My pug is now 5 and it pains me to say it but he is an absolute sod. Maybe I should have got him neutered as that could be the reason behind some of his awful behaviour? Perhaps he should be walked more? (Hard to do at this time of year in the UK as it's the peak of summer and there's barely any time where it's cool enough to walk a pug)
It's come a point where actually, I was thinking a few days ago... I get literally nothing from my pug dog anymore. I had him since a puppy and yes it was very hard work with him, but I trained him well and he was growing up to be a really friendly, caring, loveable dog.
It feels as though the downward slope has almost happened overnight (not literally but the change happened very quickly) and he's gone from being obedient to very selfish. He only wants to know me or other people to either stand on their lap (very uncomfortable) or to excessively lick the salt off their skin (literally, he can do it for an hour, constantly) or clothes (soaking wet clothes at the end). There's no cuddles with him and any attempt at giving him fuss causes him to just lose interest and he just takes it as a cue to start licking again.
The only other time he wants to know anyone is when he believes there is food on offer. He doesn't even do "paw paw" properly anymore either, it used to be soft but in the last few months he will do the first paw hard and grip you to try and pull himself closer to the food as quickly as possible. When I'm at my friends house with their dog, he will step all over this dog to try and get his own way. If he thinks food is on offer, he will climb onto and over my friends dog to get to it, as if their dog is nothing more than a cushion.
Going to the toilet!!!! Damn how it's gone bad. He was trained and knew to go to the toilet outside, but now he just urinates against table legs, chairs, washing baskets. In fact fuelled by his greed, it's incredibly hard getting him to go to the toilet outside at all as he thinks he's missing out on food and rather than just go to the toilet and come in for food, he will scratch at the door and windows constantly until he's let back in (yes, I've let him carry on for an hour recently, causing damage to the wooden frame of the door) then will just relieve himself against a chair or table.
I have absolutely no idea what to do.
Sure, 1 or 2 things with my behaviour might well trigger some of his behaviour, but I've had to behave in certain ways to protect him. He has a spine injury which was the aftermath of a dog attack and his back legs are always relatively unsteady. If I'm preparing his dinner, I have to do it mega quick as he will be jumping up against things, spinning round (or if put away in a crate, scratch and push to try and get out) which could cause his spine injury to flare up again, so he gets his food served quickly.
On the whole, it's so exhausting especially as due to this behaviour, I don't feel I'm benefiting from owning a dog anymore. I'm just there to clear up urine off my things, provide food, have my clothes and skin soaked with his licking.
What treatment was needed after the attack? (operation/meds/physiotherapy) How long for?
Did you notice any of the current behavioural issues starting shortly afterwards or has there been a long gap?
Were any of the current behavioural issues there but maybe not in an irritating way until they increased after the attack? Which ones?
Did you notice any other behavioural issues after the attack?
Did you change your routines/behaviour towards him after the attack?
Did any of these changes coincide with lockdown? Have there been changes to your personal routine/lifestyle/wellbeing/job stability that could be adding to the mix?
Does he poop indoors or only urinate?
Do you have a toilet schedule for him or do you let him out if he asks?
Neutering may help with the urination but this will depend on how long it has been going on. A habit can take a while to break. Whether or not you neuter, a strict training regime will be needed to re-house train him. Essentially you need to start from scratch. Take him out regularly and STAY OUTSIDE WITH HIM. Locking a pug outside is almost never going to result in timely performance and is more likely to result in anxiety. You need to be with him, armed with yummy treats, and as soon as he performs you need to praise him lavishly and give him a treat. If you are not with him, this will not work. Watching from the window and letting him in for a treat as soon as he performs will not work. He will associate the reward with coming into the house back to you, not with the toileting. This will only increase his reluctance to perform outside and he will want to come back in for his treat.
Licking can be due to many things. My Snifter went on auto-lick with my husband but only under particular circumstances, when he would be allowed to lick for 5 minutes or so and then redirected. It can be a self-soothing issue due to anxiety. It could also be caused by pain, hunger or discomfort (usually tummy issues, but not necessarily).
He needs to learn to calm down around food. If you have been warned by the vet to limit his physical exertions (have you?) then you will simply have to crate him while you prepare food. You might also take to preparing food a lot earlier than you plan to serve it, if this is possible, so he stops associating the crate with imminent food service. This will eventually reduce the crazy in-crate behaviour, but it could take time.
Absolutely NO food should be given when he is behaving like a thug. He must have all 4 paws on the ground. Again it will take time but you (and anyone else) must be consistent and firm on this. The only time when you can (and should) break this rule is to give him an instant treat after toileting outside. You want that lesson to be learned fast. Once he is toileting reliably outside you can try waiting for calmer behaviour before giving the toileting treat, but don't try this too soon as you don't want him to regress.
How often do you walk him and for how long? I appreciate summer temperatures can play havoc with a walking schedule, but in general, assuming the temperatures are OK?
Do you spend time training him at home, apart from going on walks?
Do you praise him if he is being good (e.g. lying quietly in his bed) or his his main direct attention from you when he is acting out and you are trying to stop him?
Do you scold him or do anything by way of punishment when he urinates indoors or otherwise misbehaves?
Sorry for the wall of questions but it's necessary to try to get to the bottom of the main triggers of this bad behaviour.
Lots of good questions and ideas from Snifter! A lot of these are behavioral issues and the proper type of training might make a big difference. But there could also be some medical issues going on.
I'm sorry you are finding dog-ownership to be so exhausting and not at all rewarding. That sounds very stressful. All in all, you need to decide just how much you are willing to do with training or medical care. If you feel like your pug might be better off with a different family, then maybe it's time to consider re-homing. It's not a decision to be made lightly, but sometimes a pet will have a better life and thrive with a different owner who can provide them with the training, exercise or whatever they need.
Mom to Miss Jelly Bean "Beanie" Licorice Pug
Forever in our hearts: Miss Nilla Sassafras Pug August 17, 2002 to April 19, 2018
And my Heart-Dog... Wonka the Dancing Pug, CGC, W-FD, W-TFD.
Februrary 11, 2005 to May 10, 2020. Miss you, sweet boy!
It sounds a lot like something has changed in your life? Any new family members , a move , a new job anything upsetting the routine ?
Certainly training is in order but also a reinforce that of a routine. As for food I suggest prep it in another room and perhaps even use a baby gate too. He will still know you getting hs food ready but you are in control of the door to it. have him calm sitting at the gate and then open the gate and only the door if he stays calm .
I would also check with the vet just in case,