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Thread: Puppy woes :(

  1. Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey stuff.
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    #1

    Puppy woes :(

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    I'm puppy-sitting for my boss and I'm having a lot of trouble taking the little guy out for walks. He's a (I think) six or seven month old golden retriever, and he is reaaaallly playful. I don't mind throwing a ball or playing tug of war with him, he's really good with playing. When we go on walks though, he has a habit of sniffing a patch of grass, sitting down, and then eating the grass... I can't pull him away. He'll just sit there, snout deep in grass, uprooting things and chewing. I know having him just sit there is NOT enough exercise for a puppy. He is wearing a choke chain (not my choice, my boss' choice), so I don't like to pull him too hard because I'm afraid it hurts him. Can someone help me, please?? We don't even go all the way down the driveway because he'll just go sit in the grass
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    #2
    Bring treats! They don't have to be big, think pea sized. Cheese, chicken, break up a milkbone, etc. Whatever you have has to be more exciting than the grass. If he is more reinforced by a toy, bring a toy along and have little play/tug sessions along the way. The key is to make following you the most reinforcing/exciting thing to do.
  3. Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey stuff.
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    #3
    Hmm.. maybe I'll try the treats, thanks! He is a chomper though. Maybe I can teach him not to snap at my hand while we're walking too.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BiggyBiggs View Post
    Bring treats! They don't have to be big, think pea sized. Cheese, chicken, break up a milkbone, etc. Whatever you have has to be more exciting than the grass. If he is more reinforced by a toy, bring a toy along and have little play/tug sessions along the way. The key is to make following you the most reinforcing/exciting thing to do.

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    #5
    Is he sick? I've always heard dogs eat grass to settle their stomachs.
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    #6
    Treats are probably the best short term solution. Sadly, his owner clearly isn't doing enough with him, but you aren't going to be able to turn that around in a week or two of pet sitting, and even if you did, he would just revert back to his current behavior as soon as he got back to his person.

    Also, don't let him stop. Keep a very short lease and move quickly. Keeping him moving is easier than getting him moving after he has stopped. Jog, if you can. The moment you see his head start to turn to the side, call his name, make a loud noise, or do something to distract him. Keep him focused on you, not the grass and things around him.

    At the end of the walk, let him pee and sniff when you are home. But don't worry about it if your efforts to keep him moving prevent him from doing his business along that way. As long as you give him a chance at either the beginning or end of the walk (or both), he will be fine, but once you start moving, keep moving.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  7. Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey stuff.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by january View Post
    Is he sick? I've always heard dogs eat grass to settle their stomachs.
    My mom has told me that, too. And nah, I don't think he's sick. I puppy-sat him when he was only about four months old, and he did the same thing. He's just curious, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Treats are probably the best short term solution. Sadly, his owner clearly isn't doing enough with him, but you aren't going to be able to turn that around in a week or two of pet sitting, and even if you did, he would just revert back to his current behavior as soon as he got back to his person.

    Also, don't let him stop. Keep a very short lease and move quickly. Keeping him moving is easier than getting him moving after he has stopped. Jog, if you can. The moment you see his head start to turn to the side, call his name, make a loud noise, or do something to distract him. Keep him focused on you, not the grass and things around him.

    At the end of the walk, let him pee and sniff when you are home. But don't worry about it if your efforts to keep him moving prevent him from doing his business along that way. As long as you give him a chance at either the beginning or end of the walk (or both), he will be fine, but once you start moving, keep moving.
    Thanks! I had been constantly stopping because I was worried he had to go potty and it would look like he was but he'd just plop down. I tried to keep moving with him about ten minutes ago and it worked! He jogged and sniffed but kept moving, eventually just stopped to squat go to the bathroom without a fuss! Thank you!
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    #8
    So glad it worked! Hopefully it continues to do so.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski

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