i have a 6 month old puggle. we have had her for 4 months and have had no luck with potty training her. we also have several children who she likes to bite and scratch. we have used a crate from the start and she does not seem to mind being in the crate. when she gets loose from her chain, it takes half the neighborhood to catch her. if we let her loose in the house, even if she has just gone to the bathroom outside, she will come in the house and go on the floor. the other day she had been outside for about 20 minutes, did her buisness and when let back in the house, she acted like a manic for 10 minutes then she did #2 while she was running through the house, christening 4 rooms in the process. but she had a look on her face that said she was doing it out of spite. lately, she has spent most of the day when it is cool outside. it is very difficult to hold or pet her-she is so hyper. when you do try to pet her, she moves her head along with your hand, trying to nip.i tried putting her gums into her teeth and also spacking her unter the chin. neither has worked. between the biting and going to the bathroom anywhere she wants, i am at my wits end. i am so frustrated and have considered giving her away because she is not enjoyed by anyone in the family. has anyone else had this problem. did we get a problem dog or are we the problem?
Please don't give up on her yet, she is just a puppy and is doing normal puppy things! The biting, nipping, and scratching is due to her trying to play with you all. She also is probably teething. Something to help the teething is to give her rope toys, kongs, or freeze a wet towel for her to chew on (a work a a dog rescue and the frozen towel can keep a puppy busy for hours at an adoption!) At six months old it is VERY rare that what she is showing is aggresion. As for the potty problems, go out with her and praise her the minute she goes, even with a treat. That will encourage her to go outside...when she does go inside give her a stern "No" and then put her in her crate or confine her somewhere else to show her that attention does NOT happen from pottying inside. It really sounds like she is not gettin enough exercise. Beagles are active dogs, as are pugs, so a long daily walk is a must especially for socialization reasons as well. Once she is spayed, obedience classes would also be a very good idea-puggles are notoriously stubborn!! Hope this helps...please keep us updated!
It sounds like your dog is going through the 'rebellious teen years' in addition to the behavioral problems you are seeing.
Regarding the housetraining, I have a few suggestions in addition to what the previous poster said. When your pup is inside, keep her on a leash at all times, tied to your waist if necessary. This way she will not have an opportunity to 'race through the house christening the rooms', as you said. Close doors and block off hallways so that she can't 'sneak off' if this is another one of her tactics.
Either way with her on a leash and righta t your side at all times, you are more likely to catch her in the act of going potty. To me, this is one of the most important parts of housetraining, is the 'catching them in the act'. When you do, take her outside immediately, even if she is still going. Stay outside with her, keeping her on the leash until she goes, no matter how long it takes. When she does do the deed, praise her and give her a treat, let her off the leash for a fun play time if your yard is fenced in. So she will learn that going outside brings good rewards.
Regarding the biting/nipping thing... this is typical puppy behavior. It sounds like your dog is seriously lacking in bite inhibition. Do you know how old she was when you got her (or when she was taken away from littermates?) Dogs that stay with their littermates and mother until they are 8+ weeks old tend to have fewer problems with this behavior..
Either way, the leash will help with this as well (and prevent her from running off on you). If she starts going after pant legs, give a firm tug on the leash and say "No biting." IF shes biting people when they hold her on their laps? Don't hold her on your lap :P I'm personally a huge proponent of ..making yourself taste bad. Spread lemon juice or even better (though I know it stinks!) plain white vinegar, onto your hands. Tabasco sauce will work for extremely persistent biters... As they bite down on your skin and taste the bad stuff, say "No bite!" So they associate the words with the bad taste.
Regarding her running off on you, she's probably having the time of her life as you all chase her. I feel your pain, I've had a dog liek this before :P Again keeping the leash on her at all times when she is outside the crate and constant supervision will prevent the 'escapes' from happening. The problem here is that you have a mixed breed dog that is half beagle... and the beagle is an excellent hunting dog. Which means that when they get loose they tend to'follow their noses' wherever a scent may lead.
It also sounds like she needs to be mentally challenged or needs more supervised exercise. How much exercise are you giving her in terms of walks that you are controlling? or is romping aorund the yard her exercise? Your beagle/pug mix may need a LOT of exercise, given it's genetic heritage (again with the beagle).
I strongly urge you to look into taking formal obedience classes with a dog training academy (not a petsmart type class, but a REAL dog trainer).
My second suggestion to you is that you and yoru entire family read up on the Nothing In Life is Free program... here's a website that explains it. I think your dog needs familial boot camp.
Make sure that *EVERYONE* in the family understands and is consistent with any new rules that are made regarding training your dog, especially with the NILIF program.. For example if your dog is let off the leash when your kids are around and you aren't, and she runs off and has an accident (or an on purpose) you are setting her training back that much.. you see what I"m saying? Good luck and keep us posted.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 10/4/2006 11:46:43 PM*** Reason: add
Great advice has been given, but I have to add that nothing pays off more than CONSISTENCY!!!! You have"tried" many things, but the pup is only 6 months old. So, you should still be sticking with One thing, and allow the little thing some time to catch on to the rule, or tactic. If you keep sending different messages, she will ignore all messages.
And, it sounds like a completely normal puppy experience to me, so stick with it.
Always remember that you are trying to COMMUNICATE with a dog. Much like you had to learn to do with your kids. So you can't just think the dog will catch on to whatever you mean. You have to KNOW that on each correction the dog KNEW it was being corrected. On each praise, the dog KNEW it was being praised and what it was being praised for.
Without that connection, nothing you do will ever work.
^^^^This is really good advice above. If you have the stomach for it, can I add one more thing to think about. I'm not contradicting kdubbs advice above about communication, and making your requirements clear. But in terms of consistency, varying the rewards can be a very powerful motivator.
Have you ever been to a casino and seen the rows and rows of zombies playing the slots? Why are slot machines so addicitve? Because they use the most effective reward schedule known: variable reward / variable frequency.
"variable reward" means you don't know what the payoff is going to be. "variable frequency" means you don't know how many times you will need to pull knob in order to get a payoff.
You can use the same concept on a dog once you've found one or more things the pup definitely KNOWS is a reward (e.g. liver treat, strokes of praise).
The pup won't be able to predict if he'll get a simple stroke of praise or "hit the jackpot" with multiple treats. It becomes more of a game. He's less likely to get bored or decide "It's not worth it to do what she wants for just one lousy treat."
Maybe I'm projecting, but I can see a desperate "What am I getting THIS time?" look in my pup's eyes when we do training.
Hope this helps more than it confuses.
***Edited By: NoDogYet on 10/5/2006 2:34:15 PM*** Reason: +
NoDogYet-- That was very interesting to read. I never thought of rewards for the dogs that way. As all the advice was good and intreresting to hear different ideas I just wanted to tell you thanks I appreciated your comments.
Personaly, and you can attack me if you want b/c I don't care... I think its a problem breed... My mother-in-law has one and it is CrAzY!!!! I mean come on when you combine a pug and a begle!!?! Of course there are always exceptions to the rules!!!! Good luck! You got some great advice. Just be patient (b/c its still a puppy) and consistant !!!! that is key!
Going along with NoDogYet.... that is the same technique I use when my training my dogs a command. Sometimes it's either treat... made a pet... or just a plain verbal good boy/girl.
I chose to do it this way.... for example you are out and public and dont have any treats handy.... if you werent shelling out the treats to a dog that only learned treat rewards he'd probably shortly ignore what you wanted him to do.
In any (ok I should say most) they listen to me 100%.... when they can hear me over their barking. LMAO.
I"m the world's worst potty trainer, so I'll leave that to someone who is good at it.
However, I have had several dogs and have NEVER had one to destroy a single thing of mine or to bite people.
a) Chew bones are a must...forget the toys until she is older, it's too confusing. That way they know ONE thing they can chew on and make sure it is always readily available. Put them around her area and other rooms she is in so they are easily found. When she bites on something else, tell her no and give her the chew bone. If there is an area, like the corner of the steps, etc, she likes to chew, get a product called Bitter apple and spray periodicaly or sprinkle pepper on it.
NEVER use old clothing or shoes to train or to chew on...she doesn't know the difference between Prada and Payless castoffs
b) Don't let your children horseplay with her too much, it makes dog's mean...I don't care what anyone says. If she bites your children tell your CHILDREN they need to learn these signs and stay away...the dog is trying to protect herself...it's not the dog's fault. If the dog "nips" when you are holding her...what I do when the dog bites me is turn his lip under his teeth...this way he learns very quickly he is biting HIMSELF. This uses classical conditioning and is very effective.
You've already gotten some pretty good advice, but I wanted to mention that puppies do not pee or poop on the floor out of spite. For such an act to be spiteful, the puppy would have to understand the cleaning process we go through, so he would also have to understand that cleaning products cost money, so he would also have to understand money, and puppies have no concept of money or modern human employment. They also don't have our concept of "gross."
Puppies only do a handful of things. They eat, drink, chew, chase, pee and poop. That's about it. So, it is totally obvious to a puppy that the living room floor is a toilet. A puppy can't chew, chase, eat, or drink the floor, so the only thing left is to pee on it.
Your puppy isn't trying to get back at you. He simply doesn't not yet understand our bizarre human custom of requiring the dogs to use an outhouse instead of the indoor toilet. If you reinforce his pottying outside by giving him a treat right after he goes, he will start to see pottying outside as a very useful behavior and will choose to use the outhouse. In the beginning, you want to give a treat every time (the soda machine model), and after you start to see improvement, then you want to switch to varying rewards (the slot machine model). Consistent rewards in the beginning will allow him to make the connection between his behavior and the reward, and varying rewards after a while will motivate him to try to get the big payoff.