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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

My (new) husband and I just adopted a now 8 week old Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)-- she was 7 weeks when we got her. She is super adorable, and we love her to pieces, but she's driving me a little nuts.

She does fairly well with housebreaking, although we have the occassional accident when she is over-stimulated by my brother-in-laws two dogs that live upstairs. But she won't stop chewing on hands (my wedding ring in particular) and is having serious trouble with crate training. We've completely given up on it at night for now as she won't settle down. She has a hard time when I put her in there so I can get things done around the house without having to constantly watch her, and the one time we left her alone to go grab dinner from the fast food place down the road she wet her crate and was distraught when we got back.

What can we do? I want to raise a good dog. Is it too early to train her? I also would like a way to work out her energy-- we go for two walks around the block a day, but I'm afraid I'll hurt her if I make them longer too early.

Any help would be so appreciated!
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum, congratulations on the new pup :)

Could you please explain what you did to help her learnt to enjoy being in her crate? :) We can help you more if we know what you have done previously.

And no, it's never too early to begin training her, not at all! If she is a real biter, re-direct her to an appropriate chew thing, worse case scenario, just get up & leave the room for a few moments. I would suggest avoiding any games that really over stimulate her too, like tug.
 

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We have a fairly large plastic crate, if that is of any importance.

We've tried...gees, everything I know. We feed her in her crate, but if we lock the door she's upset for several minutes after we open it. I've tried random treats, but can never seem to get her not to notice when I throw them in.

She has a kong filled with Peanut Butter and frozen that she only gets when she's inside the crate. There's my favorite blanket and my husband's favorite shirt inside for her. We try to keep the cat out so it will be Applejack's space.

We've even tried to move her in there were she's already napping to get her used to the idea of sleeping in there-- the only time she's done this voluntarily was last week after her first shots-- but to no avail.

I'm not sure what else to do.
 

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When the dogs teeth makes contact with your skin yell "OUCH"

The puppy will eventually realize humans have sensitive skin and we don't do that. Just like if a puppy bit it's mother the mother would let out a yelp.

I would practice leaving for short periods of time. Make the dog realize that you aren't gone forever you will come back.


Never force an excited dog into the crate. Let them get their energy out by playing or chasing. Then settle them down by making them lay down and some petting. Then gently try to convince the dog into the crate with something yummy, preferably something really smelly too. Like cheese or chicken. Try not to use your words. That can get trigger the dog to become excited.

Once the dog is in there, again don't say anything, just leave for about 5-10 mins come back give her a treat.

Repeat over and over for longer durations. Hopefully, she soon realizes there is nothing to worry about. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would practice leaving for short periods of time. Make the dog realize that you aren't gone forever you will come back.


Never force an excited dog into the crate. Let them get their energy out by playing or chasing. Then settle them down by making them lay down and some petting. Then gently try to convince the dog into the crate with something yummy, preferably something really smelly too. Like cheese or chicken. Try not to use your words. That can get trigger the dog to become excited.

Once the dog is in there, again don't say anything, just leave for about 5-10 mins come back give her a treat.

Repeat over and over for longer durations. Hopefully, she soon realizes there is nothing to worry about. :)
I tried that this afternoon so I could clean our bedroom; just throwing some stuff into wash and vaccuming but she's so little and not fully housebroken that I don't want to leave her unsupervised for even short periods.

She cried the whole time, and when the vaccum came on in the other room she went ballistic.

Still, I suppose all we can do is keep trying.
 

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Does she always wet it or was that a one time thing? had you taken her out to go potty before you put her in there? Did you exercise her? At 7 weeks, just running around the yard for thirty minutes is more then enough (enjoy it ... it wont last long lol). Also I found that a large ball (like a soccer ball because they are tougher) are great because you can gently push them with your foot and they chase them as they roll ... it doesn't take them long to realize they can push it.

as far as crating goes, at 7 weeks, a puppy doesn't have much control over their bowels and bladder. so she may not always know when she has to go, it just sneaks up on her. when Josefina was younger she had to potty every 2 hours or so and they kept up til she was about 8 months, then she could make it with only one potty break in the middle of the night.

If its just because she makes a fuss, put her in there and ignore her, no matter how much she fuss she throws (as long as you have made sure she has gone potty) the SECOND she is quiet, go to her and praise her and let her out.

there isn't really much training other then "no" and learning how to use a leash and collar. so relax and enjoy this stage because once they hit about 4 months ... OMG LOL.

also ... PICS I want to see PICS of this darling
 

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She cried the whole time, and when the vaccum came on in the other room she went ballistic.
Aww...poor thing is probably terrified of the new noise, and maybe it hurts her ears, too.

kikopup has a good video on counterconditioning a dog to scary noise, using the example of a washing machine. Lemme see if I can dig it up for you!

ETA: Bingo. How to train your dog to stop freaking out at noises.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys! The videos are really helpful! Right now I'm working on the very very basics with her until we get those down pat (going over the ones that Kikopup said were the best to start out with-- particularly rewarding calm behavior, as I'd prefer a nice relaxed dog :) ). I don't want to overwhelm her by trying too much at once.

I wish I could figure out what to do with her while I'm vaccuming until I get there, though. My hubby is super allergic to my cat, so I absolutely have to vaccum the floor in our room and living room everyday. Maybe I'll have to watch that one and add it to the roster.
 
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