Boxer Puppy: Taking Steps Back With Training: Mostly Housebreaking!

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by laurenrca, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. laurenrca New Member

    So, we got our puppy when she was just under 5 weeks old. She is now 9 weeks old. She never had any problems from her early separation. And she picked up very quickly on training; she is very smart and attentive.
    She was starting to get the idea of going outside to potty. My husband and I both work all day, every day. But, luckily I only work a couple of blocks away from home, so I could come home on lunch to let her out. And she was doing pretty well. I know it’s a long time to hold it for a puppy, but since we had her on a feeding schedule, she was doing well. Eat, go out and potty a few minutes later and be good until I got home and/ or she ate again.
    We went on vacation for a week when she was about 7 weeks old. She was left with my parents and their dog and she learned a lot from watching their dog, Cindy. She picked up on Cindy's cues of needing out, so then she would bark, pace, go to the door and stand against it, come to your feet and beg, etc. And after a couple of days back home, back on her regular schedule of feedings and going out, we thought she was almost completely trained. Of course, we still had to stay on our toes with her because when she did tell us she needed out, there wasn’t much time to spare. But now, after being home from our vacation for about 2 weeks now, she’s taken a turn for the worse.
    She is penned in our kitchen. It’s an average size kitchen and she has her crate (her full grown size) in there too, to go in anytime she wants. We tried using puppy pads in the floor on the other side of the kitchen, near the door, but all she did was play with them, plus she never made any messes anyways, on the pad or not.
    My husband leaves before I do and gets home after me but we’ve tried to keep a pretty puppy-friendly schedule going for her, which is as follows:
    Up at 4am, she goes out, eats breakfast at 4:30ish, out a few minutes later, and then out 3-4 more times before I leave for work at 7:30. I come home for lunch at 12:00, she goes out, eats lunch (half of her normal meal portion), out a few minutes later, and out 2-3 more times before I go back to work at 1. I come straight home at 4:00, let her out, feed her dinner around 4:30- 5, let her out a few minutes later, and then she goes out after she wakes up from naps, plays, or just every 30 minutes or so until we go to bed around 11pm. I usually get up once in the middle of the night with her, and then start the day over at 4am. Like I said she was doing fine with this new schedule until about 3 days ago. Now, every day I come home at lunch to several messes, same with after work, and in between bedtime and when we wake up.
    And, were still working on teaching her not to bite, playful or not, because she’s actually really strong already, plus we really don’t want her to bite when she’s full grown. She’s never being mean, but playful nipping. We have tried smacking her in the mouth, on the snout, scolding her (she does know what “no” means), and pinning her until she quits fighting like a mother dog does (we do all of these gently to not hurt her, but stern enough to where she should get the point. we don’t hurt her!). But, none of this seems to work. Sometimes shell quit for the time being, sometimes it’ll make her even madder and she’ll start barking and snapping even more, but either way, the lesson don’t stay long before she does it again.
    And, she doesn’t listen as well as she used to. Maybe where we did get her so young, she was/ and still is very attached to us and would stay right with us at all times, even when outside. Now, she still does for the most part, but when we let her wander in the yard for a bit and play, she now no longer comes right back when we holler her name (which she also fully knows) or clap (which used to work miracles with her), or if she’s close and we go to pick her up and bring her in (there’s a retaining wall from the side of the yard to the driveway where the door is that she cant jump on or off yet), she darts and leaps away, like a catch-me-if-you-can game, and she don’t quit.
    So, my questions are: what do we do?! Why has taken these steps in training back? What the best way to remind her of what we expect from her with housebreaking? How can we get our point across with the biting? And how can we get her to start listening well again?
    Also, what is a clicker and clicker training? I have heard a lot about it, but am pretty clueless.. Maybe this could help us?
    Thank you so much in advance to anyone with some help for us!
    Dodge likes this.

  2. Dodge Well-Known Member

    :)hi,I m not sure what the problems could be with the toilet training,maybe you ll have to go back a few steps and praise the hell out of her when she does her business outside and totally ignore when she does it indoors,never ever tell her off for doing it . . . she will not understand what you are telling her off for;) or maybe she has an infection?
    I havent got an awefull lot of time,so try to put some links on for you to read for the biting and try to find one for clicker trainging,too :)
    Code:
    http://www.dogtrickacademy.com/members/forums/threads/puppy-problems-my-puppy-chews-my-shoes-and-me.2429/
    Ok,that didnt work,its hit 'n miss with me and links :confused::poop:
    :LOL:
    Click onto "Puppies" and the first three threads up top will give you loads of info for toilet training and puppy biting(y)

    (forgot to say,never smack or even tap her for biting,this will only make it worse and you dont want her to be fearfull of your or any other hand coming towards her,she can not know whether its petting her or smacking her;))
    <object width="640" height="390"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/PLJda8OYVwo&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/PLJda8OYVwo&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></embed></object>
    :confused:
    If this worked . . . I ll eat my hat :confused:
    If you go to "General Training" on the second page you will find a thread called "Bow Wow Clicker TRaining Videos" they will explain the clicker training,but there are lots and lots of diferent videos all over the place here for clicker training,too,just have a snoop around (y)
    Hope this helps with your little babe :love:
    abby_someone likes this.
  3. abby_someone Well-Known Member

    Here Dodge, I will help out with the links LOL!! You are way too funny:ROFLMAO:. (hopefully they will go live when I post, my hyperlink button is down :eek:)
    http://www.dogtrickacademy.com/members/forums/threads/bow-wow-clicker-training-videos.3568/

    This has two of the best videos I have seen on the basics of clicker training. Also, check out Kikopups vids on Youtube.


    Here is a link to here page, she has 172 videos. They are pretty amazing:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup

    There are a few more that are really good, but I don't want overwhelm you. We here at DTA are into positive reinforcement. Some of the techniques you mentioned are a little old fashioned (I have used them too :)) The people here are really great at helping you learn different methods to doggie discipline and training. You are welcome here and remember, there are no stupid questions!!! I hope to have many conversations with you in the future:).

    EDIT: Links went live!!! Yea!!:D
    Dodge likes this.
  4. Dodge Well-Known Member

    :ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL: omg,I would say "dumb as cowpoo" instead of funny,LOL!!!! I did manage to put pics and even a link on somewhere,but hey,thank god you helped me out there,thank you soo much:love: (I love kikopups videos,but couldnt find one quickly :barefoot:)
    Best of luck laurenrca (y)(y)
  5. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi, and congrats on your new baby. The first thing I'd like to remind you - she's just a baby!!! While you might think she just about that had house training thing down pat, she's probably a little ways from it yet. Her little mind is only just beginning to retain things. 5 weeks is very young to be taken from her mom and littermates, so much development goes on over the next several weeks/months. As for her housetraining, in reality, she needs to be let out every hour or so, so for you to come home after 4 hours and find a mess - yes, I would expect that. You were probably very lucky at first - she was probably sleeping the whole time you were gone. There are a few kind of general rules of thumb: one says puppies should be taken out every hour to potty. Another school of thought says puppies can hold their urine for about 1 hour for every month of age (2 months = 2 hours). The fact is, each dog is different. Only you know your dog - but it seems like yours is definitly telling you she can't hold it for the 4 or so hours you're asking her to. Her messes are because she has no other choice. She has to go - and go she is. It's most likely she needs to potty every 2 hours or so - rather than every 4 hours. She still has a very small bladder, and just can't hold it. Think in terms of a newborn - think about how often new moms change diapers (constantly!!). :confused: Maybe on the weekend, or sometime when you're off, you could try taking her out on more of a 1-2 hour schedule (yes, even in the middle of the night), and see if the accidents diminish. If so, you have your answer. Then the next thing is finding a way around your current set-up - maybe a petsitter to come let her out in between times when you're not home, or ?? Another thought, Dodge brought up a good point above, especially at her young age, please don't punish her or get irritated at her for her messes, but do make sure when you take her outside to potty, that you do ask her 'go potty' (or whatever your words are), and then when she goes, praise the heck out of her, really throw a party! Bring treats, make it memorable!!

    As for her biting. Please, please don't smack her - gently or not. You don't ever want her afraid of your hands. And please don't "pin her like a mother dog would". You're not a mother dog, and she won't be fooled into thinking you are one. Again, you don't ever want that puppy to fear you. When she starts biting your hand, stuff a toy in her mouth, show her what's appropriate for her to bite on. If she doesn't want that toy, and continues to bite on your hand, then get up and totally withdraw all attention from her. If she continues throwing herself at you (or whatever her little puppy mind might think up, like maybe not attacking your shoes, or feet, or whatever), then put her behind a baby gate on a little time-out until she calms down. Once she's calm, she can try again - and be consistent. You bite, here's your toy - gooood girl!!! Yippee, bite the toy, oh what fun!! She bites you again, your hand goes away, bite again, she goes away. She'll get it - but again, remember, she's a baby, you need to give her time to learn. Another thing you can do, if she bites you too hard, be sure to 'yelp' OUCH!! Do let her know it hurt you (then withdraw yourself). But rather than smacking, pinning, etc - show her what's appropriate, show her what you want her to do, what's right to do, rather than only punishing her for what you don't want her to do. She'll learn much faster and you'll get the rewards. :)

    You also mentioned above that she no longer basically comes to you when you call her when she's outside wandering around. Well, what's in it for her? You're going to take her back inside, right? :eek: She doesn't want to go - so she's not goin'!! Instead, she plays a great game of come and try to catch me! I'd start bringing treats outside, call her to you (when she's right by you and you know for sure she'll come) give her a treat, then let her go. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then call her and give her a toy - and let her go. Make coming to you fun - something to look forward to, rather than something that only means that fun time is over. Hey, when mom calls me, sometimes it means that she has something yummy or fun to give me, too. :p My bet is, you'll see a difference in her running away from you, and instead, she'll be much more interested in seeing what you have to offer her. If you chase her - the game is on!! I would definitely play chase games with her - on your terms, outside, as part of play time. It's obvious she likes them - but not when you call her, ever. Do make sure, when you call her and she comes to you (even if you have to call her several times), that you reward her when she comes. She's learning - and you have to make it worth her time. She'll catch on.

    I don't have time to explain in depth about clicker training right now, but search thru the forum, I know there are many threads. It's how many (if not most) of us train here on this forum. It's a wonderful, positive method, easily understood by the dogs, and makes training easy and fun. Your girl is the perfect age to start - you've have a blast with her. One thing I would recommend, especially since she was taken from her mom and littermates at such a young age. Are you anywhere where you could get her in a (positive based) puppy preschool/puppy kindergarten class? It probably would benefit her greatly, she'd be with puppies her age, she could learn so much socialization from them, you'd learn training techniques, etc. If you could, it might be well worth considering.

    Most of all, have fun with your girl - they grow up so fast!!
  6. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    For the recall jackienmutts made a very good point, if she knows your only calling her to go back inside which means play time is over she is going to catch on to that verrrrry quickly and sounds like she has. I like to trick Riley every once and awhile when its around bedtime and she crawls under our coffee table so we cant get to her, or if we are on walks off leash, ill bend down call her to me as though play time was over, give her a nice pat and massage and we keep playing, you can definatly see the wheels start turning after doing this awhile, and she thinks hmmmm...I dont always have to stop playing when they call me, sometimes I get realllly great things, so maybe I'll take a chance and head back to them! I like to do that little game about 5x as often as I call her to quit playing or to leave somewheres, that way her reliability to come to you is much higher! Hope this helps! I find especially with puppies is crouching low or looking at the ground for a minute call them, look back down, really gets them interested enough to get back to you as well, as she is like...damn mom has something really good over there!!
    Dodge and abby_someone like this.
  7. Bosun Well-Known Member

    Hi, congrats on your new pupper!!! So much fun and learning goes on in the first few months!

    If I may, correct a few things that most people believe. First, like already stated, I find it's easier to think of them in terms of "children equivalent years" meaning you have a 2 month old baby. There is no eal way to potty train a baby. You can be aware of their schedule and place them in the appropriate spot, but they-themselves are not trained, the humans/adults are. I agree, that at 5/6 weeks the pup was probably sleeping the whole time and is now becoming a little more aware of what's going on, waking and needing to pee.

    At around the 9 week mark pups go through a "fear period" meaning anything that scares them will do so for life. So much of a good relationship calls for trust. Any relationship. We need to do everything to gain and earn this trust from our dogs. Please, like said, you don't want a pup afraid of your hands.

    You are doing an amazing job, coming here and looking for answers before it gets out of control. Yeah for you!!!! I think you will find that teaching a dog what you DO want rather than trying to untrain what you don't want is a much easier way to tackle any issue. Throw the party when the pup does its business outside, make it the most fun, best thing ever!!!! Ignore the behaviour inside. They want our attention, use that to your advantage, they learn so quick! Have a blast with the pup when they are chewing on the 'right' things, abruptly leave without a word or fuss when they chew on you. Reward what you want to see again and you will.

    I hope you've had a minute to look at the clicker training stuff. It really makes life easier for you and the pup. Remember the put doesn't make a difference in its mind between a "trick" and a "command" so use the same joy in teaching "sit" as " shake hands" You'll get it, the pup will get it and all will be well!!!! Good for you for looking for answers! Your a good doggy Momma!
    Dodge likes this.
  8. abby_someone Well-Known Member

    I would not say "dumb as cow poo"!!!! Maybe just a little technologically challenged:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:!
    Dodge likes this.

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