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Help! I don't know what to do

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by mitch, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. mitch

    mitch Registered Users

    Apr 16, 2018
    So I have a ~3 year old GermanSheppard/Black Lab Mix. She is however I think much more Lab than anything. We got her from a family friend who was not able to care for her any longer. She was only about 7 months at that time. She is a great dog and super loving but over the last year she is has just gone nuts. We have always struggled with her chewing and digging since she came to our family but that we can deal with. The last year however she has become super weird about going outside. She has no problems and runs out the door and is happy sometimes but the other 90% of the time she runs and hides and pees in the house. When we attempt to coax her outside she will pee right there on the floor. Often while she is still laying down. We virtually have to grab a hold of her collar and drag her outside in order to eventually get her to go. I thought maybe something happened outside that has her spooked but like I said sometimes she has no issue and runs out the door. There is another dog in the house and they get along. He has shown no such issues. I have tried ignoring her and see if she is willing to go out when she realizes I am not leaving. If I give her attention she will pee, (when I come home). She has also become more destructive in the house at times. If we happen to have a door closed she will claw and chew at the door. The wood work in the house is destroyed. The carpet, rugs and dog beds are pretty much toast. We have gotten her toys which doesn't stop the destruction... What do we do???? My wife is to the point she wants the dog gone but I can't bring myself to do that.
  2. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Jun 2, 2012
    Fife, Scotland
    This sounds pretty unusual.
    Your dòg may be stressed or anxious to behave in this way.
    To be honest, you might benefit from getting an experienced behaviourist to come and help you.
    Things may be quite complex. I suspect that dragging your dog outside has worsened the issue though I can understand why you may have felt it necessary.
  3. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

    Jun 30, 2016
    Wellington, New Zealand
    By going outside do you mean to the garden, or out for a walk? If it's the garden then maybe you can toilet her elsewhere - put her on the lead and take her for a quick wee out the front or something. But I agree with Jac, this sounds like you need professional help, preferably from a veterinary behaviourist who has the ability to prescribe medication (if that's what's needed).
  4. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Mar 29, 2014
    I agree with the above.

    I would take her on lead walks for the toilet for now. Use treats to get her used to the garden without fear but don’t worry, yet, about her toiletting there or not. Be relaxed and calm yourself, never pull her anywhere.

    Be sure, if she’s left alone, it’s in a dog-proof space.

    And I’d certainly get a behaviourist to help - these are serious problems.

    I also imagine that your and your wife’s anxiety about all this is adding to the dog’s confusion and anxiety.

  5. UncleBob

    UncleBob Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Sep 20, 2013
    Welcome to the forum.

    As Jacqui says, you may well benefit from getting an experienced behaviourist's input on her issues.

    In the meantime, I would try to resist the "We virtually have to grab a hold of her collar and drag her outside" approach as this is likely to be making her more anxious and actually making the problem worse. Its a vicous circle because exercise will almost certainly help so I can see why you are keen to take her out - do you have a large enough garden that you could exercise her there by playing some games? When it comes top going out try to find some food or a toy that she really likes and then entice her out rather than drag her out. If she manages it make a fuss of her and reward her - you want to start making the association that going out is a good thing. Even if she just makes progress towards the door without actually going out, priase her. Needless to say you will need time and patience for this approach - don't try to do it when you are short of time as you will get frustrated with any lack of progress and she will pick-up on this.
    Stacia likes this.
  6. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

    May 25, 2011
    Malvern UK
    This sounds too me like fear as you say she pees when you hold her collar or when she lies down, dragging her by the collar is going to make her even more fearful and the situation worse. My Lab suddenly became very frightened of something, possibly a squeaking sound in the house, I went to the vet and had something (natural) to calm him down and he eventually got over it. I think, as the others above have said, positive rewards.

    The dog sounds stressed to me, when you come home and she pees, she is being submissive. I do think you need some professional help to show you a way forward. I do understand it is a very difficult for you to cope with.
  7. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

    Aug 27, 2014
    Andorra and Spain
    I definitely agree she sounds scared so you should definitely stop trying to force her to go out if she doesn’t want to; this will make her more scared and damage her trust in you to boot. I would also say be really careful about trying to use treats to get her to go out; there is a fine line between encouragement (ok) and coercion (not ok). I have a very anxious dog who is sometimes not up for going out, and I’ve learned to just chill and let her decide. It’s the best thing for both of us. I agree that getting a positive, force-free behaviourist in to assess the situation would be very beneficial.
  8. Moosenme

    Moosenme Registered Users

    Feb 17, 2018
    It sure sounds like something has frightened outside so bad that she is terrified, poor girl. Are you going out with her? At this point, I would make sure that I put her on a lead and went out with her, maybe for a play with her favorite toy?
  9. alschwahn

    alschwahn Registered Users

    Jun 26, 2017
    My sisters female GSD does the same. It is a fear thing for her. If you reach for her collar she will immediately lay down. My father is not a very nice man and I have been told that my sister’s GSD will lay down and pee if she senses his anger/frustration.

    She also used to pee when people would come home.

    She seems to have a lot of anxiety because she was an abandoned K-9 in training. Your dog sounds similar to my sisters, and you probably should seek a behaviorist if it is causing so many issues. Maggie (my sisters dog) is 5 and is finally starting to turn around with gentle guidance.

    My dog will scratch at the door and then when we open the door to let him out he will jump back. Other times he will scratch and then go outside just fine. If he doesn’t want to go out by himself, we just go outside with him and he’s fine. He’s just a pup so I think it’s normal for him to want us with him.
  10. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

    Sep 10, 2016
    Eastern Canada
    There could quite possibly have been something outside that has scared her and dragging her to pee may have reinforced the fear making the act of going outside more frightening, not the original fear. We live in an area with large dangerous game all of whom visit my yard frequently, not to mention the small stinky and quilled variety. At night there has been times where Duggan has just decided he didn’t want to go out. We always scan the yard with a light and he does he scent check to see what’s around. Some nights it’s out quick for a pee and run back in and other nights he’s fine to sniff about before bed but on the odd occasion he’d refuse to leave the stairs. When this happens we just bring him back in and try again later. We never forced him regardless of how bad we wanted to go to bed. If your girl was forced past the threshold she might have developed an issue only a professional behaviourist can help you with. There’s no shame in asking for help. Good luck. I’m about to consult a behaviourist myself I think.
    selina27 and Karen like this.
  11. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Aug 24, 2016
    Herefordshire UK

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