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Speak to me of hounds...

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  • Speak to me of hounds...

    Please be patient with me... I wasn't able to find quite the info that I needed.

    DH's new dog as a lot of great qualities. He's sweet, good with the baby, not too rowdy in the house.... he's NQR.

    Every morning we take him out of his crate in our room and he promptly runs into the bedroom door. Then falls down the stairs. Then runs into the front door. The first time he did it, I took him right to the vet to have his eyesight checked. It's 100% fine. He can navigate the stairs just fine any other time, I think he just gets excited to go outside so he can bay at... well... nothing. He runs into walls a lot too.

    He's also the HARDEST dog I've ever house trained, and I've done it a few times. You bring him outside and tell him to go potty and he either sits and stares at you or starts baying. I've tried bringing him out with our other dog, who will squat and 'potty' as soon as she hears the word. He just stares at me. He could care less about food or toys. I've tried being silent and turning my back on him. Still. Just stares at me. Tried walking up and down the driveway to 'inspire' things. Then comes in the house and potties when the mood strikes him (even if he's sleeping on his bed... he'll potty when he's just laying there...) He can hold it all night in his crate, no problem. No UTI. We take him out every half-hour or so. He will NOT be in his crate when we leave and has bent a few of the bars with his anxiety. Crates fine at night. He's fine hanging out in the kitchen with our other dog, and never has had an accident.

    He also can't quite figure the leash thing out, and enjoys walking with his head in between your knees, which poses a few problems.

    He's about 6 months old and come from something of a hoarding situation. Will he smarten up? Am I doing something wrong? He's had the full work up. He is still intact. Everything that I've read about them says that hounds are smart and stubborn, but our JRT is smart and stubborn and this isn't nearly the same thing. I grew up with GSD's (which is what we suspect he is crossed with) and herding dogs. He's sweet... just kinda clueless. DH wants to do SAR with him, but to me, he doesn't sound like quite the candidate.

  • #2
    Ah hounds. I love them, but they can be a challenge to the uninitiated, especially those spoiled by whip-smart breeds like GSDs

    Milo, my first ridgeback, was as uncomplicated as a post. To the day he died he had no idea that if I was calling to him while in the yard, from an upstairs window, all he had to do was look up to find me. When I was teaching him to use the dog door it was hilarious, and went a little like this (I imagine) in his doggy mind.

    I open the flap.
    He thinks, "Hey there's a hole in the door and I can see outside!"

    I close the flap.
    He thinks, "*******"

    I open the flap.
    He thinks, "That hole to the outside's back!"

    I close the flap.
    He thinks, "******"

    House training -it doesn't sound like your dog know's where "outside" is versus "inside". This might have been sabotaged by the hoarding background where he probably regularly soiled indoors?

    So introduce a potty word. Do a little Pavlovian conditioning. When he's absolutely guaranteed to potty -like just when he wakes up -take him outside, introduce a potty word (like "go pee pee" or "hurry up") and when it inevitably happens, reward with praise. Other times he will need to go -after eating, after playing. To this day my old dog Yoshi heads out the door after a meal -right on schedule.

    This may require you literally pick him up when he wakes up and carry him outside to the potty place so he doesn't squat prematurely. And don't mix outside to play with outside to potty. Make the potty activity specific. This will work like a charm. You will end up with a dog that potties on command.

    I wouldn't rule out SAR at all. You just have to figure out a way to talk to him. Clicker for example. And what better use for a hound's obsessive ears/nose/sight (depending on the hound) than this?

    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    • #3
      I wouldn't say this is hound behavior. It's spazzy young dog with a glitchy start in life behavior.

      It's only been a couple weeks. Keep working on it!
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


      • #4
        Speak to you of hounds?? - Hounds are wonderful. Awesome, adorable, full of inquiry and sleep, in varying proportions. Keep repeating that to yourself (all true, btw) as you work through understanding each other. Eventually you'll either realize how true it is. Enjoy.



        • #5
          I think it's more of a hoarder house thing, than a hound thing. Until he came to your house I wonder if he'd ever been outside for any reason? The animal hoarders I've seen on tv have such cess pools of filth in their house, and to him there isn't a difference between floor, furniture, bedding or anywhere in the house. And I'm positive that a leash is a foreign object to him.

          Hoarders are the first reason I stopped supporting the ASPCA, because they had a hoarder unit, and they would take most animals, but usually gave a few back on the shows I saw, and that infuriated me.

          I'm sure the door charge is because he's sure that the door will slam shut on him at any second, so he has to hurry to get through it. And I bet at the previous owner's place, once he went into a cage he might have stayed there for days at a time, so I can see why he was worried about being caged when you leave.
          Last edited by JanM; Jan. 7, 2013, 07:46 AM.
          You can't fix stupid-Ron White


          • #6
            I agree-I've only known one animal hoarder but her animals never got to go outside and she had 15 Aussies. He's probably in love with waking up and going outside, let alone the whole "don't forget to pee" thing.. .give him more time!

            Meet him where he's at, SM... set him up to succeed and endure his energetic rampages. He's sweet and kind and he will try for you even though he had a rough start.
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


            • #7
              try hand signals instead of words- my hound often stares blankly at me when I speak at her, but she responds quite readily to hand signals. Most dogs pay more attention to hand signals/body language naturally, but a normally-raised puppy will eventually figure out those weird noises you make have meaning- but some breeds seem much more predisposed to paying attention to verbal commands than other breeds. If he hasn't had a normal upbringing, he may never have figured out that verbal commands have any meaning at all, and that plus the hound predisposition to not listening to words= he stares blankly at you.
              Also if the dog has never had any kind of normal human interactions, you may need spend some time teaching the dog that if the dog does things you want, the dog gets stuff he wants- try hand-feeding the dog its meals in exchange for really basic behaviors like looking at you when you say his name.


              • #8
                I think this is a hoarder/puppy mill behavior and not so much a hound thing.

                I think what he needs is very very consistent parameters and praise. If I were in your shoes, that pup would be tied to me. Literally. With a leash. He would be in my space 24/7 if not in a crate. He's got the crate thing down which is GREAT! I would get in a major timely habit of feeding, then taking out, then giving the poop command or pee or whatever, rewarding when it does happen--like freaking Mardi Gras party time! And then the rest of the time, tethering him to myself so that if there was any inkling of a potty possibility, I could get him right outside and congratulate the hell out of him.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks everybody!

                  He is a love and worth the frustration. I have 0 experience with hoarding situation dogs, so it never really clicked to me that THAT is where his behavior is coming from.

                  Paula- That sounds very similar to him. We have curtains in the kitchen window, and he can't quite figure out WHERE the outside goes when they are shut. You should also see the look on his face when the cat teleports out from behind them... his little mind is blown!

                  We try very hard to make sure that everything he does is a success. He's a little bit timid as well, so even a loud "NO." freaks him out. This morning he was drinking out of his dish, and I reached over him to open the fridge and it sent him cowering in the corner. Poor dude. It almost made me cry.

                  We try to ignore the bad behavior. When he chews something, we just take it away and give him his own toy with lots of praise. I haven't really seen much of a change, he just kind of stares at me like... huh? But that one I had first was better, why'd you take it away? I'll have to look into the hand signals, Wendy. Thanks for the suggestion.

                  Buddy- I've tossed around the idea of tethering him too me. I've never done it before, but it's worth a shot. He also will pee in his sleep or as he's eating. When the mood strikes him, he just goes. DH takes him for a long, long run in the morning and has potty parties every time he pees. He just kind of looks at him like... huh? Is it possible (and I'll admit that this is crazy) that he literally can't feel when he's peeing? Often he won't stop to squat, just do the pee and walk.

                  I'll have to stop wondering if it's a hound thing, and do more research on the hoarding thing.

                  Thank you all so much!


                  • #10
                    It does sound like he has lost his natural inhibition against soiling in his bed. This is also a problem with pen raised pups (in cages with pull out floors). There's hope he'll figure it out. He may also lack tone -so his hold is probably seconds so I'd treat him like a new pup when it comes to potty training.

                    You should really try clicker. Often it is very effective for certain types of animals including sharp, shy, and hard-to-reach.

                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                    • Original Poster

                      I agree, 100%, Paula. I'm trying to treat him exactly like a puppy. Out every half hour and after eating/drinking (we don't limit water, but if I hear him drinking he goes right out when he's done), crated at night, potty parties, ignore if he has an accident, routine, etc.

                      I'll give the clicker a go. We have one around here somewhere, I just have to dig it out.. he may have eaten it as well... he's a bit of a chewer.


                      • #12
                        You sound like you're doing everything right (because we agree LOL). I guess it's now just a matter of time and progress.

                        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                        • #13
                          oh, definitely try the clicker. Poor guy hasn't a clue what you want or what you mean with any of your signals- verbal or otherwise- and that may be just the thing to open up lines of communication.
                          As to potty, well, instead of just taking him out briefly, try actually walking him around and just waiting- eventually he'll pee, and then give your "potty" cue and praise him to the skies + perhaps a treat. He's probably never thought about pottying before in his life- he probably just let it out whenever it wanted out, so this is a very new concept for him. He has to learn body control + figure out what you want, it will take time.
                          If he likes walking between your knees, maybe you could get him to move over to the outside of your knee (more convenient for you) by getting him to walk between two people (between two knees) and then fade out the extra person?


                          • #14
                            I too would say behavior issues from an excited hound. What type of hound is he? sight or scent?

                            Hounds are very smart, but... they are VERY independent and have to mull things over before obeying, or... not. but they have been bred for century's to be independent problem solvers, without humans telling them how or what to do. Quite different from the retrievers or shepherds...

                            I can say my bloodhounds have always been extremely intelligent, dedicated problem solvers, just not so eager to follow direction... makes for an interesting breed


                            • Original Poster

                              Scrtwh, We suspect he is black and tan coonhound, so scent?

                              This is him (on the left, obviously). Take your best guess.

                              That's an interesting thought about walking, Wendy. He does okay with constant correction, but even around the house, right in between your knees seems to be his 'safe' spot. I'm going to see if DH is game for that. It won't work on runs, because no way can I keep up with Mr. 60mph, but Mike says he's usually pretty good when they pick up the pace. He's only tripped him up a few times.


                              • #16
                                Since he's a scent hound, you might want to make a spot in your yard that is his spot, smalls like where he should go. Maybe take a rag you've used to clean up in the house there, and let him sniff it? And make sure you clean up really well in the house - you might get enzymatic cleaner if you aren't using it. Hopefully by not smelling his spot in the house and by smelling it in his toilet area, he'll figure out the right spot.

                                You might also find his highest value treat and give it to him exclusively when he uses his toilet area. The only problem might be he'll keep dragging you out and eke out a few drops to get his hotdog, or chicken, or whatever.



                                • #17
                                  Gotta love the scent hounds...


                                  • Original Poster

                                    That's an interesting concept, St. G. I knew a girl who used to 'train' horses to poop in one area of the stall by piling the poop where she wanted them to poop. It worked 50-60% of the time. I wonder if the same would work for him. Our JRT will pee wherever I tell her, so perhaps encouraging her to pee/poop in the same spot, then letting him sniff will work to help show him what the deal is with outside?

                                    One of my issues is that he doesn't really have a high value treat. He doesn't even know what to do with a cheese filled hotdog (poor guy...those are delish). He tucks it away, then buries it in his crate.


                                    • #19
                                      He doesn't even know what to do with a cheese filled hotdog (poor guy...those are delish). He tucks it away, then buries it in his crate.

                                      That's so sad. He'll get there, don't worry.

                                      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                                      • #20
                                        I still don't see hound in him.
                                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey