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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My roommate coddles and pampers her Chihuahua puppy, but anytime she needs to work, and he starts mouthing or starts jumping up to get in her lap, she puts him in a crate. Often this is the middle of the day. Her rationale is that training the dog not to bite may startle him, and leashing him with collar and leash might hurt his neck.

To my view, this is incorrect, if not altogether inhumane. Am I wrong? Is she? What is the appropriate move here?

Any advice would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with your roommate.
The crate will help the young pup learn more appropriate timing and how to settle.
Thanks for the feedback. It was my understanding using the crate as punishment was a bad idea. This according to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uOmweA_iCE

"Never ever ever ever use a crate for punishment."

Is the video wrong? Is she not punishing? I'm confused. Thanks.

Edit: I should mention, the puppy is 4 months old.
 

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Used how she's using it, yes it is punishment. The logic behind not using a crate as punishment is pretty sound. Crates should be happy places.

By the way leashing would be just as bad but I see no reason not to train the dog not to bite.
 

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I can't say for sure, but it sounds like your roommate is using it as a time out place, which is not a bad thing.

If the pup doesn't view it as punishment then it's not punishment.
How does the dog react?
 

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LeapingLizards,

Can you please include a more detailed account of what typically happens? Your original post is too vague. Lots of puppy owners use a crate or ex-pen as a "time out" place in order to discourage biting. We actually recommend that approach quite often. It's far better than "correcting" the puppy. Maybe you can elaborate on what you are witnessing and what specifically you are concerned about.

Secondly, I'd suggest that she attach the leash to a harness instead of a collar. Yes, pulling on a collar could hurt the puppy's neck.
 

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If you roommate plans to work, she could plan ahead and put the puppy in his crate with a yummy stuffed Kong first. That way, (a) the puppy learns that the crate is a calm and wonderful place; (b) the puppy does not practice unwanted behaviors; (c) punishment is not an issue.

There are ways to train a puppy not to bite that do not involve startling, punishing, or otherwise hurting him. Some good ideas can be found in this thread: http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/biting-mouthing-nipping-168082/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LeapingLizards,

Can you please include a more detailed account of what typically happens? Your original post is too vague. Lots of puppy owners use a crate or ex-pen as a "time out" place in order to discourage biting. We actually recommend that approach quite often. It's far better than "correcting" the puppy. Maybe you can elaborate on what you are witnessing and what specifically you are concerned about.

Secondly, I'd suggest that she attach the leash to a harness instead of a collar. Yes, pulling on a collar could hurt the puppy's neck.
Thanks for your comments. I'm straining to know how to further elaborate, however. To reiterate, she pampers and coddles the dog unnaturally, like a doll or something. When the dog starts mouthing/biting (he only gets mouthy with her, not with anyone else in the house anymore), she 'snaps', and immediately puts him in a cage for indefinite periods in the middle of the day. The same happens when she needs to work at her computer, and has to put him down. Sometimes he'll start jumping to get in her lap. She'll keep saying "no" (but the voice energy is softened as to not really prevent the jumping, as she doesn't want to startle him), and when he doesn't, she'll snap again, and put him in his crate.

She seems to have this psychological disconnect from what is humanely appropriate. Her rationale is that she's protecting the dog from stern words or reinforcement, but she puts him in the crate for hours in the middle of the day until someone 'rescues' him.

It sounds like you're using "time out" as a euphemism for punishment. I'm having trouble with the distinction. Could you explain?
 

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LeapingLizards,

Maybe rather than all of us getting caught up in "language," I might suggest that you share with your roommate the articles and videos posted in the thread that SnackRat gave you. They will help all of you better deal with the puppy's habit of mouthing and biting.

One more comment I'd like to make is that the training approach recommended by this forum is "positive reinforcement," which centers on training a dog through teaching what behaviors the owner wants the dog to have through rewarding the dog. It sounds like this is the approach that your roommate would be most comfortable with although she lacks knowledge of how to implement it. I would recommend that you introduce her to "kikopup," who is a terrific trainer with many helpful videos. Here's one of the videos that might help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU
 

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Time out is punishment, there is no ambiguity. It's classic P-.
I agree, and putting the puppy in the crate for long periods of time just because it's bothersome is not helpful.

The real question is what can the roommate do to curb the undesired behavior and promote better interaction with her puppy. Maybe providing some techniques would be the best use of this thread.
 

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wait for hours? because she snapped?

nope nope nope not good.

What I assumed (I should never assume but i do)
was a overstimulated puppy needing a chance to calm down for a minute max. not hours.

as for timeout being punishment...well tell that to my pup Vitae.
She puts herself in a crate when she gets overstimulated and over whelmed.
 

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wait for hours? because she snapped?

nope nope nope not good.

What I assumed (I should never assume but i do)
was a overstimulated puppy needing a chance to calm down for a minute max. not hours.

as for timeout being punishment...well tell that to my pup Vitae.
She puts herself in a crate when she gets overstimulated and over whelmed.
This is why I asked for a more detailed explanation of the situation. The original post was too short and too brief to understand what was going on. I still would like to read more details about the roommate's interactions with her puppy. Hopefully, she is open to suggestions.
 

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She needs to treat the pup like a puppy, even though it is likely tiny, and not baby him.

Ideally she should be playing with him so that he's tired and then once he's tired she can cuddle him.

For the biting and mouthing she should be teaching him what he should be playing with, by giving him a toy when he bites her and (the important part) playing with him with it, if he drops it to bite her again then she needs to repeat giving him the toy and playing with him. If he drops it again to bite her then she needs to end all play, BUT only for a few minutes 5 minutes max. She can do that by getting up out of his reach, putting him in an x-pen or crate, or leaving him alone in a room. If using the x-pen, crate, or room, she should leave him with a nice chew or something to keep him occupied. The use of the x-pen, crate, or room, is not about punishment. It's meant to tell the puppy, you're punished, sit here and thing about what you did wrong, but to give the pup a chance to calm down and regain control, or if he's tired a chance to settle down and fall asleep.

If the pup is crated for hours for inappropriate mouthing it doesn't learn anything except that the crate is a place that keeps it apart from his owner. If kept up the pup may decide to start objecting to going in the crate.
 
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