Help me train my dog - suggestions please

My new dog just doesn’t seem to get it.
(Snowy…gonna change that to Xio-Gwei, little ghost, translates to brat apparently)

She was good when she returned to our home, initially, but has now turned into a little monster.
She pinches clothes, socks, whatever in her reach, and takes it to the pet room. (All the pets share a sleeping / play room). She has toys, lots of toys, but she can’t get enough it seems.
She destroys anything in the pet room. It requires repeated clean up every day.
She gets into the trash and spreads it everywhere.
She eats any poop in sight that’s not her own. I haven’t needed to clean any cat poop since she arrived.
She wizzes on the pet rug. She used to wizz in the bathroom, but not now. Luckily she still poops in the bathroom.
She remembered her name, but now doesn’t bother acknowledging my request to come.
She doesn’t seem to give a hoot about humans. She’s more interested in our other 2 dogs. Although, she constantly bites and pulls at their faces and pisses them off.
Feeding time is a nightmare. She jumps up to grab the bowl. She won’t wait. No matter how forceful I am or how much I shout or growl.
She knows how to sit on command, but I think that’s mostly by chance.
She doesn’t seem to get it when I try to teach her other commands.
Sometimes she can be a real sweetie and a good dog, but those moments are becoming less and less.

I like Snowy a lot, but my woman said she either shapes up or ships out.

Help me! :help:

I read somewhere there was a puppy class at a park in Taipei… I’ll try to find it.

I got some great tips for training tonight from the dog walking guys at the local park, so I am going to really start working with treats for good behaviour. I am on a pretty steep learning curve. She came with the -sit before you get fed- rule down pretty well, and I am taking care to keep that one. I just take the bowl away if she stands before I say “Okay, GO.” It sometimes takes a few tries, but no food until she sits nicely long enough for me to do my thing. Actually, she has started sitting as soon as I open the fridge. I’ll bet my peckishness is causing her a lot of disappointment!

I am still working on the “stay” command.

I wonder if separating Snowy from the others during feeding time would help settle him down?

She doesn’t respect you as leader, and that’s probably because you’re being too nice to her; that is, you might be being so careful to ‘baby’ her, that she doesn’t recognize any canine-respected leadership qualities in you.

I will happily come and show you what you need to do (I’m back on April 15th); in the meantime, here’s what I tell others:

If you want to see some rapid improvements, then I would strongly recommend establishing an heiracrchy within your household; Snowy needs to know that she has a calm, assertive leader, then she will follow your commands better and actually be more relaxed. I have seen miracles happen in minutes using this approach.

The key is that you are talking to a dog in her own language, letting her know that she has a strong but fair leader; obedience is great for most dogs, but it does not establish yours or your dog’s position in the heirarchy. The basics are simple, and you only really need to remember five things:

  1. Lead her on walks: make sure that you have her walking by your side, not her walking you. Never engage her in an argument; ignore her demands to stop, walk forward confidently, and only give short, sharp (not hard - quite soft actually) tugs to get her to move forward. She will respond to this; we have used this technique on all our timid dogs and those who do not know how to walk on a leash. Do not let her sniff the ground or pee until she has accepted your leadership, and is walking well beside you (about 10 minutes at most). Alpha dogs always dictate the speed and direction of walks, and ignore other dogs’s attempts to set the course; you must demonstrate that you are the alpha of this pack.

  2. Go through doors and other entrances before your dog. Alpha dogs never allow a subordinate to go first. Make her go back if she lunges, and only allow her to follow you once she’s calm.

  3. Ignore your dog for five minutes when you arrive home, until she is calm. When dogs jump up and demand attention, it is cute, but they are trying to establish whether their alpha has survived his or her trip away and is still in a position to lead the pack. If you respond to your dogs demands and allow her to jump up, you are handing over leadership.

  4. Eat before your dog, or at least pretend to. Have a snack ready on the kitchen counter next to her bowl of food. Let her see you eat the snack as you ignore her (do not give her the time of day; do not look at her). Take your time (she will stop jumping excitedly and will sit instead - a sure sign that she has stopped trying to control you and will instead accept your leadership). When you have finished, allow her to ‘have what you don’t want’ and put her food on the floor and walk away. Alphas always eat first, and this is a very strong indicator that you are her leader. Don’t watch her eat; this tells her you want her food, and if you’re not taking it, she is dominant.

  5. Never give your dog anything she demands; instead, remain calm and assertive and give her what she wants only when she is calm and submissive. This can be anything from a treat to a walk or belly rub, or just attention. Alphas never entertain demands from subordinates. They ignore - the greatest (and most humane) punishment a dog knows.

Establish your role as leader; it’s what she needs (she will become a much happier, more relaxed dog). As a calm, assertive leader, not allow her to do anything she’s not allowed - don’t even let her start. Nip bad behaviours in the bud with a short, sharp ‘Ah!’ sound, or a gentle push on the flank (makes them submissive).

Consistency is the key, as is always being calm and assertive. Don’t have it in your mind that she is bad, or just won’t do what you want - she will be good and do what you want if you fix your leadership skills; we have to accept responsibility for events around us if we are to take control of them. :wink:

Let me know how it goes.

Sean [/i]

There was an interesting study done about disciplining dogs. A dog was brought into a room that had 2 bowls of food. One contained kibble and the other contained a meaty canned food. When the dog attempted to eat the meaty food, he was given a smack with a newspaper. The dog was allowed to eat the kibble without punishment. There were 3 test groups of dogs. One group was smacked as soon as they tried to eat the meaty food, one group was smacked 5 seconds after they had started to eat and the last group was punished after 15 seconds. All groups quickly learned to avoid the meaty food and would eat the dry kibble. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Each group of dogs were allowed back in the room on each day of the test period, without the experimenter present, and were observed. The dogs who were punished immediately, waited 2 weeks before they finally gave in and ate the meaty food. The dogs who were smacked after 5 seconds waited about 8 days before giving in. The dogs that were punished 15 seconds after they began eating, waited only 3 MINUTES before they gave in. Timing is EVERYTHING when disciplining dogs. Now, I don’t believe in hitting dogs so other forms of discipline should be used but, again, they must be when the dog is actually doing the forbidden action. Some creativity is also important because each dog’s personality will dictate how you respond. For example, when my shepherd mix would jump on me, I would turn my back and walk away. She quickly learned not to jump for attention. My new dog, however, simply jumps on my back as I walk away, digging those nails in. Not fun. So, I took an empty soda can and put a few coins in it and taped the opening closed. When the dog tries to jump on me, I shake the can and say “No” firmly. He looks at me with a bit of shock, then I say sit and proceed to pat him gently while saying “good sit”. He is learning very quickly not to jump. If you do use a shake can, don’t shake it like crazy- you don’t want to terrify the dog, only get him to stop the action. I’m also currently reading the book “How Dogs Think” by Stanley Coren and he had a suggestion about stopping a dog from chewing on you shoes, etc. He recommends taking the shoe and then you PUNISH the shoe- slap it, say no, etc. in a mock show of displeasure, while your dog watches. This will cause the dog to develop a negative response to the object, and hopefully leave it alone. I don’t know if this will work but it sounded interesting.

I don’t know the age of Snowy but, if she’s young, she needs lots of exercise. A young dog gets bored really quickly and will get into everything. Toys are fine but toys are really a human concept. As far as a puppy is concerned, EVERYTHING can be a toy. I’d take away all the toys and only bring one or two out at a time, and then replace them once the boredom sets in. And practice those leadership skills, like Stray Dog suggested, because those will have a long term effect in your relationship with what sounds like a really bright, confident little dog who just needs a little guidance on living with people. Good Luck!!

Great, thanks for the fantastic tips, Stray Dog and DogsCatsRules!
We have been working hard on them, and some of them seem to be getting easier - at least for my dog (the one I hope to adopt :slight_smile: ).

Another question: I am dogsitting right now and the dog I am taking care of doesn’t really get that you pee/poo on walks, not in the house. We walk three times a day, and sometimes she will do her business in the house within an hour of the walk.
Any tips on encouraging her to get it over with OUTside? If she does do it outside, it is not until after almost an hour of walking!
So far, I am trying to make sure she sees my dog do her thing outside. Then I praise her for it in front of the other dog. Kinda hope she will learn by example…

Should I meet out any kind of punishment for doing her business in the house? :s

When she does her ‘thing’ … praise her and give a treat … keep it up every time and after a while they go on command … according to an article on the internet …

[quote=“kage”]Great, thanks for the fantastic tips, Stray Dog and DogsCatsRules!
We have been working hard on them, and some of them seem to be getting easier - at least for my dog (the one I hope to adopt :slight_smile: ).

Another question: I am dogsitting right now and the dog I am taking care of doesn’t really get that you pee/poo on walks, not in the house. We walk three times a day, and sometimes she will do her business in the house within an hour of the walk.
Any tips on encouraging her to get it over with OUTside? If she does do it outside, it is not until after almost an hour of walking!
So far, I am trying to make sure she sees my dog do her thing outside. Then I praise her for it in front of the other dog. Kinda hope she will learn by example…

Should I meet out any kind of punishment for doing her business in the house? :s[/quote]

This happens often, and the key - as difficult as it can be - is to pay as little attention as possible to the accidents and really go overboard on the praise when she goes outside.

You can use a paper or something to soak up any accidents and then leave it outside in a place you want her to pee; she’ll then recognise that place as her bathroom, from the smell of her own pee. Try to create this bathroom space in an area that’s pretty near to your house, as sometimes you’ll want her to pee in a hurry. Also, another method is to stay in one area until she goes to the bathroom and only then move on to the walk, play, fun, etc. This takes patience in the beginning but pays dividends later, as she will always pee as soon as you need her to.

When you see her peeing in the right place, give the behaviour a name and be sure to immediately reward, with tasty treats if possible or lots of positive attention (praise, hugs, etc.) if not. The name can be something like “Hurry up!”. Say that as she’s peeing and give her the reward afterwards, and she will soon associate this command with the desired behaviour.

To discourage her from peeing inside, there are a few things to remember. Firstly, don’t scold or punish; if you do, you’ll bring out other unwanted behaviours, and one of them is likely to be submissive urination! Instead, if you catch her peeing, give a short, sharp “Ah!” and move her immediately to a spot where she can pee if she needs to in an emergency - say, the bathroom or balcony. Reward her just for staying put in that place or for finishing her business there, and at least you’ll be teaching her an acceptable place to go in the house. Do the same with the soaked paper if this would be a good option for you.

Watch for the signs that she is going to pee: circling, sniffing the ground, etc. and act on it before she goes ahead and pees.

Clean up accidents properly, to eradicate all smells that tell her that’s the bathroom. For fresh mistakes, mop up, clean with a detergent, and then a mild bleach solution - this will kill all trace of the smells. You can also use white vinegar instead of bleach. For older stains, use an enzyme-based odour destroyer, as it will literally eat up the bacteria that your dog can smell and associate with her bathroom.

Hope this helps. Bear in mind that these kind of unwanted behaviours are normal; most will soon enough go away by themselves, but it’s our responsibility if we want the dog to get things right sooner.

Good luck!

Sean

She’s just a puppy, isn’t she? If so, this is just normal puppy behaviour. She’ll grow out of it.

No, the dog I am dogsitting is at least 2 or 3 years old. She is a stray a friend rescued. The vet says she has already had a litter but it is not clear if she has had “the” operation or not. Seeing how the local dudes react to her (Vavava voom!) compared to Xien Tsao has me convinced that she is not spayed. Not that Xien Tsao doesn’t get a lot of attention for her good looks and charming demeanor, but she just doesn’t have, you know … her girlie parts. Boys like that.

The girls got a lot of attention from a stray puppy last night. (maybe two months old? ) Lotsa ribs showing and bad skin problems. I decided to take it in, not sure if I will just fatten it up and spay it for CNR, or try to get it adopted. Will see what the vet says, I guess.

I hope they’ll give me a discount for strays/CNR - Dr. Yang is pretty far away.

I went by twice to see if I could see any other pups or the mama, but no sign. Maybe the others are more timid.

[quote=“kage”]… a stray puppy last night. (maybe two months old? ) Lotsa ribs showing and bad skin problems. I decided to take it in, not sure if I will just fatten it up and spay it for CNR, or try to get it adopted. Will see what the vet says, I guess.
I hope they’ll give me a discount for strays/CNR
[/quote]
Scabies - ugh. That explains why she is almost bald (and diet too, I guess). Also earmites. Glad I isolated her right off the bat.
Too early to spay - also needs a bit more meat on her bones first. And maybe some hair…
Not sure what to do. She is getting her health issues cleared up, but I really want to spay her before I release her. The doc said not for at least a month, maybe two.
She is pretty cute. Maybe I can try to find her a home.

You’ll never have the heart to return her to the street after a month. It’s heartbreaking… Might as well start looking for a new home already.

Hat’s off to you however you choose to go about it.

marboulette

Finally! Snowy has learned sit and shake hands. How long did that take?
She hasn’t pinched stuff as much, but I think that’s because we’re not leaving anything around that can be pinched. A sweater was pinched tonight, because it was left hanging on a chair. I punished the sweater, as suggested. heh
No piss in the pets room. I don’t know what I did differently. Maybe because the window is constantly open now. Whatever it was, she’s stopped pissing there.
Dinner time is still not so good. Even when separated from the others, she jumps up crazily. Trying to grab the food, I guess.
I tried the noisy bottle trick. But she just runs and hides when I use it (one shake, thats all).
One thing I’ve noticed happening more now is she’s trying to bully one of the bigger dogs (She comes up to his elbows). Biting his cheeks constantly, pulling at his hind legs, running under his belly and just generally annoying him. What’s that about?

I need to come show you how to do it.

I’m back Tuesday evening, so any time afterwards will be fine.

Usually, I would see that scene as simple playing like a dog pulling on another dog’s ear or trying to bite the other dog’s tail. (Some animals like to bite to show affection. Others bite when they mean it.)

But…if it’s real bullying or something serious (like the dog starts to bleed), then, there should always be a cure. If the other dog’s cheeks start to bleed, take that dog to the vet as soon as possible.

I sometimes watch the show “It’s Me Or The Dog” and I was a bit amazed at how simple it was to get a dog out of bad habits.

I don’t know if this technique would help you but this was intended for when walking a dog. To prevent a dog of getting mad at another dog, make sure the dog is on a leash. When that dog gets close to the other dog and starts to growl or do something to the other dog, you immediately pull that dog away from the other dog. You do this repeatedly (or constantly) to a point where, the dog no longer tries to lounge at the other dog.

The constant method used in “It’s Me Or The Dog” is positive behavior reinforcement.

I use to own two dogs who were both shy, in their own way, so any kind of bullying/fighting between them were non-existant. They had bathroom problems though so my Dad gave them away. Now, we have a cat but she also has a bathroom problem by not making anything in the litter box a hundred percent of the time. ^_^; My house is weird for animals.