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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so I just got a 7-month-old beagle/chihuahua mix about three days ago. he is adorable and we absolutely want to make him a part of the family, but there are some problems that we have noticed. 1. He bites, a lot. it's a continuous problem with him. anytime I or one of my family members sit down on the sofa he jumps on the couch and starts biting. also anytime I try to pet him while he is calm or laying down, he bites me. trust me, we have tried to watch every youtube video and read every article on this subject and how to get him to chew on acceptable things. we have tried to redirect him so that whenever he bites that we show him his chew toy. but it seems like he will bite everything EXCEPT the actually chew toys that we show him. I know this is common for dogs of his age and I know that I need to have patience but I feel like I am not doing the right thing. 2. he has bad separation anxiety. anytime I try to go to the bathroom and don't let him in he will whine like crazy. and anytime I put him in his cage to rest he will also start whining and barking. I have heard people say that putting a blanket over his cage will help him to calm down but I don't want to make him feel anxious or mentally scar him which is why I am here. we haven't left him at our house alone yet so we don't know what to expect. also just a little bonus point every time I take him outside he is surprisingly calm. he will not bite me or anything. and he is calm around other dogs as well. but the moment I take him inside he is biting again. like I said I have tried to do my research on this but it seems like all of the instructions are super vague and don't tell you the specifics. so I guess my question is what things should I do so that he learns to chew on the right things? and what should I do to help with the separation anxiety? is this just a part of him getting used to the new home? since it takes about three weeks for a dog to get used to the home he is in what should I train him in those three weeks? cause I know I don't have the money to buy a million different chew toys just for him to choose one he likes. and also I don't want it to be too late since I know when dogs become adults it's harder to train them. I've heard a lot of things from videos and articles but I want to know what yall think about this since I'm guessing if you are on this forum you may have previous experience with these types of issues.

· Registered
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I think part of the reason you hear so many things is dogs are varied like people. What works for one won't necessarily work for another. So, while it's a bit of a balancing act, picking the best and being consistent; it will happen. And, I've never had a problem training an older dog. It might just be it takes longer to bond with older dogs sometimes, which is the foundation of training, or you're working against an ingrained/already reinforced behavior. And people tend to have less patience for a jumpy eight month old than an eight week old, even if they might have had the exact same amount of training on the behavior. Anyways.

1. This will need consistency. Think weeks, maybe months, not days. Other options to add or do: saying ouch, leaving, ouch and leaving, or, the "three strikes rule." Redirect twice, giving the chance, but on the third, you leave. Like over a gate and/or closing the door for a few minutes leaving (same for whenever you leave for teeth on skin). I will attach some videos from a trainer that is a forum favorite at the end. But you're on the right track.

2. Our mod @JoanneF like this article for separation anxiety.

Would baby gating him to one room while crate training be an option when you leave? This might be the best immediate option if available. And crate games are your friend. Really brief steps overview:

1. Toss treats into crate with door open. If it's just barely in the door, a-ok. Several days of this, just in and out for a few minutes and/or throughout the day. Longer than a few days is a-ok as well.
2. Do step 1, but add cue kennel,.crate, or what have you when you toss the treat in. Add release or release cue when he pops out.
3. Toss treats in towards the back, but same as 1& 2 everywhere else.
4. Toss, close door for 1-2 seconds, open and release.
5. Work on building up the time.
6. Add a Kong (or the like) to replace the treats. When he's done, open door.
7. Add more stuffing to Kong, or harder to get, or freeze, essentially longer-lasting.
8. Do 7, but wait a few seconds before opening door.
9. Build on 8. Eventually, you should be able to fade out the Kong if you wish.

And more....
1.1 Where is the crate? If not already there, can you put it in your bedrooom next to your bed? It doesn't have to be forever.
1.2 You can try adding the Kong as part of the bedtime routine, when you know he's tired, for bedtime.
1.3 You might also need to work on crating him with variations of him seeing you and not seeing you.
1.4 We can tweak this

You can work on chewing appropriate things with a, "that's yours" and "that's mine." Example: he is chewing on a shoe. You see this, grab a toy. You give dog toy while saying, "that's yours" and pick up shoe saying "that's mine" and put it away. "Mark" with a soft "yes" or "good boy" when he does something you like, such as playing with his toys or sitting. And teaching "leave it" is a very good thing to learn.

Settling in is like an onion. 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months where the dog gets more acclimated, bonded,relaxes and shows his true self. All opportunities are training opportunities, but don't have super high expectations. Just take it at his pace and as things come up. Good intentional starting points are his name, looking at/interacting with you, sit, come, and leave it.

might well

· Super Moderator
8,493 Posts
I'd just reiterate, it's only been 3 days. He doesn't know you, he doesn't understand the rules, he will be very unsettled so before assuming he has SA, give him time. Once he understands the household routine, and his place in that routine, he may be less clingy.

After a couple of weeks, try the Flitting Game described in the linked article.

· Registered
2,321 Posts
Very good advice above.
Do not worry about this. Just take the appropriate steps to correct it and have lots and lots of patience. Be persistent and most of all, be 100% consistent in what you do. Everyone in the household has to be doing the same thing with the dog because if one person lets the dog get away with undesirable behavior even once it will undermine the training. So if you have kids, either monitor all their interactions with the dog or tell them in detail what they need to do if they are old enough to be trusted to do it every single time.

Good for you, for seeking help after the first three days instead of bumbling along not knowing what to do, which might have made the situation worse and much harder to correct later on. You can correct this. Jus remember what is said above -- do not expect change in days. It's more likely to be weeks or even months. But the techniques above WILL work if you just keep at it, and you will have a lovely pet to show for it.
Best of luck!
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