Opinions wanted

At 4 months old I think most dogs are interested in playing with others, most puppy kindergarten classes include a puppy play time so puppies have an outlet for their energy and get socialization with other dogs. Is Zoe enrolled in a puppy kindergarten class? If you bring a new dog into the house, even a young adult, it is a lot of work as you work to bond with the dog and establish a good routine. I usually recommend waiting at least a year so you have a good established routine, you have gone through a few sessions of obedience, and have at least survived that first teenage push that is coming at about 6-8 months old. 6 months old and 18 months old are common ages for dogs to end up in rescue because new owners become overwhelmed as their puppy starts to push boundaries at those ages.

Thanks I was thinking we should wait but she seems to be missing so much. I haven't been able to enroll her in any classes because my work schedule covers various hrs and none of them on a regular basis. We usually walk for an hour or more daily sometimes twice depending on what shift i'm working. My days off we walk for 2 hrs with another hr walk in the evening sometimes more depending on my day. I always wonder if this is enough excersize for her. Between times she gets play time with everyone in the house, but she is always trying to get the cat to play with her and he is always trying to make her understand that at 17 he doesn't play especially with her (even as I type this I keep having to pull her off the cat).
At this point we haven't gone to the a dog park because of weather but I hope to get her there soon once I find it. Wish hour little town had one.

Thanks for the input.

About that teenage push are you sure it doesn't start at 4 months lol

At 4 months you have teething and they are cranky and chewing on everything.

It sounds like she is getting a good amount of physical exercise but you would probably see more of a change if you started adding more mental exercise for her. Do you use things like Kongs or Busy Buddies? A Buster Cube is also good. Something where she has to do some problem solving.

It is too bad you can't get into an obedience class, have you looked around to see if there are any that offer drop in type classes. Around here it is becoming much more popular to offer classes where a person can pay on a week by week basis. Many of these classes have a rotation of topics that they go through so you can drop in for the loose leash class or the sit class, etc.

Here is a nice resource for starting some training on your own. This will help give Zoe some mental stimulation which should help use up that excess puppy energy. http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOGS/Levels/ByLevel/1Level.html

Another socialization option is puppy play group. Around here, some of the various pet stores offer an hour of play time every Saturday or Sunday (or both) for pups up to 6mos old (or 25 lbs.). The thing that I like about the play groups are that they are run by certified trainers and there is a good variety of dogs. I'm not a huge fan of dog parks (but that is just my opinion) so I prefer to take Liyah to puppy play group on both Saturday and Sunday and also take her to visit her breeder so that she can play with their other puppies or dogs. I did puppy kindergarten with Liyah and it was really more about socialization although we still got a lot out of it because the one I went to was clicker training. I would recommend kindergarten if you could get it to fit with your schedule.

@lvoss:

Do you use things like Kongs or Busy Buddies? A Buster Cube is also good. Something where she has to do some problem solving.

It is too bad you can't get into an obedience class, have you looked around to see if there are any that offer drop in type classes. Around here it is becoming much more popular to offer classes where a person can pay on a week by week basis. Many of these classes have a rotation of topics that they go through so you can drop in for the loose leash class or the sit class, etc.
http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOGS/Levels/ByLevel/1Level.html

+1 on this. Liyah loves Kongs & Busy Buddies (and the same company that makes Busy Buddies, makes Liyah's favourite - the Squirrel Dude).

Also around here, like Lisa said, they are starting to offer classes on a drop in basis so that you don't need to commit to the same time for 6 weeks.

@renaultf1:

+1 on this. Liyah loves Kongs & Busy Buddies (and the same company that makes Busy Buddies, makes Liyah's favourite - the Squirrel Dude).

Also around here, like Lisa said, they are starting to offer classes on a drop in basis so that you don't need to commit to the same time for 6 weeks.

I've been meaning to ask you who makes the infamous "squirrel dude". lol. I've been looking for treat dispensing toys that would work for Zoni in her xpen but I am unhappy with the selection in the local stores and I don't really want to pull out the "buster cube". That thing is noisy! Did you get the small or medium squirrel dude?

@Nemo:

I've been meaning to ask you who makes the infamous "squirrel dude". lol. I've been looking for treat dispensing toys that would work for Zoni in her xpen but I am unhappy with the selection in the local stores and I don't really want to pull out the "buster cube". That thing is noisy! Did you get the small or medium squirrel dude?

Ha, ha, ha…as you know, the Squirrel Dude has been magic for me since day one of Liyah's arrival here.:D:D I got the small one...it is about the same size as the red kong I have for her (fits almost 1/4 cup of her kibble). The only difference between the kong & the squirrel is it has the rubber prongs like the busy buddies do. I had to cut the prongs down a little as if she couldn't get treats out of it when she first got here she wasn't interested (just like her granny. I'll be getting another as soon as this one gets too easy. So you might want to order 2 if you are buying them online.

thanks again. I have been looking up those toys you mentioned and will hit petsmart for the buster cube and one of the others not sure which between busy buddy and squirell dude.

I will talk to them again about the classes but when I first asked and they were explained to me I told them about my shifting schedule and it was never mentioned about another option at either petsmart or petco. I will have to ask about puppy kindergarden as well. I want to keep her happy (and ease my poor old cats suffering). I really appreciate all the input.

Petco and Petsmart are not very likely to be flexible. You may want to do a search for other trainers in your area. Here is a link to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers trainer search page, http://www.apdt.com/po/ts/default.aspx

You might also check with your local humane society animal shelter - the one here offers various classes (regular obedience plus good citizen plus plus) and you can take them at your own pace though I'm not sure how that works (I just got the notice).

I buy most of my toys online since the stores around here cater to the hunting dogs. Don't forget to check Amazon.com too - they have a wide selection.

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