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Pet People

Friday, April 06, 2007

Nate Needs Pet People Advice

Before Matt got his puppy Charlie, another coworker, Nate, and his fiance, Erin,got a puppy, also from Precious Friends. If you remember, I posted a picture of Nate and his lab mix, Dolly, as well as one of Dolly sleeping with a Jayhawks stuffed toy.

Dolly is doing well, but Nate said she is starting to nip him in play. I suggested that they not play any "tuggy" games,just fetch, and that if she bites or nips to yell NO and maybe a rap on the nose (which is what dogs do to correct their own puppies) and then ignore her. Only engage if they are behaving; ignore when doing what they aren't supposed to do. I also suggested a Kong toy with treats inside to keep her busy and entertained.

While the house training is going okay, and she doesn't mess in her crate at all--even for long periods, she sometimes pees when outside the crate, but doesn't poop. I always advise that you have to catch them in the act, say NO and then take them out immediately.Also, when taking them outside to go, always praise them when they go and bring them back inside IMMEDIATELY, so they know it's business and not play. The pup is only 5 months old, and Nate was wondering how long it might take to be fully house trained. I haven't had a puppy, as I've always gotten adults except for Peanut who was 5 months old when he arrived.

So, any other advice for Nate would be appreciated, as I know there is a lot of pet experience among you all!

posted by Sandy at 4/06/2007 11:50:00 AM


Blogger Adrienne said...

We crate our dogs and we start as puppies. Stella had no peoblem adjusting to it as an adult and I find that they like there kennels. I find them sleeping in them sometimes. When I'm house training I use the kennel. Our routine with Mattie was to take her outside and walk around with her. If she didn't potty, then she went into her kennel for about 10 minutes and then back out she went. If she pottied in the house, we would tell her no and put her out. I never clean up a mess in front of the dogs. We try to use positive reinforcement. It's more training for you, than it is for them. You have to remember to reward the positive and ignore the negative. It's hard, because it's not our nature to ignore things. But if you can stick with it, it's worth it in the end.

My moms dog Cody was trained this way. He just passed his K-9 Good Citizen test. Because of the positive training, he responds to had signals and voice commands. You never have to worry were he is, he is always at your side. He has been training for agility trials for the last year and a half and will start competing in September.

Please tell Nate to stick with it. It's hard now but it's very worth it in the end. He just has to remember to be the pack leader.

Friday, April 06, 2007 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

When my daughter and son-in-law got thier puppy Roxie they did the crate thing too. In fact she would put herself in the crate when she knew she had done something she shouldn't. If she did something and didn't automaticly go to the crate all the had to say was "Roxie" get in your crate" and in she would go. She minded well. Now as she has grown she takes every step you do. She wants to be with you 24/7 and she even follows you to the bathroom. She no longer has a crate but she does mind well, for about ten seconds then she does whatever she has been doing. We love her anyway and she really is a good dog! So guess I am not much help to Nate and his girlfriend. Good luck to them.

Friday, April 06, 2007 8:58:00 PM  
Blogger jdt said...

I wish I could offer some advice, but to be honest we still have a problem at our house with little pee pee accidents. We are baffled at why it happens. The dogs could have just spent 20 minutes outside going potty and then come in and 5 minutes later one of the girl's has peed in the floor. We use ot have a real problem with the boys, but since we got them neutered they have not had any accidents in the house. It's amazing. The girl's on the other hand just seem to be really random about it. We can go days with no accidents and then all of a sudden, one of them has one.

Adrienne, I would love to hear more about your positive feedback only approach. You said you don't clean the accidents up in front of them. Why is that? Please your advice is appreciated....

Saturday, April 07, 2007 9:31:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I don't clean up accidents in front of them b/c it's reinforcing the negative. It makes them think they are the leader of the pack, not you. In nature, the leader would not clean up after them selves. The idea is that you reward them when they do something good. You start small. Like they sit with out being told to. You tell them good dog and give them a reward. We used liver treats. I would cut them up small, about the size of an eraser and kept them in a zip lock bag. You have to reward all good behavior and ignore the bad. That's the hard part. Now that's not saying that you would turn your head to something that would case them harm. You have to use your best judgment. So for example, Oscar likes to bark when it's dinner time. He doesn't get his food until he's quiet. I don't say anything to him or stand over him with his bowl, I put his bowl on the counter and walk off. When he's quiet I go back. The dogs also eat after we do. They are on a schedule to eat at 8 pm. So we know we have to have our dinner before then. When I give them a verbal command I use an even tone and stay calm. That can be hard too. When it came to crate training Oscar, he hated it. He destroyed 2 kennels before we got him under control. When it’s time to go in the kennel, I just say “kennel” and now he goes in with out much fight. I will not push him in or stand in his way when he tries to run off. I will not even go after him. He has to go in the kennel on his own. I don’t make it a game either. That’s why I use an even tone. When I give a verbal command, I wait at least 45 seconds before I give it again, and I use one word commands. So “down” is lay down, “off” is to get off something and so forth. Too many words will confuse them. That’s not saying I don’t have commands that are not multiple words. I just don’t use them as often. Like “Are you begging” and “Leave it”. The hard part is training yourself. It doesn’t come easy but with time it will. I walk a 116 # dog with no effort. She does not pull or act up when she’s on her leash. She stays right at my side. This amazes most people, but it’s all about the positive reinforcement. I’m not saying my dogs are without fault, b/c they have there issues too. Mattie will occasionally pee in the house still. But they do have manners. (which is another command I use when they are doing something inappropriate. “Manners“!)

Does any of this make since? I’m not sure I’m explaining it very well. There is a lot if information in the internet about it. You can Google Clicker training and it should give you a list.

Saturday, April 07, 2007 5:24:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

After reading how you have your dogs trained I am totally amazed! That is fantastic. Sure wish i could train my girls like that but I doubt I'd ever have that kind of patience even if they would train well.

Saturday, April 07, 2007 8:45:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I haven't had a puppy in 13 years that I had to housetrain, so I am useless in this discussion. But, the rescue group where I adopted Lucy has a couple of links on their web site that they highly recommend for behavior problems. I checked it out superficially, and it looks like some good information. Tell Nate to try reading some of the info found here:


Good Luck, Nate. It is hard work to raise a puppy, but it's worth it!!

See Matt, that's why Sandy tried to convince you to adopt an older dog.

Saturday, April 07, 2007 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger jdt said...

Adrienne, I appreciate the information. I definiftely see how positive reinforcement is a totally diffferent way of handling things. We are really bad about giving attention to misbehavior. I may try to make a conscious effort to reward the positive not acknowledge the negative. This of course may be a real problem for my husband. Thanks for the info!

Monday, April 09, 2007 8:36:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Jdt made a point there on it being a problem for hubby to use positive reinforcement. So my question is--- Do you have any tips or information on training husbands? I'd love to get some of that! I do know you aren't supposed to rewawrd thier bad behavior and yelling with acknowledging it but man it is ahrd not to yell back! Guess I need some training too,ha.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Like I said, Training ourselves was the hardest part. I hate being a nag to Hubby, but I am when I have to be. I nag him to death about how he treats the dogs. With my Hubby guilt works wonders. I just guilt him by asking him would he like to be treated like that when he had no voice to defend himself? He usually backs off and goes off on me instead. Either way the end result is him not yelling at the dogs. I don't yell as much as I throw things. I usually end up picking up a dog toy to throw at him since they are everywhere, which in turn has Oscar chasing it and causing us to stop yelling. I have thrown some breakable things and I always regret it b/c than it's broken and in the trash. All I can say is keep at it. You have to make a conscience effort to be positive. When you think about it, it's sad that we have to work so hard to be positive.

OH!!! So today I filled out an application for a an 11 week old golden retriever mix puppy from one of the local rescues. Keep you fingers crossed for me. It's a surprise for Hubby when he gets back from CO!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:32:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Adrienne, ok so call me dumb here but is it really that hard to get approved to a dopt some animals?
I can't imagine that anyone with your background and love of animals would have any problems adopting.
Oh and on the problem with your hubby yelling at the animals we have that here too. I'm always on Fly BOy for yelling and fussing at the cats. He has a short temper and he goes off at the slightest thing so we do have discussions about how to disapline them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Adrienne, forgot but I am rooting for you to get that

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Adrienne, don't know what just happened but wanted to finish what didn't get printed. I hope you get your
puppy! Can't imagine you won't, you deserve the litte sweetie!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Pam, Thanks! I know when you adopt from a rescue they want to make sure that the animal is going to the best home possible. I don't think I would have a problem adopting a new dog, but some places are more strict about things than others. Some places want to do a home study or if you already have pets, sometimes they choose a family that doesn't. Every rescue is different. The only thing that might come up as a problem is that I have not found a good vet in our area that I like and they want to be in contact with the vet for the first 4 months after you adopt. I'm very picky about the vet my kiddo's see, so it has been a little difficult finding one. Plus vets here are so expensive about everything. We are actually looking at a vet in West Virginia since we are only 20 miles from there. Jazzy has an appointment there next Thursday for a check up, so we'll see.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Whoa now Pam!!! If there were such a thing as husband training, I think someone would be making a fortune selling it on info-mercials by now!! We all just have to make ourselves do our own small training one thing at a time. That way, they don't catch on and realize that they are really being "trained". Hee Hee.

Pam and Adrienne, you have to remember that rescues and shelters are in the business of saving lives, and part of that means ensuring that when they place animals, they are going to their "forever home", so that the animal never has to be put back into the rescue system again. Or worse.

I've done home visits for potential adopters for a rescue in Nashville as well as for the Humane Society here. You can really get a "feel" for people and the life a pet will have with them when you go into their homes and see how they live. Especially if there are existing pets. The interactions between the people and their pets, especially if there are children in the home, are important to see.

Adrienne, I can't imagine that you would not be a wonderful pet mommy from their view point, long term local vet or not. Again, that is one of those factors that can be over ridden by others. There are no hard and fast definates. Everything is subjective. I'm sure it will be fine, and I'll think good thoughts for you. Good luck on the puppy front though. I would never adopt a puppy again! I don't have the patience for that anymore. I'd much rather have an older dog that is (hopefully) already trained and settled. Like my Lucy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 2:09:00 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Stacey, I do know how important that is to check out people who want to adopt. I wish even more follow ups could be done soometimes. I have a friend who's daughter and her boyfriend adopted two cats then they broke up. He said he really wanted them and she let him keep them. She went back to thier house for some things a while later and said he wasn't taking very good care of them, said thier box was nasty and they needed more attention. His mother said she'd take them till he could take better care of them. Supposedly she loves animals and would take good care of them but I still wonder about them.
I know it's important to Suzanne and Gerta at Cats Are Us to know the cats are getting good homes but it's so hard to do follow ups when you are so short on help.
Stacey, it is so great that you do those follow ups, it is so needed. If only there were more people like you willing to help.
And on the puppy/kitten thing, it is kind of the same when it comes to kids for a lot of us who have grown kids. I love my new granddaughter and love baby sitting and we felt the same with the older two but--- I would not want to start over with a new baby of my own again! Too much work,ha. Of course I guess if someone just handed us a baby out of the blue that needed us we wouldn't turn it down,ha. That isn't likely to happen so don't have to think about it.
Adrienne, good luck adopting and finding a good vet soon. I'm sure there are many there.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 4:11:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

So, is there a Nate update on how things are going with his puppy????

Just wondering.

Monday, April 16, 2007 10:28:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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