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I have a 3 year old Labrador retriever who I have had since she was a puppy. In the 3 years I have had her, I have learned many do's and don'ts and I would love to share this knowledge with those of you on this forum so that you know what to do when training your dog.

Certain breeds of dogs are prone to certain behavior problems; in this article I will be talking about my experiences with my Labrador in particular and I know that certain things might not apply to all breeds, but that being said, I think that the information contained herein will still be useful to most dog owners.

First thing that I noticed when she was a puppy was that she loved to chew things, so leaving out shoes you care about is a definite no-no. A good way to alleviate this need to chew since the puppy is teething would be to get him or her a toy. One I would suggest especially for the bigger breeds is a Kong. (http://www.kongcompany.com/) they make many different toys, but the Kong classic or the Kong puppy is perfect for teething, and its great because its really hard to destroy one of these things.

Now that we got the chewing out of the way, the second issue that I had with my dog was that whenever we left the house the dog would go into the garbage, poop on the floor and overall just make a horrendous mess. At first we tried to place a heavy object like a brick on the garbage can, but that still left the problem of the pooping in the house. We ultimately decided that it was a good idea to invest in a crate. Now many people are going to tell you that a crate is cruel, but as I write this article my dog is staring back at me from her crate; door completely open free to go as she pleases and instead she stays there; she see's it as her "safe place." However, this wasn't always the case, she would bark and cry and cry being in the crate, even a few times she pooped in it! But eventually she figured out that when we left, she would go there, and she made the best of it and grew to like it.

I hope that my tips and tricks have been helpful, and good luck training your pup!
 

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