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Help with naughty dogs!(135 Posts)
I have 2 male pugs, one has just turned one and the other is nearly 4 months. We also have 3 cats (yes we are mad!).
I do love the dogs but they are driving me mental at the moment. I work from home so am here with them all day while my husband is at work. Basically they are both completely obsessed with food (especially the older one) and will stop at nothing to get it. They also eat everything on the floor... All sorts of random crap they shouldn't have and then I get the blame. The older one barks like a lunatic any time anyone knocks the door, they bite the skirting boards and doors, bark and chase the cats, eat the cats' food despite the fact its in a separate room with a cat flap (older one can headbutt door open!)
I've tried my best to train them but it just isn't working and my husband is in denial saying they behave for him so putting the blame on me. My whole day revolves around managing them. Has anyone got any suggestions?
They’re bored, (classic sign is the chewing the skirting boards) I don’t know how much exercise a pug needs but my collie cross has 45 minutes walk before work and at that age needed 10 minutes an hour of brain games then she’d happily sleep. Now she gets between 3 and 5 miles walk per day and she is mostly good. She’s nearly 2.
At that age she was challenging and they do need a lot of attention, but build it into your day so you can manage it.
Yeah I do already and it doesn't help. The older one is a bad walker as well
Well you have two puppies who are acting like puppies so I’m not really sure what to say to you.
Puppy proof your house, make sure they are getting enough attention and exercise, check their diet. Tbh I can’t imagine working from home with one puppy/adolescent dog so I’m not sure how you are getting any work done at all. It’s not really feasible.
I have an 18 month old lab and he does much of the same stuff, especially if he’s bored. My job is to make sure he isn’t, and to make sure he can’t eat anything he shouldn’t.
Do you use crates? I’d never be able to leave the house if we didn’t although I appreciate they aren’t for everyone.
Thanks billybagpuss, I will try to play with them more. Don't think pugs need as much exercise. I take the older one out twice a day (2 x 20-30 mins) but the younger one is still very small so doesnt walk far. They have a ridiculous amount of toys so not sure why they're bored?
Yes its a struggle getting work done @YippeeKayakOtherBuck
Walks aren’t just about exercise. It’s about the smells and sights along the way. And most dogs won’t just play with toys alone, or at least they need a lot of input from you to make it worthwhile.
Whose idea was it to get the dogs?
Ah the toys need interaction, a toy on the floor is dead to them. Try doing a search on dog brain games, if they are so food obsessed try things like a snuffle mat where they have to actually search through the mat for food, or a licky mat and things like frozen longs will keep them occupied for a while.
Joint decision I guess although husband probably wanted them more than me.
I understand your point about walks, just my older one stops to smell literally everything and pulls hard on lead, he also rears up at cars
I can see I need to give them more attention than I already do but it's hard as when I'm working they have to be shut away in kitchen (I'm a private tutor and can't have them in the room when I'm teaching)
Ok so regarding crates, mine have always been used as an unlocked time out/bed during the day (I mean time out when they are being overtired/loopy, not as punishment) and then locked overnight or when we’re all out which is to keep them safe. The crate should be a peaceful place they want to spend time in.
I think you need to reframe your thinking from ‘why are my dogs naughty’ to ‘what do my dogs need’.
Also they are both very young. This is the worst time. I’m only just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with my pup, and my chihuahua was three before she suddenly decided to listen to commands...
@billybagpuss thanks for the tips. I will try that - sorry for my ignorance but what are kongs?
Yes we have definitely done the wrong thing with the crate. My husband used it as a place to put them as a punishment (especially for older one) so now he hates it. Younger one better with it but it's still not used much. We have one in our bedroom but don't know what the point is as they won't sleep in it and just end up in the bed with us
I do sympathise, I really do. I think lots of us took on dogs with no real idea, no matter how much reading or what we thought we knew.
A certain amount of pulling, sniffing and reacting to cars is also totally normal! Take treats with you and reward good behaviour, let him sniff a bit (that’s the point of the walk for him).
A typical walk with my two is a hella cape for the first fifteen minutes as the big dog barks and pulls and shouts at cars until we get to the off lead bit and the small one wants to wander and sniff and obviously walks a lot slower. But after that it’s lovely.
None of us are perfect, I haven’t actually left the house yet this morning as it’s really muddy in the woods and I’m dreading it so my big dog is running round the garden like a loon (I will go out in a bit). You’ll get there but I think you need to manage your expectations and take them out more.
Hella cape = hellscape
You fill them with food, mushed banana, peanut butter, o bash up dog kibble and mix it with yogurt and freeze it they then spend, in billypups case about 10 minutes but she’s greedy and well practiced, licking it all out.
Have you done a puppy training course with them? I would recommend it. You learn basic commands and distraction techniques and the actual training process and follow up provides mental stimulation and a way to interact with the dog in a positive reward way rather than constant reaction - though you will have to be reactive for some of the puppy years.
You don’t know what a Kong is?
Have your dogs ever been on an off lead walk?
So take them separately for now. It's just quite demanding for me as I have a chronic illness which makes it doubly hard work.
Will try to take them out more from today
I wouldn’t have the crate in the bedroom, they need their own space.
Try and reprogram the idea of the crate as a happy place, don’t punish as such, but we did use time out at that age, so put her in the hall for a few minutes just to separate her brain from the undesirable behaviour and a chance to calm down. Keep the crate as a happy place to sleep in.
@billybagpuss thanks for the link that sounds like a great idea
@GoFiguire yes my older dog goes off the lead but only in the park... Sorry but not sure if you realise that pugs are not exactly as obedient as some other breeds. My younger one has only just finished having all his injections as is too young to go off lead atm. Sorry you obviously think I'm an idiot because I haven't heard of a kong. If you don't have anything helpful to add, don't bother commenting.
Have you considered puppy training classes.
Two puppies must be hard. Rather you than me
@billybagpuss thanks for the tip. Do you think it's possible to retrain them to sleep in cage in another room or downstairs? Where do yours sleep?
@Gwynfluff@Branleuse so when we got the older one, I was very unwell. I asked my husband to sort puppy training classes but he didn't (said he could manage it ) anyway when I was a bit better I looked into it but got told by all the puppy trainers etc that he was now too old (6 months) to attend classes...