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Dog Training/puppy housebreaking

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Question
I have a 14 week old shorkie (half shitzhu, half yorkie).  She is doing good on pad training, but still goes half the time on the floor.  I have tried to have washable pads at least one in each room, and I know she knows where they are at, as she walks up to each one and sniffs it...  She still decides to go somewhere else half the time.  I understand she can have accidents as she is still housetraining, what is the best way to house train a stubborn pup like this mix? She seems to know when she does wrong, as she will run and hide just after, but still does it...

Answer
Hi "Honey" ~ I do not believe that dogs are "stubborn." I spend quite a bit of time explaining housebreaking to my clients, and I find that if they follow my instructions they have success, but if they do not, they have neglected to adhere to one or more of my recommendations. There is far more to it than I can address well in a forum like this, and to really help you I would need to get a lot more information and meet with you and your puppy.

However, from what you tell me, I suspect your dog has probably been scolded for having "accidents" inside. This results in a puppy that runs away and eliminates out of sight.

Dogs do not have a sense of shame or guilt, and what you are seeing and interpreting as your dog knowing that she did something "wrong" is really your dog's reaction to your attitude toward her when she is or has eliminated.

Punishment that hurts, threatens or intimidates is not advised in dog training, especially housebreaking. What your puppy may be learning from being scolded or punished is that you are unhappy when she eliminates in your sight - so she goes elsewhere to eliminate to avoid the consequences of your displeasure.

I do not recommend using the pads for housebreaking unless there is absolutely no alternative - for example, the owner has to work 8 or more hours and cannot come home during lunch to let the puppy out to eliminate and cannot find anyone else to do it.

Housebreaking requires constant supervision, and the method I recommend is crate training. I would recommend that you avoid any reprimands for "accidents" and try the crate training instead. Also, you will need to get some Nature's Miracle or other enzymatic cleaner to remove any residual urine or fecal odor. If you are not sure where all your puppy may have eliminated, get a black light so that you can see where she has gone in order to remove any and all residual odor. You may not be able to smell it, but she can and will be attracted to the same spot over and over again.

I recommend taking up positive reinforcement/clicker training with your dog. You can learn more about it here: http://www.animalinfo.com.au/fact_sheets/view/2/25/177/What_is_Positive_Reinforc  You can learn about clicker training on the same website. I have made some videos to accompany these articles. See this video I made on YouTube to help you be evaluate clicker training advice you may get elsewhere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3abU-_Lk7jE

Hope these tips help,
Cindy  

Dog Training

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Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Expertise

My specialty is clicker training. I'm a Karen Pryor Academy graduate and Certified Training Partner (certified clicker trainer). Karen Pryor was a marine mammal trainer and one of the early proponents of force-free animal training who helped popularize clicker training in the early 90's. I also do behavior modification with dogs that have fear, anxiety and aggression. I work with service dogs and was a certified therapy dog evaluator with two other organizations before starting my own therapy dog program, the first of its kind requiring all dog candidates to be trained with force-free methods and all evaluators to demonstrate a commitment to force-free methods. I made weekly visits with my own therapy dog to a nursing center in Dubuque, Iowa for four and a half years. I have an undergraduate degree in science and am a registered nurse with a previous specialty and certification in critical care, so I can answer questions pertaining to biology, behavior and pharmacology but because I am not a licensed veterinarian I cannot legally or ethically answer questions requesting a diagnosis. I have done graduate work in animal learning and wolf ethology, and have also completed coursework in dog biology, behavior and pet nutrition at regionally accredited U.S. universities. I continue my study of applied behavior analysis with top experts in the field. For more information and to schedule a consultation or enroll in classes, see my Canine Connection website: www.click-r-train.com.

Experience

Prior to becoming a full time professional dog trainer in May 2009 and opening my business, Canine Connection LLC I worked part time as a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and also volunteered at humane societies in several states over a period from 1992-2009. My previous full time occupation was in the medical profession. I have completed various continuing education programs including but not limited to the Purdue University Veterinary School Principles and Techniques of Behavior Modification course; Clicker Expo; undergraduate courses in dog biology, behavior, and pet nutrition; and graduate coursework in wolf ethology. I was a Field Representative for Paws with a Cause for 3 years and train service dogs. My Golden Retriever that accompanies me in my work as a Field Representative is a "career changed" dog from the Paws breeding program that I have clicker trained as a demonstration service dog. This same dog I trained to earn the first Dog Scout title in the State of Iowa. She and I were also members of the Badger Kennel Club Drill Team and performed with the group annually at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. My dog, Ginger and I provided weekly pet therapy visits to a local nursing center for the past three and a half years. I continue my education by participating in seminars and class offerings provided by such notable experts as Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ray Coppinger, Michele Pouliot and others. My services include in-home private training and behavior modification, group classes and pet sitting. More information is available on my website: http://www.dubuquedogtraining.com.

Organizations
Founder and owner, Canine Connection LLC; Founder, Canine Connection Positively Trained Certified Therapy Dogs; Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT); 2010 APDT Education Committee; Truly Dog-Friendly Trainer Coalition; Doggone Safe; American Kennel Club

Publications
Top Tips from Top Trainers: 1001 Practical Tips & Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training (March 2010); The Golden View; Family Connections; WQAD.com; Animal info Publications; HubPages; Finding Fuzzybutt Four Blog; Petopia Newsletter, Galena, Illinois; Suite 101; Livestrong.com; eHow.com; Dubuque 365 Ink Magazine; Dubuque Telegraph Herald; Columbia Business Times; Columbia Senior Times; Columbia Missourian; Columbia Daily Tribune; Graphic Education Corporation; Belson-Hanwright; Critical Care Nurse; Journal of Emergency Nursing; Home Healthcare Nurse; Nursing; Journal of Emergency Medical Services; Shape; Houston Community College Egalitarian; Findlay College Obelisk

Education/Credentials
B.S., Science; M.A., Higher & Adult Education with graduate work in animal learning, canine biology and behavior, pet nutrition; Graduate, Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior; Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner; Diploma, professional nursing; licensed registered nurse (R.N.); Paramedic completion program; previously licensed paramedic in Texas and Missouri

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