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Old 04-13-2012, 04:50 PM
DrPepper DrPepper is offline
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Default Fun games for young Bouviers

We have an 11 week old Bouvier and absolutely adore her. We have never raised a Bouvier before and are trying to learn how to constructively channel her high energy and herding tendencies. Our biggest problem is that when she wants to play, she will jump up on us and bite at our pants or dress.

We have come up with only one game that she loves so far. We will drag a 2 foot long stick on the grass while running and let her catch up to it until she can grab it in her mouth. Then she will proudly prance away with the stick while we chase her. Once we gently pry the stick from her mouth, we repeat the process.

I would love to know what games other people have devised that are fun for their Bouvier, provide good exercise and channel their energy away from jumping up onto and biting their master.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:29 PM
Sue Sue is offline
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Default Raising Bouv puppies

Hi there and welcome to the Echo Bouvier Forum.

There are few critters more persistent than Bouvier puppies, and the little girls are probably the most persistent of all. Puppies love to jump up because their people inevitably get all excited about it, raise their voices, and swing their arms around, trying to deter the puppy, but in fact that only encourages the puppy to jump more often and with more enthusiasm.

There are a couple things you can do to discourage jumping up... The very first behavior I teach puppies is a sit. When a puppy approaches me, she gets zero attention unless she first sits down and then I'll reach down and pet her. If the puppy tries to jump on me, I'll just fold my arms in, and turn around and ignore the puppy. Puppies who want attention from me learn very quickly that jumping up gets them nothing, but sitting politely gets them lots of praise and attention.

Puppies are very oral and Bouviers seem to be more oral than some other breeds as well. I praise puppies who nuzzle and give gentle kisses, but the minute the teeth come out, my attention goes away. Be sure your puppy has lots of appropriate chew toys and if she comes after you with her teeth, hand her a toy to chew instead, then praise her for taking it.

Be careful with chase games... these can incite puppies into behaving in ways you don't really want them to... jumping up for instance... and it also can teach her to run from you. Instead toss a toy or ball and encourage her to bring it back to you. Praise her and hand her a little treat if she does, then toss the toy again. This is fun for the puppy, but also teaches her that coming to you is the best thing she can do.

You're in for a real adventure. I'd also encourage you to look for local classes where trainers teach positive reinforcement methods. This will help you and your puppy get off to a great start and probably save you from unknowingly creating some bad habits that may cause problems later.

You should also stay in touch with your puppy's breeder and ask any questions you have about behavior and training. She should be more than willing to help you at any time during your puppy's lifetime.

Cheers,
Sue
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:11 AM
DrPepper DrPepper is offline
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We have already applied several of your methods with excellent results. Our biggest problem was that the puppy used to increase her jumping and biting behavior the more we tried to stop it. We could tell she thought it was a game but we could not get her to stop. However, turning our back to her, folding our arms and standing still caused her to stop the behavior immediately. Thank you for the wonderful advice!
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:59 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Welcome to our forum. Yep, we know all about Bouv puppies. I call them monsters, terrors and demons... that's cause we've had 3 of them for awhile, although the demon left and we just have the monster and terror left. The boy is pretty good about not jumping up except when he gets really excited. The girl jumps up more but then remembers she's not suppose to and just kind of stands there on her hind legs. Although she doesn't always remember now, at least she should remember more as she gets older. Of course it doesn't always help when a 6 year old female likes to act like a 9 month puppy and gets the two young ones all riled up. I think she forgets her age some times or else just refuses to grow up. Then we have the fun police that keeps barking at them to stop and don't run or you will get hurt or it's too early or too late in the day to be having so much fun, etc., etc. Echo is the spoil sport of the bunch and has been for most of her 10 years. The almost 15 year old Bouv just ignores all of them as long as they don't get in her way while she's sleeping (which is most of the time) or eating. She taught the 3 puppies (and more before them) to pay attention to who's food bowl they are sticking their face into. That's one thing we teach very early around here, since we have more than one Bouvier, the dish that goes down in front of a Bouvier is theirs until they leave, then it's fair game and they better not get after any dog that does get their face into it either. It helps that each have their place to eat, but even if we have to do a change up for some reason, they still honor first face in the bowl owns it.

You will find that Bouv puppies are like kids, you buy them fancy toys to keep them happy and they like playing with the wrapper or box instead. That has happened so many times around here. Also, watch for things you want to encourage. Sue has always been good at teaching dumb dog tricks, like sneezing on command, high 5, foot to shake, other foot for the other foot, etc. I've managed to get in a few as well, like snorting, snooty girl (she sticks her nose up in the air), bouncing from couch to chair and back (ok, that one didn't go over so well, but it is a trick ) and I'm working on the young girl to burp on command and shake her head real fast. So if you she her puppy doing things that you think would be a neat trick to teach, find a word for it and start rewarding her for it when she does it. Don't reward her for not doing just because you have a cooky in your hand, have her do something else that you know she will do. That way she won't learn that she will get it even if she doesn't perform. And once the light comes on and she associate the word with the action with the reward, really reward her. We call it getting the jackpot around here when one of them finally does it the first time when asked. That really re-enforces it. And the more they learn the easier it will be for them to learn new tricks because they will know that you are trying to teach them something and when they get it they will get rewarded.

Bouvs catch on really fast if you let them. Our first Bouvier never learned to catch food tossed to her. She always let it hit her nose and fall to the ground then she would eat it. She did this for years and even though she was really smart and learned a lot of things, she didn't like doing dumb things. Then one day I threw some turkey meat at her (she'd been eying it for awhile) and it was a bad throw that went to the side. she just reached out and caught it like she had been doing it for all the years that she wouldn't. She caught the others I tossed at her too. It turned out that she didn't want to put herself out unless it was worth it to her. I told you she was very smart.

Anyway, have fun and good luck and again, welcome to the forum.

Mike
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2013, 06:55 AM
StephenCannon StephenCannon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Welcome to our forum. Yep, we know all about Bouv puppies. I call them monsters, terrors and demons... that's cause we've had 3 of them for awhile, although the demon left and we just have the monster and terror left. The boy is pretty good about not jumping up except when he gets really excited. The girl jumps up more but then remembers she's not suppose to and just kind of stands there on her hind legs. Although she doesn't always remember now, at least she should remember more as she gets older. Of course it doesn't always help when a 6 year old female likes to act like a 9 month puppy and gets the two young ones all riled up. I think she forgets her age some times or else just refuses to grow up. Then we have the fun police that keeps barking at them to stop and don't run or you will get hurt or it's too early or too late in the day to be having so much fun, etc., etc. Echo is the spoil sport of the bunch and has been for most of her 10 years. The almost 15 year old Bouv just ignores all of them as long as they don't get in her way while she's sleeping (which is most of the time) or eating. She taught the 3 puppies (and more before them) to pay attention to who's food bowl they are sticking their face into. That's one thing we teach very early around here, since we have more than one Bouvier, the dish that goes down in front of a Bouvier is theirs until they leave, then it's fair game and they better not get after any dog that does get their face into it either. It helps that each have their place to eat, but even if we have to do a change up for some reason, they still honor first face in the bowl owns it.

You will find that Bouv puppies are like kids, you buy them fancy toys to keep them happy and they like playing with the wrapper or box instead. That has happened so many times around here. Also, watch for things you want to encourage. Sue has always been good at teaching dumb dog tricks, like sneezing on command, high 5, foot to shake, other foot for the other foot, etc. I've managed to get in a few as well, like snorting, snooty girl (she sticks her nose up in the air), bouncing from couch to chair and back (ok, that one didn't go over so well, but it is a trick ) and I'm working on the young girl to burp on command and shake her head real fast. So if you she her puppy doing things that you think would be a neat trick to teach, find a word for it and start rewarding her for it when she does it. Don't reward her for not doing just because you have a cooky in your hand, have her do something else that you know she will do. That way she won't learn that she will get it even if she doesn't perform. And once the led lights comes on and she associate the word with the action with the reward, really reward her. We call it getting the jackpot around here when one of them finally does it the first time when asked. That really re-enforces it. And the more they learn the easier it will be for them to learn new tricks because they will know that you are trying to teach them something and when they get it they will get rewarded.

Bouvs catch on really fast if you let them. Our first Bouvier never learned to catch food tossed to her. She always let it hit her nose and fall to the ground then she would eat it. She did this for years and even though she was really smart and learned a lot of things, she didn't like doing dumb things. Then one day I threw some turkey meat at her (she'd been eying it for awhile) and it was a bad throw that went to the side. she just reached out and caught it like she had been doing it for all the years that she wouldn't. She caught the others I tossed at her too. It turned out that she didn't want to put herself out unless it was worth it to her. I told you she was very smart.

Anyway, have fun and good luck and again, welcome to the forum.

Mike
There are plenty of fun games around now.. I have been some real good ones for my small brother..I am sorry for posting in old thread but glad to find the thread..

Last edited by StephenCannon; 07-05-2013 at 07:28 PM.
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