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Old 09-15-2004, 09:19 PM
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Angry The honeymoon's over.

Josie the Wonderdog is friggin' terrible.

After my first couple weeks of unconditional love, I now realize that as she gets more comfortable, with us, her initial manners are now all but lost.

How can I get her to stop the following destructive and (potentially litigous) things:

*She chews up and destroys EVERYTHING. I have several chew toys and rawhides for her, but she prefers things like Leo's Little People toys, the whisk broom, and slats from my futon She also chews and shreds the blanket I have for her in her kennel despite putting her in there with a rawhide, chew toys and water.

*She doesn't nip per se, but she "soft mouth bites" like most herders ala a BC or ACD. This is unacceptable because of my 3YO kid and the fact that she needs to be around a lot of kids. She isn't aggressive and won't hurt anyone, but I'm sure some overanxious soccer mom would sue me for such a "nip". I gently whack her on the snout when she does this, but it doesn't seem to last more than a few minutes.

She gets spayed next week, then is going into obedience 101. Will this help her grow out of these behaviors, or do i need a more rigid training/punishment method.

She learns "tricks" great, but gets wound up like a puppy when I praise her and wants to play "corral the sheep". I kind of write this non-destructive "badness" off as puppyishness.

If she learned to NOT do what she does as well as she learns simple tricks I'd be a happy guy.

Thanks,

-Kev

Last edited by ButtGumbo; 09-17-2004 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 09-16-2004, 02:40 AM
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Sounds like you have a border collie mix on your hands, dude..
(Also just as a tip, rawhides are toxic to dogs and should not be left with the dog, period, since they could choke on it.)

First of all, establish yourself as the leader. (NILIF is a good start)
Second.. Teach her what you DO want her to do. Ie: chew on her toys, not the furniture. Chase and nip the toys, not your kid. Be PURELY POSITIVE about teaching her the good behavior. For some dogs, this along trains them into good behavior... But for most, some sort of correction for bad behavior is needed.
For those corrections, there are training collars GALORE.
My personal favorite of all the training collars is the prong/pinch collar. It delivers an effective correction by giving the skin a pinch, instead of yanking on the neck. This prevents any potential spinal cord damage, or damage to the trachea caused by the yanking of a flat collar or choke collar.
I don't recommend the gentle leader or the halti if JDWD tries to lunge at things, that can cause horrible damage to the spine because the dog's head is being twisted in unusual positions.

So, now for what to do.. Teach her what is GOOD first. Praise her with as much sweetness as you can for the good things, but as soon as she does something unacceptable, correct her, and move on. If she goes back to doing the good thing, praise her so sweetly and energetically that she feels sick to her stomach. (not literally) and if you are training with treats, give her lots of treats.
BUT, if she tries to go back to doing the 'bad thing' (let's say, chewing something other than her toys) give her another correction and a "NO", and then direct her attention towards the good thing, or give her something else positive to do. (dogs can easily get bored or discouraged if all they get is corrections and failure)

When she wants to play 'corral the sheep' when you praise her, give her a correction. once she's calmed down, praise again. Eventually she will make the connection with the praise being associated with her calmness, and the correction associated with the hyper-psycho-dog behavior.
She might take awhile to learn, but it'll be worth it in the long run. I would definitely enroll her in obedience class, a good 15 minute down/stay can do WONDERS for your sanity, and it can usually be perfected in a few short months.

Also, she sounds like she's pretty energetic, and she has a herding drive.. Ever consider doing herding trials with her in your spare time, or agility, or flyball or frisbee? Maybe she just needs a mentally stimulating job.
I know with my dogs, they can get all the physical exercise they need, but the only thing that will make them settle down and go to sleep is a bit of training and lots of 'watch me' commands.. Mental exercise is VERY important for dogs, particularly the herding breeds, who are IMO the fastest learners and by FAR the fastest thinkers.
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Old 09-16-2004, 07:19 AM
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Grace has pretty much covered everything. You might check into the Monks of New Skete training books/videos, and maybe try some of the puzzle type toys for Josie.

Oh, and ditch the rawhides. They're terrible. Get her a Kong that you can stuff with peanut butter and freeze (takes 'em forever to work on and keeps 'em busy) and see if she likes toys that squeak. Herders and hunters usually like those.

You might as well make the best of Josie's penchant for your 3 year old's toys and use it as an ideal opportunity to teach your offspring about putting toys away. Personally, I've stepped on far too many Matchbox cars with my bare feet (long story, good friend's youngest) not to appreciate the value of anything that might get a kid to put toys away.

By the way, congratulations! Your dog is a normal pup!

Last edited by Renee750il; 09-16-2004 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 09-16-2004, 01:53 PM
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I have no advice. BUT..it's nice to know Josie feels so comfortable with her new family that she is being a normal pup....a.k.a. pain in the buttinsky. Hammie will still sometimes do those strange little 'nips'....yesterday when he wanted to go out, he came up behind me and nipped me in the behind. NOT appreciated. We are in awe of how 'calm' Addie has become..........she is now 3. The 'trauma child' years are behind us. Hang in there..............AND KEEP THE TOYS OFF THE FLOOR. BTW...I love your posts....just fun. (ok, not when the wonderdog is misbehavin)
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Old 09-16-2004, 05:44 PM
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Debi, Hammie's little nips on the behind made me remember all the times Bimmer used to pinch me on the behind when he was a pup. He really loved it if I was sitting in a chair with an open back, engrossed in sewing or something, and he could sneak up behind me and get me through the back of the chair. He's such a gentleman now.

So, BG, there is hope! Even Shiva the Great Destroyer is settling down, and I'll guarantee little Josie is no match for Shiva on even a mild rampage.
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:44 AM
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Default Good News.

The good news is that JTWD is finally off the soft food. She's now eating just the Innova dry and seems o.k. with that.

Her chewing problems seem more a symptom of her short attention span than anything. She'll only focus chewing on something for a few minutes, and it seems to have subsided a bit after she got over her self-imposed hunger strike over the outrage of only being offered dry food.

She's a good fetcher, but literally seems to lack the "catch" instinct I thought all dogs had. She won't catch anything with her mouth, not a ball, frisbee, or even her beloved Liver Treats.

I'll keep working with her. She got a nice whack on the nose from Audrey the dog hating cat yesterday that she hasn't forgetten. I heard her up there harrassing the cats on the bed, the familiar bouncing around, then a bark, then YIP YIP YIP squeal. She came barreling down the steps into my office with her tail between her legs licking her snout.

Two weeks ago I would've been: "It's o.k. baby, the cats aren't used to you yet."

Yesterday: "Serves ya right, dumba$$. Now leave the cats alone or I'll let them kill and eat you."

BTW, the Innova cat food rocks. Audrey looks like a new cat!
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Old 09-17-2004, 12:31 PM
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LOL, BG. I wish you could see Addie catch a fly ball.........she is awesome! Watches........runs.......waits............catches . Everytime. Ham is a loser...doesn't have a clue for 'catch'. I've yelled so often 'LEAVE THE CAT ALONE'......finally let them find out for themselves. That mean ole cat is nobody to mess with. Even declawed......she has a reputation of sheer evil.
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:02 PM
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Josie's chewing deficit disorder sounds like the one Kharma had for awhile. She'd get more interested in everything than she was in her food and just kind of peter off in mid chew, kibble pieces dropping back out of her mouth until she came back to earth enough to finish the mouthful. Then she'd either go back to eating or go to investigate, depending on how interesting the distraction was. It was a hoot. She'll still do it every now and then.

Some dogs won't catch. They're too smart to put anything in their mouths until they get a chance to look at it and sniff it. Bimmer absolutely will NOT, under any circumstances, catch anything he hasn't checked out first, even if it means one of the girls might snag it first.

Josie might have fun playing hide and seek. And she may figure out a game that the cats will play with her. Like tag!
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