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Thread: My New Puppy - Help

  1. #1

    Thumbs up My New Puppy - Help

    hi all, i recently purchaced an american staffy pup, its currently about 16 weeks (i brought him as an older pup)

    he is currently staying in the garrage and id just like some basic training tips/advice before i take him to proper training...

    I would pretty much like to teach him the basics such as:
    Sit
    Stay
    Here
    also but not as basic:
    Toilet training (just so he uses the grass and not concrete)

    1 other thing is while he is staying in the garage he has a thing for jumping on the door at night, i guess for attention...

    any tips or advice will be great, im currently off work (on crutches) so i have alot of time to spend with him

  2. #2

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    Hi!

    Congrats on the new pup!

    You've got a long road ahead of you with joys and pain

    I'm sure many more experienced members will want to answer your question but I guess I'd just say firstly, take everything you hear with a bit of common sense, if you remember two things..
    Dogs are creatures of repitition/consistencey - So any behaviour that you show them that's repetitive and consistent will stick in their memory if it is positively re-enforced.
    Also, dogs want to know their place in the pack and have routine/discipline..
    I cannot stress enough how when things have been going bad for me it's usually because I've been soft on my pup or strayed from our routine..
    By discipline I don't mean reprimand, I mean structured walking every day with them walking by your leg and not trying to pull away,
    Making them sit before they get to have a sniff of that lamp post.
    Sit before their food bowl goes down.
    Sit and wait while you enter/exit the house first.
    Not eat until the rest of the family has eaten first.

    I saw a great post which reinforced all these things for me called,
    "Nothing in life is free"
    Search for that to better get the mentality you'll need to have.

    As far as training goes, definitely go to a puppy pre-school although I'm not sure they'll let him into pre-school if he's 16 weeks already.
    Basically you need to get him socialising with other dogs and get him learning basic commands.

    As far as the commands you mention go, it's really not hard..
    Just find a treat he REALLY loves and do the following.

    Sit
    Start with pup in front of you and hold the treat out so he can smell it but not take it, then walk slowly backwards while holding the treat so he walks toward you and follows it, then stop and in the same motion lift the treat up and back over his head so his head follows the treat.
    Because he's looking back his bum should automatically hit the floor (This may take some tweaking of the movement but you'll get it).
    Very important, when you lift it up and he sits say in a neutral tone "SIT".
    If he sits reward him and praise (Remember reward and praise for near successes and full successes).
    Only do about 5 repetitions in a session cause you don't want to go to hard.
    Stay
    Clip his lead on and stand next to him and make him sit.
    Then pull the lead up straight (vertically) so there's slight tension. Use the command "STAY", then slowly take one step (to the side) away from him.
    If he looks around to see what you're doing or stands up/moves with you say "AHH AHH, NOOO!" and start again.
    If he stays still with tension on the lead then step back after 10 secs and reward/praise.
    Once he's got this down increase the time you stand to the side for.
    Eventually you want to switch to stepping out in front of him instead of to the side. Basically exactly the same except he'll see you so it's harder for him to stay still. With this use common sense and gradually increase distance until you eventually don't use the lead and step away for longer and longer/further and further. (My pup intuitively responds to "WAIT".. for some reason, but it works for him)
    Here
    Easy. Your pup will probably be following you around already no?
    Just make a habit of every now and then walking away from him and as he comes to you (of his own free will) say "COME HERE" or "HERE ----" or just his name.
    You'll see what I mean but if you start getting him to associate being called with him coming over to you of his own free will then it'll be a piece of cake. (You may need to tweak this depending on his nature, my pup just follows me everywhere so it's easy, but you might need to use some variations, like walking off and then kneeling down for him to come to you)
    also but not as basic:
    Toilet training (just so he uses the grass and not concrete)
    Very hard......I've been personally have a lot of probs with this one.
    My guy is fussy and won't pee on the grass when it's cold/wet (little b*gger).
    I would suggest crate training as it's the best method.
    It depends on your schedule but ideally if you can be at home you'll get faster better results.
    Personally I work full time so it's hard for me but I crate my pup at night.
    Basically get him a crate big enough for him to turn around in.
    When you're home, keep him confined in an area with you and watch him like a hawk.. every half hour or so like clockwork clip on his lead and take him out to the grass where you want him to go (bring treats)..
    If he goes, use a command like "WEE WEE", and reward/praise.
    If he doesn't, don't worry, go back inside and repeat.
    Then at night time when it's bed time put him in his crate (Just going on my pup's behaviour but 16 weeker should be able to hold his pee for 5-6 hours)
    If you want to work him up to this you can set your alarm for 4 hour intervals and wake up, clip on the lead and take him out, repeat.
    If when you watch him he starts sniffing around or looks frantic or circling the floor go outside IMMEDIATELY.
    If he starts to go and you miss it don't get MAD!!!!
    Clap your hands or say "NO" and pick him up and go outside (My guy never ever starts again when he's outside but yours might, if so reward)
    This ones hard, and I really don't have the full hang of it myself,
    Especially because mine is fussy and seems to like the feel of the carpet.
    I started out using newspaper which was very effective in that he would always go on newspaper wherever we were and never the carpet,
    But my house STANK of wet newspaper and PEE, it was gross..
    Trainers thought I was also reinforcing the wrong things.
    However, when I'm out during the day I put a few sheets of newspaper down in the laundry where he's living at the moment, and if he needs to go during the day he'll use the paper and not the floor, you might want to think about that if he's in the garage,
    Get him to go once on some paper and then use the same piece a couple of times with fresh ones over the top, he'll smell it and use it again, once the feel of the paper is normal to him he'll use it every time.

    Anyways, sorry for the long post.
    Hope that helps to give you some starting ideas.
    Read up on the NILIF post and get him to a school pronto

  3. #3

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    Wow.

    What she said.

  4. #4

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    Thought I'd give an update, I am able to get him to sit on command now also nearly getting him to stay, probly only till I get a meter away though then he just comes... LOL

    Anyway I have found another little problem he has been barking a bit and he seems to have lost his voice/bark... Any ideas

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stafy View Post
    hi all, i recently purchaced an american staffy pup, its currently about 16 weeks (i brought him as an older pup)

    he is currently staying in the garrage and id just like some basic training tips/advice before i take him to proper training...

    I would pretty much like to teach him the basics such as:
    Sit
    Stay
    Here
    also but not as basic:
    Toilet training (just so he uses the grass and not concrete)

    1 other thing is while he is staying in the garage he has a thing for jumping on the door at night, i guess for attention...

    any tips or advice will be great, im currently off work (on crutches) so i have alot of time to spend with him
    Sit:

    food at the dogs nose. Guide the food up and over the dogs head slowly. As the dogs bum hits the ground - say sit and give them the treat

    Stay:

    a real stay is a long process but once you have taught sit, you can begin. Ask the dog to sit. With you standing to the right and next to the dog - the heel position - move your right hand in a windscreen wiper motion until your open palm is facing the dog. Say STAY and give the dog a treat and release. Do this a few times and then start stepping forward with your right foot - or sideways or backwards. Once this is working for your start taking two steps, and three etc. over time you will build a solid stay. when you are too far to hand the dog a treat dont worry - stay is finished when you return and release so the treat is really a marker of you've done a good job.

    Come:

    Start with pup on lead - run backwards and call its name and COME in a light happy voice. when the pup gets to you say sit and reward. This will shape the behaviour over time.

  6. #6

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    You might have to save that one until you're off your crutches though.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stafy View Post
    Thought I'd give an update, I am able to get him to sit on command now also nearly getting him to stay, probly only till I get a meter away though then he just comes... LOL

    Anyway I have found another little problem he has been barking a bit and he seems to have lost his voice/bark... Any ideas
    That's an interesting one,

    If you're concerned about it I would see your vet, or even just ring up the vets and ask them, usually the nurses will give out information over the phone or at least tell you whether or not to bother bringing him in.

    Maybe someone else could help?

    If you're worried about the barking itself, then this comes down to how he views his structure in the pack/what's going on around him that's making him anxious..
    Fix this by solidifying yourself as pack leader, he doesn't need to worry about barking to ward off anything unusual because that's your role,
    Plus, if he's doing it around you, completely ignore him..then once he stops reward and priase,
    Pretty soon he'll realise that no bark = love
    But for when your'e not at home you want him to be secure, so
    1)pack status
    2)plenty of outside exposure on walks, stop to look at anything that's new and unusual, let him observe that man across the road with a mower and if he's scared don't coddle him or re-assure him, just let him deal with it on his own. Pretty soon when you're gone and he hears a mower (or whatever it is) outside he won't bark because he's cool with it.

    Good luck!

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