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Doggie Dilema

 
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Doggie Dilema Reply with quote

Don't know how much of this I've shared or if I've shared any at all but I need help pretty fast and I thought I'd see what you guys think.

I am NOT a dog person. But one day my daughter got us to go to a puppy adoption event and we came home with a little puppy who seems to be part yellow lab and part terrier. Sorta the generic of "dog".

She's very sweet but it was the WRONG time to get a puppy with two kinds of construction going on (at the time we weren't planning the second one) and, if that wasn't enough, within a week she started having health issues and spent the next 10 days living at the vet's at death's door. (My 2 grand "free" puppy! We should have called her Too Grand.)

So, all things told, house breaking hasn't gone well. We keep thinking we're turning a corner but she'll stand right next to us, not give an indication and then poop on something — after she's been outside, thoroughly walked and done some business. And we've moved backward on many other commands like "stay". She's 4 or 5 months old now and I'm thinking that we may have lost our window of opportunity. And I know (as much as I may hate it) that we're still at least a month away from my being able to make her #1 priority — at least in the sense of giving her that kind of diligent and constant attention this would seem to warrant.

What say you, wise folk of the canine persuasion? Then tips for making her stop bedeviling our older dog and the cats would also be helpful.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, I've described our pooch as The World's Most Expensive Free Dog. She has a regular berth at our wonderful vet's place.

I'm far from a housebreaking expert - but here is what worked for us...

First we installed a doggie door that would give her access to the backyard. She quickly learned how to use the door when we made a game out of it -we each stood on opposite sides of the door and called her name until she came through (and was met with hugs and kisses until the other person called her back again. She loved it.

Then we watched her like a hawk - any hint of bathroom behaviors (sniffing around for a 'spot', turning a little circle so that she hovered in just the right location, etc.) and we'd shout, "Outside! Outside!", and storm toward the door, making her go through the doggie door. And when she did her business, we'd praise her like she just gave us a gold brick.

When we left the house, she went into her crate. Dogs reportedly do not like to soil their 'house', which in her mind was that cozy crate. And when we returned, we immediately took her outside where she was praised again.

She's a great dog that we got through the local SPCA. It didn't take her very long to learn what we expected. The main thing was to be CONSISTENT.

I'm not sure if these ideas would be sanctioned by a true dog expert, but our slapdash methods worked beautifully, partly because we were consistent, but more probably because she is smarter than the two of us put together.

Good luck!. I hope you fall in love with your doggie as much as we did with ours.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, I hear you and sympathise.....

Our adopted kitty has spent a huge amount of time at the vets with a gastro problem. I have cleaned up more cat diarrhoea in the past month than I think is possible for one cat to produce!!

Basically, the vet told us that until he was totally well and totally adapted we should not push the issue.

Now he seems to be fine and is using his litter tray and is no problem.

Have you tried not giving any attention or making any comment at all when she goes in the wrong spot/time, but lavishing her with praise when she goes in the garden (or wherever her "spot" is)?

Another option is to confine them to a smaller area for a time and put down puppy pads. We used to do this with our work dogs when weaning them and getting them used to being on their own.

As for the annoying of the other animals..... unfortunately it is just normal puppy behaviour - sorry..

Hope all goes back to a calm state soon.

Just realised that msue and I posted at the same moment.... but she is right, the small area is a brilliant technique!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys. We're already crate training her and she will pretty much go to a spot outdoors to pee and poop in the morning and at night when we take her out and keep her within sight. But she always seems to save a bit for indoors too. And then gives no indication before she does it.

She also seems to get on well with Odie, our 11 yo lab, outside but inside she bedevils him to pieces until Odie draws blood — which he feels badly about and is reluctant to do. Meanwhile, we worry that the time he has left with the energy to defend against her high energy level (a matter of both age and terrier temperment, we're guessing) will dissipate quickly so we are concerned about what we have potentially made of his declining years. Shocked

I think we have the "normal" housebreaking repertoire sorta down but we have moved into problem behaviors that we can't eradicate.
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogs are so much harder than they look from the outside! We had problems with Sofia for a solid year, but she's finally on it. We did the crate training religiously, and used a special word for when we take her out (ours is "potty"). I think it's also important to praise her when she does the act outside, so it's once at the door, "let's go potty" and once after each pee/poop "good potty". I don't know if it helped at all, but whenever she had an accident inside, I would tell her firmly, "no potty", without making a big deal of it though. Simply because she knows well the difference between "good" and "no".

Some schools don't like using the word "no" at all, but I think it's helpful. I'm also that cooky woman sounding all enthusiastic and happy when I say nice things like "yeah, good potty!", which I think reinforces the behavior positively.

Also, it might be a good idea to take the tike out more often than necessary, just to get the idea through her head, and always take her to the same spot.

As for the older dog and cats, I'm in the exact same situation, and I'm sure there's no hope! We've had to keep the two dogs separated and just let the cats fend for themselves.

Good luck Rainey, it's a challenge!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the encouragement, sbj. It's good to hear that we may be in a reasonable time frame.

Of course we do take her out, minimally, about every 2 hours. And we have all become accustomed to walking around with tiny treats in the pockets of our jeans and our robes and sounding like simple but enthusiastic idiots.

She just refuses to do it all until she gets to slink away (or not even away but, this AM, at our very feet) for an opportunity inside. We're feeling, because of the change in the nature of her behavior to territorial once inside that this is a deliberate thing meant for the cats and our older dog and that we're in a battle of wills we may not be well-armed for.

I suppose I should be grateful that she's becoming more blatant so that we are able to react in the moment to identify what isn't good. And I suppose I should resign myself to the fact that having weathered the adolescence of 3 teens doesn't exempt me nor make me any more prepared for the same behavior in a puppy.

She's cute though. ::sigh::

Thanks again to everyone and I will remain open to suggestions.
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
simple but enthusiastic idiots.


Yes! Now you're thinking like a dog!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, I'm not a 'dog person' either, have only had one dog in my life, a beloved Staffie Bull Terrier, and have no intention of getting another one. So all I can do is sympathise.

But my family had a lab/retriever when I was growing up, and when we got her as a puppy, people warned us that she would be a nightmare until she turned 2. And they were right. I think it's something genetic about these dogs. So you have another adolescent on your hands for a year and a bit. Almost the day Tara turned 2 she magically turned into the loveliest family dog ever. And 25 years after her death, my parents still have her second prize ribbon for 'Dog with the Waggiest Tail' that she won at a school pet show.
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judy wrote:
But my family had a lab/retriever when I was growing up, and when we got her as a puppy, people warned us that she would be a nightmare until she turned 2.


Yes, people do seem to say that about labradors but I think that they have a naughty streak for longer than that. I love my labrador, she has a beautiful personality and is certainly eager-to-please but I think the only reason she doesn't still get up to mischief is because she has arthritis. She was a puppy until she became an 'old dog'- she didn't seem to have a middle age.

Food treats seem to work especially well with training labradors- they are so food- oriented (maybe that is why my dog and I get along so well Smile )
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climbeyalex



Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, just let me say how I completely sympathise with you. I had a puppy years go for six months. The entire six months, she was the hyper puppy from hell. All attempts at housebreaking and any sort of training at all went completely down the toilet and I think I still have marks from where her nails scratched me when she jumped on me in greeting. Oh my god. My parents finally gave her away to a family that lost their beloved dog and they hired a professional to train her and suddenly, she was the best watchdog and pet in their neighborhood. I guess some dogs just need a professional eventually. A couple o years ago, we got two cats and I think cats are much easier to deal with, although one cat has now decided he wants to crap on the floor NEXT TO his litter box. He will pee in the litter box, scratch in it and all that but he acts like he will burst into flames should he decide to use the box for crapping in. Rolling Eyes Good luck with the dog, they take ages to train so just keep telling yourself she will get it, eventually.
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Last edited by climbeyalex on Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

climbyalex, yes, I am also a cat person. I think it may be hardwired into us which modality we respond to. I like to think cats are like 10 yos you can hold a conversation with and then let be independent while dogs are like 2 yos who need to know that you are constantly available to love or be loved by. ...and JD (I'm thinking of changing that to ADD) seems to punctuate this by leaving a reminder that I let my adoration duties lapse. Shocked

Meanwhile, we once had a cat who refused to use the litterbox for her non-liquid deposits. She did them in the bathtub. NOT what you want to deal with when a relaxing hot bath was what you had in mind, but not the worst of all places outside the box either once we got reconciled to it. At least we could follow the gather and dump with a hot rinse.

She was, otherwise, a very lovely and affectionate cat (liked to hang around my neck after I dried off from a bath. If I had known about the concept of potty training cats at the time, she might have been a very good candidate being so adverse to the litter.
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climbeyalex



Joined: 22 Nov 2005
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, that analogy of cats being 10 year olds and dogs being 2 years olds is spot on. I've never had much luck or patience with tiny kids soI think I can finally explain why I felt a little sick when my husband said he wants a dog when we move to Canada. Perhaps you should change the puppy's name to ADD. It's be funny at the very least. Good luck and stay strong in the face of canine antics. Very Happy
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