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Hello, just an update here on my almost 6 month old boy Otto. He is our 2nd V (our first was before kids and this one) so we are familiar with the breed and new what to expect, but the two could not be more different from each other. Our Otto has been a real challenge. Unless someone is playing with him, he is getting into mischief. Counter surfing, stealing shoes and socks, ripping up plants, pulling on the rug, chewing and scratching under chairs and sofas and pulling chair cushions/pillows around the house and of course the never stopping eating and humping of his beds. We have tried to give him a section of the house (we have an open downstairs and we keep him down there while we are down there with him), but he is constantly ramming through the baby gates to get into other parts of the house (mudrooms, office, kid play area). My youngest is very scared of him at times. For the record, our last pup was the perfect puppy. You told him once to get off the couch, never tried it again. Never chewed on anything.

But Otto is also the most cuddly dog ever and when my little girl goes up to him, he just lies down because he knows she is scared of him, and lays there calmly so she can cuddle with him. If we go to the floor at all, it is less than 1 second before he runs over to nudge himself onto your lap. He is so smart, training has been so easy and he takes it so well.

He gets lots of exercise as we have acres of forest and trails behind our house that we explore 2x a day and neighbor dogs to play with. However, recently he has been very good at ignoring us when off leach and causing a bit of havoc (just got a the e-collar so getting him to like that now). But just waiting for him to calm down and be able to roam around the house with us and not put everything in his mouth, sneak off and destroy stuff. My fingers crossed it is the 6 month mark for little Otto!!!!馃馃馃

8,708 Posts
Sounds like a normal V puppy.
I think your first one was the exception to the rule.
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211 Posts
We noticed a lot of maturing between the 6-9month mark with Ellie. Sounds like Oscar has plenty of stimulation and exercise so the destructive behavior really has no excuse. I've found with V's they need a strong assertive correction but not over-the-top or they will retract in fear and not learn a thing. They also take very well to praising and rewarding good behaviors, and this is an essential piece that I think many times gets overlooked. When the pup is NOT counter surfing and being good in the kitchen, give random praise and rewards. This combined with consequences when surfing like verbal/body language/squirt bottle/tap on nose, etc and your pup will learn that surfing gets them nothing but bad feelings and hanging in the kitchen nicely gets them random praise and rewards. Same goes for when not doing other bad things. Its so easy to identify bad behavior when they are doing it that we overlook all the opportunities to train with good behaviors.

Good example is recently we found Ellie's "secret" no-no habit of chewing on a part of the stairway in a hard to see area. We patiently waited to catch her in the act. When I did, she got the "EHE EHE , NO" / squeezed her muzzle and pushed it at the damage she caused / then a light tap on the top of her muzzle to drive it home. I didn't try to give her a dissertation on why that is wrong to do as dog's don't understand our ramblings. All she now understands is continuing that behavior will get her another lesson. So far she hasn't tried it again. When she is laying in that area nicely she gets random praise.

Ellie has started her "ignoring us" phase when out in the woods when she comes across something way more interesting than me. The e-collar training will help with that. I started with tones and vibration and have been graduating into the gentle electric stimulation. Tone or vibrate and if she chooses to continue ignoring, electrical stim. Eventually she'll learn to avoid the electrical sim means reacting with the tone or vibrate quickly.
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