My Husband and I just adopted a rescue shepherd lab mix puppy (he looks rather shepherd - I think? - minus the floppy ears) so I’m excited to join the forum and learn more about the breed and all training advice! We are first time puppy owners (
) so it’s really important to us to learn as much as possible. Bentley has been home with us for about a week now, and we already love him to pieces.
He loves his kennel (we put a treat in nightly next to our bed) and at about 11 weeks now he is sleeping at night for about 5-51/2 hours before we take him out to potty. During the day he has some accidents (my Husband is home with him during the day) but seems to be learning to run to our kitchen when he has to go and we take him out and always praise him and give him a treat when he goes outside. He seems to have made himself at home and we’re trying our best to redirect any chewing (he loves to chew our couch, wood stairs, and rugs) as well as trying to stop the nipping behavior. He seems to be very smart and learned within a few days to sit, lay down, and look at us when we say his name (if we supply treats of course).
It seems that twice a day he gets the crazies and will bark, jump, nip at our legs and race around. Our thought is to immediately take him out and spend that energy on walks/sniffing and/or some kind of mental stimulation (like a kong with treat). We had a trainer come over last night to provide us with more information and she suggested we just spray our hands and feet with “no chew” and ignore him when he gets wild. I think that may work but I worry that he will not understand that nipping is not OK later on down the line with others or he’ll think he rules the house. Also, the trainer suggested if he does have accidents inside not to yell but to just scoop him up and take him outside. Any advice or thoughts on these approaches?
We also signed up for puppy kindergarten that starts next weekend (he’ll be 12 weeks by then) so we can hopefully socialize him more with other dogs and learn more about training. He’s met (very briefly) two other dogs and he doesn’t come off as aggressive (he’ll sniff around, sit down or jump on them a bit to play). We don’t want to take him to the dog park or around dogs that haven’t been fully vaccinated (since he has had only a couple of vaccinations so far).
Thanks in advance for any advice. Looking forward to reading more on this forum – thanks all!