Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted September 26, 2014
We fostered George for two weeks and were thinking of adopting him permanently if he fit into our household. George was a big goofy dog and we loved his looks and personality.
Let me preface this by saying that I have worked with a LOT of dogs. I've rescued dogs, fostered dogs, had purebred dogs, and my mom used to breed toy poodles. I've done a LOT of training with difficult dogs. I have worked with fostered dogs, family members dogs, co workers dogs, and friends dogs who came to me at their wits end over behaviour issues with their beloved pet. In almost all the cases I was able to help alter the negative behaviour and teach the dog proper "manners".
So I felt confident about being able to work with George. Well, George proved me wrong, much to my dismay. He was a great dog when he was by himself. But he started playing really rough with our other two dogs. It increasingly became more hostile and he started bullying them all the time. My other two dogs started becoming aggressive with him and with each other. Everyone was stressed out. I utilized clicker training and regular voice command training with him and he would show signs of improving until I wasn't watching him. Then he would become aggressive with the other dogs again.
He also HATED being crate trained. He would cry and howl all night long. He started rubbing his face across the crate which created sores. We tried making his crate open, then more like a cave, we moved him away from the other dogs, had him next to the other dogs, and even put him in my daughters room. Nothing had any affect on him. I tried music, white noise, TV, complete silence. Nothing worked. I tried calming sprays and plug ins and even gave him some natural calming dog pills. That didn't work either. In my experience 99% of dogs come to love their crate. As long as you make it a positive place for them to be. Our dogs lay in their crates with the doors open. They just consider it their space. But not George.
The other issue is that he would go outside to go potty and then immediately come in and pee somewhere in the house. He knew how to go to the door and get our attention to let him out. And I train all my dogs to ring a bell when they need to go outside (in case we are in another room we hear the bells ringing). George picked up how to ring the bell in less than a week and would ring it to go out. Then come in and pee. After a week or so he started pooping in the house too. Even if he would go outside, he would somehow save enough to go again when he got inside.
I ended up having to place him with another foster who didn't have any other dogs.