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Hi everyone! So I posted on her previously about my pup Theo. He's supposedly a texas heeler (but who knows!). I've had Theo for about a month now and he just turned three months about a week ago.

I would love feedback on his progress and suggestions/tips for his future training as well!

Highs:
-He can now sleep through the night! I'm pretty much a night owl so I might be up late (to 3AM) and if I'm not lazy, I'll take him out to the bathroom. But usually the last time he goes out is around 11PM-1AM and he has been good with not going until the next morning. He usually wakes up from 6-7AM.

-He's getting better with sit/down. Once he makes eye contact with me, his down is 80% there (the other 20 is when he is very distracted). He struggles a little more with sit. He's good with sitting from standing, but it's harder to get him to sit form a down position. But I do like how when I call him, he automatically goes to a sit position, or even just when he makes eye contact with me in general.

-His house training has been going well. He's mostly confined to his ex pen when he is indoors because I have a very open house so I can't gate off certain areas. This past week he has made no accident yet (KNOCK ON WOOD) and the two previous weeks he's made 1 or 2.

-My puppy anxiety is gone! Although I still worry about how my life will look like for the next few years while he's growing and learning, I feel more hopeful than hopeless.

-He's now learning "go to bed," which is when he goes to his mat and sits/downs. We just started yesterday, but we're learning to be able to call it form different locations and distances.

-He's getting the hang of fetch. It never last for more like 3-5 tosses but we both enjoy learning it. I think I just need to reinforce him bringing it back with actual treats, he doesn't really seem motivated by play too much.

-I am working on proofing his stay as well as his leave it. Those two have been pretty good in a training situation, but in real life, they're much harder to actually have him do.


Lows:
-His barking. Is driving us nuts. Typically he barks in the morning, which usually stops after he take him out for him to use the bathroom. However, he barks like mad while my family cooks and eats dinner. I've tried feeding him during this time but he finishes his meal very fast (I'm now thinking about freezing his food in a kong and giving it to him so it takes longer). When I give him bones/raw hides he doesn't have any interest in them either. Unfortunately, I feel as if he have been reinforcing his barking, however it's very hard. Because our house is so open (he's in the living room/dining room area) it's hard for us to ignore him/be out of sight. Should we move him to a different room during this time? Or should we just continue to try to ignore it and go out cooking/eating?(that's the only way he won't see us).

-The biting is painful and often times breaks skin. It doesn't seem out of aggression at all. It's usually when we are outside, during a walk or during play, he has random outbursts of energy. He goes crazy for a few seconds and goes for our ankles. I've tried to ignore it but now it's too the point that it's way too painful and it can get pretty bloody if not stopped so I always react and pull him away. I've noticed that redirecting it to a toy works fairly well but just at redirecting, instead of preventing/teaching him to not bite skin. It's also hard to disengage with him during these outbursts because sometimes it happens while on walks on while we are in the backyard together and I don't have anyplace to go. Is this something that he will grow out of as long as I keep redirecting?

-Theo is good as not soiling his ex pen area but not the whole house. As I mentioned before, most of his time spent indoors is in his pen because my house is not puppy proof. However, I take him outside often to play/bathroom. And we also have 3-5 minute training sessions inside. I also occasionally just let him roam (w/ intense supervision and treats to redirect/recall) around for a few minutes after he's gone to the bathroom. Will the generalization of not soiling in the house come with time as he gets more exposure to the house?

-We've been working on loose leash walking. He's coming a long... kinda. He always struggles in the beginning of walks to actually walk. He'll just sit his butt down after 6 steps and I'll always have to lure him to keep walking, but once he get started he walks fairly well. He walks ahead of me with slack and when he starts pulling, I stop until he stops and looks back at me. Then we start talking again. How long does it take for pups to successfully be able to walk on a loose leash?

-When on leash, when there's someone/a dog near us 5 feet or closer, he always runs towards them/lunges. Sometimes I tried to stop him by having him get into a sit/stay, while I calmly restrain him. How should I do about training my puppy to stay calm when he sees people?

-I want to now teach Theo to drop it (toy, bone, nonpuppy objects he might find). Does anyone have other suggestions of what I should teach him now? I haven't really taught him tricks yet, like paw/high five... I haven't really found the drive to yet because teaching him the basics and necessities takes up all of my time and effort. Ha, I am a first time puppy/dog owner, if you could not tell.. lolol.

Wow, as I look back on what I typed, I feel like a typed up a novel. And I probably forgot/left out a lot. LOL. But a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to everyone who read about mine and Theo's triumphs and struggles. I would love any kind of feedback, tips, corrections, book/video recommendations, etc!!
 

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First off...you have a three month old...he is still a toddler, do not have too high expectations. He still needs a LOT of training a guidance and that is a months long of not years long process.

On the eating issue...I did not want a begging dog at meal time so I trained him that the ONLY time he gets ANY food is if he is in a lie down, usually on a mat near the table. It takes time and effort, but now ANY time we are eating...and this includes in the living room on the couch he is lying down..and gets rewarded for it.

I can take him to a restaurant with an outdoor patio and as soon as the food arrives he hits the deck.

You have to train the behaviors you want in each situation, not try and deter the behaviors you don't.
 

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@Pax, regarding training the dog/pup during meals, if you don't mind, could you share the step by step in how you trained your dog during meal times? Does he eat after the family eats so he holds the down during the duration of the dinner? Right now, I can get Theo to down on his mat or crate but not for a very long period of time so I'm trying to train him on his stay/down for the time being.

Also, Theo is in his pen (which is right next to the dining table) while we cook and eat.. if that helpful information at all.. ahah.
 

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I'm at the same place with my 3 month old Cairn Terrier. Here's what I've done - because I have the exact same "problems":)

-His barking: In the morning he barks because he needs to go, and only if I'm to slow. However, he barks when I'm fixing his dinner, as well as my own. Whenever he barks at me I'll get up and leave the room. Wait for 10 seconds of quiet time, and then return to continue what I'm doing. When he gets the message and stops barking when I'm in the room and not paying attention, he gets a treat and a good boy. The last couple of nights he has barked a bit when crated for the night. I just get up and leave the bedroom, when he gets the message and stops barking - treat and good boy:)

- The biting: He have tell-tell signs that he is about to get worked up. I get him into a sit - treat, lie down - treat. ask him to stay down, and give him a moment to calm down again. If I fail to catch him before he is so hyper that he "can't" be reasoned with, I've found that saying his name, paired with catching his attention with my index finger drawn from his eyes to mine work MIRACLES. We'll get eye contact, he'll automatically sit (otherwise you can ask him to). Hold eye contact and tell him good boy. I'll make him stay put for a minute or so to calm down.

I tried playing "I'm okay with that" with him this morning to work with bite during play, but we got distracted and suddenly we were training nose/touch:)

-Walking on a loose leash: You're doing the right thing - but yes, it does take time. Albus knows how to do it 90% of the time, but they are still just pups:)

- Lunging at the passersby: Try working with this outside the situation where the lunging occurs. If he doesn't know what you want him to do, you'll never teach it to him in such a distracted state.
When you're walking him(with no exciting strangers around) and he is doing great, reward him with a click and a treat. When he gets the message(shouldn't take to long, but if you meet someone before he gets it, I would put him into a sit paired with eye contact. If you see him struggling not to react, praise him before he reacts, the knowledge of the treat coming is usually enough to keep him distracted and from lunging at the passer-by.) pair it up with heel(if he is heeling) - I use walk pretty because it works well in Danish. When you see that he is beginning to connect the dots, all you need to do is keep a few steps ahead of him. When you see someone approaching it's: "Albus, walk pretty", if he is already distracted try the index finger to make eye contact, then you have his attention on you, and him working for a treat, as soon as the person has passed by you, it's click, good boy, treat. My pup got it in a 3 training sessions where he was feed his dinner in that way:) We will work on approaching dogs at a later stage, because I want him to learn to be calm when greeting other dogs, not to ignore them:)

-Drop it: we're working on that too:)
 
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