So I got "Roscoe" (Forum member Roscoe's dog), a 6 yr old Yellow Lab, two days ago, and I am seeking some advice.
I've noticed that the only way to get him to calm down and just sit/lay is to let him chew on one of his training dummies. I haven't let him do this yet because I'm concerned that he will transfer that behavior to chewing on retrieved birds. What do you guys let your dogs use as chew toys, if anything?
Leash walking is an issue with a normal collar. He doesn't like the leash, and pulls like a sled dog when we walk him; it really wears us out. He has his nose to the ground all the time, always pulling hard; I don't know if he is sniffing for birds or what, but he stops often to eat grass, which I pull him away from. We found a choke-type collar (In a tub of other equipment-his original owners were very generous with everything) that, so far, has eliminated much of that, but I don't much like choke collars.
Lastly, he was/is an outside dog (which I prefer), but my girlfriend wants to be able to bring him inside the house; he is like a a bull in a china closet indoors (tipped over the trash can, climbing on the counters, etc). How can we get him to calm down inside?
To his credit, he loves to work. Anytime he is around us, he wants to do retrieves with the the dummy birds. (He literally went into the garage on his own, ripped open the gear box, and brought me a dummy bird.) I think overall we're quite pleased with him, but we're going through a learning curve.