How Long Before Evaluating New Dog?

Posted by lovemywoods
Feb 8, 2008
My family has adopted a seven month old Great Dane. He came from a friend who is moving to a smaller home and we have wanted a larger dog. He has many positive features and behaviors. He quickly adapted to an older Pug and three cats. No problems with any of them. He doesn't bark, jump, or chew.

On the negative side, we are having numerous potty accidents. Additionally, my wife has found herself fearful of the dog (minor growling, gumming her hand with his mouth) even though he has done nothing aggressive toward my daughter or me.

My question: How much time should we give Tucker to get over the transition and any separation anxiety? Put another way, how long should we give him before we can say that his negative behaviors are just that, and not part of the move to a new home?

Posted by Todd
Feb 11, 2008
Hi there and thank you for your question.

As to your last questions i think some behaviours can be accepted to some degree when a dog is young. But i prefer to get on top of these problems straight away so they don't escalate into more serious issues.

Firstly towards the toilet training.
You will have to buy a quality DOG ODOR neutralizer, which you should be able to find at most good pet stores. Clean your carpets, with the odor neutralizer, in all the known places that you can find where your dog has been .

This will help disguise the scent and you will find it easier to catch your dog preparing to go potty before it has the chance to do so inside. No product can take away the scent 100%, however the weaker the scent is made the better, so buying an odor neutralizer will still be worthwhile.

The next time your dog has an accident inside:

*Growl as your dog is doing it. You must reprimand your dog as it is performing the undesirable behavior, because dogs only ever associate your punishment or reward with the very last action they have performed.

*Soak up the puddle or pick up the waste with a sheet of newspaper.

*Then clean the spot with your odor neutralizer.

*Keep the soiled newspaper, place any solid wastes or the soaked paper outside, or wherever you want their bathroom spot to be. This will give your dog a place it can return to that is marked with its own scent and therefore safe to use as a bathroom. (keep in mind that dogs mark their territory and therefore claim their dominance as they eliminate, if another dog has been where you want your dog to go, your dog will only go there if it is of a dominant disposition and wish to challenge the opposing 'dog'.)

*Take your dog out every hour on the hour (when possible) to that place where you have placed its waste. Introduce the command "Be quick!....Good Dog" as your dog goes and reward it with treats if you wish. This command is handy, as your dog quickly associates your voice command with the act of eliminating. My dog's will even try and go anytime, anywhere if I give this command, knowing the treats that usually accompany being obedient! (even if they have no juice, I still reward them for their efforts!)

Now your wife will have to practice being the alpha dog. This means no rough play at all and she is the boss. Whenever she gives a command he must respond.
She will have to start training him to help reinforce her position. She should work with him for 10 minutes twice a day on the basic commands of sit, stay and come.

Whenever he is misbehaving she must reprimand him with a loud GRRRRRR or AHHHHHHHHH and use a blanket to throw over him or water pistol to wet him.He must know when he is being naughty. Also when he behaves make sure you reinforce this with attention, praise and petting.

Follow the other basic rules on alpha training throughout this forum and sitstayfetch. Be patient and good luck.
Please let me know how things go.

Posted by lovemywoods
Feb 20, 2008
Many thanks for your clear response. I will put your recommendations into place. Tucker is doing better and I really getting to like him.