction and walk the other way. If you have to change directions 20 times that is fine. He will get the idea that he cannot make the choice of where he is going and his behavior is unacceptable.
 

Greycloud

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You seem to say he is bad where ever he is. I think you really do not have control of the situation. If I had him (and I did this with my foster boxer) I would put a leash on him and keep it on him, even in the house. I tied mine to my belt. You can constantly monitor him this way. He is controlling you right now because he has no consistent direction.
 
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Karen

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I feel so bad that he is being hit :( as a method of training. This isn't good for him.

I looked up the rescue you got him from and it seems safe to say that he would not be euthanized. They have an 'open door' policy and state; Since opening our doors in 1910, we have remained true to our mission of helping all animals in need, regardless of species or breed. At our Shelter, we care for and find permanent, loving homes for dogs, cats and other companion animals. We have no time limit on an animal’s stay with us – we keep all healthy and friendly companion animals until they are adopted.

You can read their story in the below link

Our Story | Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center
 
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