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Dog Training/Bad behavior


We have a 7 month old great Dane puppy who up until about 2 months ago was an awesome dog. She basically came to us potty trained at 8 weeks old and never bit, chewed, nothing. But recently she has gone down hill, I stay home with her and my 1 year old and while I'm home she is fine. She sleeps most of the day and eats and that's all she wishes to do. But when we leave I usually come home to the trash knocked over and strung out, and clothes or shoes chewed up and all over the house. A few times she has peed and pooped inside anf she will eat an entire roll of toilet paper. The second we get home she will run and hide under the table when she has done something wrong so it's obvious she knows not to do it because when she is good she acts happy to see us. I just don't understand how to stop this, it's to late to really scold her by that point and again she is good when someone is home. My husband refuses to crate her when we leave saying she will never learn that way, well sorry but I clean the mess not him and I'm tired of it. I even move all the clothes to a closed room and got lids for the trash cans. Someone told me to walk her daily but she refuses to walk also. She will lay down and won't move or she will go full speed and will not walk nice at all. I have tried choke collars, head leads basically everything and she does not acknowledge them what so ever. And after her dragging trash all over our house and ruining a 2200$ couch I'm about fed up with her and don't know how to stop it. No dog we have ever had has had this issue. Should she just be crated again? And she is also not a good yard dog, she digs and will actually rip fence boards apart. She never really escapes, she will roam the front yard, but she hates being in a fence for some reason.

Amber, you Dane isn't a puppy anymore and is moving into the "terrible teen" months.  During this time, dogs will test limits.  If you haven't done any training up until this point, you're in for a lot of make-up work.  Get to a good training class right away so she can learn some basics, including leash walking.  This is essential for large breed dogs.

Here's the best places to find trainers. Hopefully you can locate one in your area.

She's also getting her full set of adult teeth in at this time and it's likely that she feels the need to chew so be sure she's got a lot of acceptable options.  Have a variety of chew toys of different textures - hard like antlers, rubbery like Kong toys, softer like rope toys.

However, what it sounds like more than anything is that the dog is stressed and anxious when left alone. Your husband is wrong.  All she's learning when you leave is that it feels good to relieve her anxiety by taking it out on the furniture or anything else she can destroy.  Confine her to her crate, give her a chew bone or food dispensing toy or a Kong stuffed with her kibble and a bit of peanut butter.  Play some calming music to encourage relaxation:

Use the crate even when you're home for feeding meals and giving chew toys. Don't allow her to follow you from room to room.  Discourage hyper-attachment and enourage her to relax in the crate or a dog bed in another room.  Reward her for going in the crate voluntarily by tossing in a treat or biscuit after she enters.  

Please let me know if you have follow up questions or comments.  Good luck.

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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