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praise and sleeping advice

Discussion in 'Dog Training' started by Laylee, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. Laylee

    Laylee Boxer Pal

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    Hey everyone,

    It's early days (first full day with him today, and he turned 7 weeks yesterday) but my pup doesn't seem interested in food rewards so I feel like it's harder to train him. I'm only doing potty training at the moment, and just getting him used to certain words. Potty training isn't going well but i'm hoping it's just because it's his first day. But whenever he does something good I'll give him a treat and he takes it, chews it for a few seconds then leaves it. When i give it back to him he still isn't interested. (i tried treats i bought plus treats the breeder gave us that his litter apparently love). All training books talk about food rewards but if he's not motivated by food what else can I do? I don't want to use play as a reward because I don't want him getting confused yet, and the whole "good boy" routine surely isn't enough when he doesn't recognise those words properly yet? (When I read John Fisher's book, Think Dog, he said verbal praise isn't enough).

    Also, I read in so many posts that you let your dogs sleep in your room in their crate. I want him to sleep in the lounge so I put him in his bed there last night and I slept on the sofa next to it. He ended up on the sofa with me though. (I get it, it's freezing and he's much more comfortable lying against me because of body heat). I think putting him in my room will create more problems. Should I just continue to sleep downstairs with him (I was only going to do it the first 2 nights) and keep getting him to go to his bed? I got him used to a bear with a hot water bottle inside today (i wanted to supervise his first time with it) I was going to put that in his bed with him tonight to help him sleep there.

    I feel like I've read so much in books and online sources, including this site, but none of it seems to be helping me now it comes to actually having the pup for real and trying to do what's best because there's so many different ideas about what's right!
     
  2. rena

    rena Boxer Booster

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    He's an infant - most don't leave the litter until at least 8 weeks - if not 10 weeks old. His world has just been turned upside down. I think you need re-calibrate your expectations. Establish a routine for potty training - this is more about you being diligent and consistent - outside when wake up, after eating, after drinking, and about every 30 mins - stay out until he goes. You will learn his typical routines for poop fairly quickly. They seem to pee all the time! Pick your word for when he pees and poops - say it when he goes. Over time he should go when you say the word - that has worked with all my dogs. Potty training requires unending patience and consistency on your part. Just remember - he is still a baby so it is going to take time for him to learn. His development is your responsibility.
     
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  3. Laylee

    Laylee Boxer Pal

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    Ok thanks :)
     
  4. Roge

    Roge Boxer Insane

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    Good advise above .. Consistency is the name of the game when potty training ...
    As for the sleeping arrangements . If you don't intend to have your pup with you at night then IMO you have to start as you mean to go on .. If he Gets used to having you in the same room that is what he will want and it will Result in you having to go through a transition phase of him sleeping alone so in this instance I think you are making work for yourself ... Oh and I wouldn't leave a hot water bottle with him unless you want to be greeted some morning soon with a puddle of water and bits of rubber all over the place .. Puppy's LOVE to chew !!!!
    Good luck , your little guy will catch on quicker than you think .. They are clever little buggers ...
    Keep us posted on his progress .
     
  5. Laylee

    Laylee Boxer Pal

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    Hey,

    It's been a week now so I'll update you :)

    The 2nd day was much easier for potty training, and by the 3rd he'd learned to use his bell to let me know when he needed to go outside.

    Unfortunately it's been the school holidays so there's been people in the house coming and going and his potty training has basically gone back to day one. This is because everyone is letting him wee and poo in the house then waiting to tell me so that I can clean it up. This sends the wrong message to him but there's no point me even trying to explain the whole "we need a united front" thing with them because they're not interested in learning about dog training techniques. Luckily it's back to school this week so I'll be by myself with him all day and will be able to start potty training properly again. I'll definitely be using a change of tactic and will try different words this time Rena, thanks. I'll use "wee" and "poo" instead of "go potty." Because he can't distinguish between the two. So while "go potty" got a poo on command by day 3, his wees were still done in the house despite praise and rewards whenever he did them outside.

    I bought a pee post. To anyone thinking of buying one, don't. They're a complete waste of money. He just sniffs it and wanders off. All I did on day one was take one of his poos from inside the house and put it in a certain spot outside and after a few sniffs he got the message and started pooing there (until he found a new spot).

    Like I say, potty training has taken a major step back now and even when he's out in the garden he goes back inside to do his wees! I think it could be to do with the fact we play out there (on separate occasions so he doesn't confuse playing with pottying or get distracted). He might consider it part of "his den" and not want to toilet there now. So from tomorrow I'll be training him to use the back yard instead (we never play there, and its next to the kitchen, which is where he prefers to do his business now). I'll see how that goes.

    Sleeping arrangements: I'm really happy with what I chose to do. Me sleeping on the sofa next to his bed, and gradually encouraging him to sleep in his bed (during the night, and moving him there when he goes to sleep on the sofa during the day), eventually meant that when I went upstairs to sleep in my bed for a whole night, he woke up crying once. I ignored it and he settled down. The 2nd night there was no crying at all. Just some whimpering for 5 mins when he woke up but after that he went back to sleep. I definitely advise this gradual transition. Maybe it's not for everyone but it was alot less work for me and I think alot less traumatic for him.

    He's fine with the water bottle bear. He loves it and sleeps with it all the time. He has other chew toys so isn't interested in the bear and just goes to sleep on it :)

    Thanks for the responses and advice :)
     

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