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Thread: Calling all dog trainers!

  1. #11
    Member thegrinder's Avatar
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    My neighbor's dog is also a rescue (pitt/lab mix) and is the sweetest pooch imaginable. He is also quite needy and also destroys any toy which is given to him - even the so-called indestructible ones! The dog trainer at Petco suggested buying him a piece of Deer Antler. They're not cheap @ about $14 for the larger ones but, wow, does that doggie loooove that antler They're gathered naturally from antlers the deer has shed - they don't kill any deer - and dogs love to chew on them and lick out the marrow in the center. They're also safe for the dog as they don't splinter. Would recommend letting him have one supervised tho' as they wear them down eventually and you don't want your baby to choke. Good luck and thank you for taking in this wee precious creature

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  3. #12
    Moderator carolyn's Avatar
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    I am going to look for deer antler. My rescue dog is a yorkie cocker mix. What size do I get for him. He also has another habit. If he has it in his mouth, do not try to take it away. I think that is normal?

  4. #13
    Member thegrinder's Avatar
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    Probably small or medium. You can get them in either Petsmart or Petco. Each dog is different (I know, obvious statement!!). We trained our dogs early on by saying something like "drop it"; if they dropped the toy they got a treat and if they didn't we'd just walk away. They knew we had a treat for them so they'd follow us. I used something like Kraft cheese slices as a treat, but any cheese or treat would do. Repeat often enough and the dog gets the idea: "Ooh if I do what she says I'll get something nice!"

    Something else a friend of mine does to get her dogs' attention is to associate a particular word or phrase with a treat (which, of course is a good thing - a treat!). She goes to the refrigerator and yells "cheese party!!!". All five of them stop whatever they're doing and run like hell towards the kitchen - it's hilarious to watch The each get a treat, which gives you time to remove the antler, or whatever. Hope some of this helps

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  6. #14
    Member thegrinder's Avatar
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    Probably small or medium. You can get them in either Petsmart or Petco. Each dog is different (I know, obvious statement!!). We trained our dogs early on by saying something like "drop it"; if they dropped the toy they got a treat and if they didn't we'd just walk away. They knew we had a treat for them so they'd follow us. I used something like Kraft cheese slices as a treat, but any cheese or treat would do. Repeat often enough and the dog gets the idea: "Ooh if I do what she says I'll get something nice!"

    Something else a friend of mine does to get her dogs' attention is to associate a particular word or phrase with a treat (which, of course is a good thing - a treat!). She goes to the refrigerator and yells "cheese party!!!". All five of them stop whatever they're doing and run like hell towards the kitchen - it's hilarious to watch The each get a treat, which gives you time to remove the antler, or whatever. Hope some of this helps

  7. #15
    Member thegrinder's Avatar
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    Aargh, sorry, double post

  8. #16
    I was an apprentice dog trainer for a year, and your issues are really, really common. In the winter time with snow and freezing weather it's really hard to properly exercise a dog without getting frostbitten. What you can try is playing brain games with him, mental exercise can be just as exhausting as physical exercise. Does he have a Kong or similar treat dispensing toy? I fill the kong with a mix of plain yogurt, peanut butter and kibble and freeze it. Then I give it as part of a meal/snack and it keeps them occupied for a while, plus having it frozen means it's not as messy. There's also an everlasting treat ball with treat inserts that last my German shepherd (who's a power chewer) a while. I'd recommend making him work for every piece of food he gets.

    Demanding attention/crowding your space is quite rude in the doggy world. You can start practice NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free - you can google it, it'll explain more details) but essentially he has to work for everything he wants. Dinner time? He sits before he eats. He wants attention? He sits before he gets pet. Wants to go outside/for a walk? Sits or lays down. Wants a treat? Same deal. Make him work for you. You can teach him a "place" or "bed" command, which eventually turns into a down/stay practice where he can chill out and he won't bug you. The biggest thing with stubborn dogs is you have to follow through. He's probably learned that if he ignores you and pretends he's playing then he gets away with whatever behavior. It's very hard not to get frustrated in these situations and let him have his way, but dogs know your emotions and it sounds like he's got your number.

    Honestly, your biggest issue is probably that his exercise requirements aren't being met - thus he's exuberant, disobedient and probably even a little frustrated. Is there an indoor doggy day care he can go to play? Does he like tug toys? The best way to get my dog tired in crappy weather is to play tug of war, and it's a great way to practice obedience, too. There's the "find it" game, hide his favorite toy (where he can see it at first), have him find it, then move on to hiding it where he can't see it, then in the next room, etc etc. As challenging as it is sometimes, the more you practice with him the better he'll get.

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  10. #17
    Thank you so much ShutUpJess! You described my feelings to a T. Sometimes I just want to pull my hair out with him. He is a great dog, but I agree I need to work with him more. Thank you so much for your advice. And thank you all for your posts! I knew I could come here and find the exact answer I needed.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - Albert Einstein

  11. #18
    I totally understand! I moved in with my boyfriend and his less than well behaved pit bull, who is nice but very stubborn and excitable. I've been training him (ahem, and my boyfriend!) for a couple months now and it is an incredible difference. It's a lot of hard work and you definitely get frustrated sometimes but there has been a big improvement in his behavior. Setting up a routine will also help, because he learns what to expect and what is expected of him behavior wise. Once the weather clears up a bit closer to spring it will be much easier to just play fetch until he drops. Tired dogs are happy, obedient dogs.

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