My dog is wild and out of control!
Anne answers reader’s random questions
We have a Puggle (pug beagle mix) who is just over 9 months old; she is wild and out of control! I do understand she is a puppy but I have never had a puppy this wild. She runs all over the place, jumping on everything. We take her on long walks (a mile or more) and play fetch with her in the yard everyday. She does not listen very well at all, and our biggest problem is her jumping on our kitchen table. We learned quickly to remove everything from the table but she still jumps up there and just lays there if she can’t find anything to chew on. Once we come around the corner and catch her on the table, she jumps off and hangs her head knowing that she is not to be up there. How can we get her to stop this behavior?
Please help us.
~Jill & Frank
Dear Jill and Frank,
First of all, be patient, your pup is at the climax of canine adolescence. A trainer I know always says a dog’s age goes: 7 months, 8 months, free to a good home on the farm, 11 months, 12 months…
That said, you do need to get your little wild woman under control.
The first thing your Puggle needs is more exercise and stimulation. A walk and a game of fetch are a good start but one on leash walk a day and a game of fetch is not sufficient exercise for a dog of that breed mix at that age. (She is meeting her own exercise requirements by tearing around the house and bouncing off the walls.)
You need to find a way to get her about 2 hours of aerobic activity a day. Off leash exercise is the best way to get the pup’s heart rate up and energy burning. Try to find an off leash dog park near your home or set up play dates with your friends dogs. There are even play groups specifically for small dogs. All these things can be found through ROMP (Responsible Owners of Mannerly Pets). Dog daycare is another way to accomplish the exercise mission. There are dog daycares in almost every area now so there is probably one near you.
Your Puggle is also SCREAMING for obedience training. Enrolling her in a beginner obedience class will teach you to teach her to listen. The other thing it will do is prepare you to enroll in an agility class. Agility is a game you may have seen on TV where the dogs run through tunnels and over ramps. It is super fun and she sounds like she could be an agility star! That would burn off her energy and she would be great at it.
As far as the kitchen table issue the first thing you need to do is prevent access so she can’t continue to practice the behavior. Set up a baby gate to restrict her access to the kitchen when she cannot be supervised. Leave the gate up for at least 21 days to ensure the habit is broken. Then, take the gate down and hide around the corner where you can see her but she doesn’t know. If she starts to launch burst in to the room and say “NO!” in a low, firm voice. Immediately take her by her collar and/or scruff and put her in a different room for a time out (1-3 minutes).
If she walks into the kitchen but does not jump run into the kitchen and praise her and offer her a toy and some really fun playtime with mom. Continue to set her up like this (and keep the gate up other times) until she believes you are always watching. Remember this will not be successful unless it is combined with increased exercise and general obedience training.
About the Author:
Anne Hendrickson is a dog trainer and owner of Downtown Dogs Daycare and Boarding. Her passion is helping pets and their people get the best from each other and giving everyone the best quality of life possible. She is a mom to two fur and one human baby.
For more information on Downtown Dogs Minneapolis call (612) 374-DOGS or E-mail: anne@DowntownDogsMinneapolis.com
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