Originally Posted by Gem
Hi. We bought a German Shepherd puppy at 8 weeks old. He is now 11 weeks old. He's great, but for some reason he just won't get the hang of paper training (we live in an apartment, so it needs to be done this way until we move in 2 months). I have had puppies before (I fostered a lot of them, and my parents bred Siberian Huskies) who have taken up paper training instantly. I know he's still young, and we haven't had him very long, but my husband and I have been on the ball with it, and he still doesn't seem to get it. Any advice? His paper is on a huge pan. We take him to it often, when we think he's about to go, etc. He'll go on it sometimes, but majority of the time he won't! We've praised him loads when we notice him going on the paper. I've left a patch of pee, a piece of poop, etc. so he knows that's where he goes
, but that's not helping. He also submissively pees ANY time my husband walks up to him, pets him, picks him up, etc. He just started this 4 days ago. He doesn't do it to me. He has not treated him any differently than I have. I have read The Art of Raising a Puppy, and we're following the guidelines in that book, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Please help!
Oh, AND he eats poop. His poop. If he goes and I am not RIGHT THERE to pick it up IMMEDIATELY he will scarf it down. He's had his vaccines, wellness exam, and is on a grain free high quality puppy/dog food... Why is he eating his poop? Like I said, I've had puppies before, I have been around MANY dogs, but he has been the hardest so far. He came from a very reputable breeder. What are we doing wrong? Does he just need a lot more time than I'm used to puppies needing?
I'm home all day, so I can work with him as much as I need to.
If he's still going off the pad, then he doesn't know where he's supposed to go. Does he have the run of the house, do you crate him, do you tether him, do you baby gate him? He definitely needs more restriction if he's able to go in the house with you around. If he has a certain area of the house he is gated in, like a bathroom, paper the entire bathroom and let him go wherever for a few days (if the entire area is covered, there's no chance of him going off the pad). Just replace any individual pads he soils. Then start taking away a pad or two a day, making the area smaller and smaller, working towards the one ad you want him to go on (ideally on the opposite side of the room you feed him on. If he starts going off the pads when you're decreasing the area, you've gone too fast and need to take a step back. The idea is he will become used to pottying on the pads and will follow that area as it gradually shrinks away instead of having to choose from the get-go between a tiny little pad and a huge space that he sees no reason not to potty on.
Coprophagia (poop-eating) is behavioral and breaking him of that consists of teaching him a very strong leave it and managing him so he doesn't get the chance to eat it. Adding things like pineapple to his food to make the stool taste bad can also help.
For the submissive urination, petting, talking to him, and picking him up rewards that. When he starts getting excited about hubby's attention, hubby needs to ignore him completely and preferably walk away so as not to encourage the puppy to urinate.
If you haven't already, I would definitely suggest tethering your pup to you on a 6 foot lead anytime he is out of his playpen, gated room, crate, etc. It gives you more control, helps you manage potty time and interaction, and completely stops him from getting himself into trouble so you head off a lot of puppy behaviors like chewing and trash diving before they can even start.