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Thread: Need advice on new pup

  1. #1

    Default Need advice on new pup

    Hi guys, I'm new here and signed up to get some advice on some things our little 4 month old amstaff x Arab boy Mad Max is doing. Warning - lengthy post with several questions.

    1. Max is on Royal Canin Junior for +25klg dogs as a base with about 6 chicken necks, 1/2 lamb heart, a beef cheek each day and a weekly large meaty bone as his diet. Is this ok? Should I be giving him other types as well or instead of something I'm giving him. Stools are great, energy is high, coat is gleaming and eyes are bright and he is putting on weight at a good rate, not too fast, not too slow. What other types of food will be a top shelf protein/ vitamin/mineral boost for him that he should be getting at his age if I haven't provided with the above mentioned diet.

    2. Toilet training is not going well. During the day he is getting better with remembering to do his business outside but still having anywhere from 2-5 accidents in the house of a day. The door is left open and sometimes he even goes just on the inside of the door rather then on the outside. Loves to pee on carpet so all carpeted areas are out of bounds for him.
    Nights, well I can't blame him as he sleeps inside and we only have glass sliding doors so no option of a doggy door. I use puppy pads which he will poo on but always pees anywhere except the puppy pads. I clean every morning using white vinegar to remove the scent (advised this by a dog trainer in local area) and even use a puppy pad to partially mop up the urine prior to cleaning up properly, I then use that puppy pad with his smell as a base in the middle of the new puppy pads at night to entice him to go on the pads and not the floor but alas it has yet to sink in. How can I help him learn (without praising him for doing his business inside even if he goes on the pads I don't want to confuse and reinforce inside toileting) the real bugger of the situation is now my previously perfectly house trained cat has decided if Max can do it so can he!!! Grrrr not happy! Which brings me to number 3...

    3. Adult cats and puppies.... Jojo our resident feline has a major issue with the new pup. Jojo will actively seek Max out to attack him I followed all the rules of introduction including scent marking on both animals and their bedding to "trade" scents, confining the pup, confining the cat, making sure Jojo still sees himself as the dominant one out of the two, giving treats for good behaviour, separating when Jojo gets that malicious look in his eye until the point that they were able to successfully ignore each other.....until max got a bit bigger and braver and has worked out that if he can just dodge the hisses and warnings he might be able to sneak up for a closer sniff.... He has the scratch marks on his little nose to prove that his sneakiness is not nearly sneaky enough. I'm worried that one of two things is going to happen 1: Jojo does land a well aimed swipe right at Max's eyes and does some serious damage or 2: Max grows up, gets bigger and decides he doesn't want to be 2IC to a cat anymore... Bye bye Jojo if that ever happens.... Max is already mocking the cat (until I find out and interven) and now Jojo is seen at dinner times only and self-banishes himself away for the rest of the day and night... Not a way to live a life but I don't know what to do...

    4. Mouthing and nipping. So I'm doing it all, ask, tell, command, reward but Max finds our NO TEETH POLICY extremely hard to cope with. He has broken skin on both my kids during play times and doesn't seem to understand that he is allowed to play but just without the teeth. He goes to play, first thing he does is clamp onto a hand, finger, ankle, toe or piece of clothing, play stops, he is told "no bities" he is rewarded when he calms down enough to let go of whatever body part is in his mouth then as soon as play starts he right back at it.... It's been a month now of consistency but he isn't getting it. My kids love to play with him but each week he is getting bigger and his mouthing is getting stronger.... It's at the point now that the kids cannot play unless I'm right outside to stop max from playing also... Yep it sucks for everyone involved and the stop, wait, reward method just is not working it's only causing max to think he isn't allowed to play anymore as he doesn't know any other way to do it. I'm wondering about bad tasting but no harmful ideas for stuff we can rub or spray onto our clothing hands and feet as a deterrent ... Any ideas on this would be great.

    5. DIGGING!!! So I'm home all day with him, he is walked twice a day and with me 90% of the day. He comes for a two daily drives to do the school runs, socialises with children twice a day on the same run, has a box full of toys including kongs that are always packed and ready to go when I need some down time. He has my 5yo daughter playing fetch for what seems like hours on her days off, has every second day to play with my sisters husky bitch, sleeps inside, has the run of inside or outside all day... BUT.... His digging is getting beyond the joke. He knows he gets in trouble if he gets caught so has taken to going down the side of the house and out of site to get his dig fix so that when I walk out the side to hang out the clothes, Whoops there goes mummy and the clean washing sprawled all over the lawn again as she fell down the hole!!!

    Ok so I think that's about it for now, lol sorry for the long post but thought it better then clogging up the forum with a heap of individual posts.

    Any and all advice or criticism is most welcome.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
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    Toilet training
    still having anywhere from 2-5 accidents in the house of a day.
    The more you supervise, make sure he pees when outside and loads of praise for this and if he's out and about in the house - you have to watch him like a hungry hawk. As soon as he starts sniffing - outside he goes and he doesn't get to come back in until you've got what you want out of him. And you have to act boring - maybe put him on lead while you wait so he can't get distracted by anything else (ooh look hole, bird, toad...)

    Take him outside (and stay out there until...) after he wakes up, before and after play, after dinner, before bed... and any time you see that nose start sniffing...

    I clean every morning using white vinegar to remove the scent (advised this by a dog trainer in local area) and even use a puppy pad to partially mop up the urine prior to cleaning up properly,
    You need to clean up as soon as the pee happens where it should not. I'd shut him outside or in a crate or play pen while you do this. It's your fault you didn't notice him needing to go. He's got no idea where he's supposed to go yet because he gets to go inside so often. I would wipe up all the wet stuff with paper towel or rags or puppy pads or whatever - being careful not to spread it around, and then clean up with bicarb soda and white vinegar. If you want to be sure you've got everything, you need a UV torch (black light). Carpet is lovely cos it doesn't splash...

    If he's repeatedly using a spot - you might want to give it a bit of a dab each day with some vicks vapour rub (or eucalyptus oil) which sort of hurts to sniff. Or plaster the area with puppy pee pads.

    How can I help him learn (without praising him for doing his business inside even if he goes on the pads I don't want to confuse and reinforce inside toileting)
    Dogs can learn the difference between pee pad and floor and between outside and inside... and inside on the pee pad and insie on the floor... But this requires you to catch him getting it right at least 80% of the time. 5 accidents inside a day would be not consistent enough for him to learn anything.

    Cats and dogs
    I followed all the rules of introduction including scent marking on both animals and their bedding to "trade" scents, confining the pup, confining the cat, making sure Jojo still sees himself as the dominant one out of the two, giving treats for good behaviour, separating when Jojo gets that malicious look in his eye until the point that they were able to successfully ignore each other.....
    until max got a bit bigger and braver and has worked out that if he can just dodge the hisses and warnings he might be able to sneak up for a closer sniff....
    i think you forgot he's a puppy and you need to do this kind of supervised training - probably until he's at least full sized.

    I don't get "making sure jojo is dominant" - probably pointless. Need to get Max to understand JoJo is part of the pack and to be protected and respected not teased. So you need to put him on lead or remove the opportunity to harrass the cat - any time he gives it the look. And while he currently has the idea that cat harrassment is fun, maybe just keep him on lead when the cat is around. I had a fail with my dog, I had just about trained her to ignore my brother's dog when my brother said - "My cat will sort your dog out, let them go" so I did (bad move on my part). His cat did not stand her ground as promised - she ran. WOOT best FUN FOR DOG. So completely undid all the trainnig I'd done.

    Max is already mocking the cat (until I find out and intervene)
    Prevent opportunity. Too late if you're intervening. Tho intervening ASAP is better than leaving them to sort it out. For me - the consequence for Max would be crate or outside or separation of some sort. do that for a couple of minutes - and then try a supervised interaction as per your initial training.

    biting
    So I'm doing it all, ask, tell, command, reward
    I don't know what this "ask tell command reward" system is. Clearly not working.
    What does your dog find rewarding? I'd be guessing - squeals, attention, running around, flapping arms... what a fun game.

    You need to take all the fun out of biting. What I did with my puppy was push my hand very gently towards the back of her mouth until she spat me out. I'd be very boring about it no flapping or yelling just push until spit - then she gets an ear rub and the opportunity to try again. The gentler you are with your dog (and biting) the gentler your dog will be with you.

    The collar grab game helps here as well, - if you have a free hand - grab collar and hold... until dog lets go, and then reward by giving the dog an opportunity to choose again (let go)...

    if the dog makes the wrong choice - then time to spend some time away from family. It's important to crate train first too, so the dog doesn't see the crate as a punishment but more like safe for the dog and safe for you.

    He knows he gets in trouble if he gets caught
    I don't think so. Well sort of. But what you really need is a place he can dig - ie a sand pit for dogs, rewards for digging there... and I fill my dog's holes with a little bit of her own poop which puts her off. If your dog likes his own poop, you might need something else like a single moth ball or flake - and bury that in the hole (the smell is bad for dogs). You want to be quite sure nobody will eat the mothballs tho? I also cover the holes with something too big for my dog to move like a besa block or three... And maybe chicken wire...

  3. #3

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    Thank you that was great information I appreciate your detailed advice.

    The method I've been using is to ask Max what I want , then tell him to do/not do what I want if I receive no response and finally force the issue usually by physical removal of either myself or max or the object etc once he is calm he is invited back to play/cuddle and rewarded by continued play/cuddles until the mouthing starts and then repeat. Perhaps your right as it just doesn't seem to be working. I don't have a crate or pen but am seriously considering at least a puppy pen.

    With Jojo being dominant I was trying to explain that I make sure Jojo has a safe area that Max isn't allowed to harass him, ie if Jojo is having cuddles Max knows to leave me and the cat be, jojo is allowed in our bedroom but max is not... Jojo is fed first and inside, Max has learnt to let the cat pass by/through first and to generally just leave the cat alone but lately he's been getting braver but Jojo isn't so the cat is getting stressed and lost his nerve so I can see the tables are starting to turn. I wanna definitely get a hold of this one right away so

    Thanks again for the advice.

  4. #4
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    The method I've been using is to ask Max what I want , then tell him to do/not do what I want if I receive no response and finally force the issue usually by physical removal of either myself or max or the object
    he's four months old - he will have no clue most of the time what you want. At this age - he certainly won't speak English very well. So all you've got left using that method - is "force the issue".

    A lot of people have a word that means "try again" or "no treat for that"... actually I say that or "oops" and I also say "nearly" as in you nearly got that right. The word "yes" means you do get a treat for that.

    But I don't use NRM or treats or "yes" when biting is going on - or jumping you don't want (remember he's going to be big).

    I have been known to fold a bit of dog lip into the bite as well but again be gentle and slow and deliberate about it. I find pushing worked better for me but it's not fun with dogs I don't know very well.

    I have played all sorts of mouth games with her - so I can put my hand into her mouth and pull things out if I want to, and if I take something away - I give her something better (even if it's only better cos I had it), in return. So she will stop eating if I ask her - usually so I can give her something nicer to eat...and then I send her back to her dinner. I never collar grab her off her dinner unless she's eating something toxic.

    yes game - say "yes" and give treat
    also do this with the dog's name. A lot. and any recall word you want. (pick one...)

    Play lots of "give" and "geddit" games. Start with something boring to get like a cardboard toilet roll and say give while you hold something like his favourite toy - as soon as he gives the toilet roll, give him the toy and tell him to geddit. Have a little play party if he gets it right... Play versions of this game lots and lots... if he's not sure if he wants the other thing... play with it like it's the best thing on earth and ignore him... puppies usually want what you have that's so exciting...

    "Collar grab" game - involves grabbing collar - giving treat...

    Also play "its yer choice" ie the dog has a limited number of choices and you have control (eg to start with dog is on lead)...
    the game starts with treats in your hand, close your hand around the treats... when dog eventually backs off - open hand, and deliver treat with other hand. Any biting and the hand with the treats goes out of reach for 10 seconds... licking is ok but "no treat for that".

    As the dog masters each game - you choose one way to make it a little bit harder.

    There's a few youtube videos on how to play these games.

    Also a really good idea to teach puppy to go on mat - tho to start with - it helps if the mat is in a crate...

    and with the crate / pen - it's good to play games where puppy gets good times for being in the crate...

    Pay attention to what your puppy loves and make him work for all those things - including "go play" and "go sniff" - he has to do something for you. My usual one for the back yard - is a nice sit at the door when I put my hand on the door handle. and no moving until I say "go". You might need to try that one on lead the first few times.

    Any game I play - involves five treats (I count out ahead of time) and when that game is over, play with dog or give permission to "go sniff" etc. Don't expect puppy to work for longer than maybe 30 seconds in a session... and training of this kind - really wears their brains out so they sleep more.

    And you probably want to take puppy outside after any session or play the games outside.

    The cat game would look something like
    five treats
    puppy on lead... puppy sees cat, puppy looks at you (of his own accord, no command here) - as he looks at you say "yes" and deliver treat ie the criteria is puppy looks at you and not the cat...
    if puppy cannot look at cat without getting way way too excited - find some way for cat to be further away (and safe) and try again later. Ie cat might be inside looking out the window and you and the puppy are where you can see the cat in the window but the puppy can still pay attention to you.

    Ahead of that game you can play the watch me game...

    with five treats...
    hold one treat next to your face, when puppy looks at you (or the treat) - say yes and give the treat...
    as puppy gets good at this game you can add the cue "watch me", and then you can start putting the treat further away from your face, hiding it even, (build up distance gradually), and reward when puppy looks you in the eyes...

    I also have a "where is it" game because I want my dog to look where she's going when we're doing agility instead of at me. And we usually play where is it in front of her dinner ie "watch me" is look at me and "where is it" is look at dinner or that thing/toy you want.

    Also do a search of youtube for "kikopup" - heaps of really good and short training videos there.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 06-13-2015 at 10:11 PM.

  5. #5

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    Wow Hyacinth your like a little book of doggy know how aren't you? Again thank you for the time it must have taken for your answers I never expected to receive such in depth advice and it is great reading.

    So this morning I placed a moth ball in each of Max's fav digging spots, filled them in and placed a bucket of top coat (we are plasterers) on each spot so will see what happens there. I have a clam shell kids pool I could use as a doggy sandpit I guess?? I think the kids would have fun burying treasure for Max to find.

    With "no bities" wouldn't that be just the same as any other command word Even though he doesn't get it now , with time wouldn't he eventual understand that means he has to do/not do something ie "sit" means sit, "down" is lay down, "no bities" means no biting..?? He didn't understand "sit" either at first, or "down", or "shake", or "on your bed" but knows these commands well now and complies 90% of the time and getting better everyday. Why would the command "no bities" be different to any others? I know perhaps the method isn't working but do I have to change the command word as well? Everyone including the kids in the house use the "no bities" command.

    Thanks for the YouTube hints I will have a squiz shortly.

    Do you have any suggestions for his diet? At the top of the first post is generally what he is getting. I'm not feeding any rice, pasta or cereals at all he gets meat (types listed in first post) and royal canin junior for large breed puppies.

  6. #6

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    Also what is NRM ?

  7. #7

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    image.jpgimage.jpg

    Some pics to put a face to the name

  8. #8
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    Hi MadMaxMum

    I didn't mean to go all jargon on you...

    "non reward marker" - ie a word or phrase that means "no treat for that" and "try something different".

    and "Yes" is a bridge word or reward marker ie "you are going to get a treat for that"

    which allows you time to get the treat out and deliver it while indicating exactly what the behaviour is that is earning the reward. Ie if you have to run back into the house to get a treat for peeing outside - fail, but if you say "Yes, good boy" in the happiest tone, deliver ear rubs and then run back in the house - you have the best chance of your dog connecting what he did - to what got him what he wanted. It's only a "reward" or going to encourage a behaviour if it's something he wants. Hence paying attention to what he likes to eat or do and making sure you give him permission to do all those things so he gets "rewarded" for listening to you...

    In the dog training obsessed circles I hang out with - the "NRM" is a little bit controversial because some dogs get really sensitive and they perceive it as if they've just been smacked around the head. Which isn't exactly what you want. But they are so desperate to earn the reward - if you tell them they're not doing it right - all sorts of weird things can happen depending on how experienced a dog is at learning new things from you.

    My dog likes to try all the tricks she knows that usually get her a treat, and then bark her head off in frustration. Which usually means I need to end the session (no more possibility of earning reward), and change something about the routine I was using for next time ie give her a better chance of figuring it out.

    Tho a dog will also get "sloppy" and they know what they're supposed to do, they're not over the top excited, but they don't do it right... and if I'm sloppy I don't notice and she gets out the back door without a sit or waiting for permission to "go". Oops. But Oh boy - how tight the "trick" can be if you only reward the good stuff... depending how much you can tolerate the yelling. Tho I should probably do something about that too. I could but she'd probably starve to death because I'd forget to feed her when I get distracted by the computer. I don't want that either.

    Anyway there are a few people on here who have done formal study with the National Dog Trainers Federation (NDTF) and get cert something in "dog training", and some are with the association of pet dog trainers or Delta Dog training (not quite the same thing, Delta involves a course that limits the training style used to "reward based" which is what I like ie get a reward or don't get a reward, plus managing the environment including bait and switch and interrupting behaviours. Methods that work on dogs, also work well on toddlers because they have about the same "mental age" or ability to understand and remember stuff.

    I've been reading books and watching dvds by Susan Garrett, Turid Rugaas, Greg Derrett, Lesley Nielson, Susan Salo (specifically jumping technique), Paul McGreevy. Susan Garrett runs courses online which I find helpful and students can submit video of their problems and get help with that.

    But I get reminded every day by a certain four legged house mate - that I have much to learn still. Especially timing, delivery, planning, review of the plans... setup, goes on and on...

  9. #9

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    Ok, thanks for clearing that up for me. Again thank you for your expansive replies.

    Could you express some of that knowledge to diet? Lol I know I'm being cheeky and picking away at your brain but I thought I'd take the chance while on a roll

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
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    Congrats on your new puppy,

    Toilet training...when my GSD Tara first came home (10 Wks old) and she did a wee in the house...I got some newspaper and rubbed the newspaper in the wee...then placed the newspaper where I wanted her to wee...Tara would sniff around find the newspaper and wee on it.

    Over time I'd see her sniffing around and I'd say "Want to go wee wee" and I'd take her outside and say "Go wee wee" when she did I'd say "Good girl Tara...very good"made a big thing of it and give her a treatie...The next thing you know in time Tara comes to me and tells me she wants to go wee wee. My old GSD Rex (12.5 yrs) still gets a treatie when he goes wee wee.

    Bitting...Unfortunately puppies bite and some are worse than others and hurt like hell...the good news is they do grow out of this in time. I was covered in bites from Tara...arms...legs...feet and toes. I had to wear gloves just to brush her...when she started bitting me I'd say in a deep voice "No" or "barrrrr" which sounds like a growl...this didn't work on Tara as it only encouraged her. I got some aftershave and rubbed it on my arms and the back of my hands and sprayed underarm deodorant on my long pants...so when she went to bite she would either smell or taste them and she didn't like that.

    Digging...this is again something puppies and dogs love to do and some are worse than others...Our Rottie Opal love to dig and our yard looked like the moon... Opal did this for a few years then stopped. Tara dug a hole now and then and Rex never did...Chloe will dig a large hole now and then. So how do you stop them digging...you don't as I've tried many things over the years and nothing really works...I just buy soil and fill them in.

    Diet...I have two GSDs and mine are fed three small meals per day as large breeds like mine are prone to Bloat. Chloe is about 31.6 kg gets 2.5 cups of kibble per day...three tins of sardines (in water) per week...a desert spoon of canola oil every week or so...a brisket bone once a week and a 2x2 dog biscuit before she goes to bed (mine sleep inside and wouldn't have it any other way). They are not allowed outside at least half hour before and after meals...I never feed mine chicken necks...wings or frames...its just too dangerous.

    I don't have cats...so can't help there...I've found you need the patience of a saint with both puppies and rescue dogs but every thing works out in the end...hope this has helped.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

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