Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

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Andrew
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Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Andrew » 10 Oct 2018, 14:00

Hi all!!

First of all congrats for this amazing community!

I just acquired my first standard Schnauzer, Mokka (2months), and I am in love with her although there are a couple of issues that we need to work on...

- First, poop eating. I found this thread with some useful tips viewtopic.php?f=49&t=23231&hilit=poop but any more help is more than welcome. She is fast as hell, she turns around while pooping and I have a 500ms windows to catch it first! Kinda desperate with this topic.
- Second, energy bursts. She is super smart, learns super quick, but twice or three times a day she has some terrible energy peaks. I try to play with her, she seems to ignore me, and just runs around "barking", jumping, biting, nonstop. How can I calm her down??? Seems imposible.
- Third, stuff bitting. I know this is pretty normal, but any tip on how to manage it? She just wants to bite my sofa, over and over, and there is nothing i can do to stop her. Positive training does not work at all, I can tell you that.

Cheers and thanks!
Andrew

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Schnauzer Sam
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Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 10 Oct 2018, 20:21

Hi Andrew,

Welcome to you and Mokka.

I have no experience of standards ( 3 mini's) but from reading other member's experiences on the forum they are the most challenging of the 3 sizes - and as you say, super smart!

I can recommend a book that is very helpful and you will go back to it over and over again; it's by Gwen Bailey called "How to train a superpup". She's an internationally renowned behavioural therapist and trainer and all her methods and suggestions are based on positive and reward based training rather than dominance or punishment.

The "energy bursts" are when you should try and give her something to occupy her brain. If she is food led (and most but not all schnauzers are) then something she considers high value that you only use for training will focus her mind. She will soon learn that the treat comes after she does something you want (or stops doing something you want to stop her doing).

2 months is a tough age as I assume she's still confined to your home and garden? I used this time to train mine on a short lead up and down the garden getting them used to stopping and starting and changes of pace - rewarding with treats and praise for staying beside me. I also used a long training lead (not extending) to do recall training. If there was no response then a gentle tug would bring them my way :)

The biting is probably one of the biggest "complaints" from owners of schnauzer pups. They all seem to do it and to enjoy it! All I will say is that we've all been there and it does get better - honest :)

I'm sure that a standard owner will pop by and give you some first hand advice.
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Oscar 12345
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Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Oscar 12345 » 10 Oct 2018, 20:28

Hi Andrew and welcome to the forum. Check out feeding pineapple to her. I am sure that it is one idea that you can try and people have had good results. Otto wasn't eating his own poop and the action I took when he went to eat another dog's was to shout NO just as he was about to eat it but I wouldn't recommend that if she is eating her own as you could find it scares her and she associates that fear with going to the toilet. Hopefully she will soon grow out of it.
Every snack you make
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zeta1454
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Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by zeta1454 » 10 Oct 2018, 20:48

Hi Andrew and welcome to the Forum :-)

Standard schnauzers are an exuberant, strong willed breed that do respond well to training but are not ideal for a novice dog owner. You will need plenty of patience and be prepared to put in a lot of time building your bond with her, providing mental challenges and training her to settle down and rest.

Re the poop eating, how have you reacted to this? If you have made a huge fuss over it, you may have unintentionally encouraged her to try and eat it quickly. Making a loud noise, shouting or acting with any kind of "excited" behaviour where puppies are concerned can have two responses you don't want - either they will try to carry out the behaviour (whatever that may be) when you are not looking or even hide to do it...or they may think it is a great game to make you shout and to try and beat you to it (eating her poo) or run off with a forbidden item if that is the scenario. Puppies of all breeds are playful babies who have probably enjoyed competitive games with their siblings and they need gentle, positive guidance to learn what is and is not acceptable in the human world. Poo eating is very hard to overcome if it is hard wired in a dog. Most often it will stop of itself as the puppy matures into adulthood- even human toddlers will often put all sorts of things in their mouth - it is an exploratory phase and, although you may want to try and stop Mokka now, you may need to approach it calmly and don't despair if she does do it (as long as she is on a good diet, her poo should not be toxic). Dogs do eat poo and come to no harm.

It is very common for puppies to have bouts of "zoomies" when they run round wildly. Again, this is a phase with most young dogs which they will grow out of as they mature. Usually it will be best to let her run off her energy in these short bursts outside of the house and do not try to intervene with play at these times. Play and other bonding activities should only take place when she is calm. Do you have a set routine with Mokka? With a young puppy, you need to have a timetable of regular meal times, play times, rest times, training times etc. It is easier to settle in a young dog if they learn what happens when and they know to expect the activities of the day. Food can also cause hyperactivity if there is too much sugar which can lead to excess energy - you can check the ingredients of her food and see if it is primarily named meat and vegetables rather than carbohydrates.

Giving Mokka a raw meaty bone to gnaw on may help her to settle down - puppies usually enjoy a raw lamb rib or spine to test their teeth on and gnawing / chewing is a relaxing and satisfying activity for dogs at all ages. If you are reluctant to give her raw bones, try to find other safe chew items (antlers/ roots) or stuff a Kong with food for her to spend time chewing on.

While they are teething, puppies will always chew on anything and everything that gives them relief from the pain and helps calm them. If you do not want Mokka to bite at the sofa, make sure that she does not have access to it while she is still teething or have her beside you with a chew item so she has something suitable to exercise her jaws and teeth. If you cannot be engaged with her, at any time, Mokka should be in a playpen, crate or (part of) the room where she has a bed, safe chew items etc. with no opportunity to damage anything valuable or hurt herself. Some things can be taught to a baby / puppy and others must be managed - it is often much easier to prevent something happening rather than trying to "train" a young creature not to do something that is very satisfying to them. Teething is a phase and puppies do grow out of this so do not despair.

Spend as much time as you can with Mokka when she is awake, engaging with games, training exercises etc. Try exercises that will challenge her mentally and exercise her: hide tasty smelly treats around the garden (or the house if you have a suitable room) put dried fish or meat pieces or kibble under flower pots, inside empty cardboard boxes...as many different places you can find and set Mokka off to seek them out. A good quality training class will help if you can find one local to you that has a small number of puppies (no more than 6) and preferably plenty of assistants as well as the trainer. The classes we have attended with our pups have between 2 and 4 puppies and two to four assistants. They should use positive reinforcement techniques and be able to offer constructive individual support to owners who have any issues with their puppy.

Do have a browse through the Forum topics too - many people have been through challenging times with their new puppy and this is not necessarily anything to worry about. With love, patience and consistent routines you will get through the puppy stage and the more you put in now will pay dividends when Mokka reaches adolescence :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
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Andrew
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Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Andrew » 10 Oct 2018, 21:01

Hi Schnauzer Sam and Oscar 12345, thanks for the warm welcome and quick reply!

Schnauzer Sam, I will def have a look at that book, thanks a lot for the recommendation. 2 months is a tough age indeed, and unfortunately I have no garden, so I try to take her whenever I can to my sister's garden. That helps a lot because inside the apartment she goes nuts. I cannot wait to finish with all the vaccines.

Oscar 12345, I was a bit sceptical about the pineapple trick but I am going to try it! Hope it helps, it's getting a bit annoying. Thanks a lot.

Cheers!

Andrew
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First Name: Andrew

Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Andrew » 10 Oct 2018, 22:24

Hi zeta1454, nice to meet you virtually!

I might have made a bit of a fuss trying to stop her. She tries to be faster than me and turns back while finishing to catch it first :S... I will try to not make any noise or whatever and see what happens then (plus trying the pineapple).

I will check the food ingredients too. Atm I am feeding her Royal Canin Puppy. I use a kong with kibbles to keep her busy but seems she has even more energy after finishing it :D

Regarding the biting, I am trying to train her to use a crate, not too successful so far to be honest. I live in an apartment and I cannot keep her inside the crate longer than 15 mins without whining like crazy, but we are getting better on it (tons of treats when she calms down).

I am def checking the training class, I strongly believe we need it! Thanks for the nice advice.

Thanks a lot for your help, I really appreciate it. I think I was a bit frustrated when I wrote the post this afternoon but getting your support and tips have made me feel way better.

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zeta1454
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Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by zeta1454 » 11 Oct 2018, 18:23

Andrew - I do understand your frustration with the poo eating. Although we have never experienced this with our mini schnauzers, we have two other dogs who have both done this when young and even now very occasionally (2 years and 4 years old). It is one of the most difficult dog behaviours for a human to understand as it seems so disgusting to us

I have been trying to think of some ways you might be able to break Mokka of the habit by distracting her as soon as she has poo-d with something more exciting. If you can get her to move away to give you the chance to pick up, it may also interrupt her behaviour enough to get her out of the habit. It might be easier with the help of a willing assistant who could entice her away with a toy or treat as soon as she has been. It sounds as though at present she is in competitive game mode - trying to get the poo before you do. If Mokka has a toy, ball or some kind of food treat that she really loves, you could try using this as a distraction to draw her mind to getting that instead. As I say, it would be easier with a helper but, if you are on your own when she poos, try always to have a treasured item (treasure to Mokka) which you could throw for her to chase after or a handful of tasty treats which you can scatter away from you both to try and get her interest and give you a chance to pick up before she gets to the poo.

As you get to know Mokka better over the next few weeks and months, you will know what it is that really motivates her and there is almost always some toy or tasty food that a dog would "do anything" to have. If there is a special toy - squeaky or tug toy for example, keep this as a reward and a motivator for training success and only let her have it on special occasions. If she is not so interested in toys but more motivated by food, try to find something extra special to use in the same way.

Crate training is not easy if a puppy has never experienced it before and you will need a big one as Mokka grows to give her plenty of room if you plan on using it long term. Our minis certainly are very happy to settle in one and sleep but some dogs do not take to them readily.

Good luck and do check out a range of food to find a good quality one. We feed our dogs commercially prepared raw meat meals from a small scale UK dog food business but there are certainly better quality kibble food than RC with higher levels of named meat and vegetables and less carbohydrates and cereals which are not ideal for canine digestion.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

Andrew
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Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Andrew » 12 Oct 2018, 08:35

Hi Leigh! (I just saw now that our names are on the right side :))

Thanks again for your help. I reallyyy appreciate it. My girlfriend is helping me with her and we will try your suggestion. I hope she forgets about it after a while. I am trying the pineapple but it doesn't seem to work at all, she just doesn't care :D I am afraid that she was "left" alone at the breeder's, doing whatever she wanted with her sibblings...and therefore taking the habit of eating poop. That's my guess.

Regarding the crate training, she gets in by herself and if she is really tired she falls asleep inside. Closing the door is another story, but I am just happy to see her get used to it. I believe it will help in the future.

And about RC, it was the recommendation of the breeder. I read a lot about different food types/kibbles and I know RC is not the best, but I didn't know what to do since the breeder told me that RC works pretty well. Not sure if we can discuss different brands here...but I would really appreciate your advice. I would like to try Acana, but read that it causes stomach issues to some dogs. No idea.

Thanks again!!

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Schnauzer Sam
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Location: Guernsey

Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 12 Oct 2018, 12:12

Hi Andrew,

You can involve the crate in a training exercise. When you're rewarding her for sitting etc, open the crate door and throw a couple of treats in and close the door after her. Wait until she's had the treats and if she's quiet, open the door and let her out and reward her again. If she's not quiet, wait until she is then let her out and reward her. Over time you can build up how long the gate is closed.

Regarding her food, you should look at https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/ It's a great site for looking at ingredients and nutritional content of the food. Feel free to talk about the food on the forum, there's no restriction on that at all.
You're never alone when you own a schnauzer

Andrew
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Re: Random bursts of energy + poop eating = terrible combo

Post by Andrew » 12 Oct 2018, 17:08

Hi Sam,

Thanks for your tips. I am checking the food website right now :)

Cheers!

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