My puppy is crazy and I don't know what to do.

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Barked: Fri Oct 19, '12 11:54am PST 
I bought a rat terrier/poodle mix about 2 months ago. I got him when he was about 6 weeks old (very young). When I first got him he was calm and a bit whiny but overall a normal puppy. As time has passed I have seen more of his Rat Terrier traits come out in some what of a bad way. He loves meeting new people and other dogs but when I or others pet him he likes to nip an bite fingers and hands. Ive tried discipline and other preventive methods but he won't stop with the biting. He also likes to chew on my shoes and steal my under ware to take to his puppy bed and chew on. I have bought him so many chew toys and chew bones but he prefers my flip flops, clothes, and fingers. He is also crazy hyper. I take him out for a walk around my apartment complex at least 3 or 4 times a day but he will still come in the house and rip and run and jump and go crazy. I have tried everything to calm him down but he just isn't for it. When I'm in my bed and he is on the floor he jumps and whines. I've grid some light training with him since he needs 1 more set of shots before he is in the clear to be around other dogs and while at first he was taking well to the training now he is so hyper and wild he doesn't focus. I find myself constantly putting him in his kennel to calm down. I don't want to have to give him away but I don't know what to do in order to get him to calm down and mellow out. I've even signed him up to go to a nursing home with other dogs in order to get him exposed to a calm setting and he is the wild and crazy puppy there also. I don't know what to do. PLEASE HELP! Constructive advice is needed. Thanks

Member Since
Barked: Fri Oct 19, '12 12:03pm PST 
Have you thought about getting him in an obedience class?

Terriers are *very* energetic dogs and they need some kind of mental outlet. It sounds to me like he's bored and doesn't have enough structure in his living environment.

I also feel that he's not getting nearly enough exercise. Perhaps he'd do well with a sport like flyball or even agility. That way, he can use his brain and burn off all that energy.

I do not feel that he's the right kind of dog to take into a nursing home. Usually, calm and collected dogs do best as therapy dogs.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Fri Oct 19, '12 12:28pm PST 
I'm a huge terrier fan. But to be able to live with them happily, you've got to understand that they were specifically bred to have that kind of go-go-go energy coupled with a never-say-die attitude. Especially the small vermin hunters like JRTs and rat terriers. I realize you've got a mix with a poodle, but they're not exactly known for being couch potatoes, either.

In other words, the level of energy you're now seeing might be with you for many years. They often don't slow down all that much until they're really in their advanced years, unlike many larger breeds. I see small terriers get to be upwards of 15 years old regularly. Unfortunately, taking your pup with you to see other calm dogs in a therapy setting isn't going to calm him down. Your pup needs lots of physical exercise and mental exercise provided by appropriate activities. Structure is important, too. These are very smart dogs, if you don't find a job for them to do they'll find one that probably wouldn't be on your list.

Try to look for a good basic obedience class and enroll. Be on the lookout for an activity your dog might like after that, suggestions like agility and flyball are often great fun for dogs like yours. Fun but also real 'jobs' for them, keeps their minds occupied along with their bodies.


Miss- Pig!
Barked: Fri Oct 19, '12 12:48pm PST 
I agree about seeking an obedience class. Many of the puppy classes will accept puppies after their 1st vaccination, so you should be able to find one that will allow you to sign up right away.

You can also try taking him out in the car for short journeys which will mentally stimulate him and get him used to car journeys. Try shorter training session to keep him more interested. To long and repetitive and he'll get bored and lose focus as you're experiencing. The puppy nipping is normal. Missy nipped alot when she was young too and i used to give her time outs either in her crate for about 5/10 minutes or shutting her out of the room. I also stopped all play and/or attention until she'd calmed down. This worked, but you do have to be consistent and patient.