Another miserable new dog owner(84 Posts)
I am so worn out and worried.
We were all eager to welcome a dog and prepared by and large for what it entailed.
However, 3-month old puppy is displaying some really challenging behaviour. He is getting increasingly aggressive - snarling and growling if he's prevented from doing something (eg eating stones/attacking tv). Or if I try to tempt him into his crate if I have to go shopping/school run. He is quite big already and frankly it is a bit scary. He is well house-trained, but if I have to go upstairs he leaves a well-placed poo by the stair gate.
Also, dd said last night, "Look, Mummy, he's dancing with your cardigan.". He was most certainly not dancing, unless it was dirty dancing... He is only 3 months old!
Ds loves him, and is getting upset with me as a couple of times this week I've burst into tears. He also rises at 4.30 every morning and refuses to bed down again.
I do agree that the training method does depend on the dog. Positive training is good, but if the dog is doing something bad/dangerous you just have to boom NO! rather than doing some distraction technique. Obviously too much no-ing is counterproductive, but also too much softly-softly will lead any dog with half a brain to think it can get away with murder. Brandishing a soft toy will hardly tempt a dog away from a nice chewy electrical wire.
No is just a good a word as any to get a dogs attention and the one the comes easiest when you see unwanted behaviour.
The important thing is to immediately follow the No! With an instruction the dog can follow, and reward the dog positively for complying. Always.
90% of dog training is preventing the incorrect behaviour in the first place.
eg you do not want your dog to go upstairs. Install a gate and the dog can not go upstairs, no need to yell, If you remove the gate a few months later most dogs will not attempt to go upstairs - training made easy by preventing the behaviour you do not want. You dont want your dog to counter surf do not leave food on the counter so there is no need for your dog to counter surf.
You should not put your dog in a position where you have to say boom no. IF on the odd occasion your dog does need to be stopped it would be much more positive and productive to yell down or wait then reward that behaviour than the negative command of no.
Idirdog, as always has explained it better
My no! Is nearly always out side. I think my pup thinks it means. "Uh oh the humans panicking better see what's up" rather than "I am not meant to be doing this".
Depending on what you do with the soft toy decides whether the dog will leave the wires to come and play a game with you? You need to be more interesting and fun than anything else.
I'd recommend clicker training and Kay Laurence, Learning About Dogs is worth a read / google.
I completely agree with the judicious use of the word 'no'. I only use it in emergency or serious situation. Dog knows it is serious and responds. If she was going after one of the cats or pooing on the rug I am certainly not waving a toy or treat.
I can totally understand what you are going through right now, I have a 16 week pup, who is mad ! The bruises on our ankles are shocking, from the constant nipping, it gets to me some days.
However, as a family, we lost our beautiful golden retriever in a sudden and tragic accident, we were not ready to lose our family member. He was only young and a much loved member of our family. He too, as a puppy, was very trying and a complete loon . But, with lots of attention, training and perseverance he became a wonderful dog. Retrievers are loyal, obedient dogs who love to please.
As a family, we decided to choose a different breed of dog this time, our pup is a challenge, as was our retriever. However, this time around I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Puppies are toddlers ! Very unpredictable, but constant training really does work.
Please keep at it, you are not alone in these puppy years !!!!!!!!!
Thanks for all the support. We all watched "Marley & Me" last night. Bawled our eyes out of course. Now I'm bawling with tiredness sitting here with dog who has been up since 5 past 5 full of beans. I dropped the washing powder and he ate a giant lump of that... I expect him to be foaming at the mouth later...
A really good book which is worth a read is called "Life Skills for Puppies" by Daniel Mills.
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