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 Two Puppy Training Questions

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nikkihd
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Female Join date : 2015-06-17
Location : SF Bay Area, CA

PostSubject: Two Puppy Training Questions   Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:44 pm

Hi all! I have an 18 week old husky mix (husky/chihuahua/german shepherd). I'm hoping it's okay that I post my question on this forum, as I feel you all might have some good advice for me about the following two training concerns I have:

1) Potty training - I'm had Penny for nearly 5 weeks now. I'm a teacher and am home on summer vacation so it's made potty training pretty easy on us. I let her out multiple times a day and have her go potty, and she does this each time without fail. However, she does not yet know how to ask to go out. If I'm not paying attention and don't see her pace the room for 10 seconds, she will just pop a squat on any throw rug she can find. Any help for how to teach her to ask to go out? She uses the front door to get to her 'potty lawn' and I'd love to have her sit at the door and let me know via a scratch or whine at the door!

2) Treats - This puppy is smart! She can do the commands my husband and I have taught her (sit, here, lay down, leave it) but ONLY if we have a treat. The second she realizes we aren't holding a treat, she ignores us. This isn't consistent - she will usually sit and respond to 'here' for us without a treat, but forget anything else! Any advice? Is this normal behavior for her age? I want to make sure I'm not expecting too much of her, but also tend to get the feeling that she is too smart for her own good and just ignoring us as she sees fit!

Thank you for reading all this. I appreciate any advice you may have!
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MiyasMomma
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Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Two Puppy Training Questions   Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:04 pm

She is young, so patience is a must, haha, easier said than done. I know some people on the forum have trained with doggy doorbells for the potty thing. Perhaps type in the search function for potty doorbells?

As far as treats, Miya was and is not food motivated, I always thought it was more difficult to train because of that, but in reality probably better that she isn't food motivated. I would start using a positive reinforcement type training, as in when she does something right do good girl and stroke her shoulder blade or pat her side. This will form a bond. Dogs like appreciation. Then have the absolute best of the best treats for new things only. Be repetitive, and keeps commands simple and few for the time being, add new ones as she gets the others more down pat. Leash training along with command training worked well for us as well, because we got to walk and sniff, and then out of the clear blue sky I would throw in a command, this is great for tiring the mind and body at the same time, and makes it fun to learn with out the treats.
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Two Puppy Training Questions   Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:09 pm

1) Have you heard of bell training for asking to go out? Our 6 month old that we brought home last month just wasn't getting the concept of asking to go out at first and I was extremely frustrated. However, he seemed to catch on after about a week and now he comes to us and then to the door when he needs to go out. However if that hadn't happened, I was ready to use the bell system. It's pretty simple. Mount a bell near your door and every time you go out to potty, ring the bell. After you do it for a bit, show your dog that she can do it, either lift her paw up to it or guide her nose to ring it before you open the door to go out. Hopefully she will then learn to ring it herself. It's a pretty common method, just Google "potty bell training" for more info.

2) Food is just so tempting! Have you tried working up to at least performing multiple commands before giving the treats? That might help your transition to not always expecting a treat.
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RedFlashFire05
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Location : manteca, ca

PostSubject: Re: Two Puppy Training Questions   Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:09 pm

i used poochie bells worked for a wail, you hang them on the door and have them jiggle the bells and give a treat; then let them outside. until Leo decided he wanted to play with them  Rolling Eyes . they can be found on amazon heres the link:
http://www.amazon.com/PoochieBells-Housetraining-Doorbell-Potty-Communicate-With-Your-Dog/dp/B0016ZP4B8

when he kept playing with them, we started opening the door when he walked by it, sat or stud then he figured out that if he stood there the door would open and he could go out. i hope it helps.
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nikkihd
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PostSubject: Re: Two Puppy Training Questions   Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:32 pm

Thank you for the replies!

Renee- I love your idea about positive reinforcement and practicing commands while out on walks! I've tried commands on walks and she usually is far too distracted! Unless there is no one else around (people, dogs, birds, insects lol), she has a hard time with this. I continue to try and assume as she matures, this will eventually work!

Sara and Leo- I like the bell idea! Question regarding it though - what if we want to introduce a doggie door in the back eventually? Will the bell at the front door make introducing a back doggie door too confusing? I ask because the back doggie door is what my last dog had. It worked great for her! But Penny is so young that I don't feel comfortable giving her free roam of our yard without my supervision yet. Ideally, she would use only the front door for a few more months, and then we would start trying to train her to use a doggie door. This might be a bad idea and I'm totally open to suggestions! Main issue is that I am going to return to work soon and Penny will be on her own most weekdays from 8-330 (we have a neighbor to walk her at lunch for the first few months, but not permanently). I know as a grown dog, she should be able to hold her potty that long, but I'm not expecting that to be the case for a 6 month old.

Additional note - we do not use a crate. We tried, so hard, but the crate just consistently freaked out the dog. Once we gave her free roam of our living room while we were out, she's been great. Nice and calm, napping, chewing her stuffed Kong. We even went so far as to buy a home camera that we can check in on her with via our phones. With that said, we really don't want to try with the crate again.

Anyway, any ideas or advice? Thanks!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Two Puppy Training Questions   Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:59 pm

At 6 months she should be able to hold it for 6 hours, at around 8 months Miya was completely house trained, and never made mistakes in house. So that is a good guesstimate on when she shouldn't have any accidents. I'm not really sure on the doggy door. My gut feeling says never to trust a husky to be able to come and go as she pleases. Too many issues with the outside. Such as dog stealer's, other dogs, wild animals, or the ability to escape, or the one track mind of a husky just chasing a bird, and wanders off. Personally I would use the doggy door only when you are home, if it's possible to seal it off when you are gone. I would also doggy proof and contain her in a safe area of the house just in case. So if no dog walker after 8 months old, you may be ok with any accidents in the house while you are gone, as long as she will not be destructive of your items.

As far as the door bells, I will let others address that, I have no knowledge on them, just know others are successful at using them. The walk/train, takes a lot of patience, but I find the distractions useful in having, at least with Miya, directing her attention to me. It will take patience, but, imho, it will make a more attentive dog in the long run. So yes as she matures, and because of you always training this way, distractions should be less amplified. We spent 3 hours Sunday with various dogs and people of all ages, for most dogs this would make for a long day, and try their patience to the max. However, she remained quite calm, and ignored distraction and kept her focus on us. I believe after almost 2 solid years of training in this manner paid off. We must have encountered a dozen dogs or more, and she was the only one who was not over excited, nippy, or over it, lol. I must have told her she was a good girl a thousand times, haha, probably not that many times, but with her, she thrives on being told she is good.
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