Some Young Puppy Challenges

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Some Young Puppy Challenges

This is a discussion on Some Young Puppy Challenges within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; We've had our Yorkie-Poo puppy for about a month now and she's 12 weeks old. While she is doing good, there are a few training ...

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Old 06-28-2014, 07:38 AM
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Some Young Puppy Challenges

We've had our Yorkie-Poo puppy for about a month now and she's 12 weeks old. While she is doing good, there are a few training things that I'm running into that I haven't dealt with much before since I've trained older pups and adult dogs. She's also the first dog I've had that's going to require a lot of grooming. I wanted to get some thoughts on these issues...

Housebreaking: She is improving, slowly, but she has a tendency just to pee wherever she is. She's gotten more on target with pooping but occasionally misses there as well. I'm assuming this is normal with a younger pup and she'll improve over time as she gets older. Any tips on improving things with a younger pup beyond what's in the housebreaking sticky would be appreciated.

Low Food Motivation: So far, she seems to have low food motivation for training. This is something I haven't dealt with before since all of my other dogs, even as pups, were motivated by food. Is this a common young puppy thing, especially in Poodles and/or Yorkies? I've been trying toy motivation and that works, sometimes, but that doesn't have a strong motivational pull either.

Nipping while Grooming: We're working on teaching her to accept grooming and vet handling but she does have a tendency to lash out with a serious growl and nip (as opposed to the typical playful puppy 'sharking'). Is there anything to add to the typical desensitization training that might help nip the nipping in the bud? Or is this to be expected at her age and something she'll stop doing with continued training?

Poor recall: I guess this is another young puppy thing but getting her to come when called has been a big challenge so far as compared to other dogs I've worked with. Even worse, she has a tendency to run away. Hopefully this is something she'll also improve on with age and training but any additional thoughts on training a small, young, pup in this area beyond the basics would be helpful.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:25 PM
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House training , this is the best way to teach where to go.
Treats use real meat. It usually works.
Use this with the grooming tools to desensitize your dog.
Kikopup is the best and her training method works. You might need this one also to teach you about clicker training.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:58 PM
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Thanks Dawnben.

However, I've seen all these videos and used techniques like these with other dogs with success. With this particular puppy, they aren't working as well. I was mainly looking for additional experiences and if people thought the problems were age related.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:41 PM
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SHES A BABY. give her time on all of the above.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:45 PM
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From my (somewhat limited) experience I get the distinct impression that training a puppy is one of those molasses-uphill-in-winter things. Two steps forward, one step back. I believe the key term is patience. Be proud that your little nugget is making progress! Don't worry so much that it's slow
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:06 PM
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The housebreaking and recall is definitely age related. She is a baby still. Right now should be all about setting her up for success. Using a crate, schedule, tether her so she never has a chance to have an accident in the house. For recall don't let her off leash until she has it down.

Food I would just assume u r not using the right type that appeals to her. Grooming she is prob scared, young, or doesn't like it. Getting her used to it slowly will help a lot.

Just remember not all dogs are the same too.

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Old 06-29-2014, 05:18 PM
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There were a few rays of sunshine today with the housetraining. Penelope went to the main litterbox and pee pad area and did her business without being taken there first. She stopped playing and headed right to the area. She seems to be getting a better handle on pooping in the right place first, which I suppose is more typical. She still is having peeing accidents but hopefully she'll improve as she gets older.

Lack of motivation for training remains a bit tricky though. I haven't worked with a dog or puppy that would turn down chicken, cheese and peanut butter treats. She'll take them, then spit them out. Of course, the adult dog loves this and hoovers them up afterward (we're separating to do most of the training to avoid distractions). In spite of this, she does understand and obey sit and lay down almost all of them time. Hopefully this, including recall will improve with age as well.

It's been a long time since I trained a puppy this young. Probably the last time was in the 80's and that was a farm dog, not a small indoor breed.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:03 AM
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For treats, keep trying things! Try super stinky wet cat food in teeny tiny dollops, something like liver pate or liverwurst, yogurt drops, different cheeses, anything safe that you are eating that she seems interested in, anything.

Sometimes dogs or puppies don't feel comfortable enough with a situation right then and there to eat a treat, even one they like. To test this, you could leave a plate with "samples" on it, then watch surreptitiously to see if there are any she really likes.

The grooming thing is not unusual, and if you can sort out the treat issue, you should be able to start desensitisation from the beginning. I would reinforce ignoring the tools, and having the tools out at more times than just grooming times so they aren't always associated with the thing she's uncomfortable with (grooming). If I don't make a show of using them every day, my 8 month old puppy STILL has a hissy fit about the grooming tools every time I pull them out and bitebitebitebitebitebitebites at them. It's the one thing she's still really sharky about, and I think it's just because it isn't a usual part of her routine.

Training an older puppy is way different from training baby puppies. They don't have the emotional maturity or the thinking power to really understand some things, so rote repetition is often really helpful. Even a few more weeks can make a big difference in how quickly she catches on to things.

Pottying inside is also a challenge, and rather than teaching "outside on these outdoor surfaces are the potty places" she is having to learn to differentiate between indoor surfaces, and that's a much harder distinction to make, especially if there are accident sites competing for her attention. Also, if she was raised on papers or in a moppable area and the breeder didn't take steps towards reinforcing a specific potty area, it's possible that wherever she happened to go was acceptable and so you're fighting against that. It sounds like progress is being made, though, so that's great news!

Keep at it, and I promise you will see big changes.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:19 AM
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An update on the situation now that she's about 14 weeks. Of course, she's growing like a weed and has almost doubled in size.

Potty time is still hit and miss. She'll go to the pad area to pee when reminded but she's also tends to "let it rip" whenever she feels the need. Pooping is usually better but sometimes she forgets that too. It's getting better, but slowly.

Food motivation for training isn't working out too well still. Interaction and play seem to be bigger motivators for her so we're leaning that direction, using a combo of tasty food bits and her favorite tug toys.

Recall is gradually getting better but it helps to have a tug toy in hand. The biggest challenge is that she's smart enough to figure out when she's being called for fun or for something not fun, like a bath or going in the crate.

Grooming has gotten a bit better with more desensitization training but we're still working at it.

Separation anxiety may be a looming problem now so we're taking steps now to curtail its development.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:48 AM
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You might get Sophia Yin's book 'Perfect Puppy in Seven Days'. Dr Yin's website is also a great resource.
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