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Chewing / Housebreaking

January 23rd, 2005, 09:54 AM
This is a first for me - I have a 14 week old 1/2 doberman 1/2 weimaraner -this dog seems obsessed with chewing anything and everything he can get his mouth on - people, furniture, carpet, chords, plants, even a door..... ANYTHING. I have toys all over the house and have scolded him for chewing and handed him toys that he can chew on. I am so frustrated. Between that and his refusal to be housebroken, I am ready to get rid of him. I have used treats for housebreaking, and he will go when we go out, but will go within ten minutes of going back in.

On nice days, I have put him in the yard - and he will continuously claw on my door -which now has very little paint left on it. I have had a lot of dogs and never had this kind of trouble. Any suggestions are appreciated.

January 23rd, 2005, 09:56 AM
Are you using a crate/kennel?

#1 rule of having a puppy, Do not let them have full run of the house. ;)

Please do some research and get a routine down with this dog. I know it can be frustrating to own a puppy, but that's the chance you take when you get one. Not all dogs are the same as pups, different breeds bring different challenges as well.

Please don't get "rid" of your puppy. You made a commitment to him, it's your responsibility now. Get some books, surf through this site, ask questions, take advice. You need patience and a plan, some puppies are easier to train than others.

If you don't have a crate or kennel, get one, soon. Buy a book or download some info on crate training from the internet, do your homework and follow through with this puppy.

I am now trying to train a 6 month old puppy, who was given up on and almost killed yesterday because "She was tearing the house apart"

You did the right thing by asking us for help, don't give up, let us help you!

January 23rd, 2005, 10:04 AM
I do use a crate, when I am not here. But, I think the crate may be more and more as he is totally out of control. I also confine him to whatever room I am in - he's not all over the house unattended. But he's not learning that it's not ok. I just hate to have him locked up so much. He won't learn not to chew the furniture in there. But, he doesn't seem to be learning with me watching him all the time either.

January 23rd, 2005, 10:14 AM
It took my Toby a long time to "get it" when it came to what was appropriate to chew on, and he still will chew certain things.

I had to completely puppy proof. I didn't even have a table in my kitchen because he would chew chairs. Put shoes away, I used a big rubbermaid container, everybody, including guests would put their shoes in.

It's O.K to confine him, he's a baby. We wouldn't feel bad about putting a human baby in a crib or playpen away from harms way, puppies are the same. As long as he gets excersice, and enough love, play and attention, he'll be fine. If he's chewing cords and things, it could be dangerous, don't feel bad about crating him when you can't keep your eye directly on him.

As he stops chewing and grows out of that a bit, you can give him a bit more freedom, but right now he is just a babym he needs his safe place.

January 23rd, 2005, 10:14 AM
On nice days, I have put him in the yard - and he will continuously claw on my door -which now has very little paint left on it.

First off,at this age you should not be letting him out there on his own.YOU need to go out with him.When he does his "thing" praise him to no end.Keep doing this.He is only 14 weeks old.How many times a day do you take him out?

As for the chewing,you need to re-direct him.When he starts to chew on something he is not supposed to make a loud noise or say his name then say "no"..Then give him a toy.I suggest a Kong filled with treats.Once he starts chewing on that,then praise him and say what a good puppy.Please don't scold him.He needs to be taught right from wrong.This is where you come in.

Training takes patience and time.I have raised 2-3month old GSD's.I never gave them a chance to chew on things.

Also,he is teething,so it's natural for him to chew.What you can also do is take a facecloth,roll it up and wet it.You can sprinkle a little bit of garlic powder,then freeze it.Then let him go to town and chew on it.Also,you need to keep him busy.Play with him.Get him tired out... :)

January 23rd, 2005, 10:23 AM
I do go with him everytime for housetraining, give treats and/or praise every time - and we go out about every 30 minutes. Still, it isn't enough.

And, as I said, he doesn't have the run of the house but his chewing is non-stop - his mouth goes from one item to the next. The 'scolding' I referred to is simply a sharp no, and I give him a toy and praise him afterwards. He isn't my first dog, so I knew what to expect. I've just never had one quite so determined. He will bite my feet as I walk, or jump and bite my clothes. My son won't get near him because you can't make him stop. He will be a very large dog and this behavior seems to be getting worse.

January 23rd, 2005, 10:53 AM
You are doing great by crate training and admonishing this little pup for his bad choices and rewarding his good ones. Lots of play and exercise is important as is clear and quality training. Look at what you are feeding him as well - some foods are like energy boosters for puppies. He should be on an adult formula - not a puppy formula.
Sounds like he already knows how to push everyone’s buttons and he thinks its great fun. He needs to learn respect for the people in his life. I would highly recommend that he be on the leash attached to an adult as much as possible until you see a shift in his attitude (it could take days to a week). He is going to try to chew everything including the leash, but you are now right there to give a leash correction and a firm, sharp "NO" or "leave it" when he tries. He will challenge you more than once because he doesn’t believe you have any power over him. Impress him! Back him up a few steps if you have to. Let him know that your word has power. He might look sheepish for a minute, but that just means he heard you. Do not try to scare him across the room - that would be too much, but you need to see a shift in his energy and a submissive gesture (licking the lips, head turns away, ears go back, eyes soften, he sits or lays down). When he approaches something good to chew on - reward that choice with a light voice of praise and enthusiasm. We have great drills for this.
If he is going for your feet - I would quickly lift my foot up behind me and say "quit". If he gets popped in the chin - too bad, so sad. If his mouth had not been there in the first place it would not have happened. He will learn it is no fun to have his mouth there. I am not suggesting you punt him across the room, but he would get disciplined by his mother far more harshly for such an offence. Or you can stomp your foot down, whip around and stomp towards him in an angry attitude - back him up. If he argues - back him up some more. He needs to get the idea that you call the shots and he is to listen.
I know I am describing some intense energy for this correction, but think about the energy he would be using with other pups as they body slam each other around the yard; you aren't going to be touching or hurting him, just use your energy & attitude. Because, as he quickly grows and this behavior continues he could do harm to somebody by just having bad manners. So you really need to nip it in the bud - just like momma would.

Lucky Rescue
January 23rd, 2005, 11:04 AM
Dobies and Weims are both high energy breeds.

This dog is a baby and cannot be expected to be housetrained yet. He needs to be on a strict schedule to be taken out to potty and confined when you can't watch him. Most 14 week old babies will chew and are not housebroken and people must understand this. There's no resolution except time, patience and training.

If you really can't handle a puppy of this size and energy, rehoming him may be a good idea.

January 23rd, 2005, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the advice tenderfoot. I'll try the leash.

Also, Luckyrescue, I realize he won't be housebroken yet and I think I mentioned that we go out about every thirty minutes. It's just that he isn't learning that it's not OK in the house, regarless of what I try. I also realize that chewing is normal, but his is a little more than most I have had, and I have had several dobermans over the years. I am really just asking for suggestions of things to try - knowing it won't be corrected over night. I love the dog, and rehoming him will be a last resort. Thanks for the advice.

Lucky Rescue
January 23rd, 2005, 12:13 PM
Can you tell us exactly what method you are using for housetraining? That may help us advise you.

January 23rd, 2005, 12:29 PM
He is crated if I am not here, the longest period being while I am working, for a max of 4 hours, because I come home at lunch and take him out. I take him out every 30 minutes and he goes and is rewarded. He goes out after sleeping or eating, and again, always goes and is rewarded. The problem is - he will go within 10-15 minutes of coming back in. He knows that he can go in after he uses the bathroom, so I don't have to wait for him to go. At his age, he should be holding it for at least an hour I would think. He can hold it while crated so I don't think there is a physical problem. He just apparently sees no need to otherwise ha ha. He doesn't even show the usual signs that he is going to - he just walks and squats - no sniffing around, or the usual signs. It's just frustrating to work so hard and go out so often and have him still go in the house. We have been at this for over a month and I would think it would slow down some at the very least. I have always had a pup under control within a few weeks, other than rare accidents, with going out so often. Thanks again for any suggestions.

Lucky Rescue
January 23rd, 2005, 02:14 PM
The problem is - he will go within 10-15 minutes of coming back in.

IF he can go in the house within 15 minutes after coming in, it means he's loose in the house after coming in?

Each times he pees in the house, the behavior is reinforced and he will do it again. The object is to prevent him from making mistakes.

HERE ( is a very good article on housetraining very young puppies. Hope it helps.

January 23rd, 2005, 05:37 PM
It could be that he needs to pee several times not just once, so give him lots of chances to go. Having him on the leash in the house helps tremendously with this issue as well. You have heightened awareness of his behavior and are ready to catch him in the act. It could also be that you are rescuing him and not teaching. He needs to start to make a mistake in the house so you can correct it and then go out with him, as you are doing, to reward going outside. It may be that he doesn't get that you don't want him to pee in the house - so you set him up to learn it. Have him on the leash and when you see him even thinking about peeing - startle him with hands clapping or a startling noise of some kind to get him to stop mid-stream and look at you. Then pick him up or scoot him out and be happy as you ask him to potty outside. Stay with him because it can take a while and then reward the good choice. If you are consistent and use the same door each time. you should start to see him going to the door and not asking just yet, but thinking about it and then say "let's go out" and take him out. Reward him for going to the door so he sees that as a good thing too.

January 23rd, 2005, 05:42 PM
I know how frustrating it can be. These guys are giving you some great advice, I hope it helps. Keep trying, and try not to get discouraged!! :thumbs up

January 24th, 2005, 12:40 PM
Most dogs will not go in the kennel, and the lack of movement means their body slows down on the poops/pee for a slightly longer time. This is why you don't have to let a pup out during the night every 10 mins to 1/2 hour.

My Diamond also had problems and needed to go out every 10 minutes. There was no physical reason for this... simply her bladder couldn't handle it. She was too excited at the concept of being outside of her kennel.

As soon as you come in he knows that he did good outside and it's play time. After 10 minutes of play, take him outside, while saying "you want to go out?" over and over. While he's peeing use a catch phrase with him. Diamond knows "Go potty" means pee and "hurry up....go poops" means poop. Do this over and over. He'll catch on in no time. At just under a year old, my pup hasn't had accidents in the house for almost 3 months now.

As everyone's said...consistent routine is the key. No variation in meal times, play routines, training schedule, etc.

In no time he'll be asking you to go out!

January 24th, 2005, 01:21 PM
I understand how you feel. However, I do feel pretty lucky compared to a lot of ppl. I got my St. Bernard when he was only 9 weeks old & he's about 14 weeks now. He has alredy potty trained. We haven't had an accident for well over 2 weeks now. I know 2 weeks isn't that long, but I think this is major progress, I'm very proud!

Anyway, our biggest problem in potty training was in the mornings when I was getting ready for work. As soon as I would get up, I would scoot him towards the door & make him go potty. Then when he'd come back in I had to listen & watch him very closely! (He learned early on to whine when he needed to go out or wanted to get off of my bed or wanted up on my bed... This is his "Help me mommy" whine. :p ) But, when he whined, I needed to be there THEN getting him out the door... He couldn't wait. He would sometimes go out 2-4 times in the morning. (I think this is just like when you have to go to the BR soooo bad that it seems like you are there for 20 mins! (I know you know what I'm talking about :rolleyes: )) Except, w/ puppies I think they quit & then it hits them all of a sudden again & they have to go NOW!

So, my suggestion would be to take him out, then take him out again in 10 mins if you have to. I did get close to my wits end a couple of times, but you just have to sit & think about how much you love that little puppy & that will make you more determined than ever!

Also, I taught Bailey how to "speak" when I asked him to, then, when he'd go sit by the door wanting out, I'd make him "speak" before I'd open the door. (This was after I knew he could hold it for a couple extra mins.) I did this b/c sometimes I'm away from him for a few mins. or just don't pay attention to him sitting @ the door, so now he can say "Hey, let me out!". I think this is the best thing I taught him, b/c now I don't have to constantly watch him to see if he's sitting by the door. So, you might think about doing this after he gets on his way to being fully potty trained. Just a thought... :thumbs up

January 24th, 2005, 07:26 PM
Thanks for all the great advice - so far, we've been since sunday morning with no accidents. Just a little slower than most dogs I've had, but I think he's cathcing on! :D Maybe I don't have the patience or the time I used to either....

January 24th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Good to hear! Everybody here understands your frustration, it can get very trying, especially when you've tried everything and nothing seems to work. Hang in there, you're doing great!