Saturday, September 18, 2010

Synonym for Labrador

Remember the new dog we got a few weeks ago? Turns out he's not actually a dog, he's an 80 pound walking mouth.

He puts everything in his mouth, if not to chew it to at least taste and feel it.  Books, the recycle bin, his toys, the kid toys, the couch, the dining room table, my butt, kids feet, the bathtub, everything.  Turns out, I come armed for information to deal with this.

Just shortly after Bill and I married, we decided to get a dog.  Being child free, I had tons of time to read and investigate having a dog.  I remember a few of my favorite books being The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete, Good Owners, Great Dogs by Kilcommons, and some books I can't find that has Puppy in the title and a Dalmatian puppy on the cover. Once the puppy came, I still had loads of free time for puppy school.  Tella, the chocolate lab, and I finished canine good citizen training and began showing for obedience trials before I became pregnant with my human puppy.  The ensuing 26 weeks of laying on the couch and puking pretty much put a stop to our serious training. Always a sucker for dog training, in the past year Rosie and I have devoured the Cesar Millan videos (available at our local library!) plus one of his books.

All this to say I'm not new to the ways of teaching a dog what I want them to do and prevent them from doing what I don't want them doing. Still, I feel like an over worked hamster keeping this pooch in positive activities. After spending over $70 on dog toys and chew treats (because that's so much cheaper than buying a new couch or a new iPhone), here's my daily run down:
- Keep the dog on a leash near me at all times.
- Put him in a crate when I can't watch him.
- Liberally douse everything that can handle it in bitter apple spray.
- Give Mr. Mouth something else to do like sit or play fetch.
- Reward him for "bringing" things to me that he is trying to sneak off with.
- Wear the dog out.  Take him for a walk or through the ball for him until he's too tired to put anything in his mouth any more.
- Keep the house littered with things he's allowed to chew on.
- Teach him, through liberal treats and praise, the idea of "leave it."
- Remember to feed him.

So far we've lost a hose, several bags of charcoal (turns out I've got to watch him outside, too), one leash, one stuffed tiger, several legos pieces and one foam block.  Not too bad for the first two weeks.

No comments: