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How to change dog behaviour?

A six-week old cocker spaniel--I've been recommended Cerelac 5 times daily--1 measure(that comes with the pack) in half-a cup of warm water. Stools a bit loose. is this OK? Also, how do I train him not to bite? He bites feet, hands, and any loose material including dresses and pants- hanging over him. Please share your experiences. Thank you.
By lila iyer · 24 Mar 2011 9:40 pm


By chollen · 25 Mar 2011 11:59 am
whenever your dog tends to bite stuffs give her or him a toy that he can chew on. dogs loves to chew... dog must learn the NO command. train her at the age of 8 weeks
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By sindhoor · 25 Mar 2011 3:11 pm
First step is to understand that dogs need to chew. They do this for several reasons. Puppies do this when they are teething. Dogs also do this as a way to calm themselves down, to ward of boredom and to keep their teeth clean. So, the most important thing for you is to understand that your little lab puppy NEEDS to chew and will continue to chew all his life.

Once you are very clear about this, there are 3 things you need to do.
1. Provide enough of things for your puppy to chew on: bones, artificial bones, chew toys, ropes etc...Pets stores today carry many varieties of these things. We buy our dog something new each week to chew on. When ever your little fellow chews on his toys or bones, praise him wholeheartedly, so that he knows you appreciate that
2. When he nibbles on you, make a yelping noise (just like a dog would yelp when bitten). Your dog will stop immediately and look at your. Stop playing with him immediately, get up and walk away and don't talk to him for the next half hour. This will teach him that you don't like him chewing on you
3. If he nibbles on anything else (like furniture, shoes etc...), just say a stern NO, gently pull him away, and give him his own chew toy to chew on. Don't yell or shout. If he starts chewing on his chew toy, praise him and pet him lightly and leave him to enjoy his chewing. He will be a happy puppy and you will be happy dog-parents :)
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By sindhoor · 25 Mar 2011 3:15 pm
Your puppy needs to develop something called "Bite Inhibition". Young puppies learn this from their mommies and brothers and sisters in their litter. Unfortunately, in India, breeders give our their puppies too soon and the puppies don't get a chance to learn bite inhibition. So you need to teach your puppy that.

In the dog world, if a puppy bites another puppy, the other puppy will yelp out loud and walk away and stop playing. You need to do the same. If your puppy bites you, let out a high pitched "ouch", give your dog one look and then walk away from the puppy. Stop playing with him. Soon he will learn the strenght of his teeth and will develop bite inhibition.

Bite Inhibition is a critical lesson to learn. Most trainers in India will not tell you about this or teach your puppy this. Don't ignore it, as this is the most critical thing that will ensure that your puppy does not grow up to be a dangerous dog.
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By lila iyer · 26 Mar 2011 7:17 am
Thanks a million, people! I shall begin right aaway.
I have still to get those toys. but meanwhile, anything at home that I can use ? I tried the lid of curd packs, because they are pliable, but they are too thin and his teeth get stuck in them.
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By sindhoor · 26 Mar 2011 12:31 pm
Be careful with household items. they could splinter and get stuck in your little puppys throat. I have heard of one idea, but not really tried it: You could take a pair of old jeans, cut out the leg portion to create a jeans tube. Take a pastic bottle. Remove cap, rim and paper on it. flatten the bottle out. Put it in jeans tube and stitch up both ends so that you have a flat sheet of jeans with a flat bottle inside to make the toy more interesting. If you try this, let me know how it went. I always buy artificial bones and chew toys for my chew-machine :)
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By lila iyer · 26 Mar 2011 7:34 pm
Thanks, Sindhoor! Will try it.I made a little soft toy with old hankies bundled together. it keeps him occupied for a while.
My last companion was an adult when he came to me. I used to make suitable sized holes in a plastic bottle and drop a handful of pedigree in and cap it. The dog spent his time shaking the bottle trying to get the kibble out and it would be empty by the time i returned after an hour or two.
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By sindhoor · 27 Mar 2011 9:22 am
Kibble in a plastic bottle is a wonderful idea. Keeps foodie-dogs engaged for ever! However, in your case, you want a chewing toy as well. So you need something for your dog to chew hard on. Also, one thing to keep in mind is that with home-made toys, they are not very durable. So if your little doggie is a power chewer and tears apart the toy, he might end up eating it and choking on it. So home-made toys are to be given only under supervision. Try popping into the pet store at your earliest and getting a more durable toy or bone. Your little fellow will love you for it :)
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By lila iyer · 29 Mar 2011 7:18 pm
Good of you to offer timely push. I did get some tyre-like item from the pet store in sheer desperation. My ankles and arms are spotted with red; but my hawaii slippers are a better idea. Only, I'll have to get a kid's pair because these are too heavy for him to worry and shake.
Now I need some reassurance that he will get over his habit of attacking my ankles and hands. He does seem to do that more when excited or prior to dropping off too sleep.

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By sindhoor · 29 Mar 2011 9:04 pm
He definitely will stop chewing on your ankles and hands. He just needs to develop bite inhibition. Next time he bites, try letting out a shrill cry. He will definitely back off. That is how older dogs train younger dogs. After he backs off, give him his own chew toy or bone to bite on.

My dog too needs to chew when she is excited or tired. As, I mentioned, it is their way of reducing stress. Just need to teach them what to chew on and what not to :)
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By lila iyer · 06 Jun 2011 9:15 am
Thanks, sindhoor, for keeping up my spirits--my dog got his last shot yesterday. He's turning out fine--the biting is minimal; he loves walking and he's the darling of all the residents of our road. He's even learnt to give up hanging on to brooms, mops and all things waving over his head.Now, all I want him to learn is o stay by himsself at home for an hour or two. Guess that'll take some time, since I'm his only companion.
Thanks again.
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By sindhoor · 06 Jun 2011 6:13 pm
That is great news. Dogs are darlings, we just need to know how to bring out the best side of them :)

Teaching him to stay by himself requires you to build trust. He needs to start believing that if you leave, you will come back. Also, he has to have something interesting to do when you are away, so that he does not obsess about you. So here is what you can do:
1. Start with a little at a time. Walk out of the house. Spend a few seconds and then walk back in. Increase this to a few minutes
2. Start leaving him for a few minutes, take a walk outside and come back. Increase very slowly, up to 1 hour
3. While you are away, give him special things: Kong toy filled with food, or some special toys that you keep away and give to him only when you leave home or a new fake bone. That will keep him engaged.

If trained well, dogs manage to stay by themselves up to about 6 hours (varies depending on different dogs). But they cannot handle more than 6 hours for sure. As long as you train patiently and keep to the limit, things should be fine :) Best of luck!
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