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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! :D

I have a 4 month old rottie male who's been an absolute delight to have in my life. He responds well to training and has mastered several tricks (sit, down, leave it, stay, come, spin, go to bed, and shake at the moment), very friendly and sociable to people and dogs alike and often isn't afraid of new things or experiences. However over the past 2 months that we've had him, we've been experiencing a few issues...

1) He puts everything in his mouth. Grass, sticks, rocks, leaves, tissues, whatever he can get -- even after we feed him. He has several variations of toys which we rotate or try to distract him with but he seems more interested in eating grass. It's becoming a hassle to have to pull things out of his mouth all the time and I'm worried about what he might eat when I'm not looking; especially when we start taking him out for walks once he gets his final shots. Despite knowing "leave it", he's still yet to generalise the command.

2) He'll get snappy out of no where. From calm to chaotic in less than a second.

Examples include:

- In the car; he's very inquisitive and wants to chew everything. Eventually he'll start being snappy and start going for any arms/hands even when I'm just sitting there not touching him. Shoving a toy in his mouth is only a temporary form of distraction before he goes for the hands again.

- When he's tired; he'll start snapping for our hands when we try to take off his harness or when we put his collar back on.

- Stubbornness; the other day he jumped into the bath tub (he loves baths) and wouldn't come out. We tried picking him up but he wouldn't let us. It led to a relative's blood being drawn so we had to use food to lure him out in the end.

- Excitement; he'll start nipping pants and clothes after we revved him up after a fair amount of playtime.​

Food appears to be the only solution into transforming my uncontrollable shark puppy into the docile, big teddy bear that he usually is when he has these 'moments'. But what can we do to curb this behaviour without needing food incentives??

He is not hand-shy, is used to being touched (i could fiddle with his paws or tug his tail and he won't even turn around to look, but only when he's calm) and we also hand feed him.

3) We'll take him outside to potty for maybe half an hour to an hour but he doesn't go until he steps foot inside. During the day he doesn't have too many issues and usually pees as soon as he gets on the grass (pooping is a different story) but at night when it's cold and we can't afford to stay outside for too long he'll just plop down on the ground and start chewing grass rather than doing his duty. Then, as soon as we bring him inside he'll pee and poop and then proceed to eat said poop. So, how do we better toilet train him? He was doing so well when we first got him but his toilet training became worse over the course of time.

4) He's too friendly. Okay, I'm not too concerned about this part as I'm happy with his socialisation progress however I'm worried that he's a little too friendly to strangers? Is this just because he's still a puppy? I want him to be a little more cautious about new people rather than just kissing up to any new person that walks by. The last thing I want is for him to greet a potential intruder.

I am new to the breed and he is my first dog so any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you so much! :)
 

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My 2 year old Rottie still eats everything... grass, sticks, paper, soft chew toys, plants, etc! She knows the leave it command so when I catch her at it, I make her stop. She has learned to leave shoes, furniture, etc. alone. Spraying Listerine on things I didn't want her to chew worked great & she learned quickly. The biting, nipping, etc. are very normal puppy behaviors and are probably due in part to boredom. That being said, it is not something you want to allow, especially in a large, powerful breed. When Rainah was a puppy and got too rowdy, I'd either crate her and ignore her till she settled down, or make her lie on her side (I placed one hand on her neck and the other on her side) and gently hold her down until she calmed. Ignoring bad behavior and not looking at, speaking to, or touching her helped a lot, but it's hard to ignore those sharp puppy teeth! I learned a lot about dog behavior/body language, and how to use my body language to communicate with my dog, from Cesar Millan's book How to Raise the Perfect Dog. I know some people are very against Cesar's methods, but his book definitely helped me and Rainah has certainly not been abused or mistreated! When raising a puppy, I think one of the most important things is to be patient, calm, and consistent, and not expect the puppy to think/reason like we humans do! Several short training sessions daily are also helpful as they will tire the puppy and hopefully he won't be so rowdy! I took Rainah to lots of new places when she was young, so she is well-socialized, and is probably the friendliest Rottie I've ever seen! She'd probably lick an intruder to death lol! Raising a puppy is a challenge but all the hard work really does pay off! Good luck with the training, and enjoy your puppy! Rotties are wonderful dogs!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hahaha I guess I should be glad that this is probably typical rottie behaviour to inhale any object they can find!
I'll give Cesar's book a go as well.

Thanks for the tips! :)
 

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Your pup sounds typical. Pups learn and explore by putting things in their mouth. Start teaching the 'leave it' command and "drop it' command. Get enrolled into a positive based obedience class. These are the things usually taught, and someone showing you how to teach your puppy works best. Puppies often get snappy and annoying if over tired...put puppy in the crate...and you will find within a few minutes, they are napping.

When you take puppy outside to poop/pee....put him on a leash...slowly walk him around giving him the "go pee", "go potty" command...so that he understands that is what you want. Keeping him on leash will stop him from flopping down, and from eating grass,etc. Praise and treat when he goes! I have always given a cookie after the dogs come in from last pee. It helps with incentive.

As for being friendly...a 4 month old puppy should be friendly. As they mature and socialize, they learn to read people and to be more indifferent to people. It usually takes 18 months to 2 years for this to show up.

As you are new to the breed, and to dog ownership...I would advise you to find a good trainer, or dog club...and keep your pup in classes for at least the next couple of years. This is not a good breed as a starter dog. They often can be difficult through the teenage stage...and as someone that has fostered in rescue have seen many dogs given up from about 8 months to 2 years of age. Put in the work and training now...and you will have a great dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi big black dogs,

He's completed puppy pre-school and I intend to hopefully enroll him into further juvenille obedience classes which start at 5 months.
I always have him on a leash outdoors simply because he likes to pick things up and run off with them when he has the chance or even the other day when he was unleashed and saw my neighbours walking by, he ran off to greet them. When harnessed up, he'll still flop down or try to pull away to reach any overgrown grass which is quite frustrating. We're working on the "drop it" command at the moment.

I've definitely delved deep into research on the breed prior to getting him, and understand that they can be very stubborn and head-strong if not put into place. I don't regret my decision and still remain 110% committed to ensuring that he becomes an outstanding representation of how beautiful the breed is.

Regardless, thank you for the advice! :)
Also, as from your experience with fostering adolescent dogs, I was wondering if you had any further tips on dealing with this stage of puppy life?
 
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