Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ups and Downs

The last time Andy went to camp he came home a mellower pup - there was markedly less biting, hair pulling, and cat throwing. This improved version of Andy lasted about 2 weeks and then I suspect the boy started getting restless and he eventually reverted back to his old ways. This second stint at camp gave us a mellower pup yet again. Being around other dogs, especially more dominant ones, seems to give Andy the opportunity to learn the types of social skills we've been unsuccessful in teaching him ourselves. He learns what types of behaviors are acceptable and I imagine he's put in his place now and then by dogs that have low tolerance for his antics.

So far his post-camp interaction with us and the cats has been good. There's less jumping and no biting. In fact, Andy and I had one of those "perfect evenings" for the first time last night: we curled up on the couch together and he let me read for a good hour. Unfortunately camp does nothing to improve his behavior when we're not around. That mess you see on the right is what we came home to on Friday afternoon after running some errands. Andy destroyed the cat's cardboard scratcher, a book, several magazines, and gnawed on the handle of my old field hockey stick. Arg! We really need to do something about his separation issues. I'm not sure if this is an anxiety thing so much as a I'm bored and don't know what to do with myself thing. We've been taking him on walks if we know we're both going to be out with the hopes that he'll be tired and just take a nap but this method has been pretty hit or miss. Yesterday we left Andy with a peanut butter filled Kong and strategically hidden biscuits while we went to the grocery store and this seemed to keep him happy. Sigh. Just some of the ups and downs of living with Andy.

2 comments:

  1. Have you thought of crating Andy again at least for small portions of the day to lessen his destructive tendencies?

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    1. I have thought about it...but I'm not gonna lie...I've been trying to avoid it. I've never had the heart or discipline to crate train a dog, nor have I had to, but I think I might have to admit defeat and give it a try. I definitely need to do more research and nip this negative behavior in the bud. Andy's left me with like 2 pairs of wearable shoes!

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