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Discussion Starter #1
Lucy (11-week old Doxle) has rebounded nicely from her malnourished state when she was dumped at our campsite on the Fourth of July. She's got good energy levels and like all pups has her good days and bad days behavior-wise. After a week with Lucy, I'm starting to see the things behaviors I don't like that will become problematic when she becomes bigger.

This is a list of the top 10 bad things she does on a consitant basis. There are many more, but these are the first few things I would like to begin correcting.

1) Jumping up onto the couch
2) Hiding under the couch and chewing out the foam, chewing on the carpet
3) Biting
4) Pandering for attention while I eat by jumping on my leg, barking, trying to get at the food
5) Attacking pants when I try to get them on
6) Using clothes/shoes as play toys - drags them around
7) Pulling things off the coffee table (magazines, newspaper, etc.)
8) Dislike of the outdoors
9) Refusal to go/down stairs
10) Scarring the cat

I guess part of this questions is regarding what of these are actual bad habits and what are just Lucy being a puppy. We take her on walks and get her lots of exercise because without it she jumps off the walls and whines all night.

I've tried the positive reinforcement approach, but to be honest, there's not a whole lot of positive she does. I do the Cesar Milan negative correction where I get her on the ground when she does wrong, but I get the feeling somedays I do that too often.

Any help on any of the 10 things above would be helpful. On the whole, she's a great pup, just need to get her comfortable being a little better about some things.
 

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I can offer a little advise, however just keep in mind every dog and situtation is going to be a little different. Don't give up hope with some work and consitancy these behaviors can change.
1) Jumping on the couch: If she does this while you are on the couch, instantly push her off and say "OFF". The key is to be completly consitant with what you do and how you do it- everyone in the house should also participate (including guests if possible). Never give her any kind of attention when she does this (especialy positive). She will eventually get the picture. Also any time she comes and sits at your feet by the couch be sure to pet and praise her.
4) If you have tried pushing her off and telling her no when she beggs in this way try completly ignoring her... No touching, No talking, No eye contact... act as is she does not exsist when she is doing this behavior. Again consistancy is the key.
5) She is not too young for a little training and this is a great time to do it. Teach her to sit. When you grab your pants, ask her to sit and treat her. As you put on your pants ask her to sit again and treat her again. If she attacks your pants say "NO" then again ask her to sit and treat her. She will eventually relate you putting on your pants to sitting.
9) the stair thing could just very well be a puppy thing, stairs can be intimadating.

I hope some of this might help you, the key really is to be consitant about everything so she knows the rules and boundaries. If they keep changing (even just a little) it is very confusing to any dog, but espescaily a young one. The phrase "OK but just this once" is one that gets alot of us into trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input. I'm going to start trying the positive reinforcement thing. But we'll see.
 

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I do the Cesar Milan negative correction where I get her on the ground when she does wrong, but I get the feeling somedays I do that too often.
If you've done that more than twice or three times, it's not working. I wouldn't do it any more. It's not supposed to be something you do every day.

An 11 week old puppy need to be somewhat confined. I can't imagine a puppy running all over the house. Do you have a crate? Is she potty trained? I would restrict her access so that she can only go places with your strict supervision. That would take care of most of your problems.

Biting - Read "the bite stops here". You can google it because the page isn't coming up for me right now.

When you say she "dislikes the outdoors" what do you mean? How does she act?

And what is happening around the refusal to go downstairs? What's downstairs and how does she act?

Can you put her on a leash?
 

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If you've done that more than twice or three times, it's not working. I wouldn't do it any more. It's not supposed to be something you do every day.
Yeah, I've stopped constantly doing that. I think she got the jist but it didn't seem to be getting me where I wanted to be. Ignoring negative and giving positive reinforcement over the past couple of days has done better.

An 11 week old puppy need to be somewhat confined. I can't imagine a puppy running all over the house. Do you have a crate? Is she potty trained? I would restrict her access so that she can only go places with your strict supervision. That would take care of most of your problems.
We have a crate and she, for the most part, does well. Potty traing shouldn't be classified as a battle, as in the first two weeks we've had two serious accidents and a couple of trickle (and those were our fault). We keep her crated when we're sleeping or not there, but when we're home we try and keep her out so she can play. If she begins to wander we leash her to the coffee table. Sort of a timeout. She's doing good. I know she knows where she's not supposed to go, but she is still a puppy.


When you say she "dislikes the outdoors" what do you mean? How does she act? And what is happening around the refusal to go downstairs? What's downstairs and how does she act?

Can you put her on a leash?
Say we've just got home and Lucy is in her crate. We get her out and leash her. If its feeding time we take her to food and h2o, grub down, and head out. Getting out the door isn't so bad, but as we approach the stairs (we live in a 3rd floor apt.), I basically have to drag her the last 3 feet to the top of the stairs. She's young and has the long dachshund body so I'm not comfortable letting her do the stairs yet, so I get her to sit pick her up and carry her down. The first thing she does when we get her outside, is sit and try and go back to the stairs. I start walking and she follows, gets ahead, I correct, and then follows and then gets ahead and eventually just stops and resists. She does well about restroom stuff, but still not great on the leash. Eventually she warms up to the outdoors and seems to enjoy playing but always is ready to go home and get in the A/C. I can't blame her, its about 4,000 degrees outside in Houston and humid as a shower.



Like I said, she's pretty good, but there are just a few problems I'm seeing crop up that will be serious when she's about 30 lbs of pure energy.
 

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11 weeks old also isn't too young to start teaching "leave it". This is how I get Trent to stop attacking my clothes, grabbing things off the coffee table, and chewing up the furniture. I also use "leave it" with the cat and turtles. If the cat is running down the hall and Trent stares at her, I tell him "leave it" and he relaxes and just sits there watching her.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How did that work though? My pup will just continue going beserk if I tell her to just leave it. How did you actually get Trent trained up to actually sit/stay/relax once the words were said?
 

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Well, in that case I might have just gotten lucky!

With Trent, when I say "leave it" he either
1) Goes into a "down stay" and eyeballs whatever he was ordered to leave, but won't touch it
or
2) Leaves the object, and comes to me

With the cat, at first I would be next to him and hold onto his collar. When the cat came in, I would say "Trent, leave it", and scratch him around the neck and ears and side and praise him to get him to relax. His "leave it" is reasonably solid, as we started when he was 2 months and he's now 5 months old, so that helped. Now, even if he's across the room and the cat's just run off somewhere, he will obey a "leave it" or even automatically leave her alone.
 

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Lol, wow. I don't know how to help with all of them, but some I do.

1) Push her off and say "Off" or "no". I did this with my first dog, but now I regret it...now both are allowed up whenever they want.

2) Drag her out and say "no!" very sternly.

3) This is something I take very seriously, I grabbed my dogs muzzle and held it shut and said "no! no biting!" and held on until I thought they got the idea.

4) Crate.

5) Lol, my pup does this...so no help there. It will probably stop as she gets older, my older one doesn't do this.

6) Hehe, my pup does this as well, my older one doesn't. Just take it away and say something like "no! not yours!" and give her a toy she can play with

7) Same as 6

8) A dog who doesn't like going outside :( that's sad, no idea how to help you there

9) My puppy doesn't go down stairs if it's more than like 3 steps...not sure why.

10) I don't own cats, just two dogs :)

Most of these things just sound like she's being a puppy. Let her live a little..she's only a puppy once.
 

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Most of these things just sound like she's being a puppy. Let her live a little..she's only a puppy once.
I have to disagree with this... sorry. A jumper now is a jumper later, and so on.

1) Jumping up onto the couch
Supervise, supervise, supervise. She should not be left in the room with the couch without someone keeping an eye on her. In other words, never, ever let her jump up on to the couch. When she's near the couch, you should be in the same room and watching her... as she begins to jump up (that means before her paws even touch the couch), issue an "Ah-ah" and redirect. You need not shout, grab her or hit her... just redirect her attention, possibly with a clap of your hands.

2) Hiding under the couch and chewing out the foam, chewing on the carpet
Same recipe as above... supervise, supervise, supervise. She shouldn't be allowed to get under the couch without you watching her at all.

3) Biting
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_BiteInhibition.php

4) Pandering for attention while I eat by jumping on my leg, barking, trying to get at the food
Crate her while you are eating. Eventually, as her obedience training progresses, you will be able to train good manners while eating - perhaps a down-stay at the other end of the room for the entirety of your - but she's not at an age where she can focus well enough for that. In the meantime, prevent this behavior from being rehearsed by containing her while you are eating.

5) Attacking pants when I try to get them on
I would use the same method detailed in the bite-inhibition link.

6) Using clothes/shoes as play toys - drags them around
You need to make sure that you don't leave clothes, shoes, belongings lying around where she can get them. A huge part of puppy training is making sure she doesn't even have the chance to start these bad habits. That means keeping things picked up, on shelves, in boxes, and so on. Anything left lying on the floor is fair game. You can't expect her to differentiate between a Nylabone and a remote control.

7) Pulling things off the coffee table (magazines, newspaper, etc.)
"Leave it" will take care of this. Keep working on the "leave it" cue - remember, start small and work upwards. In the meantime, until her "leave it" is solid, she shouldn't be allowed around the coffee table unsupervised.

8) Dislike of the outdoors
This is a confidence issue and will most likely disappear as she gets older. Keep up the socialization -- that is what will help build confidence the most. Take her to the pet store, to puppy class, to play with your friends' dogs, to the park, to your friends' houses, etc and make these visits positive experiences. Don't force her to go beyond what she can take by dragging her or picking her up and carrying her on if she's obviously scared. Bring treats on walks and stay within the area that she's comfortable, reinforcing periodically with praise and goodies.

9) Refusal to go/down stairs
I don't know how much truth there is to this, but I've read that doxie puppies should be picked up and carried up/down long flights of stairs because it's not good for their spines. Hopefully someone who is well-versed in doxie-dom will shed some light on this.

10) Scarring the cat
I can't help you with this; cats are my breed's worst enemy. There is a very good post made by Elana55 floating around that details how to introduce cats to dogs. I'll try to find it.

Edit: I couldn't find the exact post I was looking for, but here are a couple of similar ones also made by Elana about introducing cats.
http://www.dogforums.com/posts/19-f...4-introducing-puppy-2-adult/213212-post3.html
http://www.dogforums.com/posts/19-first-time-dog-owner/46733-introducing-dog-cats/489034-post2.html

I've tried the positive reinforcement approach, but to be honest, there's not a whole lot of positive she does. I do the Cesar Milan negative correction where I get her on the ground when she does wrong, but I get the feeling somedays I do that too often.
I would not recommend the alpha roll. Its efficacy is disputable enough with adult dogs that have serious behavioral issues... but no trainer would recommend it for a puppy.

As you can probably see, a lot about puppy training is managing your environment and preventing bad habits from even starting to begin with. For example, you crate during dinner time to prevent her from begging... you keep things picked up so she doesn't chew them... and so on. I'm aware it sounds like I'm telling you to skim over problems instead of actually addressing them at their root by actually training her not to do these things. In reality, she WILL eventually learn to do these things, but they are too much to ask of a puppy right now.

Puppies are naturally curious, mischievous and playful. Teaching a puppy to ignore a T-shirt that has been left on the floor is ten times harder than teaching an adult dog to do it -- not necessarily because the adult dog has been trained for a longer time, but just because the adult dog has a longer attention span, and more experience that T-shirts are really no big deal, by virtue of his age.

You need to start small with cues like "stay" and "leave it", and I mean really small. Eventually, as you work upwards in training and she gets older, you will be able to say "leave it" and have her ignore everything on the coffee table. But for starters, you need to work on "leave it" with, say, one shoe on the ground...something low-distraction, something she can handle. In the meantime, keep things picked up.

Hope I made at least some sense.
 

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Thanks for both responses. Definitely helpful.

Lucy's humans are working on being a little more responsible about the picking up aspect of pup ownership and that's proving to be more difficult than the actual training. I'm going to more than likely stop the whole alpha roll (i like that terminology). The newest dilemma I was thinking about this morning was: How do I walk the line between obedience and letting her be the curious sniffing doxie she needs to be?

I want her to sniff and track and get into things, but I also need her to obey my commands. I love seeing her play and track something, but she's so stubborn sometimes.

This morning on our walk, Lucy was basically dragging me and was consistantly tracking. When she goes into tracking mode, I try and let her take the lead on the walk because I want to let her do what she does. When we're just walking, I'm the man. I want her to explore but don't want her to think she's running the show.

We worked on the 'leave it' command this morning, without much success. We'll keep at it, eventually its got to click. She's pretty smart (almost too smart). She's such a hand full.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for all the advice. It's greatly appreciated.
 

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I have to disagree with this... sorry. A jumper now is a jumper later, and so on.
I feel like I was super strict with Belle, and I regret that. Now she's all grown up and has emotional problems. So I am doing it differently with Penny, and I have to say...I am enjoying her puppihood a lot more than I did Belle's, because I didn't allow myself to and I defintily regret that.
 

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If you're working on "leave it" and not having any success, you need to "lower the difficulty setting". Give her something REALLY easy that she CAN achieve, so that she figures out what she's actually expected to do. How are you training it now? Lower the value of whatever it is you're trying to get her to leave.

As for how to draw the line between letting her do what she likes and obedience... dogs are perfectly able to track on a loose leash. When I feel like letting my beagles do their sniffing thing, I give them a cue and they are allowed to sniff whatever they like. I will follow them but they must move at a pace where I can keep the leash loose. Eventually this is attainable but so as not to confuse her, I would insist on loose leash everywhere, anywhere right now. When she becomes an expert at loose leash walking you can introduce cues to let her go sniff. For now, use her motivation as a reward - eg she can go sniff that tree IF she walks nicely towards it.
 

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If you're working on "leave it" and not having any success, you need to "lower the difficulty setting". Give her something REALLY easy that she CAN achieve, so that she figures out what she's actually expected to do. How are you training it now? Lower the value of whatever it is you're trying to get her to leave.
I apologize for any uneasiness this causes, but her favorite thing to get into is our laundry. Socks, shorts, shirts, are big. The thing Lucy enjoys running around with most are these frilly panties my gf wears. I put those in front of Lucy about 2 feet and start the Leave It exercise. I slip my finger underneath her collar to restrain her from actually getting the things. When she lunges I say 'Leave' and grab her body above her hind legs (this makes her lay down). As long as she stays, I continue to pet her and treat her. When she loses interest, I treat. Then follow up with a sock or something and repeat with different stuff. Its only been a couple of days. So far...no joy.
 

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1) Jumping up onto the couch
4) Pandering for attention while I eat by jumping on my leg, barking, trying to get at the food
6) Using clothes/shoes as play toys - drags them around
7) Pulling things off the coffee table (magazines, newspaper, etc.)
9) Refusal to go/down stairs
Just addressing the ones I've experienced similar situations with Wally:

1) I put the action on a cue, and only allowed him to come up/stay up if he waited for the cue.

4) If ignoring doesn't work, give her a direct cue like lie down (redirection) and then reward her for doing it. Keep it up and you won't even need to give the cue - you sitting down at the table will be the cue for her to lie down somewhere and wait and hope for food.

6 and 7) I did "leave it" training and rewarded him when he left the shoes or whatever (in my case food/stuff like paper shreds, etc on the floor) alone. I made him give me eye contact after the leave it for a couple seconds before rewarding him.

9) Does she know how? If so, try going down the stairs and then present something she'd love to have but has to come down the stairs to you to get. If that doesn't work, leash her and gently, but firmly, make her come down the stairs with you, rewarding her after each step. This worked for Wally and now he uses the stairs like a champ. In fact, I had the opposite problem.
 

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I think there are some great ways to let your puppy be a puppy and to enjoy things like snuggling on the couch. The thing is that I have found it works best when you have given permission for the behavior rather than when it is the dog's idea. My dogs are allowed on one couch in the house (they will generalize to every couch every time unless they learn that they can only come up when you give permission) but they will not go up on it unless they ask permission first and it is given. If both my husband and I are up there, they wait for both of us to say ok before they come up. It starts by teaching the ok command at mealtime. Puppy does not get to eat unless she has done a sit and you release her to the bowl. That way she learns that you must give her permission. It reinforces your leadership in a gently positive way as opposed to the alpha roll way.

As for the behavior by the couch, my trainer taught me to do so a settle command with my dogs. So, I sit on the couch, put the dog on a leash, wrap the leash around my foot and say nothing. When he goes into a down on his own, I reward him with a treat and continue to reward the continued down. If he gets up I ignore it and then reward when he goes back down. Be careful not to reward the up and down. You want to only reward the staying down. I did this for 5 to 10 minutes a few times a day and now the dogs have learned that when I am sitting on the couch or even when I am at a ball game or something, their rightful place is lying near my feet. It's a great way to have them be in control and doing something when you are trying to do nothing.
 

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All of the items listed are normal puppy behaviours. Puppies explore the world with their mouths (just like human babies, if it fits it goes in, period). Puppies find stairs very intimidating, and being a doxie even more so...so yes carrying her is a good idea for now. The alpha roll thing (thanks for stopping that) can be very injurious to a doxies long back..I don't recommend it at all in training but even MORE so for the long backed/delicate backed dogs. Your jean's legs are MOVING and are therefore, in puppy's mind, fair game to play with...same goes with drawstrings, stretchy pants, shoelaces, belts etc.

So, as mentioned before:
Management is KEY.
Puppy proof the house. Anything left in doggy reach is fair game and the human takes the blame. Any opportunity she has to practice the behaviour will set the behaviour and make it harder to stop.
Use consistent confinement for housetraining, crate or tie her to you with a leash whenever you are not playing, training or working with her with full supervision. She will have to go out after every sleep/nap, play period, meal or excitement (every hour or so). Provide her with appropriate chew toys, kongs stuffed with her meal and put her in her crate with the kong when you are eating as well. Keep several kongs, stuffed and frozen for use for longer periods of confinement. Do this when you are home as well as at night and when you leave...you don't want her to associate the crate in the daytime with YOU being gone all the time.
Use "off" or "leave it" for the couch as well, adding the cue BEFORE she hops up. Prevent the behaviour. Eventually, if you wish, you can have her on the couch on invite only.

How to teach "leave it":

Start with a couple of pieces of food (small and yummy). PUt it on the floor near your foot, as soon as she shows interest/moves towards the food put your foot over it. Wait. She will dig and snuffle around, say "leave it" eventually she will look at you "what the??" at that SECOND say "yessss" and reward her with a piece from your hand. Repeat. MANY TIMES. Eventually you will be able to leave the food on the floor without being covered, say leave it and have her come to you for a reward. Then, if you eventually want to teach her tracking you can start giving her the food off the floor or letting her "take it" (another command). Eventually you will be able to generalize the "leave it" to mean ANYTHING that she interested in that you don't want her to take.

The leash settle as described earlier is also VERY helpful. Working up to longer periods of time helps a lot in the future for having a dog that will settle and stay. But again, that takes TIME and repetition.

For the walking...pups often put on the brakes..it's most likely not helping that you encourage her to "go" and then correct her for going too far...that's just confusing..lol. The outside world is alternately really really cool and really really scary (you will find that at about 14 weeks the brakes go on a LOT) it's all about development in the puppy and is normal. To prevent her going to far, use a short leash if you are "walking" and if you are doing "exploring the world" let her have more leeway. At this point it is more important she is exploring and socializing herself with the world in general than it is to get a good loose leash walking...choose times to work on the walking and times to just let her explore. She's too young for leash corrections and again, you must be pretty careful about her neck and back.

Find yourself a good positive reinforcement trainer to help you socialize and train your puppy. At the very least get a book on PUPPY training, like "The Puppy Whisperer" by Paul Owens. There will be many more moments where you won't know what to do or will think your puppy is a terror...having other owners and a trainer to tell you what is normal and what to do about it goes a long way to helping YOU deal with the inevitable bumps in the road while helping you develop your puppy into a fantastic adult dog.
 

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Cracker just described the approach we used quite effectively with Willie for "leave it".

Does Lucy have a strong "Sit"? "Lie Down"? If so, you might be able to use these in some situations as a positive redirect. If she's jumping on you, and you say "Sit", and she sits, she has stopped the jumping and done something correctly that you can reward. It might settle her momentarily as well. If she doesn't have these, you might consider making these solid.

Why do you want your dog to "track"? Your dog will spend her life smelling things, but this behavior should not put her in charge of your interactions.

Last, I haven't seen anyone mention a puppy class. Have you looked into any local puppy obedience classes? It won't fix your puppy's behavior, but it will give you lots of ideas on how to address these issues, and will help significantly with socialization.

Good luck and keep at it!
 

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Why do you want your dog to "track"? Your dog will spend her life smelling things, but this behavior should not put her in charge of your interactions.
I think what the OP meant was this: his dog takes so much joy in tracking, sometimes he just wants to let her have the freedom to run and sniff as she pleases.

To the OP: If you are starting with the frilly panties, you are starting too high. You are starting with something that she REALLY wants, which makes it harder to ignore. Use Cracker's method and start with, say, two pellets of her own kibble. Something low-value. As she gets the hang of it, you will be able to increase what is expected of her by training her to "leave it" with higher-value objects like yummier food, strangers or other dogs, and yes, frilly panties... but this level will take awhile to reach. In the meantime, you will just have to outsmart the dog by putting the laundry hamper in a cupboard or somewhere equally inaccessible.
 
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