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Hello everyone. I'm posting here for some suggestions how to wrangle in my new dog. My 'puppy' is named Maya. She is a beagle/shepherd mix between 9 and 18 months old and about 17 lbs. I have had Maya for almsot 3 weeks now. I'm going to bring up a handful of issues in this thread. If anyone has any suggestions for any of them I would be very grateful.

Potty Training - (I know this question is asked a lot.. I understand the principal but I have a couple speciffic issue i could use suggestions on).

Maya and I spend most of our inside time in my bedroom (with a small attached galley kitchen). We have a big 3 story house to run around in. However if we go downstairs it's really easy for her to quickly get out of sight and into trouble. So far she has been very good about holding it until we get outside. I think in the past 3 weeks she has had 2 pee and 2 poop accidents inside.

I also don't know how much it matters but her stool has been very soft or liquidy since getting her home. I think perhaps it was the food (they gave her science diet - puppy ... for a 9-18 mo old dog?) I have been mixing that off with pets edge and stopped the science diet all together this morning.

1.) She doesn't seem to have any way to let me know she needs to go out. I have a bell on the downstairs door, I've tried to get her to ring it before we go out. However she never does it on her own. Also the initial obstacle is more letting me know she has to leave the bedroom. I have tried to observe her behavior closely - a couple times she has plopped down and just sat quietly by the door... i think that meant she needed to go out (it would be great if that was her behavior to let me know) I took her out and she went right away (YAY) other times she's done the same thing and didn't do anything outside. Other times she seems to get very agitated... she'll run around. I'll try to play with her with a ball or a rope toy she'll play for a second but then drop it and bark. Again though, it's not consistent. Sometimes she shows this behavior and I take her out and she goes immediately.. other times nothing.

2.) She poops in her crate! The first time this happened she woke me up at her usual time (5:50am) but _I_ had to go.. really bad. I went to the bathroom and she continued to bark. By the time I had come back.. she made a mess. I guess this one is my fault. I take full responsibility. This morning however. She woke me up at 7 (way later than usual) I jumped out of bed at her first bark and grabbed her collar. I went over to her cage and... poop... everywhere. I can't believe she didn't try and let me know. I really don't know what to do about this. I have cleaned her bedding thoroughly (actually discarded her first bed after the first poop and gave her a big pillow now)

3.) Walking - Walking is one thing Maya has down mostly good. I have a prong collar and she does not pull _at all_. The problem however is not walking, it is stopping and that she does way too much of it. Sometimes she'll walk 2-3 block straight, no problem -- this is fun! Other times however she will just dead stop. I think she is scared of something as her muscles lock up and her tail drops between her legs. I don't think she's curious about other animals/bugs/plants. She does not snif, does not walk the other way. She just stops! She seems to sometimes do this around certain houses in our neighborhood but not always. At times she will stop every 10-20 feet! this turns a 20 minute walk into an hour walk. When she stops too.. there is really no getting her to continue. I have tried getting her to 'come'. I have tried treats - even if i stick them right infront of her face, when she gets like this, she will just turn her head to the side and ignore them. The only solution I have is to pick her up walk 15 feet and put her back down. She will then usually continue... for at least another 10 ft.

4.) Crate - Maya hates her crate. I have read that it sometimes takes dogs months to get used to her crate but the fact of the mater is she was better when i first got her. She used to bark maybe a couple times and whimper a bunch for maybe 10 mintues then she would stop. Now she barks loudly and constantly and tries to dig her way out for up to 30 minutes. This is a problem - I try to put her to bed around 10:30 or 11. However, The only time I have to get any work done for myself is after I put her to bed ... So I usually come back into my room around 1 or 2 and this wakes her again. She continues to complain for up to another 30 minutes. This really worries me that it is driving the other people in my house CRAZY. I try to fill her crate with her toys and some treats but she is uninterested. I've put her favorite meat-treats in there and found them untouched the next morning.

Last night I had the most progress with this. I watched a good video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8hb9aHfjLA and tried that out some last night. I sat by the crate for a while and got her to go in/out with treats. Eventually I put her in and left for a couple minutes, came back, more treats, and left. I did this about 3 times then just left for good. When i came back to go to sleep I think I gave her a couple more treats and stood by the crate for a minute. When i laid down she only barked twice and whimpered for maybe 5 minutes



Ok I think that is it for now. Sorry the post was so long! Hopefully some people can offer me some suggestions to save my sanity. I greatly appreciate any feedback.

Thanks!
 

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Hello everyone. I'm posting here for some suggestions how to wrangle in my new dog. My 'puppy' is named Maya. She is a beagle/shepherd mix between 9 and 18 months old and about 17 lbs. I have had Maya for almsot 3 weeks now. I'm going to bring up a handful of issues in this thread. If anyone has any suggestions for any of them I would be very grateful.

Potty Training - (I know this question is asked a lot.. I understand the principal but I have a couple speciffic issue i could use suggestions on).

Maya and I spend most of our inside time in my bedroom (with a small attached galley kitchen). We have a big 3 story house to run around in. However if we go downstairs it's really easy for her to quickly get out of sight and into trouble.

For this, you can tether her to you with a leash, at least until she's potty trained. You can use a longer leash, 6-10 feet, if you need to, at least she's in your sight and not sneaking off.

So far she has been very good about holding it until we get outside. I think in the past 3 weeks she has had 2 pee and 2 poop accidents inside.

I also don't know how much it matters but her stool has been very soft or liquidy since getting her home. I think perhaps it was the food (they gave her science diet - puppy ... for a 9-18 mo old dog?) I have been mixing that off with pets edge and stopped the science diet all together this morning.

Science Diet isn't the best food. You could switch to something better. Also, nerves can play a big part in that, but, you'd think 3 weeks would be enough to settle her tummy. Did you get her checked by your vet when you brought her home?

1.) She doesn't seem to have any way to let me know she needs to go out. I have a bell on the downstairs door, I've tried to get her to ring it before we go out. However she never does it on her own. Also the initial obstacle is more letting me know she has to leave the bedroom. I have tried to observe her behavior closely - a couple times she has plopped down and just sat quietly by the door... i think that meant she needed to go out (it would be great if that was her behavior to let me know) I took her out and she went right away (YAY) other times she's done the same thing and didn't do anything outside. Other times she seems to get very agitated... she'll run around. I'll try to play with her with a ball or a rope toy she'll play for a second but then drop it and bark. Again though, it's not consistent. Sometimes she shows this behavior and I take her out and she goes immediately.. other times nothing.

Not all dogs have a consistent signal. It's a good idea, at least for the time being to not rely on her to tell you. Instead, rely on a consistent schedule (every 1-2 hours) and supervision in between. And, if you're going to try to teach the bell thing on the downstairs door, it would be a good idea to put bells on your bedroom door as well. Not all dogs get the bell idea, though, and some go too far, and use them any time they want to go out and play. And, as she settles in more, you may see her signals become more defined.

2.) She poops in her crate! The first time this happened she woke me up at her usual time (5:50am) but _I_ had to go.. really bad. I went to the bathroom and she continued to bark. By the time I had come back.. she made a mess. I guess this one is my fault. I take full responsibility. This morning however. She woke me up at 7 (way later than usual) I jumped out of bed at her first bark and grabbed her collar. I went over to her cage and... poop... everywhere. I can't believe she didn't try and let me know. I really don't know what to do about this. I have cleaned her bedding thoroughly (actually discarded her first bed after the first poop and gave her a big pillow now)

Hmmm. Well, not all dogs follow the general rule of not pottying where they sleep. What is her history? Do you know much about her past? If she was held in a crate often, she may just have become accustomed to pooping/peeing in the crate if she really needed to. Otherwise, make sure you follow a schedule, take her out at a set time in the morning, but, at the same time, pay attention, if she starts moving around in her crate or barking, you might need to take her sooner.

3.) Walking - Walking is one thing Maya has down mostly good. I have a prong collar and she does not pull _at all_. The problem however is not walking, it is stopping and that she does way too much of it. Sometimes she'll walk 2-3 block straight, no problem -- this is fun! Other times however she will just dead stop. I think she is scared of something as her muscles lock up and her tail drops between her legs. I don't think she's curious about other animals/bugs/plants. She does not snif, does not walk the other way. She just stops! She seems to sometimes do this around certain houses in our neighborhood but not always. At times she will stop every 10-20 feet! this turns a 20 minute walk into an hour walk. When she stops too.. there is really no getting her to continue. I have tried getting her to 'come'. I have tried treats - even if i stick them right infront of her face, when she gets like this, she will just turn her head to the side and ignore them. The only solution I have is to pick her up walk 15 feet and put her back down. She will then usually continue... for at least another 10 ft.

Again, I will ask, do you know much about her history? This might give you some insight. If she isn't interested in treats when she gets like this, it probably means she is over her threshold, so to speak. In other words, she's too stressed to be interested in something she'd normally like. When she's stressed like that, she will likely not respond or learn anything. Usually, this happens when something scares a dog, or they feel threatened. It's interesting that there doesn't appear to be anything you can determine that is causing the problem. Maybe someone else will have ideas.

4.) Crate - Maya hates her crate. I have read that it sometimes takes dogs months to get used to her crate but the fact of the mater is she was better when i first got her. She used to bark maybe a couple times and whimper a bunch for maybe 10 mintues then she would stop. Now she barks loudly and constantly and tries to dig her way out for up to 30 minutes. This is a problem - I try to put her to bed around 10:30 or 11. However, The only time I have to get any work done for myself is after I put her to bed ... So I usually come back into my room around 1 or 2 and this wakes her again. She continues to complain for up to another 30 minutes. This really worries me that it is driving the other people in my house CRAZY. I try to fill her crate with her toys and some treats but she is uninterested. I've put her favorite meat-treats in there and found them untouched the next morning.

Have you tried covering the crate? Sometimes, you can do some crate conditioning, which is basically starting with a super short period of time, with a treat, in the crate, several times a day until it becomes "normal" to her. For instance, give her a kong stuffed with a dab of peanut butter, and shut the crate door for 30 seconds. Then, let her out. Don't fuss or talk to her. Do this as many times a day as you can. After a few days, try upping the time to 1-2 minutes, still several times a day. After a few days of this, try 3-5 minutes. You get the idea. It's supposed to build up her tolerance for being in the crate.
Also, you can try tiring her out a lot before you need to put her into the crate. First, exercise releases stress hormones, and second, she may be tired enough to sleep.


Last night I had the most progress with this. I watched a good video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8hb9aHfjLA and tried that out some last night. I sat by the crate for a while and got her to go in/out with treats. Eventually I put her in and left for a couple minutes, came back, more treats, and left. I did this about 3 times then just left for good. When i came back to go to sleep I think I gave her a couple more treats and stood by the crate for a minute. When i laid down she only barked twice and whimpered for maybe 5 minutes



Ok I think that is it for now. Sorry the post was so long! Hopefully some people can offer me some suggestions to save my sanity. I greatly appreciate any feedback.

Thanks!
Welcome! Congratulations on Maya! I answered in bold in your post! Sounds like you're doing fine!
 

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Just a few questions please ! Please add above suggestions to your toolbox :)....

Ok does your dog show same symptoms in any other situations? Around kids? Other people? Cars? Loud noises? Hat your seeing seems to be what was said above which is caused by the emotion fear ....

Are you on any obedience program.... Sounds like your little friend needs to have a confidence boost you can do this by training obedience and the bond you build in he process would build confidence/...and as suggested above dog love routine same things everyday try and get on a routine and dog will go potty same times everyday almost like clockwork ......

Ok wait for more on dogs history and behavior in different situations :)
 

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Thanks for all the feedback everyone. As far as history goes this is all I know:

She was a rescue that came in on the "Puppy Waggin" from Ohio to Michigan. I think the "Puppy Waggin" gets dogs from kill shelters and brings them to no-kill shelters to be adopted. She was only in the shelter by me for about a week. She had all her shots, was fixed, chipped and de-wormed. When I got her checked at the vet he gave me a container for her stool in case it didn't clear up. I guess if it doesn't clear up in a day or two after stopping the science diet I will send in a stool sample to see if she has worms or something (yikes, hope not)

Ok does your dog show same symptoms in any other situations? Around kids? Other people? Cars? Loud noises? Hat your seeing seems to be what was said above which is caused by the emotion fear ....
She does seem scared around people she doesn't know. There's some people she _loves_ like my girlfriend and one of my male housemates. But my other housemate and even more so strangers on the street she's terrified. She pretty much exhibits the same reaction -- locking up. How do I get her to not be scared though? I try petting her and talking in a happy calming voice but it doesn't seem to make a difference.

Are you on any obedience program.... Sounds like your little friend needs to have a confidence boost you can do this by training obedience and the bond you build in he process would build confidence/...and as suggested above dog love routine same things everyday try and get on a routine and dog will go potty same times everyday almost like clockwork ......
Not yet. I'm planning on going to one that starts next month. Hopefully that will help.
 

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Hmmm. Well, not all dogs follow the general rule of not pottying where they sleep. What is her history? Do you know much about her past? If she was held in a crate often, she may just have become accustomed to pooping/peeing in the crate if she really needed to. Otherwise, make sure you follow a schedule, take her out at a set time in the morning, but, at the same time, pay attention, if she starts moving around in her crate or barking, you might need to take her sooner
Answered this a bit in the last post. But basically I don't know much about her history other than that she came from a kill shelter.

Her normal wake up/poop time has been (until today) 5:50am.. That's a bit early for me. Do you have any tips to get your dog to sleep later? She goes to bed pretty late (10:30-11:30) and probably doesn't sleep that much since she barks for maybe 30 min and wakes up again when i go to bed. It would be great if she could normally wake around 7

Have you tried covering the crate? Sometimes, you can do some crate conditioning, which is basically starting with a super short period of time, with a treat, in the crate, several times a day until it becomes "normal" to her. For instance, give her a kong stuffed with a dab of peanut butter, and shut the crate door for 30 seconds. Then, let her out. Don't fuss or talk to her. Do this as many times a day as you can. After a few days, try upping the time to 1-2 minutes, still several times a day. After a few days of this, try 3-5 minutes. You get the idea. It's supposed to build up her tolerance for being in the crate.
I have tried covering it.. but perhaps what I was using was too small. It covered the top and a bit of the sides but not entirely. Also it was thin and she would usually just pull it inside the crate. I'll try to find a heavier old blanked to use.

I started to do 'conditioning' as well after watching that video. I think it helped her get to sleep a bit better last night. I'll try to do that before I put her in each time and also some other random times throughout the day.
 

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Treat her like a puppy for house training- leash her to you in the house, take her out on a schedule, feed her on a schedule (water always available though) and crate when you can't be there to watch her.
Try waking up once in the night for a potty break and then gradually extend the time she is crated overnight.

Google "crate games" for help in making her more comfortable in her crate. An exercise pen might be another option to help her feel less "closed in" and once you get the housetraining down, maybe using a baby gate to pen her in one or two rooms.

For her fear issues- time mostly. You've only had her 3 weeks, she has been through a LOT in that time. Plus of course the unknown background. A good rule of thumb is 3-4 months for a shelter rescue to adjust to your home, you etc, and show their full personality. Go slow, lots of positive reinforcement, don't make too big of deal about her fears (as in, talk calmly but matter of factly and keep walking or keep doing whatever), consider walking her with a very calm adult dog who she can look to for a good example- it worked me with with a fearful foster dog and she gained confidence daily walking with my dog Chester.

The Rescue Wagon dogs typically come from very crowded, very chaotic shelters and add in the transport and its stressful and scary to almost any dog.

Try adding some PLAIN canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) to her meals- about one tablespoon- to help with the soft stools. If that doesn't clear it up after a couple meals, then get her tested at the vets (since you've already changed the food and if its been at least a full week-ish for that)
 

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Agree with above takes time go slow with shelter "rescues" but you can help as suggested with positive reinforcement ! Take treats on walks start a remedial socializing program. Nothing overwhelming go slow. Whatever she fears hand her treats when she sees them before and during. Why wait till next month for training. Start some sits , downs etc... Socializing and training are lifetime !

Good luck
 

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Why wait till next month for training. Start some sits , downs etc... Socializing and training are lifetime !

Oh! sorry if i wasn't clear. I do training things every day. I thought they were referring to a class. Which I'm going to start next month. Basics like sit/down/come I do on my own. I need to do some research on how to train stay/lay down.
 

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For her fear issues- time mostly. You've only had her 3 weeks, she has been through a LOT in that time. Plus of course the unknown background. A good rule of thumb is 3-4 months for a shelter rescue to adjust to your home, you etc, and show their full personality. Go slow, lots of positive reinforcement, don't make too big of deal about her fears (as in, talk calmly but matter of factly and keep walking or keep doing whatever), consider walking her with a very calm adult dog who she can look to for a good example- it worked me with with a fearful foster dog and she gained confidence daily walking with my dog Chester.
This is so true. Kabota came up from Kentucky and he was crated 24/7 for years before that. He was scared of everything, except for people and other dogs. Flags flapping in the wind, traffic signals changing, big trucks, whatever. I just said "It's okay" and kept walking. I also worked heavily on "look at me", first inside without scary things, then outside. Now, if he freezes up, I have him look at me, tell him it's okay and he's good. But we've been together almost 6 months now. At week 3, we were still in the "I'm not actually a serial killer and this is not some plot to kill you, please calm down" phase.

How are you training? Clicker training is key for fearful dogs. The most punishment you can do with a dog like that is removal of attention. Any kind of correction or punishment is going to make things worse.

Watch kikopup on how to train lay down, and how to train stay.

Clicker training is amazing once you get the hang of it.

Oh, yeah, what treats are you using? You may need to go seriously high value, like cooked chicken or cheese or baked liver or hot dogs. It varies from dog to dog.
 

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I have a prong collar and she does not pull _at all_.
Consider a harness. A regular walking harness, not a "no-pull" harness. This way, when she stops, you can (gently but firmly) tug her along without causing pain. I don't have an issue with prong collars but they are an adversive which can make them counterproductive on a fearful or shut-down dog. I find them more appropriate to high-drive types who need something to kind of give them a big "HEY, I'm here, ignore the rabbit/deer/cat" as opposed to a fearful dog for whom the prong collar can make the fear worse (dog is scared, dog stops, to get dog to move, you tug on the leash which puts uncomfortable pressure on the dog's neck which doesn't exactly make the dog feel more secure and safe)

Harnesses are also more secure and safer if the dog decides to change from stopping in her tracks to bolting from something
 
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