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Thread: Adventures in Puppy Training

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default Adventures in Puppy Training

    Since there's now a handful of us with new pups maybe we can share what we're doing and what challenges our pups are presenting.

    In my case Terra is taking to the crate. I followed the experts advice--introduced it slowly putting her toys in there and the ocassional treat. Put her in for a few minutes, then 30, then an hour with us in the room. Then with us gone and for longer. The wife and I both work so she's crated from 8:30 to about noon when I go home at lunch and then again from 12:30 to about 5:30.

    Housebreaking is proving to be a challenge.
    My last dog, Harley was a happily compliant outside pee-er in 4 days but she was a spring pup and I think the weather may have played a role in that. Terra...not so much, but she is a winter pup, and initially she was hot-footing after a few minutes but now her feet are toughening up.

    I watch her close and scoop her up without scolding as soon as she starts to drop, take her outside and praise her lavishly as soon as she finishes, but for some reason she will sometimes pee again within a few minutes of coming back into the house. I think I figured out what I was doing wrong--letting her play and explore after peeing. I'm thinking that this routine isn't reinforcing the "job" of peeing/pooping as soon as she goes outside.

    So, what I changed was taking her back inside immediately after going and giving her a treat.

    Another aspect of this is I made the mistake of giving her a "Good Girl!" too soon which, apparently, turns the pee switch right off. So MY lesson was to follow her around for 20 minutes in my bathrobe and slippers until the urge returned. Now I say nothing until the deed is done.

    I/we also let her sleep on the bed which creates opportunities for her to go in the house. It was never our intention to have her in the crate all night although we know it's a common practice. Our long term plan is for her to use a dog door once she's fully housebroken and big enough to safely push through.

    Thus far, I have been getting up with her around 2 am and again at 6 am when I normally get up. Needless to say I'm jonesing for the bed more than usual.

    Our daily routine is: up at 6 and put her out for 2 or 3 minutes whether she pees or not. Then into the crate while I shower and get dressed (recent adjustment). Then she gets fed and watered and at about 6:30 we go for our morning walk...usally about 30 minutes. Off leash she walks at heel, only occasionally scooting out ahead but on leash she's a "forger" so we're working on her staying at heel. For the first few minutes she wants to pull, I make corrections, and we press on, then she settles into the rythym of the walk and does well. She usually poops on the walk and I bag it and take it home. (Gotta be a good neighbor). From there I go to work, and my wife gets to be the jailer as she leaves for work. Terra doesn't go into the crate willingly, but doesn't resist too much either and settles down quickly.

    She gets another walk when I get home from work and then we play and work on obedience. She loves to chase her tennis ball but doesn't always come right back with it. I'm following Wolters' advice and focusing on making fetching fun for now. After a bit of free play, she does respond to fetching from heel which is encouraging. I need to get a 20' lead to work on "Here".

    We're going to try crating her overnight while keeping the same morning schedule.

    She's definitely got a will so I know I have to stay patient, focused and consistent.

    So how's everybody else doing?
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  2. #2
    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Boy I'm glad my pup is out of that stage, shes bluetick coonhound and is 6 months now. She taught me to have a lot of patience thats for sure! Good luck with your pup. Than onto teething stage, keep anything expensive out of reach! lol After awhile i'm sure she'll learn to like the kennel, my pup goes in there to nap all the time, its her home. I had the hardest time with feeding my pup during teething. She didn't have an appetite most times and kind of worried me. But once she lost all her teeth and got her new ones in she never wants to stop eating! Luckily my pup seemed to be housebroken when I got her, I think the breeders got her on an early start.

  3. #3
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    I got my Chessie put on Aug 2 she was 9 weeks and for days old. I took her to Valdez to be with me on my charter boat the next day. I brought the kennel on the boat but decided that it would only get it the way because of its size so I put a laundry basket on the boat for her to sleep in. Well the laundry basket worked great for her during the day but at night she slept with me in one of my front bunks. That worked out great as I was only a couple of feet from the back deck where she could go potty. She would let me know when she had to go by licking my face. Her first retrieve was when I took my socks off that night. I threw them over by my boots. She saw me do it and climbed out of the bunk and brought them back to me. She spent 4 weeks with me in Valdez on the boat and it was great when I brought her back to Fairbanks she had to adjust to a different life style and she did well. She had a few potty training accidents with peeing but some of them where my fault as I would for get about when she licks you it means she has to go potty. As far as retreiving goes she is out standing. She will bring back to you any thing that you throw or drop. She is 24/7 on that. When she goes out side she is always hunting. Her favorite thing is hunting mice. I could not be more pleased with her. On October 22 she broke her femur bone while she was retrieving a ball. Not really sure why it broke but my guess that she damage ealier while playing with my male yellow lab. But we got that fixed and every thing is good to go. I just need to get out side and start working with on obediance training. Good luck with your pups.

  4. #4
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    I have a tangle free check cord that you can borrow to work on "here" if you need it. I won't need it for a few months. I got mine from Lion Country Supply. It's 20 ft, It's nice and stiff. I think they cost like $15. Let me know!

  5. #5

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    My lab is 9wks and is really good about pooping,he lets you know 80% of the time when he needs to go, but peeing is a different story, he pees while playing, eating, and laying down, its almost like he doesn't even know. I take him out after eating, playing and napping do he has plenty of opportunity to go in the right place and he does both before he comes in. Any ideas, tips or trick welcome. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Yeah I've got gunner, he's 12 weeks old and I'm having an issue with potty training as well. I have found out from past pups that weather plays a huge roll.. It's windy and cold here, he refuses to go out. If it's 'warm' and sunny, there's nothing on the floor. I have a dog door that he can and does use, he has just made it 'at his own discretion'.
    As for the kennel, I had an old wire crate from my last dog. I dug it out of the shed an put him in it in my kitchen. I left, he stayed there for 6 hours and when I got home I let him out and put him out the doggy door. A couple days of this and now he will load right up when I tell him 'kennel' or 'get in the box'.
    I started his training with the basics of sit and heel. He learned to fetch pretty quick (though a bit of what he does is genetics) he absolutely loves it! We have been working on steadiness now, I take him to field with his duck (he has a full grown mallard drake that I freeze for him) have him sit next to me and hold his collar as I tell him stay. Toss the duck out and wait about five seconds, line him up and release. He runs out and grabs the duck, carries it back and delivers it to hand. He's already got forced fetch and hold down, were working on stay.
    He's a magnificent dog. I have a training partner that has two older pups, about a year old, and he works with them great. Also helps them with distractions.
    As far as the potty training, I scould him for it in the house, praise him outside, he's getting it. Its taking a little time due to the weather conditions (high wind) but he almost has it down. :-D
    I've actually got a couple ducks and pheasants were going to go shooting this weekend and he can see how it's done by the other dogs. I figure well shoot the bird, release a dog and him. He'll run out and see the other dog picking it up and get the hang of doing it and I'll release him on his own. Probably with the pheasant since it's smaller and lighter than the duck. Time will tell which one I send him for though.

  7. #7

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    I have to brag on my new Chessie girl. Her name is Palin, and just like the real one, she is smart and attractive! LOL She learned to sit in literally 30 seconds and after only one week she goes to the door every time to pee and has never once pooped anywhere but outside. I am very impressed with her. She doesn't particularly like the crazy winds, but she is not deterred by the cold, snow, or wind...she just trots on out and does her stuff.

    Sorry for the troubles others are having. I have been there and it gets old after a while.

  8. #8
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Man I sure do hope duck feather taste like welcome mats! Apparently, all my mat's, throw rugs and runners belong in the bedroom!

    My pup is crazy. She's growing and getting leggy and she's in that stage where she wants to bite. I sometimes wonder if my Chessie pup has a little shark in her somewhere. She gets so happy to see me she just wants to show me by crashing into me with her mouth open. I know it's a phase and she's just playing but man those milk teeth are sharp!

    She's OK with the crate. I know some dogs see it as "their" place and take refuge in there but my pup merely tolerates the crate. She goes in, resists a bit but doesn't whine or try to get out, and settles down quickly.

    She's about 95% there on the housebreaking. In another two or three weeks I'm installing the dog door and she'll be free to come and go. We're still play fetching and doing basic obedience although I've been slacking the past few days, so back on it tonight.
    She's also found her voice and has taken to barking at knocking at the front door which I am encouraging by not discouraging it. She learn to post when me or my wife go to the door but for now I want her to embrace and develop her protective instincts.

    All in all she's a happy, enthusiastic pup.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  9. #9
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    Your pup has a sister who's a bit toothy and a little ornery as well.

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