First time dog owner... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 02-19-2011, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe. We are doing a "test run" for a couple weeks to make sure our autistic toddler will be ok with her. She's a 2 year old lab/pointer. She was neglected for a while, is house trained though. I'm afraid that she's going to be a chewer/digger. What can we do to discourage that? What are some good resources for first time dog owners?


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#2 of 6 Old 02-20-2011, 01:15 AM
 
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As far as the chewing - some dogs just don't know what's theirs and what's not.  Our dog is a retired racing greyhound - very intellegent and independent.  If you provide things for your dog to chew, and say no and take away the non-chewables and provide a chewie of theirs at the same time, this will help the dog understand that chewing is not wrong "sometimes" but that there are certain chewies/non-chewies.

 

Not sure on the digging, sorry!  Never had a problem with this.  I know people who've made a permanent plastic-lined digging-pit for their dogs and fill it with things like woodchips and "surprises" for the dog to find, and just refill if after the dog has its fun.

 

In general, there are usually great forums specifically geared towards certain breeds.  Just google "pointer forum" or "lab forum" and I'm sure you'll get a wealth of resources with active members, as those are very popular breeds.  We are members of "greytalk" for example, and I wouldn't be where I am without it :)  Good luck!

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#3 of 6 Old 02-20-2011, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for that info! I'll look up some other forums as well. :) We just can't have her chewing/digging our on-post house or a rental. KWIM?


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#4 of 6 Old 02-20-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Read Read Read

 

Get her into a good positive reinforcement class asap

 

Chewing and Digging is an issue when the dog is not properly supervised.  

 

A great first read is Before And After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar.  While geared towards a puppy obviously, the majority of the info applies to a new adult as well.  You may have to re housetrain a bit, set up new boundaries,etc.

 

Its available as a free pdf here

 

Before 

 

After


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#5 of 6 Old 02-21-2011, 03:25 AM
 
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Digging and chewing are self rewarding behaviours that come out mostly from boredom. They can be prevented by LOTS of training, interactive toys and long walks and are very hard to stop when it starts to happen.
Keep in mind that when you take a rescue dog into your household, they might not show their true personality for several weeks as it takes time for them to adjust to new household. The dog who seems calm might turn itno wirlwind then it finally settles.
 
It might not be the advise you are asking for but I think, that being first time dog owner you might be getting yourself into something that would be difficult to deal with latter.
I see things that raise red flags for me that go beyond your initial question.
You never owned dogs before.
You are looking at the mix of two very active breeds.
You already have SN toddler who I assume takes up a lot of your time, adding high needs dog like that would be like adding another child to your household. Can you budget at least two hours a day for one on one interaction with your dog? Look how many threads on this board that deal with toddler/baby/dog tension and issues, they all have common advise - Train,train,train, exercise! And in most cases those issues could have been prevented by following that advise in the first place.
I am not suggesting that you should not own a dog at all. But I think that you need to ask yourself what are your reasons for wanting a dog in the first place? Maybe less active breed like a greyhound (known as 40mph couch potato) would work better for you than active mix breed.
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#6 of 6 Old 02-25-2011, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexapurple View Post

Digging and chewing are self rewarding behaviours that come out mostly from boredom. They can be prevented by LOTS of training, interactive toys and long walks and are very hard to stop when it starts to happen.
Keep in mind that when you take a rescue dog into your household, they might not show their true personality for several weeks as it takes time for them to adjust to new household. The dog who seems calm might turn itno wirlwind then it finally settles.
 
It might not be the advise you are asking for but I think, that being first time dog owner you might be getting yourself into something that would be difficult to deal with latter.
I see things that raise red flags for me that go beyond your initial question.
You never owned dogs before.
You are looking at the mix of two very active breeds.
You already have SN toddler who I assume takes up a lot of your time, adding high needs dog like that would be like adding another child to your household. Can you budget at least two hours a day for one on one interaction with your dog? Look how many threads on this board that deal with toddler/baby/dog tension and issues, they all have common advise - Train,train,train, exercise! And in most cases those issues could have been prevented by following that advise in the first place.
I am not suggesting that you should not own a dog at all. But I think that you need to ask yourself what are your reasons for wanting a dog in the first place? Maybe less active breed like a greyhound (known as 40mph couch potato) would work better for you than active mix breed.


This is all really good advice, pointers are one of the most hyperactive breeds out there. If you have ever seen a purebred German shorthaired pointer you will know the meaning of limitless energy. They are high strung and need tons of exercise, mixed with a lab is one active hunting dog.

 

We have a rescue shepherd/lab mix who is a serious digger. She also did exactly what this poster described (we were expecting it) and became a total nut once she became confident in her surroundings with us. She gets tons of exercise in good weather but when it is bad out she is cooped up in the house with me and DD during the day. We just can't be outside long because it is very cold where we live. Sooo she has been digging a lot this winter and it is tough to stop her but I know it is because she is bored. During the summer our exercise/outdoor time will increase dramatically and I know she will settle a bit again...

Something to keep in mind, some dogs just love to dig. Our pup loves to dig no matter how much exercise she has had, it's just that when she is tired she is much much less likely to put  in the effort.

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