this is Lucy.
we got her at 7 weeks old. within 48 hours i had her trained to sit and "shake". by the 2nd week she had started to come to me whimpering, go to the door, and one time even "nudged" me to let me know she needed to go outside to relieve herself.
as she has become more and more comfortable w/ us, i feel she has regressed into inconsistency and bad behavior.
she is crated at night and during part of our work day. from her first night home she has never cried or whimpered. now the last 5 nights like clockwork around 4:30 am she wakes us barking non-stop. i'll go get her out, take her outside and she just sits there. she does not need to "potty".
when we walk her, she usually stubbornly pulls the opposite direction, holding her ground, having to be dragged to move forward. i have used treats and cheerios to try to entice her to walk alongside me but probably 75% of the time she refuses. the only way i can get her moving is to run and she will run alongside me, but she will not walk.
as mentioned before, she used to alert me when she needed to potty, now she does it constantly in the house. she will be outside for 10-15 minutes and may not do anything, and then the instant we come inside she does it there. or she may pee outside, and then do it again inside 2 or 3 times back to back immediately.
she "play-bites" our 7 year old very aggressively. no amount of scolding has hindered this in any way. i will scold her, grab her nose, turn her over, etc. she will duck down and tuck her tail between her legs, indicating she clearly knows she has done wrong. 30 seconds later, she's doing it again. our son is at times afraid of her because of this. she mostly just grabs ahold of his clothing, which she has ripped, angering my wife, but she's also landed some pretty intense bites on his skin.
the biggest concern though, is that my wife gets home at least an hour, sometimes several hours before me, takes her out of the cage, and she says Lucy just goes wild getting into everything she can (it's getting harder and harder to keep things out of her reach), biting our son, refusing to potty outside then immediately doing it inside, etc. when my wife tellers her "no!" or scolds or or tries to discipline her in any way, Lucy will start to pounce around and bark back, almost like a taunt. this tells me she thinks of her as an equal and not a master.
from the moment i get home, Lucy greats me kindly, and for the most part is calm and well-behaved for the rest of the evening, happily playing with her toys, chewing her bones, playing w/ our son without biting, etc. if i do have to scold her, she obeys me.
still can't get her to walk for me, still can't get her to alert me she needs to potty like she did before, but she definitely respects me tries to obey. she and i are "late night buddies". i tend to stay up a couple hours later than my family, during which time she cuddles up w/ me watching TV. when i am ready for bed, i tell her it's time for bed, and she walks into her crate.
just looking for advice, because my wife the last couple of days has been so frustrated with her behavior, she literally is wishing we didn't get her. i am attached and am not letting her go, because i understand she is just a puppy and is testing boundaries and learning to be well behaved/obedient.
please help me speed up getting my pup to behave! we are doing our very best to constantly praise/reward good behavior, and scold for bad. i know she is very, very smart. she learns things quickly, but she is being very stubborn. thanks for taking the time to read.
Key is to teach bite inhibition right now at this age. Google.... puppy bite inhibition. There are also some good YouTube videos about this, with one vet in particular that shows you exactly what to do.....we actually put our fingers into our pup's mouth and as soon as he bites down too hard, we yelp really loudly, (just like a litter mate would do if bitten too hard) and we pull our hand out, cross our arms across our chests and turn our heads and body away from them-ignoring them for approx a minute and then go back to playing with them. Odie barely bites us now even when we put our fingers into his mouth! He does this thing where he gentle nibbles you and then licks you now, no more biting!!! It works!!!! Scolding her so her tail tucks between her legs and ears down isn't helping, it's just frightening her and not teaching her.
Odie was grabbing my robe in the morning when he was so excited to see me and wanted to play and work off some of his energy. I would take my robe out of his mouth, say "NO" firmly and immediately give him a toy he could have to play with and say "good boy" with a rub when he would be re-directed to the toy. He has stopped the robe biting, pulling, now as a result.
How long is your puppy being held in a crate during the day?? Is she in there for long stretches of time and bored? That's probably why she is so hyper when your wife arrives home. Have you given her some kongs stuffed with goodies to chew on, so she knows that's the most terrific thing in the world to chew on?
I think with the potty training you just go back to square one. We've hardly had any inside accidents, but that's because for the first month home with Odie we've taken him outside as soon as he wakes up from a nap or sleeping, after he eats OR drinks a lot of water, after a play session, or if it's been an hour (he can go for longer intervals now because he's 14 weeks old now). I always brought small little treats outside with me and made a big deal as soon as he pee'd or pooped-"yay, good boy", but also used our word "go potty" as soon as he started to go and after going he'll go into a sit and get his little treat. We no longer need to treat for going potty now and if he's outside and I want to go in and want to be sure he's got an empty bladder, I'll say "go potty" and he dutifully does, even if it's just a nanosecond of a piddle. Still make a big deal of his going though, raising up my hands and squealing "what a good boy go potty". Eventually I will get to stop acting like an idiot, but for right now I really want to reinforce what a good thing this is to go outside in the area he's allowed to potty in and NOT in the house.
I understand how exhausting having a puppy is, but they are really only puppies for a very short time so you want to be able to enjoy the time too (which it sounds like you do as late night buddies!). It's particularly overwhelming too when it's your first puppy raising experience. Not sure if that applies to you. I would try to do some reading on puppy training and maybe consider getting a good puppy trainer to come into your house for a session with you, your wife (definitely) and your 7 yr old and of course, Lucy. It will be money well spent. We did that with our first lab, a private dog trainer came to the house for a couple of sessions with us and Bailey. We also did the puppy class with her as well, but we needed the individual instruction, just as much as Bailey did. Made a HUGE difference in our confidence to know how to handle her and we saw almost instantaneous results!
I went through the same thing with potty training not with olive but a different dog. They would go outside then come in and do it again. I was told puppies don't always empty their bladder the first time and to spend more time outside after they go to see if they need to go again. I take olive out on a schedule literally every two hours. She was sneaking around he corner in my house so I now have a gated area where she is and I don't give her free reign of the house. She has only has three accidents in the house in five weeks but I am crazy with a schedule. She is finally now signaling at the door but I still do not trust her.
As far as the biting that is pretty normal and one of the huge annoying things about a puppy. Is she getting a lot of off leash play this will help wear her out. Olive for some reason never did this but my parents have a puppy and he was like a piranha. I would just get up and walk away. I also would help loud and turn my back on him every time he did it.
We have to really watch what is in olives reach now that she is tall she can grab everything off the counters tables Ted. We got baskets to put little things like remotes and put them up real high. If they can reach it they are going o grab it think of them like four legged two year olds.
Is she in her kennel a lot during the day this is probably why she is super crazy when she gets put. Make sure she has a lot of outside play off her leash. If it was yucky outside I would throw the toys to olive down a hallway after awhile she would get worn out. Puppies can be very exhausting especially high energy breeds they need play that works their brains people think long walks will wear them out but that is not true. Get your puppy out playing off leash and life will get a lot easier.
Last edited by Olive's mom; 08-30-2013 at 07:49 AM.
When you take her outside, you have to stay out with her until she pees/poops and then praise her lavishly for doing so. Labs are people pleasers and will work hard to make you happy - if she sees your approval for going outside, she will work to repeat that behavior to get that reward (your approval). That same concept applies for anything you want her to do. Dogs learn very little from being scolded/reprimanded.
You seem to have absorbed some aspects of "Dominance Theory" training (based on you holding her down and also the idea that she sees your wife as a peer and not her master. Please look into other methods of managing dog behavior. Dominance theory is outdated and some things (like holding the puppy down/on their back) can lead to increased bad behavior and aggression. I recommend that you get and read "The Puppy Primer" by Patricia McConnell - its a short book that speaks to positive methods of puppy raising.
You also should really look into a puppy kindergarten class with her and do at least one round of obedience training.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Thanks for the great advice. I have done a great amount of reading and am just trying to figure out what works best. She was supposed to start puppy classes at 10 weeks but when she had a round of shots at the vet, whom we absolutely love, she told us to wait a little while longer. We are still just a little paranoid about parvo. The vet also told us a lot of the same things you have said.
One thing I took straight from here was to ignore her instead of scolding her. She nipped me very hard and I immediately picked up toys off the floor and walked off. She got sad and sat alone. When I returned she extended both paws towards me literally like requesting a hug. It was adorable.
She is unfortunately in the crate Monday thru Friday from about midnight to 630am, then again from
About 9 to noon, and 12:30 to 5. She gets daily walks and when she is with us it's constant attention. On the weekend she is out all the time except at night.
Overall yesterday was a great day. She got out to our baseball game and got a lot of exercise and attention.
Typically puppy classes are very safe with 2 rounds of vaccines if you are going to a place that is a training facility. I would not go to Petsmart of any place like that for puppy classes. Socialization is really critical.
Going to a ball game is actually more potential for exposure to parvo than a dog training facility. Anywhere that is public where a lot of other dogs go has the potential for parvo exposure. It lives on surfaces so you don't have to interact with other dogs to get it. I always tell people to get out in public thoughtfully - pet stores are not good, but hardware stores are fine. Walking through a down town area - ok - going to the dog park or other places where there are a lot of dogs - not ok.
If you know someone who has an adult friendly tolerant dog (preferably a female) you should arrange a play date for your dog. Many benefits including exercise, learning how to behave with other dogs and learning bite inhibition from the very best kind of teacher - her own species.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Totally agree with everything Sharon said above. We haven't taken Odie out anywhere except to the puppy socialization class and our backyard (and vet, but held him on our laps until he went into the exam room). To counter-balance this "isolation" due to the parvo prevention, we've had tons of people come over to handle and met Odie. Babies, kids, lots of guy friends, a couple of friends with healthy adult dogs that are good with puppies (including our own 9 year old lab). This weekend he gets his third set of vaccinations and will soon be ready to go on neighborhood walks, etc. I will be on the lookout for other people in my neighborhood that have puppies so I can try and arrange some playdates. The other pups in the socialization class are usually a good source for playmates, but in this case, Odie's classmates are all tiny (Corgi, Maltese, and some other tiny lap dog) so they aren't really a great fit for the kind of play he likes. Plus Odie weighs 30 lbs now and these pups are maybe 8-10 lbs, if that. I think Lucy would probably love a puppy class asap and I would have the whole family go to the class with her. Your 7 y.o. might enjoy it as much as Lucy!
I don't take my dogs to dog parks. Trish King, author of Parenting Your Dog, says going to a dog park (for a dog) is a like going to a cocktail party where everyone is drunk! I suppose it can sometimes be a good experience if it's a small group and all the dogs there are well trained and well socialized (not drunk), but my experience is that most of them are not (at least the doggy parks around here). Many of the dog owners are there with their Starbucks latte in one hand and their cell phones in the other, chatting away to another person or talking on their phones while totally ignoring their dogs. Which makes it hard to know if your dog is feeling overwhelmed, being bullied, or being the bully, if you aren't paying attention. I've actually seen an owner pull their dog out from where they had been hiding behind their legs and toss them into the newly formed "dog park pack" that had been terrorizing their pooch just a few minutes before. So....no, I'm not a dog park fan for socialization.
Yes, hardware store visits are a great way to get out with the young puppy! We went to Orchard Supply Hardware with Odie last Saturday. He got a ton of attention while there. It was a great way to practice leash walking and socializing him all at one time and I got some shopping done as well.
I have a friend that got his lab from the same litter our Boomer (departed now) was from. You would never have known that they were from the same litter in terms of dispositions. Dogs are all different, but Sierra had some behavior issues I felt were related to her being cooped up in a crate for most of the day. He had to leave Sierra in a crate for a good part of the day (because of work). Initially Sierra had lots of issues with her being very high strung and chewing on a ton of stuff (kitchen cabinets, picture frames, you name it, she chewed it) when he got home and let her out of the crate. It was almost as if she was punishing him for leaving her for so long. One weekend a dog sitter, just walked out while my friend was out of town because she couldn't take Sierra's jumping up and nipping! I think Sierra just had way too much pent up energy. My friend finally sprang for someone to come in and take Sierra out of the crate and play with her and walk her for a about 30-40" each weekday, in addition to his coming home at lunch and doing the same thing. It was only for a few months until she got a bit more settled and started to mature. Once she was fully vaccinated, he'd take her for a good long neighborhood walk in the morning and again in the evening (so before leaving for work and after returning home before bed). Weekends were long hikes in the hills, play dates with other dogs (including her brother). At around 10 months he was then able to leave Sierra in a puppy playroom area (aka the kitchen) instead of the crate, without her destroying anything. There was a a huge difference in his relationship with her and her's with him. In another 6 months, when she was absolutely "trustworthy" and more mature/older, she was given free reign of the house. Yay! Another change he made was to use the much larger crate I loaned him. The one he was using quickly became way too small for Sierra (she could barely stand up and turn around in it). I also encouraged him to leave her with one or two Kong's stuffed with treats and other safe things to chew on whenever she was being left alone for any extended length of time.
Lucy is adorable and with consistency and patience she will grow up to be the dog you want her to be and you'll become the owner she wants you to be! As I write this Odie is asleep under the kitchen table with his head on my feet! How much better can it get!!!
totally agree with Sharon. A puppy class in a school (not in a pet store) that disinfects prior to classes is safe and recommended.
walks are great but they are not exercise. she needs to run and play. not sure if you already do that.
remember puppies are babies. our job as owners is to set them up for success and show them what we WANT and not always just correct the bad stuff. I totally understand they are very very frustrating but try not to blame her for everything. Your post sounds as though you feel she is doing all these things on purpose to be a pain to the family. She is just trying to figure things out, figure out her world - but in the way PUPPIES do. Which isn't always in line with what humans want.
Last edited by Tanya; 09-02-2013 at 08:09 PM.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Lucy is absolutely adorable! It sounds like you are getting some good advice. I'm not an expert, but we have been dealing with some of the same things with our Peyton. I have one idea that worked for us on the walking. Peyton refused to walk for us - he would sit down and would yelp loudly when we tried pulling him along. Obstinate little boy! The only thing that would get him moving is following the kids. We would have them walk in front of us and he would happily follow along. For a couple of weeks, that was the only way he would walk. Now, he walks just fine and is actually starting to pull us along, so we have to start working on his manners on the leash. I figure walking at all is a step ahead of where he started!
Good luck with everything! The training will be worth it when we have well behaved dogs later!
ETA: And the hardware store is a great place to take a puppy for socialization. It exposes them to all sorts of noises like forklifts beeping and carts moving around, and people can't keep their hands off of them! I understand Lowes has a corporate policy not allowing dogs in the stores (I'm sure some don't follow the rule), but we have never had any problems taking Peyton into Home Depot.
Last edited by love_our_pup; 09-02-2013 at 08:59 PM.
Mom to 4 not-so-furry kids and
furbaby Peyton - 6/9/2013
thank you all for the great advice and encouragement. she is behaving a lot better in most aspects already.
she still play bites quite a bit and she still barks back at my wife or son when they tell her no for doing something she shouldn't. she will sit, shake, lay, and stay on command for me every time but ignores the same requests from them.
yesterday i went back to bed for a little bit and i could hear my wife and son telling her "no! no!" repeatedly, and Lucy was barking back running around. i went in there and looked at her sternly and said "no!" and went back to bed. my wife said she was a saint for the next two hours i was sleeping, just knowing i was in the house.