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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Post No doesn't mean No?

Greetings!

My wife and i got our first puppy about a month ago. "Kona" is an absolute mess of genetic material; the breeds we know he represents are German Shepherd, Lab, and Pit. But he looks like a Rottweiler.

Kona was only about six weeks old when he came to us, but he's coming along remarkably well. He's almost house trained, and for the most part he's a good dog, and smart enough to make us optimistic he'll turn out OK.

The problem is he's stubborn as get-out. I have experience with this, sorta... my last dog was a Pit who i got when she was nine months old. She was mean along with her stubborn, so it was an adventure training her without getting eaten. But aside from that, she didn't really do anything i had to say "no" to.

We have a manual... er... "Good Dog, Bad Dog" i think. It came highly recommended. It's got a lot of good advice, but the one bit of advice that isn't working is the bit about saying "no." The book says to say it once, and only once, and if it doesn't work then you're saying it wrong.

I'm completely out of different ways of saying "no." I've tried every pitch, volume, and inflection my vocal chords are capable of. He hears it sometimes, for some things, but if he's doing something really interesting then he doesn't hear it at all.

I'm told never to whack my dog, but dangit sometimes it's the only thing that gets his attention. Like any puppy, he's very oral, but his nipping and biting were starting to hurt and i started whacking him, gently, on the snout to make him associate "no" with something he should pay attention to. It worked, sorta, for me, but not for my wife. I mean he doesn't bite me anymore. But he still don't hear "no" if it's not what he wants to hear.

Need some new advice, please. I don't want to whack my dog. It seems futile, in that it takes ever more forceful whacks to get his attention. Also it's useless when he's not near me, i have to go over to him to say "no" and whack him if necessary, and he's figured that out and he runs away, laughing.

The tension level is rising in our home. Kona will not stop biting my wife, on the hands, feet, and even face, and i'm afraid she's gonna get mad and whack him good. But besides that, i'd like "no" to mean "no," no questions asked.

Er. Not to say it's all stressed out and angry and violent here. Heh. We really feel blessed, Kona is a good dog and we're totally in love with him. It's just difficult when he gets all puppified and runs from one "no" to another, laughing at us and our pathetic attempts to tell him "no."

TIA
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 12:42 PM
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You might try getting something to accompany the NO that will get his attention. I have a dog that is going to act like a stubborn puppy for the rest of her life, lol. We finally found the right NO but like you said, if its really interesting, she hears nothing. I use either a squirt bottle or a cardboard tube out of wrapping paper and either give her a squirt or a bonk with the tube (makes a great noise and wouldn't hurt a mouse) if she doesn't listen to the first NO. That's just what works for me, I would bet that Deja will be around with some good, more scientific, advice


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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Becki
I use either a squirt bottle or a cardboard tube out of wrapping paper and either give her a squirt or a bonk with the tube (makes a great noise and wouldn't hurt a mouse)
Hehe... Thanx. I just happened to have a paper towel tube on hand. I'm sure it's just temporary until he figures out he should run away laughing when he sees me coming with the cardboard tube, but for now it's new and different enough to get his attention. And it amuses me, at least. Guess i'll graduate to the wrapping paper tube as soon as i have to wrap something.

On the off chance a scientifical minded person does come along, i have another question, regarding house training expectations. I'm just wondering, at ~2.5 months, and a month of that in intensive training, if i should be expecting better compliance, or if i need some more patience. For the most part, Kona is voluntarily going out on his own to the designated potty area when he needs to take a dump. The exceptions, i think, are if he's feeling neglected, or lazy, or he doesn't like the weather conditions. OTOH, if i don't take him out whenever i even suspect he might need to leak, he'll do it on the rug, wherever he's standing at the time. It's like he doesn't attach as much significance to urinating.

I notice he doesn't do it in his bed, though.

Huh... I can't believe this... i'm paying him absolutely no attention for the last hour or so while i go about my business. He's thoroughly amusing himself, with his own toys and his own tail, and he's not chewing my stuff or chasing the cats.

*shakes head*

Never a day yet that he hasn't surprised me.

-Papa_B
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oops, where's my manners?

This is Kona:

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 06:46 PM
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He is precious!! I'm sure that with more time and work he will come around!


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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 07:16 PM
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Welcome to PT, Papa B! Kona is beautiful!! Sure does look like a rottie pup.

Deja will have wonderful advice for you as soon as she's back online.

I've got a question though, are you giving him free run of the house? Does he have an area he's confined to when your eyes aren't on him?

He's about 10 weeks old? He's still very young! Perfect time to do your basic training, such as no biting.

Our first shepherd was EASY to train - I swear he was the smartest dog in the world Shepherds usually have a mind of their own and can be very persisitant/stubborn. Plus side - their very intelligent!

~ Jodi ~

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 07:25 PM
And here I am again, showing my butt!
 
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THAT'S the cutie pie you claim gives you so much trouble?! By the looks of his feet, he's gonna be a big boy!!

I have no advice whatsoever. My pooch trained me.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 08:02 PM
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i will try and give you some advice even though i have small dogs. but we all know that small dogs can be even more stubborn (especially my yorkie).
first of all, the dog really shouldn't have run of the house at this young. (btw-he's so cute!!!) i know that when i got my yorkie she could only be in the bathroom when i wasn't physically right next to her. also, at 2.5 months he sounds like he's getting the idea about the potty training. however, when he peepee's in the house, try administering a tailored punishment. in other words, every dog is diff and all have things they hate. my yorkie hates to be locked up, so if she messes up, i lock her up. however, my chihuahua/schipperke feels really bad when i yell at her.
also about the biting - i don't know if you actually have the time for this, but if you can - try putting a gentle leader or something like that on him and if he tries to bite/nip, tug on the lead.
oh yah...and wait for deja! haha.
sorry so long. i'm trying!

btw-you'll probably be really successful here cause he is soooo young.


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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 08:54 PM
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In all seriousness here, could he have a hearing problem? Do you notice if he only hears you if you are close to him? I know some puppies are just plain stubborn, but either he's exceptionally stubborn and really good at ignoring you or he just *may* have a hearing problem????? Just a thought!


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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpottyPoo
THAT'S the cutie pie you claim gives you so much trouble?!
I should have said "this WAS Kona."

That pic was @ seven weeks, and i think he doubles in size every week, around Thursday.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
In all seriousness here, could he have a hearing problem?
Nope. He can hear the word "dinner" whispered on the other end of the house, when he's asleep.

Hey thanx all, for the replies n stuff. I'll talk more soon... i'm still on probation so my posts get moderated, and it doesn't make for easy conversation.

Mebbe i'll go post some more cute pics or something, get my post quota fixed up.

- Papa_B
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Nope. He can hear the word "dinner" whispered on the other end of the house, when he's asleep.


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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 09:54 PM
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*ahem* I seem to have some of those in my house too (including hubby!!!!!)

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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 10:26 PM
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I may have some info to help

First off, the biting/nipping thing: You can also add a certain sound, like pennies in an empty aluminum can, and give it a shake when using no. Be consistent, he will learn to associate the noise alone later, even without the "No".

He is still very young, the mouthing will go on even once he gets his much duller (thank goodness) adult teeth, usually starts about 5-6 months of age. He also sees you as the pack leader, that's why he listens to you better than your wife.

Potty training, he will be getting there soon. He should be toatally trained by about 6 months, sometimes sooner, depends on the dog. REmember that a male dog will "mark" his territory, so even when he is an adult, he MAY mark the drapes, whatever he can lift his leg on. Getting him neutered will help if he developes this nasty habit.

Puppies have selective hearing. He will come around.

For my dog we used "want the paper?" When she would get goofy we would smack a rolled up newspaper on our hand, kitchen table, whatever would create a loud, startling sound. Soon, all you had to say was "want the paper" and you had full attention.

My mom has a Boston Terrier, and she is a goof. One day she was going berserk ( in a silly way) and we couldn't find "the paper", so she grabbed a rolled up poster of Ed Belfour (hockey, for those who don't know) and said "do you want Eddie", to this day, if you even say eddie in front of her, the ears go down, all attention on you.

Sorry this is so long, but I am hoping to help. I've been thru obedience training with my dogs and have several trophies, certificates and ribbons to show for it. I've also done more advanced training also, so if I can help more, pm me.

*Dani*

Owned by:
Jezebel, White Capped Pionus
Lu, Hahn's Macaw
Bubbles, Toy poodle
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 02:01 AM
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I'm sorry to be getting in late on this thread. Terrible rain knocked my ISP out this evening! UGH!

First - Welcome to PT!! Kona is adorable

I can totally understand your growing frustration with Kona. Nipping and biting under any circumstances is totally unacceptable and I applaud your desire to want to eliminate this behavior. As far as Kona not responding to your verbal command, "NO!" - it sounds as if Kona has learned that there are no serious or unpleasant consequences attached to not obeying commands and it's turned into a game. There is also no planned response, consistent action and consistent positive reinforcement. I understand that you are really trying everything in an attempt to find something that works, but Kona is responding to the inconsistency as any puppy would - everything is fun!
It may be cute (but totally frustrating) now - but I know you are aware of it's potential to turn into a serious problem a few months down the road. By "bopping" or "tapping" the dog on the snout (or anywhere) be it with a rolled up newspaper, your fingers, or empty paper towel tube, you are inviting Kona to respond physically. A dog's natural instinct clearly tells him to vie for the dominant position in the pack. Some dogs are wired to be more dominant while others accept you as their leader quite readily. Whenever we correct our dogs by obvious physical means our dogs are going respond in kind. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be corrected! I'm saying we need to think of a better way, a way that Kona will respond to, a way that sends the clear, concise message with no room for him to misundertand. That is paramount. We need to communicate our desires clearly. We also don't want to instill fear but rather trust.

What I am going to suggest is a two step process. It will involve backing up to day one and reconditioning Kona so he learns his place in your pack. Every human he comes in contact with must be in a dominant position over Kona and Kona needs to learn to understand clearly and without question his role, function and place in your family (pack).

I am going to suggest you read the article I wrote that is posted
here:

Why Obedience Train Your Dog?

You may already be familiar with a lot of the concepts I talk about but it may also give you some food for thought.

Kona's mixed background and your description of his temperament leads me to conclude he is a "hard" temperament pup. Pups and dogs who have hard temperaments doesn't mean they are hard to train, it means we need to tune in and plug in to what type of correction they will respond to. When working with a pup like Kona I find that, structure, consistency, negative consequence reinforced with a lot of positive reinforcement, sets the tone and builds the foundation on which you will build a strong bond based on mutual trust.

I have an idea where to go with this and I am happy to work up a plan for you. Can you tell me a few things about Kona's routine? Do you use a crate? Who is responsible for feeding him and walking him? Is he on a leash when you take him outside?
Can you tell me what specific things you would like to teach or train Kona to do and what you don't want him to do? This will all give me a good idea on what specific training exercises I can give you to start working on.

I have a feeling that with a few modifications on your part you will notice a quick change in a positive direction.

Talk to you soon and hang in there... we are all here to help and I will do my best in any way that I can

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