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Any advice on dog training?

Froggirl009

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I have a 7 month old puppy and I really need some advice on training him. He likes to chew on EVERYTHING. Will he just grow out of this or do we need to train him. I have looked on other sites and found some information but I want to know what has worked best for other people. He has already bitten holes in 2 pillows :grumpy: and we can't put things near the edges of any table or he will take it off of the table. Any advice?

I also have a question on dog crates. He is crate trained. We got a crate for him when he was a puppy and it was really big. Now he has trippled in size and I am afraid the crate is too small. What is an apropriate size for a dog that is 16 pounds and may get up to 20? And should it be the plastic kind of the wire kind?
 

blackarrow

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He's teething and absolutely needs to have appropriate things available to him to chew. If you can't be watching him to prevent him from chewing on inappropriate things, he needs to be crated or his environment made safe for him in other suitable ways. If he does get hold of something he shouldn't chew on, merely redirect him to something more appropriate - no yelling or punishing - he's just experimenting, and will eventually learn what is "his" and what is not. He absolutely needs to explore things with his mouth right now, he's not being "bad."

In choosing a crate, his height and length is more important than his weight. A crate should be large enough for him to stand in it without bending his head over - about 6" higher than the point of his withers is sufficient - and he should be able to lay down, completely stretched out, inside it with at least a few inches to spare in both length and width. He should be able to turn around in it comfortably. You shouldn't need a crate more than 24", I wouldn't think. Plastic or metal is mostly a matter of convenience. If you might need to travel on a plane with him, you'd need a plastic one. I personally prefer the air flow of wire kennels instead, but dogs are often happiest if you cover them with a mesh blanket for a little extra feeling of security while crated.

(Side note - a couple pillows? Ha! My dog "unlatched" a large patch of a $700 latch hook rug at seven months old. Totally my fault - I wasn't watching him.)
 

Wodentoad

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I second blackarrow on this. Your dog is teething, just like a toddler getting new teeth. Make sure your chew toys are really tough, because those tiny dogs have needle sharp teeth made for tearing things to shreds. I'm an owner of large dogs mostly, and though you can expect the chewing to slack off, especially with re-direction, don't expect it to stop completely for a while. Small dogs normally have a pretty strong kill drive, which means lots of chewing.

I recommend kongs of appropriate size (they now have spray-bacon to put inside them) and ropes. There's one rope with a heavy rubber tire on it, this would be excellent. Check in your yard or a nearby wooded area for a tree branch, as some dogs go nuts over them.

Good luck and keep us apprised.
 

JD In Van

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I highly recommend the Kong products. I have a friend who raises working dogs and she almost exclusively feeds her dogs from their Kongs. In the wild dogs have to work to get their food. Domestic dogs still have that urge. She sprays the inside with the sticky peanut butter like stuff then stuffs it full of kibble. Then the dog spends like an hour working his lunch out of it and getting his chew urge out rather then wolfing down a bowl of kibble in a half second and leaving unsatisfied.
 

Wodentoad

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Dogs, much like guinea pigs, are not wild animals. They have been domesticated almost as long as man himself. WOLVES have to work for their food. Dogs need to be fed. Otherwise you'd have much fatter abandoned dogs on the street and we would have to fear roving bands of wild dogs hunting us or our children down for a quick pack meal.

That much peanut butter is not good for dogs, even working dogs. Peanut butter should be a treat only. It is high in sodium, fat, oil and many unhealthy things, thus not something they need to have much of every day. High quality kibble, my vet recommends Purina, is formulated to meet a dog's needs. My dog has a thyroid condition, which means we have to watch his diet very carefully as his body cannot, without medication, regulate his thyroid. This means he can gain weight at the drop of a hat. It would be like giving a human a giant slice of chocolate cake with every meal and not expecting them to have a reaction.

I know it's your friend doing it, but I'm a long time dog owner and I come from a long line of dog owners and trainers. I have a very good vet and trust him as well as I trust my Guinea Pig vet. This is the sort of thing that will cause more harm than good. Like pig-ears and rawhides, also not good.
 

blackarrow

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The chewing needs of a puppy aren't tremendously related to the dog's need to eat - many dogs enjoy Kong chewing even with nothing in them, and Wodentoad is quite right that overdoing peanut butter is a really bad plan. Not to get too off-topic here onto the subject of dog food, but I can't let the comment that Purina is a high-quality kibble or that it's formulated to meet a dog's needs go by unremarked upon - it simply isn't a good dog food brand at all. The standards for dog food are very, very low, and that Purina meets them is in no way an indicator of quality. There are other threads on this already that can be found via a search.
 
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JD In Van

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It's not real peanut butter. It's a peanut butter flavored thing that comes with the Kongs. It's specially made for puppies.
 

Froggirl009

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With the Kongs doesn't the spray stuff come out all over the floor?
 
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Wodentoad

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The spray stuff can get out while the dog licks, on rare occasions that I give one to my dog, I put it in the kitchen or outside! I have carpet, you see.

Purina and pedigree were recommended by my vet over store bought brands. By my vet. My vet. Vet. Vet vet vet. (That's meant to be funny snarky not mad snipey. Said with a smile and a friendly poke.:silly:)

I know there are the people who cook gourmet meals and do the whole raw-food diet for their dogs, but I can't afford that. I can't afford to get the proto-meat-fiber-eco-wolf-green-hippie-raw-bone-beef-veggie-alternative kibble substitute log. I get him dog food, and the vet said last week that he's very healthy for an old dog with thyroid problems (genetic).

(Again, not mad or mean or upset, written with a smile!)
 

ferndalezoo

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Purina and pedigree were recommended by my vet over store bought brands. By my vet.

Purina products (they have several "lines", some less bad than others) are mediocre at best. Pedigree is TERRIBLE. If your VET recommended these two brands, I would strongly consider getting a new vet. It's like saying that Kaytee and Nutriphase are the best guinea pig foods. Nutriphase is "less bad" and Kaytee is completely awful, right? Neither one is good or aceptable. GOOD brands of dog food are ones that don't contain corn, wheat, soy, etc (common allergens, and unnecessary fillers); that have limited fillers (all kibbles are going to have SOMETHING in the way of filler, but if it's more rice and corn than actual useful ingredients, that's a problem), that have an indentifyable protein source (chicken, for example, not just "meat"), in a MEAL format as the first ingredient. Non-meal (chicken, not chicken meal) is acceptable if the SECOND ingredient is a meal. Meal is the meat, dehydrated before being weighed. ALL the meat gets dehydrated before it's used in the food, so weighing it before this step is a trick often used to make it look like there's more meat in the food than there is.

With regard to the chewing: Puppies chew. Some more than others, some for longer than others. Provide things your pup CAN chew on (toys or chewies of his own), and be vigilant about keeping things he's not supposed to chew (shoes, etc) out of his reach. Don't leave him unattended out of his crate if he's prone to chewing things like furniture that can't be kept up out of his reach. Teach the "leave it" and "Trade me" commands so you can easily get things from him that he shouldn't have.

Things like rawhides, etc, are controversial. Personally, I have one dog that is FINE with a rawhide, as he doesn't actually EAT it, he just chews it. I have one that absolutely CAN'T have a rawhide at all, as he would wolf it down (which can cause digestive blockages). Kongs are neat, but if you have a strong chewer, err on the side of the black ones== my power-chewer ATE a red one once.
 

Froggirl009

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I never knew that about purina. My dog eats science diet. Is that a good brand? The rescue we got him from sugested we feed him that because that was what he was eating there.

Anyway, I would like to thank you soooo much for the info about the kongs I went to the store today and got a regular medium size kong and the small kong bone. I got the treats rather than the spray because we have carpet. He absolutley LOVES them. He has gone an hour without chewing on the pillow, couch, mail, rug, ect. Thats a new record!
 

ferndalezoo

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Science diet is alo a fairly poor quality food. A quick look at the label will reveal a lot of corn, and not a whole lot of meat. For the record, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get good quality dog kibble: If you have a costco near you, the Kirkland brand (Costco's store brand) is a good, mid-quality (better than most "over the counter" brands, on par with the Mazuri 5664 to continue my comparison to guinea pig foods) kibble. It costs $22 for a 40 lbs bag. If you have a feed-store near you, they often carry the Diamond Naturals line (which is the same food, in a differnt bag) for around the same price.
 

Wodentoad

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*sigh*

This is me, shutting up now. I tried to keep this light-hearted as a discussion, but I see that's not going to happen. I'm sorry I mentioned what my vet told me. I suppose vets don't know everything.

I'm frustrated, just a bit, but I'm not going to be a mindless moonbat about it and get into a yelling match. I dislike conflict of this nature. Greatly.

Perhaps we can agree to disagree on this issue.
 

blackarrow

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No one's yelling at you, Wodentoad. It's just that certain brands, notably, Purina and Science Diet, pour huge money into advertising themselves TO VETS as being particularly high quality foods, when you can get tremendously more bang for your dog food buck buying food which puts more into their ingredients and less into their marketing.

Froggirl, it makes perfect sense to continue on a food the dog was on at the rescue until such time as it's settled into your home, but after that I'd suggest an upgrade if you can (and that doesn't necessarily mean more expensive). As I mentioned, there are other threads which go into how to pick a good dog food in quite a lot of detail - I know I have a thread somewhere on this board going over the main ingredients in Science Diet in particular and why they are lacking, because someone asked that exact same question before. Hope that helps, and I'm delighted your pooch is a Kong fan!
 

Wodentoad

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Froggirl, congratz on your kong fiend. Is fetch next?
 

vicky2

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I'd like to point out, most vets don't have much experience in nutrition.
A good chew for a puppy is a twisted rag the is soaked in water, and frozen. It's good for their gums and its satisfying to chew on.
 

Froggirl009

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Froggirl, congratz on your kong fiend. Is fetch next?

lol We named all of his toys and he knows most of their names. So we could say "go get MooMoo" and he will go and get his stuffed cow. The problem is, he will only do this if he isnt distracted by something else.
 

Wodentoad

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Excellent! And as for distraction, that comes with practice, bonding, and continued training. He's still a puppy, so until he's about a year old or so, expect him to be distracted, like a child.
 
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