puppy training problem..

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Philip_G, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I've had a lot of dogs in my life, but none as difficult as this one [​IMG]
    My pup, about 7 months old just refuses to learn. Most annoying is her habit of jumping up on the counters and grabbing things... not just the counters, the desks, the tables, anything. If it's paper she brings it to me (WTF?) if it's food she eats it. Tonight she pulled a broiler pan off the stove, like we wouldn't notice.
    Anyway, I can't seem to break her of this habit. I've caught her in the act, scolded, even zapped her mid jump with a remote shock collar, but she seems to be entirely indifferent to all of the above. I'm really starting to get irritated [​IMG]
    anyone got any ideas?
     
  2. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    #2 on my list of irritations is her inability to sit in her crate quietly, BTW.
    she sits there and yelps, and yelps, and yelps, and yelps. I've tried ignoring her for hours, I've tried banging on the wall behind her crate where she can't see me to startle her, I've tried the previously mentioned shock collar (just a light tingle [​IMG] ) NOTHING. I don't know what this dogs problem is. "strong desire to please" my freaking ass.
     
  3. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    What dog do you have?

    It sounds a lot like my puppy the first few months. My dog, Reggie, is a mix breed. His mother is a cockapoo and the father a bischon. He did pretty much the same things (even ate my homework, which was worth a large portion of my final mark).

    The only thing I can reccommend is to play with her. If you're watching tv, try throwing a ball as far down the house as you can while still seated and just keep repeating when she brings the ball back.

    She probably cries in the crate because she's lonely. I left my dog in the crate for the first few months and for the first few nights, I would have to sit by the crate Reggie, fell asleep before I went off to bed myself.

    If you leave the house, try leaving a radio on, so she hears a voice and might be a bit more calm when you come home.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    it's hard to consider her a puppy at 7 months and nearly 50 pounds.
    She has a friend, my other dog that sits in the same crate, because she's actually worse if she's in the other crate by herself, but she still yelps... she's a vizsla, she'll fetch until my arm is dead, I'm 6'3 and she can jump straight up and grab a treat out of my hand with my arm held straight out or abour 3" higher.
     
  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    No, I don't think there are any brain problems, she's sort of a smart girl, and she knows better than to do what she's doing. She'll pace around behind me when I'm down near the kitchen and wait until I'm not paying attention and sneak in there, if I catch her she slinks off and hides because she knows she's in trouble.
    Usually I know she's getting into something because my older dog goes and hides in her crate [​IMG]

    she doesn't react to the shock collar at all, it has 8 settings and it's on 8, I've had friends use them on bird dogs before and typically it'll knock the dog on its ass, not her. No whine, no whimper, no reaction. I think the warning beeps bother her more than the shock.
     
  6. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    Philip, what breed is she?
     
  7. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Philip I had, still kind of have, the same problems with one of my dalmatians. She is 1.5 years old and just now starting to settle down a bit and not jump, pay more attention (for teaching) and not chew things up so much. Another year and she should be a well behaved dog.

    I too have a shock collar for her. It seems to be the only way to control her. Or course her biggest problem is barking when she knows were around or can see us. She doesn't bark when were not home (I asked the neighbors).

    As your pup gets older she will settle down. It just sounds like a abundance of puppy energy more then anything else. Give it time Philip.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Vizsla.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Philip, she may very well still a puppy despite her size and age. Some breeds have very long puppyhoods where their behavior doesn't settle down as early or as quickly as other breeds do. Labs are a good example of that, as are Dalmations.

    I know nothing about Vizsla's, so I can't say one way or the other if Vizsla's are one of the breeds with lengthy puppyhoods behavior wise...It's very possible however and worth a little research to find out the best way of approaching this problem.

    You might want to consider a professional trainer. They're usually inexpensive and will visit your home to work with you and the dog together. They can work wonders, and are often well worth the investment.

    Crating is a tricky thing. Some dogs have anxiety issues with being put in a crate. They are thought to fear that their owner will not come back, so often the approach taken to dealing with this is to gradually acclamate the dog to the crate, and show it that you'll be back.

    You do this by putting the dog in the crate, walking out of the room and coming back a couple of minutes later. After a few sessions of this, you extend the time in the crate and thus the time of your absence...and then come back. And so on and on, until you work your way to the door to the outside and show the dog that even when you leave the house, you're still coming back.

    Some dogs simply can't be crated for one reason or another. Working breeds don't crate well for example, unless they're given an adequate amount of work to do outside the crate, to satisfy their need for working. Again, I don't know anything about a Vizsla, but she simply may not be getting enough work or enough activity despite the fetching that you're doing with her. Most breeds, especially large breeds with working backgrounds, have activity needs which must be satisified in order to be able to properly train them or train them successfully to a satisfactory degree.

    Just some food for thought here...If it were me, I'd personally go for dog trainer because again, they can work wonders...If you go this route, try to find a local pro through references. Your vet office is a good place to get a reliable reference.
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    think of her as a weimeraner of a different color. She's a sporting breed, and I think her "work" mostly has been composed of bringing stuff off my desk to me.
    She's not all that great of a fetcher, when I can keep her attention she's Ok, but drifts off easily.
     
  11. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    It should also be pointed out that 'work' may not be entirely physical (like taking the dog for a walk). Some breeds will never tire out (Border Collie, etc.) and need to be 'tired' by working on mental activities (training, puzzle solving, etc.). Your dog may be trying to solve a puzzle / play a game (how can I get into the forbidden room or on the forbidden counter while my owner isn't looking).
     
  12. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Probably. The little whore will pace around behind me looking busy while she's waiting for me to look away long enough for her to sneak into the kitchen to peruse the counters [​IMG]

    though her attention span doesn't yet allow much training, and puzzles don't interest her, I have some toys with holes for treats and she's not very interested despite her affinity for food.
     
  13. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I solved the bulk of my dog issues by putting them outside, permanently. They have access to the garage via a dog door and a couple weeks ago I built a dog house in the garage for them.

    I never thought not having dogs in the house could be so relaxing and so much cleaner. No more dogs in the house, ever.
     
  14. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Some breeds, perhaps especially larger or hunting breeds, just aren't as well suited to be housepets as others.

    My mixed breed is half Welsh Corgi, 1/4 poodle, 1/4 terrier. Corgis have strong herding instincts so I have a cat for her to boss around during the day while I'm at work. She has the run of the house all day, never has an accident or chews anything up. Corgis are fiercely loyal one-person dogs, if I'm home she is never further than 6 feet away from me, but does not demand endless lap-time. Poodles are very intelligent and people-pleasers, she instinctively knows what I will and will not tolerate. The terrier bit means I don't have any gophers in the back yard.

    I would not attempt to have a largish or hunting breed as a housepet, though I've known Labs to be able to adapt to a couch potato lifestyle. I'm one of those who for whatever reason can't get my head around the crating thing, no offense but it seems too much like treating the dog as a doll or something to be put away in a drawer when not in use unless it's only used during puppyhood for training purposes.

    I know some dogs are actually used as hunting dogs and actual working dogs, and they need to be treated differently, but for a companion dog I feel they should be treated as such. A firm and unvarying discipline when they are pups (and this period is usually longer for larger dogs) requires more work and more constant attention to the dog, but pays off in a lifetime of loving companionship once the dog settles down.

    They really are creatures of habit, consistency and not constantly trying different training methods is key. Eventually they will establish a daily routine, snacks at the same times and for the same reasons every day, they know when "bedtime" is, etc.

    The more time you spend with them the better and sooner they will learn. If you can't invest it, and there are lots of legitimate reasons why one can't, better to switch to cats.
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    So you'd leave a puppy running loose in the house when you can't keep an eye on it. That's unsafe for the dog, and unsafe for the house. Terrible advice.
     
  16. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Philip, I checked with a member of my forum who is a professional trainer (for a company that trains K-9 dogs) and he said that Vizsla's are considered "readily trainable"...And that a fair amount of outdoor activity particularly geared to their hunting instincts will smooth the way toward getting them trained.

    He didn't go into much detail, but suggested that fetching is not the "right" kind of work for Vizsla's because their instinct is based on finding things to bring to you, rather than retrieving things for you. He said that while the difference may seem subtle at first glance, there is a huge difference.

    His general suggestion kind of echoes what Greg said which is to say that Viszla's need to expend a combination of both physical energy outdoors, and the mental energy associated with finding and locating.

    His overall suggestion is to find a reputable trainer who: 1) Knows off the bat that the Viszla is a hunting dog and; 2) Will visit your home and get you started by doing basic command training and give you some insight on how to go about getting some work in for your dog which is tailored to its natural instinct to hunt..

    Finally, he emphasized over and over that the Viszla is readily trainable which basically means that once the two of you are on the right path it should be a pretty smooth transition from dog that is driving you crazy, to a dog that is a great and loyal friend...

    He said they're a great breed, and I gotta say, that is a beautiful dog!

    I hope this helps!
     
  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Depending on what kind of stock they come from this is what I hear. Since the breed is increasing in popularity people are breeding the hunting lines and selling them as pets, but she doesn't have a very strong instict to hunt and I don't think she'd be a good hunter. Hell I'm lucky if she can concentrate long enough to bring her dummy BACK to me, usually she drops it and gets distracted, then forgets what she was doing. [​IMG]
    One of the vets where I go is a big pheasant hunter. I keep asking my vet if he needs a new friend this fall since I don't hunt anymore, but green dogs are a pain in the ass.
     
  18. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Gee, I thought that sorta expreseed the idea that my feelings about crating didn't apply to puppy training? I wouldn't leave a puppy loose in the house alone for any period of time, I was lucky in that my then wife and I had staggered work shifts when my dog was a pup and so she never was alone in the house. She's ten now and has been fine alone in the house while I'm at work for 9 years now.
    My ex had similar results in the past with a Lab and currently with what appears to be a lab-pit mix.

    Since I live alone now, if I ever need to train another pup I would probably need to consider the crate method myself, or clear out an pup-proof my spare bedroom.
     

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