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I GOT A PUPPY... but i'm having some problems...

June 16th, 2008, 02:12 PM
After the death of my Jazz-Man Kitty Cat, I decided that it was time to get a dog. We decided to go to a breeder and get a female black (English) lab. She was born on Feb. 22, we named her Lotus. (After the flower, not the car!;)) She had some issues at first with attacking feet, and oh man those razor like teeth felt like she was taken your toes off! She fully understands the word NO at this point, although sometimes she chooses to ignore it. She is almost at four months old now and we are STILL having potty issues. We take her outside on a normal basis, making sure to have a schedule as well for eating and then going outside. I also make sure to take her out right after naps and playing. But for some reason she still doesn't quite get the idea of going outside and not inside... at all! We never hit her for going inside, we may smack her nose when she plays too rough and bites, but we yell NO NO NO NO NO NO NO, GO POTTY OUTSIDE, OUTSIDE... when we catch her in the act of going potty inside. I've read all the books as well as training guide websites, we never stick her nose in the mess, and we praise like we are insane when she does anything outside! But still, even last night, in the middle of playing she just stopped and peed, right in front of me, no warning... :headslap: what am I doing wrong? I had a husky when I was 13 and I don't remember having this much trouble when we were potty training her. Also, she has already ruined a few pieces of my clothing when she wanted attention. She grabs ahold of my pants or shirt and yanks really hard till it rips as I'm trying to get her to stop. I know that labs are full of energy, and I try to play with her a ton, but sometimes, even as I'm playing with her, she gets "crazy" and starts jumping at me, barking really really loud and she does this thing where she grabs at my hand or arm as she is barking, usually doesn't hurt, but there have been a few times. Plus she jumps and climbs on me, we are trying to teach her "DOWN" and she isn't really getting that either. Even the vet called her a dopey dog that didn't know anything, now granted, I think the guy was a jerk as far as his bed side manner goes... she is a puppy, she is going to be excited and not want to listen! But she has huge paws with huge claws and they hurt... it's summer... less clothing, more skin to scratch with her nails... OUCH!!!!!!! She really is a sweet puppy, she loves us just as much as we love her and she is learning some stuff. She knows "SIT" very well and does it on command no problem, but what is up with all the other stuff? What am I doing wrong???:wall: Help, I don't want to have the puppy that everyone is afraid or annoyed to be around...

June 16th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Oh my, she is perfectly adorable, sounds completely normal and you are absolutely right, your Vet is a jerk. With her purple collar and leash she looks like my puppyboy at that age. He's 8 months now and outgrown them.

I don't think you are doing anything wrong except having too optimistic expectations. Our lad had a wee accident in the house just last week. Our fault completely for sleeping in too long. Puppies can't hold on till about six months old and that is just a guideline, some are earlier and some are later. Our lad was relatively safe overnight at just after 4 months.

With our puppy we did not smack his nose or yell when he did wrong. We just stopped interaction with him for 5 or so minutes or silently cleaned up the pee. We did say sternly, "DON'T BITE". I reserve yelling for times when he is in physical danger or about to demolish something I really care for (which I should have removed from his presence in the first place). If you yell now it won't have any effect when you really need it.

Have you looked into training classes? They will teach you methods to distract her and teach her to focus on you that will form the foundation of all good behaviour to come. I'm only on training my second puppy and more experienced people will be along soon to give you lots of good tips I hope. In the meantime I will say it is much easier to learn how to train puppy in person at a class than to just read about it. Once your Vet clears her for interaction with other dogs I really strongly recommend you enroll. And just keep on, it takes a long time. My boy did all the same things your girl is doing. He still jumps up sometimes, mouths sometimes but is over the biting. Patience, it will take longer than four months.

June 16th, 2008, 03:51 PM
I was worried because the books say around four months is when potty training is possible. She can hold in over night in her crate, but out of the crate she goes all the time. I should not have said I yell, cause it isn't really yelling as much as it is a "really mean voice" and I've tried the whole ignoring thing when she is biting, saying "no biting!", giving her toys to distract her, and still, she finds some way to jump on me or get a hold of my jeans and bites those, even if I leave the room for ten minutes, she cries and barks till i come back, and then she continues what she was doing before, I'll play with her with her toys and she at some point drops her toy and then comes after my hands and clothes again. After being at our wits end for some time, we finally have been giving her time out's in her crate with a towel or blanket covering the door part. I hate to do that, but it seems to work for the most part and she still thinks of her crate as a good place so I'm not too worried. I feel bad complaining about her this way because when she isn't peeing in the house or biting me and clawing me to death, she really is such a sweet heart. If I'm doing anything in the kitchen, cleaning, cooking, etc, she lays right at my feet until I am done, she always wants to know what I'm doing. I know that once she learns all of this, she will be an amazingly wonderful dog, but until then I'm not having too many people come to visit at my house, lol.

Yea, I really love the purple collar on her, it was my Jazz's color and I didn't really want to use that color for any other animal after he passed a few months ago, but we adopted her with the color collar and I took that as a sign. I just recently got a hot pink and black collar with hearts all around it, I just needed a newer one cause she was out growing her baby collar, but now that she has it on, IT IS SO CUTE ON HER! lol!!! I did get a bigger purple one too though, I'm keeping that color for her, it was the reason I picked her!

Thanks for all your advice! I'd love to see pics of your boy pup!!!

June 16th, 2008, 04:30 PM
I am in agreement with Longblades, it sounds like your puppy is normal and perhaps your expectations are a little high at this point. My puppy is about the same age as yours, and is pretty consistantly having accidents in the house too. He is just starting to be able to hold it during the night if I take him out for a late potty break before bed. Most puppies just aren't physically able to hold it very long until 6 months or so...but of course that varies. They don't know how to communicate their needs very well, are distracted easily, and sometimes are just having too much puppy fun to realize they have to "go" until its much too late.

Rest assured this is all normal. I give my little guy a certain amount of "free-time in the house if I know he has just done his business outside. After a little while I don't feel comfortable to "trust" him anymore, so he either goes for another potty break outside, or goes in his crate or x-pen. It's easy to forget how much work it is to housetrain a puppy, but it does take awhile usually. The good thing for you is, that it is spring/summer that you are doing this training in...just think how hard that would be in the winter!

You can try to hang a bell to the door that you use to let your pup out. It will ring when it opens...or ring it yourself when you go out. He should associate the sound it makes to going out to potty, and will likely ring it himself when he needs to go. It worked for my dog! Good luck. :pawprint:

June 16th, 2008, 04:38 PM
:lightbulb:wow, the bell is a really great idea, thanks for that!!!:goodvibes:

:highfive: thanks for all the encouragement, I thought for a minute that I was doing something wrong. I'm so relieved to know that she is on the right track and I'm doing ok with training her. :fingerscr

June 16th, 2008, 07:16 PM
Puppy School.

It help my boy tons!

June 17th, 2008, 12:16 AM
Definately, puppy school. She looks like an active girl.

You said she pee'd right in front of you when you were playing. Kids also get so involved in playing that when they realize they have to go it is too late. It takes a lot of patience to have a puppy. Good luck, you are on the right track and this is the place to go with questions. It also helps to realize that you are not the only one with a problem.

June 17th, 2008, 12:34 AM
Sheeba was born in November 2007, and did not "get" that she should potty outside until mid May 2008.

We've been poop and pee free for a few weeks now. Hooray!

Hang in there.

June 17th, 2008, 07:43 AM
until then I'm not having too many people come to visit at my house

Every puppy training bit of advice I read says you should do the opposite and have as many people over as you can. She really needs to be socialized with people, other dogs and places. Yes, she will be wildly excited but it's easier for you to handle her when she is small. Early socialization is so important that some will advise you to balance off the need to have her safely vaccinated with the need to meet other dogs. A compromise is to take her places where you will not meet a lot of dogs (someone here said they took theirs to Lowes stores, ask permission) or to invite safely vaccinated dogs to your home.

You neglect socialization at the risk of having an overly timid dog or one that acts defensively upon encountering new things. It was hard for us in the winter but now we are a fan of those cruise night things where people take their old cars. The OH looks at the cars and I walk the pooch around and meet the bored spouses and children who are not so keen on the cars. :)

just think how hard that would be in the winter! Yep, that was us. And we had a LOT of snow last winter. Puppyboy never saw bare ground till the snow melted away in spring. So he was used to doing his bathroom on snow. It was funny to watch as he searched the yard for a patch of snow. I've heard some puppies have a hard time making the adjustment from going on paper to going on grass or dirt and wondered if he'd have the same problem but once the snow was completely gone he was OK with grass.

June 17th, 2008, 09:07 AM
I do realize that she needs to be socialized. Luckily there is a "old mommy" Pitbull next door that Lotus LOVES, her people have been busy lately so they have not had many play dates lately. But it's nice to know there is a dog near by that I can let her play with, even when she gets rough the mommy pit stays pretty gentle because she just had puppies within the past year and gets to visit with her babies now and then, so I think she looks at Lotus as a baby, as she should. I do have some family and friends that come over on a normal basis, and since getting all of her shots, I have taken her to Petco with me to meet people, animals, and to of course let her pick out her own toy :D. I guess I'm just being an over protective, worried Mommy. It's been a long time since I had my last dog and after losing my cat in March at only five years old, I want to make sure I'm doing everything right by taking her for check ups and training her correctly.


WE HAD ZERO ACCIDENTS ALL EVENING YESTERDAY!!!! YAY!!!!! So I guess she is slowely "getting it". Thanks to everyone for all of the advice!!! :grouphug:

June 17th, 2008, 04:22 PM
I agree with the others that four months is still definately young enough to not expect full potty training. I have a now two year old black lab (very high energy) and experienced the crazy puppy biting phase. It seems that four months was one of the worst ages for that issue. My policy was to let out a high pitched yipe whenever he put his mouth anywhere on me (same sound as if I were another puppy that he had bit to hard). If he backed off then he got a "good dog" and play continued. One more chance and if he did not back off then he was cheerfully escorted to his crate for a time out. It is very important to remain calm and cheerful when putting him in his crate. We found that worked very well in changing his behavoiur. Also, the biggest improvement with the nipping came when he spent a few days at doggie daycare where he quickly learned from the other dogs that biting/nipping was not acceptable behaviour.

I especially also agree with the others that you should be in super duper socialization mode. Take the pup anywhere and everywhere and arrange as many play dates with well behaved dogs as you can handle.

Good luck :goodvibes:.