26 week old puppy problems-Smokey
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Thread: 26 week old puppy problems-Smokey

  1. #1
    Smokey329 is offline Junior Member
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    Default26 week old puppy problems-Smokey

    I have a german shepherd/black lab mix. We rescued him when he was 10-11 weeks old. Our first problem... Everytime we let him outside he eats rocks. He chews them and either spits them out or swallows them and poops them out a few days later. He does not like the bitter apple spray so we do use that, but he stops for a second and continues again! Our other problem is that he get random bursts of energy and starts "attacking" us. Sometimes even biting so hard that he punctures through the skin. He knows sit, down, and we are working on wait and drop, but when he is in one of his energy modes, he doesn't listen to any commands. We have so many scratches on our arms and legs it's ridiculous! We put him in the crate for 10 mins but when we take him out he is even more excited and ambitious than before. We live on a dead-end street, so I have tried walking mulitples times up and down the road with him, and that seems to work for a little while, but that's about it. We don't want to smack the dog or make the dog afraid of us because we dont want this to turn into something worse, like aggression or fear, when he is bigger. Besides the 2 issues, he is an awesome dog! We are considering training, but would it be necessary for only theses 2 things at his age?? Our first dog was a boxer/pit who we also rescued (at a year old) that we took to obedience classes, and he got attacked by a retriever. Obviously we do not want to relive the experience and would prefer to do every possible thing we can with our puppy before taking him to classes. Any advice on how to stop the rock eating and biting would be appreciated. Thanks.

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    arlinevg is offline Member
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    Labs are very "oral" and will use their mouths when excited. We taught our older lab to grab a "woobie" (aka a soft plush dog toy) from the basket by the front door when the doorbell would ring and she was soooo excited about company coming into the house. She took this "get your woobie" training to the next level on her own and just started picking up a woobie whenever she got super excited over anything that was happening or about to happen (getting fed, family members coming home, etc.) With our 18 week old lab, I'm starting to do the same thing. I have a "woobie" ready to give him first thing in the morning before I take him out of his sleeping area. He dutifully grabs it and that has cut down a lot on the grabbing of our hands and mouthing when he is really revved up in the morning. I would do the same with your pup. Keep a soft toy, or any toy that he can mouth instead of you when he exhibits this behavior. Which takes some planning on your part, b/c you always need to have it handy and ready at the moment. And praise, praise, praise when he does what you want him to do. Definitely do training! Puppy classes are essential and sometimes working one on one with a reputable dog trainer is worth it's weight in gold as well. We just finished Puppy I class with the Sirius dog trainers and they are fantastic. Google them, I believe they are all over the place and they follow a British vet's methods, Dr. Ian Dunbar. I also picked up an excellent tip for working with your dog on recall. Never ever call them and then discipline them. You have to assure them that coming to you when called is wonderful, not negative. So, because labs LOVE food, the Sirius dog trainers had us use small little jars of baby food (Gerber chicken is a favorite in our house) as a high value treat reward to be used ONLY when you do a recall. Odie will come immediately to me when I call him in my higher pitched "puppy, puppy....come" command, wherever he is and whatever it is he is doing, because he knows I'll reward him with licks from the baby food jar and LOTS OF PRAISE. Now...I've just got to work on the chewing of furniture if left alone for a nanosecond.

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    jzgrlduff is offline Senior Member
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    Hi there,
    You should definitely take him to a structured obedience class. It will benefit both/all of you. They will teach you commands and how to properly use them (like 'drop it' with the rock).

    He needs exercise, and plenty of it. That's where those bursts of energy are coming from. Lonnnng walks daily, games of fetch, etc. How much excercise is he getting? Please, definitely DO NOT resort to smacking him. Sounds like he would do best with reward training.



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    "Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"

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    jzgrlduff's Avatar
    jzgrlduff is offline Senior Member
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    Labs are very "oral" and will use their mouths when excited. We taught our older lab to grab a "woobie" (aka a soft plush dog toy) from the basket by the front door when the doorbell would ring and she was soooo excited about company coming into the house. She took this "get your woobie" training to the next level on her own and just started picking up a woobie whenever she got super excited over anything
    My Macy (Golden Retriever) has a woobie, too. She loves it!



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    Califon, NJ
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    "Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"

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    justlabradors is offline Administrator
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    Agreed with NOT smacking your dog.

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    Smokey329 is offline Junior Member
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    We have not ever hit him, and definitely never plan on it, but we have heard from other dog owners that he is a puppy and a lab and they need extra "reminders"with a whack on the head... We take him for walks and get him toys that he chases to get good out of etc. we throw the ball around and play frisbee. We are all exhausted and he hasn't even made a deny in his energy level!!! Having a puppy is a lot of work an we are willing to put forth effort to make him into a great dog. However, tho is our first puppy (our first dog we rescued at a year old) and are just not quite sure how to go about the training process completely. Thank you for your recommendations!!!!

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    Smokey329 is offline Junior Member
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    I definitely love the idea of a "woobie" and the baby food is an awesome idea as well!!!! Smokey goes to his first puppy class tonight- it is a trainer that goes around and works on each individual's needs (ours would be the counter-surfing, nipping, and eating rocks) I hope all goes well and will comment the results if anyone who is following Smokey's progress would like me to! Thanks for all your help!!!

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    Smokey329 is offline Junior Member
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    Sorry, my first message was to jzgrlduff and my second was to arlinevg

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    jzgrlduff is offline Senior Member
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    So glad to hear about the puppy class! I'll be looking for update.



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    Califon, NJ
    Hunterdon County
    "Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"

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    Smokey329 is offline Junior Member
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    Sorry for late response, we were too late for that class ): However, we are signed up to take him to classes starting Nov. 17!! His behavior is not getting any better and we need to fix it fast!!!

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