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Discussion Starter #1
I knew things were going too smoothly :rolleyes:

Yesterday I inadvertently let the dogs upstairs. I didn't intend to let Sherry upstairs so soon but I came home with loads of bags of shopping that needed to go upstairs so my hands were full. I have a baby gate across the bottom of the stairs and I left it open without thinking. I sometimes let Rosa upstairs while I'm on the puter so didn't really think it would be a problem letting Sherry up too.

I have two gerbils (rodents) that live in the spare room in a cage. Sherry went balistic at them and started clawing at the cage trying to get them out. Rosa stares at them but has never attempted to get them out.

I made both dogs go back downstairs thinking that would be the end of it and went back upstairs. 2 minutes later Sherry joined me


She had managed to climb over the bannisters by climbing on the back of the sofa then clawing her way up somehow. They are really high and I'm amazed that she managed it without hurting herself.

Since then I've been observing her and she is obsessed with getting upstairs and has tried many more times to climb over the bannisters, without success, but if she done it once I'm sure she can do it again.

I've had to rearrange the furniture so the sofa is no longer up against the bannisters which is fine but she has been frantic about getting up there ever since.

What do I do now? I moved the gerbils out of the room they were in and hid them. Then I let her upstairs to try and fool her that they had gone but she wasn't fooled.

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif Help anyone
 

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The only thing that I can think of is this and being so new to Beagles, I don't even know if it would work. But have her on leash and attach it or tether it to your belt. Take her upstairs with you and go to where the gerbil cage is. When she starts to go ballistic again, give her a swift, immediate correction and tell her no. If she keeps it up, give her another quick leash correction and tell her no again. She has to know that kind of behavior will not be accepted.

I would probably do the leash thing for at least a week with a new dog (and I definitely plan on doing that with Reggie when he comes home here). With her tethered to you, you can make sure that she goes everywhere you do in the house (when possible). That way, if something in her behavior needs changing, she gets a correction right away and learns the rules of the house quicker. She'll also learn that you are the absolute leader in the pack.
 

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Whatever you do do not give her leash corrections for going ballistic. This will create even more negative associations with the gerbils. Instead, on leash, start far enough away from the gerbils that she can be calm and give her praise and rewards for being calm. Slowly increase the tolerance and decrease the distance between her and the gerbil cages until she can calmly sit next to them. This could take months, but if you do a little every day and are consistant she will be able to do it.
 

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We have a guinea pig that most of the time Abby just ignores.

Can you put the gerbils up high somewhere until she forgets about them? Maybe take her to Petsmart or somewhere and let her sniff the gerbil/hamster cages?
 

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Boy, I really want to hear how this one plays out! You have positively got your hands full with this situation.

We had pet mice at one time and one of my dogs was totally facinated with them. She would literally watch them for hours. We used to call her our cat in a dog suit. I can offer no solution, not even a guess! Sherry knows they are there and it sounds as if neither hell or high water is going to stop her! :evilgrin: No matter where you put them she is going to either smell or hear them. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all your suggestions. At the moment she seems to have calmed down a bit and isn't as frantic as she was. The gerbils remain in their hiding place which is another room but I don't want to keep them in there because it is too small and has my clothes in it. Gerbils don't smell much but they do a little bit and I don't want my clothes to smell.

The room they were in is the cats room. I can't close the door because the cat won't be able to get to her litter tray and food and water etc.

I'm sure Sherry knows they are still around whatever room they are in but I'm hoping that in time she will forget. Time will tell I guess. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif
 

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Sherry says, "I smell a rat!" I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating for you. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif When we lived in Hawaii, we had scads of guinea pigs in cages in the carport. Gunner would sit and watch them, but we never had any problem with his trying to get at them. Of course, we are talking about one of the most laid-back dogs that ever lived. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif It'd be a completely different matter with some of the dogs we now have! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif
 

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I can imagine what you are going through. My 2 would never forget that they were there and would smell them wherever you tried to hide them. Mine are hunters.

I don't have any suggestions. I'm sure others will have more though.
 

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I was wondering if you could put a 'cabin hook' on the door so it leaves a gap big enough for the cat to get through but small enough that Sherry can't.

Failing that you could tell her that they are Spanish Hamsters it worked in Fawlty Towers. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:Originally posted by Sandyj:
Sherry says, "I smell a rat!"
:biglaugh: Thats' what hubby said. He also said that where she lived before at the puppy farm she probably saw loads of mice and rats and maybe they even bit her at some time. She has lots of very old wounds on her face and legs, little puncture wounds so I can only imagine how she got them. One would assume she got them from fighting with the other dogs or during mating but maybe she was bit by rats as well /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif

The cabin hook idea sounds like it might just work. I'll mention it to hubby. He did mention fitting a cat flap in the door but Suzie hates using flaps and I don't want to distress her anymore, she's 13 years old.

I did think about the idea of desensitising her to them with her on a lead like we3beagles and no1utefan mentioned but I think at 9 years old she's unlikely to take very well to that kind of training. She's only just got used to walking on the lead for the first time in her life.
 

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You can always teach an old dog new tricks. Polly who is 12 years old and deaf didn't know anything when we adopted her last October. She knows quite a bit more now. It just takes a bit more time because you have to desensatize rather than socialize.
 
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