We adopted a 5-year-old Boston Terrier just a few days ago. We got her through an agency from the original owners. She was about 4 when they had a baby and she became too rambunctious to have in the home. She is a precious lamb during the day, but late in the afternoon, she turns into a Tazmanian Devil. I am home with her everyday and when she gets used to her new home, I'd like to correct these two problems. She will find something to chew up if she thinks she's been left home alone. The other behavior is more serious. When someone comes to the house, she will NOT leave them alone. She jumps on them and generally makes a pest of herself. When I took her by the back of her harness to hold her back, she reached around to try to nip my hand. She was evaluated by an animal behaviourist a few months ago and was put on Clomipramine twice a day. He thought this might indicate obsessive-compulsive disorder. We were given the evaluation papers and all the medicine they had left when she was turned over to us. Right now I think her little heart is aching for her previous owners, so I don't want to begin any vigorous training. But I do want her to know we are in charge. Any suggestions would be helpful.
the first problem sounds like seperation anxiety. alot of dogs from shelters and rescues suffer some form of seperation anxiety. can you blame the poor dears? they think they are being left again. get her a kong or a buster cube and fill it with treats. only give it to her when you are leaving the house. it will keep her occupied trying to get the treats out of the toys and take her mind off you leaving. also do not make a fuss of saying goodbye to her when you leave. that can add to their anxiety. teach her the word down and stay. after she has greeted the company put her in a down stay in the room with you and the company. after she is calmed down you can tell her good girl and let her mingle again. if she becomes a pest put her in another down stay. she should calm down after the first down and stay and make be relaxed enough to not be a pest. if a few down and stays for at least a 3 minut duration of each isn't enough crate her or put her in the bedroom.
dogs want to know who is in charge. if we aren't, they will be. actually, training helps them. it gives them structure and lets them know what to do. i would get into a basic obedience class with her. when people are there, put a leash on her and keep her with you so you don't have to grab her collar or harness. also make sure she has exercise. i would start with training now.
Yeah definitely start with training right now so she learns right away what she can and can't get away with. As far as her trying to bite you when you tried to correct her and stop her from jumping, if she does it again she needs to get immediate time away from you, either in a crate or in a section of the house where she has a 'time out' type space that takes her out of the equation, so she learns that doing that means no time with anyone. I also suggest getting rid of the harness and instead putting a regular leash on her for when visitors come over. Stand on the leash so that it holds her down at floor level and is not slack enough for her to be able to jump up. If she tries to jump, it will give her an instant correction with no handds involved. Make sure guests understand they are not to touch her at all with their hands, even to push her down. Instead they should turn their hips into her and turn away. The only time she gets petting is when she sits down. Always make her sit before you give her anything, attention, loving, food, let her out, etc. She will learn that good things happen when she sits. It sounds like she was pretty spoiled by the previous owners. Training does add structure, it teaches her the boundaries of her new 'pack'. Definitely take her to obedience classes, they may end up being far more valuable and safer than medicating her.