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Hi all you experienced dog owners.....

Ok, well I have had Coal for a week now and I have a question about how much time he needs interacting with us during the day. We take him out to play often and otherwise he is in an exercise pen in the kitchen during the day. Sometimes I feel bad that he is cooped up in that pen but I don't really want him all over the house yet (especially on my carpets!). Am I doing the right thing? Does he need to be able to explore the house or should that be something that comes in time (and with housebreaking)? I want him to be happy. My mother got a puppy from the same litter and I can't help but think that her puppy is having more fun than mine! My mother has a labrador retriever and her puppy and the lab play and play all day. Coal just has us. Am I doing anything wrong?

Thanks,
Stacy
Coal's Mom
 

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Hi Stacy,
In my opinion, you are doing the right thing. I say this because I always do the opposite and regret it.
Every person who trains tells me to keep the puppy in a crate (safe place) unless I can watch her constantly. When she is out of the crate, she sould be on leash, tied to you every minute so that you can see what she is up to and correct mistakes as they happen.
I do believe that she should get to know her surroundings and have a lot of interaction with you and the family (these dogs are very social) but the interaction should be supervised at all times until she is well trained and past the puppy stage.
This is to protect her as well as your property.
To show her around, put her on leash and let her explore (AFTER she has pottied outside!) and watch for signs of potty time.
You could enroll her into puppy kindergarten for interaction and play with other puppies, it is a great program!
So glad everything is working out well for you and Coal!
 

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Hi. We have a new doodle too! His name is Biscuit. Biscuit sleeps a lot. When he's up I keep him on his leash or in our puppy pen. Off the carpet. He has had a couple accidents in his puppy pen. My fault, once I learned his signals we have been fine. I am starting to learn his cues to go outside. So, we are doing pretty good.

When he has playtime, I guess he usually is active for about 20 minutes. Then, I notice he gets very bitey. That's when I take him outside again and we try to go for a quick walk. A tired dog is a happy dog.

I have not let him out in the house. When he's not under supervision, I put him in his crate. I don't give in to cries. And, I don't even look at him. It's hard but he is beginning to get used to his crate.

My biggest challenge is my kids. The do not put Biscuit down. The dog is carried around and passed from kid to kid. He just lays in their arms enjoying every moment. Anyways, I am chatting.

Good luck with your puppy.

Susan Glassman
 

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Need advice

We adopted a six-month old labradoodle about 3 months ago -- so Robi is now 9 months old. He had a lot of bad habits we've been working on and he is soooo very smart, but also has a stubborn streak. He is very sociable and was rehomed because his former owners' work situation changed and he had to be crated all day during the week.

The biggest issue lately is this attention-seeking behavior. He will go and grab something he's not supposed to -- pillows, blankets, cans from the recycling, trash, etc. etc. and run off with it, then come and stand where we can see him... He usually will "drop it" if we refuse to chase him (which is a BIG improvement over when we first got him), but it's such a challenge! I can't decide the best way to handle it - just take the object and totally ignore him, "correct him," put him in his crate???? I have tried to "puppy-proof" the house -- put all the pillows away, used Bitter Apple on the recycling and trash, but he then just moves on to a different object. Yesterday he grabbed one of my fancy notepads off my desk!

This dog gets LOTS of attention-- we play ball (his very favorite thing in the world) 4-5 times a day (for 30-45 mins at a time), plus at least one 45 minute walk a day (often two). It is like his need for attention is insatiable!

Any advice????

I really love him and think he's going to be a great dog, but this little habit is driving me crazy.
 

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@ jderden Sounds like you're doing everything right but you probably have a very busy / active doodle. The exercise sounds good. Do you find he is better on the two 45 minute walk days? He may need more exercise while he is a teen. More mental stimulation may help also. For more mental stimulation you could try feeding 1/2 of her food (dry kibble) from a feeder toy, I have a
 

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This is for jderden becasue your Robi sounds alot like my dog Ace. Just try and go with it - lots of exercise to drain his energy. Include mental stuff - like practicing commands for treats and car rides to new places. Yes, its' tiring but dogs like this need it. Also lots of positive reinforcement for good behavior. In addition to learning what not to do, they need to learn what to do. Here's the thing, little by little Ace calmed/slowed down. Still very smart, still wants to play ball as much as we will agree too, but he got easier. I think your gonna have a great dog with Robi and at 1 and a 1/2 you'll see a big change for the positive, than every six months after that.....good luck!

BTW - the whole thing with the pillows, etc, is one big game to Robi. Trying to get you up and playing. We just still keep putting stuff we don't want him to get is behind closed doors!! But his latest is grabbing the toilet paper roll and giving us a run! Sometimes we have the energy to play along, other times we're just like ack, give him the tricky treat ball to amuse himself while we watch Big Bang Theory. lol
 

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@Stacy - It is hard to potty train a puppy. All the books say to do it the way you are doing it. My puppy was terrible when left alone. She cried the second she was not snuggling next to us. I couldn't do it.

You could continue what you are doing but gradually give her more freedom. By 12-14 weeks the pup should be able to hold it for a while. Right after you take the dog out you could let her wander around for 20 minutes or so then take her out again. I think you're on the right track.
 

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jderden, sounds like you've kidnapped the dog we got, lol. Our is much better now. We run with our dog, 6-10km/day is average. On top of that we do general obedience classes 2x/week, formal obedience 1x/week, and I'm teaching him tracking. We also have puzzles for him and other toys that require thought. A super smart energetic dog is a lot of work :lol:

Find a good dog school and take your dog, harness his drives. You can do all sorts of fun things with your dog :grin: Look into different dog sports and find something that you and your dog enjoy. Up his exercise and challenge his mind.

The other thing that worked for my dog was teaching him that almost everything wasn't his. He has some toys that are his at all times but everything else is off limit. A good obedience school can teach you this, find one that DOES NOT teach 'leave it'.
 

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Thanks everyone. We've had a better weekend with Robi. He DOES do better when he's really, really worn out. But sometimes even then, he's like an overtired toddler -- he just can't settle down until you actually hold the leash, make him "down" and next thing you know, he's sound asleep. We are starting to get to know him better and anticipate the times he'll do the attention-seeking. Getting him at six months was harder -- we missed that early puppy bonding. (but I'm grateful we missed the having to potty training part)!

We've done a basic dog training class, but it was pretty basic and for half the class we were the only ones there. I've watched a lot of online videos and have lots of books. I struggle a little since there are so many different opinions about training, and figuring out what works best for us and our situation and our dog.

I do follow the "Nothing in life is free" attitude -- we ask him to sit, down, leave it, stay or give "kisses" etc. for any treats, before his meals, etc. And I try to intersperse training with his play and walks. Just try to mix it up a bit to keep him guessing!

Flutter, not sure what you meant about an obedience school that doesn't teach "leave it." How do you teach that everything in the house is off limits except his toys?
 

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Hamish is 10 weeks old. During the day he has the run of the house and the garden area. He hardly have accidents in the house only when my nephew are hear. On the night time he stays in the kitchen. He bark usual 2am to let us no he needs the toilet. Last night was are first night where he slept through with no accidents : )

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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to much exercise

Hi
I have a small F1B standard labradoodle (she was the runt) and is 18 weeks tomorrow and 15 inches tall 20.4 pounds. She has been a very picky eater so may also be why she is small. However, she has tons of energy. I take her to the dog park or beach every day and she runs for at least an hour. Plus I have to take her out for a walk again at night or she is hyper in the house. It is me who has to pull her away from the dog park or end the walk as she doesn't seem to show signs of stopping. I should add she plays with the kids all the time in the house to...she carries her ball/ toy around until she finds someone who will play chase or trow it for her and she just discovered the steps and now goes up and down them her self (which I also read wasn't good for their bone development). I am just worried after reading that I am working her to much even though she seems happy...especially as she is so tiny her siblings are twice her size since birth and still much larger.
 

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Robi's mom back here again. I've been doing some reading over the last six weeks or so about high energy/reactive/anxious dogs. One of the points that these authors are making is that you can over-exercise a dog… building up their stamina so that they need increasing amounts of exercise to get tired.

As I mentioned a few months ago with Robi, it often seemed that the MORE we exercised him, the more hyper he got. And the more activity I provided, the more he wanted -- it.was.never.enough. He would eventually calm down and nap, but he often had to be forced to do so (as in I would have to keep a lead on him and tell him "down" and not let him up) and then he would finally relax and fall asleep. I also noticed that his ball play (his activity of choice), often seemed to have a frenetic/frantic quality to it. It's been very interesting. Another problem with over-exercise (especially for an already anxious dog) is that over-exercise releases cortisol, the stress hormone. This has negative effects on the human body and canines as well.

One technique that is supposed to help a hyper/reactive dog is to intersperse calming with the activity -- high energy/low energy. So, we've been interspersing down-stay, wait, target my hand, target the ball, count to three, default sits, etc. with throwing the ball. It has really helped his focus. We've also cut our ball playing time and walk time about in half - from 2-3 hours total per day to about 1-1.5 hour total. We continue to do inside mental work - nose work, practicing mat work, downs, sits, etc.

Today we met with a behaviorist/trainer and her opinion is that you can indeed overexercise a dog and that in all likelihood we have trained Robi to be hyper (or at least encouraged it) through excessive ball-playing. Her prescription is LESS exercise -- just a few short walks with potty breaks and LOTS of mental work inside primarily emphasizing focusing on us - for at least a few weeks, and then gradually add in a few minutes of ball-play as a reward for a great training session.

We'll see how it goes. Just wanted to throw that out here, because all the advice we have been given has been exercise, exercise, exercise and "a tired labradoodle is a good labradoodle." That advice hasn't worked in our particular situation, and I thought it might be helpful for others too.

The books I've been reading: Control Unleashed and Fired up, Frantic, and Freaked out. They also have great blogs!

Jaymie
 

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I have been sick lately, and now my husband's back has been giving him grief. So, Hershey has not been getting the full amount of exercise that she has grown accustomed to. She has adapted well, and does not seem to need the extra romping around to be calm.
 

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I've never heard this theory and I've read a ton of dog books. Maybe it is the type of exercise - overstimulating ball play compared to long walks that are more draining. I think there are no right or wrong ways to do anything. It's whatever works for you.

I walk Charlie offleash for an hour almost every day. She is a calm dog by nature. The weather here has been freezing and there is snow everywhere. Charlie developed cracks on her paw pads that were bleeding so I've been treating them with Musher's Secret. She has not been out for a walk in 3 weeks. She is as calm as ever.

I think a lot of it is the dog's nature. Hyper dogs will be hyper no matter what you do. You can help to an extent with mental stimulation and exercise but it's not going to make a lazy dog. I think most hyper dogs mellow with age.

Have you tried feeding her out of some type of dispenser. It really is great for mental stimulation. This was the best advice I've ever gotten from a trainer:

More mental stimulation may help also. For more mental stimulation you could try feeding 1/2 of her food (dry kibble) from a feeder toy, I have a Treat Ball
and a Kong Wobbler
. These satisfy the dog's need to forage. I also have a Tails Teaser
toy which she loves to chase. It helps with her prey drive and it completely exhausts her. I think if you satisfy the dog's primal side then they are easier to handle the rest of the time. You can make a homemade one by tying a 6ft rope or leash to an empty milk carton then pull it around the yard. It is hilarious. For my dog this is much more exhausting than fetch.
 
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