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Dear Darcie,We have an 18 mo old Beagle/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.He is VERY smart,VERY athletic and VERY engreetic, much more than we bargained for. He is also VERY sneaky when he wants to do bad. He is fixed, crate trained, and I have taken him to obediance classes and worked with him since he was 3 mos old. We've made it through Intermediate, but he won't stay with me off-lead to go on to Agility or Advanced classes. He is house broken, except where other dogs have marked.My biggest problem is I have to keep him gated in an area that includes a large kitchen and my office, where I spend most of the day. If he's left unsupervised he tears up anything he can find or steal. He jumps up onto tables or climbs furniture to reach things. He wants to play ALL the time, and I have to get some actual work done some times. I've got Snappy Trainers everywhere, but the cats set them off. As soon as the coast is clear, the dog's up stealing things to destroy. He will also attempt anything to get to the cats' food.We live 5 miles out in the country and there are no neighbor dogs, or anyone else to entertain him. My husband travels most weeks. I've thought of getting him a companion dog (NOT puppy), but we have four cats, two geriatric, and can't afford any more vet bills. I'm also afraid of doubling the trouble I already have. How can I calm him enough to let him be part of the family? Cathie(Dear Cathie, I'll answer this in a regular post. I have lots of ideas of you and we'll need more room than we have here! -Darcie)

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