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"Dear Daniel, I am thoroughly impressed with the service provided by Sit Stay Fetch. The modules are easy to follow and the invaluable advice has enabled me to become the 'alpha dog'. Buzz's behaviour is improving daily and I have even been able to leave him for a 2 week stay in kennels something which I couldn't contemplate before because of his aggressive attitude towards strange people and dogs. He became one of their 'stars'. At nearly five years old and an RSPCA rescue dog to boot, I thought Buzz was a bit of a lost cause. The Secrets to Dog Training programme has proved you can teach an old dog new tricks!"
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My question/problem relates to house training. I seem to have followed the advice in your file on housetraining but still can’t break this habit.
I have a 6month old Collie x Samoyed. I work part time so it is necessary to restrict him to one room of the house i.e. a fairly large utility/wash room (he sleeps & eats in this room at the moment too). Because of the need for this, we trained him using the paper method & he quickly learned to only go in a small area & has only ever had a few 'accidents'.
My problem is now that
1. I am home more
2. He is older & is now only on 2meals per day & should have better control.
I do not want this to continue and am trying to train him to now only 'go' outside using the 'direct method'. To do this, during the day I close the door to the wash room (I found he was going in the same spot whether or not
a) there was paper down or
b) if I was around for him to let me know he wanted to go
He now indicates he wants to go outside by nudging his lead or whining (he is not allowed in the garden unsupervised as he wrecks it totally eating everything in sight & digging).
However, he only does this if he wants to urinate, he will not defecate in public. He either holds it until he is walked off leash & he can go in the woods out of sight or, its bed time & he knows he will be shut in the room so can defecate in private. We then, obviously wake to a 'present'.
He was also eating his feces at one stage, but I seem to have stopped that for now by using the 'Deter' tablet method.
Can you offer any advice on how we can get Sam to overcome his ‘shyness’ in defecating outside whilst on the leash?
He is only fed twice per day, he is walked twice per day & we now have built a run in the garden to put him in whilst we are out....this is causing another problem of constant barking...any tips on stopping this too?
Thanks for your email regarding your Collie Cross.
Housetraining can be a very frustrating and time consuming exercise. The process has taken even longer because of the extra confusion for your dog at being taught both the inside and outside methods.
Your dog has learned that pooping in the laundry is the correct thing to do, so I recommend that you do not reprimand him for going there, as this will only serve to confuse him even more. Instead, you should start encouraging him to go somewhere else, which you can do in a number of ways.
Firstly, remove any stools (poop) from inside your home, and put them into a designated area of your yard. It is important that your dog has a regular spot to return to (which is how he views your laundry at the moment). When you take your dog outdoors, always take him to his designated spot first. Allow him to sniff his stool, and this will hopefully encourage him to relieve himself in that area. Dogs are creatures of habit, and will return to an area they know they have been before, which they recognize by smell.
If he does relieve himself in your presence, you should praise him and make a big fuss so that he develops a positive association with it.
It is also very important that you make the area the in the laundry less appealing. You can do this by ensuring that you thoroughly clean the area which your dog normally uses, then remove the smell by using a good quality Dog Odor Neutralizer. Make sure that you are not using any cleaning products that contain ammonia or chlorine as the smell of these can often be mistaken for urine.
I also recommend, after you have cleaned the laundry floor, that you start feeding your dog on that spot. This takes advantage of the reluctance of dogs to relieve themselves in a place where they eat. Feed your dog on that spot for about a week, and hopefully you should find that he stops using that spot as a toilet.
Ensure that you take him outside on regular occasions to eliminate.
In order to stop your dog from barking when in his run, you firstly need to determine the reason for his barking. There are a number of reasons why a dog will display this type of behavior - out of fear or dominant territorial behavior, out of boredom, as an attention seeking behavior.
If you have put your dog in the run, then when he has barked, have let him back out again and tried to console him, then you have inadvertently taught him that in order to get back out of the run and get your attention, he needs to bark. If this is the case, then in order to teach him that his barking is not effective, you will need to start ignoring the behavior completely, and only allowing him out of the run when he is quiet.
He might also be barking out of distress, and if so, you might be best to just keep him indoors when you are out. It's a common misconception that dogs will be happier if left outdoors, but often this is not the case. If your dog is used to being left inside, then being outdoors and on his own might be quite an adjustment and very stressful for him.
If he is barking out of boredom, then please ensure he has lots of toys to keep him occupied.
If you are sure that your dog is not reacting out of fear, you might like to pay a visit to your local Pet Store or Vet and get a Citronella training collar. When your dog barks, the collar will emit a spray of Citronella. Dogs tend to hate the smell, so it will hopefully stop him in his tracks! As soon as the barking stops, remember that you should praise him so that he knows what behavior gets a reprimand (spray), and what behavior gets praise. Ensure that he is still supplied with lots of toys.
Good luck Jennifer, and please let me know how you progress.
Daniel Stevens and the Secrets to Dog Training Team
I've been a professional dog trainer for well over 20 years, and in that time I've helped thousands of dog owners just like you to get the friendly, well behaved, slipper fetching, best pal they always wanted.
But it didn't start out that way. I've always loved dogs, some things never change. But when I first started my professional dog training career I relied on the so-called 'best practices' when it came to dog behavior training. It was only when I heard people tell me over and over again that they just weren't seeing results that I started to question the old accepted wisdom. So I started a journey, a quest to search out the best, most effective, techniques, tips, and tricks that really work.
And that's how I came up with Secrets to Dog Training. Year after year I found new techniques that achieved the results I wanted. Eventually I had a whole book worth of great resources: Secrets to Dog training...
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