New to GSDs and struggling with winter pup ownership. - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Maureen Katherine Conklin View Post
Got mine at 5 months and he didn't have any idea either. One thing I'd recommend is NOT walking. I use a retractable leash for potty time--and stand still while the dog circles around me. It is too cold to be out for this right now unless you have something for the dog's feet, because when I first got Jett, it could take 20-30 minutes of standing still before he went and I could reward him. Anyway, by consistently taking him out to the same spot (my tiny backyard) and waiting for him to go, rewarding him, etc., he got the idea that going outside is GOOD.

He does not yet quite have down the idea that going inside is not good, haha. But, that will come! He has had long periods-2-3 weeks--without indoor accidents broken by the occasional "oops" streak--which I started b/c I changed the pattern when the weather started getting so bad (meaning, paws freeze in 1-2 minutes), now more than a week ago here.

So, when we get above zero again and paws aren't freezing anymore, maybe give this a try. Walking is too distracting, IMO. My older dog thinks he gets to walk before he goes and Jett does not have that miscomprehension! So my older dog goes out in this awful weather and stands there and might just run back in. I'll be retraining him when the weather is nicer. It would be so nice to have dogs that understand that potty comes first.
That is a great idea! I am living the small yard life too with a dog that when it goes- it's a big pile.
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post #22 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-30-2019, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Maureen Katherine Conklin View Post
Thanks for the reply! He has had 2 days of accidents in his crate this week, after about 3 weeks of none. I chalk it up to my mistakes. I like the idea of reverse training. The cold isn't a problem for me, but paw pads freeze in a minute or two with this rare and extreme weather and he's never been in booties before. I have learned about Musher Wax from someone else here and hope we can get back out b/c as you said, that snow is a lot of fun and very tiring for him, which gives me a bit of a break! Thank you again for taking the time to reply.
I use Mushers Secret on Shadow. Winters here are brutally cold and she got a chemical burn on one pad from road salt. She absolutely loves it and flops down with her feet out as soon as she see's the jar! The only issue I've had is she also likes the taste of it,
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post #23 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maureen Katherine Conklin View Post
Got mine at 5 months and he didn't have any idea either. One thing I'd recommend is NOT walking. I use a retractable leash for potty time--and stand still while the dog circles around me. It is too cold to be out for this right now unless you have something for the dog's feet, because when I first got Jett, it could take 20-30 minutes of standing still before he went and I could reward him. Anyway, by consistently taking him out to the same spot (my tiny backyard) and waiting for him to go, rewarding him, etc., he got the idea that going outside is GOOD.

He does not yet quite have down the idea that going inside is not good, haha. But, that will come! He has had long periods-2-3 weeks--without indoor accidents broken by the occasional "oops" streak--which I started b/c I changed the pattern when the weather started getting so bad (meaning, paws freeze in 1-2 minutes), now more than a week ago here.

So, when we get above zero again and paws aren't freezing anymore, maybe give this a try. Walking is too distracting, IMO. My older dog thinks he gets to walk before he goes and Jett does not have that miscomprehension! So my older dog goes out in this awful weather and stands there and might just run back in. I'll be retraining him when the weather is nicer. It would be so nice to have dogs that understand that potty comes first.
WELL I tried it this last night (10 minutes) and this morning (4 minutes)- it works!!! I did get a bit dizzy walking in circles on a 6 leash but it does work. Thanks Maureen for the great tip.
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post #24 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 11:19 AM
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It's 25 degrees here in Pune , IN too but in centigrades
Jokes aside, out here, winters with temps in 40-70F are considered to be the right time to raise a pup so can't really help me on how to beat the weather!
The weather systems have really gone crazy, haven't they?

Having said that, I was in a somewhat similar situation with housetraining 5 odd years ago when we adopted a 6 month old semi-feral Indian Pariah
Training her was a three step process -
Getting her to understand No (which I presume yours already understands)
And then responding with a firm No everytime she would have a house accident
And making a big fuss/lots of rubs/ treats each time she would go out

If I remember correctly, it took us a few weeks to get things in order
Also, dogs learn a lot from other dogs -Seeing your other fellas going out to relieve themselves would act as a natural training bridge for the new guy..

Just hang in there till the weather gets better and you will have this whole house training business sorted out in no time
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post #25 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 11:48 AM
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You can tap into his shepherdness and play find it games in the house with his kibble/meal. The mental stimulation should help with the cabin fever. Once he catches on to the game (he probably will in short order, make the first few games/hides visible and easy) you can move on to putting them under and over things. Also you can put some in a cardboard box tape it up and make holes so the kibble falls out. When he gets good at that you can eliminate the holes and just let him "kill the box" to get at the kibble.

Add a step further for the mess clean up: teach him to pick things up for you. Once that is taught and he understands it really well, incorporate it in with the "kill the box" game. My guy had as much fun picking up the pieces and getting rewards as he did playing the game.

I don't do the "kill the box" game anymore as the behavior is counter productive to our Nose works sport but He and I had a blast when we did play it.

Just a suggestion prompted by Jenny's find me sugggestion.
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post #26 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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WELL I tried it this last night (10 minutes) and this morning (4 minutes)- it works!!! I did get a bit dizzy walking in circles on a 6 leash but it does work. Thanks Maureen for the great tip.
I am so excited to see this! I hope I can re-teach my 6 year old dog the same--it would make life in truly inclement weather so much easier, and I'd love to get that first potty out of the way as weather improves and walks/runs for fun and exercise become longer.
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post #27 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 01:53 PM
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@WIBackpacker gave such fantastic advice and she's a tough act to follow, but I'll try to touch what I can.

My dog used to love to play "fetch-soccer" in the house when she was Jett's age. She would dribble balls, so I started putting 2 or 3 of them in play and basically playing keep away in the living room. It did wear her out pretty well.

I also taught her to find treats I hid all over the house. Technically, because she is a Nosework dog, I don't think I should be doing this, but...if I'm too lazy to deal with a scent kit, it works out well.

Her latest favorite is her snuffle mat. People who feed kibble talk about feeding meals in the snuffle mat. Mine is raw fed, but I'd do that if she ate kibble.

For training, it sounds like you have that under control. You're a bit too far east of the Twin Cities for me to recommend anything local. You might check and see if anything in Madison is dog-friendly, though. I take my girl to taprooms when I get a chance, mall walking once every couple of weeks, on errands when I go to the hardware store or pet supply store or Home Depot.
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post #28 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Update, 02/02/2019

TL;DR: class was difficult and draining and I felt defeated, but perhaps I shouldn't. The post-class fallout from too many treats and not enough water was a rude surprise but one I can address--I have 5 more days to find a ratio of kibble to treats, and he will be starving b/c class is at night and I won't feed him that day or do a ton of treat-based training (actually, I just use his planned meals' kibble at home; in a distraction free environment, it works great!) I'll also take in a water jug and set my stuff up in our little corner before I get him out of the car next time!
_________

35 degrees and everyone and their mother is outside today.

We had our first training class on Thursday evening. Exhausting and a little depressing. Jett spent the entire time behind solid screens and ate about 30 oz of treats over the course of 45-60 minute session. There were a lot of other dogs in the class, none of whom were reactive. 2 trainers. I got a lot of one-on-one attention and Jett did well after initially being super reactive--until he was full. So the last 10-20 minutes or so were tough. The trainer helped but I still felt defeated. Maybe b/c I was so tired from trying to keep up with his reactivity for so long. He actually did much better exiting the facility and getting to my car (we exited behind solid screens, our own little exit path, so he didn't see any other dogs on the way out). The facility was large, clean, and comfortable and had lots of the solid fencing/screens to move around as needed. The hard part was I could not always hear the instructions (b/c Jett was barking) or was too engaged in giving him treats to pay attention. Thankfully the 2nd trainer could help me catch up. We had already started on a cue word and "leave it," 2 weeks prior, so he knew those. "Settle," I didn't even try, and "down" was minimally successful with the trainer, but we didn't have much time for that one so I'm working on it at home.

The big problem was that he ate 'way too much rich, rich food and had no water. He drank madly when we got home and peed in his crate while I was asleep. I'm going to consider moving his crate to my room. I use an alarm to walk him at night, but 2-3 times now, schedule/weather changes have put us "off" and he's peed and/or pooped in the crate. Anyway, he still (36 hours later) had a lot of diarrhea from all the rich "high value" treats. Better this afternoon.

So, today I took him to PetSmart with my older dog, Radar, who is not people reactive and is dog reactive if up close (we will be working on that!) I set up camp at the very end of the sidewalk, pretty far away, on the edge of another store's parking lot. Clear view of entrance to PetSmart and part of parking lot with a huge pile of snow acting as a screen for some of the space from lot to doors. This actually went pretty well, and I had blended 10 oz of treats with Jett's daily kibble (4 cups). I figured I'd need something in the "high value" treat range, but b/c he was hungry, I didn't need any more than. So it was about 4 cups kibble to 1.5 cups treats. I'm going to play with the ratio to find something effective but not so rich it triggers diarrhea. Radar was awesome--absolutely zero barking. Jett did much better than Thursday night at class!!

One thing (of course). I had picked a spot as far from the entrance as I could. A few people parked at the 2nd business and walked past us--in the parking lot, not on the sidewalk (parking lot was less snowy than this end of the sidewalk, by the way, so easier walking). Jett would bark at them initially but was easily refocused on me and the food. One woman, however, came charging up the sidewalk from behind us. She had every right to do so, of course. Jett started to lose it, so I held him close. He acted like a vicious attack dog and was clearly way over his threshold at her passing. He settled down almost immediately once she was relatively distant (store entrance). I felt bad that I exposed him to this, and am considering how I can place us next time. Normally I would be well away from any sidewalks, but snow was piled up on the median between the two parking lots, where I was taking him before the weather got so bad. I picked what I thought would be the least trafficked area and for the most part, that worked.
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Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
Madison, WI
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post #29 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 05:39 PM
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First classes are often the most hectic. Dogs are excited about all the new stuff, place, people, dogs, smells, ect... I wouldn't worry too much if the first class didn't go great. If he seems to be getting worse rather than better then you may want to reconsider dropping and take private lessons instead. A group class with a lot of dogs can be too much for a dog with issues. Check out the book Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0 by Grisha Stewart, and goes over how to address reactivity correctly.
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post #30 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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First classes are often the most hectic. Dogs are excited about all the new stuff, place, people, dogs, smells, ect... I wouldn't worry too much if the first class didn't go great. If he seems to be getting worse rather than better then you may want to reconsider dropping and take private lessons instead. A group class with a lot of dogs can be too much for a dog with issues. Check out the book Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0 by Grisha Stewart, and goes over how to address reactivity correctly.
I'm almost through with the book and really like it. My mind is buzzing--where can we go? Who can I ask to help? I don't have a lot of answers, yet, but I do have at least 2 people in mind and can start muzzle training right away. Thanks for the suggestion about and the reassurance/suggestion regarding class. I'm wondering if it is just too soon for him--but won't make any decisions yet. I want to see how things go this week and what the trainer has to say after the next session.

Again, I'm very grateful!

Maureen
Radar, Aussie/BC mix, b. 2/27/2012
Jett, GSD foster pup, b. 7/15/2018
Madison, WI
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