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Fitz- 11 week old miniature pinscher male
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thursday I brought Fitz home!
He’s a bright, brave little puppy. He prances just like a min pin should- adorably!
His head looks too big for his body (in a cute way), and he’ll bounce up and down to say hello to me when he sees me after an absence.
Training has, of course, begun! I’m working on developing a reliable loose leash with him and he’s learning like a champ. This morning I took him for a walk when it was early, as there is a heat advisory today. He didn’t like the dewy grass- after all, it came up to his chest!! But he did a very good job, and was frequently at heel, looking into my eyes.
I’m also working on getting him not to hump my sister-and-roommate’s dog Gertie. He’s already showing remarkable improvement- I simply peel him off and say “no”, in a calm, firm voice. I let him keep playing, though, and the behavior is already much reduced.
I do much the same with puppy biting. He’s not inclined to bite nearly as much as Gertie was, but his teeth are still sharp!! I extricate my flesh from his jaws and put a toy there instead.
Potty training is a dream- he has only had two accidents since we got him four days ago. I’m sure Gertie’s example has helped, along with vigilance on my part.
He is responding to his name pretty well too.
I’m working on teaching a sit, and teaching “no.” The latter I teach like you’d teach a leave it. I know he’ll pick it up naturally, like Gertie did, but it’s helpful all the same.
Looking forward, I’m wanting to focus on leash walking, sitting, and recall.
Suggestions and help welcome. Thanks for reading.
 

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Congrats! Little Fitz sounds like a cutie! When we got our pup, I took him in the backyard and walked the perimeter on lead. That's where he learned the premise of walking nicely on a leash. I remember as a little pup, he was so excited to stick by me and get a treat! It's great little Fitz is already wanting to be by your side and looking into your eyes. So cute!

Now when he goes for a walk, he does not have to heal, he's usually ahead of me all excited to sniff and check things out lol (but not pulling), and if I need him to heal, all I have to do is pick up the leash (because he's tethered to me) and he heals automatically. When we get a second dog, I will do the same thing with her, because going for hikes and walks with the dogs is one of my favorite things.

We pretty much did one cue per week. Started with 'sit' (he was a natural sitter), the next week worked on 'down', then puppy push-ups. Add 'stand' the next week just to up the ante on pushups.
Little puppies are big sponges, they soak up so much learning so quickly! I LOVE puppies!
 

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Fitz- 11 week old miniature pinscher male
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congrats! Little Fitz sounds like a cutie! When we got our pup, I took him in the backyard and walked the perimeter on lead. That's where he learned the premise of walking nicely on a leash. I remember as a little pup, he was so excited to stick by me and get a treat! It's great little Fitz is already wanting to be by your side and looking into your eyes. So cute!

Now when he goes for a walk, he does not have to heal, he's usually ahead of me all excited to sniff and check things out lol (but not pulling), and if I need him to heal, all I have to do is pick up the leash (because he's tethered to me) and he heals automatically. When we get a second dog, I will do the same thing with her, because going for hikes and walks with the dogs is one of my favorite things.

We pretty much did one cue per week. Started with 'sit' (he was a natural sitter), the next week worked on 'down', then puppy push-ups. Add 'stand' the next week just to up the ante on pushups.
Little puppies are big sponges, they soak up so much learning so quickly! I LOVE puppies!
Your puppy sounds like a darling!
 

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Fitz- 11 week old miniature pinscher male
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another day has passed with little Fitz.
Today I worked on teaching him to look at me when I say his name. He’s not 100% yet but I’m confident we will get there soon. When he does make eye contact with me, he looks so earnest, like he’s really thinking hard. It’s adorable!
Yesterday evening I took him on a little walk, as it was still hot out. He met two adult neighbors and their kid, and peed a little in excitement. The child was very gentle with him, which I appreciated.
We also passed a pool full of kids on our short walk, and he looked a little nervous so I cut it shorter and took him in.
I took him on another morning walk today (as there was another heat advisory out.) He did excellently, except for a little bucking at the end of the leash, which he stopped soon enough.
I have a very considerate neighbor with two old curmudgeonly dogs that saw me coming with Fitz and avoided us, which I appreciated.
He has suddenly started barking loudly and sharply during play with Gertie. I’d like to nip that in the bud, as I know min pins can be very barky. I don’t mind it if he makes some noise, like his little rumbles and growls, but his barking from his toe tips is a little unpleasant. So we worked on ‘quiet’ today! I waited until his triggers appeared, then quickly clicked and treated and said “quiet.” I think he’s already started to bark less, which makes sense, as this was a habit that was less than a day old. He doesn’t bark for anything except play, which is nice, but he does play about 95% of the day.
Puppy biting is not very bad, he mostly mouths. I wouldn’t be surprised if it worsened as he began teething, but, though my hands are covered in scratches, he is nothing compared to what Gertie was!
I’m worried that I’m not taking enough advantage of his puppyhood, and his spongelike brain. I feel inadequate and a little like a failure, because I’ve had him almost a week and he doesn’t even sit yet!
I know I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I’m doing some good work with him— but it’s hard to look on TikTok and see all the wonderdogs at similar ages.
Either way, great dogs have been made with less of a foundation than I’m giving Fitz- love, consistency, and patience will carry the day.
 

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I’ve had him almost a week and he doesn’t even sit yet!
Some dogs pick up some things faster than others. At this stage, learning his name and engaging with you are good starts, toileting is great too.

And - is sit important? I say that because it sometimes seems to me to be a cue we teach just 'because we say so'. Don't get me wrong, it is useful to use it to stop other behaviours like jumping (your dog can't jump and sit at the same time) or if you are going to get into obedience. But, short of obedience work, there are alternatives for dogs who, for example, find it uncomfortable. A min pin shouldn't find it uncomfortable but I wouldn't fret yet about him not picking it up.

The other thing is - how are you teaching it? People may have tips.
 

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I’m worried that I’m not taking enough advantage of his puppyhood, and his spongelike brain. I feel inadequate and a little like a failure, because I’ve had him almost a week and he doesn’t even sit yet!
I think it is important to try to keep the expectations realistic, and to 'go easy' on ourselves, sharing our life with a dog is a learning curve for both us and our dog - no matter how many dogs we share our life with each one is different, special, unique, and learns at their own pace.


May I recommend this article, well worth taking the time to read!!
Kidnapped From Planet Dog - Whole Dog Journal (whole-dog-journal.com)
 

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Fitz- 11 week old miniature pinscher male
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some dogs pick up some things faster than others. At this stage, learning his name and engaging with you are good starts, toileting is great too.

And - is sit important? I say that because it sometimes seems to me to be a cue we teach just 'because we say so'. Don't get me wrong, it is useful to use it to stop other behaviours like jumping (your dog can't jump and sit at the same time) or if you are going to get into obedience. But, short of obedience work, there are alternatives for dogs who, for example, find it uncomfortable. A min pin shouldn't find it uncomfortable but I wouldn't fret yet about him not picking it up.

The other thing is - how are you teaching it? People may have tips.
I’m teaching it with the clicker, luring him into place. I guess I was being a little dramatic when I wrote that post, because honestly he IS making progress…just not as fast as some other dogs.
And you’re right, there are much more important things than just a rote sit. So long as he becomes a well adjusted dog, it doesn’t REALLY matter if he doesn’t learn sit in two days.
What’s more, I should definitely be grateful he’s already practically housebroken. He’s a smart little dog- I should appreciate that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think it is important to try to keep the expectations realistic, and to 'go easy' on ourselves, sharing our life with a dog is a learning curve for both us and our dog - no matter how many dogs we share our life with each one is different, special, unique, and learns at their own pace.


May I recommend this article, well worth taking the time to read!!
Kidnapped From Planet Dog - Whole Dog Journal (whole-dog-journal.com)
That’s an excellent article, thank you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
By holding the reward above his nose? If so, I'd suggest choosing a place where he can't just back up. And with the clicker, make sure your timing is spot on - as soon as his butt hits the floor, click and reward.
Thanks for the tips! I’ll implement them today. :)
 

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I just did the sit and down because it was 'homework' for the training courses. The most important thing is to develop a relationship with your puppy! That's what you are doing! Building his confidence and strengthening your bond. Actually 'look at me' was the 1st thing my pup learned in class.

I think little Fitz and yourself are doing wonderfully! Keep up the great work and never hesitate to ask any question, we are all here to help you along if you want some ;)
 

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Fitz- 11 week old miniature pinscher male
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just did the sit and down because it was 'homework' for the training courses. The most important thing is to develop a relationship with your puppy! That's what you are doing! Building his confidence and strengthening your bond. Actually 'look at me' was the 1st thing my pup learned in class.

I think little Fitz and yourself are doing wonderfully! Keep up the great work and never hesitate to ask any question, we are all here to help you along if you want some ;)
Thank you so much! :)

Today was a good day with Fitz.
He finally got ‘sit’ (can you say worried for nothing!!) and he’s continuing to make great eye contact. He’s responding to his name super well.
I will have had him for a week tomorrow at 4 o’clock.
He took a ~20 minute car ride yesterday and he was very good- no whining, no apparent anxiety. If only this heat would stop! And if only the gas prices were lower… I think I’d take him more places…
I have a friend with two big dogs and a new, little dog. I am considering bringing Fitz over for a little socialization, but I’m wary of the new dog— it being a fresh rescue, I’m concerned that it won’t play nice. I could always go to their barn and only let in the dogs I know….if my friend let me take over like that!! But the barn has no AC, and temps have been in the nineties and above….the weather is conspiring against me.
I’ve decided to make a list of priorities in training. I’m watching kikopup’s 3 hour puppy video in chunks, and I’ll use that as a rough guide I think.
Right now I feel scattered and haphazard in my training— but at least I’m consistently doing it, several times a day, 5-10 minutes at a time. Anyway, I feel that the list will help me keep focused and make the best use of my time.
Thanks for the support, everybody. I really appreciate it.
 

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Don't let your pup play with the new rescue at this time. He could get hurt and one bad experience could cause a lot of long-term mistrust that will take a lot of work to correct.

Don't underestimate the value of a clicker-capture.

But other than that, enjoy! This time ends so fast. And we love pics 😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Today I feel as though I've made some strides in keeping Fitz from barking while playing. I'm persevering in clicker capturing good behavior, and he's barking less and less! I really have gained more respect for what the clicker can do.
Not much else to report today. His biting is continuing at the same level, so I think I'll focus on that next. I'll just work on capturing good behavior with that magic clicker!
In fact, once I switched from a mouth click to a clicker click, (today), it was stunning how much better it worked. I now keep it in my pocket at all times along with some dry treats. (Yes, it is gross. Yes, it is worth it.)
I also have been working a little bit on self-control games, and I've broken ground on the "place" behavior.
I'm trying hard to find friends with certified friendly dogs. While about everybody has a dog, about nobody has a dog they fully trust with other dogs!
Nobody in my house works out of the house, so I'm going to work on leaving Fitz alone in different parts of the house to prepare him for when we DO have to leave him.
I'll see about getting you some pictures!!
So here we go, embarking on a second week of FItz!
 

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Take a look around at the local (positive) training facilities. A fair chunk in my area have free puppy-play hours during the week that are overseen by a trainer or more. If you're unsure, ask about their policies, scenarios, and to observe a session.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately I live in a bit of a dog-trainer desert. The only trainer in town is “balanced”, and so are all the trainers in adjacent towns.
I went through my contacts list and texted EVERYONE with a dog and asked if they have a friendly dog, so we will see if that bears fruit :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I’m not at my wit’s end, but it’s in sight.
Fitzie has regressed in potty training, which isn’t so bad, because I know I can fix it.
What I’m less confident about fixing is the absolute codependency Fitz and Gertie seem to have developed.
When I take Fitz into the other room to train him without distraction, Gertie is whining and scratching at the door, and Fitz can’t focus and doesn’t want to learn.
All they ever seem to do is play with one another. My dog sleeps in the bed with me, and because of that now Gertie won’t even sleep with my sister; she’s always with me (and Fitz).
How can I make them less dependent on each other?
I am not giving up, I’m NOT! But it’s so, so hard. I fight for every inch of progress and sometimes I feel like I’m making none.
I’m firmly into the puppy blues. Ian Dunbar doesn’t help, as he’s apparently convinced my dog should have known sit, lay down, roll over, and come by 8 weeks.
I don’t regret Fitz, but I am worried that I’ll never gain control of the situation. He doesn’t focus on me, and the barking is still an issue. Of course, I care about Gertie too. I was responsible for training her at first- I feel as though I’ve done a bad job with that (though she’s the best dog we’ve ever had.)
I could cry with emotional exhaustion. Things seem to be getting worse and not better.
Any scrap of help is appreciated.
 

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Breath deep. Drink some caffeine and cut yourself some slack. If you can, squeeze in a nap.

A lot of people who have a puppy much more advanced are usually 1) experts, 2)lucky, 3) have yet to hit a roadblock; or a.mixture.of the above. It will be ok, you and Fitz are not doomed.

For Gertie and Fitz, another dog is exciting! They speak the same language and have overlapping wants. It's ok. See it as an opportunity-invite Gertie as part of Fitz's training. Waitinurn, teaching a group sit, etc. When you need it to be one-on-one, take Fitz into the yard, do it when Gertie is on a walk, things like that. And more Kikopup below.


And, give it some time for the newness.to wear off. It usually happens. And if it doesn't, just keep.practicing with them separate.and together. You and Fitz are on a life-long journey. There.will be bumps, roadblocks, and backtracks. That is ok. I'm going to repeat it: you and Fitz are.not doomed. Focus on getting to know him and building your relationship.

As for the desert, that is a bummer. But, it can still be ok. Work on him focusing on you. A large chunk of dogs don't want to play with other dogs as adults anyways. That is perfectly normal.

You got this! And in about a year, you very well could be missing these early days.
 
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