Training a Newly Adopted Dog

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Training a Newly Adopted Dog

This is a discussion on Training a Newly Adopted Dog within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; We recently adopted a 3-year-old Aussie from a coworker that didn't really take good care of him. We have two Huskies that we've had since ...

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Old 12-10-2017, 08:15 AM
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Training a Newly Adopted Dog

We recently adopted a 3-year-old Aussie from a coworker that didn't really take good care of him. We have two Huskies that we've had since they were puppies and trained to our satisfaction and lifestyle. This is the first time training an adult dog. The issue is he destroys toys; we have a LOT of toys, some of which our huskies are very fond of. We want them all to be able to play with the toys but are afraid the Aussie will end up destroying all of them. Sprays might discourage HIM, but then the other two won't play with the toys either. We're not sure what to do. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:01 AM
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I would just get your Aussie his own toys. I don't know how your huskies are with sharing but mine won't share toys with other dogs only within themeselves. Maybe get a Bark box this toys are really hard :-):-)

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Old 12-13-2017, 09:22 PM
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So, the destructive chewing is a symptom. As long as he is only destroying toys (and not furniture, shoes, power cords, etc.) then you're in a good place. Just accept that he is going to destroy toys for a while, no matter how cherished they might be to other dogs. I would definitely not try to discourage this behavior. It is a very healthy outlet that he is using to cope with the underlying issue.

The underlying issue is almost certainly that he is just understimulated. He needs more physical and mental stimulation. Being an Aussie, his temperament and needs are quite different from your huskies'. He has an innate need to feel like he has a purpose. If he doesn't get this, he will come up with a job to do - in this case, destroying toys. And, consider yourself lucky this is the job he's chosen. Just having other dogs to play with probably isn't enough.

If you correct this, the destructive chewing should taper off over a few weeks.

If that is not the problem, there could be another anxiety reason. That's harder to guess at, without observing the dog. But, it is sometimes the cause of this sort of chewing. Chewing helps dogs deal with stress.

Finally, some more intelligent breeds (like the Aussie) have been known to destroy specific objects to make a point. For example, I had a Border Collie that didn't get enough attention from me because I was busy studying in the evenings. So, one day while I was gone, she pulled the book off the shelf that I was reading the night before, opened it to the pages I was on, and ripped out just those pages. Shredded them all over.

Message received. We came to a compromise after that - I paid more attention to her and she stopped destroying literature.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:18 AM
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Wink teach them soft-toys are for play, & PAWS OFF.


it isn't just "lack of exercise" or boredom that leads to destroying objects -
Dogs do it 'cuz, A, they can, & B, no-one's taught them any different.
Well-exercised & happily busy dogs will still rip stuff - chewing is a lifelong dog-behavior, but gnawing on something isn't the same activity as shredding an object, & provides a different kind of satisfaction.

Giving a dog legitimate objects to shred outdoors, such as empty cardboard boxes, can satisfy their yen to rip the H*** outta stuff, without destroying anything of value.

Most untaught dogs will use anything in the environs as a chew-toy or a destroyable hunk of busywork - if it's not too big to fit in their mouths, isn't made of concrete, stone, metal, or brick, they'll chew it. If it's shreddable, thy'll shred it.
Dogs didn't evolve with sofas - anything chewable, gets chewed; if they prefer a certain texture, they may choose fabric, foam, paper [ripping ppr-towels, TP, facial tissues, etc, is actually a heritable behavior that can be compulsive - known breeds that may carry this trait include Labs & GSDs], wood [chair legs, cupboard doors...], etc.

teaching a dog NOT to shred toys is time-consuming, but simple:
offer a toy, & as soon as the dog puts A PAW ON IT, take it away instantly.
They can't rip it without pinning it down; they can only mouth it. Putting a paw on it means they are about to rip into it, so remove it. // Wait 5-secs or so, re-offer it. See the paw put on the toy?... take it away. // Repeat, ad infinitum.

It took me about a week of daily bouts of offering my then-15-WO Akita soft toys & plastic toys multiple times a day, to get her to the point that she didn't try to shred or puncture them within 45-seconds flat. So yeah, the process is a PITA - but sheer bloody-minded repetition, AND management so that no wreckable items are within dog-reach when they are not under Ur direct supervision, will eventually bring the lesson home: if they want to play with the toy, PAWS don't go on it.

That doesn't mean U can leave soft-toys with the dog when U are out of the room, or not at home - that's too much to expect. Dogs who love to rip can't be left with tempting items & then blamed for shredding them - set the dog up for success, save the $$ U'd spend to replace them, & PUT THE TOYS AWAY when U aren't supervising.

- terry

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