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Puppy questions.... help please!

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Jude is a great puppy. He's very easy for the most part. He's extremely friendly with people and other dogs (we live in the city so he's very well socialized), he comes out to dinner with me, he comes to coffee house concerts with me sometimes, he's just really such a driven but content dog. He loves stimulation but is just as happy to sit and watch sometimes, as well as run and explore other times. He's already starting to swim, just learned fetch, and is doing well in his clicker training. He does well in his crate and eats great. He eats a ton of apple slices and carrots- and has a great easy stomach. He is 10.5 weeks today.


I'm having a couple issues with Jude that I would love some advice on.


1. Jude is still not doing super well with his potty training. It's been about 2 weeks (almost 3, but for 3 of the days we were on the road visiting family so it was inconsistent) and he just doesn't totally get it yet. He doesn't go to the bathroom inside in front of me, but he does when I'm not looking. It's hard because I don't want to crate him while I'm working- I work from home and he does a fabulous job sitting around the living room for a few hours playing with his toys- he's great at entertaining himself. Unfortunately it's during this time he walks away for a quick second and goes to the bathroom in the house. I've never yelled at him- I just make a loud noise when I catch him and scoop him up- but he seems to know he shouldn't anyway. I take him out generally 20 minutes after he eats but he doesn't go usually. I tried bringing him upstairs and putting him in his crate, and then bringing him out 20 mintues later, but this hasn't worked either. He just sniffs and plays outside and then when I bring him back in he goes on the floor. Should I continue to repeat the crate process and eventually it will click? I ususally catch him mid-bathroom and rush him outside, but he's still not getting to hold it. He can hold it quite well when he sleeps- he sleeps for about 7 hours straight at night- but during the day he doesn't at all. I got puppy pads (went back and forth on them) because I wanted him to know you had to at least go somewhere specific and not just anywhere in the house- but he doesn't seem to use them. I've tried clicking and treating when he goes outside. I scrub the places he goes with natures miracle. What am I doing wrong?? I know he's just a puppy, but I don't seem to be making progress. When he plays while I work, he's generally within site unless he walks away behind the loveseat. That's when he is out of view. The second I see him walk that way, I know he's going. I pick him up and correct him, but it doesn't seem to dissuade him in the future. He doesn't go when I do take him out and I'm getting frustrated! Help please!


2. Jude is sweet sometimes, but generally tends to be a bit more independent and fiery more often. He doesn't need me too much which I like, but a few things about this worry me. He gets very fresh after 1. playing with other dogs 2. coming out of his crate when I've been away for a few hours. He gets very nippy to the point I'm quite sure he knows what he's doing is wrong. In the beginning I was yelping when he bit but he seemed to continue to nibble even after I yelped. He gives me this look as he naws on my hand that seems to know he knows I'm telling him to stop, but he's not gonna stop on his own. I've tried, closing his mouth with my hand, grabbing the scruff of his neck, making a loud NO sound, a loud ACK sound, yelping, holding him up and staring him down, walking away and ignoring him, and now I'm just so inconsistent I don't know what to do when he gets like this. Now I just feel I'm starting to lose my patience and yell and I know that's not gonna help. Any suggestions would really be appreciated


Thanks so much everyone! I appreciate it. And here's a jude picture for good measure!



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Crate, crate, crate when you cannot directly supervise. Right now he is establishing a habit that will be harder to break by the day. Just keep a crate that he can play in while you work, then take him directly from the crate outdoors. When you take him outside keep him on a leash until he goes potty. Just ignore him until he goes - he needs to learn that you don't always play when you go outside.


He gets very fresh after 1. playing with other dogs 2. coming out of his crate when I've been away for a few hours. He gets very nippy to the point I'm quite sure he knows what he's doing is wrong.


He's a puppy - all of that excites him!! How would he know that it was wrong? Puppies play with their mouths and teeth right now it's your job to redirect his attention onto something appropriate. If he nips at you, playtime ends - put him in his crate and leave him there for a minute. Then bring him back out again, if he does it again, out him back in his crate for another minute. He'll soon learn that if he starts nipping at you all fun ends. But do make sure you have appropriate items to direct his chewing/playfulness onto. You've got a Border Collie - most higher drive breeds are like this or even more so as pups.

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Crate him all day long? I don't know, I just can't seem to justify crating him for 10 hours at night while sleeping and then 8 hours during the day while I'm working. That seems like an awful lot of crate and doesn't include when I need to leave the house sometimes. He's not a chewer, only plays with his toys, and stays occupies with the various activities I give him throughout the day, so it seems unnecessary to keep him crated the entire time I work. I know many people suggest that, but there much be a few other options for people who want their dogs to be a bit more central in their lives and don't want to go by the book 100 percent. I feel lucky that I work from home and can be with him, so it seems pointless to crate him all day long when I work. I do crate him for about 4 hours throughout the day when he needs to sleep, but all day seems extreme. Can anyone think of any other options, even if not quite as effective? I just know that crating him all day long will not be an option that I am comfortable with. I very much enjoy our days together when he lays there working on his puzzles and toys, and I sit next to him working myself. I do appreciate your input. I know crating when not directly supervised is what is the most commonly accepted suggestion- but I think there must be another option or two for those who are a bit more liberal about the crating issue. I crate at night, when I leave the house, during nap times for him, and at various busy points throughout the day, but the less busy moments I like him to have a bit more room to play. Do you have any other advice that is a bit more of a middle ground between the two philosophies? I just don't think crating all day is the direction I want to go in.


Jude does have many chew items available to him- he's got about 20 toys that we rotate in and out and he does a fabulous job chewing on them and leaving almost everything else in the house alone, but he just seems to get fiesty when you're sitting trying to have a conversation, especially when he is not getting attention. I will definitely try this crating method for the biting. I feel i've gotten different advice everywhere about nipping- I read one thing in The Art Of Raising a Puppy, other things on forums, another thing from my breeder, another from my trainer, it's been very confusing knowing what to go with.


Thanks for the advice!

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I know crating when not directly supervised is what is the most commonly accepted suggestion- but I think there must be another option or two for those who are a bit more liberal about the crating issue.


Yes, it's called cleaning up after your puppy :rolleyes:


By not crating him, you're adding to your housebreaking problems. I know my largest dog crates would be plenty big for a pup to play in. I would just stick one near where I worked. He'd be there with you and he'd be contained. Your other option would be a slightly larger x-pen. But you really do need to contain him if you don't want him slipping away to potty behind the couch.


You can work around this a bit - after you take him out to potty and you know that he's gone, give him some freedom inside for a half hour - hour, then put him back in his crate/ x-pen. And you're not going to be doing this forever - just until you've got the housebreaking issues solved.

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Our aussie had issues with housetraining too...also male. He was crated at night and never messed in there. In the am right outside and he'd pee. Whenever we were home, he was right with us with me staring at him watching him (and even then he'd just squat and pee in the middle of walking past us). When DH would spend time at the computer, Turbo was contained to an area about 4-5 feet square around DH's computer chair so he could watch him and take him out every 20-30 mins. If he had any more space than that, he'd just pee. I made a "cage" out of old computer towers and things to block him into that space. Did that till he was about 5-6 months and then could give him more freedom but still not a ton. We also blocked off areas of the house...he was not allowed in the bedroom (except to go to his nighttime crate), not allowed in the living room (we had boards up so he couldnt go in there), not allowed in the spare room or the bathroom.....so he could pretty much go in the kitchen if we were in there making dinner, or in his little area in the computer room if we were in there. If no one was home, he was in a big wire crate or an x-pen so he had a bit more space. DH didn't like him being confined so much, but I told him it was either that, or he had to follow him around staring at him at all times (turbo is his dog) so he reluctantly followed my rules. I told him that allthough it sucked now....it would make for a better dog in the end. And...for Turbo that took till he was abotu 1.5-2 years before we could trust him not to pee in the house if he was inside loose for more than 5 hours when we were home. He is still crated during the day when no one is home because he gets anxious about DH leaving...but he's free when we're home, and he's free at night.

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If you don't want to be crating him during the day, you'll need to be proactive in other ways. Dan has been the hardest pup I've trained, and that's just Dan. But we had few accidents because I took him out every hour during the day, on leash, and took him to his "spots" and was patient as he did his business. I praised each potty success. I watched him in the house for signs - getting "thoughtful", sniffing, going to the places he tended to go, waking up, finishing eating or drinking, finishing playing. I used the crate or xpen when I couldn't keep an eye on him (and he never, ever went in either so he was a "clean pup" in nature).


I got frustrated because I wondered if he'd ever "get it" and then one day - bingo - he got it.


As for nighttime sleeps (and Dan slept through the night from 8 weeks of age), when an animal or human is sleeping, production of urine goes way down and it is more concentrated in order to eliminate waste products and avoid waking up every few hours. So you can't equate nighttime "holding it" with daytime ability to "hold it". No comparison.


I'm not great at potty training but if I had a pup that "held it" at all at Jude's age, I'd be ecstatic. Mine improve with age as to how long they can go between trips outside but none have been really reliable (meaning I didn't have to be proactive to a certain degree at least) until 4 or 6 months old. That is likely because I haven't used the crate adequately but have taken them out so much. Your results may vary!


Best wishes!

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Remember this: Movement by puppy= have to go wee. So, if you leave your 10.5 week pup loose, he will, as any normal pup, have to wee. He needs structured activity (very easy, but activity) and then time in the crate. Time in the crate for him to nap, time for you to get your work done. TRUST ME you will appreciate this when you are traveling, or when you are busy on a home project. Pups don't all come with a power down switch, and you need to teach it.


I got my pup in Feb. If I could house break him, you sure can :rolleyes: By the way, I still don't trust Danny all the time. Only for short stints. He's a busy boy.

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Yup - Sue's advice is great. I never crated my dog either - but I had to watch him like a hawk all the time, and be a few steps ahead of him - any sign of him stopping out of a sudden, looking thoughtful, cocking head, etc, resulted in my airlifting his puppiness and running outside with him, then praising the hell out of him for going outside. I also taught him to ask to go on the balcony - since I lived on the second floor and it was winter, the patio was transformed in a puppy poopy place, with the help of some flat cardboard boxes. And after each successful outdoor potty, I was praising and giving him treats. It got to the point where, at around 10-11 weeks, he was asking to go to the balcony just to get the treats. And when he saw that wasn't working, he took it to the next level and was actually squatting without anything coming out, then running back to me to demand his cookie :rolleyes:


At night, any sound the puppy was making was an indication to jump out of bed and take him outside. He got it and started letting us know after a few days by coming next to the bed and crying softly, so that meant we were waking up and taking him outside 3-4 times a night, then 3, 2, etc.


Good luck, he sure is a beautiful handful of a puppy - the way they should be :D


P.S. I was lucky that my husband was at home during the day, so Ouzo was never left alone for more than an hour or so around that time.

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Like Julie, I got my Danny-boy this winter, but about a month later, in March. He is also a busy boy and. although he's really been good since his light-bulb-moment a couple of months ago (when I was just about to give it up and decide he'd never be housetrained), I still often take him out at the tempting times - right after meals or a big drink, after hard play, when getting out of the crate, when waking - but not all the time since he seems to be pretty self-controlled. Each dog/pup is different and, while principles remain the same, the details may need to be fine-tuned to get good results.


You sound like you are really doing very well and most of what you are mentioning seems like typical puppy stuff to me. I am sure you have found and enzyme-treated all his accidents. My carpet, pre-dating any idea I had of enzyme-treating, although I did use vinegar, has been liberally anointed with puppy messes so that any pup would be tempted by "previously-used" spots that I didn't clean properly. That situation certainly has never helped my more recent pups!


As for nipping - it's typical of many pups and it's typical of the age. Remember that he's still quite the baby and it's going to take time, patience (and I am so not a patient person), and consistency (another one of my failings) to get through this trying stage. You can reprimand him for nipping you ("ouch", "no", etc.) but then offer him an enjoyable alternative - a toy, a big of tug, a training session. One thing I often forget is that when I don't want a certain behavior, I need to substitute something else and preferably something that is equal or more appealing, to occupy the youngster's energies.


We all look at pictures of cute pups (and your photos are fabulous!) but the puppy behaviors are the difficult part of this stage of life. I don't know your background in dogs and pups but I think Jude is still quite young and simply has a lot of learning to do.


Very best wishes!

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Since you don't want to crate him while you're working have you tried tying him to your office chair? I used the tying method on all my puppies. I would simply loop the end of a 6 foot leash under my chair, sprinkle toys around and let them hang out with me while I'm working or watching tv, etc. That way they can play and be with me but can't wander off to potty elsewhere. Then if it looks like they need to potty, all the signs mentioned above, they are already wearing a leash, just grab and go! Another plus is that it teaches puppies to tie. I corrected my pups if they chewed on the leash and now I can tie them up anywhere and trust that they won't fight the tie or chew their way loose. Useful when waiting my turn to work sheep or when I have all three out practicing agility.



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Wow thank you so much. I woke up today scared everyone would think I was horrible for not necessarily wanting to crate all day, and glad to see everyone had a few other ideas. I do know it will take a bit more work, but I think it may be worth it for me. And perhaps I'll do just a bit more crating too.


These are really fabulous suggestions and advice, I appreciate them all!


I think considering I've had Jude for only 2-3 weeks, he's doing wonderful! He walks confidently into the city on his leash, sits at the cross walks, holds his head up along side noisy motorcycles but continues walking, he's really thriving and loving his city life actually! It helps that Austin TX is such a dog city and has so many outdoor nature options that we take advantage of, and will even more as he grows. He's met a bunch of other puppies and of course I'm bias, but he does seem well ahead of the other dogs in terms of training and just adjusting to life in general. I'm not trying to be too hard on him, I know he's doing wonderfully, I just want to make sure I'm not feeding into causing his house breaking and biting issues and that I'm doing everything I can to make him successful at those things.


Thanks guys! Implementing these new ideas starting today. I'm thinking I should just put him on his leash tied to my chair for work time.

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As for the nipping, a method I've found that works really well is bopping them on the nose every time teeth touch skin. Not enough to hurt, but I pop a palm to their nostrils and it usually makes them sneeze or snort, and take a step back. It took a week to bite-proof the schnauzers, and it took Mal probably too weeks, although he is very mouthy and even a a few months after if I stopped petting him, he'd grab my hand, not using any pressure, just wanting attention - that has now transpired to licking my hand. The key is just to stay consistant and hang in there. By the way, Jude is so cute! We really should get him and Mal together and swim in Barton Springs then have dinner at Shady Grove or somewhere up there.

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What a beautiful pup! I love the dark tri-coloreds. The very first Border Collie I remember as a child was a dark tri and I was his special project after the cows were sold and my parents opened a commercial greenhouse. He never let me stray a step out of the yard.


My pup Robin is a red tri- and Brodie is black and white. They're littermates and its been quite an adventure since we got them and frankly, we wouldn't have a house left if we didn't crate them.


There are also times when they need to be crated for their own safety. I had twenty-five people of all ages from 1 to 91 at my house today and there's no way I'd let the 6 month old pups or Ladybug at 8 years loose around that many people, not to mention the food :rolleyes:. The pups went willingly into their crates and happily stayed there. Miss Ladybug was a different story. She does crate, but not so willingly and puts up a fuss (she was a rescue dog and very well behaved, so we never really forced the issue)I put her in the back bedroom and she ripped the molding off the door trying to get out. My dunce of a brother in law decided if he threw the ball outside the bedroom window that would calm her down; he's lucky she didn't jump through the window to get it. So, we put her in the rec room over the garage and several items were in pieces when Ken went to get her several hours later. She's quite content to stay at home for hours without us, but if we're home and she's put away, she sees it as punishment and she's frantic to get to our side, especially Ken's. Yet she is afraid of most women and isn't good around small children and would be run ragged because she won't stop bringing a ball for people to throw if she were left loose, so we must put her up for her own safety.



As several suggested, I do use the leash as well, when I'm watching TV and don't want Robin wandering all over getting into trouble. Brodie is usually on Ken's lap so that's not an issue...My husband and I had the same fights over the crate that we did over the playpen, but the fact is a pup needs a safe place to be because the world is a dangerous place. . When we brought our pups home at 8 weeks, I was recovering from surgery and simply couldn't let them roam around so they learned very early and very well that crates are a great place. Sure, let Jude out every few hours for a potty break and play but if you're not actively doing something with him, the crate is the best place to be. Puppies sleep a great deal so they're perfectly content in the crate as long as they get frequent potty breaks and play time. I put a towel in each crate along with a chew toy of some sort. I also feed in the crate because I have three dogs and I want to know how much each one is getting each day.


I also work from home and the crates are in the study with me. The dogs are about two feet away from my desk, but they don't howl when I leave the room...they know I'll be back eventually. We do let them loose in the house when we're paying attention to them and sometimes

Robin actually goes and opens the door of his crate and goes in and lies down. It's his place and a great place to stash bones and toys he doesn't want his brother finding. Brodie won't just wander into his crate, but he'll go willingly when asked. At six months, they're just fine, with regular breaks and when we go out, we play and to training as well as potty break - and they do know the routine. At today's party, all of a sudden at 3 pm there was a chorus of howls from the study - they usually go out at three! I brought them out a couple of times to show them to guests who hadn't seen them and several other guests went into the study to look at them and they were very well behaved.


Also, just because Jude is not chewing on something he shouldn't be at the moment, doesn't mean he won't start any time soon. My husband is, well, a great big squeaky toy for the pups (No discipline) and as long as he as two out of three dogs in sight, he thinks the third one is behaving. Robin is usually the third dog and he's generally not behaving. This week he suddenly began a chewing fit in the TV room and ate part of my couch, the portable phone, and I don't know how many light and extension cords as well as my vacuum cleaner cord. In fact, while Ken was busy repairing where Robin had chewed through the middle of the vacuum cleaner cord, Robin was chewing off the other end! He also nailed my mother-in-law's iron. He was bored because no one was actively engaging him. So, he can be bored in the crate where he doesn't risk getting electrocuted, or burning the house down by exposing a wire we don't happen to find.



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Got my pup at 7 wks. Took him out in the yard after every nap, drink and meal. Set the alarm initially for twice during the night. Got that down to once at about 10 weeks and then no more by the time he was 12 -14 weeks. Then it was pee before bed, 11ish and first thing in the morning 6ish. I always said "go pee" when he was peeing. Within a few days I could say go pee and he would. Very handy. Colt only went in the house maybe five times in his life.


As for the nipping, I always replaced with a chew toy. Always. I allowed him to mouth softly, still do at 10 mos. when we play rough, but when he closed too hard when he was little I would say AAHT! and replace. He got the message very quickly and he never closes too hard now even when he gets excited with the play.


Your pup is absolutely adorable.

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Jude is sure a lovely pup (stunning photos!), and it sounds as if you're having a blast with him!


One option that you might want to consider is some sort of pen. Here's a link to one http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?...mp;ab=hp_ln_dog - ours is a bit different, though, as it was made of metal. It clips to the crate so that the pup has the option of snoozing in his crate or coming out and having some food and water. It allows a bit more freedom than a crate, while preventing pups from getting into trouble by chewing on wires and such.


I was new to crate training; it wasn't common when I got my last BC as a pup (she lived for 18 years). I'm a convert, though. Duncan (now almost 7 months) is very happy in his crate, and often climbs in if there's nothing in particular going on. It really helped in housetraining. He joined us at 8 weeks of age, and by the time he was 10-11 weeks old, he'd only pooped once in the house (DH's fault) and would go to the door and whimper when he wanted out. In the meanwhile, we'd taken him out every hour or so, and we'd throw a party when he pooped or peed outdoors, complete with small chunks of freeze-dried liver. We'd say "hurry up!" when he was in the midst of eliminating, and now he does it on command.


I mainly worked from home when we first got Duncan (now he comes into the office with me). I tried to rotate his time indoors so that he was in the crate part of the time; in the pen part of the time; and then free to roam the family room/play the rest of the time (but with one of us watching him like a hawk). (We have coyotes, hawks, and foxes in our area, so no unsupervised play outside). When he was in the pen, I'd work on my laptop in the adjacent room. I could hear if he whimpered because he wanted out. I think he only peed in his pen once, and that was when I was on the phone and couldn't get to him in time.


The reason why I feel the pen was useful is that it provided a third "mode". The first mode is "crated" (but very restricted). The second is "with you" (perhaps leashed to you), but you're still in control. With both of these modes, the pup has limited independence. I didn't want separation anxiety to set in, so wanted Duncan to feel happy with being "alone" yet not as confined as he would be in a crate - free to walk around with no human obviously present, but not in a manner that would allow him to get in trouble. So far this has worked well; no signs of separation anxiety. We used the pen (or crate) for confinement until he was almost six months old - then he figured out that he could escape the pen by climbing on top of his crate. He was outgrowing it anyway.


I'm very glad now that we invested the effort in crate training, by the way. Not only did it speed up the whole housebreaking process, but Duncan is now happy to be confined to his crate if necessary for medical reasons. The postop instructions our vet gives for neutering say to keep him confined (no stairs, furniture, running, etc.) for 7-10 days post op. Duncan became lame when he was five months old, and was on three weeks of crate rest. Surgery seems to have sorted him out, but the postop instructions included restricted activities for another 12 weeks (again, no stairs, furniture, running, jumping, or playing with other dogs). I'm not sure how we'd have managed if he hadn't been crate trained from puppyhood. There are times of the day that I know he's less active and I can let him out, but there are also times of the day where the wolf cub in him can't be repressed unless he's crated (at which point he lies down and snoozes or chews on a Bully stick).


We dealt with excessive mouthing by "yiping" and withdrawing from play. At first we only did it for hard mouthing, but now we're doing it if he even puts his mouth on our hands without exerting significant pressure. It seems to be working well. If Jude is too fresh/excited, you could also try shutting him in a bathroom for 20 seconds at a time. That's what we did with Duncan when he wanted to chase the cat and didn't respond to "Gentle, gentle!". It only took three trips before he realized that there was a big OR ELSE attached to that particular instruction.


Finally - it's great that Jude is getting out and about so much! I'm sure your efforts to socialize him with other puppies and with people will pay off. Just remember that very young puppies don't have full immunity against Parvo and other nasty diseases. It's a balancing act; I'm sure your vet can tell you when he's safe to allow around strange puppies. And be careful introducing pups to older dogs. Puppies usually haven't mastered the appropriate body language or other social skills, and some older dogs will snap at them. One good snap can undo a lot of positive socialization. Duncan was snapped at just the other day by a dog whose owner assured me was friendly to other dogs...


- Lynn

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