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  1. For the most part, my 2-year old BC mix is fine with being left alone. She goes into the basement and sits until we get home. For the past few weeks, however, she has gone into the kitchen and pulled things down from the counters. She doesn't often do much with them - yesterday she pulled down two dry pasta bags and a veggie broth box, chewed holes in each of them, then did nothing else. Sometimes it is because she hasn't been exercised properly, but there's now enough regularity that her energy level seems to be less of a factor. Thoughts on cause? Solutions? We can of course block her from the kitchen, but given the layout of the house that's an option we don't want to exercise. We are also putting things out of her reach more, but there's simply too much stuff for her to be completely devoid of temptation. Strangely, she has never pulled down her bag of food which is the easiest to reach.
  2. So my 2 year old pup has been doing great, but there is one question I have regarding training to relax. She has learned that by barking and chirping at us, she either gets let outside or will get training. We have started ignoring her to teach her to stop doing it and rewarding her when she lays down, but it's extremely slow going. Is this the best technique, or should we be more active in making her lay down and reward her so long as she stays down and relaxes. And to preemptively address it: we exercise her well. For instance, this morning we went on a 20 minute walk then did 45 minutes of high energy frisbee. When we got home, she stood in the living room barking at us to play with her. We did 5-10 minutes of intense training, then stopped and she continued barking at us. And we don't mind her being outside, but there are times (rain, evening, etc.) we want her inside with us.
  3. Two quick questions: 1) Every dog I've ever had will go outside, run around and sniff, then come in. My current dog - my first border mix - seems to prefer just hanging outside all day by herself. Are there any concerns with the dog spending the majority of the day outside by herself, other than the obvious of making sure she doesn't get into mischief? The yard is pretty small and I work from home so I can pretty easily minimize potential trouble. 2) Do people have suggestions for things to leave outside with her to keep her entertained? Is it even necessary? She seems content just sitting in the grass and looking around, but a trainer recommended getting a bungee chew or something to tie to a tree for the dog to chew on and tug when she gets excited. Anyone have suggestions/thoughts? Thanks.
  4. Apologies for the slow response. I live in Hawaii and it seems my vet is unusually expensive. Some of the others were more reasonable. As for her teeth, I found the solution: bones from the butcher. Honestly the difference between what her teeth used to look like and now is pretty stark.
  5. Yeah, I was shocked. I was expecting in the $200-400 range. I'm going to call around, but I think it's the nature of the island I live on - things are expensive here.
  6. the timing of this thread is perfect as I logged in to ask a question about brushing teeth. I have never brushed my dogs' teeth, but my new pup is 2 and has clear build up on her teeth. Professional cleanings here are ghastly expensive (over $1K). Judging by this thread, it appears brushing is okay, as is giving them raw bones (for those asking, I have heard from numerous sources that cooked bones can splinter so avoid those, per my sources). Does anyone have suggestions on how to acclimatize the dog to brushing? Mine will lose her mind if I start brushing. My thought is to let her taste the toothpaste, and go super slow: let her smell the toothbrush, treat; put toothbrush on teeth with no brushing, treat; one brushing movement, treat; and so on. Is that the proper protocol or do people have other thoughts?
  7. Great, thanks for the help D'Elle.
  8. My dog is getting close to 2 years old and is generally fine when we leave the house. Recently we started teaching her nose work and it was at a person's house. We crated her and walked away and she would not stop barking. Every other dog there was quiet, but she was not. She does this in other situations, too. If my girlfriend and I are on a walk and I move away any distance, she stares and starts to get antsy, barking and nervous. Any suggestions on how to remedy this?
  9. Thanks for the comments everyone. I've been using hot dogs, cheese (block and canned), and Zukes and she loves them all. Was wanting to mix it up again for something to excite her so I'll try a few of the ones here.
  10. Our trainer thinks that getting our dog anti-anxiety medication would be helpful in getting her to calm down so she's easier to train. Our dog can be reactive on walks and in the yard to strangers, and is almost constantly panting when relaxing in the house. The trainer said getting her medication to help would put her in a better state to learn what we want from her. Obviously this will ultimately be our vet's call, but I'm just curious what people used that worked, and what their dog exhibited before and after using the medication. (i.e. how did your dog change when you began giving her the meds?)
  11. What do people use for their 'high value treat' when training their dog? Our dog is reactive on leash at times and barks too much to people walking by in the yard. We are working on this but want a high value treat to really reward her when she does the right thing. What do people use that they have found to be 'loved' by their dog? (I know it's dog specific but trying to get ideas to try with her.)
  12. She was allowed to roam in our bedroom and the adjacent one and did great for several weeks, then one night chewed up a few things so she was put back in the crate.
  13. Quick request for thoughts: our 1 year old is fine with her crate. During the day and in the evening, part of our training includes "go to your crate" and she happily runs and gets in her crate. Even when we are leaving for a few hours, we can simply say "crate" and she runs and gets in, no problem. At night, however, when we are going to bed she absolutely refuses to go to her crate. We have tried enticing her with treats, waiting her out, etc., but she goes into my bedroom and lays next to the bed, refusing to get up. Thoughts?
  14. Yeah, I don't mean to imply that it's a light switch, but with every dog I've had there have been those moments where I notice that she seems to have passed that puppy stage and is more calm and mature. It's usually a couple of events where I notice she isn't fighting herself anymore or pushing boundaries to see what she can get away with. With past dogs it was usually between 2 and 3. As was mentioned, I saw one big change when she was around 10 months, but I can tell she still has some of the puppy impulsiveness and energy.
  15. The thread on how much exercise got me to thinking: when did your BC turn the corner from puppydom to adult? I know some breeds are late maturers (e.g. Swissies) and have heard from most people it's around 2 years when they go from puppy energy and disobedience to more measured and level adulthood. When did you see that change?
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