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Thread: Help! Becoming desperate

  1. #1

    Unhappy Help! Becoming desperate

    Hi, I recently adopted a German shepherd X Maremma from the RSPCA. She's Generally a great dog, except when we put her outside at night. She's happy to be outside during the day, but at night time she goes nuts!

    She has learnt how to open the back door and gets in whenever we put her out. We tried locking the back door but now she constantly jumps up on the door trying to get in. I'm scared shes going to break it (glass french doors) and hurt herself. She has also learnt how to open the gate (locked with a latch and 2 ground pegs!!) and gets out and runs around to the front of the house to get in through the front door.

    she gets walked Minimum 6kms a day and is fed a healthy balanced diet

    The main reasons she cant be left inside at night is that she destroys the house, and I have to go away for 3 months for work and she is being looked after by my mother-in-law, who refuses to let dogs in the house.

    I've also tried giving her toys but she seems uninterested in them.

    Please help! Any advice is greatly appreciated
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 09-16-2014 at 09:39 AM. Reason: put some space in for readability

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    I think if you bought three goats - your problems would be solved. Your herding + livestock guardian dog would have a job to do. Even some indian runner ducks might work.

    Walking the dog 6km a day is good but you can end up with a super fit super bright destructo dog. What are you doing to engage the dog's brain?

    Have you tried some treiball training (have a look on youtube). It involves rounding up and herding fitballs. Any kind of trick training helps wear a dog's brain out but it's tricky with a livestock guardian breed - because they don't find the usual rewards (eg food) all that interesting.

    Failing all that - you may need to put a dog run in your back yard to keep your dog and your house safe.

    Are you on acres - or a suburban block - how much space do you have to work with? These dogs are meant to have a flock to mind - if you can set that up I think the dog would be much happier.

    If you do decide to get some ducks or goats or geese or whatever - you will need to introduce dog and critters carefully - if it was me - I'd find someone who was a maremma breeder and ask for advice or help doing that.

    I would not leave the dog with your mother in law either. It's not fair on the dog or the human. Find a rural dog boarding place or ask a maremma breeder for advice on this. I want to know my dog is safely contained and professionally looked after by dog savvy people when I'm away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Melbourne VIC


    Agreed. It sounds like your dog should not be left with the MIL. She can't be left inside? Have you done this already and had damage? It sounds like she has separation anxiety that may be exacerbated by the dark/ night time. Where are you located? Perhaps we could recommend a local kennel/in home minder for you to use.

    Have you considered crate training? If she is not crate trained properly it sounds like she may break out of it, so you'd have to keep this in mind but definitely worth considering for your situation.

    Perhaps get her eyes checked in case there is an issue (hence the anxiety in the evenings) though it is more likely she is just more stressed due to night critters running around.

    What does she do/ you do during the day/evening to mentally engage her?
    How long have you had her now?
    Last edited by The Pawfectionist; 09-16-2014 at 03:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    Crate training does not always work (mostly not) with maremma's..sounds like you have the worst of the two breeds (anxiety is quite common in GSD's, Destructiveness in Maremma's kept indoor when bored). I can put you in contact with Vic maremma Rescue to talk to them about dealing with them. They do have some peculiarities and they know them inside out and deal with a lot of problem dogs. My friend does maremma rescue and we often talk about all the different things comapared to Newfie rescue, which I do
    Pets are forever

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I had a dog once crash through my wooden gate to try get into the house through the front door after I locked her out. It's quite heartbreaking when they're that panicked.

    Newfsie always gives sound advice. Seeking help from someone who knows about the breed sounds like a good first step.

    Have you tried having her in your bedroom at night for now? It doesn't have to be a permanent measure, but it may just defuse the situation.

    Do remember that the dog is still adapting to her new life. It takes at least 4 weeks for a dog to start feeling at home and to start bonding with their new owners. More if she's had a rough start in life and also depending on her temperament. Our foster pups are often very restless at night for the first couple of weeks. And they're usually quite young still...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Geelong, Vic


    Games and activities are not what this dog needs but a strong routine to help her settle. Get a strong crate or a run and in there at night, no arguments, no fuss just that is it. Put your foot down, neither breeds in this dog are for coddling they need firm guidance and structure.

    A good session with a trainer too is probably a good idea, what area are you in so we can make a recommendation.

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