Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Losing my confidence

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Liquidsunshine, Mar 25, 2011.


  1. Liquidsunshine

    Liquidsunshine PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    4
    I've got to the point where I thought last night....was I wrong to get a dog?
    Suki isn't bad, she's textbook puppy, I just don't know if I'm handling her right, and worrying if I've bitten off more than I can chew.
    So guys, give me some help here, with all your expertise!!
    1. Chasing my toddler and nipping- only happens in the garden, I've tried explaining to my daughter that she shouldn't run and let the pupy chase her, but she thinks it's a great game. My solution is not to let them out in the garden together for the time being. Good idea/bad idea? opinions please? Alternative options?

    2. Crate, when we put her in it, she whines for 30 seconds and then will sleep. She won't go into it (not on her own initiative) during the day, preferring to sleep under the chairs/table. Should we enforce "If you wanna sleep, you do it in the crate", will it set her crate training back if allow her to sleep outside of the crate during the day? We feed her in her crate and give her lots of treats and don't abandon her in there, so I hope that there aren't any negative associations, is this behaviour par for the course?

    3.She has started getting cheeky and refusing to come back in after she toilets. She just lies down and starts pulling up moss. When she does this, even a treat won't lure her half the time, so we resort to picking her up and carrying her (which annoys her) and isn't really very practical. (She's a GSD). Should we start putting her out on the longline and starting recall? She is still getting used to her collar and only wears it for short periods when we're doing little minute sessions with the clicker.

    All in all things are going well, we've nicknamed her the piranha, she does a kind of guerrilla warfare on us, by hiding under the chairs, coming out to attack our feet, hands, tug my hair, and then runs back under another chair, waiting for her opportunity to strike again. It's hard not to laugh at her!
    If we could start helping the above things, she would be the PERFECT puppy. How much wishful thinking is that :rolleyes:
    Any help/advice is greatly appreciated, thanks for taking the time to read, I know this is very long! ;)
     
  2. Pawsitive

    Pawsitive PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi Liquidsunshine,

    Re: your puppy queries:

    1 - Puppies are naturally inquisitive and love to play - nipping / mouthing is part of puppy play but obviously shouldn't be encouraged with us humans, especially toddlers. You really need to keep teaching your littlun why she shouldn't do it (ie will hurt when puppy gets bigger etc) and keep an eye when they are playing together. I would definitely suggest she doesn't play chase games - my sister has a bernese x leonberger who is now a huge 8 month old - when he was a puppy a little girl used to play these games with him despite my sister's insistence that she should stop. She tried playing the same game recently and got rather flattened. The dog didn't mean to hurt her but his physical size and weight was just too much to be able to play those sorts of games.

    2 - Are you shutting the door when you put her in the crate? Are you leaving the crate open for her to be able to go in and out of during the day? I would keep persevering with this - particularly giving her dinner / puppy kongs / treats / toys etc in her crate as you have already mentioned. Personally, I wouldn't worry if she falls asleep elsewhere as puppies tend to literally fall asleep where they stand sometimes! My collies are both crate trained and sleep in and out of it as they please. As a puppy, my collie girl slept in her crate with the door shut but it was always left open whilst we were there during the day even when she was sleeping in it.

    3 - yes definitely start with the recall! :) You need to try to be the most exciting thing in her world so when you call her in, make it THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER! (high squeaky voices, movement, squeaky toys etc - it all works toward building a good recall which will be great for when she hits her terrible teens!) :)

    It's great that you are clicker training. You can have lots of fun with that, especially for recall which you can make a great game (calling her between two of you for example) and click / treating when she comes.

    Goodluck! Keep us posted with how you get on :)
     
  3. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    The ambushing is a great game and she is getting her reward by you laughing at her. I know it is hard not to, but if you want it to stop you are best ignoring her and try not to walk close enough so that she can get you. It may be funny now, but when she is older it won't be.

    When your daughter and nipping really must be stopped. What I would try is to put a long line on the dog and the minute she nips, lead her inside, keep her there for a couple of minutes till she is calm again (not longer or she will forget why she has come in) then let her out. You will need to do this a few times, maybe a lot of times, but she should eventually get the message that when she nips, the game stops. Perhaps you could encourage your toddler to throw a ball for her, so she is still have a game but not chasing. If she does this to a child outside on a run in the park, say, you and the dog are going to be in big trouble.

    As to the lying down and refusing to come in, I know all about that one! My dogs cannot be picked up (well certainly not by me) so what I used to do and still do sometimes with Joshua if he won't get up, is to put a piece of cheese (if that is what she likes) far enough away so that she has to get up to reach it. Once standing you can take hold of her collar and guide her inside. I am saying guide, not pull. Pulling will only make her back off, you really need to be at the side of her, not in front.

    A lot of people think they have bitten off more than they can chew with a puppy, but they do grow out of it. The thing I would be most concerned about is the chasing and nipping, to be honest.
     
  4. Liquidsunshine

    Liquidsunshine PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks for the advice and for taking the time to read and reply!
     
  5. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    10,270
    Likes Received:
    544
    This is all par for the course (did warn you lol). Believe me over the next few weeks you will laugh/cry/go grey/wonder what the hell you have done on a daily basis etc etc. Hang on tight it's a bumpy ride. Go read the "thinking of getting a puppy" thread it will make you laugh ;)

    No advice to add the other posters have coverred it :)
     
  6. Liquidsunshine

    Liquidsunshine PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    4
    That's how I felt last night, but it was mroe becasue of the panic "what if I can't stop it", it's more second guessing myself, than thinking I have the puppy from hell-which she isn't. I think I'll focus on the toddler nipping first and foremost, that is the thing that scares me the most. Thanks for reading and replying!
     
  7. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    Try picking up an 11 stone newfoundland then! I can't even drag them to their feet. Both mine like to sleep outside in the evening so when I want to go to bed, I sometimes have trouble getting Joshua to his feet. Usually Ferdie will come if he thinks he is getting a jammie dodger, but with Joshua is a big effort for him to get up, because of his arthritis, he gets settled and doesn't want to move. He will do anything for cheese so I just put it a long way away, sometimes let him have a sniff first so he knows what it is, then I wait and he will climb to his feet and go get it. At first I had to watch that he didn't lie down again, but now once he is up he will come in.
     
  8. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,401
    Likes Received:
    29
    So you have a patoral / herding dog, this love of chase and nipping is par for the course. I think you do need to supervise small children and puppies, always. My teenage niece was too clever to listen to advice, and then this play got so entrenched; the pup just did not know good alternatives, so we spent months gently working on jumping up, nipping and mouthing, or shoe attacking, whenever the pup was excited, so had to carry a good toy to distract with constantly.

    Nipping, mouthing is all play, and distract onto great toys is part of keeping sane. I'm guessing your puppy will be around the 10-11 weeks old mark, when everyone wonders why on earth they got a cute puppy ;)

    Personally I found with an active puppy, that starting rewards based basic obedience training, sit, down, come here, stay and such helped enormously. Dunbar is a fan of having the children be able to control the dog, with sit etc, and only when they're old enough to do that, can you be a little more hands off.
     
  9. Liquidsunshine

    Liquidsunshine PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    4
    Newfies mum- I got my squeezy cheese out earlier and when she comes into the house after toileting she gets a nice big squidge of it on the floor. We've got her on her 10m lead anyway so we don't have to resort to chasing her, and it seems to be making a difference already!


    We supervise all activity between my daughter and pup, we fully inderstand the importance of this and they are never left alone together. We have been redirecting her chewing anyway, so there is nearly always a toy to hand, we will do this with the herding/toddler nipping too. I want to nip it in the bud ;)

    It's actually only day 5 :eek:. I think I just had a bit of a melt down last night, not because I regret getting her, I just second guessed whether I was up to the job. This forum might just help keep me sane. :) I'm a big ol' worry wart anyway.

    We have started clicker training, and hopefully this will help, unfortunately my dd is 18 months so she won't be doing any training just yet! She does get to feed her an occasional treat, she sees me doing it and wants to get involved and I want sook to associate her with good things early on!

    I think so far I have more of a daughter problem than a puppy problem, so maybe I'll just rehome her. ;)

    Thanks again guys, for all the advice, I will take it on board and hopefully we'll be on the road to success!!
     
  10. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,401
    Likes Received:
    29
    Wow! It gets worse much worse...

    If you can find a puppy play opportunity or class you can take to once she's had the 2nd shot, but before full immunity kicks in it will be a relief. Also if you know anyone who can visit with a healthy, non-aggressive dog who'll put up with your puppy for a while.

    It's the cabin fever, when you have to keep them in...
    Actually most feel it good idea to take them to town etc, away from doggie places, but to socialise. I liked the bank idea, someone mentioned today, just can imagine a puppy doing a tiddle though!
     
  11. Liquidsunshine

    Liquidsunshine PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    4
    We've been to our local supermarket, and she got loads of attention which she lapped up. It was funny because people would come over gushing about how cute she was..then "what breed is she?" and as soon as you say GSD their expressions visibly change :D
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice