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We have two dogs; a red heeler mix and a small lab mix (we think). We adopted both of them from the SPCA at different times. Bailey is 15 mo. and Harley is 1 yr. I actually have a few questions for anyone who wants to bear with me:
1. We started crating the girls from a young age. Every once and a while we would leave them out (b/c we hate the thought of always having to crate them). When we would leave them out, sometimes we would come home to a hole in the wall, carpet pulled up or once they got to a pillow. So, for their safety, we NEVER leave them out anymore. I will admit we live in an apartment (about to close on a house in two weeks with a big backyard:) ), could their destructive behavior have anything to due with lack of exercise? We try to walk them as often as we can, but I feel like they can never get enough exercise on the leash. Bailey is a runner! We have a tiny fenced off area at the complex that they can run in, but it is either full of poop, b/c bad owners won't pick it up, or it is muddy b/c the complex seems it necessary to water constantly. Will there ever be a day that we won't need to crate them? I wish they could play with eachother while we are at work.

2. Harley has developed a bad habit (partially our fault b/c we didn't know how to properly correct) of pawing at us and it hurts!!! She is the lab mix and is about 50 lbs. and those claws hurt even when trimmed. She is also very bad at the jumphing, and we have been working on that with the ignoring and truning around. But the pawing for our attention is hurting. We are a planning to start a family soon and I want to make sure it is stopped by the time we bring children into the house.

3. How long are dogs "really puppies"?

Thanks for whoever responds.
 

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Bailey and Harley said:
1. We started crating the girls from a young age. Every once and a while we would leave them out (b/c we hate the thought of always having to crate them). When we would leave them out, sometimes we would come home to a hole in the wall, carpet pulled up or once they got to a pillow. So, for their safety, we NEVER leave them out anymore. I will admit we live in an apartment (about to close on a house in two weeks with a big backyard:) ), could their destructive behavior have anything to due with lack of exercise? We try to walk them as often as we can, but I feel like they can never get enough exercise on the leash. Bailey is a runner! We have a tiny fenced off area at the complex that they can run in, but it is either full of poop, b/c bad owners won't pick it up, or it is muddy b/c the complex seems it necessary to water constantly. Will there ever be a day that we won't need to crate them? I wish they could play with eachother while we are at work.
If you do not like having them crated all day, you could set up an area (such as your kitchen) for them to play in. Like a play pen of sorts... Just section it off from the rest of the house and put down newspapper.

The chewing is probably from boredom, so, try to give them some Kongs stuffed with yummy/healthy treats...maybe even cap it off with some Peanut Butter.. heh. You can freeze them over night to make them last longer, but some dogs don't like that. Throw in some other toys too..

When you walk them, do you do anything special? Like training for example..? This will help keep their mind stimulated. Or maybe not only walking, but also jogging.

Bailey and Harley said:
2. Harley has developed a bad habit (partially our fault b/c we didn't know how to properly correct) of pawing at us and it hurts!!! She is the lab mix and is about 50 lbs. and those claws hurt even when trimmed. She is also very bad at the jumphing, and we have been working on that with the ignoring and truning around. But the pawing for our attention is hurting. We are a planning to start a family soon and I want to make sure it is stopped by the time we bring children into the house.
My mom's wolf hybrid use to do this to me constantly. He still does it to other people, because they let him get away with it. What I did with him, (and this is because he would also jump up alot) was make him sit down if he wanted attention, or I wanted to randomly pet him. Any time he would paw at me, or get up from sitting, I would completely ignore him (sometimes I would correct him, and make him sit back down so he got the picture). It worked out nicely, as now he doesn't have this issue.

Do you train your dogs basic things such as sit, come, stay, heel, and down? If not, I think you should. It will help them become more mannered and it will also keep them out of trouble and make your lives alot easier in general.

Bailey and Harley said:
3. How long are dogs "really puppies"?

Thanks for whoever responds.
That depends on the breed and the individual dog in my opinion. Labradors, (at least the ones I have encountered) can be in that "puppy" stage until they are like 3 years old. I've seen some that were like 5 and still acted like puppies, regardless of their training. O.O Labs are insane, rofl.


Maybe some others can help ya more. Good luck.
 

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haha..thats really true about labs and goldens! my golden just turned 3 this year and she has really carmed down.
 
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