Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My puppy is only 17 weeks old, so obviously we are still in the training stage. But in her first few weeks with us, she was listening really well and I thought was starting to learn come, sit, etc. now, however, I think we have taken advantage of the fact she is so small of just scooping her up if she won’t come, intercepting her trying to run away and grabbing her, using her leash and harness to pull her around, grabbing things away from her she’s not supposed to have. I kind of feel like she doesn’t trust us anymore - she always thinks we’re going to take something away or scoop her up. What are tips for breaking this habit in us and her? Or am I just over reacting and this is normal for her age, and we just have to keep working on it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
You're not teaching her what to do and helping her figure it out........think of a parent who tells their kid to do something and then gets impatient and just does it themselves or stands over the kid giving orders without letting that kid learn how to do for themselves. Your post sounds like that. Be patient teaching the dog what you want and give her the opportunity to do for herself- think of it as giving the dog chances to do good- and then reward her like heck. Succeeding at things, even little things, is how your dog will grow and gain confidence in herself, hopefully grow into a well rounded balanced dog. You dont want to take those opportunities away from her if possible......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
And yeah, always taking things from her and scooping her up and such can definately cause trust issues in a dog. Who wants to have to worry about someone always walking up to them and just taking their stuff or swooping down and scooping them up like hawk lol?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,379 Posts
You have taught your puppy nothing except to avoid you. She was dependent on you at 8 weeks. At 17 weeks she is no longer dependent and you have given her no reason to want to do anything. You HAVE taken things away from her and you HAVE scooped her up so she knows that those things cannot happen if she stays away from you.

So, now you need to build the relationship that you have damaged.

First, do you have a crate? If not, get one. When you cannot watch her, crate her.

When she is out ALWAYS have food on you (and I mean really good food.. such as small bits of cheese or hotdog). Leave a leash and collar on her and let her drag that around. Get her in front of you. Say the word Yes! (enthusiastically) and feed her a bit of food. Do this over and over about 20 times. This teaches her that YES is followed by GOOD food.

Now, sit on the floor or in a chair and say her name. The INSTANT she turns to look at you, say, "YES!" enthusiastically. You have just marked a behavior you want.. and offer her that good food AT YOU. This teaches her her name AND that you will deliver good things. Rinse and repeat about 5 times. Then PLAY with her with a toy for about 5 minutes.

Now do the same thing as above. When she starts to quickly come to you when you say her name, congratulate yourself. You ahve taught your dog her name and that when it is said, she needs to look to you.

The point of this is that YES marks the right thing and that YES is ALWAYS followed by the reward. You can use this same system to teach many things, including coming to the cue word Here or Come.

ALWAYS carry good food on you. If she has something she should not have she is dragging a leash. Step on the leash (and don't say anything) and bring her to you and then TRADE for the thing she has stolen for the GREAT FOOD you have on you at all times. You trade for the thing she has with something better. You can also practice this with her toys. Eventually add a command cue and remember to always have food so you can trade up with something more valuable than the thing she has.

All these things will help you rebuild the relationship with the dog. You become the positive thing that has good stuff and is fun instead of the negative thing who takes and drags and scolds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
She does know her name, and always looks at us when we say it. The problem is she doesn’t always come to us. Which I understand, that is the part of the relationship we have damaged. And yes, we have a crate and she has been crate trained. She was very good with her go in her crate command, until recently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,836 Posts
Yes, that can teach the dog that humans take away the good things...not give good things. If you're not careful, it can develop into resource guarding.

One thing that you should immediately do is pick up your home and make sure anything you don't want puppy to chew on is out of reach. Then, make sure there are plenty of appropriate toys for the pup to play with. When you see the pup with something inappropriate, redirect to an appropriate toy and praise for using it. You can also use ex-pens and baby gates to keep the puppy from getting into areas where there is probably always going to be something they can get into and you can't really pick it up. You should also crate the puppy when you cannot 100% supervise.

Instead of scooping her up to make her go where you want her, lure her with treats. This teaches the pup that going where you want is always rewarding. You should start teaching her "come", "off" and other words that help you get her where she needs to go. And you can have her wear a leash all the time and use that as a gentle guide, but I like to use it just to keep them from getting farther away rather than actually pulling them where I need them to go. Just step on it and lure with the treats to where you need her to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,745 Posts
You've gotten some good advice so far! One thing to keep in mind is to treat her as if she's a big dog, even if she'll never grow into one (unless, of course, it's an emergency situation). Call her over to you and redirect with treats, toys, or a chew when she's getting into something she shouldn't. Work on training cues like "go to bed", "crate", or "touch" (a nose target where the dog touches your finger or fist with their nose). These will give you lots of tools to direct her and move her without physically lifting her. Have her drag a house line on a harness in case she needs a little more encouragement away from an interesting thing, and a dog-safe space (crate, pen, puppy-proofed room, etc) where you can leave her if you can't supervise. Crates are easiest from a potty training perspective, for sure.

But to start, I'd just work on some low-pressure training, like calling her name and tossing over a treat, touching her gently and then giving a treat, etc. Look up some fun training games. Give her some time and space to figure out you're not going to manhandle her anymore, and she'll probably come around fast! Eventually, you can even train her to come over and be picked up by you (if you want to), but that should be done gradually and with lots of positive associations. In the mean time, treat her like she's 80 lbs even if she's only 8.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I understand that sometimes you need to take things from her but, when you do, trade it for something she can have that's better. Trade the shoe she can't have for a tasty chew like a bully stick or Dream Bone. You need to teach her that when you take something, it's only because you are giving her something better. Show her you know best and, teach her what she can chew on in the process. Don't scoop her up, call her over and, when that fails, distract her with a treat that's better than whatever she needs to leave alone or, with a little play time with you.

You are supposed to be fun, provide all of the tasty stuff and, show her what's right when she is wrong. You aren't supposed to be the big meanie that just takes things away, including the dog herself.

How would you feel id I came in and told you "Don't wash the dishes!" but didn't give you an alternative means to have clean dishes? "What in the heck? How is that supposed to help me?" right? But if I told you not to wash dishes, then gave you a state of the art dishwasher to put them in instead. "Oh, I get it, this is better." and, you're happy. The dog works the same way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Something that hasnt been mentioned- tethering your pup to you for periods of time when you're around each other. Good stuff. It can be a pain in the butt at times but it pays off. I think the fancy term is "umbilical tethering" if you care to google search it. Just another option for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,379 Posts
She does know her name, and always looks at us when we say it. The problem is she doesn’t always come to us. Which I understand, that is the part of the relationship we have damaged. And yes, we have a crate and she has been crate trained. She was very good with her go in her crate command, until recently.
When she does not come when you say her name, turn and run away from her. Feed her when she catches up to you. Make it a happy big deal.

I bet when you put her in the crate she knows the fun is over. Take a look at the video "Crate Games" and do some of that. One of the games I like is leaving the crate door open and tossing kibble in one piece at a time. You can do this with a meal. Toss a piece of kibble in. Let her go in and get it and come out. Rinse and repeat for her entire meal.

Always reward with food at the location you want her to be. So for recall you want her in front of you. Reward there and not "over yonder.."

Make being next to yu the best place she can be.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top