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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Forgot to check where I was posting this. Moving!












I have a 5 month old puppy that is driving me absolutely out of my mind. I've even thought briefly about bringing her back to the Humane Society where I got her. But I just don't want to give up on her like that. Not to mention, I've spend over a grand on her since I adopted her (almost 2 months ago).

She's extremely hyper active all the time. And she seems like she's near impossible to train. I know that's not true but sometimes I feel like it. I've had her in a basic manners class at Petco for about 4 weeks now but I can't seem to get any of the methods to work. For example, the trainer recommended using a bottle or soda can with coins in it to "pop" (one shake) to get her attention when she's doing something wrong and tell her to leave it. He recommends using one simple command instead of a bunch of different words. Anyway, she likes to harass the cat like crazy like nibble on him, chase him, and bark incessantly at him. The cat swats at her and hisses but she takes that as a game. So, I'll tell her to leave it and pop the bottle. Sometimes she stops and looks at me so I give her a treat and praise her but then she just goes immediately back to the cat or sometimes she won't even stop at all.

Also, she usually goes to the bathroom just fine but sometimes when I know for sure she needs to go she just stands around sniffing leaves and trying to eat stuff then ends up pooing in the house 10 minutes later. WHY won't she go outside when she has the opportunity?!

She's also started marking in front of my bedroom door. I've used enzyme cleaner and covered it with No-Go spray but she keeps doing it. -_-

And she rarely ever listens to me. She won't come at the dog park. She totally ignores me. I understand that she is distracted by other dogs and exciting things but all the other people's dogs come to them when called. Even a 2 month old puppy.

Before I even got a dog I told myself that I did NOT want a puppy because I knew myself too well that I don't have the patience to train it. But every single adult dog that I wanted was a "restricted breed" that my apartments don't allow. So, I ended up settling on her. I kind of wonder if that may have been a mistake.

Anyway, sorry for the novel. Pent up frustrations.
Anyone have any advice for me? Should I keep trying? Get another dog for her to socialize with so she'll leave the cat alone? Get a totally different dog that's older and more calm?

By the way, I am a first time dog owner.
 

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It is normal you get frustrated since you are a newbie in dogs. I have been through that but I learned that I need to have the patience. I chose to be a dog owner so I should not give up on my dog. Read more books in getting to know them or watch dog videos. There is so much to learn abut dogs and you should be patient in training them.
 

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I'm not a newbie dog owner, at all.

My youngest puppy is 4 months old.

I cry, a lot.

It's a thing. It gets better. I promise.
 

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Your pup is reaching the 'teenage' stage, and that's where mine is too. He can be very bratty, doesn't listen as well as he did when he was smaller, and has never-ending energy, like yours! Pretty sure it's just a stage and they eventually calm down, but in the meantime you still have to be super consistent with training.

My saving grace is exercise. I love going outside as much as my puppy, so we'll go to the park or out into the forest and I let him run off-leash for an hour or two. I usually try to set up a puppy play date a few times a week with friends that also own dogs, and those really tire him out. After being outside running around for an hour he's pooped and much better behaved!

Sometimes when my puppy is acting especially bratty/hyper and I just really need a break, I put him in his crate with a treat and just ignore him for a while, or get out of the house. Might not be the best way to handle it, but it works for us!
 

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Your "dog" is still a puppy. I have a 4-month-old puppy that I got at 7 weeks old and she's doing all the same things you listed. Consistency and patience are key! A LOT OF PATIENCE. it sounds like you're doing things right, it just takes time for puppies to catch on. She's still very young and may not have been taught anything up to the point when you got her.

She might be teething, too. Do you know what breed she is?
 

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Stop worrying about "all the other dogs". You don't own those dogs, you own your dog. See her for her, just as she does you the great favor of loving you for you.

This business with the "pop" is silly. What's it teaching her? Not a thing. I highly recommend watching kikopup on youtube. She shows you how to do real training, and it will come in handy. Caveat: Puppies are puppies. She's a puppy until she's not and you'll have to live with it. But it will end eventually.
 

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I feel you, because my dog is going through the puppy stage also. It is annoying, but it will get better. I truly hope you don't give up on her simply because she's going through a natural stage. On future adoptions, you may consider choosing an older dog instead that's already gone through the puppy stage.

Also- obedience training. Look around for a class and sign up. This will be good for both of you.
 

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congratulations on your new pup :) , they are pups.. But there has to be a feeling inside you that everything with this pup is heading/escalating in the wrong direction. That is when you stop and re evaluate everything that you are currently doing , breathe, regroup thinking about what you do want instead. To think on how you will handle the current situation differently keeping in mind the direction you want these behaviors to go.. For me "toss the can" over stimulating, and empty for long term learning if you are still using it on the same things, it's time to realize it's not doing anything long term for you.. Stop shaking the can, and get up to go to your dog and work with them. I would Add "Redirecting" to your tool box.. One thing to stop the moment of an activity, but the dogs need to learn "THEN WHAT INSTEAD SHOULD I BE DOING IF I CAN'T BE DOING THIS" Be consistent with your follow through. If you need to leash your pup to keep them away from the cat, then do it. Teach them that your command to stop the game (stops the game with the cat) and keep the pup on lead with you as you go on and do what you need to be done. Stopping the game with the cat and spending time with you actually ends up being better :) Have the mind set you can mold the dogs into behaviors (showing them, doing it with them, so it's accomplished)

one of my funnest examples of dogs changing with just having new structure introduced for the event is an 10 year old narc dog. Setting up Practice scent problems for everyone getting ready for certifications.. The Dog was all over the place in and out of scent, in and out of scent, exploring all over the place.. This was a 10 second scent problem on a vehicle and the dog was having a fun day at the park going on 3 minutes before the dog finally came to OH IT's HERE source SIT... I looked at the handler and said ( NO ) why do you let your dog search like that.. The new handler said that is the way my dog searches, everyone said he has been searching this way for 8 years since he has been a narc dog.. And I said (NO) he searches this way is because he has been taught to search this way for 8 years .. Started the guy back on basic boxes and introduced the proper information,, Source Sit period... New dog,, no more walking in and out of scent for hours on end,, He was quick and to the point and done!!!!! He picked up exactly what he needed to do that he was missing that kept him from doing it right just by showing him what you wanted and how to get there.. Simple,, they can't do what they don't know.. and they only do what they do know.

it's your job to work with them to give them detail information as yall grow together.. For everything your pup shouldn't be doing,, you should be there to insure they getting the information on what and how to do it. If they can't do a reacall at the dog park , then don't let them off a leash to have to chase them be blown off by them.. sometimes dogs are just not ready to do advance things, need to work on lower skills first... We all live through puppy hood and have a great time ..
 

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dogs need to learn "THEN WHAT INSTEAD SHOULD I BE DOING IF I CAN'T BE DOING THIS"QUOTE said:
This is a really good point. When I take things away from my puppy that she shouldn't have, I always immediately give her a toy.

I also have a cat that the puppy loves to torment. I've found that teaching her to "leave it" worked for the cat as well! If you haven't already tried it, here's how it works: Hide a treat in one hand and place another treat in your open hand so the puppy can see it. Hold it out and when the puppy goes for it, say "leave it" over and over until the puppy stops going after it. Then give her the treat from your other hand (not the one she was going after). Our puppy picked up on this trick after about the third or fourth time. It took longer with other things (the cat, socks, leaves) and she still needs work, but at least we're getting there. I've learned that you have to always have treats in your pocket so you can reward good behaviour when it happens. Later on you can start weaning her off the treats and just give praise.

Some things just get better with age. I've noticed that in the last week or so, my puppy seems to be feeling sorry when she does something wrong. She knows when I'm upset with her now and before she didn't seem to notice at all. Either she's just old enough to know, or we've bonded enough that she recognizes my emotions, I'm not sure :)
 

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My puppy is driving me insane too.

About 15 weeks, 6 or so pounds of pure madness. It's just... puppy thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Your "dog" is still a puppy. I have a 4-month-old puppy that I got at 7 weeks old and she's doing all the same things you listed. Consistency and patience are key! A LOT OF PATIENCE. it sounds like you're doing things right, it just takes time for puppies to catch on. She's still very young and may not have been taught anything up to the point when you got her.

She might be teething, too. Do you know what breed she is?
She is still teething. She just lost all but one canine teeth.
I'm not sure of her exact breed. But I do know that she has border collie in here which explains the energy.
A lot people that I've asked have said she looks like BC and German Shepherd and a few others have said BC and Kelpie.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This business with the "pop" is silly. What's it teaching her? Not a thing. I highly recommend watching kikopup on youtube. She shows you how to do real training, and it will come in handy. Caveat: Puppies are puppies. She's a puppy until she's not and you'll have to live with it. But it will end eventually.
It's not really meant to teach her. The purpose of it is to get her attention away from what she's doing by making a noise. And once she's distracted you then praise and treat.
 

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It gets better. And please don't take offense, but I think you need to learn more about training and learning when it comes to puppies. Patience and management is the key.

The whole idea of shaker cans is to interrupt behavior by introducing something scary. A pup chews on something, can is shaken, pup gets scared and stops. This isn't necessarily the best way to go about teaching this or interrupting behavior. Eventually, the pup will get used to one shake and you will need to shake harder or longer or use more coins, eventually the pup will become desensitized to the shake and you can shake till your blue in the face and nothing will happen. Now what?

If you are using it to get attention from the pup, why wouldn't a quick "ah ah" or a clap of hands work? Then the can is not needed and the pup learns that a clap or a noise from YOU is a signal to stop and pay attention. But if you want to keep using the can, go for it. I think we are just trying to illustrate that there are better ways of training then using aversives (things that scare a dog) when training. You want her to stop chewing inappropriate things...well teach her what is appropriate. Give her appropriate things. Reward when she uses them. If she knows that chewing on toys gives her treats now and again...she will start using those toys more frequently and you don't have to scare her to prevent unwanted behavior.

Is she free in the house? If she is getting into trouble with the cat, eliminating in the house, then I would start limiting freedom. Something to try? That way you can usher her outside to potty before she goes inside, it limits her reactions with the cat, and it forces you to constantly manage her in some shape or form. Just a suggestion that might help. :)

The peeing/pooping thing is kinda tricky. I suggest walking her around the yard a few minutes when you know they have to go. The movement gets the bowels moving and makes them realize, oh I have to go to the bathroom! Like when humans go on walks or runs and have to pee within 5-10 minutes.

Have you taught a leave it? Saying "leave it" means nothing if you haven't taught what that means. That would be like me saying "je voudrais de l'eau. JE VOUDRAIS DE L'EAU!". You would be lost! Here is a video I really like when trying to teach this:Teaching Leave It

Otherwise, just work through it. Exercise, training, and lots of repetition. You will get through it! Your pup is still young.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It gets better. And please don't take offense, but I think you need to learn more about training and learning when it comes to puppies. Patience and management is the key.

The whole idea of shaker cans is to interrupt behavior by introducing something scary. A pup chews on something, can is shaken, pup gets scared and stops. This isn't necessarily the best way to go about teaching this or interrupting behavior. Eventually, the pup will get used to one shake and you will need to shake harder or longer or use more coins, eventually the pup will become desensitized to the shake and you can shake till your blue in the face and nothing will happen. Now what?

If you are using it to get attention from the pup, why wouldn't a quick "ah ah" or a clap of hands work? Then the can is not needed and the pup learns that a clap or a noise from YOU is a signal to stop and pay attention. But if you want to keep using the can, go for it. I think we are just trying to illustrate that there are better ways of training then using aversives (things that scare a dog) when training. You want her to stop chewing inappropriate things...well teach her what is appropriate. Give her appropriate things. Reward when she uses them. If she knows that chewing on toys gives her treats now and again...she will start using those toys more frequently and you don't have to scare her to prevent unwanted behavior.

Is she free in the house? If she is getting into trouble with the cat, eliminating in the house, then I would start limiting freedom. Something to try? That way you can usher her outside to potty before she goes inside, it limits her reactions with the cat, and it forces you to constantly manage her in some shape or form. Just a suggestion that might help. :)

The peeing/pooping thing is kinda tricky. I suggest walking her around the yard a few minutes when you know they have to go. The movement gets the bowels moving and makes them realize, oh I have to go to the bathroom! Like when humans go on walks or runs and have to pee within 5-10 minutes.

Have you taught a leave it? Saying "leave it" means nothing if you haven't taught what that means. That would be like me saying "je voudrais de l'eau. JE VOUDRAIS DE L'EAU!". You would be lost! Here is a video I really like when trying to teach this:Teaching Leave It

Otherwise, just work through it. Exercise, training, and lots of repetition. You will get through it! Your pup is still young.
Okay, first, I'm not the one who came up with the shaker method so I think it's a little unfair to say that I need to learn more about training. Granted, I do need to but I'm only following what the trainer told me to do.
And anyway, I've stopped using the shaker since it clearly isn't working.

She's rarely ever free in house and when she is it isn't for very long. I usually keep her in my room with me which is where she harasses the cat. Unfortunately the cat really likes to be in my room and sometimes gets in when I'm not looking. I've been trying really hard to keep him out.

As far as giving her appropriate things when she's chewing on inappropriate things; I do that constantly. Like for example, a few seconds before I typed this she was chewing on my blanket so I redirected her to her toy. She chewed her toy for a second then went right back to the blanket. I then moved the blanket and she chewed her toy then went to the spot I moved the blanket and continued to chew on it.

And yes, she does know "leave it." I'm not stupid. I know that saying random commands at her isn't going to work. I've been using "leave it" with her for weeks. It's the phrase we decided on in her training classes.
 

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My puppy drove me crazy...and I mean it...for the first year. I tried every suggestion and tried them for long periods of time. It wasn't until she hit about one year old that the nipping, chewing on our pantlegs and that kind of stuff stopped. Actually, she still does it a bit but gently and she stops when we tell her "no." As for the shaker can of pennies...we use that only to stop her barking. We allow her a couple barks when she sees another dog out our window. If it continues we give one gentle shake. For some reason she hates that sound and she stops. She is NOT afraid of it....she just associates that sound with something we don't approve of. You kind of need to find out what works for your dog. I know how frustrating it is......I cried and cried for several months but I want to tell you that I do think it gets better and some of that irritating stuff just plain takes time to resolve itself. Hugs.....
 

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Okay, first, I'm not the one who came up with the shaker method so I think it's a little unfair to say that I need to learn more about training. Granted, I do need to but I'm only following what the trainer told me to do.
And anyway, I've stopped using the shaker since it clearly isn't working.

She's rarely ever free in house and when she is it isn't for very long. I usually keep her in my room with me which is where she harasses the cat. Unfortunately the cat really likes to be in my room and sometimes gets in when I'm not looking. I've been trying really hard to keep him out.

As far as giving her appropriate things when she's chewing on inappropriate things; I do that constantly. Like for example, a few seconds before I typed this she was chewing on my blanket so I redirected her to her toy. She chewed her toy for a second then went right back to the blanket. I then moved the blanket and she chewed her toy then went to the spot I moved the blanket and continued to chew on it.

And yes, she does know "leave it." I'm not stupid. I know that saying random commands at her isn't going to work. I've been using "leave it" with her for weeks. It's the phrase we decided on in her training classes.
I wasn't trying to attack you, so I am unsure as to why the negative tone in your post, although that may just be me interpreting it that way.

My opinion that you should learn more about training wasn't meant to insult intelligence. Humans think like humans and not like dogs. It is hard for a regular person to be a great trainer or communicate what they want from an animal right off the bat. This can result in a lot of frustration (in both parties). Your frustration with your pup and your general annoyance of behaviors, while very normal, led me to conclude that maybe you just need to learn more about to work with that. With the more knowledge you have, the more tools you possess to change or mitigate behavior in others. And, with more knowledge comes an increase in ability of scrutinizing what others tell you in order to separate face from fiction. I'm sorry if I came off as insulting your intelligence, that is not my intention.


As to the rest, it sounds like you are doing great and the pup just needs more time. It just takes patience (easy to say, not so easy to carry out.)

I am tempted to ask further about your "leave it" because I have a feeling, just a thought, that maybe you think she knows what it means but she doesn't quite "get it" in its entirety. However, I sense that you do not want to discuss further.

Hopefully things have gotten better within the last day. Sometimes just talking to other dog people can help!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My puppy drove me crazy...and I mean it...for the first year. I tried every suggestion and tried them for long periods of time. It wasn't until she hit about one year old that the nipping, chewing on our pantlegs and that kind of stuff stopped. Actually, she still does it a bit but gently and she stops when we tell her "no." As for the shaker can of pennies...we use that only to stop her barking. We allow her a couple barks when she sees another dog out our window. If it continues we give one gentle shake. For some reason she hates that sound and she stops. She is NOT afraid of it....she just associates that sound with something we don't approve of. You kind of need to find out what works for your dog. I know how frustrating it is......I cried and cried for several months but I want to tell you that I do think it gets better and some of that irritating stuff just plain takes time to resolve itself. Hugs.....
Thanks. It's nice to have some reassurance from other people who have gone through the same thing. I know I'm definitely not the only one and my puppy isn't the only one who was nuts. haha It's nice to be reminded.
I'm just glad that I didn't have her for her first 4 months. So, if she calms down at a year old then that means I have 5 months give or take a week or two. Sounds like awhile but I gotta tough it out.




I wasn't trying to attack you, so I am unsure as to why the negative tone in your post, although that may just be me interpreting it that way.

My opinion that you should learn more about training wasn't meant to insult intelligence. Humans think like humans and not like dogs. It is hard for a regular person to be a great trainer or communicate what they want from an animal right off the bat. This can result in a lot of frustration (in both parties). Your frustration with your pup and your general annoyance of behaviors, while very normal, led me to conclude that maybe you just need to learn more about to work with that. With the more knowledge you have, the more tools you possess to change or mitigate behavior in others. And, with more knowledge comes an increase in ability of scrutinizing what others tell you in order to separate face from fiction. I'm sorry if I came off as insulting your intelligence, that is not my intention.


As to the rest, it sounds like you are doing great and the pup just needs more time. It just takes patience (easy to say, not so easy to carry out.)

I am tempted to ask further about your "leave it" because I have a feeling, just a thought, that maybe you think she knows what it means but she doesn't quite "get it" in its entirety. However, I sense that you do not want to discuss further.

Hopefully things have gotten better within the last day. Sometimes just talking to other dog people can help!
Sorry if I came out sounding especially negative. I've just been hearing a lot of back and forth about training methods and I'm getting very frustrated. The trainer will tell me one thing then experienced dog owners on the forums tell me the opposite. I just don't what to follow anymore.
I'm still going to finish the training classes since I paid for them but I think I'll start paying attention to some suggested YouTube channels as well.

And honestly, I think I could afford to take my dog outside more often as well. Being inside and bored gives her opportunities to harass the cat and act crazy. She just spent 3 hours out and about, one of which was running around at the dog park. Now she's peacefully napping on my bed. :D

Also, you're probably right in that she doesn't fully "get" leave it. But I do feel like she's catching on more and more. Most of time (as long as it's not when she's playing with the cat) she'll stop what she's doing and look at me when I say "leave it." And we're working on it every week in class (and everyday at home). And if I see her back off of something on her own then I tell her "good leave it." That's a method the trainer told me to do if they don't know a command yet. Like if she sits on her own I say "good sit." And so on.

In the future though, I plan on watching kikopup's Leave It video for any other options if mine isn't working.
 

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Boy do I ever know the OPs pain. Bug the 7 mo terrorist/terrier has as his life motto "never surrender" I can distract and redirect but the second I look away he is right back to doing whatever it is I didn't want him to do in the first place.
Just one example was while at the dog park after an hour of running around like a nut he found a very small hole he wanted to make larger. This stared out when there were no other dogs that wanted to be bothered with him and he had already checked out the humans with them. I played fetch with him, he tired of that and went back to the hole, played tug, he went back to the hole. Moved to the other side of the park, new dogs, new humans and still went back to the hole. On the way out of the park it was back to the hole.
2 days later we return to that park and the 1st thing he did when we entered was run to the bleeping hole !!!
 

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I've just been hearing a lot of back and forth about training methods and I'm getting very frustrated. The trainer will tell me one thing then experienced dog owners on the forums tell me the opposite. I just don't what to follow anymore.
Oh boy do I understand *this* frustration. I had gone to see this one trainer for an eval of my dog, and he didn't have time to work with her for a bit so I got some books by Patricia B. McConnell that seemed to fit in with this trainer's philosophy so I could work on stuff at home until he was free. When I told him about that, he seemed to get mad at me, like I'd made some cardinal sin by trying something on my own. I could understand if the methods I was using were going to be in conflict with his methods, but based on what he described and Patricia McConnell's methods, they seemed very similar. And then everyone I run into in person and on forums seems to have a very firm opinion. Some say clicker. Some say shock collar. I hear everything, and everyone thinks I'm doing it wrong. I'm desperately trying to get into a formal training class for large breed adult dogs with behavioral issues but no one seems to have a class like that. I've been discouraged by trainers on doing one-on-one training instead of group because they say I need to do group. Well, that's all fine and good, but where's the group training going to happen? Sorry, didn't mean to hijack and go into a rant, I just totally understand your frustration on this issue because I'm going through it too!
 

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Boy do I ever know the OPs pain. Bug the 7 mo terrorist/terrier has as his life motto "never surrender" I can distract and redirect but the second I look away he is right back to doing whatever it is I didn't want him to do in the first place.
Just one example was while at the dog park after an hour of running around like a nut he found a very small hole he wanted to make larger. This stared out when there were no other dogs that wanted to be bothered with him and he had already checked out the humans with them. I played fetch with him, he tired of that and went back to the hole, played tug, he went back to the hole. Moved to the other side of the park, new dogs, new humans and still went back to the hole. On the way out of the park it was back to the hole.
2 days later we return to that park and the 1st thing he did when we entered was run to the bleeping hole !!!
^ This, story of my life. I can't re-direct enough before he's back to chewing on the wrong thing, namely my fingers and toes!
 
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