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Training older dogs

This is a discussion on Training older dogs within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Originally Posted by CocoJazz First: Re: Your existing dogs. It sounds like your male family member is marking his territory, which is not all that ...

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CocoJazz View Post
First: Re: Your existing dogs. It sounds like your male family member is marking his territory, which is not all that unusual when they go to a new environment. It is a dominance trait to show everyone who's boss. This should end relatively quickly. However, if it continues, then we'll have to look into re-training.

Second: This is my personal opinion, but I wouldn't give much credibility to a breeder that will take a puppy away from his/her mother and give it up prior to at least 10 weeks old. The puppy needs proper weening and anything less than that period of time does not give the puppy a proper start in life.

Third: Whenever you bring a new puppy or dog into a home, that already has four legged family members, it is advisable to follow the following procedure.
  • Don't buy your puppy until you are sure that your new pup and your existing dogs will get along. Make sure you discuss this with the breeder before you make a commitment.
  • Do not bring your new puppy into the house to meet your dogs.
  • Take you dogs outside to meet your puppy and let them get acquainted outside.
  • Don't rush this. Let them play for a while and make sure that they get along.
  • If they don't get along outside, take the puppy back to the breeder and try to bring the puppy back again later in the day, or whenever it is convenient and try the same routine again. (Pekingese can be very temperamental and possessive of their environment)
  • If they don't get along after the second time, forget about that particular puppy. As cute as he/she is, you will have nothing but trouble at home.
I've written a couple of articles which you can read on my website about bringing home and housebreaking a new puppy, but make every effort to stay home from work for at least a couple of days of more. This will save you a tremendous amount of anguish in the long run.

If I can help you with any other questions let me know.

Good Luck.
That is awesome information coco, for all here.
Kirsten you should definetly read and reread the post by coco, they hit the nail on the information they gave, especially on the age of the puppy that you adopt, we ended with a pound puppy that was sepereated at to young an age and it came with it's on set of issues.
As far as the housebreaking goes, pick a method to work with and work it till it works, the new puppy will need the older dogs to be an example not the other way around.

Good luck
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:48 AM
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Here is some more info on what a dog learns from mom and littermates... You should not get the dog any earlier than 8 weeks, preferably 10.

Special time in dogs life when an insignificant experience can alter them later in life; social development.
Birth to 12 days – Neonatal
-devoted to main functions
-nursing & staying warm (obtaining nutrition) > not properly controlled then it affects how strong dog is in future
13-20 days – Transition
-marked by a # of physical changes
-start to react to light
-begin to crawl back and forwards
-1st teeth out at 20 days old
-personalities start to develop
-start reacting to sounds at 19 days
-still nursing
-it is a very critical time period
21-28 days – Awareness
-1st week during which pup is able to use sight & hearing senses
-because this change of sensory perception occurs over a 24hr period, they need to be in a stable environment
-have greatest need for mother
-do not move pups to another location; can psychologically scar them for life
29-49 days – K9 Socialization
-where pup learns to use his breed/species specific behaviors
-to reach genetic potential, pup should stay in nest with mother and littermates
-practise body posture, vocalize, socialize, etc. > learning (chase games…)
-fighting > learn submissive posture
-pup learns most important lesson of discipline from mother/littermates
-weaning from mother
-if deprived of learning these lessons, they will never get it back
7-12 weeks - Human Socialization Period
-this is the best time to introduce pup to other animals in a positive non-threatening manner
-peaceful interactions are important
-everything they experience will leave an impression on them for life (door slam example)
-learning at this age is permanent

8-11 weeks – Fear Impact
-during this time, any traumatic, painful, or frightening experiences will have a more lasting impact on pup more then any other time in it’s life
-pups perception of experience that is very important; ex: if scared by door slammed, close door gently repeatedly, etc.
-under no circumstances should any elective surgery be done
13-16 weeks – Seniority Classification
-"Age of cutting" (adult teeth coming in)
-at this time, pup will challenge/test to see who is going to be Pack Leader
-pup trying to mouth/bite is a sign of dominance and needs to be discouraged (it is not "cute")
4-8 months – Flight Stage
-can occur at anytime, usually earlier though (4mths)
-dog may venture out on own and turn a deaf ear to you
-you make the dog what he is with his experiences
-do not call dog and discipline him (negative reinforcement and wont come to you in future)
6-14 months – 2nd Fear Impact
-referred to as Fear of New Situation period
-corresponds with growth spurts
-it’s up to 16 mths sometimes (ex: Maremma)
-change in behavior of adolescent > do not force dog to approach what they are afraid of, etc; do not push them (ex: scared to approach someone or something new)
-fear should be handled with patience and kindness
-let dog work it out himself
-be careful
1-4 years – Maturity Stage
-many breeds, particularly Giant breeds, continue to grow and physically change beyond 4 years
-can also be marked in an increase of aggression & renewed testing for leadership role
-often means overly friendly dog now becomes wary and watchful
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:55 PM
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In the past, breeders found that puppies would survive OK if they were removed at 6 weeks of age. Because puppies are more adoptable/cuter when young and starting earlier gives breeders more time to get homes for puppies when they are still in the uber cute age range, many breeders would often start unloading puppies at 6 weeks of age if they could find adopters. Also, the sooner the puppies leave, the sooner the breeders get their money and the less poop and care per puppy they must provide. It was a no brainer! Or so they thought.

With added research and understanding, we now realize that puppies fare much better if they are left with their mother for additional time which is at least 8 weeks. They get added sickness immunity from the additional time on mother's milk and they get better socialization with their littermates. It's not natural for puppies to leave their litter early. Yes, you can get a pup at 6 weeks or even earlier and most of the time the puppy will survive fine. But it may well have additional likelihood of health problems and behavior problems so why take the chance? ALL good breeders know by now that pups should stay longer in the litter. If the breeders aren't doing it then they are either ignorant or cutting corners. If they are ignorant and/or cutting corners, then they are probably doing it in other ways as far as quality of breeding parents, hygiene, shots, food etc. Not following well know breeding standards in one area of breeding is often indicative of poor behavior in other areas that can't really be seen. And the quality of breeding and care of a pup reflects later in health and behavioral issues. So why take the chance of paying big vet bills later because your breeder was to lazy to do what is best for the pup? Instead look for breeders that try to do what is best for their pups, not their pocket books.

As for training older dogs, provided the dog is healthy and strong, I would say there is not much difference between pup training and older dog trainer. Older dogs have bigger bladders and can't wait longer, so they have even less excuse to pee in the house. You probably will need to start crate training, mixed perhaps with the standby of having your dog tied to you on a leash the rest of the time it is in the house. If you can't watch the dog and catch him when peeing in the wrong place, then he must be either in the crate or in the yard at that time. You have to start over from square one. Check basic advise about crate training and other methods to house train dogs. They still apply even for adult dogs. Your dog has gotten into a bad habit and you better get it out of the bad habit before it teaches it's bad behavior to the rest of the dogs! Puppies, especially, look to the older dogs for direction in what to do so it could be really bad to get a puppy if your adult dogs are not behaving properly. Puppies are total copy cats!
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:23 AM
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Hi Kirsten,

Ive heard rubbing the spot with coffee grounds, not the instant kind, works as a good deterrent from them peeing there again.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:17 PM
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I have a simular problem. I have had my oldest dog for about a year and a half now and I am still having problems with her. some days she will go outside and pee and poop right away. but there are other days that she wont and i fight with her every twenty minutes to go outside and do her business. Sometimes this has gone on for two hours or more before she will finally go. I have tried the treats and praise. still no luck. She is a Jack Russell Terrier. She is not the first JRT that I have owned. But I have to say the is the most difficult. She will be distracted by the wind, or sound, or smell. You can see that she has to go to the bathroom but I will be darned if she will go while out there. I have also just recently brought home a 9 week old puppy JRT and he is perfect so far. peeing on the puppy pads and going potty outside when he is taken and right away too... I just dont understand what i am doing wrong. I have gone through the house with a carpet cleaner full of water and enzyme cleaner and am going to have to do it again. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:16 AM
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Hi Millydew,

Having had Jack Russell's before, I'm sure you know how calm, quiet, relaxed and well behaved they are! Only kidding.

Let's go over a couple of things.

First. Your older dog. Start a housebreaking program with her just the same way as with your new puppy. Without knowing the specifics of how you trained her from the beginning, what you should do at this point is basically counter-conditioning and teaching her new rules. At the same time you will be teaching your new puppy what he should be doing.

If you can take two or three days and devote most of that time to the dogs (maybe a weekend at home), do the following.

Take the dogs out every hour or so. Don't let it go much beyond that at first. Take them to the same place each time and just stand there for about three to five minutes and let them just sniff around.

If they relieve themselves, give them a treat, a lot of praise and then you can take them for a walk. The premise here is to show them going outside is to relieve themselves and if they do, they get rewarded for it.

If they don't do anything, they get nothing. No treat, no play, no walk. They go right back in.

With two of them, I realize that this is a little more difficult. You may find that you will have to separate them and work with each separately.
Keep doing this consistently for at least a couple of days. You will find that they will not relieve themselves each time. That's fine and normal. You will also be gradually extending the time between trips outside. The older one will definitely be able to control her bladder much better, while the puppy still has to learn how to do that (that takes time).

There will be accidents, you can't help that, but if you take the time now, especially with the puppy, you won't have the same problem that you are having with your older dog.

Also, with the puppy, I would keep him in a confined area. Either in a particular room, with a gate (definitely don't keep the door closed so that he doesn't have communication with the other dog or the family), or there are metal pens that are sold at pet stores that gives him room to move around. I would not suggest letting him have run of the house until he's house-trained and you've taught him the rules of the house.

There is a lot more to this, but this will give you a good start.

I have a few articles that I've written on my website that may be of some additional help to you.

Good Luck.
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