Need some new puppy help!

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Postby luvmypitbull » July 9th, 2010, 12:06 am

Well, I finally got me a new pup (Abigail a.k.a. ABBY) on June 27 and I am thrilled. :D We brought her home, spoiled her rotten and she has stolen our hearts and taken over our lives in a couple of days!!!! :) She was born May 10 and was 8 wks old Monday. I have found a couple of different threads on here about puppy training - thank you soooooo much for those!! Anyway, all of this to say, even as sweet as she is, there are a couple of things I am not sure about and am hoping for some help.

1) How long should it take her to recognize her name? We named her when we got her 1 1/2 wks. ago. We call her name constantly but she does not respond at all! In fact, I was beginning to wonder if she was deaf - however, she hears other things so I know that isn't the case. Am I rushing her or should she be responding by now? If she should be responding, what can I do to help her along?

Each day that goes by, Abby's personality just seems to come out more and more. She has just moved right in and already become a part of the family - i.e. she has taken over my husband's chair, she sleeps with us (all night I might add!), she sits and watches me fervently as I prepare her food, and acts like she's lived here all of her life........and all of this in 11 days!!! She is already rather independent or should I say has a mind of her own! This brings me to the next question.

2) Abby has already developed an attitude! If you stop her from playing (time to go in after pottying) she wiggles, growls, barks and snaps at you. I have already started correcting her for this with a tap on the nose or such and saying NO! Am I right or wrong about this? I don't want this to turn into an aggressive type behavior!

3) Crates - since we are home with her all of the time, I have not pushed the crate training. I have a small one (actually it is a carrier) and I leave the door open. She actually goes into it on her own some but other times I will throw a toy into it to lure her in. My question is, how much time should she spend in the crate to help train her for it? She has our undivided attention right now, but one day we will have a doctor's appt. or something that she cannot go along!

Well, that's all for now but I am sure that there will be plenty more questions as we move along!!!!! You know, Gambit was such a grand old fellow, and being 14 when he went on to Rainbow Bridge, I have really forgotten what it was like to have a puppy around.......in more ways than one!! ha

Sharon
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Postby madremissy » July 9th, 2010, 10:06 am

I am no where near the perfect trainer but some suggestions I can give you for Abby is to look for the threads about NILIF (nothing in life is free). Invaluable. Just like little things. Sitting before opening the door to go out. Sitting before being leashed. etc, Helped me so much with Kinzyl and now she nows to do it automatically.

Crates. Definitely crate train. It is there safe place. Even though Kinzyl is not crated all the time it has been so nice to be able to go camping, to the race track or even when we go to my parents that I know if I had to I could put her in there and she be comfortable. Hers is a wire crate that folds up for travel but it is huge so she has plenty of room. While Abby is a puppy if you get a big one, you need to divide it until she grows into it. She jumps up out of bed in the middle of the night sometimes and gets in hers. This is just my experience.

Hopefully others will be along to add more to what I said and answer more of your questions.
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Postby amalie79 » July 9th, 2010, 10:48 am

Goodness knows I'm no perfect trainer, either, but we've got a ~1 year old with a bit of an attitude herself, so I can tell you a few things that have worked for us in the last 6 months-- though it has been, oh, around 15 years since I've had a true, tiny puppy in the house!

I'll second Missy's NILIF suggestion-- it's helped Robin and River listen to us and pay attention to us, but if nothing else, it just makes life easier; for example, leashing up a scrambly, wiggly, mouthy obnoxious puppy is a whole lot easier when she learns that sitting politely is the only way she gets ANYTHING. :mrgreen:

Crate training has been awesome-- Robin learned the command "Go to your room." If you're home a lot, it should make it easier. We played lots of games where she got treats when she went into the crate; then if she went in and sat down; then we closed the door, gave her the treat, and opened it up again; then closed it longer; then we added the command, etc. Then she got a kong inside it while we sat in the room; then while we we left the room. You get the idea. Plus, it's the only place she gets her Kong. :wink: This makes it a pretty fabulous place.

Robin also almost never wants to come inside, and she is way too fast for us to chase her down. So I started keeping a bag of treats by the back door. I started with luring her-- I called her name, said "come" and shook the treat bag, and she would come running to the door for her treat-- and then she got to keep playing if she wanted to. It only took a few repetitions to get what "come" means (which is, of course, yummy treat time! :wink: ). Then I was able to stop luring at all; then she only got the treat once she was inside the door. A puppy attention span may be a little harder-- especially when it's so easy to just pick her up at that size! But the sooner she learns a recall, the easier that will be when she's not so tiny. I carry treats with me most of the time in the house, just so I can treat her for coming when called all the time!

Also, from my experience, I would be careful about teaching her that growling doesn't work; I learned the hard way that this can lead to a dog that doesn't growl and skips straight to using teeth. Instead, I'm trying with Robin to teach her that she doesn't HAVE to growl-- that there are other ways for her to get what she wants that don't involve that and NILIF and basic obedience (like the recall) seems good for that. I may be over-reacting to it-- some puppies growl when they're playing, when they're communicating in general...I just know what a shock it was to find that Simon no longer growled and had instead got serious!

I thought Jean Donaldson's book Culture Clash was invaluable in helping develop a relationship with and understand my dogs. I highly recommend it. :D
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Postby amazincc » July 9th, 2010, 1:04 pm

luvmypitbull wrote:
2) Abby has already developed an attitude! If you stop her from playing (time to go in after pottying) she wiggles, growls, barks and snaps at you. I have already started correcting her for this with a tap on the nose or such and saying NO! Am I right or wrong about this? I don't want this to turn into an aggressive type behavior!


I have a foster puppy at my house right now who refused to be handled without biting... and I don't mean little puppy shenanigans - I mean biting so hard that she drew blood.
I would NOT correct any growling and snapping by getting physical... you want to teach your puppy that being handled by a human is nothing to be afraid of, and that hands do NOT inflict pain or discomfort.
My foster, Bee, spent a month living at the vet office (she was abandoned by her owners)... and anytime a vet tech had to handle her she went on the offense and bit them.
The first time I tried to grab her to put a leash on her at my house - she bit me - hard.
I resolved that issue by putting a drag leash on her... this way I could "reel her in" instead of having to physically grab her, and it has made a HUGE difference in the way she interacts w/me now.
We also practice NILIF... and this unruly, snappy little thing has learned to sit and wait for her food, patiently waits to go outside while I change leashes, and she hasn't growled at me in ages.
I give LOTS of treats for "good behavior", and my hands are not scary to her anymore. I'm able to play w/her ears, look at her teeth, touch her feet, etc.

As for learning her name... I taught Bee by calling her name, and giving a treat everytime she responded by coming to me. I also used her name a lot in the beginning (Bee... time to eat... go out... play... whatever), and she started to associate her name w/lots of pleasant activities.

As for crating... I would start crate-training when your puppy is very tired from playing and needs a nap anyway. Always use the same command when you put her in the crate, and always make it a good experience. Give her a longer-lasting treat to keep her busy as she gets older, and increase the time she is crated as well.
Bee was pretty much crated 24/7 at the vet, so we started off w/30 minutes at a time... and I made it fun to go in the crate. She has toys in there that are stricly used in the crate, and she has a few puppy bones and stuff to chew on - and now she is pretty eager to enter her crate most of the time. She also sleeps in there at night, and it has become her "safe" place.
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Postby tiva » July 9th, 2010, 8:37 pm

luvmypitbull wrote: 2) Abby has already developed an attitude! If you stop her from playing (time to go in after pottying) she wiggles, growls, barks and snaps at you. I have already started correcting her for this with a tap on the nose or such and saying NO! Am I right or wrong about this? I don't want this to turn into an aggressive type behavior!


It's great that you asked about this. As the others have said, tapping a puppy on the nose for growling or snapping is a really bad idea. Either it will teach her that your hands are hurtful, or else it will teach her to skip the growls and go straight to escalation.

Dr Sophia Yin has a great guide to puppy raising, aimed at her dad's aussie--a pup with an attitude! Her approach isn't at all permissive; instead, you teach the pup to "say please by sitting", similar to NILIF.
Here's the link:
http://askdryin.com/movies/LucyLearns2E ... ncrypt.pdf

It's a great little guide, and all her advice is incredibly helpful. Her website has a bunch of great movies that are also very helpful. She's one of the most respected dog trainers working now.

IT
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Postby tiva » July 9th, 2010, 8:40 pm

In Dunbar has some helpful puppy raising guides. Most of his material is available for free at http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/di ... g-textbook
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Postby luvmypitbull » July 9th, 2010, 9:30 pm

WOW !! :mindblowing: Thanks so much for all of the information...... :o I am so glad I posted these questions. I had no idea what a negative message I was sending by tapping on the nose when I thought I was teaching her that behavior was unacceptable !!!!! :oops: She is such a precious little thing to us already, plus she seems smart - of course, right now I feel she wouldn't have to be too smart to beat me !!! :D I'm still in a quandry as to why she hasn't begun to respond when I call her. As I stated, I use her name constantly, and in a positive way - not negative.

Well, it looks like I have a lot of reading to do and fast or she will be half grown before I can begin to apply it. :lol:

Thanks again for all of your input !!! I can see now I will be needing a lot more help !
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Postby airwalk » July 9th, 2010, 9:37 pm

Coming to you has to be such a wahoo thing that it overrides whatever she is doing or is about to do. Coming to you is always, always, always a wonderful thing (no matter how big a knothead she is before). A long line will help with the come because you can reel her in and you are in control.

Remember, come starts the very second she acknowledges she heard you. An ear lift, a head tilt, a look in your direction...that is where the come begins..so praise, praise, praise.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 10th, 2010, 8:52 am

Start "loading" her name like you would load a clicker before using it - say her name, immediately treat, say her name, immediately treat, over and over. Pretty soon she'll learn that it means something special. :)
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 10th, 2010, 10:38 am

Here's another site I like for clicker raising a puppy...by Melissa Alexander, from Clickersolutions.com and the book Click for Joy

http://www.clickersolutions.com/blog/index.htm
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Postby luvmypitbull » July 10th, 2010, 7:39 pm

Thanks again for the additional input and link.

All of this information brings me to another question. What kind of 'treat' can you give an 8 wk. old pup? Well, actually, she will be 9 wks. Monday, but never the less, my vet said to only give her puppy food and water.

Also, how do you teach her to have a soft mouth? My forearm looks like it has been through a shredder !! She is just playing but those little sharp teeth are tearing me up !!! :cry1:
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Postby furever_pit » July 10th, 2010, 11:36 pm

I keep drag leads on my puppies all the time, it helps to develop control of the puppy and will even get her used to the feeling of the lead and little tugs and jerk as she drags it around. Like others have said, NILIF is awesome.

For the biting, be patient and ask her to comply with a command that she knows. I usually just go to the sit. Praise for compliance. You can also redirect her to acceptable toys and channel that behavior.

You can start crate training by feeding her in the crate with the door closed. Work on extending the time that she is in there and don't let her out for making noise. A towel or blanket to put over the crate to help the puppy realize that it is time to rest is helpful at times.

Have fun with your little girl! :D
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 11th, 2010, 8:41 am

luvmypitbull wrote:Thanks again for the additional input and link.

All of this information brings me to another question. What kind of 'treat' can you give an 8 wk. old pup? Well, actually, she will be 9 wks. Monday, but never the less, my vet said to only give her puppy food and water.

Also, how do you teach her to have a soft mouth? My forearm looks like it has been through a shredder !! She is just playing but those little sharp teeth are tearing me up !!! :cry1:


She can have any kind of treat, as long as it's healthy and not full of chemicals (freeze dried meats, soft training treats, etc). At this stage, you can also start using her food as reinforcers...so instead of putting a bowl of food down, make her earn each kibble (this also helps keep food aggression issues at bay...because your'e the bearer of good foods!). If you don't have time at some point, feed her in treat-dispensing toys, so she has to work for her dinner!

Here are some links to great articles on teaching bite inhibition:

Ian Dunbar on bite inhibition:
http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/te ... inhibition

A bunch of articles on Bite inhibition from lots of great trainers:
http://www.crickethollowfarm.com/biteinhib.htm
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

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Postby Pit♥bull » July 11th, 2010, 11:55 am

Hey Sharon, are you writing all this down? :|
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Postby luvmypitbull » July 11th, 2010, 2:45 pm

by Pit♥Bull » July 11th, 2010, 9:55 am
Hey Sharon, are you writing all this down?


Yes Mr. Mayor, I certainly am and I can tell you now one of us is going to be well trained - I'm just not sure yet if it will be Abby or me !!! :-? :confused: :-? :confused:

by furever_pit » July 10th, 2010, 9:36 pm
I keep drag leads on my puppies all the time, it helps to develop control of the puppy and will even get her used to the feeling of the lead and little tugs and jerk as she drags it around. ......


Someone else also suggested a long line. I presume the drag lead and a long line are the same (or at least serve the same purpose). How long of a line are we talking about? Would her leash work for this?

I have to add that I found a toy this morning that she has not played with. I threw it into the crate and made her leave it in there. It took a few times but she finally got where she would just lay and play with the toy. I didn't try to shut the door this time - I did push it to - of course, she pushed it open with her paw so I just gently closed it a little. I know we are still a long way from where she needs to be, but I was pleased that she responded so well ! :D
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Postby furever_pit » July 11th, 2010, 4:52 pm

luvmypitbull wrote:Someone else also suggested a long line. I presume the drag lead and a long line are the same (or at least serve the same purpose). How long of a line are we talking about? Would her leash work for this?
D


The lead length that I use depends on circumstance and what we are doing. Inside the house I use a 4 or 6 foot lead mostly cause I think anything longer will lead to disaster or at least something being broken. Outside, I start with a 10 to 15 foot lead and work up to leads as long as 50 ft. Remember that you may lose some control as you extend lead length, at least until you get more proficient in handling them.

As for the crate training...may I ask what your puppy does if you do shut her in the crate? I don't personally think that crate training needs to take a hundred steps and I haven't had a problem with any of my dogs.
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Postby luvmypitbull » July 13th, 2010, 10:48 am

by furever_pit » July 11th, 2010, 2:52 pm
The lead length that I use depends on circumstance and what we are doing. Inside the house I use a 4 or 6 foot lead mostly cause I think anything longer will lead to disaster or at least something being broken. Outside, I start with a 10 to 15 foot lead and work up to leads as long as 50 ft.


Silly question but what type lead do you use - as in what type material (rope, etc)?

by furever_pit » July 11th, 2010, 2:52 pm
As for the crate training...may I ask what your puppy does if you do shut her in the crate? I don't personally think that crate training needs to take a hundred steps and I haven't had a problem with any of my dogs.


She whines and cries, etc. However, this is probably my fault. We have spoiled her royally in the two + weeks we have had her! The reason I was taking my time with the crate training is that It was my understanding you wanted this to be a "positive" thing/place for her and not a "negative" one. I did not want to make her where she did not want to even go into the crate. Am I right or wrong on my thinking?

Thanks for your help !!!
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Postby amalie79 » July 13th, 2010, 11:00 am

The reason I was taking my time with the crate training is that It was my understanding you wanted this to be a "positive" thing/place for her and not a "negative" one. I did not want to make her where she did not want to even go into the crate. Am I right or wrong on my thinking?


I took Robin's crate training in baby steps for that reason and because we had the time-- if you're home with her and it's not a necessity to crate her yet, it seems to me like you can take your time. I can only speak to what worked for us, and I can say that I've yet to have to physically put Robin inside her crate, and she rarely whines unless she needs to use the bathroom in the night. We even keep a jar of treats on top of the crate, so she can get one when she goes in and sits down. It's a nice, safe, happy space for her; it's the ONLY place she gets to enjoy her Kongs and she's very well-behaved inside it unless she doesn't have a Kong. Without one, she eats her bedding. But it can literally have only one teaspoon smear of peanut butter and that's enough. At least she's easy to please! :D

At any rate, it seems to me that if you have the luxury of taking your time and making it an extra wonderful experience for her at every step in the process, then why not? :|
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Postby furever_pit » July 13th, 2010, 1:00 pm

luvmypitbull wrote:Silly question but what type lead do you use - as in what type material (rope, etc)?


I have a couple different types of leads. I prefer leather but it doesn't really make sense for long leads. I get my long leads through police and military suppliers and have found them to be really comfortable in my hands. I don't use rope because I don't like rope burn lol. I love biothane leads tho.

luvmypitbull wrote:She whines and cries, etc. However, this is probably my fault. We have spoiled her royally in the two + weeks we have had her! The reason I was taking my time with the crate training is that It was my understanding you wanted this to be a "positive" thing/place for her and not a "negative" one. I did not want to make her where she did not want to even go into the crate. Am I right or wrong on my thinking?

Thanks for your help !!!


All puppies whine and cry in the crate when they are first introduced, I doubt you made her that way. This is what I do with my personal puppies: the only place they eat is in the crate, after exercise they go in the crate, all sleeping is done in the crate, and if they want to go somewhere with me then they have to get in the crate in the car. I also say tough nuggets to my puppies when they throw fits in the crate...you want out you need to be silent first. None of this, IMHO is a "negative" experience. Having said that, all my dogs love their crates and will go into them voluntarily just to chill out.

I just want to be clear...I'm not saying that you shouldn't take your time with the crate training. If it works for you and your pup then by all means go ahead with it. I'm just saying that I don't believe it is necessary for every dog.
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