Puppy Household Manners

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Puppy Household Manners

Postby slayducks87 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:13 pm

Hey everyone. Just got my first pup and he's 13 weeks. Phenomenal pedigree including 5x GRHRCH MH and HOF sire. He does well when I have him outside as far as basic OB and some retrieves. In the house..... Obviously he's a puppy and he is going to cause mischief. He is incredibly rough with the older boxer we have and she instigates tug of war with him regularly. My biggest fear is ruining the pup before he has the chance to reach his full potential. How do y'all handle corrections in the house? He is pretty strong willed and I don't want to be too rough on him too early. As of now I am following the Evan Graham material and learning quickly just how little I know about all of this. Any input is greatly appreciated!!!
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby HNTFSH » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:09 pm

How old was the pup when he came home?
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby slayducks87 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:44 pm

11 weeks. I know he is still getting used to everything but I want to make sure he understands the lines without busting him before formal training even starts.
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:03 am

Based on your last posts it sounds like Boxers are always the root of the problem. While you're now down to one Boxer, is THAT Boxer a well trained canine citizen? The pup is going to gravitate to another dog unless you establish the hierarchy of the household with/for BOTH dogs.

Don't be offended but it doesn't read like the boxer was ever really trained either. And a couple weeks into your home that is who the pup is looking to for queues and behavior.

Are both dogs kenneled? If so; some separation is in order for awhile. You need a calm environment to work and teach the pup what living in your house looks like. This is likely why "outside" you have the pups attention (am guessing the boxer isn't in that scenario) so pups focused on you. Inside, it's a free-for-all.

If not kenneled; they need to be.

Evan Graham, last I checked, doesn't really have any material for raising a pup. And "formalizing" can't be done until you've actually taught obedience without much pressure. Teach/Train/Test. The Train/Test part is where Evan chimes in.

Anyone has to know a lot more to really help you. People tend to describe the problem but not share what they've done to date in some detail. That leaves people guessing which may or may not be helpful.

You are right, you should not correct the pup for something you haven't taught it. So how are you teaching it? And what is creating the issue you're having?
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby slayducks87 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:47 am

Thanks for your response. Yes, I am down to one boxer. She is older, will be 10 in May. She was my wife's dog before we started dating. She was a known troublemaker when she was young but with her age she doesn't do much now. 90% of the time the pup is wanting to play fight with her and she mostly doesn't respond other than playing with toys and the occasional rough housing back and forth.

As far as what I have been doing, it has been the basics that I knew from growing up. Pop on the nose, a firm no (with whatever he is doing), and redirect his attention to something that is acceptable like one of his toys he's allowed to play with.

You are correct about Evan Graham starting with the formal retriever training. That's why I am looking at other outlets for answers. The other boxer we had knew when she was doing something wrong but it made her timid which is what I am trying to avoid with Bear. I want him to keep the energy just in a controlled manner.

This is my first gun dog so I am 100% new to all of it. I don't want the pup to live in the kennel but it sounds like it is in order. How would I go about making it a positive reinforcement without it seeming like a punishment? Thanks again for your input!
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:36 am

Thanks. So neither dog has a kennel to sleep in? In terms of separation, that is the key. Along with having their own space they learn to love. At a minimum, at this point, the pup needs that. And there is a process to introduce and make that the case.

Training is how you learn to think about it. You're focusing (your questions) on how to correct the pup without doing harm. That does make sense but the question (I think you have) is how do your raise a pup to LEARN the correct behavior. In that respect, it's your job to remove the influences distracting from that effort. Personally, I want to BUILD confidence to an 'enth degree at that age and then TRAIN IN the discipline once I've created the best young dog to work with on more advance training.

But there are methods and ways to train a pup without thinking about it as "training" in the pups mind. I suggest thinking about EVERY SINGLE INTERACTION with the pup being a learning opportunity, large or small. Plan what you intend to help the pup understand about it's role, what is acceptable, what emboldens it, what you may need a light correction on and most importantly, ANTICIPATE IT.

I'm sure you both love the old boxer but the project dog is the pup. Highly recommend ditching the focus on "Retriever Training" and immediately read up on puppy rearing. Your window gets smaller and smaller every day in taking advantage of it's young age.

We listed many Training Programs in the sticky at the top. At that time these two came to mind. There are others, so somone may chime in with them:

*Sound Beginnings by Jackie Mertens
*Puppy Training by Bill Hillman

Ditch the boxer free-for-all for now. When the pup is out of the crate the other dog should be in one. That way you are focused on the pup and the pup on you. Later, the boxer becomes a great distraction that you can use to your advantage.
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby slayducks87 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:02 am

Thanks again for the input. The pup stays in the crate at night, whenever we aren't home, or when we are too busy to keep a close eye on him. He does well with the kennel command and I don't let him bust out whenever I open it for him. In all honesty, I am looking at maybe an hour or two a day max that the rough housing gets intense. I keep him outside with me as much as possible to try to help burn some energy off and let him explore the property.

I agree that I need to lay off the retriever aspect as that needs a solid foundation of OB. Thanks for your help and I will be checking out the Bill Hillman material as I have heard a lot about his program.
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:19 am

slayducks87 wrote:Thanks again for the input. The pup stays in the crate at night, whenever we aren't home, or when we are too busy to keep a close eye on him. He does well with the kennel command and I don't let him bust out whenever I open it for him. In all honesty, I am looking at maybe an hour or two a day max that the rough housing gets intense. I keep him outside with me as much as possible to try to help burn some energy off and let him explore the property.

I agree that I need to lay off the retriever aspect as that needs a solid foundation of OB. Thanks for your help and I will be checking out the Bill Hillman material as I have heard a lot about his program.


Good! Right idea. Eliminate the 2 hours of rough housing in the house. Put the boxer up since you need time alone with the pup in learning the house rules. Also - I know this is just "words" but to my suggestion in terms of how you think of things. I doubt the kennel work is a "command" yet. Keep in mind TEACH/TRAIN/TEST. It's very important IMO and right now it's a teach phase. Going well but not a "command" yet. It will become one when you reach the TRAIN/TEST part.

Hillman has some good stuff. I don't think anyone can read too much, of the right stuff. I think any new trainer should start 6 months ahead of getting a pup. I'm doing the same on new training methods for a different style of working dog.
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Re: Puppy Household Manners

Postby crackerd » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:41 am

slayducks87 wrote:11 weeks. I know he is still getting used to everything but I want to make sure he understands the lines without busting him before formal training even starts.


Spelled c-r-a-t-e. Or VariKennel. Your header is "Puppy household manners" but you've not really asked the first question about how a puppy should be housetrained. The crate or VariKennel is where pups go for household security - double entendre here - and to learn that they come with an off-switch, and eventually they'll find it.

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