At a loss as far as behavior goes

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At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby crazybritx2 » Mon May 25, 2009 10:54 am

Hi everyone! I haven't talked to you all in a while, but just wanted to post in and say that Jack and Jewel are now 9 months old and have been fixed about a month ago. They are fully crate trained and I do take advantage of this from time to time. I am still walking them everyday, but started walking separately per recommendations on this board because as you remember they were out of control even walking on the coupler. Ok...new questions for you all: when does the excessive chewing get over? We have tried to make our backyard nicer by putting in grass etc, and the dogs have not only dug holes all over but chew everything in sight. Apparently one of my bamboo wind chimes fell down from the wind last night and yep, I went out this morning after taking Jack on a walk and it was shredded in the backyard. I guess I need some more advice on what I should be doing to prevent the digging and excessive chewing? I know I cannot prevent all of it but it is driving me nuts! I have tried to be compassionate with them and have worked really hard to do what they need, such as walking, and their behavior as far as the energy, jumping, digging etc has not improved. Im sorry to come back and complain, but I really want what's best for them and I am at a true loss. Sometimes I feel that if I find another home for one of them it will get better, but I am not so sure because they are siblings and have been together since birth. I am so thankful to read other posts and you all have so much experience you have helped me through so much. Please help me and tell me something to do!!! :) Thanks so much!

Patty*
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby adele » Mon May 25, 2009 12:09 pm

Hi Patty. They are 9 months old so they are going to have a lot of energy. One of the things you have to do is be patient until they come down to earth - which they will do - eventually (at least mine did). While you're waiting you need to work on training... they'll get better gradually as they mature and they learn how to behave. When I was feeling desperate and wrote to this forum for help people told me it would get better with time and training and while I didn't feel very comforted at the time... it did get better with time and training.

I fixed Lola's digging problem by learning to appreciate holes in the yard :lol: :roll: :lol: Really, I did nothing, no scolding, nothing. When she was young I was simply too tired and figured I needed to pick my battles. The behaviour gradually faded away. She only digs now when she sees me digging. Then she runs over and gives me a hand which I enjoy even if it makes a mess. Then, of course, there's Bernie take a look at the images posted by jessica - http://forum.americanbrittanyrescue.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7094 One thing I have read (never tried) you can do is make them a sandbox or area where they are allowed to dig. Bury treasures in there for them to find. When they are digging elsewhere you redirect them and let them dig in the appropriate spot. I don't know if it works.

Sorry about your chimes but... well.... they were on the ground. Lola keeps destroying my clothes pegs that fall to the ground. I've told her they aren't chew toys a million times but I know she is never going to give up on them. Are there appropriate chew toys in the backyard? You could try to keep a few on hand and rotate them so the dogs don't get bored with them.

Maybe the others will have better suggestions.
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby crazybritx2 » Mon May 25, 2009 12:24 pm

Thanks for your advice. Yes, I have bought them countless toys which they go through very quickly. We even got them "the indestructable kongs" those pink toys, and they chewed through those! I really hope the digging stops. They dig a new hole about every other day...its crazy. Thanks for your advice. I hope they get better because my thin rope is frayed...its very hard time for me right now with them. Thanks for being positive for me :)
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby Beth » Mon May 25, 2009 12:34 pm

perhaps you can put an area in your yard where they are allowed to dig...like a sandbox or something. Otherwise, they have to be monitored so you can try and change the digging behavior. For chewing, have you tried bully sticks? they can be found on line for cheaper than at the stores. Also, I buy the longest ones they have and then cut them in half. It's cheaper that way. Mine love to chew and these seem to last. Also, try a sterilized femur bone stuffed with peanut butter, mashed potatoes, or something yummy. Should keep them busy and mine can't break them. You can also wash and reuse. I also buy knuckle bones at the butcher's and boil for them to eat. They should also be supervised with bones. Good luck.
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby adele » Mon May 25, 2009 1:13 pm

crazybritx2 wrote:We even got them "the indestructable kongs" those pink toys, and they chewed through those!
The kongs come in different strengths. The ones that are pink and baby blue are softest for puppies, then I'm not positive but I think its red then black then blue each one getting tougher and tougher. If they've chewed through the pink then perhaps its time to try the red or black ones.

I've never tried to raise two and maybe it is more of a handful than you can stand. I don't know. I do know that I wish all the time that Lola had a playmate and company when I have to leave her behind.
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby AuntieMom » Mon May 25, 2009 3:01 pm

We have three Brittanys, four when our son is visiting. I have had to adjust my gardening/backyard to accomodate my dogs. It is frustrating, I know. I love flowers but that won't work with our Brittanys. I have trees and bushes throughout the yard and then the flowers are in huge containers which (thankfully) they leave alone. We put a baby pool out back because Trapper likes it. I put palm trees around the pool for the fun of it. My decorations are made out of iron or concrete that they cannot ruin. I have adapted. It is just a matter of finding what works for you and your dogs. (I know someone who has a tetherball swinging from a limb and it keeps her dogs entertained for hours.)
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby Cindy » Mon May 25, 2009 3:13 pm

Can't help with the hole problem but ... you might look for Galileo Bones (made by nylabone). My dogs chew alot and these have last better than anything. I think the first one was good for about 1.5 years!
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby AuntieMom » Mon May 25, 2009 5:02 pm

Ditto on the Galileo Bones! Puzzle bones are good too.
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby rtropeano » Mon May 25, 2009 6:13 pm

Patty, re the digging, I've had some success by redirecting her behaving - i.e. when I see Daisy digging, I clap my hands or do something to get her attention and tell her no dig and give her something else. However, in hindsight, I really think it is better to give them a spot to dig in so that when you "correct them" you bring them to the appropriate spot - like a sand box with burried bones to dig in. I think that would probably work much better.

I've heard of people tieing things to trees to keep their dogs attention when in the yard. One seminar I took called it an "enrichment tree" They hung different toys from it, at different heights, etc. and they also hung tug toys. Just have to make sure that the toys are safe if you are going to leave them alone with it.

The Kongs do come in different strengths. Daisy loves them. Stay away from the pink/blue, those are puppy kongs and dont use the purple that's the senior one. You need either the Red (regular chewer) or the Black (extreme chewers). Probably size large would do for a Brit. I like to put a mix of dry kibble and peanut butter then freeze it. It lasts longer frozen. The Kong Company has recipes for them on their site http://www.thekongcompany.com. Daisy is also a fan of Nylabones - she like the Souper Wolf-Sized one. They come in different strengths too - yellowish looking one is good, the white one is the extreme. I'd stay away from the Nylabone dental dinosaur because although Daisy really liked it, she almost chewed through the thin part by the tail, which could make it a choking hazard.

I don't remember if anyone mentioned this, but may want to get a Buster Cube or Tricky Treat Ball. You load it with kibble and they have to push it and toss it around to get the food out. There are also some really neat food/puzzle toys by Nina Ottoson http://www.nina-ottosson.com/DogProducts.htm. I hear these are really really good and challenging, but they are super expensive, which is why Daisy doesn't have one.

I do have one question, you mention that you walk them (which is awesome!!!) but do they ever get any off leash time to RUN?? I wasn't sure from your post if your yard was fenced. I'm fortunate, I have rather calm Brit, but she still needs to run off leash in a fenced area to get rid of the excess energy. Maybe that would help calm them down.

9 months is young, I know it's tough, but hang in there....they do calm down.
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Last edited by rtropeano on Tue May 26, 2009 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby Dave » Mon May 25, 2009 6:32 pm

Why do they have so much energy you ask ? Brittanys are built to run at least 25 miles a day out hunting :o . No joke and people say they walk their dogs daily some many miles . This is good but if you can find a way to get them out and run them .

Let me rewind to a prime example that I have talked a lot about and a few others on here know him , "Leo" Leo is now almost 4 years old . He started out in CO. with older people who did nothing with him . He is a perfect athlete Brittany , big , strong and over the top drive . Ask Shelli and Kat . :lol:

I found him a home where he could run with his new dad out in the field . Now life rolls on econmy tanks and the lifestyle forces his people not to have the time to exercise him and enguage that bird dog intelligence and prowess . I got him back . He is almost out of control again . We do run him daily each morning , but only enough to warm him up . By the end of the day he's barking digging and almost picking fights with Levi , which means me also .

I'm old with a bad heart and can't run . My solution . Grab an ATV take him outside of town . Rig up a pole with leash attached so that he can't get into my wheels and jog him 15 miles at about 7- 10 mph . Of course you have to be smart and pay attention to the dog and be alert as to temperature outside . It was Winter here so he didn't get overheated . Many will say I can't do that well get a harness put on some roller blades and let them pull you and or skate along . Don't you watch Cesar . :roll: :wink: . Steve Hansen in Washington does this . :lol: After they burn off that excess energy then they walk nicely on leash etc.

Another really good exercise , swimming . Find a place and have the dogs swimming after ducks or Geese etc. It wears them out . A tired Britany is a good Brittany . :P Dave
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby rtropeano » Mon May 25, 2009 6:47 pm

OOh, Dave's posts reminds me of another way -how about biking with your Brits? They make a special attachment for that so that your doggy doesn't get caught up in the wheels and get you off balance - I believe a company called Springer makes one and there are others. I know it was brought up on this board once, so search the messages and you should find more info.
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby janet909 » Mon May 25, 2009 8:27 pm

It's the "walkydog jogger" and you can view it on:
www.dog-training.com/springer.htm
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Re: At a loss as far as behavior goes

Postby crazybritx2 » Tue May 26, 2009 9:48 am

Hi everybody! Thanks for all the tips. I have to tell you I was laughing at some of them because of the vision I got of the dogs being run beside an ATV :P But all the ideas are very good and Im sure they would work. I am going to have to see if my husband can help because I have my three year old and some of those things I cannot do with him. I know we will figure out a way but its just so frustrating! I think getting two was a BIG mistake, but just have to live with it, and make it work. Thank you though for all the tips because I will try to do some of them and see if they work. :mrgreen:
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