Bonding and training help needed!


Hahill

New Member
My family adopted a four year old male dachsund, Butter, while I was away on deployment last year. He was a stud for a breeder that didn't take very good care of him and, consequently, had several health issues right away. My husband, whom loves dogs and was the instigator in adopting the him, was responsible for treatments and administering medication. The dog never forgave him. Its been over a year and, despite how kind my husband is or how many treats he offers, his mere presence upsets Butter. At this rate, there is no hope of an amicable coexistence let alone any bonding. This is a problem because I am not a dog person and don't want to be Butter's primary care giver, even though he has chosen me as his "person."
This is the biggest issue we have with Butter, though he also occasionally pees in the house. I believe because he doesn't know how to ask to go outside or he's avoiding the cold. He's very aloof and keeps to himself most of the time so it's not often we catch him in the act. He's difficult to train because no treat or attaboy seems to tempt him.
Ideas???
 

dogperson

New Member
Hi! Out of curiosity, have you ever tried reaching out to a local trainer/behaviorist? They could help make an assessment to see what's going on - sometimes there's more to something than what we ourselves are able to observe - and help you guys with the bonding and peeing issue.

The peeing indoors thing might be related to how he was raised. Usually dogs from bad breeders don't learn where they need to potty because they are not given structured environments and social interactions. When teaching puppies, I will observe the intervals in which he needs to pee and I will start to anticipate this and take him to the right spot before he has the chance to go somewhere in the house. I would restrict his access to the house so you can better observe where he is (have him in the same room or crate) and take him out at specific times and wait for him to go. Praise him afterwards - from what you've said, calm praise (not effusive) may work better for him.

As for the bonding part, what does he do exactly when your husband is near?
 

Hahill

New Member
We live in a rural area and there are no trainers here. The vet has been helpful but has brought us as far as he can.

He barks incessantly at my husband whenever he enters a room or walks up the sidewalk. He becomes aggravated- pacing, avoiding the room my husband is in, occasionally barking/ growling, and refuses to eat or drink if he's near. He recently started taking food from my husband's hands but won't consume it until he's out of sight- but that's progress.
 

dogperson

New Member
I would also suggest your husband adopt a lot of calming signals (see Turid Rugaas's book On Talking Terms With Dogs Calming Signals: Turid Rugaas: 8601404597411: Amazon.com: Books ) to show your dog he is not a threat. This involves avoiding eye contact, approaching him from the side - when respectful dogs greet, they always arc away from the other dog, never go up directly to them). Dogs prefere not to be touched over the head - always approach from under the chin when petting and on his level (kneeling) - but I would avoid contact like this until he is more comfortable around him. This will mean completely ignoring the dog for a while, until the dog starts to be more comfortable approaching your husband. I really recommend the book! Helped me a lot when socializing my dog. Best of luck! Keep us updated if possible.

Also, if there are no trainers in your area, it is possible to consult somebody online if you feel the need.
 

CaseyKC

Member
You could also call your nearest SPCA as they sometimes have trainers and behaviorists on staff. My little girl came to live with us at 4yo, but is now 6yo. She has barked and charged my husband and anyone coming into the house since she arrived at our home. Recently, after two years living with us, she will accept a treat from his hand and then run to her bed or to her crate to eat it. We feel this is a small amount of progress, however, she still barks at anyone coming near her or me. I am told she may be resource guarding, and I am the resource. Oddly enough, if we are visiting in a friend's home, she will sit on my lap and not bark at anyone entering the room, but this only occurs in someone else's house.
 
Top