Betty the Butt

Betty is the Puppy. I wanted a catchy title, so you all get her name. Not that it was super secret. It’s not my password for anything.

Anyway, our 20 month old puppy has blossomed into a real jerk lately. I’m really, really hoping this is a phase.

About a month ago, she decided that if she had it in her mouth- be it a mostly destroyed tennis ball or even a stick, it was hers (she gets all snarly and lunge at dogs who take “her” stuff, not cool – we always leave the park immediately when that happens). This did not go over well at the dog park. She was only really good at sharing with dogs she knew well. So now every time we go there (which has become rarer), we spend all our time taking things away from her.

She used to be so good and really submissive. It’s like a light switch in her head went off and she decided to become a brat. Also her energy level has manageable mostly only with at least an hour at the dog park. I’ve walked her three times today already and she’s still getting into the kitchen sink, tearing the cushions off of the sofa, and annoying the cats.

On the 4th we brought her to my Aunt’s cabin, as we had done the previous year. She was hyped up the whole time. We tried doing a calming hold on her, giving her crate time, and letting her run free (she was running way too far from everyone for us to let her do this, and the other dog there seemed not that interested in playing with her). When we let her out of the crate after 10 minutes (we needed to eat food), she was so upset she was shaking. She had been howling (which we hadn’t heard her do since she was a tiny puppy), and had an accident inside the house, which she hasn’t done in forever.

So basically, she’s got all this crazy energy and we’re having trouble directing it. Any experienced dog parents have any suggestions. She’s at almost two hours of walk time a day, plus a decent amount of yard time. I knew GSP/Husky are both high energy breeds, but this seems kind of crazy. My next idea is to train her to walk on the treadmill, but she’s kind of bad at learning new stuff (yes, we’ve done a couple obedience classes and she knows the basics like come and sit).

This is just a phase they grow out of right?

PS- It’s just occured to me that I may just be PMSing.


About DeCaf

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14 Responses to Betty the Butt

  1. Sounds like a phase and a dog that needs a job! Get a doggy pack for her. Make her carry her doggy bags and water. There are also some great thinking toys out there for smart pups. She sounds like her brain needs to be worked. There are some great easy tricks out there as well that could help. Welcome to adolescence!

  2. butchcountry67 says:

    we have a shepherd/rottweiler cross, he is 6 years old now and still a big ball of fire, I don’t think he knows that he is getting old lol, we went through the complete butt munch phase with our dog and he was almost 3 when he grew out of it, it sounds like your dog is bored, she needs to work, the Husky in her is bred to work and work hard so that’s probably where it’s coming from, as hartmanhollow suggested already, even with lots of walks and free run dog park time your dog will still be a ball of energy, keep socializing her as much as you can and keep giving her sticks balls and toys etc and taking them away , she is learning that aggression gets her what she wants , that can be dealt with and she can learn other better gentler ways to get what she wants, you just need to teach her. we work our dog daily, we hook him up to his big red wagon and fill it with a couple sand bags then take him for a walk, he pulls it along just fine, in the winter our son hooks him up to the sled and our dog pulls him around the yard and across fields etc. we also give him chew toys that are filled with treats, he has to manipulate them to get the reward, we play tug of war with him using a strong rope, constant praise when he does good and crate time when he misbehaves. the big deal is to make sure your dog does not think it is the alpha in the pack (pack as in your family) you have to remain the alpha at all times or the dog will never respect or listen to you.

    • DeCaf says:

      The red wagon’s a brilliant idea. I can see Betty loving to pull something like that. And we could totally load it up with random stuff.
      Betty still isn’t very dominant, even over the cats. We can take things she really really wants/is enjoying from her without any bad behavior. It’s really only when another dog wants something she sees as “her toy.”

  3. Lindsay says:

    This is most DEFINITELY a phase and I remember it well with my dog, Chester. It lasted a good 6 months with him and then afterwards, he turned into the best dog I could’ve asked for. It does get better.

  4. Molly says:

    Sounds like a case of the terrible twos. 🙂 I don’t really have much advice, but I do like the previous suggestion of the pack. Give her a pack and put her to “work.” It might help her focus. My dogs LOVE puzzle toys, too. I love watching them trying to figure them out. It’s probably worth a shot!

    • DeCaf says:

      Betty does love her Kong. I haven’t found too many other good ones that she doesn’t destroy quickly. Although that is were all of our empty soda/water bottles go, to making homemade treats for her.

  5. mamaetmaman says:

    Our big dog is a husky/lab/retriever mix and when she was younger (she’s 8 now), we found that we had to take her off leash for walks because she really needed to exercise her hunting skills: full-on sprinting after squirrels and deer. It provided her with awesome exercise (doesn’t compare with walking on a leash), stimulated her mind, and gave her purpose (like doing “work” mentioned by many people above). I know you’re taking her on many walks a day, but she may need more stimulation to exhaust her mind. When we missed a day of walking, she was a bit of an asshole too. Less with the big dog, but more with the small dog we noticed that she went through “asshole” phases. I clearly remember one at two years old, and another at around 4. I hope you find something that works. Sounds like you’re doing a good job though, so far. Hope the PMS subsides too!

    • DeCaf says:

      That sounds lovely. Sadly in the city there’s only small offleash dog parks for dogs to go to, nowhere for them to see and chase deer.
      Thankfully the rain seems to have cleared up for most of the rest of the week (it may return at the end of the week) so I was able to take her to the park today, and she ran around with all the other dogs and is behaving herself much better.

  6. rubisco says:

    It looks like you’ve gotten a ton of great advice already. One puzzle toy that our very destructive lab was never able to get through was the Treatstik. We even feed our dog now her meals out of it (at almost 10, our little herder is just starting to come out of her puppy phase…). Do be aware that if you get to a place where chasing deer is an option that they can be mean as anything. Usually with smaller dogs, I think, but our vet has had to patch up more than one dog who got stomped!

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