PG 72 ASK THE EX­PERT

Pets (Singapore) - - Contents -

Our es­teemed ex­perts of­fer their advice.

I have two eight-month-old mon­grel brothers. They are both very de­struc­tive and im­pos­si­ble to control! They rip our shoes into pieces, chew on the teak legs of our din­ing ta­ble, and dig up the gar­den. They even bit and dug a huge hole in my sofa. I’m des­per­ate as I’m un­able to man­age them. What should I do?

Pup­pies are al­ways in­no­cent, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing how small and cute they are in the be­gin­ning. But as they grow big­ger, teething kicks in. When this hap­pens, they find the urge to ease the dis­com­fort by chew­ing on things. How­ever, if they’re not given the ap­pro­pri­ate toys to chew on, they will find their own. Sadly, it al­ways ends up be­ing your house­hold fur­ni­ture. If this is­sue is not nipped in the bud early, it evolves into a per­ma­nent bad habit. Even when teething is over, your dog will find joy in chew­ing up any­thing he can set his mouth on.

To pre­vent and stop this bad habit, you will need to start bet­ter man­ag­ing your home. You will have to stop giv­ing com­plete free­dom to your dogs. If you are un­able to watch them, they need to stay in a con­fined area such as a room, playpen, or crate. While in their con­fined ar­eas, they must be given things to do. Puzzle dog toys, dog chews, and other types of toys should be given so they do not get bored. When you de­cide to let them out to play, you must mon­i­tor them at all times. Give them useful toys even when they are out­side. These bad habits are caused by bore­dom. If they have some­thing bet­ter to do, they will not need to find some­thing to oc­cupy them­selves with, such as de­stroy­ing the beau­ti­ful teak legs of your din­ing ta­ble.

An­other thing that con­trib­utes to­wards your cur­rent predica­ment is lit­ter­mate syn­drome. By adopt­ing two pup­pies at the same time, they tend to bond very well with each other and ba­si­cally ig­nore ev­ery­thing or ev­ery­one else, in­clud­ing you. They do ev­ery­thing to­gether and it is very hard to get their at­ten­tion. With the con­fine­ment ap­proach, you will have to sep­a­rate them if you want them to lis­ten to you. They will have to be fed, walked, played with, and trained sep­a­rately.

EX­PERT: MAU­REEN TAY Cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sional Dog Trainer – Knowl­edge As­sessed AVA-ac­cred­ited Dog Trainer As­so­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sional Dog Train­ers Pet Pro­fes­sional Guild KasPup UniFURsity

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