Dog Training/Puppy training questions
QUESTION: Good afternoon we've recently purchased a lagotto puppy. Who is eight weeks old. We ran into some training questions and are hoping you might be able to provide some insight.
Do you agree after we feed him to put him in the cage for 30 minutes and then take them out?
When we are home how often should he be in the crate and how long to play with?
He whines during the day when we are home and he's in the crate what should we do?
Best way to introduce Leash he's wearing his collar just fine
And when should we take his first bath and when should be introduced to the groomer?
How much is too much holding and playing?
And heard Bestway training dog on leash is umbilical training which have the leash on you and walk with him do you agree?
When he pees should he be allowed to explore a little question
ANSWER: Hello Dilena:
My answer's below:-
A lot of dog owners feel that crate training puppies is cruel. This thinking is wrong and it prevents them from taking advantage of the best house training tool - a crate.
If you can avoid some common crate training mistakes, your puppy will enjoy the time he spends in his crate.
You see, just like wolves, dogs are den animals. A crate provides them with the same sense of security that a den would have provided them in the wild.
The tricky part about crate training puppies lies in the fact that unless you use a crate correctly, you will not achieve the desired result.
What follows are some tips and suggestions you can use right away. Further down, there is a page where I talk more about crate training your puppy.
So, without wasting any more time, let's review some...
• The first step in crate training puppies is to decide where to place the crate. Because puppies are social animals, it's best to keep the crate in an area where your family spends a lot of time, but avoid placing it next to air vents or in direct sunlight.
• Put a soft blanket inside the crate. To make your puppy feel more secure, put the crate next to a wall and cover the sides with a towel. Or get a Crate wear Pet Dreams 3-Piece Complete Crate Bed Set that includes a mattress, padded bumpers and a crate cover.
• Though buckle collars are generally safe, it's not a good idea to use them when crate training puppies. Why? Because even a flat collar can get stuck between metal bars and injure your puppy.
• The best time for crate training is when your puppy is hungry, bored, or... both.
• Never force your pet to enter the crate. If he needs some encouragement, put some of his favourite toys or food inside the crate (from my experience, food works better than toys).
Initially, leave them near the door and leave the crate door open. As your pet becomes more comfortable, you may move the toys further inside his crate.
• If the above doesn't work, try another approach...
Some puppies get anxious when encouraged to enter the crate but will venture inside on their own if there is an incentive.
• One of the most difficult parts of crate training puppies is locking your pet in his crate for the first (and second, and third, and... times). Here is a trick I learned a long time ago.
With my dog inside the crate and eating, I lock the door, but only for the duration of his meal. Even if he notices that I locked the door, most likely, he will be too busy eating to express his displeasure. As soon as he finishes eating, I open the door. As you repeat this exercise, keep the door locked a little longer each time.
• Always praise your puppy for doing things right. Did he just enter his crate for the first time? Or maybe he didn't cry when you locked the door? I am sure you'll agree these milestones deserve some praise and a treat or two!
• Don't try to accomplish too much too soon. As you begin crate training your puppy, keep the sessions short and gradually increase the training time when your puppy is ready.
• A crate is the most valuable tool for training puppies. But to get the most benefits out of crate training, your puppy can't associate his crate with anything negative. So, never use it for punishment.
Housebreaking your new puppy is going to take patience. You should begin to housebreak as soon as you bring your new puppy home. Puppies need to relieve themselves approximately six times a day. A puppy should be taken out immediately after each meal since a full stomach puts pressure on the colon and bladder.
A puppy is not physically able to control the muscle that allows him to "hold it" until he is about 12 weeks of age. Before this time, good housebreaking routines should be practiced to avoid having your puppy urinate and defecate all over your house. Watch for signs of urination or defecation, such as turning in circles. Take your puppy out often. Using a crate or confining your puppy to a small part of the house that has easy clean up floors are some ways to ensure your puppy does not urinate all over your house. It is much harder to housebreak a puppy if he smells is urine in places you do not wish him to relief himself.
There are many different methods in which you can housebreak your pet, however I find Crate training the most effective. Whichever way you choose, it is important to understand your puppy. Dogs want to please; the trick is to make them understand what it is you want from them.
Dogs do not think the way humans do. When you are unhappy with your dog, it assumes that whatever it is doing at the exact moment you show disapproval - is the thing that is upsetting you.
If your puppy relieves himself on your floor and you show your disapproval five minutes after he has committed the act, the puppy will think that the mess on the floor is bad. He will not relate to the fact that it was the act of relieving himself on your floor that you disapprove of. The dog will eliminate, see the mess and get worried; you are now going to be unhappy. This is the reason so many dogs will relieve themselves in inappropriate places and look really guilty about it, yet they continue to do it. Dogs want to please, right?
Some owners start to think that their dog is being sneaky when really it does not fully understand what it is doing wrong. It knows the mess upsets you but does not understand that it should stop "making" the mess. To your dog, these two things: "the mess" and "the act" are unrelated.
The trick is to catch your dog in the act and make him understand. You do not need to hit your dog. The tone of your voice is enough to make the dog see you are unhappy.
A firm "Eh! Or other correction sound. You are not allowed to go in the house. “Eh!” or other correction sound is all that is needed.
Immediately take your dog outside to the appropriate place. Wait for your dog to go again and when and if he does, praise him. Important: Always praise your dog after he eliminates in the appropriate place.
Crate Training Caution:
Before you crate train, please be aware: a dog that is left in a crate all day long, gets let out in the evening after work for a few hours and put back in the crate for the night can become neurotic, destructive, unhappy and noisy.
If you work all day, it is recommended that you find someone who can take your dog out for a long walk in the afternoon. If this is not possible only use the crate at night.
If you must leave your dog all day long every day and you have nobody to let the dog out during the day, you should find a room without a rug, put down Pooch Pads Reusable Housebreaking Pads, food, water and toys.
You should set up the room so that the bed and food are at one end and the pee pads at the other. Spread the toys in the center of the room. Dogs are not fish. They need to find something to occupy their mind, so give your dog plenty of toys. It is said that dogs are den animals and like the crate, but even a den animal would go crazy if it was lock up all day long.
You must be willing to invest time and energy for just a few short weeks in housetraining. The effort you put in now will last for the rest of your pet's life.
The crate training method is as follows. Buy a crate and for the first 3 to 4 weeks keep your puppy in it when you are not with him. Make sure the crate is not too big. It should be large enough for the puppy's bed, but no larger. Dogs do not want to soil their bed and the use of a crate teaches them to control their urge to eliminate.
You must maintain an eagle eye at all times. As soon as you see him pacing, sniffing around, and turning in circles, immediately take him outside. He is telling you "I am going to go pee pee somewhere, and this carpet looks like as good a place as any." NO, you do not have time to put on your shoes, just go.
Be patient and do not rush the little guy. He may have to go several times in one "pit stop." Give him about 10 minutes before taking him back inside. Do not play with him while you are on this mission. Let him know this is a business trip.
Make sure you take him out after every meal and play session BEFORE you put him back in his crate. Be consistent and establish a schedule. Pay attention to your puppy's behaviour so you can develop a schedule that works for you and the pup. When does your puppy naturally defecate? In the morning? 10 minutes after eating? Around bedtime? You may have to make some compromises.
Be fair to your puppy. He cannot be expected to stay alone in his crate for endless hours and not relieve himself. During your work days, you will need to have someone go to your home at least once (lunch time is good) to let the puppy out. Take him for a long walk. Your dog is not a fish and he needs something to occupy his mind.
Make sure everyone who is involved in the housebreaking process is using the same spot in the yard and the same word. Everyone should agree on the place they will take the puppy. The odour from the previous visits will cause the puppy to want to go in that spot.
Use a simple word like "Potty/Weewees" when taking your puppy to the chosen spot. Use this word consistently and later this word will help build communication between the family and the dog. When you notice him going toward the door and you say "Potty" he can say "Yup, that’s where I need to go," or, "Forget it. I am getting back up on the couch for some shut eye."
Until your puppy is about 5 months old you will need to take him out frequently and keep that eagle eye on him. But before you know it, you are going to be able to trust and communicate with your new pet. And he will learn that when he pleases you by going out to do his business, he gets more freedom in the house.
Best way to introduce Leash he's wearing his collar just fine
Just attached the leash and let him drag around house for a little bit, praising and giving treats while he/she is clam. NO need to tether.
And when should we take his first bath and when should be introduced to the groomer?
Bathing should be kept to a minimum, however start introducing the brush, comb, nail clippers.
Speak to a groomer about a Puppy visit.
How much is too much holding and playing?
Your puppy will need some quiet time and lots of sleep, do not disturb sleep too often. Watch for signs of stress.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: A follow up question. We have had the puppy for two days and was originally all cuddly and now he seems he's not really listening to us. Like when we ask for him to come in he doesn't as quickly. When we hold him he tries to wiggle out. Is their a Recommendation. During playing and wrestling time is it okay to Have him nibble?
When training you need to establish a marker, so I am including the info on how to do that and a note on nipping and chewing.
The Use of a Marker
Everywhere you read about Dog Training you’ll see that
TIMING & CONSISTANCY are mentioned.
TIMING is referring to the timing of your MARKER.
A MARKER is a sound that let’s your dog know they just did the right thing and a reward is coming.
CONSISTANCY means you use the same word/sound/command/hand signal and that your Rules are always the same.
Animal trainers for years have used a MARKER, be it a whistle or a word for Dolphins, Whales, Bears, Elephants or Lions.
I am sure most of you have heard of Clicker Training which is becoming more and more popular with dog owners and trainers, but the Clicker still falls into the MARKER Category.
It is still a sound that let’s your dog know they just did the right thing and a reward is coming.
However, after 25 years of teaching people how to train their dogs, I know that having that CLICKER to hand at all times, just does not happen. You said Sit, your dog did and now you are patting your pockets trying to find the Clicker, the moment for Marking has past and thus the opportunity to confirm your dog just did the right thing.
What you always have to hand is your VOICE, as a marker is a sound, you could just as easily use your voice over a Clicker or Whistle.
Loading the “Marker” & Finding your “Correction Sound”
Your “Marker” is the word “Yessss”. To load your “Marker”, randomly you will say “Yesss” to your dog and give them a treat. Eventually when ever your dog hears you say “Yesss”, they will look at you for the treat that always follows. Once this becomes constant you have successfully “Loaded Your Marker”
One word we never use with our dogs is “NO”, as they hear it so often during the day with so many tones of voice and scents (emotions) and Body Language, that it is impossible for them to learn what that sound means. Therefore, you need to find what “Sound” works best for you as a “Correction Sound”.
When your dog is doing something (Does not have to be something bad), you’ll approach and make your “Correction Sound”, you are looking for a split second FREEZE, before the dog looks at you. When you see this FREEZE, then you know the sound you made, was a “No for your Dog”.
Common Correction sounds are – EhEh, Eh, Shush.
Teaching Bite Inhibition
How to develop and maintain your dog’s “bite inhibition.”
In the dog training world, bite inhibition is defined as a dog’s ability to control the pressure of his mouth when biting, to cause little or no damage to the subject of the bite. We know that all dogs have the potential to bite, given the wrong set of circumstances. Some dogs readily bite with little apparent provocation, but even the most saintly dog, in pain, or under great stress, can be induced to bite. When a bite happens, whether frequently or rarely, bite inhibition is what makes the difference between a moment of stunned silence and a trip to the nearest emergency room for the victim (and perhaps the euthanasia room for the dog).
A bite is at the far end of a long line of behaviours a dog uses to communicate displeasure or discomfort. To stop another dog, human, or other animal from doing what he perceives to be an inappropriate or threatening behaviour, the dog often starts with body tension, hard eye contact, a freeze, pulling forward of the commissure (corners of the lips). These “please stop!” behaviours may escalate to include a growl, snarl (showing teeth), offensive barking, an air-snap (not making contact), and finally, an actual bite. The dog who does any or all of these things is saying, “Please don’t make me hurt you!”
Some foolish humans punish their dogs for these important canine communications. “Bad dog, how dare you growl at my child!” Punishing your dog for these warning signals can make him suppress them; he’ll learn it’s not safe to let you know he’s not comfortable with what you’re doing -and then bites can happen without warning.
Others ignore the signals and proceed with whatever was making the dog uncomfortable. This is also foolish, because it can prompt the dog to express his feelings more strongly, with a less inhibited bite that might break skin and do damage.
The wise dog owner recognizes the dog’s early signals, and takes steps to reduce or remove the stimulus that is causing the dog to be tense, to avoid having her dog escalate to a bite. She then manages the environment to prevent the dog from constant exposure to the stressful stimulus, and modifies her dog’s behaviour to help him become comfortable with it. Sometimes, however, even the best efforts of the wisest dog owners can’t prevent a bite from happening. If and when it does, one hopes and prays that the dog has good bite inhibition.
Installing bite inhibition
In the best of all worlds, puppies initially learn bite inhibition while still with their mom and littermates, through negative punishment: the pup’s behaviour makes a good thing go away. If a pup bites too hard while nursing, the milk bar is likely to get up and leave. Pups learn to use their teeth softly, if at all, if they want the good stuff to keep coming. As pups begin to play with each other, negative punishment also plays a role in bite inhibition. If you bite your playmate too hard, he’ll likely quit the game and leave.
For these reasons, orphan and singleton pups (as well as those who are removed from their litters too early) are more likely to have a “hard bite” (lack of bite inhibition) than pups who have appropriate interactions for at least seven to eight weeks with their mother and siblings. These dogs miss out on important opportunities to learn the consequences of biting too hard; they also fail to develop “tolerance for frustration,” since they don’t have to compete with littermates for resources. They may also be quicker to anger -and to bite without bite inhibition -if their desires are thwarted. Note: Being raised with their litter doesn’t guarantee good bite inhibition; some dogs have a genetic propensity to find hard biting (and its consequences) to be reinforcing; others may have had opportunity to practice and be reinforced for biting hard.
Your dog may never bite you in anger, but if he doesn’t have good bite inhibition you’re still likely to feel a hard bite when he takes treats from your fingers -and removes skin as well as the tasty tidbit.
If you find yourself with a puppy who, for whatever reason, tends to bite down harder than he should with those needle-sharp puppy teeth, you need to start convincing him that self-restraint is a desirable quality. You can’t start this lesson too early when it comes to putting canine teeth on human skin and clothes. Ideally, you want to teach your pup not to exert pressure when mouthing by the time he’s five months old, just as his adult canine teeth are coming in, and before he develops adult-dog jaw strength. Here are the four R’s of how to do it:
• Remove: When your puppy bites hard enough to cause you pain, say “Ouch!” in a calm voice, gently remove your body part from his mouth, and take your attention away from him for two to five seconds. You’re using negative punishment, just like the pup’s mom and littermates. If he continues to grab at you when you remove your attention, put yourself on the other side of a baby gate or exercise pen. When he is calm, re-engage with him.
• Repeat: Puppies (and adult dogs, and humans) learn through repetition. It will take time, and many repetitions of Step #1, for your pup to learn to voluntarily control the pressure of his bite. Puppies do have a very strong need to bite and chew, so at first you’ll “ouch and remove” only if he bites down hard enough to hurt you. Softer bites are acceptable -for now. If you try to stop all puppy biting at once, both of you will become frustrated. This is a “shaping” process.
Pat Miller’s dog Scooter frequently bites while being groomed, but because he has excellent bite inhibition, it doesn’t hurt!
At first, look for just a small decrease in the pressure of his teeth. When he voluntarily inhibits his bite a little -enough that it’s not hurting you -start doing the “ouch and remove” procedure for slightly softer bites, until you eventually shape him not to bite at all. By the time he’s eight months old he should have learned not to put his mouth on humans at all, unless you decide to teach him to mouth gently on cue.
• Reinforce: Your pup wants good stuff to stick around. When he discovers that biting hard makes you (good stuff) go away, he’ll decrease the pressure of his bite and eventually stop biting hard. This works especially well if you remember to reinforce him with your attention when he bites gently. It works even better if you use a reward marker when he uses appropriate mouth pressure. Given that your hands are probably full of puppy at that particular moment, use a verbal marker followed by praise to let him know he’s doing well. Say “Yes!” to mark the soft-mouth moment, followed by “Good puppy!” praise to let him know he’s wonderful.
• Redirect: You probably are well aware that there are times when your pup is calmer and softer, and times when he’s more aroused and more likely to bite hard.
It’s always a good idea to have soft toys handy to occupy your pup’s teeth when he’s in a persistent biting mood. If you know even before he makes contact with you that he’s in the mood for high-energy, hard biting, arm yourself with a few soft toys and offer them before he tries to maul your hands. If he’s already made contact, or you’re working on repetitions of Step #1, occasionally reinforce appropriate softer bites with a favorite squeaky toy play moment.
If there are children in the home with a mouthy puppy, it’s imperative that you arm them with soft toys and have toys easily available in every room of the house, so they can protect themselves by redirecting puppy teeth rather than running away and screaming -a game that most bitey pups find highly reinforcing.
It is possible to suppress a puppy’s hard biting by punishing him when he bites too hard. That might even seem like a quicker, easier way to get him to stop sinking his canine needles into your skin. However, by doing so, you haven’t taught him bite inhibition. If and when that moment comes where he really does feel compelled to bite someone, he’s likely to revert to his previous behaviour and bite hard, rather than offering the inhibited bite you could have taught him.
Teaching bite inhibition to an adult dog
Teaching an adult dog to inhibit his bite is far more challenging than teaching a puppy. A dog easily reverts to a well-practiced, long-reinforced behaviour in moments of high emotion, even if he’s learned to control his mouth pressure in calmer moments.
I know this all too well. Our Bordeaux, now six years old, came to us at the age of six months with a wicked hard mouth. Hand-feeding her treats was a painful experience, and I implemented a variation of the “Ouch” procedure. Because she was biting hard for the treat rather than puppy-biting my flesh, I simply said “Ouch,” closed my hand tightly around the treat, and waited for her mouth to soften, then fed her the treat. Hard mouth made the treat disappear (negative punishment); soft mouth made the treat happen (positive reinforcement). She actually got the concept pretty quickly, and within a couple of weeks could thoughtfully and gently take even high value treats without eliciting an “Ouch.”
She still can take treats gently to this day, except when she’s stressed or excited; then she reverts to her previous hard-bite behaviour. When that happens, I close the treat in my fist until she remembers to soften her mouth, at which time I open my hand and feed her the treat. So, while our bite inhibition work was useful for routine training and random daily treat delivery, if Lucy ever bites in a moment of stress, arousal, fear and/or anger, I have no illusions that she’s going to remember to inhibit her bite. Of course, I do my best to make sure that moment doesn’t happen.
Whether you’ve taken the time to teach your puppy good bite inhibition or had the good fortune to inherit a dog who has it, don’t take it for granted. Continue to reinforce soft-mouth behaviour for the rest of his life, and don’t be tempted to push the envelope of his tolerance just because you can. Even saints have limits.
COME (RECALL) – Means Come Here and Sit right in front of me
To teach your dog COME, have someone hold the leash. You show your dog you have a treat and you run away to a distance of 15 feet. Turn around call your Dog to COME. (your dog will have tried to chase after you because you ran away with a treat, the Leash Holder holds tight, until you say COME, then let’s go). When your dog gets to you grab the collar underneath his/her chin, give the Treat(s) and then using your free hand gently push the dogs bum into a sit. DO NOT SAY SIT (you are holding the collar under their chin, to stop them from running off, to ensure you do not instil a fear of collar grabbing, or have your dog duck under your hand. With your hand under their chin, it will assist you in placing them in a sit, as when a dogs head goes up, their bums go down). The Hand Signal for COME is a Flat Hand swinging up from your side to your opposite shoulder
Important things to remember about come:-
Give Treat before dog sits, so you are rewarding COME not SIT.
Come is affected by distractions work the 3 D’s here as well.
Remember dogs learn SOUNDS NOT WORDS, so train COME at different Tones and Levels. COME sounds very different when shouted than it does when spoken. Also remember your TONE, if you are scared for your dog’s life or frustrated by him/her, the way you SAY/SHOUT COME, will SOUND very different. Always practise the COME Command with different tones and volume.
Remember dogs are creatures of patterns and habits, if you only call them to COME, when calling them in from the yard or leaving the dog park, they will soon realise COME means play time over. Use COME frequently and let your dog go back to what he or she was doing.
Every time you say COME have your dog Sit. If you just want your dog to be closer to you or to follow you, use another command such as HERE or LETS GO.