Puppy help please? (before I throttle him)(30 Posts)
I'm nearly at my wits end and DH is already there!
We have a 4-5month German Shepherd/Jack Russel cross and he's driving us insane. I had dogs growing up but this is my first as an adult and I'm realising I really don't know what I'm doing.
I'm going to look into training classes in the new year but would appreciate any tips in the meantime. Our biggest problem is toileting. He can spend ages in the garden but has got into the habit of weeing and messing as soon as he comes back inside.
The other problem we have is him nipping. He has plenty of toys but insists on trying to bite hands and feet.
Is this all normal for his age? and how can we deal with it? TIA
Sorry I have no advice, but am pulling up a seat for advice on the biting!
My dog is 11 months and still mouthing and jumping up.
while we wait.
will join you with the but hope I'm not still sat here when dog is 11 months
You need to buy a copy of Life Skills For Puppies by Mills and Zulch, and for toileting are you going out with the pup at least every hour and rewarding with treats as soon as he's finished?
Thanks, will look at the book. Yes we're out at least once an hour, probably more. I have treats but he never does anything outside. Should I just treat him for going outside anyway?
You need to go with him and mooch about with him. Choose times you know he will need to go, after meals, on waking, any time you see him sniffing and circling.
The more times he's got the chance to pee and poo outside, the more opportunities you have to reward him and the quicker he'll learn. It's tough but you really do have to go through it.
The only advice I have with the jumping and mouthing is cross your arms and ignore as much as possible.
GS/JR is an interesting cross!!
Not half as interesting as the coupling must have been! (mum's the JR). Will try the mooching with him but might send DH as it's cold and I'm a whimp.
Is he big like a gsd or small like a jack russel?
My pup is just 10 weeks old and from prior experience we knew that the play biting and jumping is one of the things we need to concentrate early on.
When he gets too excited he gets jumpy and bity. That's when he goes for some rest time in his cage and he settles down quickly for a sleep.
He is getting better generally, but the perfect puppy book just says all the way through about ignoring him when he is naughty so he doesn't get anything out of it.
It works as he sulks and goes into his basket when he gets ignored.
We will be taking him to puppy classes early in the new year to help out with other training.
He isn't very taken by food rewards, so struggling with good recall at the moment.
Not too sure whether we should be trying clicker training or not.
Never knew what it was until I just googled it!
You must be with him. He is little and wants to be with you. If nobody is there to praise and reward him for outdoor toileting then he has no way of learning that it's the right place to go. So go very frequently, especially at his toilet times, and just hang out. If you put in the time then this will be a bad memory very soon!
As soon as he's finished (give him time to complete the job!) shove a piece of chicken under his nose and praise him then go straight back inside with him if that's where he wants to be.
Take him outside and teach him a command word ( ours is go quickly) ,that way they associate the word with doing the business and then treat when he goes . I found it best to take them out on a lead until they've got the idea that way you can keep them more concentrated ,gardens are too distracting and fun to worry about peeing and pooing! go out every hour for five minutes ,if he hasn't performed leave it until the next hour unless you see him looking like he's going to do something inbetween . Keep him with you at all times whilst indoors so that he can't have an accident ,if necessary use a house line .
OK, treats and warm coat are now by back door. Will start staying out with him.
He's growing fast and has colouring and markings of a GSD, ears haven't decided if they're staying up or down yet and he has massive paws. Vet says he will be a GSD on very short JR legs. He's going to be very 'special'
Can we see a photo? He sounds adorable.
I have a doberman/lurcher x and she was very mouthy, still is to an extent, she is 9 months. We bought her every toy under the sun, she destroyed them. We have found stag antlers to be the best to chew. Also, if she bit hands/feet it was usually in play so as soon as she did it play stopped and she was sent to her pillow to calm down.
Puppies play and investigate with their mouths so the nipping is just play. However you need to show what is acceptable play and what is not.
Get toys that your dog can tug, old Tea towels tied in knots or fleece etc. Wave the toy around and give a "getit" command let the dog pounce on the toy and tug. Let the dog "win" the toy to encourage him to come back to you to play.
Teach a release command to the toy by holding the dogs collar and stop moving the toy, when the dog releases the toy immediately give the "getit" command and let the dog have the toy again.
With a very nippy puppy I would only play tuggy games. Do not leave the tuggy lying around remove it after each game and reintroduce later.
Strongly discourage any rough house type games with your puppy as he will use his mouth. You only want him to use his mouth on the appropriate toy eg his tuggy.
Re house training yes you do have to go outside regularly. I would not wait about for long, go out for 5 mins, if no wee come back in but go out again quite soon after. If you hang about outside the dog looses the purpose of being outside with weeing.
I'll add a photo later, when I'm on the other computer (and when I work out how to add pics). He is adorable and daft as a brush.
Hadn't thought about the length of time we're out. We've just been staying out as long as possible but he tends to play so it makes sense to go out for a shorter time thanks.
He has got a rope/ tuggy which he loves so will try that when he gets a bit nippy.
I've added a couple of photos to my profile if you want to see what happens when a GSD and JR get together
What worked re nipping with our puppy (admittedly started younger but worth a try) was every time his teeth would connect with anything they shouldn't (fingers, toes etc) the person he nipped would squeak like a puppy that had been hurt and instantly stop the game. I think we were lucky as he is a very trainable/intuitive dog anyway but this solved the nipping very quickly. Easy to instruct anyone else who plays with him as well - the kids at the stables my horses are kept at understood this very quickly and he was able to play nicely with them (supervised obviously by their mum and me) by the time he was about 6 months old, and he's a medium size dog - 11 months now and knee height on me.
Re the toilet training - do you crate him?
thanks, all useful and worth a try.
What do you mean by crate him?
I've got a 5 month old border collie so a breed renowned for nipping! We trained him not to by yelping every time his teeth made contact with human even if it didn't hurt. He is now really good unless your feet are under a toy.
Also I enforced nap time in his crate at least three times a day. He still has two naps after meals twice a day.
With house training I found it best to take him outside on the lead for 'business' trips. It stopped him getting distracted and focusing on what he was supposed to be doing.
GSD/JRT cross as a first dog? well, you have him now
Toilet training - reward him every time he toilets outside, every time he goes inside put him out. It will take time though.
Biting - perfectly normal (bloody annoying) puppy behavior - let him know you don't like it, when he does it, ignore ignore ignore - walk out of the room if you can, fold arms, no eye contact - again, this will be a time thing. Provide him with plenty of chew toys (not rawhide) for him to teeth on rather than your fingers.
Crate is a cage to keep him in, of a night and an escape for him during the day - I have never crate trained but can see the usefulness of it, but i do beleive you need to start young - dogs don't want to soil their bed so it will be a good way of helping him learn to go outside.
Do you put paper down inside the house? if so, stop doing this - put it outside
Good luck It wil be fine
Thanks. Didn't know he was a cross till a few weeks in but hey ho. The ignoring and arm folding is helping with the biting except when he has his mad half hour then we have to shut him out. I have been putting training pads down so will try outside when the wind dies down. He just drives me mad when he wees or poos as soon as he comes inside.
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