Having trouble finding training advice and information for my mixed breed

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Having trouble finding training advice and information for my mixed breed

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Old 08-22-2017, 05:08 AM
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Having trouble finding training advice and information for my mixed breed

Hey y'all I have so many questions about my male Pomeranian/Dachshund/Chihuahua mix that will be 2 in a couple of weeks. I've been searching for information on these cuties and I am struggling. This is the first male pup I have taken in. I had a female Pomeranian for 13 years and have grown up with 2 female Chihuahuas throughout my life so I feel like I have a decent understanding of those 2 breeds. I've only met a couple of Dachshunds though and don't know them very well. I want to understand my pup better and learn how to make life most enjoyable and healthy for him. I know his father was full Pomeranian and his mother was half Chi half Dachshund. He is very playful, has LOADS of energy, sweet, aggressive, social, and a good needy all rolled into just a cutie pie ball. He's just a little slow sometimes. Still trying to kennel and house train him. He's got the body length and face/head of a dachshund with the height and curly tail of a Pom. Almost solid black. He's been neutered since 6 months. I would love to know more about his breed and how these mixes can be best taken care of. He has won over my heart and I want to take best care of him. Does anyone have any experience with these breeds or mix? Any references, resources, or stories would be great! I have so much to ask.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:26 AM
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Thumbs up All 3 are often barky breeds; i'd teach SPEAK! 1st, then teach 'Hush'.

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Originally Posted by Heathermaru View Post

This is [my] first male ...
I had a female Pomeranian ...& grew up with 2 female Chihuahuas ... I feel I have a decent understanding of those 2 breeds. I've only met a couple of Dachshunds ...& don't know them very well. I want to understand my pup better and learn how to make life most enjoyable and healthy for him.

I know his father was a Pom - his mother was Chi x Dachshund.
He is very playful, has LOADS of energy, sweet, aggressive, social, and a good needy, all rolled into just a cutie pie ball.
He's just a little slow sometimes. Still trying to kennel- & house-train him.

He's got the length & face/head of a Dachshund, the height & curly tail of a Pom. Almost solid black. He's been neutered since 6 months.

I would love to know more about... how these mixes can be best taken care of. He has won over my heart and I want to take best care of him.

Does anyone have any experience with these breeds or mix? Any references, resources, or stories would be great! I have so much to ask.
the very 1st thing i'd emphasize, as he has the long-spine of a Dachs, is the absolute necessity to keep him LEAN - & preferably fit, as well, not merely lean but muscular with it.
Daxies easily turn into sausages on short legs, & any extra weight makes his already-overlong spine more likely to give way in any of several fashions; compressed or popped disks, pinched spinal cord, etc.
I would NOT LET HIM leap off a bed, chair, or sofa, or anything over 2X the height of his shoulders, max; leaping up onto an upholstered surface is safe only because it has good traction & cushioning - leaping OFF it onto the floor only takes a tiny change of angle for a bad landing, & he could be paralyzed. // Instead, always lift him down; teach him to ask, come to U & touch Ur hand, etc, to get down, or simply leash him & sit on the leash so he cannot possibly launch.
The other option is never allow him on any raised surfaces -
instead, get down on his level for cuddle-time, for Ex., put a folded quilt on the floor in front of the sofa, sit on the quilt with him, & use the sofa-front as a backrest.

The incredibly-thick modern mattresses these days mean some beds should have STEPS to get onto / into them, & are simply crazy-high for small dogs - cats, who are phenomenal leapers, are so supple that as long as they're not fat, they can manage these high-rise beds, but they are simply not safe for small dogs - IME, any dog under 35 to 40#; the smaller they are, the more-likely broken legs or ligament tears & spinal injuries become.
I don't know why we "need" 18-inch-thick mattresses, they seem outlandish.

Daxies are snappish - U note he's "aggressive", but in what way, please?
Is he pushy or intrusive with other dogs or humans, demanding attn, rude?Does he take their toys from other dogs -- on the beach, at a park, etc?
Or do U mean he's reactive, & barks at / lunges at other dogs, strangers on the street, passing bikes or cars, & so on?

Reactivity can be simple excitement, a prelude to aggro, or a sign of anxiety - things that worry this dog, which are in fact ordinary events & shouldn't be scary.
It doesn't matter what the root is, all 3 can be reduced by behavior modification, specifically DS/CC, DeSensitize / Counter-Condition. He is carefully exposed to the things that trigger his reaction, but at a distance or intensity that does not make him act-out, WHILE pairing the presence of his trigger with Good Things - food is fast to deliver & reliably appealing; dogs who aren't "food motivated" would starve to death, so any live dog who's not deliberately refusing to eat their meals is by definition, food motivated, LOL.

The simplest DS/CC process is Open Bar / Closed Bar, put him where he is liable to see / hear his trigger, & every time one is present AS SOON AS it is visible or audible, feed feed feed... as soon as it's no longer visible or audible,
Snap! - the bar is closed, no more goodies - until the next trigger arrives.
I emphasize that this is =NOT= 'training' -- what the dog does has no bearing on whether food is delivered, the presence or absence of the trigger determines when food is given.

Training is conditional, or consequent: "if U do this, I give U that".
DS/CC is pure Pavlov: "associate this thing with that".

Try to keep him under threshold during B-Mod, meaning far-enuf from his trigger that he's aware, but not reacting, & can eat; if he does react, keep feeding, but back up to give him more setback.
If he can't or won't eat something that would usually appeal to him, look for other reasons he might feel uncomfortable or anxious, highly distracted, etc.

I don't use kibble for B-Mod; that's good enuf for simple cued behaviors, but this is harder work; we're trying to erase established emotional responses. Use small tidbits, but high-value & high-protein - carbs are too filling.
Pea-sized or half-pea sized is plenty.

Diced chicken or turkey breast, cubed lean beef, canned or pouch water-packed fish [sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon], tiny cubes of cheese or shredded Mozzarella [U can freeze the cubed or shredded cheese for less-sticky handling], & similar items, will make excellent happy-memory associations.

Dogs who adore toys can also learn to associate their former trigger(s) with happy interactive games, such as tug, or chasing a flirt-pole - things that can be done in one small area.

Can U try to describe any incidents when his behavior seemed aggressive?
TIA,
- terry

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Old 08-22-2017, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for all this wonderful information! There is alot of great advice here that I think I'll start implementing. Some things I already do like always playing on the floor. I never put him up on any other surface. I feel it's more fun and space to play and cuddle on the floor. I also think he's more affectionate when I'm more his level. If I'm standing, he's constantly jumping up against me, growling, or barking at me. Except when we chase each other around. I never put him in my bed because I'm afraid of him falling out plus he is still not fully house trained and may have an accident.

His aggression seems to be about dominance and getting his way. For example, when we go inside from walking, he knows he has to get out of his leash and harness. He tries to take off and run while still on the leash and I have to repeat 2 or 3 times "sit" until he finally listens. But if I'm not taking the harness off fast enough, he will bark at me or do this yawning/growl noise. He's actually getting much better about this though. After the harness comes off, there's a door he runs to that is always slightly open. He still hasn't figured out how to nudge the door with his nose or paw and will jump up and down against it using his paws to scratch while barking very loudly like he is fussing at me for not opening the door fast enough.

Other aggressive behaviors are "humping", which I know can be a dominance thing for males and I won't let him hump me so he will growl and bark loudly at me.

He also does steal neighbor pup's toys away or my other dog's treat. He takes her blanket constantly and shakes his head with it in his mouth vigorously. He loves playing tug of war with me but if he's not winning, he'll either give up and go taunt my other dog, or try to bite next to my hand on the rope often biting me too. Not in a ferocious way, but still strong enough to break a little skin.

If I'm trying to do something while he's wanting attention he will bark loudly at me until I notice him. Sometimes he will go do something that seems to be out of spite. Like something he knows he isn't supposed to do like taunt my older dog.

Could you explain DS / CC to me a little more? I'm not quite sure how this works or how I put it into action.

There are some pea sized treats that I order online that have no bi-product in it that he absolutely LOVES. Regular treats and kibble don't work with him anymore. He just plays with it like a toy lol!

He is definitely all about toys! LOVES his toys! And of course I love spoiling him with new ones every few months. Is there a way I could incorporate both toys and the small treats?
-Heather
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:46 PM
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Arrow Pavlov, conditioned & unconditioned stimuii, CER, CC/DS, etc.

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Originally Posted by Heathermaru View Post

...
Could you explain DS / CC to me a little more?
I'm not quite sure how this works, or how I put it into action.

There are some pea sized treats that I order [containing] no bi-product, he absolutely LOVES them. Regular treats & kibble don't work with him anymore. He just plays with it like a toy lol!

He is definitely all about toys! LOVES his toys! And of course I love spoiling him with new ones every few months.
Is there a way I could incorporate both toys and the small treats?
-Heather
I know this was near the end, but it's both important & simple, so i'll start with it - DS/CC is "Pavlovian conditioning" to a former trigger.
It may have triggered hyperarousal [run in circles & bark madly], fear, anger... whatever it provokes, WE DON"T WANT that reaction. We want a new & different reaction. So we create one.

If U don't remember Pavlov, he's the Russian scientist who discovered the mental & physical process called conditioning or association. He was studying digestion, & had a machine that squirted powdered meat into his experimental dogs' mouths. There was a bell that dinged when the meat-powder was being puffed into their mouths, & he discovered that the dogs would salivate at the sound of this bell EVEN WHEN NO MEAT POWDER emerged; they would also drool at the sight of his assistant's white lab-coat, again, EVEN WITHOUT THE MEAT.
They had learned to associate the sound of the bell & the sight of the coat with the arrival of food, & they drooled in expectation.
That means their stomachs also secreted acid, in anticipation of food - they wagged their tails, were bright-eyed & happy, all as a result of these associations.

A simple association familiar to many ppl is the household cat running to the kitchen every time the electric can-opener sounds; s/he has learned that distinctive grinding whirr predicts food, & while it doesn't ALWAYS predict food, it's true often-enuf that s/he runs there every time - just in case.
We didn't teach the cat this - s/he learned it via experience.

To habituate is to accustom someone to a sound, smell, touch / contact, setting, event or any other stimulus so that it becomes familiar rather than novel, & is not alarming or worrying. Habituation is to non-living things.

Socialization is not just randomly meeting strangers en masse, or walking among crowds; it is carefully choreographed introductions to living beings in a way that makes happy memories. We deliberately associate these persons, human or non-, with Good Things - now, the puppy or dog [or cat, parrot, child...] will not only remember them, but will meet them in the future with pleasure.
Socialization should not only be to ppl, but to any species the dog is expected to tolerate, be civil toward, or accept as a family member, such as other pets. Livestock, backyard chickens, street cats, birds at the feeder, carriage horses, feral ducks, riding horses, are all creatures a dog might meet in their lifetime, & U don't want the dog to flee in terror, nor to drag U after as they pursue them!

The "family member" version needs to be done before the pup reaches 12-WO, as the primary socialization period begins around 5-WO & ends at 3-MO; the secondary socialization period runs from 3 to 6-MO, but it takes twice as much work to get one-half the results vs doing it earlier, & is considered rehabilitative - U missed the earlier prime-time opp, & are trying to make up for it.

Getting back to Pavlov:
FOOD is, in this instance, the unconditioned stimulus; every living creature needs to eat, so food is universally Good.
The sound of the BELL & the sight of the LAB COAT are conditioned stimuli; the dogs learned to associate them with the arrival of food.

In the case of Ur dog, anything that produces a reaction U don't want [Ex, on the vet's S/S exam table, he gets nervous & won't allow handling - pulls his foot away, closes his mouth & ducks from oral exams, gets snappy or shakes & pees when someone persists], U will counter-condition.
Counter-conditioning aims to change the dog's current opinion of the stimulus, person, event, setting, _____ , for a new & better emotional response.

A simple traction-mat that's positively pre-conditioned at home, combined with practice on an elevated slick surface ON THAT MAT, can make his next vet-visit a lot less stressful.
He eats his meals... standing on the mat.
He gets petted... standing on the mat.
He lies down to nap on it.
He rests on it while gnawing a marrowbone.
He lies on it while U watch TV in the evening.
Meanwhile, ON THE MAT, he gets physical exams on top of the enameled washer / a steel folding-table / other slick surface, in which every single time he's touched or moved, HE GETS A TIDBIT. U touch his paw - tidbit. U *lift* his paw & release it - tidbit. U lift his paw & hold it for *1-second* - tidbit.
U lift his paw, turn it pads-up, & open his pads, *2-seconds* - tidbit.
U touch his ear - tidbit. U lift or open the pinna - tidbit. U open the ear & peek in with a flash, *1-second* - tidbit. U peek in his ear with a flash, wipe the ear canal with a cotton-ball dotted with extra-virgin olive-oil, *2-seconds* - tidbit.
U lay him down, on his side - tidbit. U lift the upper pair of legs & let go - tidbit. U lift the upper legs aside to bare his belly & chest - tidbit. U lift his upper rear leg & palpate his belly - tidbit. U lift his upper foreleg aside, & palpate his ribs - tidbit.
EVERYTHING U DO, U put a tidbit into a savings-account that will be drawn on later, when he is in pain, sick, or scared.
We are literally paying it forward, so that he has already had good experiences of something that might be extremely painful later, or will need to be done when he's half out of his mind with panic.

The next time he goes to the vet, that pre-conditioned, washable, sanitize-able mat GOES ALONG, & he stands, sits, lays, etc, on that mat. / I guarantee he'll be calmer, because we set him up for success.

Pre-conditioning any new thing is a good practice for life; pair it with goodies, make it a happy, relaxed, & calm experience.

COUNTER-conditioning is done when there's already been a bad past experience, or there's a pre-existing fear, instinctive excitement [running deer, flushed game-bird, etc], or prior conditioning that set the dog up for unwanted behavior [Ex, waiting in a crate for their turn to run an agility course = intense frustration & ear-splitting barking].

Toys can be used anytime U want, but for fast delivery, especially for a jackpot, nothing is speedier than food.
Fetch can't be used when he's stationary; tug works for use in a small area, so does a flirt-pole, but any of the 3 [fetch, tug, flirt-pole] will take more time than a tidbit.

TROPHYING a favorite toy is a great way to reward a dog "in transit" - s/he gets to carry the object while prancing along, delighted with themselves.

- terry


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