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My 6 month old puppy is getting quite defiant these days. We exercise him for 1 hour in the morning physically and then another hour of training, games and mental stimulation before I leave for work.

My mum takes him for a walk at noon and then I come home to spend time with him from 5 - 10pm. These problems have started to arise.

1. He pulls on the leash like mad in our evening walk (he gets 3 walks per day). If I take him out straight after his nap, he is fine but if I wait until sunset he goes insane for the first 15 minutes. We have been working on loose leash walking since he was 3 months old and I have tried to remain consistent even when he goes berserk.

2. Mid morning he will start digging holes and scavenge some rubbish or destroy a flower pot by ripping off the plants or taking out the soil. I've put chilly powder to deter him which works but sometimes I forget. I do leave him with kongs and toys plus things to chew on that is different every day. He doesn't seem to take much interest in peanut butter kongs but will tolerate it if he is too bored. I've tried mashed potato, yogurt or fruits as well.


3. Training him is getting a little difficult because he is so easily distracted. I always train him on a leash so he has to obey but his eyes are looking elsewhere. I reward him with all different kinds of treats and game of tug.

Altogether, we spend about 2 hours of walking and free running plus 2 hours of mental stimulation/ training all weekdays. Is this just a puppy phase or are we not doing enough exercise? Should I place him in the crate in the morning as well? He goes in the crate for his afternoon nap after his noon walk until I return (3-4hrs).
 

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Altogether, we spend about 2 hours of walking and free running plus 2 hours of mental stimulation/ training all weekdays. Is this just a puppy phase or are we not doing enough exercise? Should I place him in the crate in the morning as well? He goes in the crate for his afternoon nap after his noon walk until I return (3-4hrs).
I have no experience with puppies or adolescent dogs, but four hours a day of physical exercise and mental stimulation seems like more than enough. I would crate him in the morning since your mom is able to give him a walk midday.
 

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He refuses to enter his crate in late morning but goes in in the afternoon. Do you think giving him an incentive such as a bone to chew on (he gets one in the evening but I can chop it into half for the morning session) will help him to love his crate more in the morning?
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He refuses to enter his crate in late morning but goes in in the afternoon. Do you think giving him an incentive such as a bone to chew on (he gets one in the evening but I can chop it into half for the morning session) will help him to love his crate more in the morning?
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I am by no means an expert, and my pup is only a tad older than yours, but I think that giving him a special treat in his crate would help. I make sure my dog has something special when I leave and have him watch me get it ready before we go out, so when we come in he goes right into his crate (or pen) because he knows that is where he gets the treat (usually a stuffed Kong).

Good luck!
 
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