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Old 01-01-2013, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Teaching what's off limits

I had a friend over for the holidays. She left her snow boots out. I should have put them up when I saw them, but I forgot So Spirit, 9 months, chewed one a bit. My friend said I needed to teach him boundaries, what's off limits.

My take on that is I know what is tempting for him to get into and I should be proactive with making sure things are picked up so he can't get into them.

How do you teach a young dog that chewing boots is off limits? Teaching boundaries .... like teaching what's yours is yours and what's mine is mine and you can't cross this boundary.

Seems absurd to me, but am I missing something?
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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not chewing things, scratching things, playing with things, etc that's
in the house is a part of training/house training. i'm not sure why
you think teaching a dog how to behave when indoors is absurd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo Ellen View Post
I had a friend over for the holidays. She left her snow boots out. I should have put them up when I saw them, but I forgot So Spirit, 9 months, chewed one a bit. My friend said I needed to teach him boundaries, what's off limits.

My take on that is I know what is tempting for him to get into and I should be proactive with making sure things are picked up so he can't get into them.

>>>> How do you teach a young dog that chewing boots
is off limits?<<<<

>>>> Teaching boundaries .... like teaching what's yours is yours and what's mine is mine and you can't cross this boundary. <<<<

>>>> Seems absurd to me, but am I missing something?<<<
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No, I don't think training a dog to be sensible indoors is absurd. I do that type of training constantly, all day everyday. But I choose my battles ... I don't leave things down when I know the temptation may be too great or when I may not be in 100% supervision mode.

What I do think is absurd is that Spirit, at 9 months, should know that the pair of boots beside the chair is off limits. I always put my boots up, and my shoes in the closet.

I don't have a wild dog -- hah, I'm feeling defensive now He doesn't chew the furniture, he doesn't pull the tablecloth off the table, he doesn't chew my pillows, my home is intact. But he does have his weaknesses -- the garbage can, chewing anything that fits in his mouth and is not attached to something. I put the garbage can where he can't get to it easily, and I keep things picked up.

Am I bad that I specifically have not taught him not to chew a boot?
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Jo Ellen, I agree with you. I try to pick up anything that will be tempting. Sure, we take away things the puppy can't have. As he gets older, he will learn, this is your toy. This is not your toy. I don't think it is realistic to expect a pup to know he can't chew on the boot.

Spirit sounds like a very good boy. I have a new mix puppy, who sits on top of the trash can, stole a box of candy, DOES pull the table cloth off the table. Want to trade? LOL!

PS Tell your friend she best not be bringing any boots to my house - socks either.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How I read it was that you think the idea of teaching a dog everything that is off limits is absurb. Like how could the dog possibly know. And I thought about that and tried to remember how we taught Mac. I think that everything except toys and treats provided by you is off limits. Ya know what I mean? And he should be told "leave it" every time he puts anything in his mouth, unless you've given it to him. I know what you mean about picking your battles and sometimes it gets so tiresome to constantly be watching and trading your shoe for a raw hide But the fastest way is consistency. On the other hand, I do think its annoying when people leave their stuff laying around with a puppy in the house and I hate it when people make comments. But thats because I get super defensive of my dogs too
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If he's still a destructive chewer, then you need to continue leaving things out of reach. I've had puppies that were completely reliable about not chewing by 3 or 4 months old (Dena! ), and others that can be relied on to chew certain things, even as old as 4 years (Halo! ). This is what she was up to Christmas morning:



She also likes toilet paper...



And kitchen knives!!!



She doesn't care about shoes, socks or clothing, pens, coins, or the other usual stuff that ends up on the floor, but if it has ever touched food - watch out, lol! She used to have a thing for eyeglasses, and TV remotes too.

If I had a 9 month old puppy in the house I would make it MY responsibility that everything was put up out of reach, especially things that belong to a guest that may not realize that puppies chew. I do think it's unrealistic for your friend to expect him to know his boundaries - training is a process, and it takes time and patience.

Cassidy was our worst chewer, she literally couldn't be left alone for 5 minutes or she'd have destroyed something - she ate one of my orchids while I was at work and my husband was on the phone in the office, she chewed a hole in our blanket and ripped up our quilt, (again, in mere minutes), she even took down the slippers I'd put on the bathroom counter before I got in the shower, and chewed those up before I got out and caught her. She even had a secondary chewing phase that occurred months after she had improved to the point where we didn't have to watch her every single minute, and chewed a quarter sized hole in the edge of my favorite rug. I rolled up the rug, and it spent the next year on top of the bookcase because I wanted to make COMPLETELY sure she wouldn't ruin it further. But even she eventually outgrew the chewing.

With every one of my dogs, I put things up out of reach for the first few months (or a year or more, depending), supervised well, and left out plenty of toys that they could play with or chew on. I've never done anything more than that, except for an occasional verbal correction and a redirect to something more appropriate, to teach them boundaries, but they eventually all figured it out. Well, except for Halo, but she's pretty predictable so it's manageable.

Either your friend has never had a puppy before, or she's had puppies that aren't natural destructive chewers. Keep doing what you're doing, but maybe supervise a little closer and do a bit better about putting things out of reach.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac's Mom View Post
How I read it was that you think the idea of teaching a dog everything that is off limits is absurd
Exactly. If Spirit, at 9 months, understood his "boundaries" perfectly, I wouldn't have any need to crate him when I am not home -- and I wouldn't dream of it, God only knows what I would come home to.

Now, my 12 year old dog knows not to chew my shoes, or anything she's not suppoosed to. I have no idea how I taught her that, but she can have free reign of the house anytime.

I think my friend was just mad about her boot, understandably so -- they were brand new

I don't believe that I have failed in training him basic house manners. I believe I overlooked a temptation too great.

Stevenzachsmom -- socks, not even going there. One missed training opportunity could be fatal, or at least extremely expensive and worrisome. Not worth it, I'm fanatical about socks, not a single apology. Have fun with that new puppy of yours
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Cassidy's Mom -- your pictures and stories made me giggle. Knives? Holy cow! That picture is priceless, definitely a mixed bag of reactions LOL

I know, I failed my hostess responsibilities. I apologize, but defend my dog profusely
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think that as MOST dogs get older it gets better. My oldest dog never grew out of getting in the garbage...if she gets it, then I didn't do my job of putting it away. Some people might not agree, but some dogs can't be trained not to do certain things. If they want to do it, they will find a way. My golden and the GSD were never chewers...every now and then the golden picks up small pieces of paper, drop it works fine. The GSD will pick shoes up and carry them to a different spot, but she doesn't eat them.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree that expecting a 9 month old to 'know' what is okay to chew on and what is not is expecting too much. At 9 months I couldn't leave Gryffon out unsupervised, but at 12 he was perfect left out loose in the house.

It was just a matter of him maturing, not a matter of me not having done my job as an owner.
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