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Old 10-05-2004, 09:38   #1
aircarver
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Blue Healer puppy chews everything......

I've had a new puppy for two weeks now.... a 'Blue Healer' now around 10 weeks old. Training her to go outside is pretty far along, as well as response to basic commands. My problem is she's an instinctive chewer, and is damaging funniture legs, baseboards, and windowsills. (She has a bunch of chewie toys, just likes to chew inappropriate wood.) She also likes to chew on me (I will allow her to play rough with me to blow off steam [she doesn't bite hard, but her teeth are sharp !]) because none of the girls will let her, and she respects that. Should I discontinue this or will she grow out of 'puppy nipping' and chewing ?
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Old 10-05-2004, 10:03   #2
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Your question really is two fold.

When you bust her chewing on something, or preferably getting ready to chew on something, try to redirect her to one of her toys, best bet is an interactive toy, like a tug rope, or ball... If you are persistant, she will likely learn not to chew on your stuff. Then again you could go the punishment route too, I isolate my dogs in an area where they can see the rest of the pack having fun, but not participate. If you are consistant she will get that chewing on furnature means game over... BUT dogs chew, that is what they do...

As far as biting you, I am of the mind that all dogs should have a soft bite, and letting them gnaw on you is just how to teach them what a soft bite is, When it gets too much I let out a yelp and get up and walk away, game over for awhile.. It has worked very well for my dogs..

Best of luck!

Jenn
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Old 10-05-2004, 10:24   #3
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Thanks for the input !

The furniture chewing is discovered after the fact, may be spite for being confined in the kitchen which is relatively puppy-proof, but still has things she can damage. She has her crate and food & water so she may just be bored. She is left alone for 4 to 8 hours, people coming and going to work. Punishing her after probably isn't a good idea, and she doesn't do it when she has human company. We tried 'anti-chew spray' but she licked it (!) She's an 'only dog', but gets to play with a neighbor's Lab every couple of days (tires her out good...

She gets wound up playing rough with me, and I have to convince her to stop with the threat of a rolled up paper, and sometimes a whack on the nose. I don't know if it's better to let her blow off steam, or teach her to suppress her instincts to 'puppy nip'.

My previous dog wasn't so energetic about 'playing for hours'...
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Old 10-05-2004, 10:30   #4
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If she is doing it when unsupervised, there is no real way to stop it, My Boxer LOVED the anti chew spray ;Q

It is a matter of comfort for you and the family, but may I suggest confining her to her crate when no one is home? 10 weeks is still an age where you could properly crate train. Do you know what Kongs are? I use them as a tool to get my pups in the crates, filled with treats, PB, cheese, whatever, it gives them something to do while on the crate. Best part is my pups are safe and so is my house while they are alone..

Pups need TONS of exercise, and will destroy if left with tons of pent up energy.. Make sure she gets a good run either with the other dog or you, or the kids everyday when you get home, it will make your nights WAY more manageable!!!

Keep letting her gnaw at you, set limits and be consistant, otherwise she will never know how to control her jaws....
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Old 10-05-2004, 12:37   #5
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Quote:
It is a matter of comfort for you and the family, but may I suggest confining her to her crate when no one is home? 10 weeks is still an age where you could properly crate train. Do you know what Kongs are? I use them as a tool to get my pups in the crates, filled with treats, PB, cheese, whatever, it gives them something to do while on the crate. Best part is my pups are safe and so is my house while they are alone..
Well this is going to be next, my wife has had it with the damage.
Since I never had to lock a dog in before, I have no experience with what they can tolerate. She currently treats the crate as a doghouse, but may not be as happy with it if she's locked in. Kongs ?? Toys or snacks ? Will last 8 hours ?

Quote:
Keep letting her gnaw at you, set limits and be consistant, otherwise she will never know how to control her jaws....
OK, thanks, I was unsure if this helped or made the chewing instinct worse. I'm hoping the destructive chewing will stop when she better gets used to the family's routine, and older. When the weather's OK, I guess I can try putting her in the (enclosed) back yard with her doghouse, but I don't like to leave her out unattended. Colder weather kinda guarantees she'll need to spend a fair amount of time inside (shorthaired).
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Old 10-05-2004, 14:28   #6
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Hey air, I had a big post for you, but I lost it.... I will hook you up in a few as I got to go do some WORK right now!!..

BTW, whats her name???
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Old 10-05-2004, 14:41   #7
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Thanks, I haven't had to deal with 'breaking in' a puppy for decades.... ;Q

Ah Yes ! Work always keeps intruding on 'real life' ... ;f

Bailey. Stems from dotter #3 (going to Baylor...) rescued her from the pound in Waco.... ...but she can't have a dog in her apartment at school.... ;Q
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Old 10-05-2004, 16:04   #8
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ok, hopefully I can get this all in..

Crate training is one of the most frustrating, but rewarding things you can do with Bailey. First, the size of the crate is important, she should only have enough room to lay down, and turn around. If it is too big, she will use one area to pee in and the other area to sleep.. This is a biggie! Don't put blankets, towels, or anything in the crate with her at first. otherwise, you will come home to a stinky dog who peed in her crate, then used her blanket to sop it up.. Lets see, when I first start to crate train a pup, I try to put them in at night and sacrifice a few nights sleep letting them cry. The idea is to show her that crying and temper tantrums will not get her out of the crate. Try to get her to nap in it from time to time too. In the end, you just want to relieve the stress that comes from just putting her in there "cold turkey".. Remember, she is going to HATE this at first. (BUT while all the crying and howling is going on, remember it will stop, and your wife will be all the happier when the furnature stays intact)

How long can dogs stay in the crate? Well a good rule of thumb is dogs can hold their bladder 1 hour, plus 1 more hour for every month in age, so theorettically, she would go 3.5 hours now. If someone can let her out at lunch it helps. If she has to stay in the crate all day, there will be accidents, don't punish her for going in her crate, she can't help it yet. My boys stay in their crates the whole day, have since about 1 year old. And DO NOT use the crate as a punishment tool if you are serious about crate training, it will only make Bailey think she is being punished every day. I am a positive reinforcement type, So my personal favorite is a babygate in my hallway, when it is punishment time, they go to the hallway for a prescribed amount of time while the rest of the pack has fun and frolics. Pack animals HATE being away from the rest of the pack. I know you didn't ask about that, but just thought I would throw it in..

Kongs ROCK, here is the website www.kongcompany.com
they can be picked up at any major petstore. I use treats and top it off with PB They don't last the whole time, but keep them busy long enough.. I only use my Kongs for crate time, and not as a toy, so when the dogs see the Kong, they RUN to their crates. Freezing the treats will make them last longer.

Training a dog is all about CONSISTANCY, make sure everyone is doing things the same an dadhering to the same rules.. Than Bailey will be a well trained girl in no time!!!

and last, kudos for rescuing a pound pup!!!

Best of luck, hope this helps..
Jenn
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Old 10-05-2004, 16:15   #9
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Oh and one more thing, make sure when you leave, and come home no one make a rush to let her out, no fusses about leaving, no kisses, and snuggles, no "oooooh Bailllllley, I will be right back", that really messes the whole thing up. Put her in the crate about 15 minutes before you leave, and when you come home, check the messages, get settled, take off yer shoes, then let her out, make sure no matter what she does not think she dictates when she comes out of that crate..

Oh and before and after the crate she should be out doing her business FIRST thing.. Right to the door.. you are sort of retraining her as far as housebreaking goes too.
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Old 10-05-2004, 21:04   #10
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Alleged Blue Healer. Ears: Suspected part jack-a-lope..... ;f
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:10   #11
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Thanks, Cash !!

I'll print out all your advice and work through it. My major problem was, while I know dogs, it's been a loong time since I did a training regimen with a puppy. It's good to be reminded what the steps are. I primarily have toughen up myself to demand compliance, rather than let her slide. I have to get the other numerous people who interface with her to standardize on the commands and attention they give her. The results aren't too bad now, but with time they should be better.
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Old 10-10-2004, 13:10   #12
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Report from several days later: Kongs, and the water bottle in the crate have proven to be terrific ideas ! ;f
Thanks again !
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:13   #13
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