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Trucker has a new bad habit, theft! The more comfortable he gets in the house and the more he knows I am not going to beat him when he does wrong the more adventurous he gets. Aghh, he at a shoe last night!

And before you say this is a training thing, we are working on formal training but that requires meeting strangers so that will take time. But since coming home he has learn that to get fed he must sit, stay/wait, till i fill his bowl set it on the floor and release him to eat (he was a really fast eater before I taught him this). He has learned to sit, to stay, to come, to bow, to lay down, to relax, to speak, and to quite. Currently we are working on up/stand. So I don't think it is that he doesn't think that I am in charge, I think he knows who is in charge.

But I may be wrong especially after the run of this weeks behavior, feet on the kitchen table, stealing and eating shoes, chasing and barking at the cat, digging in the yard, trying to eat the fence, eating kitty litter, eating a hairbrush, and stealing out of the recycle bin.

I am desperate for some help, he has toys, we play everyday, train, and go for long walks. It actually seems like the more stimuli I give him the more destructive he is. Any idea how to curb this rash of bad behavior before my boy drives me bonkers and destroys my house?
 

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How old is Trucker? Have you tried playing mental games with him? Mental exercises can help tremendously with draining excess energy instead of just physical exercise. If you google dog games, many suggestions pop up and lots of mind stimulating games that can be made with basic household objects.

Edit: I just saw how old he is at the bottom of your post. Seems like the "honeymoon" phase is over and Trucker is becoming more comfortable in your home.
 

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How old is Trucker? Have you tried playing mental games with him? Mental exercises can help tremendously with draining excess energy instead of just physical exercise. If you google dog games, many suggestions pop up and lots of mind stimulating games that can be made with basic household objects.

Edit: I just saw how old he is at the bottom of your post. Seems like the "honeymoon" phase is over and Trucker is becoming more comfortable in your home.
That's what I thought and I always knew he was an energetic breed but I just can't figure out how to wear him out. So I will try some more mental stimulus
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I think you are probably right that his slowly-earned confidence is causing him to try new things. Which is AWESOME!!!! Okay, I know it doesn't feel that way when you are the one with nibbled shoes, but let me tell you: a fearful dog getting to act like "just a dog" is marvelous. A pain in the butt, maybe, but marvelous. Thanks for giving your dog a chance to be himself.

Let go of the idea that this has anything to do with him thinking "you're in charge" (or related concepts). Eating yummy food, chewing yummy sneakers, digging thrilling holes, these things simply feel good to dogs. They are natural dog behaviors. They don't think, "hmm, how can I be naughty today," they just do what feels good, or what comes instinctively. My dog adores shoes. She likes to lick the toe jam from sandals, stick her nose deep into running shoes and inhale the stench, and take my hiking boots by the laces and whip them through the air (with predictably destructive results). It has nothing to do with ME, it has everything to do with her entertaining herself with some terrific nearby objects.

I lock shoes in the closet (when I remember), and keep food off the counters, and reinforce behaviors I like at a tremendous rate. If you're looking for ideas, the "impulse control" sticky (up top, you can find it!) has a lot of good ideas. Teach him fun tricks that make him use his brain, and try to make as many of those tricks as possible include valuable life skills (like impulse control), and you'll end up with a terrific roommate...uh, eventually. My girl is just a bit younger than Trucker, and she has a long, long, looooong way to go before she impresses anyone with her sophistication and calm!
 

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@SnackRat I am actually really exited that he is not scared that I will beat him when he does something wrong since this is such a vast improvement in such a short time (just over 2 months). Especially since I am better that he has NEVER had a chance to "puppy" (chew things) before with being whipped.

At the same time I don't want him to completely destroy the house or all things in the process :) He seems really entertained by learning new tricks (I don't think he ever had the chance before). So last night when he went for my boots we went to the basement and learned how to sit on a Bosu Ball. He is so smart and picks up this so quickly because I assumed he would not remember how to do this in the morning but when I asked him to do "Four Feet" he again immediately obliged.

So I am thinking that this weekend we might get a toy basket and try to learn how to "Clean Up" i.e. put all the toys into the basket including the cat toys. Which will give him a chance to pick up the cat toys which he wants to do desperately and will clean my house :) plus he kind of does this anyway. He hides (he loves picking them all up and moving them there) all his toys in the guest bedroom under the bed but I would prefer they be in a toy basket.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh I forgot I was going to include his "Four Feet" picture :)

 
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