I posted in another topic called Zoe what is going on with my puppy. If its possible could you please read what is going on with her and if you have any ideas on what to do could you let me know. Aside from all of the pooping she's doing everywhere she's also pee'd in the house twice today. Everyday it seems to get worse. I just don't know what to do with her. I love her dearly but I will never own another beagle, unless its old.
I'm sorry that you're having so much trouble housebreaking your beagle. It's hard to diagnose these problems without being there in person.....but I'll give it a try. I sense that you're getting rather frustrated with the situation and that perhaps she's getting too much freedom in the house. So...I'll begin with some basic housebreaking rules of thumb..... 1. Confine her to a small area in which you can react instantly if she starts to send "poop signals". You must give her your complete attention and you must act immediately if she needs to go. If you can't watch her, she should be in her crate or....perhaps a better idea in this case....a small, confined area outside. 2. NEVER (sorry, not shouting here... just emphasizing) correct her for pooping after the fact. She won't associate the correction with the action, even if it's just 5 seconds after she poops. The only correction you should give is a firm "NO" while she's in the act, at the same time scooping her up, carrying her outside, and placing her where you want her to go. 3. Develop a small vocabulary that you use consistently with your beagle. At our house, the words "Go Outside" are used every time we go out the door. Puppy is place on the ground, my arms are folded and we don't play until the puppy does what it's there to do, the whole time I repeat the words "Go Potty". When they "Go Potty", we celebrate with a cookie and go back inside. When they're adults, we can ask our dogs "Do you need to go outside?" and if they do need to go, they go to the door. The words "Go Potty" trigger the adult dogs to get down to business. 4. The key to training a beagle is their high food motivation......they want to know "what's in it for me?" When she goes potty/poop outside....EVERY time she goes potty/poop outside....give her a cookie and "throw a party", ie. "Woo Hoo!!! Good Girl!!! Yay!!!" and let her know how happy you are with her. Remember to ignore or redirect unwanted behaviors and reward positive behaviors. 5. As eshanna said in the Zoe thread, consistency is SO important in training any dog. Be very consistent in your training and be sure that every member of your family is using the same training techniques. If she's not getting the same message from all family members, this could be confusing her. It's also important that you react the same way every time....you can't ignore/correct/reward a behavior one time and react differently another time. It sounds like things have gotten to the point where there are far more negative behaviors (and therefore more corrections) than there are positive behaviors and rewards. Don't expect to correct the problem instantly but try to set small, reasonable goals that she can achieve and work toward that each day. It'll take some thought and careful attention on your part but it sounds like that may be what she needs....more positive attention than negative. My suggestion would be to ignore the mistakes in the house and really focus on setting her up for success, invite her outside frequently and really reward her when she does poop outside. I'm curious....what is her background? Does she come from show lines, field lines, a backyard breeder or a rescue? Are you in contact with her breeder? I'm off to a show this weekend but I'll be anxious to hear how things are going!!! Good luck!!!
I went back and read some more of the posts to the Zoe thread. Actually, the suppository idea isn't bad! When we're on the road with the dogs, we sometimes use human baby suppositories to encourage the dogs to poop. I wouldn't suggest doing this all of the time but you could use it as a way to set her up for success occasionally. Give her a suppository, perhaps after a feeding when she'll probably need to poop anyway, then take her outside and wait for the big event. When she poops, reward her and tell her what a good girl she is. I suspect that many of the behavior issues that you're having are due to the fact that she was born in a shelter and that she was adopted at 6 weeks of age (puppies should never go to their new homes before 8 weeks of age). You can't change that now but it does suggest that she may need extra care......and patience.
forgot to add- I remember one class with Henry's trainer she used this analogy- imagine every day you go to work, and your boss is regularly yelling at you. It seems you can't do much right, and sometimes you don't know what the boss is upset about. As a result, You probably wouldn't have much motivation to please your boss. This really struck a chord with me, because I was getting really mad at Henry. I yelled at him a lot. I punished him a lot, I alpha rolled him regularly. As a result his behavior got WORSE. The ratio of yelling and praising was probably 80/20. I often did not praise, or praise enough, when he DID pee and poo outside. And I would yell after the fact, too. Didn't know initially that dogs can't associate punishment with the behavior unless it comes at the MOMENT they are in the act. Anyhow, I think Davis gave excellent advice. Give it a whirl for a few weeks, and see how it goes.
Thanks davis85. I did all of these housebreaking things but I just got discouraged. I started out breaking her the same way I did all of my other dogs. I guess I just got, and still am, discouraged with her. She doesn't have free run of the house but my house is very large. Its about 10,000 sq. ft. Its very hard for me to keep a close eye on her, which is why I tried tethering her to me and she poo'd on me so I never did it again. That was my fault, I know. I do use the words go outside and she does know what it means. Everytime I take her outside and say go potty she goes. I've never taken her out and her not potty so she knows thats where she's supposed to go. I am going to take everything you have said and I'm just going to completely start over with her. I'm going to pretend I just brought her home yesterday. Things are WAY more negative than positive with her now. I know that shes very sensitive to this and every morning I wake up I tell myself that I'm going to give it the positive approach and within 15 min. after we come in from morning potty she goes in the house than I lose it again and the day ends up being negative. Also another problem I have is that shes not food motivated. I know thats wierd from what I've read about beagles but its true. She hardly ever eats. She'll be 6 months old in 2 days and she weighs somewhere between 8 and 11 pds. Two weeks ago she weighed 8 is why I say this. I can offer her food and she'll just walk away. She doesn't want it. The vet says shes very healthy and for me not to worry about it. She said shes eating enough. She came from a shelter. I have no idea about her background except that her mom was pregnant and the people didn't want to deal with it so they took the pregnant mom to the shelter. They adopted out the puppies at 6 wks. old because they didn't have room for them. They also had to get the mom adopted that day also. I just happened to be in Petsmart and there she was. I instantly fell in love with her and I still am, so I just carried her home. I wish I could show you a picture. She's absolutely beautiful. So tiny and petite. Shes also very dainty in her actions. Thanks again and I'm going to start over today using everything you've said. When she poo's and I get discouraged again I'm just going to go to another room and cool off instead of taking it out on her by yelling. Keep your fingers crossed.
eshanna: You don't know how many people I tell that employee / employer story to. I keep that in mind with the kids as well. My story is : when at work and the boss only talks to you when you do something wrong you won't want to go to work. But if the boss constantly praises you for the good work and only brings up mistakes sometime then its not as bad. We hardly ever tell the kids what a great job they are doing when they are good. It is almost as if we dont want to ginx ourselves. Same as the pups i guess. If we are always telling them they are bad and never good then they won't aim to please.
ZoeandTucker... I think that you're right to just start over again with your puppy. I can't believe that she weighs just 8 - 11 pounds at 6 months! She must be very tiny! I'll be sending lots of positive thoughts your way....let us know how she's doing! :)
Davis's advice is right on target! I started with my pup the way Davis recommended...but we hung a bell on the door. We've had her a month, and now she's getting to the point when I take her to the door and say "Outside" she rings the bell with her paw. Then I take her out the door, shut it and praise her and give a treat. The lease works great too! Molly goes out with it on, and we stay in the area where she always goes until she does. It's funny, because sometimes she trys to play...but I won't let her, or ignore her...and finally she just kind of looks at me like.."Oh, all right!!!"...then she goes pee. She then gets praise and treat, and I unhook her leash so she can play. If she doesn't go...then she is put into her crate for 10-15 minutes, then repeat the process until she does go. I tried it without taking her out on a leash...and she would mess around a lot first....but on the lease she seems to understand that is what she is there to do.
Thanks for everyones help. I've been fighting this battle for so long I just needed to vent and get it all out. I had tried everything possible and I guess I've only been trying the yelling for the last couple of weeks. I know it has to stop. If not for poor Zoe but for my own sanity. The yelling didn't make it better or worse it was still the same. I thought, well I've tried everything else maybe she won't like me to yell and raise my voice so I tried it. Yesterday was much better. She only had 2 accidents in the house. One was in the middle of the night, she hasn't woken up at night in a long time but the night before last she woke up and poo'd. On the wall. I have no idea how she does this. I've never seen her do it. Than last night we went to friends for dinner and we only stayed out for 3 hours and when we came back she had poo'd. We're going to be out a lot today also but the dogs are going with us and we'll be outside all day so hopefully that will help. Thanks again for everyones advice and I'll let you all know how it goes.