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Just a little update on how it's been going with Rikki.

 

Her vet visit was...not very useful to be honest. I described my concerns as clearly as I could, but the vet just looked at me and told me she was fine and there was no need for a fecal or other test. Then he told me a story about his black lab that was also surprisingly low energy all his life, which is not really what I wanted to hear. This is the most highly regarded vet clinic in the area, so I guess that's that.

 

Somebody want to reassure me that lower energy BC's DO exist? Does it get any better as they grow up?

 

She's eating her food and we've given up on some of the training for now, except that she must behave on walks. To my utter frustration, there are leash laws and park supervisors everywhere. Where there are no leash laws, it's just not safe. We've almost gotten her to stop chasing cars and going after other dogs, but she knows that when we're not there to stop her, she can do whatever she wants. And, as of the last two weeks, there's another reason she has to walk on leash. We've met two lovely snakes in the past two weeks, one of them a juvenile copperhead that lunged at her and nearly gave me a heart attack.

 

I'm starting to wonder if it's actually natural for a dog that sees you as 'pack leader' to stay in a heel position and not pull or stop while on leash? We've done all the usually recommended things to have her see us as the 'leaders,' and judging from the fact that she often greats me by rolling onto her back or doing submissive urination (trying to stop this <_< ), we *might* have succeed with that, but its not helping with the leash walking.

 

Any thoughts?

 

I know I might get some backlash for saying this, but I'm getting very frustrated with the fact that I've been trying since the third day we've had her to get leash walking down, and she seems completely opposed to it.

 

She's also learned that potty training means 'sneak off quickly, hide somewhere the humans can't see, poo, and if the catch you to say "Ah-ah," go sulk'. My current potty training technique is to put objects she is afraid of (small toy cars, for ex.) in her 'poo spots'. It's working much better than telling her off :rolleyes: At least, it doesn't give her a reason to sulk.

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This is the most highly regarded vet clinic in the area, so I guess that's that.

 

If I felt there was something wrong with my dog, and my vet wouldn't do any type of testing, I would find another vet. Period. Not throw my hands up in the air.

 

We've almost gotten her to stop chasing cars and going after other dogs, but she knows that when we're not there to stop her, she can do whatever she wants...

 

According to my calculations, she's about five months old, right? Your expectations seem a bit ridiculously high. I think you're criticizing the wrong end of the leash.

 

I'm getting very frustrated with the fact that I've been trying since the third day we've had her to get leash walking down, and she seems completely opposed to it.

 

She's five months old. If you're frustrated, go back home, get unfrustrated and try again later.

 

She's also learned that potty training means 'sneak off quickly, hide somewhere the humans can't see, poo, and if the catch you to say "Ah-ah," go sulk'.

 

Find some newspaper, roll it up nice and tight, and when she poops in the house, go over to her, and take that newspaper and repeatedly hit yourself over the head with it and tell her what a bad trainer she has, and that you'll be faster next time, and that you'll try to pay more attention to her body language to see when she needs to go out.

 

My current potty training technique is to put objects she is afraid of (small toy cars, for ex.) in her 'poo spots'.

 

Using things she's afraid of as tools to help potty training is not helping the potty training or helping her overcome her fear of those items, and any connection you're making is imaginary.

 

It's working much better than telling her off :rolleyes: At least, it doesn't give her a reason to sulk.

 

"Telling her off" isn't what's needed. A proper correction is. Step up to the plate. Take the emotion out of all of it. Everything needs to be matter-of-fact. Black and white. Timing is key.

 

Dogs don't sulk.

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My current potty training technique is to put objects she is afraid of (small toy cars, for ex.) in her 'poo spots'.

 

How on earth did you come up with this?

 

In all seriousness, I really think you're expecting waaaay too much from your pup. She's a puppy... let her be for a while. She's got a long time to be a dog.

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Oh dear.

 

There have been some excellent threads on potty training. Please look those up. Successful potty training involves intense management for a while. (treating/praising the dog when it goes outside, crating inside so they don't sneak off to pee/poop or tethering for the same reason, ignoring any accidents inside unless you actually catch the dog in the act (but if you are managing correctly, that will not happen), keeping to a strict potty schedule do not play outside until the dog has peed, etc). I have found that if you stop the management too early because you think the dog is potty-trained, you will find out pretty quickly that you are wrong. So I recommend continuing with the managment techniques for longer (1-2 weeks) past when you think your dog is potty-trained.

 

I think that there are some behaviors that are very hard for young dogs to accomplish - and leash walking is one one of them. ['Drop it' (of a highly valued toy) took me a solid 5-6 months to teach, but Torque now has an immediate 'drop it'.] I didn't get too obsessed about the speed with which my dog learned leash-walking. IMO, leash walking can be boring for a very young dog since it is an activity that takes concentration for a very long time (5 minute walk? 20 minute walk?), and youngsters may not be able to concentrate for that long. How about practicing leash walking for only 1 or 2 minutes several times a day to help Rikki be successful?

 

Regarding snakes: I would certainly immediately start training my dog to have a rock-solid "Leave It" and "Come".

 

I am not a big fan of the pack-leader/domination theory. I prefer my dog to listen to me because he wants to please me out of joy, not because he 'has to' or because he is afraid of me. How do you greet Rikki? Do you make a big deal out of seeing her? The greeting excitement may be too much for her so try not greeting her or a very low-key greeting. Another technique that worked for a friend's dog who was peeing in his crate when she came towards it to open the door - was to give him something else to think about when she approached. She would ask for a sit, then approach the crate and treat. It was a little harder for him to pee from a sit.

 

Good Luck,

Jovi

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I'm starting to wonder if it's actually natural for a dog that sees you as 'pack leader' to stay in a heel position and not pull or stop while on leash? We've done all the usually recommended things to have her see us as the 'leaders,' and judging from the fact that she often greats me by rolling onto her back or doing submissive urination (trying to stop this <_< ), we *might* have succeed with that, but its not helping with the leash walking.

 

Any thoughts?

 

I know I might get some backlash for saying this, but I'm getting very frustrated with the fact that I've been trying since the third day we've had her to get leash walking down, and she seems completely opposed to it.

 

She's also learned that potty training means 'sneak off quickly, hide somewhere the humans can't see, poo, and if the catch you to say "Ah-ah," go sulk'. My current potty training technique is to put objects she is afraid of (small toy cars, for ex.) in her 'poo spots'. It's working much better than telling her off :rolleyes: At least, it doesn't give her a reason to sulk.

 

What do you do to have fun with your puppy?

 

What does she do right?

 

How do you reward that?

 

How do you express your pleasure to her?

 

Puppies should not be afraid of small toys, puppies should not roll on their back and urinate when they see their owners coming. I mean, these things can happen but it kind of sounds like you've contributed to them.

 

So, quit focusing on what you don't want. Quit punishing what you don't want. Focus on what you want. Set your baby dog up for success!!! Then tell her how wonderful she is when she does things that you're pleased with (even little things!!)

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I'm not sure you're truly realizing how young your puppy is and what complex behaviors you are requesting. Most studies now claim that a 1 yo dog is the equivalent of a 15 yo human so at five months, your puppy is the equivalent of @ 6-1/2 yo child. A young child may learn her abc's in a few months but reading takes years to get from beginner readers to adult readers. The child/puppy gets distracted, isn't sure what you want, and isn't mentally mature enough to process your intructions. It also sounds like your puppy isn't sure where it is okay for her to potty but even if she does, she's still young enough that accidents are common. Going back to the human analogy, ask kindergarten/1st grade/2nd grade teachers how many of their students have accidents because they are distracted, playing or don't recognize their body signals that they need to go to the bathroom NOW.

 

From your posts, it just seems that you are asking your puppy to do adult behaviors and she is telling you she doesn't know what you want. If she were my puppy, I would start over w/her, make friends so she thinks you are the best thing since her mom, start housebreaking as suggested on the Board, let her drag a lightweight leash around the house and yard and teach her just the basics of stop and go by using praise/treats, etc. and then gradually add to it. For example, I want my dogs to stop at curbs (keeps an excited dog from charging into the street) so when I near a curb, I ask for a sit and lure an untrained dog into a sit. Within a short time, every time we come to a curb, the dog will automatically sit because it expects treats or praise - I'm not telling it to stop but I'm achieving the same goal.

 

It sounds like you want a well trained dog; that just takes a lot of work, time and patience on your part. It's not going to happen in a few months. Hopefully you and your puppy can mend your relationship and she will, in time, become the dog you want!

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Dogs usually grow out of submissive urination. Trying to stop it certainly won't fix the problem and may make it worse. With submissive urinators, the generally accepted method for helping to cure it is to IGNORE the behavior.

 

I agree largely with what everyone else has said. Your expectations are way high and you don't seem to be holding up your end of the training bargain very well. What on earth is your puppy doing running free in the house if she can't be trusted? Her mistakes in the house reflect on YOU, not her.

 

J.

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@jdarling

 

I don't feel there is a medical problem. I was told to go to the vet by the BC boards, and I disagreed with it but went. She was never as high-energy as I expected, and there is no longer anything (other than myself mistakenly expecting a hyper puppy sprinting around the house and trying to chew up everything) indicating a health problem.

 

By "telling her off" I meant just an "Ah-ha." Once. At the moment she starts going to the bathroom and not after. Then she gets taken outside to finish going to the bathroom and gets a game of fetch when she does. That's it. I don't know why it produces a strong reaction in her, and I don't like to use it because of this. Blocking the spots by placing objects in them (I have no idea why she doesn't like toy cars, I introduced her to them as a toy she could chase) WORKS. She is not terrified of them by any stretch, she will walk next to them, she just won't go to the bathroom near them for some reason. Obviously, I noticed this by accident. I'm not doing anything but placing the object in the spot when she's not looking. However idiotic this seems, it feels much safer to just let the environment be the thing preventing her from pooing there, not me. And however 'imaginary' that connection may be, even when the piece of pottery blocking a spot in the kitchen was removed, she NEVER went in the kitchen again. She didn't even have anything against that pot.

 

If I can't use the word sulking, I'll say "shutting down." I'm not sure what to call it, but she does it more in connection to the walking than potty-training.

 

I hate to have to expect too much of her, but she NEEDS to learn to walk. I just don't know how to give her exercise her or take her anywhere for new experiences and socialization if she can't walk. You can't tell me its a good idea to keep her inside all day, and I'm starting to realize how dangerous off-leash walking is here. The reason I hate it most is because I don't see how she could possibly enjoy pulling until she gags (even with two different harness types).

 

I'm not frustrated about the potty training AT ALL. She can take however long she needs learning it, because it's not VITAL.

 

I am not surprised at all that she knows she can do chase cars when I'm not there. I was making a point that off-leash is not safe for us.

Telling me to put off this kind of training is not realistic. I backed off on the enthusiasm and I've given up on all but the leash and to a lesser extent, the potty training. The only off-leash areas I've got here are fenced in soccer fields and baseball areas. I was pretty set on JUST driving her to the larger forests/parks where nobody could catch us off-leash but the snakes convinced me otherwise.

 

I'm not sure why you're assuming I'm being harsh or punishing her or doing anything but one stern "Ah-ah". I'm trying to avoid causing her "shutting-down" reaction as much as possible. I'm frustrated with the fact that is HAS to be done, and yet I can see that she doesn't like it and I've been told to put off training.

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There are a lot of very helpful people on here, but some you seem so quick to judge or blame.

 

I am not PUNISHING or FRUSTRATED with HER. I'm frustrated with the fact that after reading and imitating all the things I THINK I'm supposed to do, it just doesn't work and I don't know where to go from there.

 

Let's see if I can clarify some things.

 

My reaction to submissive urination IS to ignore it and not be overly excited when I come home to greet her or un-crate her. That's all I meant by trying to stop it. That and doing little things I imagine will get her confidence up. I've never done any kind of correction for it and I know not to.

 

I don't know what's so hard to understand about this, but whether I want to or not, I have no choice but to leash train her. I did originally want to do other obedience training with her, because from other sources, I was under the impression that you had to get started as early as possible or she would learn she could ignore me and it would be so much harder to do it later on. Everybody on this board disagrees, and I've shared this opinion with her (former) obedience trainers, and they thought it was irresponsible.

 

It's not fun for anybody if she's spending the walking time gagging. We ALWAYS walk the most direct path possible to a fenced in field or forested area so we can have actual fun time with her and run around. But sometimes we end up having to drive there because she won't walk. When we get there, she perks up and acts normal and happy.

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What do you do to have fun with your puppy?

 

What does she do right?

 

How do you reward that?

 

How do you express your pleasure to her?

 

Then tell her how wonderful she is when she does things that you're pleased with (even little things!!)

 

Fun: Playing, wrestling, or burying things in the backyard for her to dig up, music at her bed-time(I swear she calms down in response to some classical and an Elton John song. I might be imagining it.)

 

What she does right: She responds to learning by playing. I SO wish this were possible with the walking. I can tell her to "run" and she'll run expecting a chase or fetch game. She knows that a "whoosh" sound means lets play tug with this toy, not that shoe she's chewing. She responds to "drop it" knowing that it means I'll play fetch with the toy she dropped. It's great that this is working, and I'm sure I could keep adding other words to make play time more interesting. I can't figure out if I can apply this to the rather unpleasant leash.

 

How I reward: Well, playing is the obvious one. Last time I posted I was told that too much enthusiasm is putting pressure on her so I'm trying to be more neutral about it when she does something like going potty outside. She gets a treat and a "good little puppy."

 

How do you express your pleasure to her? Petting her and tone of voice.

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Just a couple of thoughts--perhaps you'll find them useful:

 

Star hated the leash when we first started. She'd turn and bite at it. If we pulled, she'd turn and snap at it. I like the idea mentioned earlier of putting a light leash on her and letting her drag it around (supervised, of course). Also, perhaps you could then pair that with a "come". After she does that a few times for a few days, maybe try lightly hold the end of the leash and take a little step (no pulling, though) and say come. Do that a few times. By "won't walk" do you mean runs and pulls, or sits and won't move? I'm not sure as you say she pulls, also. For pulling, the best solution I found was a harness at walmart, has a mesh covering on the chest, the straps go behind her elbows and meet between her shoulder blades, which is where you attach the leash. When the dog pulls, it tightens in their armpit. Stopped Star's pulling, cold. I've a friend that can only use a "gentle leader" on her bc/lab mix.

 

I am not sure where you live, but if you have copperheads and other venomous snakes, you should ask about a rattlesnake vaccine. Here in horse country, Texas, we have copperheads, rattlesnakes occasionally, and cottonmouths. Not sure how old the dog has to be to get the vaccine. It seems to slow the reaction to the venom for most venomous snakes. It could give you the time you need to get to a vet and start anti-venin. My Seven was bit by a snake--had never had the vaccine. We're lucky I was home, lucky the vet said to bring her in (I wasn't sure what exactly had bit her mouth) or we would have lost her the reaction was that fast.

 

My thought on potty training is this--it may not matter much to you now if she poops or pees on your floors, but there could be a day when you have a brand new floor/carpet and it will matter a lot more then. So, my opinion is that it should matter now if she goes in the house. She is five months old and she should get it pretty quickly with the right steps on your part. Star took longer than I expected to potty train and I had some of the same trouble you're having; she'd "sneak off" and go. I did two things, suggested on this board, that worked a charm: 1. I blocked off the rooms she went in--no access to those rooms at all until she was totally reliable, 2. I tethered her to myself and if I couldn't tether her, she was shut in the same room with me, either with the door closed or the baby gates closed. Took hardly any time at all once I did those two things. I just had to be ultra vigilant and not give her any opportunity at all. I hadn't been vigilant enough I guess, probably because Seven as a puppy was so incredibly easy to potty train and I expected the same method would work with Star.

 

Lastly, just thought I'd share that Star doesn't like our RC car, either. She acts like it's the devil incarnate. It's never hurt her, we've never driven it toward her, so who knows. She also intensely dislikes the girls' toy horses. Kind of like a two year old child that is afraid of Chuck E Cheese (Mom, there's something not right about a giant hairy mouse that dances and talks).

 

Good luck with your puppy. One thing's for certain, these dogs learn fast and you need to watch that you aren't inadvertently teaching behaviors you don't want. Have you posted pics yet?

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ETA _ we were replying at the same time so I see you've answered some of these questions.

 

What can you do to make walks fun? I'm reading this thinking, of course she pulls, she wants to get to where the fun happens. So make the walks the event rather than the destination.

 

Tugging is a great way to engage on leash dogs. Walk 10 ft, stop and tug as soon as she looks at you. Have her release it, tug again, then walk another 8 feet and reward her with a tug game again.

 

Do you practice leash manners in the house? Or just on walks to the park?

 

What do you do when you get to the fenced in area? just let her loose to play?

 

FWIW, I own the worlds strongest puller (well, probably not, but it has sure seemed like it before). She was tied out before I got her and had learned to pull against EVERYTHING. She pulled me over twice - and I'm fairly young and fit - before I started using a prong collar with her on leash to avoid getting pulled over yet again.

 

My dog is 3 y/o now and has pretty nice flat collar/loose leash manners. It took lots of patience, lots of practice, lots of consistency and a good reward system. One of the keys was making the walks the event rather than just a way to get to the destination. I also ask for and reward focus on me.

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I would certainly immediately start training my dog to have a rock-solid "Leave It" and "Come".

 

She would ask for a sit, then approach the crate and treat.

 

Good Luck,

Jovi

 

So I'm being told simultaneously not to expect too much, to put off training and yet to immediately start training leave it and come and tell her to sit in the crate. That's two conflicting pieces of advice.

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By "won't walk" do you mean runs and pulls, or sits and won't move? I'm not sure as you say she pulls, also. For pulling, the best solution I found was a harness at walmart, has a mesh covering on the chest, the straps go behind her elbows and meet between her shoulder blades, which is where you attach the leash. When the dog pulls, it tightens in their armpit. Stopped Star's pulling, cold. I've a friend that can only use a "gentle leader" on her bc/lab mix.

 

1. I blocked off the rooms she went in--no access to those rooms at all until she was totally reliable,

 

 

At first her problem was just constantly sitting down, and I'm so so very happy that this has gotten better. Now she alternates between pulling and sitting down...but at least we're able to keep moving.

 

I have tried both harnesses, but I guess they produce no reaction in her. We had the trainer adjust the straps to make sure it wasn't too loose.

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Perhaps she's not old enough and that's why the vet didn't bring it up? I want to say they wouldn't give it to Star until she was a year old......

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First suggestion is to just slow down and breath. The advice on this board is coming from many different people and there is no one right way to train. That is why you are getting different suggestions. Take the ones you like and try them and ignore the other advice. Getting defensive isn't helping anything and blaming nice people who are trying to help you isn't helping either.

At 5 months old pottying in the house all the time should not be okay. If she goes in the house it is your fault for not being vigilant enough. It really is. You may not care, but one day when she goes to a friends/relatives house and you don't have a plastic car or whatever to discourage her, then you'll wish you would have housebroken her like everyone else does (always watch her, take her out when you see she needs to go, etc).

 

Also at 5 months she isn't going to be a super leash walker. Take the yummiest treats (hot dogs, zukes, etc) you can find and start just walking around your yard. The walk is the event not just getting to a destination (the park, etc). Walk around with her on leash and reward her for being by your side or looking at you. When you feel she has made improvements then try going down the street, you may only get a few houses and that is okay. Leash walking can take a lot of time and patience-a puppy or dog isn't going to automatically learn to walk nicely only because they think you are a 'leader'-it takes training the specific action. And again, there is not one way to teach this, others have suggested other great things to try.

Don't get caught up on tiring her out every day at this age. Doing some mental exercises like leash training will tire her out. Do you have any friends or neighbors with fenced yards who have a playful dog she could visit? This would be a great time to make dog friends and also be another way to tire her out a bit since you can't do long walks yet.

I would also highly suggest taking a class (you talked about a trainer? are you already in a class?) so you can see exactly HOW to do things that are suggested. Just reading suggestions and trying to physically do them with your dog can be difficult if you don't have a lot of experience training. I hear it all the time from friends/relatives... "I tried that and it didn't work"...then I see the way the person does it and I can see exactly why it is not working!

Finally...enjoy your pup! Have some fun and relax. I think that is what people were trying to say when they said back off on training. It is a myth that dogs need to do all their training at a young age or otherwise it'll be hard or impossible. I got my dog when he was 2 and I have people stop and ask how I get him to do walk so nice, listen off leash, do tricks, etc. Any dog can learn at any age.

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So I'm being told simultaneously not to expect too much, to put off training and yet to immediately start training leave it and come and tell her to sit in the crate. That's two conflicting pieces of advice.

 

Think of the way that babies and toddlers learn. They learn through play and games a little bit here and a little bit there. They aren't expected to know things or tested on their knowledge and we know that they're going to get things wrong. This is how your puppy needs to be learning. It should be fun, low key and a part of every day life - you slip a little learning in here and a little learning in there. She wants to go outside, she gives you eye contact first (which she'll do if you just stand there and wait - you stand there, she glances at you you say good girl!! and head outdoors) At this point you should be be figuring how how to incorporate all of her learning into fun little games that you play unless it's a dangerous situation that you need to stop NOW.

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I am a little curious to understand what you do (or don't do) when you are leash-walking to encourage her to walk politely. I think you said you've tried a couple of harnesses (and maybe at least one where you clipped the leash to a ring at the shoulders?). A harness with a shoulder clip does not, in my opinion, discourage a dog in any way from pulling. After all, think sled dogs!

 

When we (my dogs and I) have been in puppy and family dog classes, we did a lot of zig-zag, stop-and-go, and forward-and-back walking. A dog that knows a route and that there is a destination that is desirable, is prone to want to pull because she knows where she wants to be and the way to get there. So leash-training where you are unpredictable - turning left or right, stopping, turning around and going the other way, etc. - can be part of training a dog to pay attention to you (as someone said, making the trip rather than the destination the event).

 

For some dogs, really desirable treats help. I like Salmon Strips from Plato Dog Treats. I cut them (with a scissors) into 1/4" square bits - they are a bit stinky but very few dogs can resist their fishy yumminess. I also like string cheese, torn into little bits, too. Don't underestimate the power of cheese! You can stash small amounts of treats (in a dog-inaccessible place) in each room of the house (or keep some in your pocket) so you are always ready for a spontaneous, fun training moment when the opportunity presents itself. This will also help her to focus more on you, never knowing when something interesting and enjoyable might happen. I know there have been lots of topics dealing with this sort of thing.

 

I think what people are saying about training, backing off on training, etc., is that you want to be training intelligently and productively, but not over-training at this young and impressionable age.

 

As for potty-training, it took me several pups over the years to learn that the primary cause for issues in potty-training was not the dog - it was me. I needed to understand and be aware of puppy body language. There are signals, and they may be subtle, that let you know when a puppy is just beginning to feel the urge to find a place and go. There is timing - potty right after waking, eating, drinking, playing.

 

Potty often - with Dan, I had to take him out hourly (and, in the evening, sometimes a bit more frequently) or I would have an accident to clean up. And this was a pup that never had an accident or went in his potty pan during my work days from the age of nine weeks on (we left home at 7 am, his last potty trip, and the neighbor boy came by around 2:30 pm to potty him). I had to do this until he was just about six months old and then one night, he was trained - he got frantic because he had to go and he wanted to go outside.

 

If you can't watch your youngster, use a crate or tether her to you. I have done both, for different pups and different situations, and both ideas are very helpful.

 

Don't forget to use an enzyme cleaner designed for dog messes when cleaning up - no matter how well you feel you have cleaned, if you don't use the right sort of cleaner, the pup will still be able to detect a smell that says, "This is the right place to go."

 

For all the times I've read about folks who have had pups that seemed naturally trained in a few days at an early age, I've never had one that didn't need lots of supervision until about six months of age (we have no fenced yard so all potty business has to involve someone going out with the pup and taking the time to get it all done).

 

Best wishes to you in getting everything worked out, one day at a time, at a pace that Rikki can benefit from.

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So I'm being told simultaneously not to expect too much, to put off training and yet to immediately start training leave it and come and tell her to sit in the crate. That's two conflicting pieces of advice.

 

I can not put 2 simultaneous quotes in a reply like other, but you responded to my answer. I have never said to put off training. Please read carefully. Generalization can lead to misunderstandings.

 

IMHO, the responses here have been very good -- and all have been pretty much suggesting the same advice: realize that Rikki is a puppy and don't expect trained behaviors to happen overnight (some may take 6-12 months). Teaching a sit command takes maybe 5 minutes for a smart pup, but teaching to leash-walk may take MONTHS (depending on what type of leash walking you expect). I can not stress enough that leash-walking is a very complex behavior.

 

Realize that there is a difference between TRAINING (deep voice) and training (light, happy voice). Puppies do best with 'training' presented as play time. They don't even know that training is happening. This approach can be very challenging to a beginning trainer (it was to me) and continues to challenge me to think creatively when training a new behavior. I second the advice to find a good positive reinforcement trainer to show you the ropes. This is one area that you can really benefit from actually seeing it done, rather than just reading it.

 

Leash walking - trying to leash walk Rikki outside is setting both of you up for failure. There are WAY too many distractions outside for her to concentrate on you for any length of time. Start her leash-walking training inside where there are few distractions and you can keep her focus. Keep the sessions short and praise, treat, praise, treat. I realize that you have to get her to places. Don't expect perfect leash behavior, just do the best you can and pick times and places where you think she will have the best chance of success. Keep her attention with toys and treats - no, it is not 'leash-walking' per se, but at least she is not getting in the habit of ignoring you and pulling on the leash. At this age, I have also just picked the little bugger up and carried him (my pup) a short distance rather than let him get into bad habits.

 

Re: a collar vs. a harness. I believe a harness should be used for pulling and a collar for walking and I train appropriately. I realize that a harness might be the only solution for some dogs and some people, but Rikki is young enough that she should not need a harness - just a lot of patient training.

 

I have more advice, but it is very similar to what others have said so I will stop here. Have to go and do some work.

 

Jovi

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If you want to use a harness, use one of these:

 

https://www.premier.com/store/Products.aspx?cid=1&pid=6

 

Or you can use a Gentle Leader (but most dogs tend to take to the harness better):

 

https://www.premier.com/store/Products.aspx?cid=1&pid=2

 

If you want to work towards walking on a flat collar, get a martingale:

 

https://www.premier.com/store/Products.aspx?cid=1&pid=11

 

What's nice is that you can turn one of those into a no-pull harness very quickly by wrapping the leash around the dog's barrel and running it up through the fabric ring in the martingale.

 

All potty training problems fall back to the trainer, never the dog. If the dog continues to have accidents inside the house it is the HUMAN'S fault. The dog is having too much freedom in the house and not getting outside frequently enough.

 

Potty training is a lot of work. I occasionally foster puppies for rescue and it is an exhausting (and rewarding!) time because we literally are outside hourly and I never, ever take my eyes off them in the house. Every puppy that comes through here leaves housebroken, though (at least in my house, I always tell the new adopters to start out as though they aren't trained).

 

Regarding training -- Just lay off the formal training sessions you used to have, but training can still be incorporated into daily life in fun ways. My dogs all have to sit before I place their food dish in front of them. Puppies have to go into crates, sit and wait until released for meals. Randomly throughout the day you can ask a puppy to lay down, reward and then go on about your life. When you are playing fetch outside ask for a behavior before throwing the toy. It's very easy to incorporate training into daily life without overwhelming the dog.

 

Regarding your original question of "are there low energy border collies out there." Well yes, of course. My bc was a total "dud" of a puppy -- it sounds like yours at least plays fetch, which is more than mine ever did. Secret was happy to clicker train and learn tricks all day long, but had no interest whatsoever in playing. She got there eventually, but it took a very long time. She's just a very "thoughtful" dog and isn't as intense as a lot of bc I know. I had to revamp my expectations of her, which was key to finally building a relationship.

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Is this your first collie? First puppy?

 

I think you have a different idea of what their energy level is like.

 

They ARE active dogs but they're not as hyperactive as everyone assumes or "warns" you about--they're not labs. They're more mentally active.

 

As for your puppy, she's just a baby. It took mine until he was a year to figure out how to walk on a leash without pulling. Was it frustrating? Yep. But when it comes to your baby dog you have to understand that your relationship is the first and foremost important thing right now and /ever/. So just breathe and be patient. Yes, walking on a leash is important to learn, but for now you can use a harness that clips in front or a gentle leader.

 

Just enjoy her for now.

 

Living with you is still new--it's only been, what?, 60 days? Give her time to settle in.

 

For potty training, be consistent. If you can't physically see her, she goes up. Tie her to you with a leash. Observe her.

 

Give her time.

 

Things will get better! Have a little faith and remember you two will make it out of this stage.

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I have enjoyed reading this thread. I checked the profile to find Anniko is 18 years old. Perhaps this is your first puppy that you, alone, are responsible for raising. Your comments remind me of a brand new mom with her first baby. So much excitement, so many expectations, so many doubts, so many suggestions leading to so much confusion.

 

First: I second Waffles advice to slow down and breath. This is a puppy....enjoy this time.

 

Second: "Somebody want to reassure me that lower energy BC's DO exist? Does it get any better as they grow up?"

Yes, there are such things as low energy bc's; or calm bc's; or whatever you want to call them. I have two. They can still do dog sports. In fact, later on you might find a non-hyper bc much more pleasurable to train.

 

Third: "I'm frustrated with the fact that after reading and imitating all the things I THINK I'm supposed to do, it just doesn't work and I don't know where to go from there."

LOL. Welcome to the real world. Whether it's training a dog or raising a child -- one training method does not fit all. That is normal. Just make sure that if you try something, you stick with it for a while to see if it works. Mixing methods can be confusing to the dog.

 

Fourth: "But sometimes we end up having to drive there because she won't walk. When we get there, she perks up and acts normal and happy."

Yep. Someone must have neglected to tell you that training an intelligent breed is...frustrating (but so rewarding!) A BC will challenge you, try to out-smart you, and in the end, he will end up training you exactly as he wants you....and making you absolutely LOVE it! :lol: Seriously, I used to watch BCs in the obedience ring and because they were so awesome, I thought they were probably an easy breed to train. They are intelligent and receptive, but at times require you to out-think them. I gained a new respect for those BC trainers after I got one.

 

Fifth: My final clue: "Fun: Playing, wrestling, or burying things in the backyard for her to dig up, music at her bed-time(I swear she calms down in response to some classical and an Elton John song. I might be imagining it.)"

She mustn't be that low-energy if she wrestles, digs, and hears music that in your own words, "calms her down." Therefore, I think you are just over-thinking this whole puppy thing. I think you have set your expectations and are worried when things aren't going as scheduled or planned. The good news is: there is no schedule or plan...every dog is different.

 

I think....you are a normal dog owner with a normal dog. ENJOY THIS TIME. Rikki will teach you so much -- and the next pup you will not worry so much with. :)

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Just curious what had you heard about border collies before getting one?

Did you heard they are a ton of energy and always on the go...? They dont stop moving? Etc...

 

One of my dogs picked up potty training very fast then other one took 6 months to potty train. Outside was way to exciting to actually stop to go potty. At one point when i had no clue how to get through to him that outside was to potty i ended up using uh... matches and those wax enigma things on him, then throwing a party when he had to potty outdoor.

I second that tethering the pup to you if they dont go outside.

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