Teenage years
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  • So Oakley is 14 months and the last two weeks have been challenging, he gets enough physical and mental exercise a day but at night he is always trying to tear up the corner or my rug, steal and ruin DVDs and eat my decorative/storage totes… And he has been trying to nip at me to engage in play, he refuses to listen to reprimands and although my consequences have been as consist as ever before we are goig back and forth in the crate every five minutes. He certainly does this all to get a reaction and I can't help but wonder... Is this a typical teenager phase ??

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  • A lot of what you are describing is the way Nicky lets me know he is bored and he wants something to do and since I am not providing it he is going to invent his own ways. Enrolling in a class and having a "job" for him has always made him very happy and decreased these nuisance behaviors. It doesn't have to a formal obedience class, it can something like Tricks, Nosework, Agility, or whatever "fun" classes are offered near you. Also, providing an alternative outlet for this energy like a Kong Wobbler, Buster Cube, or some other work for reward toy can also help.

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  • Thanks Lisa, it does seem like bored behaviors….I ordered bully sticks for him as he will enjoy this activity and it will allow me some down time between working and running with him.... It just gets to be too much sometimes and I try to tell him all I need is ten minutes! But needless to say, he'd rather tell me to kindly Go scratch and give me something to do!! I will say though we do hide and seek games, I've tried peanut butter and frozen goodies in a kong and he isn't interested.... He likes the pink rawhide chews and will happily munch to his hearts content but he can eat one in less than a minute so not very effective. I'm not trying to get out of entertaining him, it's just hard as he's exercise now more than ever and we play games after our physical exercise but still does this. Just need a little me time and a little less bratty teenager. I'll look into classes and also your suggestion about busywork toys, he has no interest in kongs but would be interested in a toy that gave him kibble bits by moving it.thanks

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  • Also, is it wrong to be punishing or giving consequences for these actions? Tearing up a magazine, destuffing my pillows?? Or is it a lost cause because I'm at fault for not keeping entertained? I will take these hints at face value and start trying to redirect but should I be correcting the behavior or will it only lead to more frustration?

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  • HAHAHA!! Tucker is doing the same thing Right Now. I am about ready to throttle him. Since it has been so cold here he can't go outside to fence run with the neighbors dogs and he is just plain bored and testing my patience. He was just a couple of seconds ago chewing on the clothes basket, then tried to chew up a cd case, then went to dig and chew on his bed. I am going to get the Kong Wobbler out here pretty quick. Tucker is just over 2 years.

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  • Physical exercise has never put a dent in the boredom of my dogs. Mental activities and team work stuff is so much more satisfying for my dogs. The are much more relaxed after going to a class or working with me at home.

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  • I'm looking into if there's anything going on during the weekends as they are more free than a weekday with work, I don't have a yard so I also feel like he needs a good safe run, I will have to look for a dog park, I hate the idea but he needs to run!

    Him behaving badly because he's bored makes me feel like a bad mom because I doing the best I can to do it the right way for him….

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  • Tucker is a little turkey when it comes to the Kong Wobbler though. He lets Becca knock it over and the treats come out then he pounces in front of here and eats the treats as they come out. Especially the last couple treats that are hard to get out.

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  • Even with two, I'm running into pure boredom some days (and I confess I don't take them out QUITE as much when it's cold). I have a few tricks up my sleeves: one that always works is putting their toys plus a few treats into a loosely closed box. They take a very long time to rip the whole thing up and get to the treats and then for some reason the toys are very interesting again! That can give me quite a while to get stuff done. (I get plenty of boxes around here with amazon deliveries and so forth, so I consider it pre-recycling.)

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  • I would try to get out of the mindset that he "needs to run" to combat boredom. Mine have a yard and rarely use it. When they exhibit these bored behaviors it isn't because they want to run, if that was all it was they would race around the house which they do plenty of. They want a "job" or some directed activity. That is why 10-15 minutes of working on a trick or several good challenging hides for my nosework dogs usually works wonders.

    Box puzzles are great ways to get rid of boredom. My girls love being "godzilla" and plowing through a box city to get to their treat. 10-15 boxes of varying sizes can make a wonderful playground for hiding treats. When he successfully finds the treat, step in a reward with a jackpot then hide another. You don't have to play too long and the more he has to work his brain to figure out how to get in to get the reward the more energy he will burn.

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  • @lvoss:

    Box puzzles are great ways to get rid of boredom. My girls love being "godzilla" and plowing through a box city to get to their treat. 10-15 boxes of varying sizes can make a wonderful playground for hiding treats. When he successfully finds the treat, step in a reward with a jackpot then hide another. You don't have to play too long and the more he has to work his brain to figure out how to get in to get the reward the more energy he will burn.

    sounds like nosework.

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  • It is but I did it with my dogs before I knew what nosework was. Now that I know about nosework, I just have a bigger collection of boxes and way more practice.

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  • I have to agree with the other comments regarding mental activity, versus physical activity.

    My B acts the same way when he's bored. He's not much of a chewer anymore, but he will still run to the corner of my rug when he's bored to catch my attention. Whenever that happens, I wait a few minutes (distracting him from his behavior), make him sit (or follow another command) and then provide him with rawhide to chew on. I think it's important to distance the timing between that behavior and receiving something they enjoy, otherwise I have a feeling they will correlate the two and consistently act out.

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  • I am going to try this nosework stuff. Do they just have to nudge the box to get the cookie inside or do they have to get into the box themselves?

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  • When you start nosework, start with open boxes that they can get the treat themselves. Then make it harder for them to get at. For mine, I make the puzzles ones they can move the boxes themselves to get to the reward but have on occasion had to step in to help when they flip the box over and get to the reward.

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  • Basenji Mix

    I guess we did primative puzzle challenges with Jodi. We would play hide-and-seek, make him figure out which hand had the biscuit, or hide a biscuit in a pile of blankets. Or we would tell him get the ________", birdie, hammyster, kittycat, ect and he would run through the house to each room where the animal lived or stare outside at the fence for the cat or squirrel.

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