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Thread: Finding training difficult

  1. #1
    Matryoshka Guest

    Default Finding training difficult

    I'm finding training our puppy (15 weeks) difficult for the following reasons:

    * I can't watch him constantly, so i often miss when he pees inside, then of course its too late to take him outside. So consequently, after 3 weeks, he's still having accidents in the house. And whats frustrating, is even after being outside for a couple of hours, will come right in and go inside, even though 5 out of 10 times, i have caught him and put him outside, plus praised him immensely when i've found him going outside.

    What can i do?

    * He doesn't like the leash, i read to put it on him, then call him and reward him when he comes. It says this is how you teach them to walk on a leash, so i assume when they walk to you with it, eventually you can hold it and they will walk with you.

    Any other tips?

    This isn't go so well mainly because my toddler thinks its hillarious to grab the leash or chase the dog with the leash on. Ends in caos, i take the kids inside and feel like a failure and think i was nuts to get a puppy when i've got a baby and a crazy toddler.

    * He keeps trying to nip us, i say uhuh and he stops, but then goes and does it again. I was wondering if he's doing this because of teething, or just to be naughty. Is this a phase? do i smack him? i don't smack my kids and i feel kind of bad about smacking a puppy, but is that what you do when they don't respond to uhuh?


  2. #2

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    Stick with it, it's hard work in the beginning but persistence pays off in the end! Do you have a crate or somewhere you can confine him a few times during the day, that way you aren't having to worry about him peeing throughout the house? Young puppies need to go to the toilet frequently, how often are you taking him outside to go to the loo? They also can't hold their bladders very well, like a little kid, when they've gotta go, they've gotta go! Does he have to be an inside dog? Our dog is predominantly an outside dog, however we do let him inside for an hour or two, otherwise it would feel like we never saw him. We never exactly toilet trained him, but he knows not to go to the toilet inside.

    Have you practiced tying up with him? Doesn't have to be for long, 5-10 mins, and he may cry/howl/bark at first, but it is great for teaching them boundaries and to get used to being restricted by a lead. Also maybe just put the lead on him and let him drag it behind him (under observation so he doesn't get tangled up in it) to get him used to the weight of a lead on his collar and having *something* there.

    With the nipping, in one sense it is good that he is trying it, as it really heaps to teach him bite inhibition. When he goes to nip yelp really loudly like a puppy would, when he makes contact with you, either your skin or even your clothes, and it doesn't have to hurt you, it's so you can establish boundaries with him on what is ok and what isn't. When you yelp (it might have to be really loud at first to make him pay attention) he should stop what he is doing, and just ignore him, stop playing with him, for a minute or two, then resume playing once he has settled down and is calm. He'll soon realise that nip = yelp = being ignored and play stops.

    Establishing "sit" we found really helps too, our dog has it down pat and knows to sit for certain things. If he is getting a bit rowdy all we have to say (sometimes louder than at other times!) is "SIT" and he sits and stops being so bouncy.

    Keep at it MummaB, it will get easier the more you practice, a 10 minute session a few times a day and it shouldn't take long for him to pick it up. Good luck, they are worth it in the end!

  3. #3

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    At his age, he's doing all the normal puppy things!

    House training is really really hard. I did crate training with our lab and we had no messes ever. Crate training is when you leave them in a crate and let them out after 40 minutes and go straight to the toilet, you then can play with them, do some training and then pop them back into the crate. That only works when you are at home.

    When you aren't crate training, there are a few things to remember. 1) their bladders aren't fully formed until they are 16 weeks... there are going to be mistakes. 2) It takes 30-40 minutes for their bladders to fill, so if you can try to remember to keep taking them out. 3) Take them out when he first wakes up, when he starts to get a bit rambunctious and whenever you can.

    Leads... try feeding him with a lead on and then take it off for a few days. Do training (sit, drop, stay, etc) with the lead on.

    When they bite too hard, treat it as if you were a puppy or adult dog. If a puppy bites too hard, they squeal or growl. Don't pull your hand away (I know its nearly impossible to teach a toddler or baby this). Leave it there and squeal or growl, once the puppy stops biting say "good puppy! in a pleasant voice" If you pull your hand away you are making a game of it.

    Also tug of war encourages biting or playing with you with their teeth. All tug of war should be stopped until you are positive your puppy isn't biting anymore. Just like with babies, when they are teething they chew more, so buy him something he can chew on and encourage him to chew on it. They start teething around 4 months and are nearly finished by 6 months.

  4. #4

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    * We have a german shepherd, and the breeder we got him off said that 10 minutes after meals, to take him out side and say "hurry up" until he peed and/or did number 2's. Once he did you had to show him a silly amount of affection and basically make a huge deal out of it ><; Perhaps you could try that? Our pup is 2 and a half now and to this day when you take him out and ask him to hurry up he'll do his business on command - he'll also do it at free will, of course. Toilet training is the hard part, mostly!


    * Leash, mum always said (she used to do obdeince trials) to put it on them and let them walk around with it, and pretend it's not there! As they get older she would teach them that when they are on leash it wasn't "play time" anymore, and it was serious business and they had to behave themselves. Once they did, they were let off and rewarded and played with.


    * I think it's a puppy thing to nip! The breeder we got Mannix from said to spray them with a spary bottle with vinegar and water mixed together, apprently they didn't like the smell. For us it didn't work, we just had a dog that smelled like a fish and chip shop! Mannix responds mostly to our emotions and physical attention, in the end we worked out that if we showed we were upset with him, he would generally not be naughty! EG, If he chewed something we would lock him outside and 10 minutes and not "speak" to him until he started behaving himself again, works the same for when he did his business in the house as well!

    It really is all about trial and error. Some dogs respond well to food rewards and others respond well to affection (like ours, who's only interest in food in for survival!) I will be honest with you, our dog is 2 and a half and all the training we put him through seemed to have only really sunk in over the last 3 months. It's tough and alot of work but you will get there and in the end it's very rewarding!
    Good Luck!

    ETA, another tip we were showed by a trainer for when they misbehave such as jumping up at people, was to get a chain and throw it up there rump and say "BAH!" really loud. Apparently it's meant to be the same as how the Mum would nip and growl at them if they were naughty in the wild. We did this with our dog as he got into a nasty habbit of jumping, and we only had to do it a couple of times before he got the gist of it. They key to it though is to keep the chain a mysterious object, so once you throw it you need to pick it back up quite quickly before they see/sniff at it.. Perhaps you could try that with the biting?

  5. #5

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    I think Christy's given you some really excellent advice there MummaB. Wishing you patience, and your dog continence.

  6. #6
    Matryoshka Guest

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    Thanks ladies, this is so helpful.

    Managed to do some more lead time and he comes along when i call and sort of follows - but i think he's doing it to just get a treat, is that okay at this point? I'm treating every few paces. (large treat cut in to tiny peices, not exceeding daily serve). I've figured out the annoying thing is my toddler distracts the dog, so i think he's been confused, but i'm getting firm with my toddler so that he stays back, and he's doing that now.

    How do you get them to walk along side you, or is that not so important? so far he kind of just follows me on the leash.

  7. #7

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    To get him to walk along side you we were taught that, if he starts pulling, to abruptly change the direction you're walking in. This way he'll learn that he has to watch what you're doing otherwise he's going to get pulled over by the lead

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