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Puppy 102

Jean in Newcastle

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Not 101, because I've done the puppy thing multiple times.  But my previous puppy is now 12 so I'm having to refresh my memory.


So I have a couple of questions.  Mainly about stuff like chewies and play things.  So much has seemed to have changed in the last 12 years!


So I have some very pushy people in my life insisting that I have to give the puppy a bully stick or equivalent.  What is wrong with safe non-edible things to chew on?  I'm a bit unsure about giving yet another digestible thing when I'm potty training.  Plus - she gets enough food so do I want to be giving her more food on top of that?  I don't remember bully sticks when my old dogs were puppies.  (She does not tear off pieces of the non-edible things and if she did, I would replace them with tougher things.)  I guess I did put a small amount of peanut butter in the kongs for my puppies back in the day. . .    


Also - this is a very intelligent dog (2 month old Rottweiler / Australian Shepherd mix maybe.)  We play fetch and tug and gentle wrestles with toys and she has already figured out the dog puzzle for her usual (non bully stick) treats.  And we do lots of outsides together as part of potty training as well as play.  Any other ideas?  We are teaching her not to chase the cat or rabbits.  It's cute now but could be dangerous for them as she gets older. 


Oh and because someone will ask:  (Sorry for the size.  I don't know how to make them smaller)


A sleepy Miss Mischief (AKA Juliet) taking her morning nap so that I can get my chores done.




Also -



Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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holy adorableness! I love a black & tan anything.... and she is SUPER cute! 

No reason you can't stick to just non edible chews.  Nylabones and kong toys and stuffies are just fine IMO. The puzzle games are great! 

There's no magic in a bully stick. I tend to keep bully sticks as special occasion things (because the *real* ones are expensive. The cheap ones are often just braided ligaments or tendons and not as good imo...) My guys always get a bully stick under the tree. 


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I have an idea Jean (not chew related) that I consider the most important part of puppy rearing. It is now often called Bite Inhibition Training.  In the old days, we used to call it training for a soft mouth.


The famous dog behaviorist Ian Dunbar calls it the essential part of a puppy's education. I felt the same way long before encountering his writings. I part from his methods, however, as I think his advice "not to created drama" (which I endorse 100%) is contradicted by his on advice on firm, "No!" and/or removing affection/ignoring a pup. He is a famous and credentialed dog behaviorist and I'm a guy on the internet. You can Google his method, but I'm convinced my method (that I learned as a kid from a sage dog handler) is better.


Either way, the idea of bite inhibition training is to actively use the period where the propensity of little pups (with their very sharp teeth) to playfully bite or get mouthy with humans to one's advantage in creating an (ultimately) very safe dog that won't bite.


It is a process. It means an owner will need to get his or her hand into the pup's mouth a lot.


If the pup bites down at all, the response is to move one's hand gently deeper into the pup's mouth. Creating a tiny amount of pressure will cause the pup to relax its hold. As it does, one relaxes the light pressure by slightly easing the hand (but keeping it in the pup's (soft) mouth. This is repeated multiple times a day.


Never, ever try to pull one's hand out of a pup's mouth when it has bitten down.


If a pup is especially driven to bite hard, the routine is slightly modified. One should then (very nonchalantly) fold the pup's muzzle over its teeth using the hand in the mouth. No (as in zero) pressure should be applied. If the pup clamps down, it bites into the inside of its cheek, giving natural feedback. Usually, this variant is short-lived. No drama.


I'm sure I'll take some brickbats for saying it, but by doing months of training in bite inhibition many (many) times a day for short sessions, one ends up with a dog with a soft mouth that won't bite.


Most important training of all IMO.









Edited by Spy Car
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I think there is nothing wrong with safe non-edibles chewies. A Kong that is right size (you will have to replace it once she grows big) can be a lot of fun as it bounces in funny ways and if you feel like it,  you can hide a treat inside.

I have to google bullystick - never heard of it.


We have done a similar thing as Bill suggested. Whenever a dog got a little rough during playing or mouthing, we stopped the fun and ignored him/her for a while. Seems to work well. 

Edited by Liz CA
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My dogs don't get edible chews. For one thing, we have multiple dogs and don't want them squabbling over chews. Also, I don't like to give them anything that could be a choking hazard.


I would start by teaching her all the basic commands and getting her used to walking on a leash, riding in the car, etc. Basically, anything you want her to do as an adult, start now.


Aussie/Rottweiler is an awesome mix of breeds. She is going to be a very quick learner!


I've had two Aussie mixes and know many people who use Aussies as working cow dogs. They are so, so smart - like smarter-than-most-people-I-know smart. My Aussie/Catahoula mix catches on to new ideas faster than any dog I've ever had.


Aussies have some very endearing quirks. When they're happy to see you, they smile and show their teeth. It looks like a snarl, but it's actually an Aussie grin. They also curl their bodies into a c-shape when they're excited to see you. We call it the sidewinder. :) They will often choose one person as their special person that they are totally devoted to, and will follow that person to the ends of the earth. Not all Aussies have these quirks, but many do. Our Titan does all three things, and so do his mom and siblings.

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I am interested in seeing how she develops. She and her littermate were abandoned so the humane society is only guessing on breed. I guess I could do one of those dog dna things. She is already so much easier than my springer puppies were esp the one with puppy adhd.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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The puppy is to console me for when ds transfers to an out of state college in the fall.  I told dh that it was cheaper than a baby.  ;)



How funny as I was just thinking yesterday when you showed the puppy picture if you were trying to fill some empty spaces. :)

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