Hi all...we have Sophie, who is now 9 weeks old. We got her at 7 weeks. We've been working on housetraining, obviously, but got a bit sidetracked with a UTI...the vet recommended that if she started to go in the house, just let her go and not try to stop her to move her outside...she's been on antibiotics for just over a week now, and I'm starting to see an improvement in her stream...she will still go in the house, sometimes just after going outside..but from what I've read on here, that's just par for the course for this age.
I have a couple of questions mainly about training in general:
1. Yesterday, we started giving her a treat for going outside to potty. We give her the treat, for example just after we take her out after a nap, or if we take her out after she's been in for a bit, or after meals...but NOT if we are already outside and she decides to go...I know we just started it yesterday, and what ever we do will take time to work. My question is: Is that the right method--giving her a treat only for the purpose of going potty outside and not if we're already out there...or should we give it to her regardless?
I don't like to keep her in the crate during the day if I'm home..and believe me, I'm on her like white on rice if I think she's gonna pee...we do crate her at night and if we leave the house. The crate is up stairs in our bedroom for the moment...she's been getting up just once at night to go outside at around 4-4:30 am after being let out at around 11 before bedtime. I feel I didn't get a dog to keep her in the crate so I don't want to put her in there if I'm home. She likes to nap on the cool tiles in front of the fireplace and the kids know to leave her alone when she's asleep.
Oh..also, we hung a bell on the door and have started showing her the bell before going outside..she thinks it's a great play thing, though, so I've been redirecting her if it looks like she's just playing...
2. I would like to start teaching her "sit" but I don't want to throw too much at her at once..the housetraining might be enough for now...would I use the same treats but make sure I'm not doing that training right after she goes potty?
3. She also thinks it's great fun to run away, especially if she's got something in her mouth that I don't want her to have...I don't want to chase her, but I also don't want her to have the random thing she gets..what do I do about that? Other than the obvious..not leaving random things around...the kids haven't quite gotten that yet!
I guess what I'm worried about is that I want to have a good, well-behaved dog and I'm worried that what we do now won't be able to be undone as she gets older. I know it takes time to teach and to learn and consistency is the key..she has shown some learning...she'll sometimes go to the door to be let out, but it's nowhere near consistent right now...and I don't expect it to be, she IS just a baby..
Sorry for the long post, I just know you guys will have some good suggestions and support.
Well, I dont know it all but it sounds like your doing just fine.
The potty training is a long road, dont get too frustrated. Treating is a good thing, she will learn fast that she gets a cookie for going potty. And if you are already outside and you see her pee, just tell her what a good girl she is. I have a phrase I use no matter what, everytime I say "good pee-pee" as corny as that is.
And I never did it but I have been told people will teather thier dogs to them that way they can keep them out of trouble (potty training, chewing) I just did basically what your doing now.
I nevr used a bell so no advice there.
And as far as training her, its up to you I think. As long as you keep it short and fun, I dont see what it could hurt. Dont expect too much too fast tho. It take practice, and alot of patience. Good luck.
ETA: Calli also had a UTI when we got her so I know what your going through!
Courtney, Bogey and Calli
We didn't crate Milly when we were home and she was a puppy but we also did not tether her to us either, but then again our home is relatively small and we closed all doors to places she was not allowed to go (bedrooms and bathroom) and that left us with the loungeroom and kitchen and we didn't put our rug back down until she was housebroken (we have laminate floorboards)
When Milly grabbed something she was not supposed to have we didn't chase her either, instead I would find something else more interesting (sometimes even kibble) and call her to me using her name, in a nice high-pitched happy voice and she just couldnt help herself but to come to me. Usually with the toy in her mouth.... I would take hold of the toy and ask her to "give" (sometimes had to pry it out of her mouth to start with LOL) and when she released she got the treat and LOTS of praise. She then knew her name and the "give" command fairly quickly.
We taught her to sit straight away. Their minds are like big sponges and at 9 weeks you will be surprised how much she'll learn. We started teaching sit before mealtimes, I'd hold her collar and put her food down and ask her sit (with a piece of kibble above her nose) and when she sat she was praised and I'd say "ok" release my finger from under collar and she'd eat her food. It took about 3 days for her to realise that if she sat she was allowed her meal.
Then when she'd do a sit from voice command we started to get her to drop for her dinner and then once again "ok" for her to have it. Etc... Etc...
also, I've found this website of great assistance in teaching Milly basic manners and obedience (we also take her to an obedience class twice weekly) http://www.dogstardaily.com/training
just wanted to add: I was also like you, so concerned that I'd have a big dog with no manners!! When we got Milly we started teaching commands from day one. To date, her known list of commands is quite extensive and IMO impressive for most "pet dog" owners, especially in my area of the world where things like Obedience training just is not a common practice amongst majority of households. She is reliable around children, she is extremely food orientated but knows that she needs the command before she starts gobbling, she's reliable off lead in my front yard and we don't have a fence, she is a great walker and all that with her personality combined .. people just adore her! She's an absolute pleasure to have around. We were strict with her but it was 500% worth it!
In general, it's effective to give treats and praise immediately following the dog's behavior that you want to increase and "iron in."
It could help you to get (& read & implement the methods described in) a copy of "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson, (very cheap; see Amazon.com). This follows scientific principles of learning and has a number of recipes/protocols for training specific tasks. Also, the principles of reward given there can be generalized to many other tasks.
Also, Sarahnye gave you very good advice.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Sarahnye: I book marked the website that you suggested.
Bob Pr.: I'll check out the book you recommended.
Today, Sophie rang her bell on her own, I let her out, she pottied, then I gave her the treat. I was so excited that she rang the bell and went outside! Then, I think she's figured out if she just wants out she can ring the bell cause for about 30 minutes today, we were back and forth with the ringing/letting out/coming back in cycle. She rang the bell, I opened the door, told her " Go Potty" she just looked at me and sat down outside...I waited for a bit..but she didn't go (and I somehow knew she wouldn't )..then she asked to come back in! Then about a minute later, she's at the bell again nudging it with her nose...I let her out again and the cycle repeated...the last time, she rang the bell and actually went potty, then I gave her the treat. All this while I was trying to get my daughter's and my lunch ready!
Just thought that was funny!