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Charlie 2 - Old dog new tricks, is it possible?

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Mailmutt | 18:41 Sun 28th Jun 2009 | Pets
6 Answers
OK here's been here a few days now, and a few mildly annoying habits.

1) he follows me everywhere, tho I expect (hope) that this is just a settling in thing.

2) he is housetrained, so can't argue there, but he has a garden to to his bits in, yet he will pooh just outside the door. Any suggestions?

3) Food. He won't just watch what I'm eating, he'll nuzzle to try and get some. Again, any suggestions.

Apart from that, it all seems OK

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Only a few days? You should count yourself lucky. He is following you round as he is insecure and you are his new pack leader. He probably only had a small yard or run to go in before, and he probably doesn't want to leave you far in case you disappear or he gets 'lost'. He probably got given titbits before, but don't give in, feed him after you have eaten (you are pack leader and deserve to eat first). Confine him whilst you are eating, either in another room or in a crate if he is used to one. Give him something to chew on like a bone or a pigs ear to take his mind off your food. You can teach him a 'down stay' and get him to lie down away from you while you eat. So, yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks, but I would be grateful for small mercies, he is not chewing up your house, howling it down, or biting the postman, so make the most of it.
We used to crate ours in the same room with us when they were tinies but as they got bigger, we taught them to behave while we are eating by putting them on a lead. You can gently correct any tendency to help themselves and if he's worried about losing you i would think that confining in a crate in another room would be quite distressing.
I am not sure about the pack leader eats first thing...if you are giving him a bone or other chew, aren't you negating that? also if dogs are foraging rather than hunting as a pack, won't they just eat what they find as they find it?
I prefer to think of it as "No one is allowed to touch the pack leader's food" In fact your new boy may settle better to watch you eat if he has a full stomach, so maybe feed him first about half an hour before you eat, that way he will be full and maybe a bit sleepy.
I wouldn't worry about the following you everywhere, is he happy to wait calmly for you outside the loo? If he is then you are well on the way to him being happy to wait without you elsewhere. Just ignore him as he follows you about for the moment.
He sounds like a great dog.
Lankeela is right, he is insecure and is frightened in case you disappear. Try not to leave him for too long initially; start with as short a period as you can manage (leaving him with something interesting to do whilst you are absent such as a kong or a puzzle ball), 5 - 10 minutes is enough for the 1st few times. When you return make a big fuss of him, as he will of you. He will soon get the idea that you will always come back. Be patient. Some breeds will always prefer to be with you (my PSD is one of them).
As for wanting your food, a dog will always want whatever food is around. It is up to you to train him to behave in the way that you want; if you don't want him begging for your food then NEVER give him titbits when you are eating.
IMO one of the most important commands you can teach is 'No' or 'Leave it'. Once he knows these you can use them in many, many situations.
Good Luck; you may find the following site useful:

http://www.allaboutpets.org.uk/Pet-Leaflets-an d-Articles/Leaflets.aspx?gclid=CPLtyZfYo5sCFU0 B4wodklxWBg
He sounds like a lovely normal dog. He's bound to be a bit clingy for a while, but I'm sure he'll soon settle down. Enjoy him.
you are right about teaching the leave it command. When mine were littlies and they stole anything or wanted something like my lunch i used to say "that's mine" because it usually was lol. Being smart boys they learned to leave alone or drop what they had on command....scroll forward to the mad woman of the New Forest staring a dog with a mouthful of carrion or horse poo in the eye and saying firmly "that's mine" DH disowns me!!
lankeela, you having a laugh - biting the postman indeed!

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