young pup chewing issues
Ranger is a very energetic 5+month old yellow lab--He's an "A" dog from what other friends have told me---His adult teeth are in --all but the back chompers.
He loves to chew on everything---he even chewed my plans for the building I was working on!!!! But we love him alot and I keep whispering in his ears at night that he is gonna be a great duck dog someday. He chews on wood chips, pieces of plastic, trash,the wood in my work van---I give him the dummy and he munches on it a bit then loses interest. Is there something special to do for him??? Like for infants they have the teething stuff---Is there anything to do or do I just keep him occupied??? He's doing well at retrieving since I last posted. He really likes the dummy with the duck wing attached to it. One night he did atleast thirty solid retrieves in a row--then he missed one. but it is really good to see him accomplish the task i ask him to do. I guess that is my payday at this point!!. And he did a fantastic job of swimming behind the inflatable the last week on the pond!!! I have been taking him to work with me--I have an 85 gmc panel van so he has plenty of room!!! They say that a dog can never have enough "environment enrichment". Any suggestions /advice for the chewing issue would be great. Also--as it is cold out what do i do in the way of water retrieves?? JUst wait til spring and work on land retrieves or try to get him into the cold sea water??? Thanks again for the great help especially those up north that are dog savy!!
First....I'd say you will just have to wait til Spring to put him in the water. Unless you fly south and take him with you.
Cold water isn't a good intro to swimming. I like to wait until the water temp is about 50 before I do any puppies and even then it is real brief and simple.
Chewing: I would just try to keep his mouth busy with things he is suppose to have. So you will have to have an assortment of all kinds of stuff for him. With heavy chewers don't have anything soft like those plush toys or things he can rip apart. Don't want that habit to start and be carried over to your birds. Nylabone or kong toys are great and hold up really well. Some people are against raw hide but I do use them while the dog is monitored. There have been times where I have had to pull out a piece cause the pup wants to swallow it whole. It keeps them busy chewing quiet a while.
Winter is a great time to work on some retrieving skills. You have to be a little ingenious about finding and using some suitable grounds. But there is lots to be found. Throw in some folks to help you throw marks and you can do some heavy duty training.
There are lots of folks on the forum that would love to help you get started. Some in your area. Stay patient with your pup and have fun.
Yep, no easy answer about a chewing problem. Pup needs to learn what he is not allowed to chew, and what he is allowed to chew. You stay after him constantly, try and not put him in a situation in which he will fail, and have something available he can chew on. On reccommendation of vets, I let them have those huge, white (clean) cow femur bones.
Best of luck! And do introduce pup to warm water first.
Spray bottle of water?
I once broke a dog of chewing things in the house by using a simple spray bottle of water. Everytime he started chewing something he wasn't supposed to I sprayed him in the face and firmly said NO. It didn't take long and he got the message. The water was painless and caused a distraction/stop to the bad behavior without me having to physically pull the dog away from the item being chewed.
I never tried it on a hunting dog, never had them in the house.
You can't go wrong with the Kong toys. I have both a medium Kong and one of thier disks. The dog has learned through daily training since 7 weeks that they are the only chew toys for her. From 7 weeks to about 6 months she would do run by grabs of my slippers in the mud room. Calmy removed from her mouth and replaced with the Kong each time. After about 6 times the slippers were toast, but she had stopped chewing them.
To get the pup focused on the Kong put a milk bone inside a few times and they know it is theirs to chew up.
My pup does want to chew on the dummy, especially now that it has a black sock on it for using in the snow. She stops when healed and sat, so its only a couple of chomps at the end of the retrieve. When we make it through FF this should stop, but since she is now a teenager FF will be a lot of fun.
Lotsa chew toys...
The future wasn't looking so bright for us years ago when I came home to find 6 stair balusters chewed on.
Lots of chew toys scattered around the house since then --easily accessible for her and helped us learn what she liked. Some she hammered to bits quick - those green bones from the feed store. Others lasted a long time --and the Kongs were great-a treat inside once in awhile really keeps 'em interested... Best of all has been the nylabone, which she still loves.
Nylabone--the way to go
Thanks for all the tips!! RANGER LOVES HIS NEW NYLABONE!!
I'll have to try the spary idea sometime when i catch him in the act.