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Anxiety, focus and biting furniture

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Lorraine & Poppy, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Lorraine & Poppy

    Lorraine & Poppy New Member Registered

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    I've followed the advice re biting us and its worked really well, thanks. I was wondering about a couple of other things currently so advice would be welcome:

    1. Poppy is 80% of the time like my shadow (unless really interested in a chew toy or if someone else is with her). If I leave her alone for a second and she notices she darts after me looking for me, she sometimes waits and wines and sometimes she bites the furniture until I come back in. She's also not 100% keen on eating or drinking on her own, if I move away she will stop drinking/eating and come towards me instead, any advice please? We crate her (she's ok in the crate) and leave her alone intermittently (only in the crate) but I'm worried I'm somehow causing her to have separation anxiety when she is out of the crate!

    2. She is also very, very easily distracted. I know she is a puppy but everything is a game to her, she just wants to play and run around and I am finding it hard to get her on the right path. I train her in the kitchen away from distractions but if she has decided she doesn't want to do more than 3 repetitions then she acts up.

    3. If I stop playing with her or giving her attention and sit down for a minute, she comes over and starts biting my chair or whatever to get my attention. She doesn't do this with my husband. I try to redirect her to a toy but she loses interest after a few minutes. It doesn't matter if we play for an hour or 10 mins she has to have constant attention.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I wouldn't worry about her following you around - you say that she's OK on some occasions if she's sufficiently distracted, and that's a start. As she matures she'll get more confident and this will happen more often. If you leave her and she can't follow, she will only become more vigilant and keen to stay with you.

    With Jasper, I once tried an approach I'd read about where you just keep moving from room, to room, to room, until your dog is too fed up to bother following you any more. One hour later, we were still both dragging ourselves from room to room, collapsing with exhaustion in the next one and then dragging ourselves up again... I gave up. I think what did the trick in the end was when I'd leave him snoozing in a sunny spot and go into a cold boring room with no comfy bed!

    But you can still nudge her in the right direction, e.g. by stepping out the room and almost immediately (at first) coming back again when she seems engrossed with a toy or chew.

    I'm sure being easily distracted is normal. If she only likes doing 3 repetitions of a trick, that's fine - just do three. You want each training session, however short, to end with a success, not a 'I'm going to eat the table instead because sit is to easy.' She might even wonder what the point is of you asking her to do these apparently pointless tasks!

    Also, do try to do some training in other places, even if just one repetition. Dogs are very situation-specific, and learning how to sit on cue in the kitchen doesn't mean she knows how to do it in the front room, or in the garden. When he was a pup, Jasper was almost impossible to train in the garden - he'd almost immediately go over threshold and start jumping up, brains gone right out the window.

    Attention-seeking - the difficulty, of course, is you can't just ignore her while she's eating the furniture. I'm wondering if you could get some sort of guard for the legs that she can't chew. Like this, but you might be able to fashion something out of sheets of plastic: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Ferret-Rat-Tube-Transparent/dp/B001MZYD6E Then you could simply ignore her, but give her attention when she's doing something more appropriate. I'm not sure you'd be able to protect everything she might decide to chew instead... hopefully someone else will have some ideas.
     
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  3. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    I found with my girls that having some 'challenging' chews always handy when ever I needed some relief from pup's endless need for attention. I admit it wasn't cheap thing to do, but needs must.
    We stocked up with variety of dried and smelly animal 'body parts' to chew on...and it kept the chewing interesting for them, we escaped any teeth damage for the furniture, many times it kept those 'sharpies' away from our fingers and while their attention was on the chews, I could escape my dogs to other room and get something else done. I'm sure it contributed to bringing up some independence and calming effect into their behaviour too.
     
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  4. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    DIY stores have plastic tubes of various sizes that are ideal for protecting furniture legs until pup grows out of the chewing stage. Meanwhile give pup lots of different items that can safely be chewed. Large vegetables are brilliant for this.
     
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  5. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    With trick repeating, I have found its very different between dogs, after years of having Collies and Shelties I got a Whippet and she is totally different, three repeats would be exceptional, a max of two is her normal. I found the best is to have a number of things you want it to learn and run through them all repeating each only as much as it is happy with.
     
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