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A few training questions

sprayeddog
July 9th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Hi all,

We just got a yellow lab puppy (Matty) and he sure is the cutest thing in the world but at the same time we're going through the growing pain of house breaking Matty and teaching him basic commands.

Matty is 10 weeks old now and he's doing pretty good for not peeing or pooing inside the house, considering his age. Obviously there are accidents, but it hasn't been too bad.

He is sure nippy though. Our fingers, toes, slippers, blinds, electrical wires ... anything. You name it, he'll chew / bite on it. We've tried different things, from the "ouch!" trick, ignoring him, to holding his jaws together for a few seconds. The ouch trick seems to work, and he doesn't generally bite us when we're playing. The odd times he forgets we'd remind him, and he'd not do it again.

That said, recently during game play he has been getting more agressive and a lot of times would jump right at us and try to bite us. It's especially worse if we knee down while we play, because he'd be jumping right at our face while trying to bite. We'd stop the game rightaway and ignore him ... but next time we play again he seems to do the same thing.

He's a lot worse for chewing things around the house. He'd chew on something, say blinds, and you tell him to stop, or even hold his jaws sometimes and as soon as you release him he'd be biting the same thing again. We've had to give him time-out's but as soon as he comes back he'd be chewing on things again. We've also given him all kinds of chew toys but he never spends more than a few minutes with his chew toys and then he's back at the blinds / slippers / speaker wires / sofa ...

He responds to the "Come" command reasonably well inside the house, but when we go out to the backyard or take him out for a walk he'd be distracted by everything out there and takes him forever to respond to the come command. We've takend treats out to the backyard / while we walk him and praise him when he does come, but things don't seem to be improving much while outdoor.

Any suggestions on how I can improve on these areas? Or, am I simply expecting too much from a 10 wks old puppy? I can be patient but the only thing is I don't see signs of improvement and I am wondering if I need to change my training method for him to respond better ....


Thanks

Freyja
July 10th, 2005, 05:57 PM
I used a spray bottle with water in it and if I caught Lindy going for something taboo I would spritz or threaten to spritz her with a firm "Ah-ah!" Then I would give her a chew toy and tell her "good girl". Another thing that stopped the chewing on specific things (like the blinds) was Bitter Apple. Doesnt smell, doesnt wreck anything, but they HATE it.
worth a try

gomez
July 11th, 2005, 05:35 AM
I wish!!

Gomez loves all the bitter sprays, and what's more, he would lap up hot sauce if we let him... wacko ;)

Melinda
July 11th, 2005, 06:22 AM
Hi Gomez, we also have a 10 week old lab puppy, black, and are going through the same thing, have patience, this too will pass. We've seen great improvement in the last week, she'd lunge for our face, snarling, she thinks it's play. We grab her, say "NO" quite loudly, "bad Brina", put her down, tell her "mat" she lays on her mat waiting to be released, if she lunges again, we do the "mat" again, it takes awhile, but she's slowly catching on, this morning she went to lunge, thought for a sec and just mouthed my arm. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

sprayeddog
July 11th, 2005, 06:33 AM
Thanks for the advices.

Bitter apple doesn't seem to work ... he still licks / bites the stuffs so whenever we let him out we gotta keep an eye on him.

When our beagle was a puppy (now he's 9) he used to bite too, though not as bad. They do grow out of it eventually it's just that right now we gotta be on alert mode everytime we let him out ... I guess it's just part of the growing pain.

Dogastrophe
July 11th, 2005, 08:21 AM
There are a couple of posts on the forum that Tenderfoot posted regarding biting - essentially you should try to eliminate the biting pressure not necessarily the mouthing (as putting things in their mouths is how puppies learn about the world). The coles notes version is rather than trying to hold the mouth, try putting your thumb in, and when pup applies pressure, you give a quick press down on the tongue; which will normally cause the pup to spit your thumb out. TF laid out the basics of a 'biting' game that you can play. If I find the original post I'll include a link for you.

jessi76
July 11th, 2005, 08:37 AM
He responds to the "Come" command reasonably well inside the house, but when we go out to the backyard or take him out for a walk he'd be distracted by everything out there and takes him forever to respond to the come command. We've takend treats out to the backyard / while we walk him and praise him when he does come, but things don't seem to be improving much while outdoor.

Any suggestions on how I can improve on these areas? Or, am I simply expecting too much from a 10 wks old puppy?

I think expecting him to come when called at 10wks is too much. My pup, is about 4mths now, and we can't let him off leash in the yard, as he is still learning "come". Our puppy school made a good suggestion, which worked great for us when we tried letting him free... run in the opposite direction, and be really excited about it! it get's the pup's attention, and normally will run after you... worked great for us.

post pic's of Matty - we'd love to see him!

Melinda
July 11th, 2005, 08:48 AM
regarding bitter apple, did you spray a bit in his mouth at first? to give him a good taste of it? Our pup would lick it off of whatever we put it on, then our trainer said to spray some in his mouth, turn her off the taste...and it worked!!

dogznfish
July 11th, 2005, 01:15 PM
The method tenderfoot described to me in another thread (and Dogastrophe mentioned above) works well with my 12 week old pup.

I've been doing it for two weeks and the nipping has gone down considerably. Of course, he still wands to chew and nibble and nip but it only takes one correction with the thumb in the mouth for him to stop nipping my hands.

Other than that, he needs to check out the world (under supervision!) and I let him. If he starts chewing on anything inappropriate (the blanket on the couch) I keep an assortment of fantastic toys just for that purpose. Out goes blanket, in goes Kong with extra special cheez whiz inside.

sprayeddog
July 11th, 2005, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the great advices ... I'll try them!

There's been another problem though.

Matty barks a lot whenever we leave him in his "crate" (which is actually a fenced off area with his bed, toy and water). I guess he just loves to be around us but when we leave him in the crate, either because we need to go out, or we're at home but we're busy with something else and none of us can keep an eye on him, he'd just bark.

I know we're supposed to ignore him, and supposingly as soon as he finds out barking gets him nothing he'll stop.

And we sure have ignored him, but that doesn't seem to work ... he could continously bark for over an hour (I think his record is 1.5 hrs) when we leave him in the crate. This also happens when we put him to sleep at night, and it's annoying to us as well as our neighbours. Imagine if your next door neighbour's dog keeps barking when you're trying to go to sleep. At least my next door neighbour is also a pet person (they have a few cats) and they said they understand.

And there are times he barks early in the morning too ... some days he'd wake up at 5am and would just bark until we pick him up at 7 - We have a schedule that we'd let him out at 7 so we've been sticking with that schedule, but man it sure is a pain when your dog would start barking at 5am on a work day.

Is there any way to control his barking, especially early in the morning and late at night? We know he's not barking cos he needs to pee / poo ...

I remember my beagle also used to bark quite a bit when he's a puppy (well, it was more like whinning than barking) and he eventually stopped once he grew older ... can I just live with his barking for now and expect Matty to grow out of it eventually too? Or is there something I should do about it?


thanks!

(and once I get a chance to upload some of Matty's photos I'll post them here! :) )

Dogastrophe
July 12th, 2005, 07:18 AM
Is his bed in a separate part of the house or in your bedroom? If in a separate part, try moving him into the br with you. Place him near the bed so he can see where you are, smell you, etc. First couple of nights we had Jack home, he would cry / bark when put in his crate at night and in the early morning (particularily when he heard my other's stirring). I found that if I dropped an arm near his crate (and stuck my fingers inside) he would move his head over to sniff / lick, then curl up near my fingers. Usually he would be back to sleep in 5 - 10 mins. Two months in and he is now at the point where he will leave the couch in the evenings to go to his crate to stretch out.

Continue to be consistent with him. In time he should come to enjoy his private area and the barking will stop (hopefully for your's and your neighbour's ears, sooner rather than later).

tenderfoot
July 12th, 2005, 09:42 AM
Sounds like you have your hands full. Is this pup from a field line? It sounds like he's learned that complaining or being boisterous has gotten him what he wants - attention.
At 10 wks he is learning early how to rule the roost. He is showing that he does not repect the people in the house, and that one part of your relationship with him is what will make the greatest difference. He needs some strong boundaries and good leadership. I would recommend our DVD only because 1. its good & 2. it will give you sooooo much information on raising this boy with manners that would take me weeks to put in writing. It would give you great drills to do to start giving him boundaries and give you the info you need to create a very clear world of right & wrong - while raising a balanced, well mannered dog.
He is strong willed to be showing such determined behaviors at this age. Do not underestimate his ability. He could have a 40 word vocabulary right now - but because of his age it is a vocabulary you need to keep reinforcing until you are seeing consistency and then when he goes through his teenage stage he will act like he never knew a thing, so you will have to work hard then too.
Beyond that - The barking has got to stop today. He doesn't have to adore his crate just yet - that will come in time if you train him to it correctly. Go to our web site and look up the crate training article for more advice. You need to correct the barking since ignoring it doesn't work.
I am in a rush this morning so I am sorry for sending you to the web site for more info. If you have specific questions from what you learn there please don't hesitiate to call or write or PM us. I should have more time later today.

sprayeddog
July 12th, 2005, 11:43 AM
Is his bed in a separate part of the house or in your bedroom? If in a separate part, try moving him into the br with you. Place him near the bed so he can see where you are, smell you, etc.His "crate" is in a separate room. I read it's a bad idea to let the dog sleep in the same room as the owners, as that'd lead him to believe he has the same "rank" as the owner and it's an authority thing. That isn't necessarily the reason we don't keep him in the same room though, but it's because his 'crate' is actually a fenced off area in another room, so we can't really move the 'crate'. Plus, it's hard enough trying to sleep with him barking in another room ... if he's in the same room it'll be impossible to do so.

We leave a few toys and water in the crate but he goes there only when we're out / when it's time for him to sleep, so he probably doesn't have too many fond memories with the crate. Should I feed him in the crate? And maybe spend some time playing with him near the crate?

Sounds like you have your hands full. Is this pup from a field line? It sounds like he's learned that complaining or being boisterous has gotten him what he wants - attention. I think the barking actually hasn't really got him anything ... we usually ignore him until he's quiet down to pay him any attention. He could bark for hours and we would ignore him until he's quiet.

There's 1 exception though. When he barks early in the morning, we know he has to go out. We've tried ignoring him, but the result is he poo-ed in his crate and it's all over his bed, and it takes a long time for us to clean it up afterwards. We sure would like him to hold it till we wake up, but we read puppies at 10 wks old cannot physically hold it for 8 hrs (hold it through the night, basically) so we don't want him to do something he's physically incapable of.

It isn't even so much the work it takes to clean up. The dilemma is as much as I don't want to give him attention while he barks and whines, I also don't want him to get used to sleeping in his poo ... which will make it very hard to house train him. So when he barks and whines early in the morning, I know he has to go, and I let him out into the backyard. As soon as he finishes his business, I put him back in the crate and ignore him while I try to go back to sleep. There's no playing, no food. We put him right back into the crate so he knows that trip is only for him to pee / poo.

He'd bark after I put him back in the crate, but I know he's done his business, and he's just barking for attention, and that's when I'll just ignore him.

I know puppies might not understand something with this level of complexity "If I bark in the morning cos I need to poo, they'd let me out. But other times when I bark, they ignore me." but again, the dilemma is I don't want him to get used to pooing in his den neither. Am I wrong? Should I ignore him when he barks early in the morning and just let him poo his place? Maybe that's something I should try too.

Beyond that - The barking has got to stop today. He doesn't have to adore his crate just yet - that will come in time if you train him to it correctly. Go to our web site and look up the crate training article for more advice. You need to correct the barking since ignoring it doesn't work.I sure hope the barking would stop today ... but I've tried other things I found in your website, including tapping on the fence, asking him to be "quiet", "no barking", "no speak". I've even managed to teach him to speak on command, but that hasn't helped when I tell him "no speak".

My experience with the beagle is he eventually grew out of it ... and it took a while too. The beagle didn't "bark" though ... it's more like "Whinning" so it was less annoying.

jessi76
July 12th, 2005, 12:34 PM
His "crate" is in a separate room. I read it's a bad idea to let the dog sleep in the same room as the owners, as that'd lead him to believe he has the same "rank" as the owner and it's an authority thing. That isn't necessarily the reason we don't keep him in the same room though, but it's because his 'crate' is actually a fenced off area in another room, so we can't really move the 'crate'. Plus, it's hard enough trying to sleep with him barking in another room ... if he's in the same room it'll be impossible to do so.

don't believe everything you read. He may stop barking all together if you get a real crate (not a pen) and put it next to your bed. Crates are not that expensive, I just got one for around $60. You may be able to even locate a used one or a cheap one on ebay or something. I don't think the dog will see you of any less of an authority figure if you get him his own "den" next to your bed.


There's 1 exception though. When he barks early in the morning, we know he has to go out. We've tried ignoring him, but the result is he poo-ed in his crate and it's all over his bed, and it takes a long time for us to clean it up afterwards. We sure would like him to hold it till we wake up, but we read puppies at 10 wks old cannot physically hold it for 8 hrs (hold it through the night, basically) so we don't want him to do something he's physically incapable of.

It's generally their age in months plus one. 10 wks = I'd expect him to hold it for no more than 4 hrs.

Should I ignore him when he barks early in the morning and just let him poo his place?

it's your responsibility to not let that happen. I got up w/ my 10wk old pup at 2am, 4am, 5am, then I STAYED up with him.

I sure hope the barking would stop today ... but I've tried other things I found in your website, including tapping on the fence, asking him to be "quiet", "no barking", "no speak". I've even managed to teach him to speak on command, but that hasn't helped when I tell him "no speak".

He's just a baby, I wouldn't expect him to learn NO SPEAK at this age.

It just takes time, consistancy, and lots of patience. :)

Dogastrophe
July 12th, 2005, 01:08 PM
In the absence of a crate, you can try using a deep sided rectangular laundry basket as his night time sleeping area. Line it with his blankets, place it beside your bed and put him in it to sleep (keep an ear out for him trying to climb the sides) - of course this is only a temporary solution as he will quickly outgrow the basket.

As for sleeping in your room, there is nothing wrong with that (personally I would encourage it). You pup will have the security of knowing that you are nearby. As a side note, I would argue that letting them sleep on the bed is not a big issue either as long as they understand that it is your bed and they are there by invitation and not by right - when I tell mine to get off the bed, they get off immediately lest they lose the priviledge all together.

tenderfoot
July 12th, 2005, 02:53 PM
His "crate" is in a separate room. I read it's a bad idea to let the dog sleep in the same room as the owners, as that'd lead him to believe he has the same "rank" as the owner and it's an authority thing. That isn't necessarily the reason we don't keep him in the same room though, but it's because his 'crate' is actually a fenced off area in another room, so we can't really move the 'crate'. Plus, it's hard enough trying to sleep with him barking in another room ... if he's in the same room it'll be impossible to do so.

Our philosphy is completely the opposite. The pack sleeps together, usually touching each other- it creates a stronger bond and the puppy develops a more secure foundation in his personality. A pup that is sent to sleep elsewhere can become insecure and/or too independent. He figures if no one is looking out for his welfare then he has to start looking out for himself. In fact we start all of our pups in our bed - they take great comfort in sleeping near a warm heart beat.

We leave a few toys and water in the crate but he goes there only when we're out / when it's time for him to sleep, so he probably doesn't have too many fond memories with the crate. Should I feed him in the crate? And maybe spend some time playing with him near the crate?

Definately make the crate a better place in his mind. Naps happen in the crate, put him in there for short periods while you wash dishes or vaccum - so that he doesn't associate the crate with you leaving him. Play games where you toss toys in the crate and he goes to get them and then runs out again. Feed him in the crate. Maybe he only gets his best bones in the crate.

I think the barking actually hasn't really got him anything ... we usually ignore him until he's quiet down to pay him any attention. He could bark for hours and we would ignore him until he's quiet.

It is great if you are truly ignoring him. However at some point someone might have looked at him the first couple of times he cried and he remembers that his crying got your attention and he is just hard headed enough to keep trying it to see if it works again. Even looking at a dog when he cries is a form of communication in his mind and he is rewarded.

There's 1 exception though. When he barks early in the morning, we know he has to go out. We've tried ignoring him, but the result is he poo-ed in his crate and it's all over his bed, and it takes a long time for us to clean it up afterwards. We sure would like him to hold it till we wake up, but we read puppies at 10 wks old cannot physically hold it for 8 hrs (hold it through the night, basically) so we don't want him to do something he's physically incapable of.

I know puppies might not understand something with this level of complexity "If I bark in the morning cos I need to poo, they'd let me out. But other times when I bark, they ignore me." but again, the dilemma is I don't want him to get used to pooing in his den neither. Am I wrong? Should I ignore him when he barks early in the morning and just let him poo his place? Maybe that's something I should try too.

If he is well crate trained then it is abolutely possible for him to understand that he needs to let you know when he has to get out to potty versus whining/barking for attention.

Give him his last meal before 5 or 6 pm and take his water up at 7ish. Take him out after the meal and again before bed (& 1 or 2 times inbetween) and he should be good for the night. Yes he might get up early and need to go - take him out! But if you are not ready to get up for the day then put him back in the crate and be very business like about it - no playing or cuddling.

I sure hope the barking would stop today ... but I've tried other things I found in your website, including tapping on the fence, asking him to be "quiet", "no barking", "no speak". I've even managed to teach him to speak on command, but that hasn't helped when I tell him "no speak".

If he respects your word then a firm 'quiet' should impress him. If 'tapping' doesn't work then you aren't being intense enough to make an impression. You are not trying to scare him, but you are trying to startle him. He needs to think that every time he barks the hand of G-d comes down on the crate and tells him to be quiet.

sprayeddog
July 12th, 2005, 03:36 PM
In the absence of a crate, you can try using a deep sided rectangular laundry basket as his night time sleeping area. Line it with his blankets, place it beside your bed and put him in it to sleep (keep an ear out for him trying to climb the sides) - of course this is only a temporary solution as he will quickly outgrow the basket.Actually, that won't really work cos he can jump right out of the basket ... In fact, a few weeks ago he jumped right into the bath tub and pee in there ... and the bath tub is taller than the basket. And he's even taller now.

Our philosphy is completely the opposite. The pack sleeps together, usually touching each other- it creates a stronger bond and the puppy develops a more secure foundation in his personality. A pup that is sent to sleep elsewhere can become insecure and/or too independent. He figures if no one is looking out for his welfare then he has to start looking out for himself. In fact we start all of our pups in our bed - they take great comfort in sleeping near a warm heart beat. Hmm I see your point. It's something I'd consider.

Definately make the crate a better place in his mind. Naps happen in the crate, put him in there for short periods while you wash dishes or vaccum - so that he doesn't associate the crate with you leaving him. Play games where you toss toys in the crate and he goes to get them and then runs out again. Feed him in the crate. Maybe he only gets his best bones in the crate.That's a good idea. I'll try that.

Give him his last meal before 5 or 6 pm and take his water up at 7ish. Take him out after the meal and again before bed (& 1 or 2 times inbetween) We do that already ... we take him out (for a walk actually) after the last meal, and 1 or 2 more times at night before bedtime. We always take him out once right before bedtime ... it's frustrating sometimes when we take him out but he doesn't poo, and we know there's a good chance he'll wake up early in the morning to poo.

What I can try though, is give him his last meal earlier ... I take away his water around 7ish but right now his dinner is at 8pm.

If he respects your word then a firm 'quiet' should impress him. If 'tapping' doesn't work then you aren't being intense enough to make an impression. You are not trying to scare him, but you are trying to startle him. He needs to think that every time he barks the hand of G-d comes down on the crate and tells him to be quiet. When I tap on the crate and tell him to be 'quiet' he'd stop barking for a second ... in fact, as soon as he sees me approaching the crate he'd stop barking ... but as soon as I turn away or start doing something else he'd start barking again. :(

Great advices from you guys though ... thanks, and I'll try them tonight.

BTW, I tried the "thumb on his tongue" trick to stop him from biting. It worked great! He spits out the thumb rightaway! He still needs to be reminded often but it sure works!

tenderfoot
July 12th, 2005, 04:07 PM
He sounds like the kid of pup who is happy getting any attention at all - even negative. So you need to really work at being clear and firm, but don't linger too long or reward him with any cooing tones. Firm and quick gets the job done.
Your intensity needs to be VERY impressive. When he listens to the initial correction but then goes right back to barking then he really isn't getting it. I would give him an intense correction and if he started up just as I turned my back - I would whip around , stomp towards the crate and do it again more intensely - then totally disengage and walk away. Act like your very ill grandmother is sleeping in the next room and will be very disturbed if he barks. Your energy needs to be low in tone, short and VERY firm. You need to mean it at a very deep level. However do not scream at him - dogs don't get screaming.

sprayeddog
July 12th, 2005, 09:02 PM
Well his barking problem isn't improving ...

We came home, and rightaway Matty is barking. We wait till he quiets down a bit to get him out from his crate (and gotta be very quick, cos usually he'd be quiet for only 20 sec's before he starts barking again). We took him out, played a bit, and he's fine. As soon as he put him back in the crate (in fact, even when he gets close to the crate) he starts barking again.

We then fed him in the crate and he's quiet while he's eating. We pretend to eat from his bowl before we give it to him, and he's all jumpy and barks at us. We make sure he does a few sit, come and down and completely quiet down before we give him the food. Mid-way through his meal, we take his food away and ask him to do a sit and come again before letting him finish it up.

He's only quiet when he's eating. As soon as he finished the meal and we start leaving his crate he started barking again.

Later on we took him out for a walk, and as we come back we gotta do some stuffs around the house, and he starts barking again once we get close to the crate. We did a few things around the house and he barks continously for the entire 30 minutes we left him in there.

In fact, he seems to be even more distressed if he knows we're inside the house but leaves him in the crate ... he'd bark continously, and continues to jump at the fence of the crate.

Throughout the whole time we ignore him completely and don't give him any attention. Even when we walk by that area we looked away.

When the barking gets really bad I'd stomp towards his crate, tap on the fence and tell him "no barking" in a very low and firm voice. As soon as he stops I disengage and walk away. But that's when barking starts again.

I did that several times and it's the same thing ... after about 30 minutes of barking I guess he got tired and stopped for about 5 minutes, but then he's at it again as I am typing right now ....

:(

tenderfoot
July 12th, 2005, 10:38 PM
This has been an on going problem and is going to take time to fix. He has learned to bark and one good session of teaching may not be enough. Have patience - he is a baby and this could take time.
Diligence might have to be your mantra for the next few days. It typically takes 3 days to break a habit and 3 to start a new one. You are on day one. Don't give up.

sprayeddog
July 13th, 2005, 10:46 PM
Thanks for all your advices folks.

Amazingly, just when we thought the message wasn't getting through, Matty seems to be getting it. When we come home, we can hear him barking already. But he seems to be restrainting himself, knowing that we'd only come and pick him up when he's quiet. He's gone from barking all the times to whinning with occasional barks. We wait till he's completely quiet before we greet him.

And for short intervals we put him in his crate, at first he'd bark as usual once we disappear from his sight. I'd then command "Matty No speak!" from somewhere inside the house and he'd actually quiet down for a second. At this point I'd say "Matty good boy. Good no speak", still not in his sight. He would stop barking completely for a few seconds, but then whining will start again and it'll turn into occasional barks, but he seems to restraint himself for a while, knowing we'd only appear when he stops barking.

And when barking gets really bad again I'd do the same and say "Matty No speak" from somewhere else in the room, and he'd go from barking to whinning / silence.

Now obviously, when we leave the house he still barks, and if we leave him in the crate for too long he'd still bark, but he finally seems to be getting the idea and I think we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel finally.

I greatly appreciate all your help, especially from tenderfoot! You guys have been great

tenderfoot
July 13th, 2005, 10:51 PM
Congratulations, sounds like you are on the right track. Remember this little guy has a wonderful lesson to teach you as well - Patience - and it sounds like you are getting it. Just as you were about to give up with frustration you didn't, and now you are being rewarded! YIPPEE!

sprayeddog
July 13th, 2005, 11:15 PM
While we're at it, I got another quick question.

Matty would bite the slipper and shoes sometimes and it's a no-no. When trying to tell him to stop biting, I usually remove whatever he's biting from his mouth, then hold his mouth together and tell him "No bite" in a firm voice repeatedly. I'll then release him and see if he bite the object again. If he does, I'll repeat the step and hold himsmouth and tell him "No bite". I'll continue over and over until he gives up on biting the object, and I'll grab him a chew toy and give it to him to chew on (he's never as enthusiastic about his chew toys than the objects he's not supposed to chew but I digress ...)

Anyways that's my routine. The problem with him chewing on slipper is as soon as I say "No bite!" or even come close to him, he already knows I'd hold his mouth and make him uncomfortable, so he'd start running away, sometimes holding the slipper in his mouth. Now, I don't wanna start chasing him around the house cos he'd mistaken that as a game. I COULD tell him to come and he'd actually listen to me, but if I do that I can't punish him after telling him to come. Sometimes my wife would tell him to "Let go" and he'd actually do it half the times, but the problem again is if he has done what we've told him to do, then I shouldn't really discpline him anymore by holding his mouth and telling him "No bite". I don't want him to think it is ok to bite and chew on shoes as long as he'd release it on command later on neither.

What should I do in that situation?



Thanks!

And if someone can teach me how to post pictures here i can post some pictures of Matty!

tenderfoot
July 14th, 2005, 09:27 AM
He needs to learn 'leave it' so that when you see him even thinking about going for a forbidden object you can stop him in his tracks and then redirect him to something better. Does he have soft chew toys? He might like those better than the hard chew toys.
He also needs to learn 'drop it'. But you have to teach this to him and repeat it everyday until he is great at it. This ensures that when you need this skill he has it. Don't wait until its a keep away game to teach it. It is easier to teach 'drop it' with a hard toy or bone - because if he tries to grab on you can just give it a quick shake in his mouth and he should let go. A softer toy is too easy for him to really get a grip on. When he releases it then praise the heck out of him and then offer it back so he learns that drop it doesn't mean he looses it.
The grabbing and holding his mouth is not a good teaching tool. You are still applying pressure after he has done what you asked and this confuses him.
Set him up with toys and forbidden objects on the floor. Have him on a leash so you have control of the outcome and let him make some choices and use his brain. When he approaches a forbidden object - warn him off with a 'leave it' and when he approaches a good object praise his good choice. He will learn.

sprayeddog
July 14th, 2005, 11:29 AM
Well, just when I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, I had another rough night ... :(

I gave Matty his last meal at ~ 6:30p, and stopped giving him water at 7:30p. I took him out immediately after dinner at 6:30, and he pee'd and poo'ed. I took him for a walk around 9:30p, and he did both again. And when I let him out before I put him to bed ~ 11p, he pee'd again. So I thought i could sleep through the night.

Well, not so lucky. At ~ 3am he started barking. I told him "no barking" several times but didn't work, so I took a look at him to see what happened. He's pee'd in his crate. So we took him out, and he poo'ed in the backyard. We put him back in bed, and he whined for ~ 5 min before going back to sleep.

It wasn't so bad at that point cos I thought I could at least sleep for another 4 hrs. But at ~ 6a he started to bark again. Guess what? He's pee'd his crate again. We took him out and again, he poo'ed.

I was just scratching my head when I was cleaning up at 6 am where all these food and water comes from ... if his last meal was served at 6:30p and he's gone out to poo twice before going to bed, how come he still woke up at 3a and 6a to go poo?! My only explanation was maybe it was the worms pill he was taking ... still doesn't explain where the food comes from though. And when it comes to water it's even more puzzling. We keep an eye on him through the night and he didn't eat or drink anything after his last meal.

But that's not the end of it. After I put him back in bed at 6am he started barking for the next hour until 7 am when I have to wake up as per my usual schedule anyways. I have tried everything ... telling him "No Barking", hitting on the fence, ignoring him ...

So we're in insomnia mode today as we work ... I sure hope the reason for his 'accidents' at night was a result of his medication, cos I have no explanation for it otherwise.

As for his barking problem though, he's just taken a step back from the previous day. As of this morning he's not responding to my "No barking" commands ... I guess I can only be patient and keep doing whatever I was doing. It worked at one point.

Finally, on the chewing problem. I do have an "off" command that deters him before he gets close to whatever he wants to bite half the times. I can keep working on it with Matty until he gets it most of the times.

My question is for the cases that I catch him too late and he's already chewing the slipper or whatever, what should I do? I can ask him to "let go" and praise him when he does, but then am I not praising him for chewing on things at the same time? He'll learn to let go when I ask him to, but he can't learn that slipper is not his toy and he can't bite it?

And, in the case that he doesn't respond to the "let go" command and keeps chewing it, or even run away, what should I do? I don't want to chase him but I do want to get the slipper off his mouth ....

I do have all kinds of soft and hard toys for him, but he seems to like the forbidden objects a lot more than all the toys I got him :( (and the toys are pricier!)

Thanks for all your advices and sorry for it being so long :(

jessi76
July 14th, 2005, 11:49 AM
... I sure hope the reason for his 'accidents' at night was a result of his medication, cos I have no explanation for it otherwise.


the explanation you are looking for is.... drumroll..... he's a puppy. puppies have accidents. lots of them. Some need to go out during the night. If you try putting him in your bedroom, you'd be able to hear when he has to go out (whining), thus no more accidents in his crate/pen/area. (just suggestion, as stated before, no snide undertones implied :) )

About the slippers... why are the slippers still in Matty's reach? put them up higher or in a closed closet, when not on your feet. if my dog chews something he's not supposed to - I move it out of reach.

sprayeddog
July 14th, 2005, 12:16 PM
the explanation you are looking for is.... drumroll..... he's a puppy. puppies have accidents. Fair enough, but Matty was able to hold it for 7 hrs throughout the night all week last week. Every single day, and then this week I've had 2 nights in a row with accidents.

Maybe it's just coincidence, but it's a little puzzling why he was able to hold it throughout the week all 7 days last week, but not this week. :(

About the slippers... why are the slippers still in Matty's reach? put them up higher or in a closed closet, when not on your feet. if my dog chews something he's not supposed to - I move it out of reach.Well my theory is if I never have a chance to tell him something's forbidden and he can't chew on when he's small, then he won't know what he can chew on and what he cannot chew on when he grows up, and I can't hide all my shoes, slippers, couch, plant, blinds ... etc etc from him forever.

When he's in his crate obviously he won't have access to forbidden objects, but when I let him in the living room under my supervision, I don't wanna hide all the forbidden objects because I do want a chance to tell him somethings are forbidden.

Dogastrophe
July 14th, 2005, 12:29 PM
Fair enough, but Matty was able to hold it for 7 hrs throughout the night all week last week. Every single day, and then this week I've had 2 nights in a row with accidents.

Maybe it's just coincidence, but it's a little puzzling why he was able to hold it throughout the week all 7 days last week, but not this week. :(




We got Jack at 5ish mos old and zero housetraining. He is now 7ish mos and will go for a week with no accident, then two in an evening. Give Matty some time, watch his evening water intake, and keep the papertowel handy for the mornings. He'll get there.

jessi76
July 14th, 2005, 12:47 PM
Same here, Tucker is 4 months old (Today!) and we've had a few weeks accident-free, and then out of the blue, he'll have an accident. sprayeddog, you're not alone, we're all frustrated, a little sleep deprived, and running low on carpet cleaner. However, they do get it eventually.

tenderfoot
July 14th, 2005, 01:10 PM
The meds can definately change his bowel movements. For instance any steriodal product cause them to drink tons more water and pee tons more.
How much and how often are you feeding this little guy? Some puppies need to poo 2-3 times before they are done. He might be one of those and therefore just taking him out for one poo isn't enough. I do give him credit for trying to warn you that he had to go.
Keep working on the 'drop it' command when you are in control and have the leash on him. Absolutely he will get it! Dogs live purely in the moment. One second you say drop it and he does and then you praise him - he knows you are praising for the drop. His problem is that he doesn't respect you and is willing to keep challenging until he gets his way. Or he has learned that grabbing your stuff is way more fun because it gets him more attention. I am hearing lots of 'we are ignoring him' so I am beginning to wonder if he is either in the 'being ignored' realm or 'getting in trouble' realm and he would rather get in trouble than be ignored. Did that make sense?
This is a tiny pup and it will be 2 years before you see him fully matured. This means there will be many wonderful times of harmony and bliss and a few that are not so blissful. Patience will payoff if it is balanced with structure, and love.

sprayeddog
July 14th, 2005, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the support guys. I guess I'll just be patient then.

sprayeddog
July 14th, 2005, 01:43 PM
Some puppies need to poo 2-3 times before they are done. He might be one of those and therefore just taking him out for one poo isn't enough. I do give him credit for trying to warn you that he had to go.We feed him 1 cup per day, as per the vet, and we let him out a few times between the last meal and when we put him to bed. Usually if he gets to go 2 times before bedtime he's fine ... for last night, we was allowed to go out 4 times to finish his business between last meal and bed, and he poo'ed twice and pee'd twice. Still needed to go out 2 more times during the night though :( ...but I understand sometimes puppies are unpredictable, and there'll always be accidents, and that the medications probably changes his bowel pattern too.

He does warns me everytime he wants to go ... my question is - should I let him out immediately everytime he warns me, regardless of what time it is and how many times he's already gone out at the same night? Isn't it true if I let him out everytime he wants to go then he'll never learn to hold it?

Keep working on the 'drop it' command when you are in control and have the leash on him. Absolutely he will get it! Dogs live purely in the moment. One second you say drop it and he does and then you praise him - he knows you are praising for the drop. His problem is that he doesn't respect you and is willing to keep challenging until he gets his way.When we tell him to drop it, he usually wouldn't give in rightaway. It's as if he'll think about it first when you ask him to drop it, and then he'll decide "Hmmm am I going to drop it ... let's see ... ok let's listen to him this time."

Everytime I give a command, either it's "Drop it", "sit" or "down" I always make sure he eventually finishes my command. There hasn't been ONCE that I give a command and I let him get away without doing it.

My question is, if I ask him to drop it, and though he hesitates, he eventually does it, do I still give him treats and praise? If I do, then what motivates him to drop it rightaway next time I ask him to, knowing he can hesitate and still get praised?

Or, more specifically, how do I train him so that he does what I ask him to immediately after I give the command? He's pretty good with "come" and "sit", but all the other commands he hesitate on most cases.

Or he has learned that grabbing your stuff is way more fun because it gets him more attention. I am hearing lots of 'we are ignoring him' so I am beginning to wonder if he is either in the 'being ignored' realm or 'getting in trouble' realm and he would rather get in trouble than be ignored. Did that make sense?I probably confused you the way I worded it. We don't really ignore him when we take him out from the crate. Sometimes if both of us got to do something quickly then he might be left with his chew toys for a couple minutes, but most of the times what happens is we offer to play his chew toys with him. He'd be semi-interested depending on the game and the toy, but then after a while he'd wander off and start chewing on slippers and blinds and what not.

The only times we "ignore" him are:

A/ when we decide it's time he should be in the crate and he just keeps barking ... we'd ignore him for so long until we go over and give him the "no barking" command, and tap on the fence if he's getting really bad (we always leave rightaway after giving him the command so he doesn't get any additional attention than the scolding from barking)

or B/ When he continues to bite the same thing despite us telling him repeatedly "no bite", "off" and "let go". If it's clear he's trying to disobey and disrespect the command, we'd tell him "no bite - time out!" and put him in a separate room (NOT his crate) where he's left there alone for a few minutes. We let him back out after a few minutes and see if he gets better, and if he keeps chewing on things again, he gets "time out" again.

So to answer your question, he's not chewing on things to get our attention. He already had our attention before he wanders off to bite the stuffs. He chooses to chew on things because those things are more fun to him than the chew toy.

The only exception is tug of war, which keeps him completely occupied when we play with him ... but I don't want to play tug of war with him all the times.

This is a tiny pup and it will be 2 years before you see him fully matured. This means there will be many wonderful times of harmony and bliss and a few that are not so blissful. Patience will payoff if it is balanced with structure, and love.I appreciate the support ... I have had a beagle before and I can't remember it being this bad ... and I always thought labs are smarter and more intelligent dogs, so that training should be easier. It turns out the beagle was easier to train on certain things (like no bite ... Toby, our beagle, got it very soon) and worse on others (like house training ... as bad as Matty has been this week Toby was like that every day for the entire 2 months when we first took him back). Overall house-breaking Matty hasn't been any easier than house-breaking Toby ... but I guess it's never easy and it's just part of the growing pain.



Thanks!

sprayeddog
July 14th, 2005, 02:55 PM
BTW, here're Matty's photos

sprayeddog
July 14th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Here's another one ...

jessi76
July 14th, 2005, 02:59 PM
simply adorable!

pags
July 14th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Oh wow sprayed -- Matty is precious!

I can offer some support as we're also surviving the bleary-eyed weeks of early-puppyhood around our house. We were doing pretty well with his schedule until we all ended up awake at all hours waiting for a hurricane this past weekend... The barking/whining started again as his schedule is as messed up as our own. We were much too tired to deal with it the way we were before -- so I decided to take tenderfoot's advice and moved him into our bedroom and tied his leash to my wrist so I would know if he got up. We all slept like babies. I'm hooked!!

Keep working at it, sprayed! At least we all know how you feel -- we've been there before!! Good luck to you and Matty! :D