New to training and have many questions...
My name is Jacque. My family recently adopted a great little jack russell we have dubbed Dogbuscus. (Feel free to laugh. Being the comic he is we named him after a favorite comedian) He is a dream and sweet heart of a dog. He was adopted from a shelter when he was just a year only to be kept by one person who worked full time so he got left in a kennel all day. Anybody who has ever read up on the breed knows they are not the type of dog to do well in that sort of arrangement. He is terrified of his kennel here even though it serves no permanent purpose for us. He is incredibly smart and learned basic manners in our house very quickly, but we've had a few issues.
We have never owned a small indoor dog before, only very large ranch dogs. Understandably this leaves us with a bit of an education gap. I'm guessing his previous owner had only ever really fed him table scraps because he refused for days to eat anything we fed him. During this time his dog treats held incredible value and he learned all of his basic commands in a week. I have 4 small children and he's smart enough to know that if he waits for the kids to get up he can steal some of the food the toddler may drop. So in an effort to get him to eat appropriate food we have had to lock him up around meal times...Ok long story short I have had to mix a tablespoon of real burger into his food which I warm first to make it smell tasty...Finally my picky eater will finish his food...Huge win after almost a month of fighting this issue. Now I have a new problem though...The treats he once held in enormous regard are just not worth the work for him anymore. So being that he is such a picky eater is there a treat that I you may recommend for training?...I have tried cheese and bits of meat, even bits of carrot or fruit. He is very very motivated by food more than toys or play, at least for now. So I'm in need of a dog treat of appropriate size for training, preferable soft, and smells tasty. I feed him organic food and would prefer his treats be the same. Ideas?
OK problem number 2; Despite my best efforts he has continued to chew many of my children's toys. We haven't let it bother us too badly as we could use fewer toys, but I would love for it to stop before it gets out of hand. I have tried keeping toys out of his reach, but this is an unrealistic goal with so many kids in the house full time. Also I have tried correcting him with a stern no and replacing it with his toys so that he knows the difference, but alas no luck yet. I can tell the last few days with his treats being lower value and his training decreased because of it that he has started to get bored and pick up a few bad habits because of it. I'm really hoping I can get him back on his training regiment soon to curb his boredom a bit. So do you seasoned owners have tips to stop the chewing?
Ok sorry for rambling. I've been doing research for months before and after adopting Buscus. But the fact is talking to real people with this experience under their belt makes the whole process more streamlined and realistic.