DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stopping the 3 Most Annoying Puppy Behaviors - Part III

In the first post on the topic of stopping the 3 most annoying puppy behaviors , I mentioned puppy biting and mouthing.

The second post discussed jumping up on people.

This post talks about stopping (destructive) puppy chewing.

You know the story - the puppy ate the furniture, cell phone, shoes, socks, electric cord, whatever. I'm the PO'd owner of Simon who at 8 months of age managed to chew through the electric cord of a brand new laptop. One minute it was intact and the next second - it was chewed in half.

Why puppies chew
They're teething, bored, need exercise, or are exercising their natural tendency to chew. Puppies do not know what's appropriate to chew and what's inappropriate to chew. You have to show them.

How to Stop puppy and dog chewing

Take a look at these Seven Ways to Stop Dog Chewing.

Make sure you puppy-proof the house. Keep the puppy away from temptation, give him chewing toys, and his lesson learned (eventually) will be to stop destroying your stuff.

THE Best Chew Toy
Want to get your pup started on the right track? The single best chew toy is called Goughnuts. Alvin the super chewer has one and in two plus years, has failed to destroy it. He plays with the thing every day.

Note that he methodically dissects normal toys in under 15 minutes. So, why not not buy Goughnuts from the start? There is a smaller product called Goughnuts .75 for small dogs. Here's where you can buy Goughnuts:
Goughnuts, the Superior Dog Chew Toy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Stopping the 3 Most Annoying Puppy Behaviors - Part II

In the previous post, I mentioned the 3 most annoying puppy behaviors - biting and mouthing, jumping up on peeps, and chewing. Mt. T in DC
This post focuses on the whys and hows of dogs jumping on people.

Why Puppies Jump Up on Peeps
Clearly, jumping up on people is a seriously annoying behavior that puppies do quite naturally. A small pup sees you walk through the door, wants attention, and the next thing you know, the paws are digging into your legs and the back of your knees (that was Alvin's fav trick).

Think about it - they are small, you appear monstrous, and the natural behavior is to do ANYTHING to get attention. Jumping seems to work, so the puppy gets into a pattern of doing that behavior. 

When we broke Simon of jumping (way past puppyhood), he cleverly found another attention-getting behavior - gifting. So now when we come home, we get a waggling Simon carrying around one of his toys. Not a bad substitute behavior!

How to stop dog jumping
Simple in concept, breaking this habit requires persistence, patience, and consistency.

Here's how:
Walk through the door.
Totally ignore the pup for 5 minutes, even if he jumps.

Do it consistently, every day until the jumping stops. It may take weeks or just a few times.
At this point, I got Alvin and Simon to sit and stay on command (they had learned these commands as young pups).

Reasons why ignoring a puppy won't work

  • You're not doing it consistently. You need to ignore the dog EVERY time.
  • You allow the dogs to jump up on visitors. If he can jump up on visitors, why can't he jump up on you?
  • All family members won't ignore the puppy when they walk into the house. There's always one jerk who thinks yelling and flaying arms works better. Guess what! That human behavior actually encourages jumping!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stopping the 3 Most Annoying Puppy Behaviors Part I

Sir Simon the Sad

Interestingly, the 3 most annoying puppy behaviors are all appropriate doggie behaviors. Unfortunately, they contradict human rules, so we spend our time trying to stop them, sometimes unsuccessfully.

The three most common and annoying puppy behaviors are as follows:
Biting and Mouthing
Jumping Up on People

I'll spend this and the next 2 posts summarizing the the whys and hows of stopping these puppy behaviors. This post addresses Biting and Mouthing.

Why puppies bite and mouth
If you could visit a pet store or a breeder with a litter of pups, you'd see puppies attacking each other by mouthing and biting. Sometimes that's the only way it's possible to get food. Sometimes they're just playing. It's what they do instinctively.

Regardless, it hurts when a puppy bites. Little needle teeth leave marks on human skin.

If you let the biting and mouthing continue, you will be stuck with a dog that could seriously injure you.

How to stop puppy biting
As a young pup, innocent-looking Simon (pictured) arrived with a biting and mouthing issue. We got him at ten weeks, two weeks away from being separated from his litter mates.

This article: explains how to stop puppy biting in detail. It's a simple and quick 3-step procedure.

Tips to stop puppy biting
A caution - do it over and over until the pup stops biting. Not every once and a while, but EVERY TIME the puppy starts to bite. Eventually he will learn to substitute another behavior for biting. Your persistence will pay off.

One more tip - EVERYONE who comes in contact with the pup has to follow the procedure to stop puppy biting. NO exceptions.

The 3-step procedure described in the link above worked for Simon. Give it a persistent and consistent try!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sidewalk Maze Confuses Bichon Cockapoo Alvin

Poor Alvin was frustrated by the sidewalk maze created by shoveling out the results of Nemo. At least he couldn't escape to China!