Corgi pup hates chew toys and his crate

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Corgi pup hates chew toys and his crate

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Old 05-08-2012, 03:18 PM
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Corgi pup hates chew toys and his crate

We have a nine-week-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Henry who shows absolutely no interest in the various chew toys we give him to distract him from bad behaviors. He has a wide variety -- puppy Kongs stuffed with peanut butter, a rope toy, mini tennis balls, puppy raw hides, a nylabone, and a plush filled with crinkly plastic. Every time we give him something good to chew when he's barking, biting, jumping and chewing on furniture, scratching, etc., his interest lasts about as long as we're actually holding it to his mouth and then he goes right back to whatever he was doing. I've tried teaching him basic commands like "sit" and "off," but he gets so wound up when he smells his treats that I can't stop him from jumping all over me and biting my hands and legs. Specifically regarding his biting, the method of letting out a sharp "OWWW!" only encourages him.

He also HATES his crate and can't even be lured in with treats and his food bowl. His food bowl is kept on a mat right next to the crate, and if I move it into his crate while he's eating he just walks away. He refuses to chase treats or toys into the the crate as well. I don't want to force him in because I'm afraid he'll associate it with punishment, but sometimes I need to get him enclosed just for a few minutes (for example, if I'm cleaning up an accident of the carpet because he loves to grab at the paper towels while I'm scrubbing). I can ignore the whining and crying that seems to be normal for puppies, but I can't tolerate how he howls and shrieks in his crate.

I should note that he went to the vet for a check-up last week and everything is normal, and he does nap for several hours a day. He hasn't had all his shots yet and won't be going to the dog park or puppy class for another three weeks. We do have a fenced-in yard that we just can't get him to run around in. When he's done going potty we bring out his toys to try and play, but he just sits down in the grass and doesn't budge until we've given up and take him inside. My best guess for his bad behavior is that he isn't exercised enough, but I don't know how to remedy this when the only exercise he's interested in is jumping on and chewing our furniture.

We did tons of reading about how to raise puppies before we got him, and the most prevalent advice was that crate training and plenty of chew toys are the best way to keep him happy and calm. Our little guy absolutely refuses both. Now we're completely at a loss for how to handle him, and it's worse for me because I'm at home with him all day and have to monitor him every minute because he won't spend time in his crate and usually behaves badly when he's not napping. My stress level is through the roof because I've had to neglect some very important projects since we brought him home and I'm so mentally exhausted when my boyfriend comes home from work every day that I have little to no energy for housework. I would be very grateful for any suggestions that could help to make this easier on us.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:37 PM
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Have you tried putting one of your dirty shirts in the kennel with him so he has your scent? Do not feel bad putting him in the kennel. He will not take it as punishment unless you are doing it to punish him. Do not treat bad behavior. It sounds like when he is doing something bad you give him a chew, a toy or something else. This is rewarding his behavior. Tell him no or leave it. Once he has done it then reward doing what you ask him. The same with the paper towel. Tell him no and leave it. The same with biting tell him no bite and leave it. He will learn this very quick.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:14 PM
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Welcome! Considering his age, I'm going to assume you've only had the little guy for a week? Congrats on your new addition. It'll take him a few more weeks to settle. Ditto LynneMarie. Considering he is a puppy, go ahead and put him in there gently with a super delicious treat for nap times and calm times. For meals (kibble isn't as exciting as treats) you can work the bowl slowly into the crate. Feed him outside of the crate door right now for a few days, maybe a week. Only move it further back as he is willing to go further back.

We also have a crate training sticky with good suggestions on how to get him to love his crate (see #s 10 and 11). Basically you'll begin by luring him in and play crate games with him regularly. Eventually he will have no problem going in on his own. https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...ning-faq-3974/

For the excitement with treats, use a less reinforcing treat. It sounds like his kibble is pretty boring to him. You can make him work for that throughout the day and just subtract it from his meals. Or you can actually feel all of his meals this way, instead of giving him a big bowl of food.

I also suggest looking at kikopup's youTube videos. She has answers to almost any question you might have, and her training methods (positive reinforcement) work the best.



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Old 05-09-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynneMarie View Post
Have you tried putting one of your dirty shirts in the kennel with him so he has your scent? Do not feel bad putting him in the kennel. He will not take it as punishment unless you are doing it to punish him.
Thank you for this! We tried it yesterday evening, and although it didn't do much for him in his crate it worked very well overnight -- he didn't wake us up with his barking once! (There's no place in our bedroom for his crate, so we keep him in our bathroom with a puppy training pad, a bed, and all his toys.)
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:41 AM
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Thank you very much for your great suggestions! We haven't considered clicker training, so we'll watch kikopup's videos together tonight and start right away. Henry doesn't respond to "NO!" at all and even seems encouraged by it sometimes, so I really hope this is the answer for him. We'll be sure to use his kibble and save the liver treats for house training and his crate.

He won't follow any treats or toys into the crate at all, so I took your advice about putting his food bowl just inside of his crate instead of in the back. He ate with his front paws in the crate and the rest of his body out, so at least that's a start!

And you are correct that we brought him home at eight weeks (on April 28th) and have had him about a week and a half. We're counting down the days until he gets his shots and can go to puppy class and the dog park!
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:40 PM
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Dogs don't really understand "no". You might as well yell "potato!" at him. Dogs who respond to a no are generally afraid of their owners when they get yelled at, so it's probably good that he doesn't get it. My dog also ignores no-s, or thinks we are playing. I find reinforcing the behavior you want with food, vs. punishing the behavior you don't want, works much faster (and is less frustrating).

Clicker training is just marker training with a defined noise so that it is clearer to the dog. If you don't want to use a clicker, you can use a marker word instead. The idea is that this one noise always means "that's the behavior I want; now you get a treat for it". Many people use the word "yes". Marker training is easier for the dog to understand because once they understand the mark (or click) they learn much faster - there is no guess-work on the dog's part as to why he is getting a treat.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:23 PM
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Here's a good intro to clicker training:

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Old 05-10-2012, 02:23 PM
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Again, many thanks for your good advice! We watched your suggested videos together last night, and my boyfriend is bringing home a clicker from the pet store after work so we can begin tonight. I see your point about how Henry's not responding to "no" is a good thing after all. He has gotten the hang of house training pretty well considering his age, so we hope that's a sign he'll do well when we start training!
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:28 PM
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Clicker training is indeed your answer.
Notice how the trainer first teaches the pup to wait quietly for the treat.
Watch her technique and you can emulate her. Its all about being calm, and about only reinforcing what you want to reinforce.

I will also add to the chorus that gently placing the puppy in the crate, along with a tasty treat, at nap time or bed time is just fine. Then ignore any fussing. Of course make sure all needs for potty etc are met before you put him in the crate.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:08 AM
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Give him a minute. If he's 9 weeks old he can't have been with you that long. I have a scottie who is now about 13 weeks and he wasn't into playing, chewing, or kongs at first. Now he is. Your dog is settling in still. Once the teething begins you will see the dog go for chew toys more and more. We worked on the same "bone" for a month and then it got gobbled up in 1 day. As for the kong, try different things. We do peanut butter schmears, cottage cheese, wet food, & kong paste. If he is food obsessed he will find SOMETHING he likes out of those.

I'm sure some would disagree with me, but I didn't give my puppy a choice on the crate. We jus said "night night!" in a sing song voice and left him with a kong and maybe a softie. He whined once, we ignored it and turned on the radio and he hasn't whined since. Don't open the crate when he's whining because then you have just strongly reinforced whining=freedom. Wait until he quiets down for at least 30 seconds THEN open the door and praise the dog. Crates are not just for your sanity but also his safety. There are lots of things he shouldn't get into and not just because he might ruin them. Don't feel guilty- it's not a punishment.
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