Hound dogs- are they normal?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by jeni1072, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. jeni1072

    jeni1072 New Member

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    Hi I'm new and at the end of my rope. I adopted a coonhound last summer several months after my 18 year old mutt died. My Great Pyr had enough time alone and was really getting lonely. Anyway he has been a VERY challenging dog and I don't know if its the "hound" part of him or if he is just the stupidist dog I've ever met.

    He eats everything and I mean everything. We cannot leave anything edible out, we even have to put our loaves of bread in the fridge. The other day I made two batches of blueberry muffins, rotated my body a few inches to the right to toss a spoon in the sink, and half his body was on the counter and all the muffins were gone. He will take off your arm if you have a piece of food in your hand. He has eaten my kids dolls. My husbands golf gloves. the fish food. My bottle of vitamins. A 3lb london broil. My kids can't feed him because when you put his food in his bowl he knocks them over to knock the bowl out of their hands.
    When we get done with dinner and finish cleaning the kitchen and go to finally sit down in the living room, you can hear him scavenging around for like 30 minutes, banging around trying to open and close cabinets and stuff its nerve racking so a lot of times we end up having to lock him up for a bit.
    The vet says he's healthy. He is actually at the "high end of his recommended weight" and we have to feed him with a slow feed bowl (he's on his second because he's eaten one).

    This dog is crazy. Is this a hound thing from anyones experience? this is really just the tip of the iceberg with him. My other dog just watches him like "oh.my.gawd".

    Jennifer
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Well....hounds do tend to REALLY like food, but it's probably more of an individual thing. Some dogs just LOVE food and will try any means necessary to get it. We've had quite a few members who needed to lock up all their pantries, cabinets, fridge, etc...even had a dog who opened the microwave to get food out of it.

    The only way to stop him from trying to get food off the counter is to completely prevent him from ever reaching the food. It's a self-rewarding behavior, so even if you teach him other behaviors like staying quietly on the floor of the kitchen, and reward those, or reprimand his counter-surfing, it won't matter, because a big plate of muffins is going to override anything you say or do.

    How old is he? He may *slightly* get better with age, especially as far as eating non-food objects. Does he have access to toys? If he doesn't like toys, try raw meat bones, bully sticks, pig ears, or toys you can stuff with food like kongs, etc. Praise him a lot when he's playing with those things. I would not let him in the kitchen at all, if possible. Use a baby gate, and look up how to train him to exit the kitchen on command, or lie outside the kitchen doorway. Put child locks on all your cabinets, and don't be surprised if he figures out how to open them (he doesn't sound stupid, on the contrary, if he was stupid, he wouldn't be so good at figuring out how to get food).

    With training, he can learn to sit and wait patiently for his food dish to be set down and given the OK to eat out of it, and how to take snacks nicely out of your hand. Look up how to do this using positive reinforcement methods. You might want to contact a trainer to help for a few sessions, they will teach you how to teach your dog.

    He should be crated or put into a secure area when you can't directly supervise what he's chewing on. Chewing, like counter-surfing, is self-rewarding, so if you don't immediately stop it before it starts, as soon as he grabs an inappropriate object, he's basically learning that chewing on stuff is a ton of fun and totally worth it.
     
  3. jeni1072

    jeni1072 New Member

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    sorry I should have said he is almost NINE YEARS OLD!!!!! Thats the crazy part! He is in a steel cage during the day when we are gone. We try our best to keep the counters and everything clear of all temptations but with kids you know, they forget, and heck even with everything on my mind *I* forget some times.

    As far as toys, I have spent a small fortune on every kind of chew toy you could imagine, he has zero intrest. I was even told to put them in the food bucket to let them soak up the oils good for a day or so, that didn't work.

    I hate that he's like this because there is a "good dog" in there, in the sense that he will let you do anything to him in the way of grooming, bathing, medication, handling him, etc. He had been hospitalized right before we got him and the girl told me it was because he was dehydrated and colapsed. When I called back for something weeks later the other woman told me it was because he ate the plastic swimming pool and got blocked :mad: By that time he had already eaten half of my back yard.
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Some dogs are just....like that. It could be his background, too, since he was a rescue...you never know how much he got to eat and how regularly it was, and also if he was just left alone all day to destroy the house as he pleased, it's probably the only way he knows how to act.

    He'll never be an "easy" dog where you can just leave him to wander around you house, etc...but you can definitely teach him to take food more gently and not knock your kids over to get to his dish.

    But as far as the household chewing/counter surfing, it's just going to be a lot of management, prevention, and making sure he's had a lot of exercise (mental and physical), teaching him basic obedience to distract him and keep his mind occupied so he's not looking for trouble, etc. You probably won't ever be able to train him to ignore food on the counter or not chew stuff when you aren't watching.
     
  5. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Are any dogs normal??!?!

    Sounds like zooms Virgo... I think some dogs just... Do that stuff.
     
  6. CreatureTeacher

    CreatureTeacher New Member

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    Wow, fun! What a pain in the butt he is! The good news is, you're not alone. Probably half of my training clients have similar problems. More good news, it's not that hard to fix! The issue isn't that he's a hound, it's just that he hasn't worked out the rules for himself. Why bother with manners? To him, it's easier to just bulldoze your way to what you want, consequences be damned! Lots of dogs go their whole lives not rocking the boat, but some of them just don't gather etiquette through osmosis, and if you don't know what to do, it's like having a tornado in your house. First you have to know how to communicate to him what the rules are. Here's how you begin to introduce the concept of rules and manners: http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showpost.php?p=64447&postcount=10

    After a couple weeks of "boot camp", we can start working on the food compulsions, with a nice foundation of respect as a jumping-off point. Let me know if you have questions about resource control (linked above), and I'll happily answer them.
     

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