Destructive Puppy On The Loose

I have a question for you about my puppy, Lab and Pitbull mix, almost 5 months old. We also have two other labs, about 7 years old, each.

Anyway, Pippin (the puppy), is a really smart dog. He picked up the sit command without my ever teaching him and seems to learn from the other dogs really fast. The only thing he hasn’t learned is not to trash the house and the front yard while we’re at work no matter how much we punish him. I read one of your responses on your website about dogs misbehaving when you’re not home which you stated was because they’re bored, but he’s got two other dogs to play with. In fact he’d much rather play with them, even when I’m home. Is there something I can do, or like me, do you suspect it’s just a puppy thing?

Also, I’ve been thinking about taking him to Doggie Daycare once a week. Do you think this will help?


Dear Theresa,

I’m not exactly sure where you read that I suggest that dogs destroy things because they are bored. This CAN be ONE reason that dogs destroy things. However, in fact, there are many possible reasons.

Regardless, the main point you have to understand is that IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER. Who cares? Maybe he’s doing it because his mother ignored him. Or because he was picked on in puppy kindergarten. (Alright, I’m making jokes.)

But in all seriousness, your dog has demonstrated that he’s not old enough (or responsible enough) to be left unsupervised. In fact, what I recommend on my web site (and in my book) is that you should leave no puppy unsupervised until he is between a year and 1.5 years of age, and HAS GONE SEVERAL MONTHS with perfect behavior. (I’m using caps because the newsletter list server won’t let me use the bold feature in my word processor).

But regardless of how good or bad he’s been in the past, seven months of age is simply too young to leave unsupervised. Leave him in the crate or kennel run, just like you would a toddler in a play pen or crib.

And most importantly, you don’t want him to hurt himself.

Remember, even though he may look like an adult dog now, he’s still mentally a puppy.

That’s all for now, folks!

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