Is this normal for a dog?

We bought a puppy in April 2015 and were told by the pound we adopted her from that she was a lab terrier mix. The vet who gave her all her shots when we got her thought she might be part pitbull. Despite the fact she has strong jaws and is brindled we disagree. We agree with the man at the dogpark who said she must be part whippet. Shes very fast, alot faster than her canine palls at the dog park. Her name is Shy-lo. My question is is it normal for a 1 year 2 mon. Old dog to still be teething? She’s bigger than a coyote at about 55 lbs. and she’s constantly trotting around the house carrying something around. Unless she’s side tracked she’ll tear it apart as well. Her favorite is paper plates. She’s destroyed 2 credit cards this way, lol. Is it normal for a pup her age to behave this way or is she neurotic and in need of obedience training?

My 8-year old poodle still grabs stuff and carries it around the house whenever he wants attention. And he still shreds paper towels.

As for teething, I seem to remember that all of my dogs chewed stuff for the first couple of years. Get yourself a spray bottle of water, and squirt the dog every time you see it with something unapproved in its mouth.

Some dogs just like to chew on things. Some don’t. It’s more a matter of personality than teething. She might grow out of it. Or you might just start buying cow bones at your meat department.

Is she getting enough exercise? Especially if she’s part Whippet, she might need to stretch her legs and work off some nervous energy.

Yes, very normal. I have a 9 year old that still picks up his chew toys and grinds on them.

If he’s getting things you don’t want him to chew, make sure you have a supply handy of things it’s ok for him to chew. When you catch him with the “wrong” thing, tell him “no” and then hand him the thing he can chew and praise him to high heaven when he takes it. He’ll get the idea. (Of course, anything food related (including the garbage) is just best out of reach.)

Yes, it’s normal, and yes, she needs obedience training. All dogs need obedience training. (Some people can do this themselves, but if you can’t, you need to take her to someone who can train both of you.) You need to be able to effectively tell her to drop anything, any time, and not chew it. Like, for example, a child. ESPECIALLY if your dog can be mistaken for a “Pit Bull.” There are going to be people who will hate her on sight for the rest of her life, and you need her to be well trained and nonthreatening, or she’s likely to be shot by a police officer investigating a report of a “vicious Pit Bull.”

Yes, it is normal, and yes the dog needs training. All dogs need training, for their wellbeing and ours.

My dog destroyed a cell phone, clothes, and numerous other things by the time she was 3, and at almost 12 will still destroy stuff if she wants to (as long as we’re not around, natch, she knows not to do it in our presence).

I came to say yes she can still be chewing, it’s normal, and yes she needs training.

Here is what a well behaved dog ought to do at the least, on command: Sit, stay, come when you call her whatever she’d rather do, lie down, drop it (anything in her mouth, even a steak), leave it (the steak, another dog, a cat–okay, that might be asking a lot), and walk on a leash without pulling.

Dogs find it fun to learn other things. My favorite dog trick is teaching a dog to get a beer out of the refrigerator. Have not quite managed this with my current dog. Since she likes carrying things around, that might be an interesting way to go.

There is probably a video on the web telling you the steps to teach a dog to get you a beer, or anything else. Google George Zak, for one–but there are lots.

Also, taking the dog to go through training and get a Canine Good Citizen certificate is a good thing, because that way she’ll learn how to manage being around other dogs.

Dogs love to chew. They need rawhide, or cornstarch bones, soup bones, N ylabones, or something. I have heard horror stories of very small dogs choking to death on rawhide, but I never heard of it happening to a large dog, and 55ibs sounds large enough for rawhide (ask your vet, though). Our Lab/hound mix loved to chew right up until the end, which was 15 1/2 for her. Pit Bulls can go through rawhide like they’re getting a commission on it, but all dogs love to chew. I had a very spoiled Pit/GSD mix who insisted that her soup bones be cooked, but most dog like the raw. You can get jerky for dogs. Human jerky is too soft, and lasts about 2 minutes for a dog.

All dogs benefit from obedience work, which ideally would have begun in April 2015.

Yeah, we go the rawhide/retriever roll ourselves. (I buy Wholesome Hides brand.) Kongs can be helpful, too. Anything else (like tennis balls or stuffed animals or whatnot) our pit bull would tear to shreds. But he’s been taught not to tear up anything unapproved, and rawhides are all that he chews on. We’ve even managed to get him not to tear the ears off his stuffed animals, but that took a little longer.

I don’t think a dog at your dog’s age would still be teething (usually, the teeth are in by about 6 months or so), but chewing and mouthing certainly isn’t unusual behavior. We got our guy at about 10 months, and all his permanent teeth were in by then, but he was a mouther! We had to train him out of it, but, luckily, he learned pretty quickly. (Whenever he’d nip at play, we’d leave the room and ignore him for one or two minutes or, if he was whining, until he stopped whining. Rinse, lather, repeat, and he got the point. No nipping.)

All dogs chew throughout their entire life. It is necessary for them to keep their teeth and jaws in good condition. I like bully sticks and cow knuckle bones. Rawhide is not very good for them.
All dogs also need obedience training. Starting from day one. I think all dogs should be able to pass the CGC test http://www.akc.org/dog-owners/training/canine-good-citizen/training-testing/ by the time they are 6 months old (if your dog can’t, you are doing something really wrong).
All dogs need daily exercise. This does not mean wandering around in the backyard nor does it mean a stroll around the block. Many dogs need to run miles every single day.
All dogs need a job of some kind to keep them from getting bored. What job exactly depends on your dog. Many dogs enjoy daily trick training, advanced obedience training, lure coursing, nosework, agility, dock diving, weight pulling, there are endless possibilities.

We got a lab mix about 6 years ago. It wasn’t until he was two that he started to not chew anything in sight (why do you think they call them shoes{chews}?) He got my wallet when he was about the age you your dog and did a number on not only it but my driver’s license and some credit cards as well.

And, yes on the training. It isn’t too late. It will make the dog a better dog and the dog will grow a bond with the trainer that will last a lifetime. For our dog my wife was convinced that he would run out the front door and get hit by a car, or run out of the car door when we went somewhere, so she used techniques she learned in the dog training classes (clicker training) and worked with him for a week. Now, if someone rings the doorbell, he’ll run to the door, but sit to the side and not make a move unless told to. And, when he’s in the car, when we open to door (even at the dog park), he’ll just sit there until we grab his leash. And, although I feed him usually and usually the only one who will go on walks with him (they really like their walkers, too), it is she that he will obey.

Yes, training a dog takes work, but it is worth the effort (in my opinion).

My Pibble/GSD mix was very well trained. She would hold a lie-down stay forever, even if I got a block away. She knew left from right, automatically say at intersections, then stood and looked both ways. When she wanted people to pet her, she walked up to them and sat at their feet. She did several tricks too. But she couldn’t pass the separation anxiety part of the CGC test. We never officially took it, but I have a friend who trains dogs for obedience trials, and all her dogs have passed it, so she did trial runs with me, and visual separation never worked.

Dina was separated from her mother too early (5 1/2 weeks) which wasn’t my idea. She was part of an Oops litter from people who didn’t realize how early their Pittie could go into heat (8 months), and they lived next door to a show GSD, so he wasn’t fixed, and he jumped the fence. Anyway, I think the early separation from her mother was the reason for the separation anxiety, because she didn’t get it in our own home, and she eventually got used to my husband (she was four when I started dating him, five when we married, but I’d known him casually as a friend all her life), so that if I left her with him, she was OK.

Dina was a great dog separation anxiety notwithstanding. It’s been 11 years since she died, and I still miss her like crazy.

I agree that CGC should be a goal, but if your pet can’t pass, it just tells you what you need to keep working on. And a dog that can’t pass should never be off-leash, except maybe at a designated dog park, and then the dog should at least have excellent recall, and no history of nipping. Dina would recall even of she had started off after a squirrel, or was menaced by another dog. Dina NEVER started fights.

Absolutely. And in the long run, the dog has more freedom. A dog with perfect recall that never jumps on people or menaces other dogs can be off-leash, for example, on hikes in the woods. A dog that will run off, bother other dogs, or jump on other hikers you meet, can’t be off-leash. Our dogs always had perfect recall and would heel off-leash. We could let them off leash in places, and if we heard other people coming, we could recall them, and put them on heel-- we did always carry leashes, because if we ever walked them near traffic, or in more crowded areas, we leashed them.

We never considered our dogs more than having basic obedience, and a few easy tricks, but many people would marvel at our “trained” dogs, because they’d never seen dogs with even basic obedience before. Really, our dogs were not that impressive compared to dogs who did obedience trials, so it seemed kind of sad that there were dogs who were so unruly our dogs seemed fancy.

It’s not unusual for an adopted dog to be different from the original description. I got one that really was an American Eskimo, but he was several years older than he was described. Another was called a Lhasa Apso mix, and he was a terrier mix.

If your dog is a lab terrier mix, the terrier side is feisty and strong-willed, requiring lots of training. By the way, the full name of the breed you suspect is “pit bull terrier,” though sometimes you might think “terrorist.” Good luck!

It’s very common for shelters these days to label even actual pit bull terrier mixes as “lab mix.” Pitties don’t find good homes very often. Labs do.

Also, we have 3 cats, and she’ll go after them and pester them, but she will never hurt them. She’s good with people - even children - as well as other animals.

Great! Then training should be fun for all! :wink: :slight_smile: :smiley:

The other one I see around here is “American Staffordshire Terrier,” which is pretty much just another name for pit bull terrier (although you may get some minor disagreement.) We have a pit bull ourselves, and the city shelter (Chicago Animal Care and Control) simply listed them as pit bulls or pit mixes (and about, oh, 80% of the dogs there were of that general breed description–they will actually say “lab and pit bull terrier mix” or “pointer and pit bull terrier mix”), but the same exact types of the dogs in the suburbs (in Chicago Ridge), they were all “American Staffordshire terriers.”

Dogs need to chew - it’s like brushing their teeth - our little whippet cross (who might be a toy Manchester terrier, but we don’t know for sure) will chew up cardboard and loves to chew rubber balls, rubber bones and rawhide sticks.

We don’t let her chew on anything that resembles a shoe (rawhide shoes as dog treats are the dumbest idea ever), or any object that she shouldn’t play with, so she knows which things are hers to destroy.
She particularly likes chuckit brand rubber balls - they’re soft enough that she often wanders around chewing on one like it’s a piece of gum, but they’re tough enough to stand a lot of punishment.