Peanut Butter and Puppy Training…

Last week, something possessed me to buy a puppy.  After signing on the dotted line, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t trained a puppy since I was in high school….but how hard could it be?

We got our puppy at our local animal shelter thus his parentage was unknown; he’s looks like he’s got some golden retriever and Lab in his genes. Sam was the name we chose after much deliberation. My fourteen year old son declared “Sam” was an overused dog name, chosen by most Americans due to lack of creativity, but uncreative or not, we stuck with the name.

Sam was supposedly crate trained and house broken when he arrived.  But the first night in his cage he cried non-stop giving my husband and I flash backs of getting up with our kids when they were young.  Four hours of sleep and a couple of strong cups of coffee later, I started day two determined to train our puppy.

Unfortunately, he must was rusty in the house broken department too, because he peed in the house six times that day.  Obsessed about more accidents occurring, I marched the little guy outside every thirty minutes to his designated grassy area and encouraged him to “do his busy-busy.”  The perseverance paid off, he’s been accident free ever since, but my kids are horrified at the terminology they have to use when walking the dog.

Our newest training adventure involves teaching Sam to stop chewing on us with his dagger sharp puppy teeth. He’s already torn my son’s basketball shorts and drew blood on my other son’s arm.  I turned to the internet and found several theories to training a puppy not to bite. It seems that they need to bite SOMETHING because they are losing their baby teeth.  The goal is to get make sure human flesh isn’t Sam’s chewy toy of choice.

So, like a good dog owner I went to the Pet Store and bought Sam five different kinds of special chewing toys. Kong’s are the latest and greatest chewing toys, and by the way, the most expensive.  Supposedly, you fill the hollow hard rubber toy with peanut butter and freeze it.  The puppy will “enjoy” chewing on it because it’s cold the clerk told me, but all I could think about was what was going to happened when the peanut butter melted…remember seeing a dog’s tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth?  Maybe that’s how to keep a puppy from biting…

Chewy toys were nice, but Sam still preferred soft tissue to hard rubber. So, I searched the internet for some tips on stopping this behavior. Of course, there are many theories on how to do this, but I watched one particular trainer teach his dog and decided to try it.   I worked with Sam on this for several hours using kibble as treats. Sam is a pretty smart dog so he caught on pretty quick.  Unfortunately, he seems to enjoy disobeying and then obeying so he can get the treat.  The trainer didn’t address what to do with dogs like Sam, I need to watch that video again….

How to Raise the Perfect Dog

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