Training & Tips
Make sure you are the ALPHA! I cannot stress enough to think about how dogs interact with each other without human intervention. If somebody steps out of line or is not respecting a higher on the ladder individual in the group - subtle posture changes and eyes on change is first; - (growl, snarl, showing of teeth, ears back, eyes on, tail up) - Next is physical, and verbal. (barking, snapping, subtle advances and posture changes) Then you get the attack mode and until the intruder is on their back in the submissive position. Most of these appear quite viscous, but there is rarely injury done, unless continued intrusion or lack of submission - then it can truly be war.
Repetitions and rewards for positive responses move you further ahead than being mad at them. if they do not seem to be consistent or get it, go back a step or two til they are, and work back up from there.
Walking your dog correctly with them at your heel. You must be the leader. Dogs that are in front are leading, even when they are on the leash. Positive rewards for the dog when they respond as asked is very important.
I 'kiss' ALOT to the puppies from the day they are born til you get them. This is a familiar sound, and I think it is similar to nursing sounds. This gives you a key command to start working from - when you say "come" and 'kiss' this reinforces the come command, and that you are the alpha.
I also get right down on the ground with them. When they are small and their eyes are adjusting it is a much clearer goal than if I am standing up and calling them. After all they are little BIG dogs and like to look you in the face/eyes!
I have seen dogs not come to an owner because it was much more 'fun' to have the owner chase them around the yard til they were ready to go in. Not fun when you are late for work.
With a toy or treat in hand; ask them to come. When they respond by coming LOVE them up - Play with them and the toy for a few minutes, then repeat. If using treats, give the treat 100% of the time for the first 10 times, then 90% the next 10, then 80% the next ten. Most dogs really go for treats and even when you think it is perfect you never want to treat or love them up any less than at least half the time. When they are consistent in coming after as many distractions as you can come up with; Then go to different settings and background distractions until your dog gets it right all the time.
You can also use a 25' to 50' line with a weight or ball securely attached on one end, the dog on the other end. You and one other person take turns throwing the weighted end to each other. Dog with person A, and the end of the line with person B; person B calls the dog. If they do not come you can correct with a slight increase in contact with the line attached to the dogs collar. Then person B throws weighted end to person A. Saying come and only correcting with a slight tug sideways to the dogs head will reinforce the behavior to come directly to you on the first call. Give them a chance to get the game. Do not tug or pull on the line. You have to release after pulling on the line, whatever the dog did or did not do. Sometimes treats are helpful in motivating the dog to come at first.
Remember your puppy sees things like birds and squirrels on the lawn as 'eye-level' toys to chase. I recommend obedience classes, I have heard of far too many little dogs off a leash trying to follow a bird that glides across a road, or the squirrel they thought ran across the road, when it ran up the trees backside end in disaster.
Remember that when your puppy cries it is trying to figure out if you'll come a running or not - this can undermine your alpha position. Some pups are more vocal then others. Some are die hards, and can cry all night. If you give in, the behavior will only worsen. Tough Love! You can try giving them an area at night that is in a room where it is not as audible. The pup will learn. You have to get up the next day and work, they can sleep.... :)
You can also play vigorously with them for 30 to 60 minutes before bed; depending on the pup. If the pup is in its area during the day at times, it will not mind it at night as much. After play give the pup 10 - 15 minutes or so to settle down with lights out, low or no activity where they are sleeping, and then go to bed. Don't keep checking on the pup - You run the chance of waking them up.
I suggest keeping your new puppy in a crate or gated in a small room with linoleum floor. Dogs do not soil where they sleep, and most look at their crate as their home den. Small 6 panel exercise pens can also be used. I also give small treats when they are in their area for the night, or sometimes in the day. As they age I mix it up. This makes their area a 'happy' place to be during day or night. I would not recommend punishing your pup for unwanted behavior by putting them in their area. You do not want to associate their area as the 'bad' place to go... i.e. be in the doghouse! :) If they have eliminated in the house - put them outside. Remember the 5 second rule applies - much after that a pup is not going to know what you are punishing them for, except for coming to you.
Male and female dogs 'mark' with their urine. This can occur in both intact and altered animals. Often this occurs when an animals territory is believed threatened or compromised. If your dog is not well socialized or a new animal is brought in to visit or stay in your home, sometimes this can trigger this behavior. Intact males mark the most, especially if there are intact females in season within scent.
It is also very important to not see a wrong by your dog, and call them, then scold them for their wrong doing. The dog believes it was scolded for coming. This can sometimes lead to a dog leaking urine and crawling to come.
As soon as a pup wakes up, after they eat, or play - they go out to go potty.
If you take your pup out every 2- 3, but at least every 4 hours you can avoid most accidents and reinforce going outside. This is especially true in the first few days your pup goes home with you. Then you can adjust according to age, and consistency.
I try to get them all out every 2 hours from when they are around 3 weeks old to 5 weeks, weather permitting - via a rectangular, heavy duty laundry basket, with a blanket in the bottom so they don't slide. 5 weeks on they are pretty good for 4-5 hours. 6 weeks they can go 6 hours. Some more, some less. with them all together they get each other going, so they are paper trained. I always have paper in the pups area from birth on. I always take them out right after they are done eating, first thing in the morning, after play time, and last thing at night.
Alot of people use potty pads for training. In my experience this seemed like carpet, bedding and towels to the pups. I do not use them.
By the time they are 8 weeks old they should be able to go out every 4 - 6 hours. 9 - 10 weeks they are pretty good for up to 8 - 10 hours. Initially you would want to take a step back to 4-6 hours so the pup acclimates to your schedule and potty times. They will quickly be right back up to 6-8 hours at 8-9 weeks old.
You do not want to have the pup drink alot of water, or eat just before bed. This can lead to accidents. If bedtime is 10pm, no food or drink after 8pm, and they are let out to potty at 10pm. Play with them vigorously so things can move around and be eliminated.
If you are experiencing right after the dog gets back in the house they soil, A) Did you make sure they eliminated and urinated before they came in? *especially true with pups. B) if you are not sure, or it is a problem, as soon as they come back in put them in their area for 30 to 60 minutes and then let them back outside. If by now your pup has not eliminated; the pup either does not have to go, or went and you did not see. It is important to let them go on their own - do not play with them, I do not even stand outside with them. I watch them and when they have accomplished their mission let them back in.
Typically they will sneak off in the house to eliminate because they know it is not acceptable behavior, especially when they are young; only have them loose when supervised. If you have to be otherwise engaged just put them in their area. When you have time, let them out, when they come back in love them up and play with them.
Most will come and ask you to go out, some go to the door, some are verbal others are not.
Whatever you do be consistent - Dogs are very astute, and pick up on your routine, and actions; some you may not even be aware of!
Sleeping with You
If you let the puppy sleep with you, and then decide not to, this is confusing to them. Dogs do really well with a routine. IF you have your puppy in bed with you, be a light enough sleeper so that if the pup wakes up, you can get it outside fast! Also when they are small, if you roll around alot - you may want to wait til they are a little older.
Around 6 months or so your puppy will start to get their adult teeth in and loose their puppy teeth. Most pups eat them and get the calcium in them. Same with clipping nails. They sometimes eat the clipped off part. I give my guys Cow Hooves to chew on. You can get them at most Pet Stores, or on line. They are low cost, last long, Natural, good for them, and prevent unwanted chewing when they are teething. Lets face it some habits die hard. If they don't start chewing something they should not, the plan is they won't look for 'bad' things to chew, because they have 'good' things! I have gotten Pig Ears, but one ear seems to give them a loose stool. Cow or Lambs ears do not last as long as Cow Hooves, but they like them really well. The Lamb ears are good for pups, because they are much more easily handled by the pups, and their pliability wont tear puppies tender gums. Lamb ears are Lamb, and high in calcium this is not a treat to be given more than once or twice a month.
Feeding table scraps can also undermine your alpha status. They do not need table scraps. After you are done eating out of where you eat, if you want to, give them a tablespoon or less for a treat. I do not suggest making this a routine.
If you choose to treat with soft chewy meat looking treats - remember these have a much higher content of salt. This type of treat can also cause tummy upset, and loose stools if fed too much. I tend to stay with Milkbones, or some other type of a dry crunchy treat.
Dogs learn really well with routine - don't make treats a routine. I have know dogs that learned EVERY time they came in from going out to potty, they got a treat. I have helped many a very frustrated owner with a dog asking to go out every 15 minutes so they could get another treat. The treat lost its identity in there. The owner got confused when the dog was actually needing to go out, causing another bad behavior of messing the house.
Undesirable behaviors are often a result of boredom in any breed of dog. Dachshunds are smart dogs. If they eat stool, dig, bark excessively, mess in the house, mark or some other undesirable behavior and immediately get attention - even if it is a no-no; They may repeat this behavior interpreting it as play, and or create interaction from an owner or owners.
There is a product called Dis-Taste that you can feed your dog to prevent stool eating from becoming a habit. The following is a link to the item at www.drsfostersmith.com
Click here to see the item Dis-taste
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