petsitting dog with behavior issues

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by zpinkpanther, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. zpinkpanther

    zpinkpanther Still searching...

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    So I don't know if any of you petsit at all, or have been in similar situations, but I just thought I'd put it out there in case anyone has some words of wisdom...

    I petsit for a few of the clients at the clinic where I work for some extra money. This dog I'm staying with right now is, I think, spoiled and has never really been difficult. The lady basically treats him like he's the king of the house and lets him do whatever he wants. You can tell he doesn't understand "no" or "stop." For example, he scratches and tears up the couch and jumps on the coffee table. So when he does that, I know she doesn't want him to, so I try to get him to stop by gently pushing him away from the couch and saying "NO." He's about a year and a half, so realistically I know that what I'm doing over 4 days won't help him unlearn it, but I still feel like I should try. Usually after I try to stop him a few times, he starts to growl and bark and tries to bite me.

    So I guess my question is, does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this dog? I know I only have to deal with him for a few days at a time, but she's going away quite a few times this summer and I'd rather not get bitten every time. Thanks for any advice you can give!
     
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  3. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!

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    How big is the dog? My dog likes to lick things. Sometimes when I try to get him to stop licking, say my pants, he tries to bite me. Well he immediately gets put in the bathroom for 10 minutes and ignored. Granted this works for me because he is an 11 lb dachshund and I just pick him up and put him in there, even if he tries to bite me when I'm carrying him in there. Granted, I know how hard he can bite at these times, and it's not hard enough to break the skin, so I don't really worry about getting bitten for real. This seems to work because he likes attention and taking that away works because it's good currency for him.

    But I'm curious to see what some of the real dog trainers say, since I'm far from an expert.
     
  4. zpinkpanther

    zpinkpanther Still searching...

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    He's a shih tzu, about 13 pounds, so I could definitely do that. He also likes attention. I'm not sure if he bites her, too, but I should definitely talk to her about it. Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    The dog needs an overall attitude adjustment, and if the owner isn't willing to work through its attitude herself then it's not going to be worthwhile.
     
  6. pika8

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    what happens if you try to ignore what he is doing--i.e. is he just trying to get your attention? If you left the room would he keep tearing up the couch, etc.?
     
  7. zpinkpanther

    zpinkpanther Still searching...

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    Hmm, I'm not sure. I have a feeling he still does it even when I'm not there, but I could be wrong. Usually when I come back from work he's out on the balcony, so maybe he doesn't tear it up when I'm not there. I've also wondered if it's his weird way of trying to assert his dominance?
     

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