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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

A couple days ago I got my puppy, Caramel. When I met her, she was so sweet and was SUPER easy to train. I wanted a dog like that, so I got her from a rescuer. When we got home, though, her personality flipped. She was stubborn, mouthy, and jumpy. All of her siblings got adopted already, so I couldn't exchange puppy. She was also VERY hard to train, unexcited about everything, chewed all my plants even though I gave her loads of toys. She didn't like human interaction, too. When we go out for walks, Caramel pulls the leash and goes haywire when I try to leash train her. I know she is just a young puppy, but I feel like the world is crumbling apart. I miss the days when I didn't have to watch Caramel's every step. To sum it up, I need help on these things:

1). Leash training.
The classic 'stop and stay until your dog follows' and the 'walk the other direction' method doesn't work for Caramel. She just jumps up, yelps, and spins around when I try to do that. Then, she just sits and chews on something. I can't get a special harness, either, as there are no pet stores that sell that in my country.

2). Jumping and mouthing.
When she bites and I yelp, she just wags her tail and nips even harder, and jumps on me and tries to bite me again. I don't know how to solve this.

3). Interest.
How do I get Caramel to be interested in me?

I don't have anyone to help me in this :(
 

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It's only been a couple days. She's in a completely new environment, with new people, and separated from her mom and littermates. She's probably stressed and confused, so while I can understand that this is alarming when she's not acting how you expected, give her some time.

It might sound counterintuitive, but I'd step back from formal training whatsoever for a little while. Work on teaching her that great things come from you. Hand feed her without expecting her to perform cues, spend time sitting with her and letting her explore on her own without pressuring her to interact with you. Watch her body language carefully and try not to overwhelm her with attention or expectations while she's still figuring things out. This might just be a couple days, or a couple weeks, depending on her temperament, but this will help build a bond with her and teach her that you respect her needs and are the source of good things.

For biting, some dogs respond well to a yelp, but others think it's exciting. Since it seems to amp her up, instead immediately remove yourself. A hard bite means you stand up and turn around, refusing to look at her for a few seconds, before going back to interacting with her. Rinse and repeat if she bites again. If she continues to bite at your feet/pant legs when you turn away, you may have to change this to stepping over a barrier you set up - like a baby gate or playpen - so she absolutely can't continue the "game". This takes time and consistency, and you may find you're doing it multiple times in a row. If she's absolutely not stopping after 3-4 times (assuming she also has appropriate things to bite and chew on, like toys), it's fine to just end interaction entirely and give her a break in a puppy-safe area (crate, pen, puppy-proofed room, etc.). Like toddlers, sometimes puppies turn into little terrors when they're overtired and you just have to give them a quiet space to nap.

I'm assuming she's a pretty young puppy? If there's a way to not take her out on leash for a few days while she's adjusting, do it. If she needs to be leashed for potty trips, try to make them really short and don't expect much in terms of leash manners (maybe carry her to a spot, wait for her to potty, reward, then carry her in). When she's more comfortable with you, you can start getting her used to the leash in the house, letting her drag a short, lightweight leash to get used to the sensation (supervised only! She could get caught on something or tangled otherwise). You can also try teaching her that giving into leash pressure is a good thing by working on the Silky Leash protocol - lots of articles and YouTube videos about it out there. I believe Grisha Stewart was the one who popularized it under that name. Otherwise, again, it's a lot of consistency, not giving in when she pulls, and rewarding (food at first, praise works for some dogs but they need a solid bond with you first) when she keeps the leash slack.

Some harnesses designed for hunting or tracking will have an extra ring in the front, on the chest, if you have access to these kinds of harnesses. Connecting a leash here will make pulling a little more difficult, even though they're not marketed as 'no pull'. But I'd start with just getting her used to the lead and leash pressure in baby steps, and see how she settles in over the next couple weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I have taken your advice and it has worked out almost perfectly! I have gotten rid of jumping and nipping for the most part, and the silky leash method has helped my puppy a lot! I have another question, though. I have a gate that has been puppy-protected, but Caramel is small enough to fit through a gap where putting mesh isn't possible. Is it okay if my puppy goes a short distance outside without supervison? She knows her way back home and my neighborhood has almost no agressive dogs. She doesn't go outside when cars are zooming by.
 

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"Almost no agressive dogs" is not terribly reassuring. It takes only one.

Loose dogs of any age are subject to attack by other dogs, wild animals (in some areas - we have urban coyotes,) theft, car mishaps and numerous other threats I'm probably missing right now.
 

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It's not something I'd be comfortable with either. I grew up with a neighbor who basically let their dog run loose, and it's a really good way to upset your neighbors. Pooping in people's yards, digging up their gardens... very natural dog behaviors! But of course the dog doesn't understand that humans will think it's rude and upsetting. Years later, another dog in the neighborhood was poisoned (it's unknown if it was intentional or not) while wandering off-lead on another property - antifreeze or similar, if memory serves. He survived, but he was also a big adult lab.

Even if your pup will eventually outgrow the gap, I just wouldn't want to encourage my dog to look for escape routes constantly by allowing them to get used to wandering unsupervised.
 

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I don't have anything much to add to Daysleeper's advice other than make sure you keep consistent with your training! As your puppy ages, you will likely see a bit of backslide as they test boundaries in their "teenage" phase, and sometimes it might seem like they've forgotten everything you've taught them. This is totally normal, so don't get discouraged if you notice that! Biting and nipping also might increase when they start losing their baby teeth.

As for a young puppy going off in an unfenced area without supervision....no, not a good idea. That's not a good idea for any dog in a suburban setting, actually. You do not want your dog thinking that they can escape their fence. That's a good way to get a dog that looks for escape routes so they can go exploring without you, and if it becomes a bad habit, it's only a matter of time before there's an accident and you lose your dog. The best way to stop bad behaviors is preventing them in the first place.

For now, make sure she's supervised when in your yard and hopefully she'll grow too large to fit through the gap.
 

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Hi all,
Sorry for another question. When I go outside to a new enviroment, do i let caramel sniff around before letting her to walk?
Yes. Sniffing and sightseeing are important parts of a walk. You also need to let them sniff and look around before starting a training session.
 
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