Help! My dog ate my remote!
Puppies are notorious for chewing. All of those baby teeth falling out is a lot of work, and most puppies will chew on just about anything they can get. Keeping an ample variety of chew toys around is essential to keeping your couch in one piece. Normally, after the first teething period is over, chewing slows down significantly.
But what happens, if after a few months of having a pretty great pup, he decides to start chewing again? Is he teething? Is he just chewing things up to spite you? Why is he chewing everything in sight?? Here is the deal, if your once well behaved puppy is now chewing up your furniture, they are not doing it to intentionally drive you batty. It is a cry for mental stimulation! They are going batty! Adolescent dogs of any age, but especially any breed that is smart, need a brain workout. Having a bunch of different chew toys around at this point will not curb the chewing habit, because they aren't doing it to relieve their aching mouth. They are bored. If you have a Rottweiler, you know that they are a working breed of dog. A working dog needs a job, they aren't content being a couch potato. Turning them in to the yard to play, though it is nice for them, does nothing to stimulate their brain. They want to work; they need to work. Train them, spend 15 minutes of your time a couple times per day playing obedience games. Teach them a new trick, heck even go over some training that they already have but mix up the pattern. Just DO something to work out their brain, and I promise you they will quit destroying your house.
Here are a few examples of some daily games you can play:
1. Hide and go seek. It's not just a game for kids anymore! If your pup doesn't have a super great recall command, practice calling them to you from a short distance at first. Have them stay, then give the command "here" or "come" and have them come to you and sit down in front of you. You want them close, so you could reach down and touch them. Then give a treat! Our dogs are huge fans of string cheese and dried venison. Use your dog's favorite healthy reward, because you're going to be giving out a lot of rewards. Once your dog is coming to you, tell them to stay and then go hide. Pick easy places to hide at first, and then call them to you. When they find you and sit, treat them and make a big deal out of it. As they get better at searching, you can pick harder hiding places. I have even hid in the closet with the door closed. This is a really fun game that you can play inside or out, which makes it great for those rainy days where you don't want to be out in the weather.
2. Teach your dog to place his feet where you want them. I ordered something similar to fit paws off amazon ( https://www.amazon.com/NEXPro-Balance-Pods-Balancing-Hedgehog/dp/B01NAPVXMZ/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=fitpaws&qid=1566363260&s=gateway&sr=8-4 ) and a clicker ( https://www.amazon.com/EcoCity-Upgrade-Version-Training-Clicker/dp/B071NTVXN2/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1CHMX4PEZV0AN&keywords=clicker+training+for+dogs&qid=1566363308&s=gateway&sprefix=clicker%2Caps%2C332&sr=8-4 ). To teach your dog this, position them in front of the pods and hold a treat in front of them. Tell them "up" or "step up" and when their foot hits the pod click, then treat. Repeat until they are actually stepping on to the pod. Once they understand what you're asking, you can ask them to put both feet up, or each foot on a different pod, and treat for that. Keep the game light and fun, and make sure you are both having a good time. Reward for effort.
3. Have another person handy? You can work on your dog's recall even more by playing some back and forth games. Each person has treats, and you take turns calling the dog back and forth between one person and the other. You can play with as many people as you want. Make sure the pup comes and sits at each person. If they start picking up on your pattern switch it up and have one person call them twice in a row. Keep them on their toes.
4. Don't have another person to play with you? You can play to and from. Get a hand full of treats, point and toss one while saying "go" then call the dog back to you with a "here" command. Make sure the dog comes and sits at in front of you. They get treated when they go to the treat you throw, and when they come to you. You can toss treats in every which direction, it teaches them to follow your hand when you point and strengthens their recall.
5. How many commands does your dog know now? Can he do them in a row? Can you switch up the pattern on him? Grab your treats again. Sit. Click. Treat. Down. Click-treat. Stand. Click-treat. Down. Click-treat. Sit. Click-treat. Stay. Walk away. Click. Walk back (dog still should be in a stay!) Click-treat. Go! Here. Click-treat. Down. Click. Sit. Click-treat. Stand. Click. You get the idea. Switch it up, make your dog think and pay attention to what you want.
Those are just a few examples of some easy, fun games you can play with your dog that will get their brain working, and hopefully save your remote. Remember to also provide an adequate amount of exercise, and you and your pup will be so much happier. Let me know in the comments what your favorite at-home brain game to play is!