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Old 01-10-2013, 02:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Couple Questions!

Hi, I am the owner of a white GS. We have the puppy since it was almost 4 weeks old and is gonna be 10 weeks on Tuesday. The breeders didn't take very good care of the animals and we reported after we rescued it. Now for my questions. The dogs only got fed once a day, had fleas and worms.

1. House Breaking.
This isn't my first dog but it is my first GS. But he seems to have his good moments. We haven't had a single day that he hasn't had an accident in the house. I work 9 hour days and my gf works 8 hours. When we are work he is at either one of our houses so he doesn't have to be crated all the time. I have been trying really hard to house break him as soon as possible. I take him outside after he takes a big drink, wakes up from a nap, goes to the door, 5 minutes after eating unless its a big meal, and after playing. He will go potty outside when I tell him to do it, so he has learned that aspect so far. But for some reason he will have really bad days when he won't go outside for at all and then once he comes inside he goes right away. He will have accidents without any warning even while we are playing he will stop and just go.

I am the only one following this method and the others will let him out after he eats. I am not 100% on how often they do.

How can I get him to stop having those bad days and so many accidents when I try and take him outside every hour or 2.

2. Crating
I am a firm believer that they shouldn't be crated at all. My pitt is allowed to roam my apartment and sleep where ever she wants. She is fully house broken and once my GS house broken he will be the same way. Now the only time I have him in his kennel is when we are sleeping over night, I am in the shower, going to work until (but he is out of his kennel within 2 hours because someone comes to get him if I don't drop him at my gf parents.), or when I am taking my other dog outside. Now my issue is at night even when he is sleeping I will pick him up and put him inside his kennel after we go potty. He will start to bark and whine insanely loud and it will usually continue for 10ish minutes. I try to just ignore it but his kennel is right next to my bed and it gets really annoying. So I will yell stop, no, or just tell him he is fine.

How can I get him to realize his kennel is purely for sleeping and isn't any sort of punishment? Around 8 weeks he was doing fine with it but when I went out of town for a week I think maybe they used it for punishment and maybe he is afraid of it now. I don't know.

Thank you.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Everyone has to get on the same page with everything. You guys are confusing the puppy. Write out a routine for potty training that everyone follows. Take the pup out on a leash to go potty, if the pup doesn't go, bring him back in and put back in the crate...try taking him out again in about 10 minutes. The crate is not a bad thing, some dogs whine and cry in the beginning, but eventually they learn to like it. Most dogs will even use the crate as their safe place or place to go when they want to be alone.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with the poster above, and would add that you should strive to make the crate a fun thing. Don't just put him in there, train him that if he goes inside he gets a treat, and it's a safe space.

Crating him more is far kinder than confusing him with different training and management methods, btw. Poor little guy missed out on a lot of important development by being removed from his litter so early, and now you guys are giving him mixed messages and confusing him. You guys need to all get on the same page and if you can't get your girlfriend on board, then you need to figure something else out so that you don't need to take him over there.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would suggest taking him outdoors to potty more frequently, I think that him being not quite 10 wks old I would take him out at least every 20 to 30 min. The less the chance that he has to go inside the better he will get accustomed to going out to potty for you.

Maybe if you could put the crate close enough to your bed that he could see or smell you would satisfy him and he would feel more secure while in the crate.

Good luck with your baby boy.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokez View Post
Hi, I am the owner of a white GS. We have the puppy since it was almost 4 weeks old and is gonna be 10 weeks on Tuesday. The breeders didn't take very good care of the animals and we reported after we rescued it. Now for my questions. The dogs only got fed once a day, had fleas and worms.

1. House Breaking.
This isn't my first dog but it is my first GS. But he seems to have his good moments. We haven't had a single day that he hasn't had an accident in the house. I work 9 hour days and my gf works 8 hours. When we are work he is at either one of our houses so he doesn't have to be crated all the time. I have been trying really hard to house break him as soon as possible. I take him outside after he takes a big drink, wakes up from a nap, goes to the door, 5 minutes after eating unless its a big meal, and after playing. He will go potty outside when I tell him to do it, so he has learned that aspect so far. But for some reason he will have really bad days when he won't go outside for at all and then once he comes inside he goes right away. He will have accidents without any warning even while we are playing he will stop and just go.

I am the only one following this method and the others will let him out after he eats. I am not 100% on how often they do.

How can I get him to stop having those bad days and so many accidents when I try and take him outside every hour or 2.

2. Crating
I am a firm believer that they shouldn't be crated at all. My pitt is allowed to roam my apartment and sleep where ever she wants. She is fully house broken and once my GS house broken he will be the same way. Now the only time I have him in his kennel is when we are sleeping over night, I am in the shower, going to work until (but he is out of his kennel within 2 hours because someone comes to get him if I don't drop him at my gf parents.), or when I am taking my other dog outside. Now my issue is at night even when he is sleeping I will pick him up and put him inside his kennel after we go potty. He will start to bark and whine insanely loud and it will usually continue for 10ish minutes. I try to just ignore it but his kennel is right next to my bed and it gets really annoying. So I will yell stop, no, or just tell him he is fine.

How can I get him to realize his kennel is purely for sleeping and isn't any sort of punishment? Around 8 weeks he was doing fine with it but when I went out of town for a week I think maybe they used it for punishment and maybe he is afraid of it now. I don't know.

Thank you.
Hey there! I'm a new mom of an 8 week old GSD and I can tell you one thing for sure, I feel your pain!
I want to help, so I can tell you what I've been doing that's been pretty successful, with the help of my boyfriend (his parents took their dog to obedience school so we've picked up on some helpful things that I've found effective with my Ava).

While being raised in terrible conditions, it's still possible to re-hardwire the bad behaviors while they're still at a young age (at least, I firmly believe it is).
1. House Breaking-
This one was a little demanding, but after several pee stains and poop piles in my house, we finally got her house broken at 7 1/2 weeks. First, we picked up one 20 pack of puppy pads. While in the house after naps, eating, playing, we'd take her to the pad in a designated area, so not to confuse her and tell her to go potty. Sometimes it worked, most of the time not so much. Whenever we caught her in the act we'd pick her up right away and take her to the pad. Never scold them for going in the house, the most we ever did was pick her up and take her to where she went potty and she'd look away shamefully- which does the trick (accidents aside).

After a while, we moved to the outside world and to a certain section of our yard. She spent a while just discovering things, but the second she would use the bathroom we'd give her a treat and praise her. This is IMPORTANT! This shows them that what they just did will receive a reward and she's likely to repeat it. Initially we'd carry her outside because she was a slow pudgy thing and we didn't want to have accidents. As we head out we ask her if she needs to go potty, they will make an association with the word so later on they'll just run to the door when you ask. Pretty soon you'll be able to get a routine down as long as you're firm and consistent.

2. Crating-
I hate it as much as the next person, but it is necessary in early life. They will whine a lot the first couple of times, but as long as you present them with something soft to sleep on, and a toy to chew on they will adjust accordingly. We only put her in it at night initially so she knew it was bedtime. What you want to do, is make them realize it's not a punishment. So we would take her to the crate, tell her "hop in" and put her in it (word association that will help much later on) and give her a treat. That way they think, "Ohh i get a treat for being here, so it's clearly not because I was bad!" It's best to keep the crate in a dark room, like a bathroom. Crating is a good idea because if you have guests over that have allergies or that the dog may not be too fond of (dogs sometimes just don't like some people just like we do!) you can put them in their kennel without them carrying on like they're being murdered. Plus, if you ever need them to be boarded they won't wreak havoc in the car or wherever you take them.

This is all what has worked for me, good luck in your endeavors!
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I also want to add with the crate--once the puppy starts crying, you really just have to wait it out. I understand that it's annoying, but that's puppies. They're like babies in that you have to accept that sometimes you'll be missing out on some sleep until they get a little older (and even then--it's rare, but sometimes my adult dogs will wake me up in the middle of the night because they can't hold it anymore, or will have an upset stomach and I need to doze on the couch so I can let them out to throw up in the yard, etc.).

When you talk to the puppy, either soothing him or chastising him, you're teaching him that whining gets attention from you. It's counterproductive.

That said, I'm really not a fan of "cry it out" by itself. Not acknowledging the crying has to be paired with spending time teaching him that the crate is a fun, safe place to be. Here is a blog about Crate Games and the Question of Value | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog which also has a link to the basic instructional Youtube video in the first line. Try some of these with your pup to help him learn to like his crate.
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Scooter-12 y/o ACD/Border Collie mix
Bandit-8 y/o ACD
Wooby-14 y/o ACD
Abutiu "Abi"-ACD puppy and hopeful future SAR dog!
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