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Pound Puppy Training q's

November 7th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Sorry this is a long one, but I wanted to give a bit of background as well as ask some questions. We just recently rescued an approximately 2 yr old Lhasa Apso cross from the pound and are in the process of helping her adjust to her new home. She is just beautiful and the most awesome pooch...we are totally in love with her!!

When we first saw her she was ultra shy and very timid, took the tech at the pound 4 days to have her warm up to her before she was able to be friends with her. She's very docile, you can do anything you want to her and she doesn't bark, nip or anything...she's very very patient. When we first met her...she hid under a chair and then trembled to the point of we thought she'd vibrate off my hubbie's lap when he was holding her. We fell in love big brown eyes and really saw a lot of hope for her in the right home. We are more than willing to help her overcome whatever happened in her past and she is adjusting pretty good to being with us. :) We will be looking into obediance training for her and for us as well to help with the adjustment period.

We believe she was beaten when she was younger as she tends to cower at sudden movements and when you scold her, it totally devastates her, she hides in her kennel and won't come out at all. She also tends to hide behind either me or my hubbie when the other comes into a room if we've left. Hubbie scolded her this morning for pooping on the carpet and it took a long time to get her out of her kennel after that. She wasn't shut in, but just refused to come out after we let her be for a while. He didn't raise his voice with her, but was firm and told her "no" several times while sitting her next to the poop...he didn't raise a hand to her either as we refuse to do that. Odd thing was...he had just had her outside for a while before she pooped.

She never made a sound her whole time at the pound, never made a sound at the vet clinic and didn't growl until my sis came over wearing a hat. She then barked at a lady on the street who was hearing a hat and the snow removal guy who was wearing a hat. We figured the reason she was steering clear of my hubbie a little yesterday is because he was wearing a we know she has issues with that...but, we're still going to wear hats around her so she gets use to it. We're doing hat on...hat off with her and reassuring her it's ok. She has very vivid puppy dreams and tends to whoof or whine a lot while dreaming, her little legs just a twitching as well. She is not a vocal dog at all...heck we didn't think she was capable of barking until Saturday...the hat barking came after this next thing.

We had a huge issue with her on Saturday when we went to put her into her crate while we went out for a little bit. She loves her crate, sleeps in it at night with the door closed no problem, she goes fact, she lets us know when it's bedtime...but the minute we put her in to crate her so we could go out...she freaked out. She was barking, yipping, crying, howling, pacing back and forth...pawing at the door so hard it was shaking the crate. She was inconsolable, she even pee'd in there. We tried to calm her down without letting her out, we tried to be firm with her, telling her "no" everytime she freaked out..but she wasn't having it. It wasn't the fact that we were going out that upset her so badly, but being in her crate. We ended up taking her with us to go to the pet store to buy a gate for her to leave her in our kitchen. She had no issues with that at fact. She went to lie in her crate after the gate was up and all was good. No issues. We didn't want to force the crate thing seeing she loves to be in her crate and we didn't want her to feel punished or have her hate the crate, so we didn't push the issue and looked for an alternate solution. I know some would say work it out, but we didn't want to ruin a good thing by having her associate a bad thing with it.

At 2 yrs old..she knows no commands...she doesn't know sit, outside, treat, cookie, or anything like that. But we are sure to say "outside" several times before we take her out. We also positive reinforce when she does go pee outside..she gets a ton of "good girl" "good Sophie" and a training treat when she gets inside. However, we're having a problem with her pooping in the house (like I mentioned above). We stay out with her for quite a while...she'll pee a few times, but the minute she gets in the house...she poops on the living room carpet in the same spot. I will take responsibilty for some of this...I might not have "de-scented" where she went the first time enough...but we're not sure how to deal with this. We've taken her poop and moved it outside to where we want her to go...shown her where it is...we've scolded her, rubbed her nose in it like we've been told, but that doesn't seem to work either. We've started doing the no treat thing until she poops as well. Is there something we are missing here??

All in all her personality has changed a TON since we got her's been 4 days, she's a little more outgoing, willing to cuddle, not so scared or timid at all. There is a ton of tail wagging, a first, so we know she's good. I know she's testing us with some stuff...she jumped on the sofa and then looked at me to see if I would yell at her. I don't have a problem with her on the furniture so now she likes sleeping on our love seat as well as in her kennel and the cushion we got for her. I was going to take it back seeing she wouldn't go near the cushion and the minute I mentioned taking it back, she literally walked over to it and laid down on it. It was too funny!

She finally touched her toys for the first time yesterday...she started jumping at a ball, batting it around, springing up on it...but when hubbie went to play with her...she jumped on the sofa next to me. He's been trying to encourage her to play but she tends to just sit and watch him instead playing with her toys. My hubbie gets down to her level to play and will try to imitate puppy behaviour. Is this a good thing or bad thing? He use to do it with a goldie and the goldie loved it, however, Sophie just stares at him like he's nuts.

Anyhow, the point of my long winded post...are there things we can do to help her adjust? Anything to help encourage playing? Anything to discourage pooping in the house?? Any suggestions for helping her over come her timidness?? I know we've only had her 4 days (hubbie is off this week to stay home with her which is great), and she has made amazing progress so far...but I want to make sure we get her off on the right foot...well, not only her...but us. I want her to feel safe and feel a sense of consistency with us as well to help ease her fears. We all need training and will be doing that soon, we just want to help her settle in first.

November 7th, 2005, 12:21 PM
It sounds to me like you are helping her just fine. As far as the hat thing goes, put one in the living room - someplace where she can see it clearly but it doesn't interfere with her activities. Move it every so often, maybe put it on your head for a couple of minutes. Just let her get used to it being around and being no big deal. And swap it out for different kinds of hats every so often.

As for the pooping outside - if you take her out and she doesn't poo, then when you come in she needs to go either back in her crate or in the kitchen with no interaction from you. Take her back out in 15 or 20 minutes. Keep doing this until she has done her business outside and when she goes - praise her like crazy! She sounds smart enough that if you keep this up for a couple of days you should be headed in the right direction.

November 7th, 2005, 12:31 PM
First of all, rubbing your dogs nose in the poop is the WORST thing to do. That is an old outdated horrible training method. Same thing with saying no. No really has no meaning to a dog. Do not punish the dog as it will only make it worse.

If you do not catch your dog pooping, then you cannot do anything about it. If you come in and there is poop, just clean it up. Don't do anything with the dog.

If you catch your dog pooping while you are watching, immediately make a loud sound to distract her and make her stop, then take her outside to finish. THen praise her like crazy when she does.

Sometimes to train a dog to poop outside you have to literally stand there for an hour..or two, until the dog does their business. Stay out there, with the dog on leash, and ignore her until she does her business. Then praise like crazy when she does.

As for the smell...use pure vinegar and soak the spot, or get something called Nature's Miracle. Both are considered an Enzymatic cleaner that will remove the smell. Never use anything with amonia, as that smells like pee/poop over time.

And the crate/leaving thing...sounds like something called separation anxiety...yet when she was in the kitchen with the gate she was fine? If she is fine like that, then don't mess with it I say!

November 7th, 2005, 01:05 PM
So many of those things sound like Molly. So I have hope for you! I got her from the Humane Society in April, and she was very timid, would just sit in our laps, and didn't do anything. But she grew out of it. My boyfriend and I got her thinking she was a quiet, calm dog, but boy were we in for a surprise. She warmed up to us and is quite the rascal. And I love it! It's such a strange transformation. And she didn't want to eat or play with her toys, but now she loves everyone of her toys.

She also has a terrible fear of hats, especially somberos. Weird, I know. We also thought Molly was abused, or at least smacked when pottytrained. She used to sit down strangely. All of these in combination with her fear of adult men, we put together the conclusion that some adult male wearing a hat had been abusing her. Who know of that's true, but we figured it was a good guess. She was immediately attached to my boyfriend, but I think that was because he held her on the way home. It took a long time for her to quit growling at my dad and my boyfriend's dad.

All in all, I think that you're in for a great transformation and your puppy will really come out of her shell.

In my own opinion, I think a lot of the timidness and fear is from the whole traumatizing experience of being dropped off at the pound by their family and then brought to a new home. I mean, Molly went from a puppy mill to a pet store, to a family, to the Humane Society, and finally to me all in less than 6 months! Putting myself in her position, I know I wouldn't be the most social and outgoing person.

Just be patient! :)

November 7th, 2005, 01:09 PM
I know this sounds silly, but I used to always put Molly's toys around her wherever she was lying or sitting to encourage her to play. Maybe try that?

Other than that give her lots of praise, lots of love, and lots of attention. I really think that's all your puppy needs. She'll come around in no time.

November 7th, 2005, 05:38 PM
Thanks for the tips and corrections, old wive's tales seem to stick around and the usual advice for dogs going in the house is to rub their noses in it, my bad.

So...from now on I'm going to try just cleaning up the mess and taking her outside, no sense in both of us going nuts over it. One thing I've figured out today from doing a little research, we shouldn't be letting her "free graze". Seeing she's underweight, we've been letting her have "free food" all day to put some weight on her and apparently we should be feeding her at specific times, not leaving any food after she's done with it and then taking her out 15 to 20 minutes after she's eaten as they'll usually have to go then. We'll change that starting today. Btw...does this apply to water as well??? And as a side note...will this turn her into a gobbler?? Scarfing down as much as she can knowing the dish will disappear if she doesn't eat it all?

Has anybody heard about a spray that you can spray where you want them to go? I've heard people use this for pee pads and that you can use it outside as well to give an indication of where they should be going. I know in the past I've used a spray for cats to keep them away from things (worked amazingly well), so I wasn't sure if this spray was along the same lines.

I will be getting some specific cleaner to treat the spots, that's for sure so we don't have repeat performances anymore.

My hubbie and I have talked about separation anxiety with her as well as we figure that's going to play a big part in all of this. She did pee in the kitchen when he left for 30 mins today and felt she was kind of moping around since I've been at work. I've heard leaving them with a piece of clothing helps that well as not making a big production of when you leave or when you come back. Ie...let them be for 10 to 15 minutes when you get home, then acknowledge helps them to see leaving and going is not such a big deal.

Any other housetraining advice would be appreciated, thanks! :)

November 7th, 2005, 08:35 PM
Water should be available throughout the day. Since I have an almost housebroken pup, I usually make water inaccessible a couple of hours before bedtime.

You will find that using feeding times, instead of free-feeding, will put her bowels on a schedule and you will have more of a clue as to when she needs to stay out until she has done all of her "business".