Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

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Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:12 pm

Hey all! I have a soon 5 month old tibetan spaniel and I'm so lost with training him. He's vivacious, kind but doesn't listen to me that much. He is stubborn. Here's a couple of issues I need help with,

1. If I tell him "no" when he is doing something forbidden like playing with a shoe, I have to say no very many times until he believes me. After that he chooses another forbidden target and believes me after I've said no many times. He has tons of toys to play with and I try to give him one when he's doing this but no..


2. I take him out 3-4 times a day, 1-2 hours each time but he still is afraid to be there. He stops and won't move, he'll stop for 15 minutes unless I carry him. I have to do this like 5 times during each route because he just won't move. He also whines there, I try to give him treats to come but no. I'm calm, I try to be cheerful, I've taken toys with me. I've had him get to know other dogs, lots of people. He won't pee or poo out, he immediately does it inside when we come even if we're there two hours and around 4-5 hours a day is the most I have time to be out with him. So the issues here he won't move outside, he stares at cars and people sometimes barks (not as much anymore, I've somehow learnt to teach him not to), he won't do his needs outside, he whines there and jumps around like crazy.

Can anyone help me?! I'm so frustrated and I can't even train my dog to do the most important things. Funny thing is that he knows "sit", "give paw", "another paw", "lay", "come", "twist" (around an object) and when I put my hand on him he jumps, and his name but not the things he needs to. So he's clearly not stupid, this must be my fault somehow? He trusts me, he always follows me, gets so much attention. Idk what I'm doing wrong but if I don't see some succeed I have to give him away. sad Help anyone? sad
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:30 pm

Hi, just to let you know I'm typing out a reply to your problems! happy It's taking a while, as it's a long reply! tongue
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:32 pm

Thanks Eleanor happy !
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:32 pm

1. If I tell him "no" when he is doing something forbidden like playing with a shoe, I have to say no very many times until he believes me. After that he chooses another forbidden target and believes me after I've said no many times. He has tons of toys to play with and I try to give him one when he's doing this but no..

This is actually quite a common problem with young, stubborn puppies! happy It usually happens because consequences aren't made clear. In this situation, you can say 'no' over and over, but it wouldn't make much of a difference because the puppy knows you're not going to follow it through.

You could try distraction instead. Some dogs respond far better to reward than scolding. For instance, when he starts to play with a shoe and you don't want him to, distract him with a favourite toy - when he switches his attention to the toy and plays with it, give him plenty of praise! happy You said you've tried toy distraction before, but what sort of toys have you tried? If it's a toy that he can easily get all through the day, it won't be enough of a reward for him. However, if it's an exciting toy that he very rarely gets to play with, this will be far more interesting! You could also try treats, although this would need to be balanced out with his meals to avoid weight gain.

Because he seems to have developed indifference when it comes to scolding, you could try training the 'leave it' command instead! happy

2. I take him out 3-4 times a day, 1-2 hours each time but he still is afraid to be there. He stops and won't move, he'll stop for 15 minutes unless I carry him. I have to do this like 5 times during each route because he just won't move. He also whines there, I try to give him treats to come but no. I'm calm, I try to be cheerful, I've taken toys with me. I've had him get to know other dogs, lots of people. He won't pee or poo out, he immediately does it inside when we come even if we're there two hours and around 4-5 hours a day is the most I have time to be out with him. So the issues here he won't move outside, he stares at cars and people sometimes barks (not as much anymore, I've somehow learnt to teach him not to), he won't do his needs outside, he whines there and jumps around like crazy.

With this, it sounds like something may have gone wrong with the initial lead and walk training! happy It happens and can be dealt with! Personally, I think it would help to go back to basics. The following thread should help with lead training:

http://allbreedsdogforum.forumotion.co.uk/t457-collar-and-lead-training-a-puppy

Also, I know it's difficult and frustrating, but try not to pick him up and carry him during walks. Each time you do this, it's reinforcing the idea in his head that, if he stops and refuses to move, he gets carried. When you go back to basics, give him plenty of praise as he walks. If he stops, try turning around sharply and walking in the other direction - this has been known to help sometimes.

As for the refusing to do his business outside, again - back to basics! happy He's young, so behaviours can easily be moulded to your liking. Again, we have a thread for toilet training, if you'd like to take a look: http://allbreedsdogforum.forumotion.co.uk/t664-toilet-training

If that doesn't help, we can discuss further options! happy

Staring at cars is probably due to nervousness. Cars are very strange things for puppies and can be quite alarming! Building a positive association with cars can help - for instance, by giving him praise or treats when he approaches or sniffs a parked car.

I don't think you've done anything wrong per se! happy Puppies can be stubborn and difficult to manage - our own dog was extremely stubborn and had a huge problem with play biting, but we got there in the end!

We have a thread on basic puppy training, which might be helpful: http://allbreedsdogforum.forumotion.co.uk/t530-basic-puppy-training-praise-correction-name-sit-and-chewing
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Caryll on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:43 pm

There isn't much I can add to Eleanor's post.

Please be aware that you're not alone! Puppies (and adult dogs) don't all follow the same growth/training line. Some things are learned quicker than others. Some things that seem to be going nowhere in the training just need to be taken back a step. It's often because the dog hasn't fully understood what you want, and gets confused and as a result, frightened or anxious.

Go back to the beginning. Pretend your pup has only just come to you, and knows absolutely nothing! Start right from the beginning and take it in slow, easy steps.

Find a toy or a particular treat that your pup is very fond of and use that only for training/walking, and no matter how frustrated you feel (quite understandably) don't let your pup feel your frustration.

Is that helpful to you? Is there anything else we can add do you think?

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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:24 pm

Yeah thank you, those were all very helpful. happy I'll try for a while and see how it goes.
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:42 pm

Hope it helps! happy
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Caryll on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:55 pm

Don't forget that no question is silly if you need to know the answer!!

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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:54 pm

Thank you guys happy Do you guys think I should give him less attention for a while so he only gets praising when he does his needs outside? I wonder if that would help
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:55 pm

It has been known to help, but usually with one type of praise! happy For instance, you could reserve verbal, excited praise for when he does his business outside. Or you could reserve treats for when he does it instead. That way, he still gets the attention that he needs, but the reward that's only given when he does his business outside holds more meaning. happy
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Dave on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:41 pm

Have you got a friend with a dog that will walk with you ??
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Caryll on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:57 pm

Dave wrote:Have you got a friend with a dog that will walk with you ??

That's another thing that could work - worth a try!

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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:03 am

Dave: I had my friend's dog all weekend here but it didn't work sad
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Caryll on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:09 am

Hmmmm difficult.

Can you walk us through how you originally started to get him used to his lead & collar, and what you did when he was first able to go out?

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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:23 am

Caryll: I had his collar on him before during and after eating and when we went out, and after that inside around 15 minutes. When we went out we weren't there for too long, we walked a couple of meters and came back in. We did this multiple times a day. Then we gradually walked for a bit longer than our yard etc. Is there something I did wrong or? straight face
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:00 pm

It doesn't sound like you did something wrong, to be honest. Did you combine it with praise and reward though? happy A dog can easily get used to having a collar on, but may not associate it with something positive unless there's reward involved.
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Caryll on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:18 pm

Has he always been this way, or did it suddenly start?

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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:52 pm

Eleanor no I didn't praise him about that or give him a treat straight face I didn't even think about it. Oh man sad And Caryll yes, he's been this way all the time. straight face
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:10 pm

Don't worry! happy It happens - you haven't been neglecting your dog! In these cases, it's often easiest just to go right back to the basics, as if you were teaching your dog to do something for the first time.

Our toilet training thread should help: http://allbreedsdogforum.forumotion.co.uk/t664-toilet-training

The general rule is to ignore when your dog does his business in the house (although you'll still need to clean it up) and give plenty of enthusiastic praise when he does it outside. If this doesn't work, you can try correcting your pup when you catch him about to urinate/defecate indoors - usually a couple of claps to distract him, at which point you can immediately take him out doors and give encouragement when he does it outside. happy
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Dave on Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:36 pm

Good happy sounds like you may have a way forward , and don't forget to take your stupidest silly voice out with you
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by nappukka on Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:36 am

Thank you all soo much! happy I've been seeing a good progression since yesterday. Yesterday morning I took him out to the yard for a minute and went back in because he was whining, I held him in for 2 minutes and we went back out. Then he didn't whine until we had walked around 10 meters so we went back in, we were inside for a couple of minutes, went back out.. You get the hint, we were outside longer each time. He snuffled around, and was able to ignore the environment (it was early morning so there weren't a lot of people but still!). I kept taking him out every 1-2 hours, maybe it's too often but I felt the need to so he won't stop getting used to it or something. He looked at other dogs cautious during the day and only barked to this one dog in the morning (I would have distracted him but I didn't have treats with me sad ). In the evening I took a toy with me because he's more cautious when it's dark and it worked. He kept moving and didn't whine and I tried to be very cheerful and threw the toy and he always went to it. I've let him be in my balcony a lot (with me out there with him or the door slightly closed so he can come in) and he did his needs there once yesterday. I praised him and gave him a treat immediately and I think that's good because he did his needs there even though there was a lot of noise outside and it was a bit cold too. Just wanted to give a small update. I'm going to be taking puppy classes with him too. Thank you so much to all the answerers, they've been very helpful. Greetings to all of your dogs happy
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Dave on Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:43 am

Definitely sounds like progress , I know it can be stressful at times but when you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel it is so rewarding happy
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Caryll on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:11 am

Ah, sounds promising! Keep at it & I'm sure you'll see real progress.

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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:42 pm

That's great! happy Sounds like you've made some really good progress! Keep up the good work!
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Re: Help with my puppy, lots of issues?

Post by Eleanor on Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:34 pm

How's everything going? happy Love your profile pic by the way!
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