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Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Hi there,

I'm new to this forum and must properly thank all of you for welcoming me here so generously. It's greatly appreciated.

I recently got my goldendoodle, Bella, and she's adjusted quite nicely aside from some issues that I'm hoping we can fix. She's very mouthy, hates to be alone in her crate in the living room at night, and thinks her leash is a toy and gets really excited, insisting tugging matches with herself when its put on. So far we've tried to be consistent and the crate, is gradually easing, so its not that much of an issue any more.

Bella is really mouthy, and when I mean mouthy I mean EVERYTHING is in her mouth and she's chewing it. Hands, pants, shoes, anything on the floor or ground outside (and some plants that are most certainly not on the ground), it's gotten to the point where nothing can be within her reach and she must be watched and corrected constantly. Now I'm new to this whole puppy thing and I might be being totally over protective, and I'm ready to hear that, but I have evidence on my side that when not watched she's eating very stupid and silly things (she's already had an upset stomach to the point of vomiting and we're thinking its from eating too many leaves/sticks from our yard).

We're doing our best to keep up with her and followed puppy proofing guides even before she came home. But she's found a way to outsmart or just plain do things we never expected at every turn. All in all her mouthiness is getting old quickly. She bites people and clothing constantly; when they're petting, playing, playing with a toy, just sitting near her. I don't see where scolding her every five seconds is going to get anywhere, she'll just get confused and not bother to listen any more.
She has plenty of chewing outlets and knows that they are her's (some by name). She has bones, which she loves, a kong, a stretchy squeaky, two (one small, one big) soft plush bones with squeakers, and a little green ball with feet that squeaks quite loudly.

She also gets really excited, jumping biting, chewing, tackling, climbing, whenever she sees someone on the floor (laying down, not sitting up, anything that seems to get anywhere near "her" level). It's actually already quite painful and attempting the usual biting messages, no and closing her mouth, doesn't work she seems to not understand and actually believes that we are roughhousing with her so it becomes ridiculous. Eventually, we just stand up and go somewhere else after disentangling ourselves from the attack. The thing that gets me is that she loves car rides, they instantly calm her down and she goes into a zen and cuddly mode. She'll just sit in my lap or at my feet and be perfectly content no mouthiness at all. I've already tried the whole "we'll maybe we're rallying her up bit and that's not it. You could just be petting her and all of a sudden you feel puppy teeth.)

I'm not quite sure what to do. Sometimes she only mouths something once or twice, I'm guessing, to figure out what it is, and then leaves it be. We have bitter apple spray and I've sprayed her "hot spots" already and that seems to work in terms of furniture. I'm guessing this is my big issue other than this and the norms of puppy house training (she's doing great btw) Bella is great. It is a central issue and one I'd love to fix ASAP. She gets along with all of our animals and wants to play with all of them (although most are too old to even consider that :D) so far no biting them but I'm just not sure how long that will last. When she does that she's not going to get just a no and a walk away form our boxing champ cat Binny. :/. Any suggestions, tips, and stories are appreciated. Please tell me I'm not the only one with a chewbacca/ crazy pee poop machine!

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My initial response to this is you have a "Puppy" ...... welcome to the club. We have all been there with you at one time or another. And trust me, it can be overwhelming (I did 2 at the same time). Where I would start is by shrinking the amount of space she has on a routine basis. She can earn back more space as she matures. I did this by getting a pen from Petsmart. They are available many places and sometimes referred to as a puppy playpen. Mine was about 2.5 x 6 or something like that. It has come in handy still even though our puppies are 1.5 now. I set mine up between the kitchen and D/R and anytime I wasn't able to have my eyes totally on the girls, they were in this pen. Many people also take a leash and just tie the puppy to you so you can always see what they are into. We also put up baby gates to shrink the amount of the house that they had access to when we let them out of the pen to play. I had my pen nice and close to the back "potty" door as you need to do that so frequently in the beginning it is nice to have it close. Those puppy teeth are going to be around until about 4-6 months, so just start everytime she nips, say something like no bite and give her a little stuffed toy or bone to chew on. My last advice would be to get into some training classes as soon as she is able to. You will not believe everything that you will learn ...... not just Bella, but you. Good Luck.
It gets better... :) I'd enroll in puppy kindergarten asap where a trainer can help you :)
I agree with the previous comment. I would also add that to make outside trips easier and to prevent the leash chewing etc, give her a job. When Whopper was a puppy we would give her a really thick stick or even a paper towel roll to hold. She would then be engaged in a task outside and wouldn't be able to eat or go after other things. It also prevented the constant sniffing and exploring so we could take more than two steps at a time.
The only thing I haven't done in these comments is the pen and it sounds like just what we need. Redirecting seems to work for about five minutes, then she remembers you're there. Then she back to the charging and biting frenzy. :]. Constantly having a bone has become a must for me. If she starts getting nippy I give a raw hide and say "this is what you chew on" with a smile. We're looking into classes and schools right now so hopefully quite soon. She's really intelligent, she already knows sit and paw so I know she'll do wonderful.
Awesome!! They are really quite fun..we're enrolled in them right now..his behaviors got much better before class started as he matured..but they really help prep you for dealing with all the "fun" of puppyhood!
Oh does your post bring back memories! The good part for you the dog I am reminiscing about is aonly 9.5 months old now. She also is an f1b goldendoodle and I have never had such a bitey mouthy puppy. I used to call her pirannha doodle. I tried everything too and the poor thing heard way too many "NO!"s which didnt do any good because she would go right back to biting us LOL. In her puppy brain we were littermates and thats the way littermates play!

Anyways she actually grew out of it! Gradually bit by bit - . It seems that when she got all her adult teeth she was an adult dog in behavior! She doesnt do any of that anymore to us humans. She still wrestles and plays with dogs but does not bother with us. Now like a civil young lady she just brings us a stuffy or a ball to throw with her.

I am also a big believer in keeping the crate beside my bed at night during the young puppy stage, I think the security knowing you are right there beside them at night stabilizes them. I am not a fan of crating during the day except to keep them safe for short periods if you cant be near. But the "dogs are not hamsters and shouldnt be caged" debate has been done before LOL. You can always look up past conversations in the DK search by keyword.

Hang in there! It will get better.
Doodles do chew things. We were lucky that Holly did not seem to chew anything in the home except her bully sticks (a computer USB cord excepted). However, everything in our yard was fair game to place in her mouth and chew. Her favorite stunt was to pull up clumps of grass and eat them soil and all. This would naturally result in an upset stomach and the runs. We were at our wits end regarding letting Holly out in the yard. We have a fenced in acre which is wonderful for any dog to exercise in but, we had to keep Holly on a Flexilead in order to keep her safe from eating clods of grass and other nasty things. That was a shame because our yard is so great for a dog.

Holly is a very trainable Doodle. She will accept the most gentle correction if she is close to you. She will also respond to positive reinforcement very well and is intelligent enough to figure out what we want. However when away from us, it was a different thing. We needed to "extend our reach" and an electronic training collar did that. One or two gentle corrections was all that it took to have Holly stop eating grass.

A warning about electronic training collars. They should be used only at the very lowest levels of correction and should never be used as a punishment, just to get the dog's attention. If a dog is stubborn, using an electronic training collar may not work or may end up hurting the dog. However at minimal levels, the collar just gives a gentle stimulation. I have tried it on my own neck and it is not at all painful. The collar also has a tone only option. This is what we use for Holly now. She never gets the stimulation just the tone. This will distract her from the most interesting occupations like fence running and barking at the neighbors dogs. We still put the collar on her when we let her out in the morning and will use only the tone when she is fence running and barking. This immediately stops the behavior and causes Holly to come running back to us.

There is another way to inhibit chewing and other behaviors. That is the "Leave It!" command. I have described the simple steps in training a dog to obey this command in one of my blogs. The "Leave It!" command works exceptionally well for Holly but, Holly is a very intelligent and trainable Doodle. I cannot guarantee that all Doodles will learn this command and obey it.

There are some dogs, even dogs within the same breed or type that are more intelligent or less intelligent than others. We have a set of steps leading to our couch which even Maltese puppies quickly master. However we have one older Maltese that has never learned to use the steps to go up or down despite many extensive efforts to train her to use them.

There are also some dogs which are less attuned to pleasing the owners and seem more stubborn. These dogs take longer to train but, all dogs are trainable with patience and good technique.
My Chervil is 10 months old and didn't go through all of this--but a lot is indeed bringing back memories! I agree with the other posts: much of this is just puppiness, and she really will grow out of it. I was also new to puppies, so this site and lots of training (two puppy classes, two free style classes) have made a world of difference for me.

A couple tips, all of which came from my fantastic trainer: bully sticks--you can't have enough of them. ALWAYS have them laying around so she can chew, chew, chew. Teach her the "trade" command, and you can give her a bully stick when she's taken something else you don't want her to chew. They're expensive, but you can get odor free ones less expensively online.

I agree: crate in the bedroom at night. Pen or baby-gated spaces in the day. That security is invaluable, for both of you.

Chervil was a terrible jumper. Instead of scolding her or kneeing her (and before she had the "off" command down), my trainer had me just step into her space. When she jumps, you just take a step or two toward her. The dog will naturally back up, and will usually sit, which you reward, reward, reward. It takes incredible consistency (I used to arm my friends with treats at the door), but it works--you're taking command of the space, and Bella will learn that she gets good things when she's calm. And there's no mistaking it (by the dog) for play, which can escalate. Good behavior gets rewards. Unwanted behavior gets nothing--no treats, no attention, no interaction.

Lots of walks--short ones for a puppy. And lots of play with other puppies. A tired dog is a god dog.

Good luck. She'll be grown up before you know it.
Well Jane, now don't forget there was that one Stuart W. (I believe) shoes of your sisters that Noah had his way with! Did she ever find that in the back of her closet!
Peri chewed like a madwoman for the first 4 months of her life. She has calmed down considerably. Try the LEAVE IT command if Bella starts approaching something. And get her into puppy kindergarten as soon as her shots are complete. It helps. They get so much better, I promise. Just start training her with Sit, Down, Leave It, Drop It NOW rather than waiting until you can take her to obedience (end of last shots).
Also, try an elk antler - these saved us and still do from Peri's chewing. She knows that is her chew toy and they last forever.
Also try the baby gates as mentioned above to contain her (even while you are home). When they are that age, don't set them up for failure by giving them too much room to roam and get into trouble.
We've got her in the living room because it's babygated from the rest of the house. There is stairs leading upstairs but its easy to keep her off of those and the only other door is shut all the time because its a bedroom. The only problem is that the living room has lots of temptations. Most of those temptations, coats, shoes, plants, were caused by us so I don't think its really fair of me to say she's the problem in that department. We've got to train ourselves as much as her. Hopefully we'll eventually all get used to putting our shoes and coats on the rack in the dining room at the back of the house. If you leave socks and shoes on the floor of course she's going to think she can play with them like her toys :]. I read up quite a bit on puppy proofing before she came home and did a major overhaul on de-cluttering but between my siblings and my parents there is just too many people for it to be like it was. Thomas and Hailey are too young to be continually picking up their stuff, it just isn't possible because they wouldn't stop all day. I'm really considering the pen, so I can re-puppy proof and attempt to keep things more under control.
I think you will find that the house will continually become more puppy proofed and everyone will get much better at putting things away. It was very hard in the beginning not to leave anything within reach, but you get better and better at it. I found this out when the "counter surfing" phase started ...... I just could not remember to keep everything pushed back off the counters but with time it got better.

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