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I just got a puppy who is about 9 weeks old now and am trying to train her. I have 3 different books and am working on several different things but I am in need of some advice on the following:
1.) She runs into the neighbors' yard- I'm leash-training her right now so she is not always on a leash when she goes outside to go to the bathroom. I am afraid to keep her on a leash and yank back because I don't want her to resent the leash and not want to use it.
2.) When she runs into the neighbors' yard, she eats their dog's poop (but doesn't eat her own). I know the obvious answer is stop her from going in their yard but I already wrote about my problem with that, plus this would happen in, say, a dog park otherwise. I have put Tabasco on it, which works, but I can't really carry one with me everywhere. I know it could be a vitamin deficiency since she's still so young, but I really would like her not to do it.
3.) Biting- I know it's a normal puppy thing so I don't expect it to stop. However, I have one person telling me to say "Ep!" (or some noise) and gently tap her on the nose and a book saying to say "ouch!" but not touching her. Which one do you recommend?
4.) Crate-training- I'm starting tomorrow with the basic, gradual phases to work up to 30 minutes. I'm home right now because I just graduated college but when I start working full-time, I will need her to be used to me being gone. I bought her a dog playpen for when that time comes so she won't come to hate her crate. But for now, what do you all recommend I do for when I am gone for a couple hours rather than all day (crate versus playpen)? (After crate training, I mean)
5.) And, finally, she doesn't really listen to me when she's outside and running into other yards- any advice on how to get her to and should I "punish" her for running away or will she even get it?
I know she is a smart puppy so I'm sure once she gets older and I get more assertive, it will be easier but I'm really stressed out right now so any advice is appreciated. Thank you so much!
Don't let her in your neighbor's yard...really. She can't eat the poop if she isn't near it. It is most likely a bad habit that she will forget about altogether in a few weeks. She really shouldn't be going to dog parks yet anyway. Not until she has had ALL vaccinations.
She should always be leashed unless she is in a confined area. You need to teach her recall. Get a VERY long lead...like a clothesline...at least 20 ft. Let her get to the end of it. When you want her to come back, use the 'COME' command and slowly pull (not yank) her towards you. When she gets to you, 'GOOD COME!' and fuss over her like crazy. Do this a few times a day. She will get it faster than you think.
Crate training is easy, but you must be persistent and stronger-willed than your dog! Make the crate the most fun and comfy place in the entire world. The BEST toys are in there, she gets her BEST treats in there, nice soft blanket, even FEED her in there for a while. Leave the crate open...lure her in there with the above said things. Don't close the crate at first. After she seems to be going in there at will, start by crating her for 5 (yes just FIVE) minutes as you go out the door. Remember not to make a production out of leaving or coming back. Only give pets and hugs after she has calmed down (if she has been whining). After she can do 5 minutes, go to 15. Then 30. An hour. 2 hours. Etc, until she is ok for the entire day. I would start this ASAP. DO NOT GIVE IN TO PUPPY CRIES!
If puppy bites on you, use a high-pitched 'OW!' or whatever, and immediately give her an appropriate toy. When she plays with that, PRAISE like crazy.
As for your last problem, she should always be leashed. You cannot punish a dog once they've come back because then they will think they are being punished for just that - coming back!
I know it's hard, but get assertive NOW. If not, that cute little puppy may turn into one pain in the butt 6 month old dog that doesn't give a hoot what you say.
Thank you so much for the detailed reply and advice. She is a puggle (and before anyone gets on my case about it- I've wanted one before they got so popular and I got it from a reputable breeder after doing months of research, which showed it was an appropriate apartment dog!) and I've heard they catch on pretty fast, which she has to the things I've taught her so far. Again, thank you- I'm actually about to go get a leash with a longer lead right now.
Puppies are natural followers so while you still have the opportunity, its a good idea to encourage her to follow you and to chase after you....clap your hands, run in the opposite direction, call her name, make a game of it. Avoid getting in the habit of chasing her...she will think this is great fun too and will quickly learn that running away from you is very rewarding.
For crating, I would use the crate for short-term confinement and the play pen for long-term confinement.
I searched the forums for this question but didn't find anything so I'll just throw in this question with my original topic: What time does everyone recommend to take away water from the puppy? My training books have said 7:30 but since I'm a night owl, I think it's a little early and I don't want to dehydrate her. I also don't want to get up every hour in the night but that is better than her being thirsty all night.
I just read and printed out that article from another thread you posted in- thanks so much! I've been playing the chasing game outside with her and have avoided chasing her because I didn't want to scare her, so now I'm especially glad I have let her chase me.