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Re: Can 8mo old differentiate his & child stuffed toys

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  February 24, 2002 at 12:14:12

In Reply to: Can 8mo old differentiate his & child stuffed toys
Category:   General Training
Posted by:  John Schmidt
Posted on:  February 24, 2002 at 08:41:05

Question:

: Love this site and have been using the FAQ and helpful advice sections. We just got a 12 month old male, neutered JR from previous owner(who was moving, couldn't keep dog) Now our 2nd day with Buddy, he is having trouble differentiating between the couple stuffed animal toys he had before and those that our 7 and 4 yr old children have. We've used the "boundary" spray along with verbal reprimands w/muzzle holds, but can the dog learn what stuffed toys are his and which are not?
: We are teaching him crating (nights & us away), previous owner let sleep in bed; 1st night went ok, but had to take outside for 2AM potty break. We're reading lots of books and I had previous experience with a Border Collie mix so we feel confident. The dog doesn't bark and was said to be 90% housebroken (but haven't seen that percentage yet). He hasn't been trained to "come" yet, so that is first on our agenda too. Advice on early stages of the above issues is appreciated as I want to nip problem areas in the bud quick. We have a loving home and are committed to this.


Response:

Hi John,

While these are smart little dogs, I don't think there would be anyway to get them to differentiate between his stuffed toys and your children's stuffed toys. A stuffed toy is a stuffed toy, plain and simple.

If he had never had any stuffed toys to play with there could have been the chance he may have left the kids' toys alone. I'm afraid you would have to do some intense, long-term behavior modification with him to see if you could get him to stay away from your children's stuffed toys.

I don't know what will be harder for you trying to do that or trying to get your kids not to play with those toys in front of the dog ;)

Don't be surprised to see a regression in housebreaking. This happens sometimes with young dogs whose routines have been broken (different people, different enviroment...a bit of stress to them).

Just give a housebreaking 101 refresher if that should occur.

Next job would be to make sure your children know how to properly handle this breed. Terriers in general aren't the most "forgiving" of breeds when it comes to mishandling, intentional or not.

Then I would make sure you get him enrolled in obedience school, a small group class would be the best situation as this breed needs a lot of socialization. If they don't get a healthy dose of socialization they can become very territorial, and that's a hard habit to break.

Good luck with your new dog!
Marie