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Question
Posted by: Angela | 2011/05/01

Various issues with 6 month old.

Hi there, my puppy has turned 6 months today and she has several bad habits that I don''t know how to break. The first being house training. I am at work the whole day and there is no one to take her out during the day so she obviously messes in the house. We actually got into a very nice routine where in the mornings and evenings when I am home, she would poop outside. Buuut since my sisters untrained dog spent the weekend at my place about 2 months ago, my puppy does the majority of her business inside, and where ever she wants (not just on her newspaper). It is so bad I have to shampoo my carpets every two weeks. I can leave her outside for 5 minutes or an hour, it does not matter- she does nothing except bark and sit by the gate while she is out (there is the occasional pee). Before I go further, I take her for a 20 minute walk every evening and she does visit other doggies so it''s not like she''s completely lonely. Anyway, she knows that it''s wrong to mess on the carpet as she waits until I am in the kitchen or bathroom before doing it and hides after the fact. How do I stop her from doing this? And how do I move her ''toilet'' (it is currently in a very inconvenient spot but I put the paper there as that was like her chosen spot)? The second had habit is that she does not listen. If I call her, she ignores me unless she sees her leash or hears a packet. If I shout at her for biting my cat, she ignores me. If I try shush her because she''s barking at her reflection at 02:00 in the morning, she ignores me. How do I get her to listen? The last issue is that she''s discovered she can jump out the window I leave open for my cat. I got a call twice from my neighbor to say she''s had to catch my puppy in the parking lot (I live in a complex) and put her back through the window. Now, I have noticed that both times, it was over the weekend / public holiday when I was at home and went out later to the mall or something. It did not happen when I went to work as usual (I left the same window open). I don''t know why she is doing this now- she always cries when I leave (again, only when I leave later in the day and not for work) but I was watching her today trying to get out the window and I don''t know why she''s doing this. She has a ton of toys and chew toys, I give her a Beeno before I leave and I leave the radio on for her (and my bird). I really don''t know why my puppy is doing this. Would training or daycare be the answer?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Angela, gosh you do have your hands full! Never mind there are things you can do.
Firstly you need to go right back to the beginning and retrain. I have put a link at the bottom of this to an article that is on toilet training which will help you, so do read this and start again. It also tells you how to train a dog to go to the toilet in one place. What i would do additionally is get some friends to give you some 'sample poo's', freeze them in a plastic bag and then inside an old Tupperware and you can then have several days worth of 'samples' on hand. Defrost one at a time and put it where you want your dog to eliminate - it must be defrosted or the 'aroma' does not work!. This helps a lot in breaking the habit as a dog will start to 'mark' where the other dog has eliminated, making your job easier. Reward when the dog performs as in the notes.

Additionally, your dog does not know that the behaviour is wrong, what it is reacting too is your body language and perhaps past expereiences of being punished. If a dog is punished either by being shouted at, smacked etc for inappropriate elimination it will just start doing its business when you are not around!

In the notes you will see that there is a different way to clean the mess up which will be helpful. Also i would spray some pure Citronella oil in the places the dog normally eliminates. Most dogs dont like this smell and it acts as a deterrant. Start this work over the weekend and dont allow the dog access to areas it has been eliminating in unless fully supervised.

With regard to jumping out the window you leave open for the cat, just use management and put something against the wall so that she cant jump up, or on the windowsill.

Barking is very often a sign of stress,attention seeking, boredom or frustration. I am thrilled that you are taking her for walks in the evening which will help, so try to leave her a really nice chewy rawhide bone (or 2) with some peanut butter inside and jam in some pieces of biltong or similar. This will keep her occupied. Close the curtains so she cant see her reflection and also check is she is cold at night and perhaps put a jacket on her or give her a warm place to snuggle up in.

With regard to not coming when called, have a look at 2 articles on the www.friendsofthedog.co.za website. One is on Adopting a Rescue dog which will give you basic House Rules to raise you in the combined canine/human hierarchy and also one called Real Reliable Recall. Hope this all helps, if you are still having problems please do contact me again. The link to toilet training article follows. Thanks Scotty
http://www.health24.com/medical/Focus_centres/777-2268-2552-2678,61400.asp

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/05/03

Hi Angela, gosh you do have your hands full! Never mind there are things you can do.
Firstly you need to go right back to the beginning and retrain. I have put a link at the bottom of this to an article that is on toilet training which will help you, so do read this and start again. It also tells you how to train a dog to go to the toilet in one place. What i would do additionally is get some friends to give you some 'sample poo's', freeze them in a plastic bag and then inside an old Tupperware and you can then have several days worth of 'samples' on hand. Defrost one at a time and put it where you want your dog to eliminate - it must be defrosted or the 'aroma' does not work!. This helps a lot in breaking the habit as a dog will start to 'mark' where the other dog has eliminated, making your job easier. Reward when the dog performs as in the notes.

Additionally, your dog does not know that the behaviour is wrong, what it is reacting too is your body language and perhaps past expereiences of being punished. If a dog is punished either by being shouted at, smacked etc for inappropriate elimination it will just start doing its business when you are not around!

In the notes you will see that there is a different way to clean the mess up which will be helpful. Also i would spray some pure Citronella oil in the places the dog normally eliminates. Most dogs dont like this smell and it acts as a deterrant. Start this work over the weekend and dont allow the dog access to areas it has been eliminating in unless fully supervised.

With regard to jumping out the window you leave open for the cat, just use management and put something against the wall so that she cant jump up, or on the windowsill.

Barking is very often a sign of stress,attention seeking, boredom or frustration. I am thrilled that you are taking her for walks in the evening which will help, so try to leave her a really nice chewy rawhide bone (or 2) with some peanut butter inside and jam in some pieces of biltong or similar. This will keep her occupied. Close the curtains so she cant see her reflection and also check is she is cold at night and perhaps put a jacket on her or give her a warm place to snuggle up in.

With regard to not coming when called, have a look at 2 articles on the www.friendsofthedog.co.za website. One is on Adopting a Rescue dog which will give you basic House Rules to raise you in the combined canine/human hierarchy and also one called Real Reliable Recall. Hope this all helps, if you are still having problems please do contact me again. The link to toilet training article follows. Thanks Scotty
http://www.health24.com/medical/Focus_centres/777-2268-2552-2678,61400.asp

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