Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Here is a good place to start reading. It covers everything from house breaking to basic training. http://dogstardaily.com/training

Read through the stickies at the top of this forum and the first time owners forum. Lots of good info there that will get you moving in the right direction.

Another great resource for learning how to train are kikopup's videos on YouTube. Here is a list of videos to get started: http://dogmantics.com/dog-training-basics/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So, the only training method you've mentioned here is shaking a noisy can. What other methods have you tried?
Well, we haven't really covered a ton else in training yet.
But I've also tried an exercise where I drop some treats on the ground and when she goes for them I say "leave it" and when she listens and doesn't eat them I give her a treat. That works awesome but doesn't ever translate into anything else when she's actually doing something I don't want her to. Also, she's not very treat motivated so it's hard to praise her. If I try to praise her with pets she could care less.
I also tried a shaping exercise but she didn't pick up on it very well.
If the bottle doesn't work then I put my body in between her and whatever she's messing with but she's never deterred by that either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
The good news is that these things can be vastly improved. The bad news is that it takes time and dedication. If she's hyper-active, wear her out. Play fetch. Take walks if you can. If she doesn't seem treat-motivated, you might be using the wrong treats. Try something soft and chewy, that smells a bit.

Right now she's not listening to you because she's unsure of her place and you haven't built a bond yet. It'll take many rescued puppies at least 2-3 months to settle in to their new home. Training and playing together will accomplish build the bond if done with love, but you'll need to stock up on patience and try not to get aggravated, because she's likely going to be crazy awhile longer. I'd lose the can idea. A sharp noise can further unsettle your dog, and she's already wound pretty tight. Though I sometimes use a noise as an interrupt for my dogs, it's generally just a mellow "ah-ah" to let them know I don't like something. Then I immediately ask them to do something else and reward them for it. Within the bounds of your vet's recommendation and common sense, I'd work her until she's tired out daily. Once she's worn out a bit, she'll be much more likely to listen to you. When I take my dogs out for a public walk, I'll work my way around for a few minutes before asking them to do anything, to let the excitement die down and get some exploring done.

It's really easy to get overwrought by a high-energy dog that won't seem to listen, but you can do it. You might want to sign up for puppy classes somewhere near you. A professional trainer and class of others with similar problems can be a huge help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,910 Posts
It's really easy to get overwrought by a high-energy dog that won't seem to listen, but you can do it. You might want to sign up for puppy classes somewhere near you. A professional trainer and class of others with similar problems can be a huge help.
The other things it can do is make you realize your dog is normal, other people are frustrated, and help you feel like you're DOING something. Just actually do follow through with the homework. Most of the learning still happens outside class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I found this short video informative about teaching your dog to come.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QonpHq930Rk

Do you have a crate for your dog? After feeding your dog keep it in short term confinement for 1/2 an hour, then bring it where you want it to eliminate. It should take about 3 minutes. When it goes where you want it praise the dog a lot, give it some treats, and then take it for a walk.

If the dog is hyper, it sounds like it needs some exercise or mental stimulation. Take it for a walk and then try playing hide and seek with it. Stuff a chew toy with some food and hide it. Let the dog find it, play with it for a while, and then hide it again.

What kind of dog do you have?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,145 Posts
Keep in mind too that puppies need a lot of repetition. At 2 years old, Squash still sometimes bugs the cats. But his days of constantly harassing the cats are far behind us... just takes time, consistency, and repetition for some things to sink in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The good news is that these things can be vastly improved. The bad news is that it takes time and dedication. If she's hyper-active, wear her out. Play fetch. Take walks if you can. If she doesn't seem treat-motivated, you might be using the wrong treats. Try something soft and chewy, that smells a bit.
She's definitely not treat motivated even with good treats. I already use soft, chewy treats and most of the time she'll take them. When we're out or she wants to do something else like go play she'll just sniff it and ignore it. She seems to get bored with training really fast. She'll do it for a minute and then ignore me and run off to do something else.

You might want to sign up for puppy classes somewhere near you. A professional trainer and class of others with similar problems can be a huge help.
I already have in a training class with two other dogs. It's a basic manners puppy class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I found this short video informative about teaching your dog to come.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QonpHq930Rk

Do you have a crate for your dog? After feeding your dog keep it in short term confinement for 1/2 an hour, then bring it where you want it to eliminate. It should take about 3 minutes. When it goes where you want it praise the dog a lot, give it some treats, and then take it for a walk.

If the dog is hyper, it sounds like it needs some exercise or mental stimulation. Take it for a walk and then try playing hide and seek with it. Stuff a chew toy with some food and hide it. Let the dog find it, play with it for a while, and then hide it again.

What kind of dog do you have?

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
She's definitely not treat motivated even with good treats. I already use soft, chewy treats and most of the time she'll take them. When we're out or she wants to do something else like go play she'll just sniff it and ignore it. She seems to get bored with training really fast. She'll do it for a minute and then ignore me and run off to do something else.
Eppy also isn't very food motivated. For him, the solution was even better food when in public. I used stuff that he didn't get in anything other than a high distraction location. Canned dog food, real meat and stinky cheese proved to be the winners. Eppy has good toy drive so I used toys as rewards too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,323 Posts
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.
But I've also tried an exercise where I drop some treats on the ground and when she goes for them I say "leave it" and when she listens and doesn't eat them I give her a treat.
She's definitely not treat motivated even with good treats.
Maybe she doesn't seem treat motivated, because you are using fear to teach leave it and as a result it's creating some secondary fallout / confusion. I'd use a more positive approach for this exercise instead of the shaker can.

Food drives are pretty integral to positive-style training. Don't undermine it, would be my advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Maybe she doesn't seem treat motivated, because you are using fear to teach leave it and as a result it's creating some secondary fallout / confusion. I'd use a more positive approach for this exercise instead of the shaker can.

Food drives are pretty integral to positive-style training. Don't undermine it, would be my advice.
I've already stopped using the shaker because it wasn't working. It definitely wasn't scaring her though. I was shaking it behind my back and it wasn't very loud. She'd just quickly glance at me and continue to do whatever she was doing.

By the way, the trainer in her basic manners class is the one who taught me both methods that you quoted about and never once said that they were meant to instill fear, quite the opposite. So, am I supposed to not listen to the trainer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,910 Posts
I've already stopped using the shaker because it wasn't working. It definitely wasn't scaring her though. I was shaking it behind my back and it wasn't very loud. She'd just quickly glance at me and continue to do whatever she was doing.

By the way, the trainer in her basic manners class is the one who taught me both methods that you quoted about and never once said that they were meant to instill fear, quite the opposite. So, am I supposed to not listen to the trainer?
I'm going to be honest and put my neck out there.

I don't think you were scaring your dog, and I don't think that kind of thing scares most dogs - some yes, and absolutely bad for them, but for most it's just another interruptor. No bigger deal than my "EH" or clapping your hands, which other people have suggested.

OP, the key is you said she stopped for a second and then went back to what she was doing. What your trainer apparently didn't explain is that the point of the interruption is to get her to BRIEFLY stop, look at you, and to use that pause to give her another command, call her to you, or redirect her. It does take a WHOLE LOT of repetition, but the interruption doesn't make her stop and stay stopped. The purpose is just to make her pause so you've got her attention and can move her to something else. Eventually you have a bit more time with it as they understand to associate it with 'don't do that, do something else', but early on it's got to be almost instant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I'm going to be honest and put my neck out there.

I don't think you were scaring your dog, and I don't think that kind of thing scares most dogs - some yes, and absolutely bad for them, but for most it's just another interruptor. No bigger deal than my "EH" or clapping your hands, which other people have suggested.
Yeah, it definitely doesn't scare her. I've seen her when she's scared before and her reaction from the shaker is far from fear. She just looks at me and could care less most of the time which is why it doesn't seem to be very effective for her. I've had other suggestions like using a can of compressed air that blows out in a short, loud burst that they sell at Petco for that specific reason but I feel like that wouldn't work well for her either.


OP, the key is you said she stopped for a second and then went back to what she was doing. What your trainer apparently didn't explain is that the point of the interruption is to get her to BRIEFLY stop, look at you, and to use that pause to give her another command, call her to you, or redirect her. It does take a WHOLE LOT of repetition, but the interruption doesn't make her stop and stay stopped. The purpose is just to make her pause so you've got her attention and can move her to something else. Eventually you have a bit more time with it as they understand to associate it with 'don't do that, do something else', but early on it's got to be almost instant.
That makes sense. I have a few times before tried redirecting her to her toys like when she's chewing stuff. I just got frustrated really fast and just kinda gave up. She's always MUCH more interested in anything other than her toys even that's a pencil on the floor or something. =P
I know I just have to keep trying though. I'm not a patient person at all which doesn't help anything and is the main reason I posted this thread. Maybe she can teach me some patience while I'm teaching her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,910 Posts
That makes sense. I have a few times before tried redirecting her to her toys like when she's chewing stuff. I just got frustrated really fast and just kinda gave up. She's always MUCH more interested in anything other than her toys even that's a pencil on the floor or something. =P
I know I just have to keep trying though. I'm not a patient person at all which doesn't help anything and is the main reason I posted this thread. Maybe she can teach me some patience while I'm teaching her.
I don't know if she'll teach you some patience, but when faking it and consistency pay off, it feels pretty amazing (I'm not the most patient person in the world, either).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
She is a border collie mix right? They can be a little more difficult as I understand because they are very smart and have a lot of energy to burn off.

( I edited the first post I made because I found your previous post on the forum )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
What kind of a dog is she? Some breeds can be a little more stubborn and difficult to train then others and may need a little extra advice

I'm not sure of her exact breed. But I do know that she has border collie in her 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. Dunno.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
This is like the worst age for puppies. and some breeds of dogs at this age really try your patience. I have had many puppies of different sorts of dogs. and they were all naughty to a degree but nothing like Leo was when he was 5 months old. HE broke me down and brought me to tears. Much patience and training later he is the most wonderful dog. When he has his head rested on my shoulder and snuggles into me and falls asleep every bit of the frustration I went through was worth it.

BE patient! Ask lots of questions , follow advice , and it'll turn out great.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top