Dog Training Experts???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, May 1, 2009.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Our beautiful 16 month old male Boxer has a few areas we weren't prepared for..;)..I wonder if it was "accidently on purpose" that they didn't tell us that he gets into everything and rips or gnaws it. The first night he found a cell phone case...YES...and chewed away about half of it. In the morning I found it and from a distance I thought it was poop. LOL That was a relief! Last night, his second night, he took magazines (including my brand new Cook's Corner :mad:) and pencils and a small book and a little plastic container that I think had erasers in it and tore them all up in a big pile in the middle of the living room floor. The same spot he used for the cell phone holder pig out!

    He is a big baby boy (67 pounds or so) and wants to "hug" instead of just receiving pats. He'll put one paw and then the other on your legs or your shoulders if you let him. He does not "know" DOWN from a hole in the head. He does know sit. He does understand when I say GO and point.

    He is absolutely not hungry because he has food out 24/7 with his fresh water bowl. We are getting him a rawhide bone today in hopes he chews on that during the night instead of our possessions. In a zillion years I never thought I would have to protect magazines and books from a dog!
    Help. Yes, he does have a crate that he has always used and liked...he opens the door, goes in, closes the door behind himself & lays down. Cute
    to watch. DDD
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I would recommend getting him a large variety of chew toys that are his. Rawhides, a kong, squeaky toys, stuffed toys, etc. Give him plenty of options that are ok for him, and leave them out where he can get them all at night.

    Good luck!
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I used to train dogs eons ago for the AKC club. Chew toys are essential. Now, on to the not so comforting topic. (People always fought me on this, but it works.)

    A dog that big that isn't fully trained needs to be on a cinch collar. It's a choke collar with dull spikes. I know that sounds horrible, but it's not like you are choking him all the time. It sends a clear message as to who is in charge. Just a quick yank of the chain and he'll get the message quickly. Most dogs don't need to be on it more than a couple of weeks. There are very small leashes that attach to it for home training. He can go about his business in the house, but when you catch him in the act...give a short jerk. He might yelp, but after a few sessions hopefully he'll get the picture.

    It also sounds like he's found his favorite spot to destroy whatever he picks up. That's actually a good thing as you can watch that spot and catch him in the act, hence the jerk.

    Scenario - dog comes to favorite spot with an unwanted chew thing. Quickly give him a jerk on the collar saying NO, then replace whatever he was chewing with an appropriate toy. If he starts chewing, then reward with a treat and lots of pets.

    I would also advise putting dog chews in that spot so he doesn't have to go searching for something else. He sounds smart so it shouldn't take too much work.

  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'd also recommend plenty of exercise for him, too. And perhaps an obedience class ;)
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I second the chew toys.
    And exercise.
    And a choke chain. (I used a prong choke for Taffy, but I'm a wimp.)
    Keep a leash on him at all times and use it to pull and yell, "Down!" ea time he tries to climb on your legs or shoulders. No exceptions.
    The chewing could last for yrs, so it's best to break him of the magazine habit now!
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I love Boxers....but at my age I don't have the energy for one. They are probably (for their size) the #1 high intensity energy dogs ever. They don't slow down for a long time. LONG time.

    He's bored. He's in a new place. And......sadly he's probably never been allowed OUT to be FREEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeee so he's like a kid in a candy store. It's hard to tell what attracts a dog to paper. Pootie was AWFUL about magazines.....I have her on video....when I tried to pick up the pieces and said only "Who did this?" she sat on her hip and looked the other way. But when I tried to pick up the papers? MINE! MINE!! oh that? THATS MINE....I'll tug you for that! She ate my Harpers Bazarr, and my WOmens day - BRANDEY NEW.

    For now - you may want to move papers and "things" off the ground until your Boxer baby gets used to the house rules. WHat house rules? Those are up to you. As far as obedience and down? I HIGHLY recommend Petsmarts 10 week course for $100.00. You have to work with him every day on the 10 basic commands but once a week he'll get socialized and work around others, then graduation - and viola - MUCH better dog.

    Being high energy - if you can not commit to walking him until he's tired - about (at least) an hour a night - then find yourself a treadmill and slowly introduce him into it - really takes 2 people. But well worth it. When he DOES start to do a behavior that you don't like? I snap my fingers and make that Mommy Augh ah noise....with a stern look. IF your boy persists, you can try to push him behind his shoulder blades with a sharp jab of your fingers and say NO. NEVER say "" it's confusing.

    As far as down? It's one of the EASIEST commands to teach. You will need a little real meat, like bologna and hold it in your hand and then put your hand to his nose, and then drop your hand to the floor as you say down. Sometimes it's better if he can sit first - SAY SIT, then take your hand close to his nose and drag your hand with the meat in it to the floor and say again DOWN. When he goes down.....give him the meat. Try that for the first few days - doesn't matter if he gets right back up - that's not a bad thing. You're not working on STAY - you're working on DOWN. Don't OVER praise him - just scratch his chest or pat him.....and when you want to work on DOWN - grab the treat and again - to the muzzle keep it fairly close to him and then DOWN.....saying DOWN.

    AFter a week? Try every other time he goes DOWN - with a low, soft GOOD......GOOD BOY.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Boxers chew. Everything. He needs lots of chew toys and you'll have to be extra vigilant about keeping things out of his reach.

    Lots of exercise, too, as they'll chew out of boredom.
  8. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    one word of warning on the rawhides. If you get the big bone looking kind with the knots on the ends - be careful. One of our boxers would get one end really mushy, then sit and shake the thing, whacking the walls with the hard end!

    You may need to limit where he can go in the house at night. I know you don't want to cage him - but maybe gate off some rooms? I'm kinda surprised he's not sleeping in your room - ours always have (and try to get in the beds, but aren't allowed).

    As for keeping down - this may sound cruel, but it's effective. Knee him in the chest whenever he jumps up. Then make him sit. Continue until you just have to touch him, and he sits, until eventually you can say "sit" and he won't jump up.

    You have to work with these boys. But once they learn it - they learn it for life.

    Oh - and the males really aren't "mature" until they hit about 2 years old. They stay goofy all their lives, however.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My dog is really little and chews like that. Nothing is sacred. Your's only chewed up the cellphone case...mine goes after the actual cellphone! Books, magazines, mail, toys, you name it, it isnt safe. I have even caught him opening and eating boxes of chocolates and bags of cookies! Evidently mine is not allergic to chocolate because he should be dead by now. He opened and consumed an entire box of Whitmans chocolates.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Try a nyla-bone. My dogs go through rawhide by the bagful. Does he sleep in a crate? We went through this with Bubba. He had seperation anxiety, but got over it eventually. It was funny, if I covered up the sofa so he could sleep on it without getting it awful, he chewed up the cover. If I left it uncovered he was fine.

    Mandy is totally untrustworthy, but we were lucky in that she was crate trained when we got her so she's good in there when we were gone. We had to untrain her for bedtime to sleep on a dog bed. But both dogs are kept in our room and not allowed to wander at night.
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member unbelievably cute is that? I wish my dogs did that!

    I would put him in his crate any time he is not being supervised. So when you are at work, or asleep, he has to go to his "den". It may seem not so happy perhaps to us - but for many dogs it makes them feel secure and safe to be in their own den.

    Also, hand commands can sometimes be better for dogs than verbal. One of my dogs could not care what comes out of my mouth - but he responds to hand signals. When he tries to jump up like you are talking about, I actually hold up a book or magazine as a signal - almost like a stop sign - and he instantly redirects himself.

    Good luck. I am sure he will calm himself soon.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He closes the door behind himself? Wow. I'm impressed.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Betsy does the crate thing........and it's adorable, I swear. Sounds like you got one smart pup.

    I ditto raw hides and chew toys and plenty of walks.

    I use the knee method with dogs who jump up.....or you can say NO and turn your back on them, refusing to acknowledge them. This one works better with Betsy. It's what I used with Molly and found it very effective. We're still working on her not jumping up because every time I get her to stop either Travis or Nichole will tell her it's ok. grrrr

    Guess I shouldn't complain too much. Jumping up is the only "bad" thing Betsy does......and part of why she does it is because she's so darn short it's hard to reach her.

    I never tried the choke collars with the spikes. But I have used normal choke collars in training and they do get the point across.

    Enjoy your new fur baby. :)
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would get him into obedience training. I wish I'd known to do that for my pack. I would never have had so many dogs :tongue: and they would have all graduated from puppy kindergarden. It's harder to train them alone.

    I learned that the endearing paw on shoulder (which I used to think made my cocker spaniel such a sweet boy) is a symbol of dominance to a dog. That's why they do it. Broke my heart :anxious:.

    The internet is jam packed full of great dog tips from trainers. I'm learning A LOT that way, even though my "babies" are already six years old. Amazing whe I didn't k now that I wish I'd known. My kids would have much better manners if I'd read up first. Do you give your dog a long walk every day? I've also read that dogs who don't get their animal instinct to walk sated can develop all sorts of behavior problems and chewing was one thing mentioned.

    Good luck with your baby!!!
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    DDD, I'm a big fan of obedience training for big dogs. They are way too powerful if they aren't trained appropriately. We don't do them any favors by letting bad behavior continue. They shouldn't be allowed to jump up on people.
    I'm a fan of crates until they are ready to be left unsupervised. I still keep mine somewhat contained to the kitchen area when alone.
    There are some wonderful dog training books. Try the "dog whisperer" books. They are kind and helpful. Exercise, discipline then affection. Chew toys, boundaries, exercise all are helpful. I have read that the pronged collars are helpful if not used inappropriately. I haven't used them yet.

    My 100 + pups are not allowed to jump up on people because it's dangerous as well as obnoxious. Fortunately, they aren't chewers. No furniture sitting either. there wouldn't be room for people.

    The first month seems to be a learning process for the pup and owners. My guys were almost 2yrs old when I got them but they did very well with training. I learned new ways and so did they.

    Good luck with your new addition. We are hoping to add to our family next weekend.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Fran...did you hear that smack noise??? That was my jaw hitting the keyboard! ;) Are you raising/training dogs since your move? I had no idea at all. Shock!

    I agree that Ace has to learn down pronto. Last night he did not eat any plastic or paper. Pat Pat "Good Dog!" LOL

    He did, however, opt to use the upholstered sofa for his bed. I had this sight hope that IF he opted for a sofa he would use the leather one...Not.

    He is the very very happy proud owner of a big chew toy (rawhide) and a well made purple octopus designed for large dogs. The octopus head squeaks and Ace is not sure that squesking is his thing....:laugh:. The chew bone ia already less one knuckle end. He's been so busy that he has forgotten about trying to get up. Tomorrow will be another day, as we say in the South. :redface: DDD
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Training? No, just to keep me sane with my dogs.
    D3, I adopted 2 great pyr litter mates almost 2 yrs ago. They were 2 yrs old. It's their picture as my avatar.
    Honeysue, unfortunately, was put down about a month ago due to osteosarcoma.
    Any way, I had to learn how to train large dogs so they were appropriate for them to stay as in house dogs. No jumping on people or rushing the door or sitting on the furniture.

    One of the trainers I spoke to said that the down command is the no. 1 lesson big dogs need to master.
    Fortunately, they had been very well trained to walk on a leash without pulling before I got them. Our first dog, I had no idea that you had to train dogs to walk appropriately on a leash. I always thought some pulled and some didn't.
    Anyhow, they are my almost constant companions.
    I'm no expert but I did my research so I did right by these big guys.
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  18. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I agree completely with Steely on this. Ace is already crate trained so this would work well with what he's used to and the kind of behavior your want to ensure for the future. If you are there with him, he can be out of the crate. If you can't supervise him (even during the night until he learns acceptable behavior) then he can go into his den. It's NOT mean- it's a win-win.

  19. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Down or sit command is extremely important, especially with a big dog. It's all about who is in charge. You don't want people coming over and having a 100+ dog take you down. Boundaries, then rewards. They get the picture real quick. No pets and hugs? No treats? Geez...I guess I won't jump on them anymore.

    It's funny as I was working with my next door neighbor today with her minature dauchsand. He weighs about all of 7lbs. He's the BEST guard dog on earth. We got him a mini choke collar and started training. Oh....he hated it. She'd have him on the leash and I'd walk by to a frantic dog. She's give a jerk...he'd yelp, then we'd try again. By the end of the afternoon he'd actually come up to me, give a sniff and let me pet him without growling and attacking me. (Wish I could of done this with J.)

    On the other side of my house is Nyla, some sort of lab mix. VERY BIG. She is on a shock collar, which I don't approve of, but it's not my dog. She's learned to sit to get ANYTHING for me. It could be a pet, a treat, throw the ball...whatever.

    I've never crated a dog, but if it's tearing up your house in the middle of the night...go for it.

    Good luck with that bundle of energy!

  20. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmmm....we're not sure what's happening. Don't tell Ace, lol.
    For some reason he has made NO effort to climb up on any of us. Maybe heard you all?? Maybe it is because he loves the chew bone?? How many of those rawhide bones can a dog safely eat? It was either 7 or 9 inches with big knuckles on the end. It is history in less than 24 hours. He also eats lots and lots of dog food and drinks lots and lots of water.

    Is a 16 month old dog like a 16 year old boy........bottomless? quietly defiant?
    Cute as a bug in a rug?? ;) DDD