Pup won't listen... what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by jen74145, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We adopted two pups about three weeks ago... brothers, now ten weeks old. They are usually well-behaved and obedient, but we have a point of contention. The kitchen.
    The floors are unfinished in there, and I do not want the dogs in there as they may mess or find something to hurt themselves on. So, I rigged a makeshift barrier, and we tell them no when they try to get in. Archer gets it, and wil sit just outside the kitchen and peer woefully in, but Bowie tries to be sneaky. Whenever he thinks we're not around, he dives over it. I scruff him, take him back out, put his paws up on the barrier, scold him, swat his rump, and he slinks off under the couch. Hubby does the same.

    He KNOWS he shouldn't be in there, when he gets caught in the kitchen, he makes submissive movements. If we see him about to go in, and tell him no, he stops immediately and will usually go find something less naughty to do. :rolleyes:

    I know he's still a little baby, but he knows better, and this defiance of the humans thing is something I'm not too cool with; he's going to be BIG, so he really needs manners! Suggestions?
     
  2. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Reinforce your barrier and win this battle early on. :hobbyhors
     

  3. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    Hubby slinks under the couch when you swat his butt??? LOL can't help myself.

    I agree with minnikin1.

    Sounds like Bowie is going to be your challenge. Firmness and consistency are going to be important. If those don't work, the prudent use of a shock collar (don't let them see you pushing the button) might give you the edge you need to get your message across while training.
     
  4. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LOL, I needed that laugh. :rolleyes: Silly me should proofread, lol.

    I have thought about upping the barrier, but if it gets much taller I won't be able to get over it myself (the pains of a short woman with a big puupy). Ah well, will be a hassle, but suppose I've gotta. Darn pup.
    But, would a shock collar be safe for such a young pup? He's ten weeks, just wouldn't want to really hurt the little guy...
     
  5. SeptemberWolf

    SeptemberWolf Well-Known Member

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    Just a couple comments. Archer wants to please you. Bowie sees that you go into the forbidden room and connects with "something might be more interesting in there." Since he has already gotten in, he knows that it's possible - this is partial reinforcement, which is the hardest to undo. Once a dog knows it's possible to do something, it will just keep trying until it succeeds once again.

    These pups are still young enough to respond well to play and fun. Can you make the 'non-kitchen area' MORE fun for them to be in than the kitchen would be? Toys, games, treats everywhere BUT in the kitchen.

    Also, remember to stay calm. If you get worked up and nervous about things, so will the dog. Praise both of them when they do what you want them to. Make things better for them - according to their perception -- when they do what you want, than when they do what instinct tells them to do.

    Archer and Bowie have two very different personalities. Bowie is more of a 'leader' and he responds to what you are doing as the "rule-setter". He will also try to challenge you more.

    You don't need shock collars yet. Strengthen your barrier or make it like a gate. Also this is not too early to begin teaching Sit-Stay. Amazing how good a response you can get! Go for it!
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When Archer is sitting near the gate, praise and treat him. When you catch Bowie going near the gate, call his name and tell him to sit, using a soft or normal tone of voice. Praise and treat, then call the puppy over to where you want them to be, praise and treat. It will be much easier if you reward the behavior that you want rather than punish the behavior that you don't want.

    Bowie has already been rewarded for going over the barrier (the fact that it's fun, and he ends up in the kitchen), so he's basicly been self rewarded for the behavior. When he goes to climb the barrier he has a pretty good chance of getting over (fun) and ending up in the kitchen. Getting punished isn't cool, but what are the odds? You could instigate a horrible punishment, but you would have to instigate it at the exact time that he puts his paws on the barrier, not once he's made it over the barrier. Even with a horrible punishment, the fact that he has already been successful means that he will keep attempting and being rewarded. The time for a horrible punishment was the first time he attempted.

    If you can't pay enough attention to see every time he heads for the kitchen, you can crate him, put down a musical mat in front of the barrier so you can hear the evil deed, or take some five minute periods and work on training him to sit near the kitchen door, but not in the way. Bring him to the spot near the kitchen, lure him into a sit, and treat and praise. Then, bring him to the place you want him to be in when he's in the living room, treat and praise. Bring him back and forth for five minutes, then go about your business but keep an eye on him. When he heads toward the kitchen, if he goes to his sit spot, treat and praise. If he goes to the barrier, give him a downer cue (like "ahhh-hh"), and point him to the right spot. treat and praise. When you can't keep an eye on him, crate him or tether him to his living room spot, along with a good chew toy.

    On another note, if you have him sit on a specific item, like a little rug, he will not only be trained to the spot you choose, but to the rug, so you can take the little rug with you when you want to park him someplace.

    And on still another note, I didn't notice any photos.
     
  7. GREG VT

    GREG VT Well-Known Member

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    LOL

    This sounds like the exact situation I was in a year ago when we had just brought out two German Shepherd pups home.

    Scout, the female, was very good and learned very quickly and seemed to want to please us. Ranger, the male, was much more hard headed and "hard of hearing" at times.

    Whenever Ranger would test me by ignoring my command or by doing something he knows he is not allowed like pulling pieces of wood off the kindling pile or attempting to cross a barrier he would find himself attached to a leash right at my side or being taken for a walk on a short leash in every direction but the one he wanted to go in.

    It took awhile and it is still an ongoing process but he is much better at understanding who is running the show now and his hearing has improved greatly.

    You should think of this as a great training opportunity as he has given you a battle to fight so to speak. It is up to you to make sure the message he comes away with is that you will ALWAYS win the battle no matter how hard he fights.
     
  8. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all the post so far! Excellent training concepts! To go a bit farther with the "make the kitchen LESS appealing and the rest of the house MORE appealing" strategy, I offer this funny and effective option:

    I KNOW this will be pain for you for a day or two, but I have had it work with great success. Remember how he "self-praised himself" by getting into the forbidden room? Well, now have him self-scold himself by setting up LOTS of shallow baking pans and cookie sheets with water right on the other side of the barrier! He hops over the barrier (and LET him do it!), and lands into a clatter of pans, water all over himself, etc!

    Then, YOU GET TO BE THE COMFORTING LEADER! You pick him up, cuddle him, ooooooo and cooooo over him, and place him on the correct side of the barrier with a treat. The really stubborn ones will do this 2 times, but they get the message: "Wow, I'm too inexperienced to really know what's out there.... better listen to Leader!"

    If water all over your unfinished floors will be a problem, then use something equally as startling; mouse traps, a pile of metal utensils on a cookie sheet, etc.

    Good Luck! (and grab a camera! :p )
     
  9. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My, Jill, you are devious. I like how you think. Bowie's self rewarding becomes Bowie's self punishing. You hear a crash and just go over, pluck the puppy up and out. Remember to have him sit in the right spot before you treat.
     
  10. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ooh, Jill... heehee, little pup is in for a nasty, noisy surprise...
     
  11. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    If these pup where in my house I would say they have to much freedom (aka to much room to get into trouble :p ). At my house if we can't watch what the pups are doing we would crate them. Puppys are not trustworthy to be left alone period. Freedom comes from maturity which is different from pup to pup. If Bowie was my pup and he is getting over the barrier I would make a bigger barrier so he CAN'T get over.

    I would suggest that you don't leave him or his brother alone to their own devises (not saying you are...what I mean is that unless you can keep your attention on them I would probably crate them for a bit until you can). You said that when Bowie doesn't think you are there he will try. Unless you are there if I was you I wouldn't give him the CHANCE to try. To me bowie is being a normal pup. We have a 2 1/2 year old German Shephard who STILL does puppy antics. Now he does sometimes know better but he STILL is a puppy in a lot of ways. Bigger dogs take a lot longer to mature and grow up I have found. My family and I have raised many guide dog puppys and our own puppys and have found that 10 weeks is just to young to leave pups alone or not watch them. We made sure that unless somebody was watching the pup then the pup would go in the crate until we could.

    Ok I hope that made sense :) .

    MotherClucker
     
  12. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    I would
    Leash him
    OR Spray him when he gets over. Same idea as the water pans.
    I have COrgis....4 years old and still doing things they know they shouldn't. Little farts need training every month for their whole loves. But thats partly because they are never leashed. I live in the woods and they have free run. A leash is a great training tool.
     
  13. lamanchagoatgrl

    lamanchagoatgrl Well-Known Member

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    Okay, Jill I LOVE your idea. Too clever! LOL
     
  14. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I honestly wouldn't have 2 puppies at the same time. Too much work and training. One pup is enough and will pick up appropriate behavior from older dogs if you have them.
     
  15. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Eh, I think two are easier... taught Bowie to sit, and once he got it, Archer learned in seconds. Taught Archer what "Get in your kennel" means, Bowie caught on after seeing brother do it and get praised. They also tend to stick closer to us than any single pup I've had, suppose they have more of the "pack" sense...And they are much less destructive, more likely to play tug of war with each other or chase around the house than destroy table legs or shoes.

    I love my boys to bits... and there's nothing better than relaxing on the couch with TWO pups in your lap along with two itty bitty kittens, lol.
     
  16. Idahoe

    Idahoe Menagerie More~on

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    There's good and bad to having a pair of puppies as opposed to one. Jen points out the good aspects and Ted alludes to how a pair of puppies will come up with more evil intentions than a lone pup and a behaved older dog.

    I get to pick up my Pyrenees pup in February, and originally wanted a pair. The breeder discouraged this to prevent to pups from bonding to each other primarily, and THEN to the human. I immediately saw the future, as you'll see below, and am glad I agreed with her.

    We had two border collie pups, sisters, at the same time. Lordy, need I say more? And one was submissive, wanted to please, and the other just waited until you weren't looking and did whatever she wanted. She STILL does. I have an injured gander beside my bed with a chewed up neck from less than a half hour of me being in the house on the phone .
     
  17. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree, them bonding too much can be a concern... but, it seems alot depends on the personality of the pups, and their age too: these boys were eating their people out of house and home, so we got them at seven weeks, and have made a point to spend time interacting with them individually each day.

    Both are very submissive (to my face anyway, naughty Bowie, lol) and have never used anything but submissive body language with either of us... it seems having a pair opposed to a single makes the pack hierarchy much easier to enforce; cannot tell you the time we had with Harley getting uppity and needing to be taken down a peg. Young pup actually tried to bite aggressively a couple times... he quickly found himself belly up in the dirt, me practically sitting on him until he submitted. That was the end of that, and he is wonderful now.

    Of course, it's possible I'm just being more diligent enforcing the rules with these two: I know if I don't put my foot down with them firmly and consistently while they are babies, I'll soon have two big, rough teenagers running all over me... pretty daunting idea!
     
  18. GREG VT

    GREG VT Well-Known Member

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    Every single source from which I sought advice about getting two pups together instead of one strongly advised against getting two. Except for two that is, one being our vet and the second being the breeder.

    We went ahead and got two GSD pups from the same breeder, different litters born three days apart. These pups were put together a week before we got them so they have known each other longer then they have known us.

    We got two because we are both gone most of the day and we did not want to leave one dog by itself for that length of time. These pups slept togther in the same crate in our bedroom for the first three weeks until they outgrew it.

    These dogs are now best friends but they still would rather follow me around then each other. In fact, both of them have shown that they are willing and able to get after the other one if it is being disobedient.

    One huge advantage to having two is that they will run each other to exhaustion while I do chores or whatever. If they didn't have each other to play with one would be running me to exhaustion!

    House training was a very trying time at first. We got them in January and I don't think I took my coat off in the evening for the first two weeks. If one didn't have to go the other did. Once we got past that I can't think of any
    negative consequences of having the two. Unless you want to count the cost of feeding the two gluttons. lol

    If someone gets two pups and just leaves them to their own devices with minimal interaction then there will probably be problems with bonding and pack mentality kicking in. If someone gets two pups that are going to be a part of the family and have plenty of love and attention then it is very likely that they will not have any problems.

    I'd do it again for sure.