Sometime between the 4th and eighth months, your baby dog starts to understand that there is a large, wide world out there

Sometime between the 4th and eighth months, your baby dog starts to understand that there is a large, wide world out there. Up to this time, each time you called, Tommy likely eagerly came to you. But now he might prefer to ramble off and analyze.

Tommy is maturing and cutting the apron strings, which is standard. He isn’t being nasty or disobedient ; he’s just becoming a teen. While he’s going thru this phase, keep Tommy on a leash or in a confined area till he has learned to come when called.

Otherwise, not coming when called becomes a pattern – exasperating to you and perilous to Tommy. After this activity becomes a habit, breaking it is difficult ; prevention is the more efficient cure.

Training your dog to come when called is far easier before he has developed the practice of running away. Practice calling him in the house, out in the yard, and at random times. Have a treat in your pocket to buttress the behaviour you would like. When you want to collect in a rambling Tommy, do not under any circumstances, play the game of chasing him. Instead, run the other way and get Tommy to chase you.

If that does not work, kneel on the ground and pretend you have found something very interesting, hoping Tommy’s curiosity brings him to you. If you’ve got to, approach him slowly in an upright position, employing a nonthreatening tone of voice till you can quietly take hold of his collar.

Your young dog also goes thru teething in this period and desires to munch everything and anything. Dogs, like youngsters, can not help it. If one of your favourite shoes is demolished, try and control yourself. Puppies have the annoying practice of tackling many shoes, but just one from each pair.

Look at it as a lesson to keep your things out of reach. Scolding will not stop the necessity to gnaw, but it may result in your pet to fear you. Your job is to provide sufficient outlets for this need , for example gnaw bones and toys. Our dogs’ faves are marrow bones, which you can get at the superstore. These bones provide hours of entertainment for any dog, and they keep their teeth clean. Synthetic toys are also available.

Kong toys ( www.kongcompany.com ) are a great favourite, particularly the hard rubber ones that are just about indestructible and that may be stuffed with peanut butter or tripe. They come in different sizes suitable to the scale of your dog and can keep most dogs busy for hours. Just be certain they are massive enough so he cannot incidentally swallow one. Stay away from soft and fuzzy toys. Probabilities are, your dog will destroy them and may eat part of them.

We personally do not like rawhide gnaw toys that have been treated with chemicals or items that become soft and gooey with gnawing as the dog can swallow them and get them stuck in the intestinal duct. When Tommy is going thru this stage, you may need to consider crating him when he is left alone.

Doing so will keep him and your things safe, and both of you’ll be cheerful. Crating him in this expansion spurt helps with his house-training, too. With all of the chewing he does during his teething, accidents infrequently occur.

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