New Puppy Mom
I have been floating around this forum for a while before I decided to make a profile because I had some questions that I was either confused about or wasn't able to find elsewhere.
First thing is discipline. I keep reading that it is really bad or at least frowned upon to scruff your puppy? This is confusing for me because I have been told and have read that scruffing them is the proper way to discipline. I have been doing this if I catch him piddling in the house. Now, I am aware that it is at the fault of me not my puppy however I keep a hawk's eye on him at all times outside his crate and unfortunately he gives no signs of needing to pee, half the time I don't even know he's done it until he trots away and leaves a puddle behind.
Also, I do not scruff if I don't catch him in the middle of it. I am very aware that dogs do not understand what they've done if you miss the mark.
I guess I don't find a stern "NO" and lifting them up and away being sufficient to teach them what is desired? Can someone change my view on this?
I do massive praise when he potties outside and he does know to what to do once out there.
I guess I am just afraid saying "no" sternly won't do anything for teaching what not to do, if that makes sense?
I am VERY open to all suggestions, although I work with dogs they are all adults and this is my first puppy, puppy. Pike is only 9 weeks, so all help is welcome!
My next question is crate training. So far he does very well, he naps in his crate and goes in there on his own. When we go to bed he doesn't fuss however I have noticed that he will whine a little too much throughout the night.
Sometimes it is to go potty but we are having problems with him being taken out and just messing around in the snow. If he isn't going potty he is immediately picked up and put back and we are back to sleep but he sometimes does it consistently(going outside to mess around.) Other nights he sleeps from midnight until 6am.
I have read elsewhere sometimes you just have to ignore them when they whine and they will learn that time is only for potty time. Is this true? I don't know that I could ignore him for fear he really has to go.
Last, when it comes to training if they do not listen or disobey what is the best way to approach that?
So far he has "sit" down pat and "watch me" down really well but that is it so far.
I can't really get him to come when I want him to, only on his terms which is frustrating.
Don't worry! I know he is young, I don't expect that much out of him yet, I am just looking for training suggestions for the future.
There is SO MUCH info I am literally overwhelmed with the rights and wrongs of puppy raising and training, especially a GSD, and sometimes all this info counters itself and I am left stressed and hoping I am not doing anything that will ruin my dog emotionally or the like.
Thank you all in advance! I am a crazy first time mom, ha, I know I need to relax some but I want to raise him well and make sure he's happy and healthy.
I admit I do scruff, but it's reserved for serious situations only. I'm not entirely PR, I do believe NR has it's place but for puppies I really focus on encouraging the positive rather then punish the negative. They are still learning and I want them happy and willing to please. I want this attitude: 'oh boy, I did THIS *insert behaviour* and I got the best reward! I should do it again' rather then: 'oh no, she's stomping over to me, I shouldn't have chewed that shoe. Now she's mad'
For potty training (my poodle was awful) if I caught them right in the act I would loudly clap my hands and AH AH! (which is my NR 'try again' noise) and pick them up and take them outside. Some dogs pick it up quickly and some don't, be consistant and go with what works. Some dogs literally have to be out every 30 minutes or less unless they're dead asleep, some can hold it a little longer. I don't have expectations, I look at the pup in front of me and work with what they can do. Limiting water can help, it can always be available but only a certain amount is in the bowl at all times.
You mention crate time and taking them out when they whine at night. Personally this is what I do, first I always have a leash, slippers, and a coat at the foot of the bed. I have a routine for bedtime where they get a large play session so they are tired before they go into the crate and are ready to sleep. If I wake up and hear the pup whine I get up right away, pick them up and straight outside. I don't praise or talk, simply take them out and wait - 90% of the time they do their business in seconds and I again pick them up and put them straight back in the crate and go back to bed. There is no playtime or reward, so the dog quickly realizes that while yes I will take you outside, there's no real fun in it so therefore no benefit outside of a empty bladder.
As for training, the puppy is only 9 weeks. Yes I train my puppies from day 1 when they come home but all training is fun and positive. I work more on shaping than actual training while they're that young, I encourage the good behaviours I see and slowly teach them new ones. Keep your expectations realistic and remember that short training sessions (even 5-10 seconds) are more beneficial then trying to keep that puppy brain engaged for 5-15 minutes in strict obedience :)
It IS overwhelming! I'm not even getting my new puppy for a few weeks and I feel overwhelmed when I think about it!
Main thing is ---> http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...s-puppies.html though...
Plus great tips on http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...imer-tips.html
Good luck and we need pictures!
Thank you both for the input! That helped smooth things out a little bit. I really appreciate it (:
Good news! So far we (boyfriend and I) are getting better and better with nights, actually down to being up only once. We were very short with outsides in the middle of night, if not potty up and into the crate he went done and done and I think he caught on quick.
ALSO we found out it was getting too warm for him, as one night he got me up and once outside sprawled out in the snow. So we removed a blanket and left only one thinly folded, put our window fan on him on low, and closed our bedroom vents and now he's sleeping like a charm. Were suffering a little in the morning since our bedroom is so chilly but I'll easily give up waking up to a warm room for a good nights sleep haha.
He also caught on to "ah! ah!" really fast and we utilize it a lot for behaviors we don't appreciate like chewing sleeves and if he chomps down too hard on skin. Works pretty well 90% of the time (if he doesn't feel like being a turd ;) )
Even better news is lately he's been running to the door and whining to go potty! HORRAY! I hope it lasts. We give massive praise for this and constantly ask "Need to go outside/potty?" while we lead him to the door after naps.
So it's getting better. We haven't worked much on training lately because after a visit to the vet for tummy troubles he can't have treats for about a week. But we work on what he knows with verbal praise (:
Here's our goober! http://i.imgur.com/HwBBIqN.jpg
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