Thank God I found this forum!!

Discussion of behavior issues, training and solutions here....

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crazybritx2
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Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by crazybritx2 »

Oh my gosh, where do I begin??!!!!! I read some previous posts and wanted to just respond on there but I need some personal feedback. I am also new on here. A little background: my in laws own two brittanys. Last year, their female got pregnant and had puppies in August. She had a whopping 10 puppies! At the time, my husband, son, and I were living with them, so we got to raise them from they day they were born. With the economy starting to droop no one really wanted these puppies. It took quite a while for my in laws to sell all of them. In the meantime, we moved out and ended up taking one as a "housewarming present". We left her at the house with the momma dog so they stayed with the momma until about 11-12 weeks. The puppies still were not selling, so we ended up taking a male as well. So, we have two puppies, male and female litter mates, who are now roughly 7 months old. We will be spaying and neutering both in the next couple of weeks. I realize, and completely acknowledge, I was and am way over my head with these dogs. I should have never taken "2". Now, I have spent extensive time trying to train them, and they have done ok. They know to sit before everything, but the one thing they do not stop is jumping...oh and the mouthing. The female, Jewel, is very dominant towards the male, Jack. She always wants everything first and gets jealous when he gets attention. We have tried to remedy this by making sure he eats first, and doing other things first to quell that behavior. They are unbelievably hyper, which after research I know that is characteristic of the breed. My sister rescues german shepherds on the East Coast and has done excellent with training them, and has offered much advice to me but I am lost. I want my dogs to be inside with the family but every time I let them in they treat the house like a racetrack and do NOT calm down. They constantly jump and scratch and jump on tables. Its insane. I hate to admit that they live outside as a result. I want them INSIDE as family members, but I don't know what to do! Any advice and criticism is welcomed. I fully admit that I was wrong in having both and am trying to help them become family members. I offered to my husband to try and find them homes separately, but he does not want to find them homes, he wants us to try and figure it out. He consistently promises they will calm down. Please someone tell me what to do!!!!! Thanks so much for hearing me rant, and please help me. I do care for Jack and Jewel, and I want the best for them, and if I can help them transform please anything, send me any advice! Thanks!
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Cindy
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Cindy »

Welcome and so glad you found us!! Sounds to me like you can use the support and advice which abounds on this board. You may know (or not) that we've been undergoing some "renovations" so the board has not been up consistently as of late. However, you will find MANY people her who can help with the issues you are having. Unfortunately, I don't count myself in that group. I can sympathize with you having 2 Brittany puppies - YIKES!!! My puppy days are over and we've only adopted adult dogs for the last 20 years. I can assure you that with work and training they will turn out to be your best friends and best dogs. But, from what I've heard and read, it will take consistent training and time and will involve your entire family. Others will chi8me in with advice and suggestions - just wanted to offer some reassurance. In the mean time, please take some time to search this board for immediate issues of concern. There are many years of postings and it will take some time to read through it all. We've had Brittanys for over 20 years and I learn something new almost every day!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Barb Wright
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Barb Wright »

Well, two things....first, WELCOME to our message board, we're happy to have you join us :D And, two, you will get lots of help and suggestions from members who have "been there-done that" 8) You might start here

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6942

as this was a recent discussion about puppies, though it was just one Britt puppy (which sometimes can seem like two :P
That thread should answer a few questions and offer a few suggestions about methods and means. Also, as Cindy suggested, just go back through the Behavior forum and look for topics that might have a discussion about ideas and tips for dealing with your two Britt terrorists :P And don't hesitate to jump right back in with some more questions....we're happy to help in any way :D

Do take a deep breath, there IS light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a train :lol: :lol:
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

crazybritx2
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by crazybritx2 »

Yeah I feel like it is a train sometimes!! But thanks you gave me some positive thoughts on my two monsters. Thanks so much to both of you posting. I feel better already, just at a loss about where to start. We just got two gentle leader harnesses. Our female Jewel was the runt of the litter and is really tiny. I don't think she will be getting too much bigger. The male Jack, well he is a good size and because of that the harness works well on him. I cant seem to walk them enough to wear off the energy. I do have an almost 3 year old son that I have to watch too when we go out, so it is too difficult to try and walk them both by myself. I was debating recently about just trying to walk one at a time. I hope that the other at home doesnt freak out, but I dont really have a choice. Husband is at work, and I have to do something for them. Anyway, I will read some previous posts and hopefully find some more answers. Thanks so much for welcoming me!!
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Canned Ice
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Canned Ice »

I recently over-nighted two young WILD brit sisters. When they were together, they would wind each other up to the point that I couldn't get either one to do ANYTHING. You will make way more progress on training if you split these guys up. The sessions don't have to be long but I'm sure you'll be amazed at what they can learn with 5 minutes apart.

I adopted my boy as an adult but he is ermmm active. After I first got him, I'd carry around little biscuits at all times. If I caught him relaxed, I treated him. At first, relaxed was simply not moving but slowly he learned to lay on his bed and calm down a bit. Good luck!
Buckley - I own this mountain.
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crazybritx2
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by crazybritx2 »

Thanks so much for the advice. I think I will take you up on it and start walking them separately. My son and I need the walk and since I can only handle one at a time, it will be good for them to be separate. I am looking forward to seeing how they will do alone. I have a feeling, it will be way better than when they are together. Which almost makes me feel bad like we shouldn't have both of them, but Im trying to do the best with where we are and what I have. Thanks so much!! :mrgreen:
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Muddy Creek Britts
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Muddy Creek Britts »

Welcome aboard :!:

Do you have a fenced yard :?: Just was wondering if you thought walks were the exercise that is going to tire out your pups. Not unless you're a marathon walker. :wink: With two, they should be doing the work of tiring each other out, given the constant opportunities of free running. Tug ropes in the yard get mine playing. Bet if you could take them out for a three hour run....afterall, these are hunters by nature...you will begin to get a peek of what you want from them in the house.

Now if you can get them that kind of exercise, you will also need to keep them in the house. You'll never get obedient indoor pups by keeping them outdoors. If they get rowdy in the house, let them out to get it out of their systems. And remember....you are hoping to near perfection and fine that peaceful middleground where you all can get some of what you want. A Brittany will never be a Papillon, so don't expect Pap manners. Good luck.
Brian
Muddy Creek Britts
"When a dog runs at you, whistle for him." ~~Henry David Thoreau

crazybritx2
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by crazybritx2 »

Ok, thank you for the input. Yes, they actually have a large yard and play together constantly, chasing each other around. I will start walking them more additionally, and I totally agree that in order for them to learn to be better indoors they need to be indoors. Any insight on where to begin? Do I start bringing them inside on a leash? The problem right now is when I bring them in at all they are insane, which is probably because they are not indoors. So, any advice on how to moderately give them what they need piece by piece until they are indoors all the time? Thanks for the post and hope to hear more!
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Annie's Mom
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Annie's Mom »

Are these dogs crate trained?
Terry

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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Canned Ice »

Do I start bringing them inside on a leash?
Many people start new foster dogs, many if which have never lived inside, on leash. It's so helpful for potty training and keeping them out of trouble. I ended up tying Buckley's leash to my belt for about a week after I first got him. If you can crate train these guys, each with their own crate, it will make the transition to inside so much easier. If they're not crate trained, you can find tons of info on how to do it if you search the board. As far as how to transition to inside, I'd do it cold turkey. They can certainly get lots and lots of outside play time but I think it might be easier in the long run if you just agree on a date and move them inside. You can work on crate training and basic commands before then but pick a date and make a plan. If your husband is dedicated to working with the dogs, make sure he's involved with the training. I think two puppies will need the whole family to help them learn.
Buckley - I own this mountain.
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adele
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by adele »

There are way more experienced trainers on this board then I am. My Britt was a "very active" (meaning pain in the rear) little girl but it gradually got better and suddenly she was two and a darn good dog. When she was 7 months to just over a year old I think she she was at her most pain in the rearish. I get your point... they are soooo out of control you can't make them listen so you can't even begin training - bin there. Funny thing is I always thought it would be easier with 2 since they could wear themselves out (I guess they can also rev each other up - or "egg each other on" as my mom used to say about me and a girlfriend).

I think the divide and conquer plan sounds good. Let them play in the yard for exercise and use individual walks as training time. I'm with Terry, get the dogs crate trained - a properly crate trained dog will save your sanity!! Then maybe while in the house one on a leash with you while the other cools in the crate? I think you have to be very firm (but not unkind)... no more foolin' around, house behavior is different from yard behavior! When mine was little if I couldn't watch her she was either in a crate or tethered to a heavy piece of furniture. I also dropped treats for her whenever she was just laying around, good behavior was recognized with either a treat or a rub. Mine simply never got the chance for really bad indoor behavior, like chewing furniture and jumping on tables because she was contained or under my supervision. Now of course, she has complete freedom in the house whether we're home or not. On some TV training show I saw someone actually screw a hook into a wall beam to tether a huge out of control dog so the dog could be with the family but under control. Ya might be in for some complaining from the dogs restricted while indoors but they'll eventually get used to it.

Have you googled Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF). You should read that.
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Annie'sRebecca
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Annie'sRebecca »

Sounds like you've got your hands full!
I am no expert, but I think that it is the general consensus that females are usually the boss when there is a male and a female brittany in the house. I'm not sure that feeding him first, etc, will really make that much of a difference. My male, Rowdy, who is 6 inches taller and over 20 pounds heavier than my female, Annie, lets her push him around all the time. I don't really think he cares. Now, there are times when he'll stand up for himself, and she backs off. They communicate well with each other.
I guess what I'm saying is I think that you should let them work things out for themselves, unless, obviously, it gets to where you think they might hurt each other. And they should have good manners, no doubt about it. If one is pushy, just ignore them till they've calmed down. I had to work with Rowdy kind of 'herding' Annie away while I was petting both of them. I've heard some bad stories about people trying to change the 'pack dynamic' in their home. Sometimes it can cause more harm than good.
Just my opinion, and I'm sure others with more experience can chime in.
Good luck and keep us posted!
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Annie & Rowdy

crazybritx2
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by crazybritx2 »

Thanks so much for all of the input. Well, it definitely looks like I need to just pick a day and bring them in. They are NOT crate trained, but Im now thinking I need to go and buy some crates to do it. My sister had told me the same thing. She rescues german shepherds on the east coast, and she has two very large german shepherds. Even as adults they are crated for their "alone time" at some point during the day, and she says it is very good for them. So, I will look into getting crates. I also agree that I will start walking them individually. I think I might go into town and buy some treats, since they are very treat motivated. I have worked with/without treats with them. The training that I have down pat so far is that they sit for everything. THey sit before they get fed, they sit before they get attention, but the part before that is what is crazy. I hate the insane jumping, they constantly jump and I know that it isn't on purpose, but the completely knock over my son who is almost 3 and have hurt him. They do well sometimes, because they love his attention, but then they get all hyper and jump and scratch him. Our female Jewel is the worst. She jumps on him almost looking like she is trying to show dominance and that is really upsetting. I understand to not try and change the pack order, but the other day is what concerned me. We were outside and I was petting Jack and Jewel got jealous and went after him aggressively. She was growling very meanly, and I know there are different types of growls because I have heard them, but she was growling very loud and biting him on the neck and wouldn't let him go because she was jealous, so yes, she did need disciplining and what I did was I grabbed her by the collar and my husband and I put her on the ground on her back and told her "no" with growls of our own and didn't let her get up until she was calm. I have done so much research on how to train these dogs and I have found way better answers from all of you guys so Im glad I found you!! Now, if I am to start looking into crates, how large should these crates be? I will pick a date and then just move them inside, Im just not quite ready yet :( I know its going to be such a big change for everyone and I need everyone in the house to help me. Ok, well, talk to you all soon. I will take them on walks individually today and see how they do..first time alone...hopefully no panic attacks from either. :mrgreen:
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Jacksbuddy
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by Jacksbuddy »

Welcome aboard. As already mentioned, crate train your pups. It may seem cruel first but the rewards will be many and I think you will be amazed when the day comes that they will know when it is crate time and automatically go to theirs.
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"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."
- Edward Hoagland

crazybritx2
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Re: Thank God I found this forum!!

Post by crazybritx2 »

Yes, I am now convinced by talking to you all, that crate training is necessary. We took them on a 40 minute walk today and wore them out enough that they slept the rest of the morning! So, I think with longer walks and getting the crates, I have hope that things will improve dramatically. We will be most likely fixing BOTH of them next week, so that will be a hefty bill but once its done it will be great! Thank you so much for all of your advice and I will keep you all posted on how my two crazy brits are doing!
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