My husband and I just bought a white GSD puppy. He's been to the vet and has a clean bill of health.
We are having an issue trying to break him of his need to scream when we walk away from him and he can't get to us. I understand that he is just a puppy, and I understand that he doesn't know our faces yet, and he doesn't realize that we're not abandoning him when we leave him. Someone on another forum for dogs suggested that I am more interested in cleaning than I am in my puppy.
I am not, but I would like for my life not to come to a screeching halt so that I can trip over and chase my puppy down when he takes my shoe. I want to train him
, like everyone wants to do with their dog. I want a bond of trust with him. I absolutely adore dogs, and would like to be a canine trainer or behaviourist one day. However, this is my first puppy (my last puppy was 10 years ago, and I was only eleven then and didn't have much to do with training him). I did my research, and I know methods of training. But research can't beat experience.
I'm going to copy/paste what I wrote on another canine forum, and I'll add what I've tried since then.
We recently bought a white German shepherd puppy. I have taken him to the vet, and he's fit as a fiddle. I'm home with him all day, and I play with him, correct him when he chews the rug and other inappropriate things by telling him no and replacing the wrong thing with one of his several toys. I take him out at least once every forty-five minutes; I monitor how much water he drinks and take him out accordingly. Water and food comes up at eight PM (we are usually in bed by nine thirty). We have an appropriately sized crate for him with a comfy bed in it, and two of his toys.
At night, I take him out and make him stay out in the grass for at least five minutes, just in case he needs to move around to get things going in his body. We then put two small training treats in his crate to show him that it's a comfortable place to be, and show him his toys. We crate him, turn the lights off, and go to bed. He likes it totally dark (I had the range light on last night and he kept whining. I turned it off and he settled down much faster). He doesn't whine in the middle of the night at all.
My husband is a Marine and gets up very early. He lets Sora out of his crate and takes him directly outside, to establish the memory routine of going out in the morning. He does his business, gets praise and a treat for doing so, and goes back into his crate. Husband leaves. Whining begins. Whining continues.
Yesterday morning, he whined for half an hour. I stuffed ear plugs in and ignored him. He eventually quieted down, and I then woke up at eight am like I usually do. This morning, my husband left and he kept whining. He sounded a little more strained than yesterday, so after I realized he wasn't quieting down like he did yesterday, I went down and took him outside. At first he wanted to go back inside, so I just kept picking him up and setting him on the grass. Eventually he did poop, and I praised him for it. Pet him, kissed him, and let him know that he was a good boy. Then I crated him and went back upstairs. I know I'm not going to get any more sleep this morning, but I came up here anyway. We are in the process of crate training and he needs to know that unless he has to potty, mommy needs her sleep!
As I said, I'm home all day and play with him whenever he isn't napping, and my husband plays with him when he comes home from work, so there's no lack of attention or proper correction. He is nine weeks old and whines if I'm out of his sight and he can't follow me - I can't even close the bathroom door without him whining. "If I can't potty alone, neither can mom!" Cute in theory, I suppose
He also whines horribly when we pen him in the kitchen. We make sure he's had time outside, as always, and give him a bit of water (he likes to "swim" in his water dish. We'll definitely be taking him to the river when he gets older and has had all of his shots!), his curly pig pizzle, and three or four toys. Oh does he ever cry for us! I'll tell him "no" sternly, but without screaming it at him, and I will curl my hand into a fist and display the back of it to him. I don't shake my fist at him and I don't quickly shove it into his face. The intention isn't to scare him, and he isn't startled when I do this. It's basically a signal for halt, and it is always accompanied with a firm, clear "no". My goal is that I'll be able to show him this signal, when he is older, and he will stop what he is doing without a verbal command.
Anyway, back to whining in the kitchen pen. I tell him no and then turn my back on him, cross my arms, and tilt my head up. It's a bit dramatic to watch, but once I repeat this a few times, he whines less and less and will eventually lay down, and then I can go sit down again. After he lays down and is quiet for about 5-10 minutes, I give him a small training treat and praise him for it. Then I have to repeat the "no" and the dramatic ignoring.
I have to pen him up for a bit during the day so that I can clean my house. It gets surprisingly messy with only two people. He is always underfoot and tripping me up, and he thinks the broom and mop are his own giant, moving chew toys. I need to train him to know that I am not abandoning him, and that just because he can't see his pack, doesn't mean we're leaving him forever.
I know that in time, he will learn to not whine in his crate and in the pen, and in turn will learn that he can remain chewing on his toy while I walk into the next room or go upstairs. Repetition and praising the positive do work, and it will just take some time. We've only had him three days and he's nine weeks old. I'm not looking for miracles.
What I'm looking for are tips to keep him quiet. We live in a military community, in a triplex house unit. We're in the middle of the other two houses. Our neighbour to the right has a husky that they let whine at the back door, and I don't want to be that kind of neighbour. We don't know them (we just moved in and they've shown no inclination to get to know us), but I don't want to be rude and let my dog whine for hours. Do you all have any tips to keep him quiet, or to shorten the length of time it takes for him to settle down?
Sorry for the long post! I just know that for y'all to give me accurate information, you should probably know exactly what I'm doing with my dog. We don't tell at him and we don't use physical correction of his poor behaviour. We positively reinforce good behaviour (constantly praising when he plays with his toys, piddles outside, plays with us gently, gives kisses, etc.) and firmly say "no" to his poorer habits, and then show him what is the right thing to do. I've seen what improper training can do to a dog (my dog at home in PA wasn't properly trained and he's a total brat, for lack of a better word). I want Sora to be the best dog he can be. I want to do it right from day one, for him and for my husband and I.
(I apologize for any grammar and spelling mistakes. I'm on my mobile in my bedroom.)
I was just in the kitchen making myself some tea. The gates are still up, so he couldn't get to me. He could see my clearly, but he couldn't get to me, and he began whining and clawing at the gate. This is a habit of his I'd like to break. I'm assuming that time and proper correction will eventually work? Also, what is the proper correction for whining? Just ignoring him? That's what I've been doing, but if I don't tell him no, firmly, he keeps whining and won't settle down (when I'm there for him to see, but not reach).
Now, the dramatic turning my back and crossing my arms doesn't work. He works himself into such hysterics while I'm standing there looking at him that he climbs over the gate. At which point, he doesn't even come over to us! He just wanders off. This is leading me to thinking that it might not be the fact that he can't get to us
, it's the fact that he can't go where he wants to go
. And that's not okay - he's a dog, and he is my family
, but I am the dominant one. This is my house and I'm alpha, and he needs to realize that.
I have tried sitting outside the gate and petting him and he still goes ballistic. I've tried praising him the one time he did calm down, and he went crazy again right after that. We've tried playing with him in the kitchen while the gates are up, to show him that it's a fun and safe place to be. I even laid down on the floor to show him that even mommy thinks it's fun. No dice. As soon as we put one foot outside the gate, he goes crazy.
It's very hard to use negative reinforcement, I.E. ignoring the whining, when it never stops, not even for a minute. I don't want to agitate our neighbours, but he really does need to learn that whining will not get him any attention, and he will not be allowed to go where he wants to go if he whines for it.
Does anyone have any tips at all for this? The other canine forum has proved very inconclusive and I'm running out of things to try that do not involve water squirting (I won't do that, I'm not going to make him scared of water) and smacking him (won't do that either, ever, and I doubt any of you would suggest it).
He's only had one booster shot so far, but as soon as he's up to date on them, we're taking him to puppy training classes at PetSmart. I'd like to not wait another month or two, though. I'm tired from chasing him from seven in the morning till nine thirty at night, and I'd like to be able to pen him in the kitchen while I can't supervise him.