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please share wisdom and horror stories of teenage dogs ... especially big ones ...(5 Posts)
So we have an Irish setter and everyone said before we got him oh they're MAD, and actually until 8 months old he wasn't at all - very sweet and loving and immensely tolerant of the children ... BUT ... now ... aaaaaargh ....
1. utterly obsessed with food. it's exhausting. he's so big almost nowhere in kitchen is safe. sneaking up on the table to lick the tiniest crumb. wriggling between children at breakfast to get at butter. if I glower at him he'll back off, but he's back 3 seconds later. It makes meal-times impossible. I've started to crate him in utility during supper (only use crate rarely now - e.g when unpacking supermarket shop!) - but I'd rather he could be with us but calm. How do you teach settle and stay - rather than settle and get up again two minutes later??
2. jumping up with massive excitement at everyone. if i'm prepared, I can get him to sit to say hello but if someone comes in unexpectedly he'll have his paws on their shoulders which is obviously terrible manners but how do I stop it?
3. pulling on the lead like his life depended on it. how do I stop how how how?
4. berserk when he comes back from walks. runs in circles round the kitchen like he's chasing an invisible rabbit. actually quite funny.
5. sometimes berserk on walks. running in circles play-crouching and woofing like mad and ramming my legs trying to get me to be more exciting. not funny.
6. I wouldn't dream of letting him off the lead in 'public' - we have fields we can run him in so he does get plenty of off-lead exercise. He comes back nicely in a field but I'm sure he wouldn't if there was anything more exciting out there. how do you improve recall safely? dummy distractions in the field?!
on plus side ...
very good-hearted, gives up stuff he shouldn't have easily, happy to be on his own for 3-4 hours in the morning while I work, doesn't bark, doesn't chew furniture, terribly handsome.
we do go to training classes, but seeing as mumsnet helped me raise two reasonably civilised children, I thought I should ask for help with a dog too ...
There is an adolescent dog survival thread on here which you might find helpful joining as it's nice to know you aren't the only one.
Mine is now 2 years old but from 6 months he became 'deaf' to commands and went from 100% recall to 0%. The best thing I can advise is lots of and and to keep training even when it seems pointless as they do eventually grow up and remember all the things you taught them.
There's a great book called Total Recall, which is hard work but brilliant. Also I highly recommend a Dogmatic headcollar - changed our lives with our 'pull like a train' teenager...
Come and join us on the adolescent survival thread!
Mine is nearly 9 months and definitely in his teenage phase. That thread has reassured me we're not failing as owners and that his behaviour, although frustrating, is perfectly normal!
And yes, if anyone has any tips on teaching stay, rather than just "sit" and then wander off 30 seconds later, I'd love to hear them!
Oh I've found adolescent dog thread!!
Thanks ... I'll head over ...