A bundle of questions.

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sammi_jo85
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A bundle of questions.

Post by sammi_jo85 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:48 am

I just have a few detail-oriented questions that I've been wondering about, because I know that all of the little details matter when training a new puppy (my Humphrey is going on 12 weeks now), and I want to make sure that I have everything correct from the get-go so I don't end up confusing him.

I know that every dog is different, and it depends on how consistent a person is when potty training, but I was wondering what the average amount of time it takes to potty train a new puppy? I've been working with him now for nearly two weeks (I know, not very long at all), but it'd be good for me if I could have a rough idea of an "end" time slot for me.

With his potty training I decided to crate train him so that he can learn to go to the toilet outside, and I've decided to treat him every time he does successfully go outside, but I wasn't sure when the best time to treat is. Should I treat straight after he has gone potty, or should I wait until he has come back inside? So far I've been treating him straight after he has come inside, but I think it's a bit of a delayed reaction for him and he's not making the connection between going potty outside and why he's receiving the treat.

I also work from home, so I'm with him pretty much 24/7 (poor thing, I'm sure he's bored of me). Since I'm crate training him, I only leave him in for about an hour, take him out to go potty, treat him and then let him have some play time. My question is, should there be an allotted amount of play time? Should I let him play for 30mins and then pop him back in his crate for an hour? Or does it matter?

And my last question is about using the word, "no." I know that dogs don't understand our language, so there's really no point in shouting "no" all the time, but sometimes when I catch him chewing on something he's not supposed to, I can't help but shout, "no!" or "leave it!" I was wondering if there's an alternative word I can use, or something else I can do so it doesn't sound like I'm constantly scolding him whenever he's chewing on something inappropriate. I've tried making the "AH!" noise and then handing him one of his proper chew toys, but sometimes he won't get it and then continue to chew on my rocking chair or table while looking at me, which can be frustrating.

Right, I think those are all of the questions I have at the moment. :) I know I shouldn't stress too much, but I just want to make sure I have everything down so I don't have to worry about any other problems once he gets older. Any advice would be super. Thanks!

Fundog
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Post by Fundog » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:40 am

Okay, first thing: congratulations on your new puppy, good for you, for being so concerned about doing what's best for him. :D

So to answer some of your questions: Some exceptionally precocious puppies might start indicating when they need to go out within just a few weeks of training, but like the very young human, they do not actually develop very good bladder control until they are at least 4 or 5 months old. In addition, puppies-- like the very young human-- tend to "forget" they need to go, especially when they are busy playing or sniffing, and they are easily distracted, so they need to be reminded-- like the very young human, lol.

Also, you should be accompanying your puppy outside to go potty. Be sure to take the treats with you, so you can praise and reward immediately, before he forgets what he did right. :lol:

Allow him as much freedom as you can, while still supervising him. If at any time you are not able to supervise him (on a business call, taking a shower, very focused on work, etc.), then put him in his crate. As long as you are able to watch him to take him out to potty, then he should be allowed some freedom outside his crate.

Also, seeing as how he is very young, you need to take him out often-- every 30 minutes. Don't wait for him to indicate yet at this point-- you be the one to tell him it's time for a potty break, and take him out. Also be sure to take him out after every meal, every play session, every nap, etc.

Good luck, I think you'll do just fine. :)

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Post by mselisabs » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:08 pm

A new puppy is so exciting - we want to see pictures! :)

As far as reprimanding, "Leave it!" is a GREAT thing to teach a puppy or any dog! It was one of the first things I taught our adult rescue because a sharp "No!" Would send her running back into her crate with tail tucked down. Not quite the case anymore but even a soft "leave it" will produce the desired results. Of course, when your pup gets to his selective-hearing-adolescent-stage you might have to be a little bit more sharp with that command. :lol:

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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:18 pm

Yes, "Leave It" is one of the more important cues to teach a dog. But yelling "Leave it" any time you see the dog with something in its mouth isn't the way to do it. The command would be meaningless if you don't actually train it first. I would say to train the dog on the command first using a clicker. There are tons of sites out there with info on how to teach leave it, and others here will probably chime in to give you more specifics. This site has very detailed instructions on how to teach leave it:

http://www.clickerlessons.com/leaveit.htm

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Post by Noobs » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:22 pm

Sammi_jo, of course you will ask tons of questions here and people will be happy to answer you. But for general reading I would highly recommend clickertraining.com - you have to do a free registration to enter the site, but I found it to be a lifesaver for me for my general questions or when I didn't necessarily need a live person to answer my questions. There's a whole puppy section too! Best of luck and congrats on your little pup. :D

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Post by Nettle » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:08 pm

For a tiny puppy, instead of saying any command to 'leave' or 'no', use distraction the same way you would with a very young child ie if puppy has just started to chew on the chair, coo "look what I have!" and start doing something interesting with a chew toy, a chew vegetable, a chew piece of cardboard etc etc.

Yes you do need lots of chewies and everywhere in the house :D part of the charm and challenge of puppies.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

sammi_jo85
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Post by sammi_jo85 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:31 pm

Ooo thanks so much for all of the feedback! I have started clicker training with him and he's taking to that really well, but having a site teach *me* how to properly use the clicker is really handy. I've watched some YouTube videos on it, but it never hurts to have more education under my belt. He's still having issues with the "leave it" command, so having a step-by-step guide on how to properly teach the "leave it" and "take it" commands is good. I've been trying "leave it" and "take it" by distracting him with another toy, and sometimes he responds while other times he just looks at me like, "nah, what I have is better." Time and patience is what I really need it seems. :)

Thanks again for all the feedback. It's really reassuring for me, which is what we all need sometimes. :)

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Post by Noobs » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:42 pm

Leave it may be a little too advanced for his age. :wink: I don't know, more experienced trainers may be able to tell you.

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Post by Noobs » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:49 pm

Ah, not liking the inability to edit! Sammi_jo I just remembered one things about teaching my dog leave it. I did NOT give him a verbal command at first. I put a low value treat in my hand (dog biscuit) and kept it closed. In my "reward" hand I had a piece of cheese. I held my closed hand out to him and he would try to get to the biscuit. The second he stopped for a split second, just a split second, click/treat. Then after a few repetitions I waited until he stopped for two seconds, then click/treat. Then after a few reps he got used to stopping, and at that point I did not click/treat, but instead waited until he looked up at me. THEN click/treat. It took me maybe a couple of days to put the command "leave it" to the action.

I got my first real-life test of the command once when we were walking home from the park. A man approached us and wanted to say hi, so I let him. He had a bag, and he put it down so he could kneel and greet Murphy. Of course Murphy promptly put his face into the man's bag - rude! So I said, "Leave it" in an even-toned voice and he whipped his head around and looked right up at me! The man said, "He listens to you!" (Uh, of course he does! :wink: ) Of course, he developed a whole host of unrelated issues after that and we focused all of his training on those issues. So now he's a little out of practice on "leave it" but I'm currently working on it again, but thankfully he's already got a semi-solid foundation, so I can use a toy I throw a few feet to practice leave it.

Best of luck to you. I'm looking forward to having you come back and continue posting about your progress. This is a really great forum, so please stick around. :D

sammi_jo85
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Post by sammi_jo85 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:18 pm

Noobs wrote:Best of luck to you. I'm looking forward to having you come back and continue posting about your progress. This is a really great forum, so please stick around. :D
Thanks so much! I'll post updates if ever someone wants to know how 'ol Humphrey is doing. Today he's mostly chilling out since it's really rainy and taking lots of naps, but that's perfectly fine with me. I have only been on the forum for a short while, but already I'm hooked. Thanks for all of the advice. :)

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