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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-16-2014 01:09 PM
A girl and her dog I love this thread! Ellenjk, thanks for being so honest! And to all of those who are supportive and understanding, thank you too! Ellenjk, I know how you feel. I too would get a crate asap, make that a priority. I have two metal/wire crates, one in my bedroom close to the bed so he can see me, and the other in the living room where we spend most of our time. I also have used tether training with a leash indoors. I kept it attached to me or held it and took the dog with me everywhere I went in the house. I didn't keep treats on me at all times, but I see the value in that and will start doing it. The idea behind tethering is that the pup/dog won't pee or poo where it has to stand or lie down. This gives you better control over when and where they go. I love the bell on the door too- my cat even uses it when he wants to go out. Invest in some "Out" and some "Odo-ban" sprays too.

I too am having the same issue with potty training my GS/mix. My Chi wasn't nearly as difficult to potty train. My GS does a lot of the same things yours does. He did great at first, then seemed to just forget and start going wherever, whenever. It is unnerving and frustrating!! I totally get the 'how can they be so very smart and 'dumb' at the same time, lol! It's a strange combination. I'm trying to really tune in and try to understand what's going through this little guy's mind so I can help guide him. My Chi is helping too. In fact, Nonny (my GS), just walked into the kennel where George (my Chi) was lying down and PEED!! right there on the blanket! I wouldn't have known except that George started growling at him to tell him that was completely unacceptable. I just don't get how he can walk into the kennel and pee on blankets that he likes to sleep on too. I JUST took them out 30-45 minutes ago. CRAZY! And frustrating! So, for him, I'm going to have to start tethering. OR- and I hate this- start kenneling him unless he's with me for supervised playtimes/walks, and start being fed in the kennel. I may even have to get another small kennel for him. He is SO smart with training, and he's SO sweet and gentle and loving... but such a 'tard about peeing and pooping.

As far as kenneling- I had a difficult to potty train miniature dachshund that was very tiny. She REFUSED to poop outside and was a stealth-pooper- carpet only, any chance she got, even if it were 2 seconds, she'd go poop. She weighed 4-5 lbs fully grown, so even the smallest kennel allowed her enough room to eliminate in one end and lay down in the other. I had to wall off the whole thing leaving just enough room for her to curl up. I know some will criticize that, so what. it worked! So, I used the modified kennel, and tethering; she held it for three days!! before she had an accident (and hated that she soiled herself in the process). Even though she was still kenneled for another 24 hrs (with the breaks I mentioned), she began to poop outside. She never went in the kennel again and started eliminating outside.

With your pregnancy, a kennel will do wonders for you! Especially when your baby comes and you'll need to devote your primary attention to him/her and literally won't be able to lunge for a urinating pup to rush them outside, nor will you be able to self-tether because if they jerk the leash they could compromise the baby's safety. You'll need the kennel for damage control.

Because you're the primary caregiver- the dog is going to have to recognize YOU as alpha. Otherwise, he'll just run over you and only listen to your boyfriend if he chooses to be alpha. So it'll be more like the dog is yours than his. Your boyfriend won't be there all day to tell the dog to leave you alone, or to correct him, or keep him on schedule for pottying. You will- so you have to be alpha. Dogs don't recognize it any other way. And they WILL play the two of you off of each other if they're unsure of who is the real alpha, lol! mischievous little devils
02-12-2014 01:50 PM
Sheababy Get a string with a jingle bell on the end. Tie it around your doorknob and hang low enough for your pup to reach with a paw. Before you open the door to take it out ring the bell and use words like lets go potty or let's go outside with enthusiasm. 3 days tops your puppy will ring the bell.

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02-04-2014 05:13 PM
selzer You've got yourself into a pickle. You can't blame the boyfriend, because you gave him the pup. This is why everyone in the home really needs to be on board. Puppies are not easy. If they weren't so darn cute, we'd probably kill them. And if you are already not a fan of dogs, this puppy has been set up to fail. And that is sad.

They used to say one year is like seven dog years. And some say that with some dogs it is more like the first year they are like a 12 year old. Generally, I don't think it is very helpful. But these dogs, GSDs, are still juveniles until they are 2, and then they are like young adults until they are 3 or even 4 years old. And, fully mature, they have the emotional span of somewhere between that of a 3 and 6 year old child -- that is roughly. In some ways they can be a lot more mature than a child, and it usually isn't helpful at all to liken them to children, except for when we expect too much too soon from baby dogs.

For someone in your position, I wouldn't have chosen this combination of dog. Both are working dogs, which means high energy and high intelligence and high trainability. But also powerful. The GSD is a big animal, and it generally works sheep without biting much. If any biting is done while herding it is a nip. GSDs will herd children -- usually by body blocking them and nudging them where they ought to be. But some will nip too. But blue heelers are a dog fully capable of moving 2000 pound cows and bulls, and they do use their teeth. They use their teeth to by biting at the the legs of the critters to move them from here to there. They have courage because that animal might turn on them, or kick at them, and these dogs have to have the tenacity to come back and come back and come back again to get the job done.

It is 100% possible to have a dog of this combination and raise them successfully with babies and children. But only if you, the primary caregiver is on board. And only if both you and your boy friend understand the need for these dogs to be trained and exercised.

It is hard for you because you are getting ready to have the baby, but it is even more important for you in your situation to get out there and train the dog. FIND the money to take the dog to classes. With these dogs, this isn't a luxury, it is a necessity. You will need to train this dog to walk nicely on a lead, so he doesn't drag you down, and so he will walk nicely with a stroller and ignore other dogs. You can't have him tearing after deer or dogs or bicycles or joggers when you are walking along with the baby in a stroller. He needs to have all these experiences now, and he needs to get good at it, hopefully before the baby comes.

He needs to learn to be gentle, not to be mouthy, with anyone, especially the little one.

He needs to learn not to jump up on people, especially toddlers trying to learn to walk.

He needs to learn to control himself. He needs to learn what he should do and what he shouldn't do. And you need to learn to manage his environment better. No way do you leave the table with a tempting dinner all over it and go to the bathroom. If you do, take the dog with you.

What you need to realize is that he is a baby, at four months old, he is kind of like a 2-3 year old child. If you put a big bowl of candy where the child knows where it is, and can get to it, and then leave the room, the child may or may not go after the candy. Being mad at the child for failing this test isn't helpful. It really wasn't a fair test.

The same is true about the potty training. You need to set your pup up to succeed, and then praise him for it. You need to just clean up the mess when there is an accident. The accident is on you, not the dog. I agree with checking for a UTI, but it is also very possible that the dog does not see the need for pottying outside. If you are doing this by punishing accidents, NO! OUTSIDE! that can actually make it tougher. You are right about getting him out after he wakes up, eats, plays hard, and every two hours that he hasn't been outside, but you also have to be right on top of him. Instead of NO! OUTSIDE! If he starts to circle and sniff, in a happy voice, "Do you want to go OutSide??? Use some positive emphasis on the words OutSide, Potty, PeePee, PooPoo, etc. When he does do his business outside, have a party. Oh Good boy! You went PeePee OutSide, What a good boy you are! and give him a treat.

If he makes a mistake, clean it up immediately with an enzyme based cleaner and make a vow to supervise better. Make potty time happy. If you stress him, he will learn to wait until you aren't looking and then he will potty where you don't want him to. This is NOT because he is bad. It is because he associates you being frustrated when he potties. So he stays stressed, and a when stressed it is impossible sometimes to potty. So he doesn't when you are looking at him. But when you go in, and release him, and start doing something, he relaxes, and that is when the urge and the ability comes back.

Keep it positive. Keep it happy.

Management -- keep him safe from the stuff he shouldn't have, supervise or contain him properly.

Leadership -- be patient, fair, consistent, positive, realistic with your expectations.

Training -- teach him what you want him to do, and praise him for it;
-- teach him a small thing, then slowly increase the distance, time, scope of what is trained.

Exercise -- a tired puppy is a good puppy, he needs exercise for his body, his teeth, his mind.

It is not the puppy's fault that you chose to get him when you were very pregnant, and not a fan of dogs. You are going to have to be that much more conscious of not allowing your negative feelings to be taken out on the puppy. You need to change your feelings of irritation and frustration to feelings of humor, and positive feelings -- accentuate the good stuff, minimize the bad stuff. Or it may be better for everyone involved to accept that you made a poor decision and rehome the puppy. I know that is really sticky with the boy friend and all. But you are going to have to work hard at changing your frame of mind, during a time when your own hormones are probably going nuts right now with the pregnancy. You can make it work, but you have to want to change how you think about the whole thing.
02-04-2014 01:03 PM
blackshep I just wanted to add, I know you're feeling overwhelmed at the moment, but I really think making a couple of simple changes will really help with a lot of these issues.

Best of luck, and please keep everyone posted!!
02-04-2014 12:20 PM

Here's the link.

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02-04-2014 12:19 PM
Originally Posted by ellenjk View Post
Hi! Short backstory. I'm extremely pregnant (37 weeks), never had a dog, never been a fan, also never been exposed. also have anxiety & other issues that pregnancy keeps me from treating with my medication. I'm telling you this because some of my feelings or wording about my puppy may be totally inaccurate, offensive or otherwise mean. So please be forgiving!

I got my dog loving boyfriend a German Shepherd / Blue Heeler mix for Christmas. He was either 8 or 10 weeks the first week of December, I don't totally remember. He's been fine and by-the-book to train for most of the time and I've responsibly Googled and asked dog-owning friends various training questions and tried to learn as much as possible. He learns tricks remarkably easily - he sits, gets down, leaves rooms, jumps, etc. So cute.

About 6-8 weeks ago I noticed he was eating his accidentally indoor poo that wasn't cleaned within ten minutes or so. I quickly started energetically potty training - outside every 1-2 hours, interrupting attempted indoor poos to take him out, out after play, eat, naps, when sniffing the floor, etc. I use treats afterwards. He has never reliably, consistently peed outside but did seem to grasp the idea- but he seemed to understand pooing out there. Had barely any indoor poos since then. Suddenly about 2 weeks ago though he has started making no effort and seemed to forget what he learned. He poos and pees EVERYWHERE and never makes an effort to approach me or the door to tell me. When I take him out it seems to be coincidence when he goes. Sometimes he will pee or poo inside and *then* run to the door or to his treats. He has also started going poo and turning right around and chowing down on it. I have never been mean or physical with him besides a stern "No, outside" when I interrupt to take him out. He also just started spraying walls, the fridge, etc. He will just stare at me and do it but sometimes he will wander and freeze, stare, look guilty, repeat, then go. or go where I can't see or catch him. What do I do? I'm the primary caretaker and cannot clean literally 3-4 poos & 10 pees a day plus walking every 2 hours once i have this baby. That thought terrifies me! I already mop daily.

He usually never messes with the table because we taught him that young. He has suddenly started climbing on top of it and eating anything there he can - only if we are out of the room. He runs off weirdly when i return. I made dinner and went to the bathroom and when I returned it was gone and he ran to his bed, smacking his lips.

He seems to generally have started disregarding "no." He hurts me easily bc of my size being pregnant & I'm on pain medication for back pain and contractions etc and it's imperative he listen to no, especially when babys here. I don't know what to do. He also seems to have almost no interest in his assortment of several toys but sure loves my socks, wallet, medicine bottles... caught him eating a $20 today. I'm with him all day and give him attention and playtime but am open to whatever on earth I'm doing wrong. i told my boyfriend no living creature had ever made me so angry and frustrated before and i think he almost cried. I'm tired of being constantly annoyed!
Bless your soul. I was going through a lot of the same things just a few weeks ago, I really wanted to flush him down the toilet. my post "little nugget is driving me crazy" has a lot of good advice in it. The leash indoors particular. Good luck! Oh and yelling at the dog doesn't help, he just thinks you're playing with him. Super stressful I know.

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02-04-2014 12:14 PM
Blanketback You have to somehow be able to change your mindset from "constantly annoyed" to constantly amused. If you can't do that, then you're doomed. Sorry to say it so bluntly, but it's true. Some people will only adopt older dogs because they can't stand this stage in their development. I love it, but I know it's hard work and requires all kinds of patience. Maybe you could look into getting someone to act as a puppy sitter so you won't have so much on your plate? Good luck
02-04-2014 12:05 PM
blackshep You might be able to find a used crate and x-pen on craigslist or something.

You have a busy young pup who is testing his boundaries. Crating and confining him to an x-pen will be really beneficial, especially when the new baby arrives.

You can do a lot of training from home. Basic commands like sit, down, stay and come are easy enough to teach on your own. When you teach 'come', make sure he's leashed, so he never learns that not coming is an option and have a big party when he comes back.

You need to work his brain a bit. Yawning is a sign of stress, he could be picking up on your stress, or even your hormone changes, or is just frustrated. Both those breeds need a job to do and they will drive you crazy if their needs aren't being met. Teach him some searching games. This tires my pup out more than exercise. And find some things to keep him busy. Freezing yogurt in a kong, bully sticks etc can keep him busy for a while, after you've tired him out mentally/physically. I always give my dog a chew later in the evening, a little before bedtime.

As for potty training, I'd just keep taking him out often and praise like crazy when he goes potty outside. It took my dog a long time too. It was like she'd get busy and forget she had to go and then she'd just go right in the middle of playing. It was my fault for not taking her out sooner. My dog gave little to no signs that she had to go, it was really frustrating. She didn't even start to go to the door until she was about a year old, although thankfully her bladder control was better by then!! You might be preoccupied with getting ready for baby, and missing his signs.

Hopefully he will outgrow the poop eating!!

Congratulations on the pregnancy!!! Take a deep breath and get ready for a new exciting chapter in your life! It might be tough for a bit, but I'm sure you'll get through it, and this puppy stage will be outgrown sooner than you think.

He is a real cutie!!
02-04-2014 09:55 AM
Galathiel I want to add that just like a toddler, you have to manage their environment. Do not leave items in reach that you don't want your pup to have. They don't know the difference at that age, but can learn what is appropriate to play with. You may need to make it more interactive. Toys can be boring just lying on the ground, but are much more interesting when you tie a rope to one and drag it around or teach it to play fetch with a toy.
02-04-2014 09:25 AM
wyoung2153 Castlemaid couldn't have said it better... as with everyone else..

As to not repeat everythign that was just said, I just want to say that this.. if you follow the advice given I promise you will be happy with your puppy.. It's frustrating now but when you find a routine that works for you.. it will make a world of difference. GSD's (not sure about blues) are veery routine dogs and thrive off of that.

Good luck and congrats on your baby.. coming soon! Try not to stress(way easier said than done, I know!) you will get this figured out in no time.
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