Misbehaving Pup

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Misbehaving Pup

Post by Kimeran on Mon Oct 02 2017, 14:01

Hello everyone.

Please accept my apologies if this has been covered before, and please post a link if it has.

A few issues I am having with my little Hades (he's living up to the name! Laughing )

He does not like obeying orders, and even when he does, he will still try to do what he was doing before , just slower and watching what I do.
I tried not to hit him if he was doing something wrong, but it just does not help.

He absolutely loves food, and will follow most instructions as long as food is involved.
I started with training when he was very small (8 weeks). I thought I was too clever after a while and stopped his training.
I wasn't happy with the training he was getting. I didn't like giving him food if he did what I asked, I felt as if he would just do it in order to get a treat. No treat, no obeying orders!
I also didn't want to make him into a robot, and get him to do things like roll over or give his paw.
I just wanted the basics like sit or stay.

I am now considering sending him back for training, but I am fearful that it is too late. He is 6 months old.
Is it too late to start training all over again?

He also bites all the time. He will stop if you say no and walk away, but do it immediately if I am with him again.

I know one of his issues is that I just am not able to give him the attention he needs.
My job requirements have changed and I now only get home from work after 7PM. So I am not able to take him for walks or play with him etc.
On weekends I do, but I am sure this is not enough for this breed.

What are my options? Do I have any options really?

Thanks a mill
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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by LizP on Mon Oct 02 2017, 15:11

Oh my goodness! I'm sorry, but I'm a bit taken aback.

I don't normally like being too blunt for fear of offending but (I'm terribly sorry!) I'm going to be.

You have a dog, a puppy, not a naughty adult. Your puppy will not 'obey orders', and nor should he. He may or may not stop doing something if you hit him, if he does it's because he's scared of you. Your puppy needs walks, he needs attention, he needs play. He needs to be trained in a positive way (and yes, that means rewarding good behaviour with something he likes) and that training is an on-going process that may be started with the help of a trainer but has to carry on in the home.

Let me put it this way to you. You go to work. I'm assuming you're paid for your job? How would you feel if your boss barked orders at you, hit you if you got it wrong even though he'd not made sure you understood what to do first, and didn't pay you? Add to that when you get home your family and friends ignore you? That's what your asking your pup to do.

It is not too late to start training but you have to first have a good hard look at how you are training and how you are interacting with Hades in general. I would not send him away for training but instead would work with a good, positive method trainer who can also teach you how to understand Hades and his needs. He needs you to change.

I do apologise for being so frank but I can't think of a less blunt way of saying it.


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Mistys Mum on Mon Oct 02 2017, 15:25

Completely agree with the advice from Liz.


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Paris1990 on Mon Oct 02 2017, 15:34

got to agree with Liz, I was a bit shocked by your post too.

If you don't want to reward him when he does something you want then you wont achieve what you are after in regards to a well behaved pup and then dog.. and saying you just want the basic' like sit and stay they need to have a reason to do this which in return is a treat, as liz says its just like us at work we only do our job because we get paid for it, its the same with dog if he knows he will get a treat he will do as you say which I think is very good, I don't understand how you think this is a bad thing?

If your work commitments have changed then you need to find a dog walker, or family or friend who can go to you house or if there is doggy day care centre where you live for him to go to while you are working If you aren't getting back home until 7pm I assume you are leaving early morning too? when you get back his "misbehaving" is because he had no attention all day and is trying to get yours.

And please don't hit him, can you imagine being left on your own all day then when you finally get home you hit him because he isn't doing as you say when all he wants is your attention. you are going to create problems for yourself later down the line with this.
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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Kimeran on Mon Oct 02 2017, 17:54

I may have been a bit unclear in SOME of my posts.
I don't intend on sending him away for training, I will be there all the time.

I don't hit him, and don't want to. I was asking for another way to get him to stop the things he does like dig out grass etc.

I considered puppy play school but I am worried about him getting hurt with the other pups.
He likes to play quite rough and then other dogs get a bit violent.

The reason I am not a fan of giving treats all the time is because he refuses to do anything without a treat. He will completely ignore a command unless treats are involved.

I do not ill treat Hades, I don't hit or shout at him for what he does.
Not yet at least... which is the reason I am asking if there is another solution, or if I am missing some very crucial steps.

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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Nifty staffy on Mon Oct 02 2017, 18:16

Sorry but I also agree with all of the replies that have been posted here.
I can start to understand the frustration as mine is practically the same age as yours with the added handicap that this is my first canine friend. Perhaps the biggest difference, though, is the way we see things and how we try to tackle obstacles ahead.

It's good that you admit that there might be a problem and look for solutions but perhaps might you take the opportunity to look a bit deeper into your situation ?

Why did you acquire Hades in the first place ? Companionship is probably one of the answers but not the only one that justifies the responsibilites associated with taking on a living being.
What are you expecting from him and does he have everything he needs (training, capacity) to deliver ?
What are you ready to give in return ? Everything in life is a question of compromise and balance, give and take, nothing is free.

You don’t specify Hades’ lifestyle - other members of family ?
Are you the only one with these problems with Hades ?

For me and from what you post, the biggest problem unfortunately appears to be you and what you’re giving to Hades which appears to be short of his needs.
Why can't you do anything with him during the week after 7pm ? Floodlights and headlamps are great when it’s dark. There are also lots of things you can do inside to spend time with you pup.

In short, I think the first answer to your question is that you need to find quality time for Hades. Only then can you draw up an action plan during that time.


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Nifty staffy on Mon Oct 02 2017, 18:20

In response to your reply whilst I was typing, a well run puppy school can be great as it teaches them life manners and experience. Especially useful for me as she’s the only canine at home.

Oops, mine is needing a run outside, will be back Smile


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by LizP on Mon Oct 02 2017, 18:23

Apologies for misunderstanding, it did sound like you were being a little harsh but it can be easy to misread what's read on a forum.

I would still suggest you look into positive reinforcement methods and don't ditch the treats. Yes, it feels like you're rewarding forevermore but there will come a point that you can ease them out. Especially with puppies, who are so early in their learning, it's better to over-reward than under-reward.

Very often, the best way of stopping behaviour is to train an alternative something that means they can't do what you don't want them to, if that makes sense. It's called an incompatible behaviour, for example if you have a dog that jumps up at people you teach it to sit for a reward when it sees a person - you can't jump at sit at the same time. Alternatively, you can allow them the behaviour they want to do in a specific place, or with a specific thing. So digging, you could give him a specific and clear place he can dig, and encourage him to dig there by hiding stuff for him to find, and if he digs somewhere else you take him to his digging place. Reward the good and (the hard bit) ignore the 'bad', they will generally then look to what gets them the reward.

Reward can be anything the dog likes. Treats are an obvious one, but praise and play are also great motivators. If you don't want to use food all the time, at least make sure there is something else, big praise, a rag with a toy, a cuddle.

Puppy school is a good idea, although most puppies are probably younger than him he will benefit from the socialising, the mental stimulation and the release of energy. It's very, very rare that puppies are aggressive/violent, although they can get carried away that's part of the learning process.

I would agree that a dog walker or similar is a good idea, preferably with someone who will be on the same page about learning and someone who can take him out with others.

I know you're tired when you get back from work but do find time for him. Just 20 minutes of fun training will be hugely beneficial. I would actually say to forget about the obedience stuff and focus on general learning, even trick training, and working on getting him listening to you in a willing and fun way. Yes, all my dogs know how to sit when I ask, but it's much more important that they pay attention to me, that they look to me and that we are a team. If they can do that I really don't care if they never sit again.

I hope that helps a bit more!


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Nifty staffy on Mon Oct 02 2017, 18:45

Sorry, rather she run full pelt ouside than inside Rolling Eyes

Maybe you can try the distraction technique. If he’s digging out grass, try to get him to play with a ball or a tug rope. If he’s biting and he’s smart to the ignore method, try giving him a toy to bite instead of your hand.
In some ways, he’s onto a double winner because he’s got your attention for the things you don’t want him to do and he’s keeping your attention by continuing to do those things.

Just like all you’ve already been through since you acquired him, this is just a small obstacle in your relationship together and you’ll look back soon enough on this closed chapter Smile


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Kimeran on Tue Oct 03 2017, 07:26

I wouldn't mind taking him for a walk when I get home. Unfortunately I live in South Africa, a country that is famous for crime. So going out on the road after 7 is really quite dangerous.
So I am forced to play with him in my yard, which is what I do at the end of the day. But I know this is not enough for him, and he wants to explore.

I will look into puppy play school during the week, and hope its not too late to teach him a thing or two.

I would have never gotten a puppy if I knew how my work commitments would have changed.
It is unfortunate, and I feel bad every day. But I would still like to do what I can.

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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Nifty staffy on Tue Oct 03 2017, 07:59

Hey, chin up. It’s never too late Smile

Maybe you need to find more stimulating or intellectual games in your yard. What about getting old cardboard boxes (from work?) and hiding his toys or treats in them, scattered around the yard. You can play “search and fetch” with him too. Explore can be for weekends and fun interactive play or training during the week.

Unfortunately most of us need to work to maintain our lifestyles. I believe there are alternatives but we just have to be a little more inventive Wink


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by LizP on Tue Oct 03 2017, 09:12

Ditto on mental games, but also do fun training. I know you're not madly keen into party tricks but they are great for getting that puppy mind working. Mental stimulation isn't a total replacement for physical exercise but it does go a decent way towards it.





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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Paris1990 on Tue Oct 03 2017, 16:09

I too apologise for getting the wrong end of the stick, definitely look into the play school don’t be worried about rough play all puppies do it and hopefully the play school you go with should know each pups likes and dislikes as to not have any mishaps.

It’s hard work juggling I know I have a rota for both mine and my partners shifts and when we are both working the same I go into a total meltdown as we don’t a playschool in my area so it’s finding people to go round to mine and not everyone is available so I understand your frustration there as I’m sat freaking out if here’s days no one can go see to hank so you must be 10x worse if it’s everyday for you Sad

But as nifty said the mental Games with the boxes and hiding things is really fun I hide stuff for hank when we are home and he is so happy when he finds them Smile
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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by Kimeran on Thu Oct 05 2017, 08:39

Thank you everyone for the comments.

So I started sending him to a play school yesterday.
There were no other pups around, I just wanted him to get used to the environment.
From next Tuesday he will go by every Tuesday as there are 3 other Staffy pups to keep him busy.
Will also look into the games, thank you.

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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by LizP on Thu Oct 05 2017, 11:54

Staffie play school sounds fab, I bet he'll have a blast! Good luck with it all.


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Re: Misbehaving Pup

Post by gillybrent on Thu Oct 05 2017, 22:01

Kimeran wrote:

I will look into puppy play school during the week, and hope its not too late to teach him a thing or two.

.

All dogs can learn, no matter what their age - the old saying "you can't teach an old dogs new tricks" is totally wrong, and Hades is still a pup anyway!

Food rewards are fine until your dog knows exactly what you want him to do, tgen you can try cutting out the odd food reward & just use praise. Gradually increase the times you don't treat until your dog's responding happily with just your voice praise. If he gets something wrong, go back to using a treat for a couple of goes & then reduce again.

It'll come, don't worry.

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