Advice for a sort of new puppy owner?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mama24, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted a couple weeks ago when I brought home my new pup, gorgeous Siberian husky/Australian shepherd mix, Sheila. She's a sweet dog, very smart, definitely has the herding instinct big time! My issues are that I haven't had a puppy in almost 20 years. I don't know if she is doing great and my expectations are too high, or if I should be working harder on her. She is 9 weeks old and we've had her for a little over 2 weeks. She is still peeing and pooping in the house at least once overnight. When we first got her, she was so little, I let her sleep on my bed (my hubby was thrilled with that let me tell you. lol) so that I would wake up and take her out when she stirred. She was too small to jump down on her own. She has grown so much so quickly, that she has no problem jumping on and off of things by herself now. She has quit trying to sleep with us anymore, but even when she was, she was just jumping down to poop in the house without ever waking me up. I did buy her a crate, but I have never had a crate trained dog. She lays in it with her chew toys during the day on her own, I at least knew to make it a safe place for her where the kids aren't allowed to disturb her. But I can't shut her in it at night b/c she immediately starts howling. So I'm not sure how to go about getting her to sleep in there at night. I don't mind her needing to go at night, I remember when I was a teeneager getting up to take puppies out, it's just life with young, babies do it too, I can handle that. But the problem is she's just going without letting me know she's up and needs to go out!

    During the day, if I am not busy, I just take her out every time she changes activities, like wakes up from a nap, after a good play session, after eating, etc, and she potties outside no problem. Lots of praise, etc. But if I am busy and doing things in a different room, she just goes in the house without letting me know she needs out! I honestly can't remember potty training my previous dogs! I know I did all the dog work and training when I wasn't in school. I am confident that she will eventually be a good obedient dog. My last puppy was a 120lb American bulldog that I could walk without a leash, I'm good with dogs. But now I'm feeling less confident since she's still going potty in the house so often and doesn't come when I call her! I am thinking that it's just been so long since I had a pup, I forgot how long it takes to get there, and I just need to keep cleaning up the poo. lol. Please tell me what you think, any advice you have. Thanks a lot!

    Oh, the other issue is that she likes to dig. Not usually a problem, but she destroyed some of my garden seedlings I had outside in bins since the weather's been so nice. Dh and I caught her at it twice and told her no, so she doesn't do it right in front of us any more, but I suspect she did it again while I was feeding the animals this morning! It could have been one of my chickens, but I'm not sure. Any ideas on how best to handle inappropriate digging? Should I try to stop all digging or let her know it's ok to dig "there" but not anywhere else? I've never had a digger before.
     
  2. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you thought of an "umbilical cord" to keep her close to you when you are busy? Basically a long leash you wear.

    I keep a leash on my pups until they are 100% trained. This way I always know where they are and I have an easy way to grab them and take them out. I also never let them out of my sight until they are trained. I have baby gates to keep them in the same room as me..along with an umbilical cord or long leash.

    How about crate training? This way she has a place to go when you are busy and at night.

    You are doing the right thing taking her out and making sure to praise. keep her on leash outside for potty also. No play-time until she does.

    As for digging the only sure fire way I know of to keep them from doing it is supervision. I have had limited success with people giving their dogs a digging place. They have given the dog "permission' to dig in one specific area and redirect the digging there.

    Not coming when called is a common issue. Just make sure you are calling her often for no other reason then praise/treat. This way when you "need" to call her she will just think she is getting praise.

    My big thing with pups is they are never out of my sight for months. I crate train so it makes it easier on myself and the pup.
     
  3. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    how do you get them to stay in the crate without howling?
     
  4. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Howling in the crate is separation anxiety. I would give the puppy a firm NO. Leave them in the crate. If you need to cover it with a blanket, so they can't see out. Crate training is the way to go. After a while most dogs look at their crate as safety and security.
     
  5. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sort of depends on your theory.

    I make their crate "home" for them. I keep my crate in the room we spend the most time in and with young pups I move the crate to the bedroom at night. This way I can easily take them out as soon as they "wake" after being in the crate awhile. After a few weeks I start moving the crate further away at night. I have even moved crates up and down stairs to keep puppy "close" and reassured when I am busy. I still ignore the crying but, when they are close like that I can tell them how good they are the second they are quiet.

    A lot of people say not to feed in the crate...I do. I meal feed so it is ideal to help them see the crate as home. I also always have special crate toys for my pups. things they really, really like. I find a Kong stuffed with a puppy food gruel (canned food mixed with water until runny) then frozen (put a "plug" of PB or canned food in the small end, stand in a cup, fill and freeze) is awesome for keeping them occupied. I don't use too much "real" food so that there is less likely hood of triggering a bowel movement.

    Some people will put puppy in a crate with toys and let them cry, whine and scream until they give up. I did that for many years, and sometimes I still get a pup I have to do that with.
     
  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second feeding in the crate. Nap time in the crate. Crate in the bedroom at night.

    You've got to remember that she is a baby. One who has been pulled from everything she knows at that. Start off with short bits of time during the day. Never let her out when she is throwing a tantrum. Special toys/treats for crate time also helps. A nice stuffed kong will do wonders to keep her occupied!

    I'll second tethering as well. If she is having accidents in the house, it is YOUR fault for not watching her. Until she is reliable, she basically can't be out of your sight/reach unless she is in her crate. That way, you prevent the accidents before they start. If you are watching TV and the puppy is 6 feet across the room, that isn't watching her (my husband didn't quite grasp that concept). Tethering keeps her right by your side and aware of her every movement, even if your eyes aren't glued to her. It leaves your hands free to get your work done. It also helps with leash training as well as bonding. She gets used to staying by your side and learns that is a good happy place to be.
    It's not a matter of her not letting you know, it's you not seeing her signals. You CAN train her to signal you, like a bell on the door or something. When you are go to the door to take her out, take her paw and ring the bell (those christmas strings of bells work great. or get some from the pet store) In no time, she'll know that bell = outside.


    If you catch her in the act, don't yell "NO" or make a huge fuss. Just scoop her up and say "Outside" in a happy voice. The motion will usually make them stop in mid-stream, so sit her outside to finish up. Then praise and treat. If you scare her, all that does is make her afraid to potty in front of you, making it even harder to housebreak.

    where is your crate that she is howling at night? Mine is always in the bedroom. A puppy locked away from family at night is reacting on the instinct that she has been abandoned by her pack. An abandoned baby will die, so she is trying to remind you that she's been left behind. Once she is older, you can move the crate out of the room if you absolutely don't want dogs in there. Another problem with the crate being far away at night, how do you know if she wakes up and has to potty? It takes a while before a pup can go all night. Much easier to let her restlessness tell you it's potty time than to set an alarm and go get her "just in case" That way, you let her body naturally adjust to holder it longer at night.


    All of these tips go for the digging as well. You can't stop what you aren't there to see and correcting after the fact doesn't work. Another good tip is "a tired puppy is a good puppy" lots of exercise and fun. Not just running around, but use her brain. Short obedience sessions (5 minutes) a couple times a day. Practice NILIF. Tether her to you. Crate when you can't supervise.
     
  7. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She howls if I'm sitting 3 feet away. Just the act of closing the door is what sets her of, whether we're here or not. I ignore her, and sometimes she'll go to sleep, but at night, even if my ds is right there on the couch, she will bark, whine and howl for an hour before finally going to sleep! I feel terrible b/c I know she was used to being with her mom and siblings. That's why I let her sleep in my bed the first week, but she doesn't need that anymore, she just doesn't want to be locked up. It's right next to our front door, which is in a largeish foyer where we have our computer desk. My 12yo son has been sleeping on the couch the last few days, and her crate is maybe 4-5 ft away from the couch in the living room. We have a very small house. it's 100yrs old. I got a crate that will be large enough for her when she's full grown, it's a 42" crate. There is absolutely no way to take it into my bedroom. Like I said, it's an old house. The door to my bedroom is actually too small for the crate to go through, and even if it did, there would be absolutely no place to put it. I could put it in the master bathroom, which is huge (added on recently) but she would be about the same distance from us there as the crate is now since our bedroom is right next to the living room.

    And me watch tv? HA! I have 4 young kids, 50 chickens, 2 pregnant goats, breeding rabbits, and a garden and 42 acres to tend to. I can't tell you the last time I watched tv. My free time, what very little of it I have is spent online, usually looking up stuff. If I say I am busy in the house, I am doing mounds of laundry, dishes, and the endless sweeping of the floors. Or cooking. I swear I spend half my life in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up. Oh, that's another thing, Sheila tries to herd the broom or vacuum while I'm trying to clean. lol. It's funny, but also annoying. I tell her no, and she tries very hard to listen, but she's too young to have much impulse control. She quivers for maybe a min before she can't help herself again.

    I am also a taxi service, and most of her accidents occur when I have left to drive someone somewhere. My 3 younger kids go to a private school, so there is no bus. My 12yo ds is homeschooled, and I often leave her with him, or take her if we're both going, but she has accidents when she is left with him, totally his fault, and I tell him that and make him clean it up. I did leave her in her crate once when I left her at home, but she pooped and then ate it. That is the only time I have ever seen her eat poop, and I think she did it b/c of where she was. I probably shouldn't let that bother me, but I felt so bad, I have been a little leery of putting her in the crate when I leave since then. She is actually a very good puppy. She doesn't chew things other than her toys. She does like to carry shoes around, but she doesn't chew them. Pottying in the house is really the only major issue I'm having. And I feel like she's doing quite well, but my dh is NOT a dog person and he gets so upset every time she poops in the house that I feel like I need to get her trained asap so he doesn't end up hating her simply b/c she's a puppy doing puppy things. She poops in the house about twice a day, but she goes outside probably 3 times a day. 5 times a day pooping seems excessive to me, but it's been a while since I had a pup. Normal? No? I'm feeding her high quality grain free kibble with some grain free canned sometimes. She's much better about peeing outside, pees inside maybe once a day, and I can almost guarantee it happens when I am picking kids up from school in the afternoon.

    The coming when called will come. I've only had her 2 week, and like I said, I have a LOT of other things going on. As it is, she comes when I call her if she isn't doing anything. If she is doing something, she comes probably half the time. I think that's pretty good for her age and how much work I've done with her. ;) For exercise, my son and I jog up the pasture and back a few times a day, and I have also been teaching her to herd my chickens. She's quite good at it already. I let them totally free range, but at night, there are always a few stragglers hanging around outside the gate when I am ready to close them in. So I've been getting her to herd them through the fence. It's fun for both of us. :)

    Thanks so much for your advice, please keep it coming!
     
  8. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a huge crate for a puppy. That size is almost a playpen lol. Find some way to block off half of it for now. Most pups will not mess where they sleep if the space is small enough. I know some do though. One of my Huskies was horrible for this. Luckily it seemed to "click" at around 12 weeks and he stopped. I was tired of bathing him daily!

    My biggest tip for that is to make sure she has had opportunity to potty before going in the crate. Figure out her "schedule". Most pups are fairly regular in how long after eating they poop. If you know how long it takes her to poop after eating you can feed her at times that make it easier on you to get her out.

    My boss was having an issue with his kids not noticing their pup needed to go out. He bought a door bell for her to use. I'm not sure exactly what it is like but, it is made specifically for dogs. I have had one person I know just use one of those "Easy button" things from Business Depot. All I did was hang Christmas bells on my door handle. I've never used the doorbell thing personally but, I hear it is easy to train them to use it. With the Christmas bells I just put the bell on the floor in the living-room. Of course puppy wanted to investigate it. As soon as she moved the bell and it dinged I praised her and took her outside. I repeated this until she seemed to realize ring=out. Then I hung the bell closer to the door and made sure she still understood. Then I moved it to the door handle. This is where letting them drag a leash helps because I can be grabbing the leash withing a second of the bell ringing and telling her good while walking her to the door.
     
  9. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are lots of videos on youtube for crate training them. It may sound mean but what I did for my puppy was put her in it (and hide to where she couldn't see or hear me) and wait until she quit howling for 5 seconds, then let her out, give her a treat, tell she's a good girl, etc. I totally ignored her while she was howling. I upped the time once she got good at not howling from 5 seconds, to 7, then to 10, and so on.
    She didn't really have a choice but to stay in it overnight, because my mom doesn't allow pets in the house and she was too little to be outside. (she stayed in the laundry room.)
    She whined a lot at first but eventually got the idea. She loves her crate now. She understands it is her safe, dry place, where no annoying humans, cats, chickens, rabbits, etc. can get to her. =P She sleeps in it every night without having to be locked up, and she doesn't whine when she is locked up anymore.

    Her crate was really big for her, too, just so you know. I wasn't going to get a new one because I knew she would grow into it. She is six months old now and I'm really glad I didn't get a smaller one, because if she grows anymore I'll have to get a bigger one!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  10. mama24

    mama24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I talked to one of the administrators at my kids' school. She's a huge dog person, has been involved in rescues for years, has 5 dogs herself, etc. She said the same thing, crate is way too big. She also suggested the stuffed Kong for bedtime and a towel or blanket over the crate. I stuffed her Kong and put it in the freezer just now so it'll ready for bedtime. :) And also I should not be feeding pup free choice, she needs set meal times so we can get her on a more regular potty schedule. My parents never schedule fed any animals, so that's a new concept to me, knew others did it, but no experience. Makes sense, though. I'm relearning after all these years and with my own rules to make. :)

    She still fits in my cat's extra large cat carrier, but she will outgrow it soon, maybe a week or 2. If she isn't trained enough by then, I will try to find a medium sized dog crate to borrow or find a way to block off part of her big crate. Holy cow! I just had a thought. Her crate came with an extra small panel and absolutely no instructions. I could not for the life of me figure out what the panel was for, but this conversation made me think it might be a divider!!! LOL. I'll have to remember where I put it and see if it fits in that way. I thought it was supposed to be a small section to go on top of the plastic pan, but that didn't work, and I thought it was just a piece of junk. I didn't throw it away, though, just in case!

    I also need to get her a choke chain. I have a regular collar on her and she slipped it when I had her outside when I was getting too close to the goat pen. I was going to leave her tied outside the pen while I fed and watered, but she is absolutely terrified of the goats and slipped her collar and ran back and waited outside the fence for me. I don't blame her for being scared, but that is not acceptable behavior. She was really friendly when we first introduced her to the goats, but the 2nd day, one of them head butted her. Didn't hurt her, but gave her an idea that they certainly could! Yet another thing I need to work on. I'm going to wait until she's bigger for that one, though. I'll have to bring her with me to the store. I looked at the last time I was there, but wasn't sure what size I needed. I want it to be big enough for some growing room, but not too big. I guess I could use the leash as a slip lead for now, but I hate how they don't loosen on their own like the chain does.
     

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