What am I doing wrong???

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jagresti

Boxer Buddy
I thought I was on to bigger and better things with Sophie....
Alas, the past week or so has been murder. I started her back in her crate, since I cannot trust her not to mess the house anymore. I posted about this several weeks ago...all of a sudden she started pooping and peeing all over the kitchen at night and then it was during the day...it was stressful. So, now she is a terror in her crate. Makes sense I guess after 6 months of not being locked up. She bangs and pulls all night long and whines. She has even broken out a few times, forcing me to reinforce the door! Strong dog. But she is so loud....Problem is now no one in the house can sleep. We have all been up all night with the noise the last 3 nights!!! I don't want to put her in the cage down in the basement, and definitely don't want her sleeping outside (since it is getting below freezing at night now) but don't know what to do...
I tried ignoring her the first few nights - no dice.
My gf got up with her 4 or 5 times to take her out to poop/pee for a few nights - no dice.
Any advice??
 

srennie

Super Boxer
I went back to look through your past posts and saw that you thought making the sofa/recliner available to her was helping with the potty issue? Did that change?

It also seems as though you switch things up a lot on her which can cause a lot of behavior issues. Since she is already a sensitive pup, by repeated disruption of routine, you are likely just increasing her insecurity which will increase behavior problems. Have you tried putting the crate next to your bed? Most dogs don't like to be alone and isolating her to sleep alone is probably very stressful for her. She may have coped with it as a young pup but it sounds like she is at the 'end of HER rope' with being isolated. Putting her outside would be cruel. Not only because of the cold weather but because she will feel even more banished from her 'pack'. And I'm sure your neighbors wouldn't appreciate it either as she'd likely cause a fuss outside.

Ideally, what I would recommend to help with this current issue is to feed her about 5pm. Around 7pm take her for a 1 hour/2-3 mile walk/run. Not a leisurely sniff the trees walk, but a fast paced, structured walk with just a couple 5 minute breaks to potty and sniff. When you return home do a short training session with some sit/stay/down/etc. The walk will tire her out and help her focus and the training session will be a confidence booster and give her something to feel proud of herself for. It is also a great bonding time to have her looking to you for direction and getting praise/reward for accomplishing something. Move the crate to the bedroom next to the bed and when it is bed time take her with you, offer her a treat for going into her crate and go to bed. If she wakes in the night, just put your hand up to the crate to assure her you are still there and she is not alone. If you have a wire crate, cover all but one side with a blanket to make her feel more secure.

Another thought, you mentioned that she was better behaved when your gf was gone and that she didn't have behavior issues when your friends watched her. What is her relationship like with your gf? If she senses that your gf doesn't like her then it could be adding to her stress.
 

Sansal

Boxer Insane
Honestly, with an anxious pup like her, I would just let her sleep on the recliner if that fixes the issue. I can understand people not wanting their pets on the furniture (personally I don't mind but I guess it's a personal preference) but if this will stop the pooping at night and the crate issues and help her feel comfortable and secure - I really don't see why you wouldn't allow her to sleep there at night. You could still reinforce the rules during the day and just make it a night time thing. She could injure herself trashing around in the crate and develop more insecurities and behavioral issues.... I do feel bad for her :( Also, what do you do when you leave her alone during the day, is she crated then also??
I know that you don't want to work with a behaviorist or trainer but I strongly believe that talking things through with someone knowledgeable who can evaluate her and the whole situation would help you and her a lot, and maybe also help you understand her behavior better. Are you still committed to working with her?
 
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jagresti

Boxer Buddy
Thank you both - and yes I am still trying to work with her - that is why I am posting on here. Last night we were all so tired, we decided to give in. Honestly I could not go for a forth night with no sleep. I don't get to sleep during the day to catch up like the dog!!!
So last night, she snuck upstairs and slept on my son's bed. No mess. You are probably on to something....
I think it is a breed thing...I have never had any of these issues with other dogs. One of my dogs LOVED to sleep by himself in the living room, on the floor (in his bed) near the radiator. Another of mine, loved to sleep near the chimney (which never made sense to me, since it was colder there than the rest of the house). Both were mutts and male.
Anyway, I think boxers are naturally more likely to want to be next to their owners and starve for attention more than most breeds, I will have to learn to work with that. Also, last night I played fetch with her for almost an HOUR straight, alot longer than normal. Thinking that she would be more tired and wouldn't move much at night. Seemed to work I guess. Thanks for the advices again!!!

P.S. one trainer that I know also recommended fixing her and said that may mellow her out a bit and help fix some of her anxiety issues - is that true?
 

larrygs

Super Boxer
Anyway, I think boxers are naturally more likely to want to be next to their owners and starve for attention more than most breeds,

:LOL: That may even be an understatement. It is one of the traits we love, ...... well most of the time. :D
 

srennie

Super Boxer
Well, that's weird....I had posted a response to your question about having her spayed this morning and it seems to have disappeared. In short, yes! Spay her ASAP. Hormones are not helping at all. She likely can hear the boys calling for her when she is cycling and she is lonely and alone and biologically driven to mate and that can lead to a very restless and anxious dog.
 

jagresti

Boxer Buddy
Update...

Well so much for the ideas on what is making Sophie mess at night...I have given in and allowed her to stay out of the crate and sleep on my recliner as suggested. She is STILL pooping and peeing in the kitchen at night. I know she is able to hold it, because she holds it all the time for longer than she is alone at night - about 6 hours total. I have about given up on this experiment and thinking about crating her just at nightime and putting the crate somewhere we cannot hear it (might have to be the basement). It is not cold in the basement, and I am not sure what else to do. I can't keep cleaning up poop and peep every morning at 6am!
 

LILYLARUE

Boxer Insane
Put the crate IN YOUR BEDROOM and start with beginning crate training. I bet she will sleep much better close to you. Then as she gets more comfy, then you can move the crate out into another area.

But to put her in the crate, IN THE BASEMENT away from you, is only helping you NOW. IT WILL CAUSE BEHAVIORAL problems in HER LATER!

Boxers especially, DO NOT LIKE TO BE ALONE. Please reconsider your methods. Many have given suggestions here, and in other threads. She just wants to be close and not alone. If you give her what she needs now, you will get what you want later. Raising puppies is not easy, and raising boxers is like raising a perpetual child.......they NEED and WANT constant attention, or at least, with you in your space.
 

MrsBeeks

Boxer Booster
Please listen to Lilylarue!! She knows of what she speaks! Putting the poor girl in the basement alone, because all she wants is to be close to you, is the equivalent of putting you in solitary confinement for wanting to be with your family. It just doesn't make sense. :(
 

srennie

Super Boxer
I'm not really sure why you are so resistent to having her upstairs with you. Your posts are very frustrating and I'm feeling horrible for this poor dog that I'm wondering if relinquishing her to a boxer rescue is the kindest thing to do for her. You don't seem to want to really take the advice given and you just keep changing things up on her and I can understand why she is insecure. Just reading your posts she has no clue what is going to happen from one day/night to the next. I can't stress the importance of a routine enough. Please re-read what I posted as to a recommended routine. I understand you are frustrated with her behavior but you don't seem to want to take the necessary steps to try to eliminate her nagative behaviors. Putting her in the basement is the same as putting her outside and would be cruel. Dogs are pack animals, they want to be with their pack. They can become highly stressed when isolated and act out in negative ways out of panic over being isolated from the pack. Add to that she is not spayed.

Get her spayed ASAP!
Create a predictable routine (write it down if you need to)!
Stop isolating her from her pack!
 
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