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Hi everyone,

Some of you remember that we got our lovely boy Griffin on November 9th from Carissima Kennels. So far, he is a great dog. He listens to me and my husband very well and follows me around like my shadow when I am home. He listens somewhat to the kids (8 1/2, almost 6 and almost 3yrs old) and he loves them to pieces! He stopped nipping at their sleeves which was a concern when we first got him. He will be 17 months on Monday.
So my concern is: sometimes, he does things he knows he is not allowed to do... on purpose. For exemple, we come back from a 90 min walk/ run and I can tell he is tired. He will lay on the deck in the sun outside while I'm in the kitchen having lunch or something. I go out of sight for a few minutes and I come back and he has pulled the bbq cover off and he is trying to chew it. I think it's just to test us... Is that possible or is it something else?
He also scratches at the patio door to come in, which drives me nuts and it's ruining the wood and glass. Any suggestions to get him to stop? I have tried a stern NO and that works as long as I'm standing right there but if I turn my back... forget it. He can be out for 30 seconds but if there is not one of us outside with him, he wants in.
 

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Get a spring loaded mouse trap and tape it to the door with some duct tape where he scratches and where he is grabbing the cover. It might just take one time of the spring going off or it might take a few for him to stop.
 

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For the door, teach him to ring bells. Be forewarned: he may go through a stage where he rings them constantly just b/c he can. You have to open the door each time. Of course, you can just refuse to let him back out if he starts doing the in-and-out thing, unless he is already trained to let you know he needs to go out to potty. Then you have to let him out every time he asks, and have to let him in every time he lasts. I couldn't hold steady in this stage; my dog rang the bell 5-10 times in an hour for a few days after he learned, and I gave up. He "asks" to go out by waiting at the door, but it's not as fun without the bells so it's a lot less often now.

As for chewing, I'd say just don't leave him unattended. Young dogs like to chew and are easily bored. I don't care how many toys you leave; chances are, if you leave him unattended, he will find the one thing he is not supposed to chew and will give it a go. "Experimentation" is common to teens, after all.
 

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It's not that he knows what he is not allowed to do, he knows what he can get away with. If he can't be trusted to sunbathe on the deck unattended then that is a privilege he has to earn. When you come back from a walk, keep him with you. Teach him the 'place' command (a life saver as far as living with my 'busy' girl was concerned) whether that be on a cushion or in a crate. Chances are he will just go to sleep.
As far as scratching to come in, there will be other members that can give you advice on that. I don't tend to shut the door when my dogs are out. GSD's love to be with you. I'm hard pushed to close a toilet door on my girl lol
 
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