What Should I do???

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Legend of Zelda's picture
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Posted in Off-Topic because it's not about dobes.

 

So, my toy poodle, Patch, is 7.5 years old, a reletively young age in toy years, but his teeth are getting so sensitive and he could barely chew his kibble? Should I treat him as a pup again and soak his food before feeding him? Also, he was always the kind of dog that was picky about his food, a lot like Zelda (what up with the picky eaters!? XD Maybe she picked it up from him lol). Anyone have suggestions?

P.S. Zelda's doing great :) Her callback is great. It may not be turn-on-the-dime come back, but she definitely is a lot better compared to my friend's terrible-twos white GSD XD Foxy likes to test her mama ;P Still working on stay, which honestly isn't going anywhere... Maybe I'm teaching it wrong since I have never formally taught my dogs stay before... Any other ways to teach stay?

Thanks a bunch,

Erika

Well Erika,

Ol' Toby is 13 yrs old and has a rotten mouth too. I just soak the little guys food to make it easier for him although he really doesn't have a eating problem, he'll just swallow.

Poor thing was my daughter's dog before we had to take him. His mouth was already in decline. Just don't let him lick ya! eewwwhhh.

Glad to hear Zelda's doing so good. Keep it up,she'll get better as time goes on.

I've always taught stay a little bit at a time. Command stay, wait 2 seconds, reward. Increasing the stay time and distance little by little over time. Use your leash incase she breaks, she can't run off. If, when you have her staying for some time and she breaks before you release her, drag her back to the exact spot, put her in it with her command, "STAY!". Wait a few seconds, release-reward. It takes a little time but they will get it. Work on this for one week. Then start "stay" off lead but in sight for another week. Same routine, just off lead.

When you have her staying, in sight, without her breaking til told to, find a brick building (brick because you can't see through or under them. I'll go to a park with brick bath houses and also you have distactions). Find the down wind corner and put her on a sit and stay near the corner, walk around the corner letting the belly in the lead lay on the ground. Again short 2 second periods to start, pop back around the corner, if she stayed, with a great big atta girl. Increasing the time as time goes on. When she's staying for some time, if she breaks (you'll know, watch the lead) pop back around the corner, put her back in the exact spot she was told to stay in, go back around the corner give her some time and return then reward for staying. I do this, one week on leash, next week off leash.

When you go around the corner, to the dog, your not there anymore. When you pop around the corner when she didn't stay and put her (when I say "put her" use some force, this is the correction) in THAT spot, she learns that she has to stay eventhough your not there and it's better to wait for you and get rewarded for staying than it is to go looking for you and get a correction.

When you get to that forth week and she's staying, keep practicing with her in pet smart or somewhere like that. For me "stay" is the second most important command there is. Second only to "come".

Legend of Zelda's picture
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Thanks, Gunny! I'll definitely try that method of teaching stay :) now.. All I need to do is find a good, quiet spot in the house to train her LOL. As for my little elderly puppy, I'll soak his food, definitely :) He's such a diva likes being hand fed XD

jeshykai's picture
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Loved the advice on the stay command Gunny!

On the note of the teeth - 7 years and painful means to me you should take him to the vet for a dental. One or two teeth may be cracked, or infected, and need to be pulled. They can do a general cleaning and your dog will feel so much better.

Bad teeth, while def gross to smell, can cause real issues internally when the built up rot, tarter and bacteria get continually swallowed so it is important to address when problems arise. My little rescue Harry I did a dental on and pulled most of his teeth - he had maybe 4 left - no need to soak his food he ate like a champ once the pain was gone.

Little dogs can be more prone to dental issues. I always encourage chewing in my house because it's a natural "brush" for gums and teeth. My small dogs get regular sized kibble - no small bites - the bigger kibble helps keep tarter away too.

You don't often have to do more than one or two dentals in a lifetime and depending where you go they can be anywhere from 175-300$ depending.

Let us know how that goes.

Legend of Zelda's picture
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Thanks, Jess. I'll definitely get his teeth checked the next time we go to the vet. Hopefully it isn't too bad. I think they're just sensitive in my opinion, but it would probably help the poor boy if his food was a little soft :)

Happydance's picture
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Absolutely listen to Jess, the little guy needs to see the vet and have a dental done.  It can be dangerous in the long run to let it slide.  The bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and believe it or not affect his heart.  (Same thing in people by the way!)  Also, I've seen where dogs get stuff stuck in their teeth and causes them pain (bits of bone, chewies, even foxtail weeds).  Once we saw a dog that had a stick stuck vertically across his mouth.  Usually, it's tartar and general gum disease that needs addressing.

In teaching stay, don't forget your hand command.  Hold your hand up in the stay position, treat and reaffirm. When you go out of sight, take a second before you disappear with one more "stay" hand command, saying it firmly.  It takes time to build up to a long stay, be patient and keep working on it.