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Tuesday Training Byte: Help! My dog is so destructive.

How many of the following behaviors has your dog done? Getting into the trash, chewing the furniture, nipping and chewing on you and the grandkids, running the opposite direction when you call, jumping up on everybody. People often call me as a last resort before they take the dog to the pound or give it away. Some of these dogs are multiple serial offenders. Some dogs need a total "reboot" to start over. I will be honest: I have had a few dogs that I rescued that did most of these (and the reason the dog needed a new home) and you really can teach an old dog new tricks. Naturally it is easier to start off right with setting boundaries, going to a puppy training class (AKC STAR Puppy is ideal) and crate training your dog. But all of this takes time and consistency which many people may not have. Consider that most all dogs have ADHD. Start by making a list of which behavior is the most crucial to eliminate first and get help with that. Paying for a 30 minute consult or a 1 hour private training may be enough to give you the knowledge to tackle the problem. Make a set time every day to enjoy time with your dog. This should include grooming, playing, exercise, and training. On Saturdays I do multiple things with my dogs, but spending 15 minutes throughout the week having fun with simple games and training can go a long way. And when you can't supervise the dog, put them up in a safe place such as a crate or fenced yard with a chew toy/treat. Dogs are social and need regular interaction. Doing frequent activities with your dog will increase the bond and make them more responsive. My dogs love playing with a "flirt pole".

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