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Thread: My 7 mo old sucks.

  1. #1
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    Default My 7 mo old sucks.

    Just kidding...kind of.

    I think Lady is going through a really annoying phase? God I hope it's just a phase. She's stopped sleeping all the time. She will only sleep when I put her in her crate, she used to sit with me quietly while I did hw and now she has to pace around and look for something to destroy. She never stops!!! And today, for example, she darted out the front door, into the street, into the neighbors yard and I had to CHASE her down and she was not listening to me at all even though we always practice recall and it's normally pretty good.

    She also whines, digs up the garden, and is generally getting in to all of my stuff. It is obnoxious, I tell you.

    Is this her terrible two's or what? And how long until she calms down??? She used to be able to take naps with me in bed and now if I try to do that she jumps right off and, again, looks for something to destroy. WHY. I love her so much, and she's so beautiful! But it's a lovehate thing right now because she annoys me so much all the time.
    New mama to Lady - a charming ruby cavalier puppy. I love her more than chocolate.

  2. #2
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    How often is she walked?

    I remember reading before I got Oliver "a good dog is a tired dog" it is something I live by.
    I know you aren't supposed to walk a puppy far but you can walk more than once a day if she naps in between.

    I suggest you direct her energy towards walking and smelling on her walks.
    Also as a puppy Oliver would come home much more tired and relaxed if we had met other dogs while out. The mental stimulation of interacting with other dogs used to wear him out a treat.

    Also if she is teething get her some toys she is allowed to destroy.
    Oliver had a chewy phase. Didn't last long. Don't worry they do grow up.

    Oliver is 2 now and is a very laid back young gentleman.

    Good luck.
    M&O

  3. #3
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    Oh been there done that! If it is like Brooky, it is just a phase teenage years Yeah, they are annoying, but you'll get through!!! I remember it so well...Brooky still sometimes goes through times like that.

    Here is what my "best friend" tools are to help this way (I am back in school too so studying is top for me and it needs to be quiet)....bully sticks. Get some, get a lot of bully sticks! Goat or kangaroo tendons, a good bone, almond butter spread inside a kong (she will spend ages trying to get it out) an ice block with treats (fill up Tupperware with water and splash some chicken stock in there, put some treats and chews in there, freeze. Takes ages to lick out the treats!). Oh and treat balls that in some treats or kibble into or balls with holes in them that I shove chews into....or the best, an empty bottled water plastic container (that alone entertains her for hours) with some treats stuffed inside that are hard to get out.

    Hope that helps!! Yeah and heaps of exercise and training. Training will exhaust her more mentally, learn new tricks, practice old ones...do sit, stay and go for a treat treasure hunt...have fun this will exhaust her mind. Oh, and also, when Brooky is in this mindset I do not feed her out of a bowl, only out of food toys, her whole meal, she really has to work for it and it exhausts her mind

  4. #4
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    I agree more exercise and maybe an obedience class, I hear they are fun (don't know we still haven't started one) I would try to direct her energy in appropriate things. Bored children get into trouble all the time....maybe this is the same thing.
    Oh and the saying is "a tired dog is a happy dog"

    Melissa

  5. #5
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    Bella is nearly 9 months and she is going through a defiant stage. I am doing some retraining with her. It is like she has forgotten all of her good training and has decided to do what she likes. She has a lot of toys that she will play with to keep herself occupied but when I am doing work at home and scrunch up some paper and miss the bin she will run over, take off with the paper and rip it in to pieces...she only does it with paper I don't need which is weird. I give her a pigs ear if I know I wont have time to play a lot but when I have a 5 minute break I throw her toy and play tug of war with her. I take Bella to my parents house on the way to work so she plays with my parents dog during the day. I agree with Brooklyn's Mom with giving your pup something that will take a while to chew on, also do some retraining...
    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
    - Bern Williams

  6. #6
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    Ugh I remember that phase. This happened to Sonny around 9 months. He became very defiant and a little wild. We were so confused because we thought he had outgrown the puppy phases, but I guess adolescence was hitting at full force! I agree with the others about having interesting things for Lady to chew on , more training and increased walks. I think training is really important at that age because like everyone else said they kind of forget or at least act like they have forgotten a lot of what they have been taught for some reason. Also the mental stimulation of practicing commands and learning new ones is one of the best ways to wear these little pups out.

    Try not to get discouraged, this phase will pass. Sonny finally started to calm down around 11 months. It was kind of like something just clicked into place and he listened better, was calmer and more independent. Now, when he starts to get rowdy we tell him to go get a toy and he runs to his box pulls one out and amuses himself until he is all worn out. Good Luck and hang in there!

  7. #7
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    Ah thank you all for the advice! Lady gets a lot of exercise as it is. I take her on 2 mile jogs with me and we walk for at least an hour a day. I definitely agree that when she's tired, she's much better behaved. And we're moving to a bigger place that will allow 2 dogs - so she'll have my roommate's dog to play with every day now, and we're thinking that will be good for her. Clearly, when she's bored or left alone too long, she acts out.

    We did take an obedience class but it looks like it is time to take another. I'm so relieved to hear she's not the only one who has behaved this way...amazing how much this is like having a child..
    New mama to Lady - a charming ruby cavalier puppy. I love her more than chocolate.

  8. #8
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    Hmmm -- a few things here -- while some of this is indeed the fact that she is an adolescent, a lot of it is -- 1) keeping her busy with appropriate activity/toys (do you use kongs for example?) and 2) management and 3) training. No 7 momtn old is going to have good recall and that cannot be relied on to save her life if a door is left open. If you have a 'bolter' -- and lots of dogs bolt -- you need to figure out a safer arrangement for the possibility of doors being left open. Latches that an adult must open if there are young kids opening things. doors closed to hallways; babygates -- and training.

    Training takes hours and hours and hours of positive approach work and then reinforcement/ practice. Recall generally is a long and slow process. A dog that doesn;t return is NOT at fault -- the issue is generally a combo of the fact that that we as owners have not found a way to adequately or properly train and reinforce (eg practice every opportunity throughout the house every day -- call dog, reward; call dog, reward, worked into all sorts of fund short activities, for example) and just the dog's young age.

    Have you downloaded Ian Dunbar's free book? I am sure I offered the link in a previous thread. He addresses all these points as well as what to expect at her age (which is all the things you are describing). You can read there about all sorts of ways to address her boredom (which is party why she is chewing things -- she needs things to do) and her absolutely normal and *necessary* need to chew (she isn't 'destroying' everything, really; she is seeking things she desperately needs to chew on at this age to develop teeth and jaws and will be happy to get anything left lying around if not provided with safe and appropriate alternative chew toys. Most of us have lost a shoe or two to dogs this age -- or specs, clothing, edges of furnoture, skirting boards etc. But again this is a management issue for the responsible human, not something a dog can resolve. She is likely to remain like this until around a year old and some dogs will *always* be like this (I have one dog that is extremely bright and needs activity/occupation all the time. There is no way to change this personality).

    In short the rule of thumb is to never leave anything in reach of a dog, ever, that you are not happy risking may be destroyed because dogs chew as a normal activity. They do not differentiate between a rawhide chew and a shoe. You need to dog proof a house (both to keep the dog safe and your valuables safe) the same way a responsible adult toddler-proofs a house. Owning a dog is like having a toddler loose for the lifetime of that dog.

    Expecting a 7 month old puppy to come back on recall is like expecting a toddler to follow complex directions -- good recall really only starts to come, with many months of careful training and practice, generally after age 1 (adulthood) as dogs her age lack focus. A training class (not one with 'corrections' but one using positive methods) is very productive at this age and indeed this is a critical training age -- you loose the opportunity to get a dog started towards being a self controlled adult by NOT doing training and every dog and owner benefits from group classes where the dog learns to focus despite distractions and gets to safely socialise. People who train mostly at home typically find their dog only responds when in quiet situations with no distractions -- in other words, nothing like real life situations!

    As they reach this age, they also do not need to sleep all the time like very young puppies did and you'll need to either keep her busy interacting with her or find some great toys etc. That is unlikely to change much!

    On running two miles with a cavalier -- to be honest that isn't usually the best thing to do with a brachycephalic (short faced) breed and cavaliers are not really a jogging breed; vets advise not running any dog of any breed hard this anyway til well over a year as this can damage their still-developing joints (which is why agility teachers generally will not allow dogs to start agility training til they are at least a year old to 18 months and that's a lot less grueling than jogging). Cavaliers do tend to breathe less efficiently and can end up with heatstroke or collapsing from inability to get enough oxygen if run continuously for such long distances as well (eg they are not really jogging companion dogs). They will of course eagerly keep up with you but that isn't an adequate way of judging whether the dog is able for this -- and really you'd want to wait til she is at least a year old before running those lengths anyway (with an OK from your vet that her breathing can handle it).

    For example this advice from one trainer might be helpful :

    EXERCISE IS EXCELLENT. A tired puppy is a GOOD puppy. Forced exercise (running, jogging, conditioning) should be left until after 18 months of age and preliminary hip and elbow exrays, but your puppy needs plenty of time to play and be active. Fresh air and outdoor fun is very important for a young growing puppy. Go for short casual neighborhood walks. Toss toys for him using the retractable lead. Have several of the same toy, and teach the pup to come back and play "trade" for what he has in his mouth. You can also trade for treats. Don't reach out to the dog, or try to take anything out of his mouth. Instead, offer him another toy or a treat to trade. Hold the article you are trading close to your body so the dog has to come all the way in. Make a point of touching the collar each time you trade. Each time he releases an object to you, say "OUT." This is a marvelous exercise that teaches the retrieve, the release, helps with the recall, puts you in a leadership position, and is great fun and exercise for the pup. Once he is coming back reliably, you can reduce your useage of the lead if you are working in a safe fenced area. Keep in mind, working on a leash or a line gives you an immediate way to help your pup make the right choices.
    Also this link on running with dogs:

    Breed considerations:

    Keep your dog's breed in mind when planning your exercise routine. Small dogs with short legs usually don't need to ... or should not ...be walked or jogged as long as larger dogs.

    Breeds with short noses may have trouble breathing when exercised vigorously. Short-snouters range from little pugs to bulldogs to boxers and many others.

    And don't assume that racing breeds such as Greyhounds and whippets can run marathons. While they are built to run, they were not breed to run for long distances.

    And for young pups and big breeds of any age, sustained jogging or running is too hard on their joints.
    http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_JogDog.php

    and

    Always remember your dog’s limitations – and remember that dogs will always try to please you, even at the detriment of their own health so don’t inadvertently force him to do anything he struggles with. Some breeds are simply not designed for sustained exercise, such as the brachycephalic breeds (e.g. bulldogs and pugs) with their shortened muzzles.
    NEVER run with a puppy or a young dog whose limbs might still be growing – you can cause serious damage to his joints and bones which may not be reversible. Most dogs should not engage in forced exercise until over 1 year of age and for giant breeds, which mature more slowly, this may be even later. Consult your vet and your breeder for the best time to start exercising with your pet.
    and lots more helpful advice on running with dogs at http://www.saferpets.co.uk/safe-jogg...-your-dog.html
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #9
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    Teaching tricks is also another good way to wear them out. It really gets their brains working. If you look for kikopup on Youtube, she has good videos. Pamela Marxsen is good too. You could also consider teaching your cavalier to retrieve if she doesn't already. That's a nice way of giving your dog a workout if you're stuck indoors. Mine also likes to swim now, but he only learned how last summer (he's 3) and he wouldn't do it until I got him his life jacket. He likes to swim out and get his ball. That gets him pretty tired. He'd keep going, but I usually have to stop him after 10-15 minutes so he doesn't get himself too tired.

  10. #10
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    I have an adolescent Golden at home. I was forewarned by a trainer that most dogs hit a point around 6-7 months where their training goes out of their heads and they start to look at their owners as if to say "are you talking to me?". My Tucker is most definitely in this stage and it sounds as if your pup is too. You've gotten some good input here. It's a great time to repeat some of the training you've done and go back to basics. You haven't done anything wrong--you've got a normal puppy, and this too shall pass! At least I hope so!

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