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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm a new member of this forum and a first time dog owner. I have a 7.5 week old toy poodle (named Sal). I am currently crate training him. Luckily he hasnt had an accident in his crate and seems to go to the bathroom (on his pee pad) just fine in the morning... other than that, he seems to p&p anywhere he wants to. I consistently tell him "bathroom" in the morning and after he takes a nap, and praise him when he does. But he still seems to have accidents throughout the day. Also, I am having a hard time getting him to "come", "sit" , and he barely seems to recognize his name. I am trying to avoid treats, but if treats are a necessity, I am willing to use them. Also, getting him to use a leash is impossible.

Help!
 

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Welcome to the forum. :)

Your little one is adorable, from what I can see on the avatar, so we definitely need bigger pictures posted. :biggrin: How long have you had your little guy, he is awfully young to be away from his mom and siblings.

From what you've posted he is doing great at potty training at such young age. In order to help him remember where to go, he really needs to be either tethered to you by leash or in a crate or better yet in a playpen (with he bed, toys and pee pads) when you can't watch him. Do you just let him roam free?

As to his name just keep calling him and evert time he responds, praise him and give him a treat.

It can be challenging to use the leash. Make sure that when you walk him, you use a harness with the leash, not a color. You don't want to damage his throat.
 

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He is just a tiny baby.

It will take months to train him, most likely.

If you are kind, consistant, keep using key words.....eventually the day will come when the light bulb will go off and he will get it.

My six month miniature poodle is just beginning to be fairly housebroken and I have worked with her since 12 weeks of age, when I brought her home.

My experience with puppies has been that it takes a lot of time and just when you feel like it is hopeless.....they get it.
 

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At 7.5 weeks,he should be snuggled next to his doggy mom.
I am sure he will learn everything you would like him to know...but give him time and patience.
He is just a baby.
 

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Why would you want to avoid treats? Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways of training.

Over time you can phase treats out to the point where the dog will do as asked while not always for a reward. However I believe praise should always be given and that is a reward in itself.

I can't imagine training my dog without the use of treats. I hardly ever have treats on me with my older dog, she does as asked just for simple praise reward but she's always delighted when she gets something extra! It keeps her on her toes and always ready to do as asked.
 

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I agree with what the others have said. You've got a tiny baby on your hands that really shouldn't have been away from its dog mama until at least 8 weeks (and personally for toy breeds, I think it should be more like 10 weeks). The reason I say that is because puppies still learn so much from mama and siblings at this young age.
But since your sweetie is with you now, don't be too discouraged - it will happen. I also agree with the others - treats are a great way to get your puppy to learn both potty training and things like coming to you. You can get some treats that you can break up into smaller pieces or I've even used my dog's food/kibble as a "treat". Good luck and we'd love to see more pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your help! I know I will be needing more so please feel free to suggest.
As for now, I have decided to buy treats and a harness (to replace my collar).

As for Sal, I got him at around 5.5 weeks. He freely roams the living room (hardwood, thank God!) but only under my supervision. Usually my wife or I am able to watch him at all times. He does not have a playpen area, so if I have to run an errand in the middle of the day, I usually wait until he falls asleep and then put him into his crate and finally run off for my errand. My house isnt very big so it will be quite difficult to build a playpen area...

I had a question, at what age do most toy poodles usually respond to simple commands and their names? Also at what age do most poodles know where and when to use the bathroom? Ever since getting laid off (who hasn't), I have all day to tend to Sal and help him become a great dog..so any of your suggestions, comments, methods will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Here are some pics!






 

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You're baby Sal is very cute, he looks sooooo tiny :) He almost doesn't look real, like a little stuffed toy. How adorable...

You got him at 5 weeks??? WOW! Thats against the law in alot of places, it is here in florida I know for sure. You need to understand that puppies do a lot of mental development between 4-16 weeks. They learn most of their vital life lessons that shape their behavior for the rest of the lives from their mother and littermates between 4-10 weeks. You're baby is missing out on that so raising him will be a little different from raising an average puppy.

You are expecting WAY to much from such a young puppy. Give him some time. Housetraining all by itself can take months, espeicaly with toy breeds. At this point I think you really kind of need to let him do as he pleases and just manage where he has access too so you don't have to worry so much about his potty habits. Maybe keep him in a pen with a litter box? Smaller dogs are really easy to litter train and it's a handy trick to know if the weather is bad :) All of our puppies are litter box trained before they leave for new homes. It doesn't seem to make teaching them to potty outdoors any more difficult than any other dog either so don't worry. It also keeps everything clean while they are learning.

As for him learning his name, don't worry about it right now, nor should you worry about sit for at least another couple of weeks. Come when called can take a year or more to be reliable so there too a puppy his age cannot be expected to learn it well.
Just say his name when you talk to him, but not over and over and over again all day long. That just teaches the puppy that whatever particular word you are using doesn't mean anything. Ever have a friend who talks non stop?? You tend to learn to tune out some of what they say?? It;s the same with dogs they learn to tune you out if you talk all the time lol.

I would say you wanting to avoid treats is not unusal as people go, I get a lot of people in my classes that tell me they don't want to use food to reward. I give them two options, do it my way or here is a number for another trainer who is going to tell you the same thing and boot them from class. You don't have to use unhealthy treats or even dog treats at all. You can just use your puppies regular food, when he starts eating hard food that is. I'll assume he isn't still on milk here... ?? Just take a tiny kibble or a little canned food on a spoon and use that to reward if you don't want to use any type of human food or dog treat. My 15 week old puppy only gets her dog food during training, except in training classes when she gets something better. So I don't give a lot of treats either, but I still use food as a reward. You get the idea?

Speaking of training, do a search for trainers in your area, and see if any of them offer puppy kindergarden classes. YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THEM! Take it from somebody who's handraised a ton of small dogs. When they miss out on all or part of that mother/littermate interaction they are at higher risk for developing behavior problems like agressions, fear, retarded social skills, pushyness, and seperation anxiety. When you baby turns 10 or 12 weeks old getting him into a low key kindergarden class like that is going to build communication skills between the two of you and the rest of the family and will help head off any potential issues in the future.

Again Sal is a really adorable puppy but you've got your work cut out for you for sure! If you go ahead and relax a little on him now and put him in puppy classes when he is old enough you will definitly lay the groundwork for a super happy human dog relationship for many years.
 

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Do you have any books on puppy rearing? If not, I'd like to recommend a very good book by Dr. Ian Billinghurst called How to Teach a New Dog Old Trick. It's an excellent book and well worth the time and money. Here's the link to amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Teach-New-Dog-Tricks/dp/1888047062/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238212346&sr=8-1

As far as exercise/play pen, you don't need to build one, you can buy a small one, since you have a toy poodle. Here's a link to a small plastic play pen. You can also use a baby play pen, etc.

http://www.petedge.com/Pet-Yard-Exercise-Pen-ZX191.pro
 

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You're baby Sal is very cute, he looks sooooo tiny :) He almost doesn't look real, like a little stuffed toy. How adorable...

You got him at 5 weeks??? WOW! Thats against the law in alot of places, it is here in florida I know for sure. You need to understand that puppies do a lot of mental development between 4-16 weeks. They learn most of their vital life lessons that shape their behavior for the rest of the lives from their mother and littermates between 4-10 weeks. You're baby is missing out on that so raising him will be a little different from raising an average puppy.

You are expecting WAY to much from such a young puppy. Give him some time. Housetraining all by itself can take months, espeicaly with toy breeds. At this point I think you really kind of need to let him do as he pleases and just manage where he has access too so you don't have to worry so much about his potty habits. Maybe keep him in a pen with a litter box? Smaller dogs are really easy to litter train and it's a handy trick to know if the weather is bad :) All of our puppies are litter box trained before they leave for new homes. It doesn't seem to make teaching them to potty outdoors any more difficult than any other dog either so don't worry. It also keeps everything clean while they are learning.

As for him learning his name, don't worry about it right now, nor should you worry about sit for at least another couple of weeks. Come when called can take a year or more to be reliable so there too a puppy his age cannot be expected to learn it well.
Just say his name when you talk to him, but not over and over and over again all day long. That just teaches the puppy that whatever particular word you are using doesn't mean anything. Ever have a friend who talks non stop?? You tend to learn to tune out some of what they say?? It;s the same with dogs they learn to tune you out if you talk all the time lol.

I would say you wanting to avoid treats is not unusal as people go, I get a lot of people in my classes that tell me they don't want to use food to reward. I give them two options, do it my way or here is a number for another trainer who is going to tell you the same thing and boot them from class. You don't have to use unhealthy treats or even dog treats at all. You can just use your puppies regular food, when he starts eating hard food that is. I'll assume he isn't still on milk here... ?? Just take a tiny kibble or a little canned food on a spoon and use that to reward if you don't want to use any type of human food or dog treat. My 15 week old puppy only gets her dog food during training, except in training classes when she gets something better. So I don't give a lot of treats either, but I still use food as a reward. You get the idea?

Speaking of training, do a search for trainers in your area, and see if any of them offer puppy kindergarden classes. YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THEM! Take it from somebody who's handraised a ton of small dogs. When they miss out on all or part of that mother/littermate interaction they are at higher risk for developing behavior problems like agressions, fear, retarded social skills, pushyness, and seperation anxiety. When you baby turns 10 or 12 weeks old getting him into a low key kindergarden class like that is going to build communication skills between the two of you and the rest of the family and will help head off any potential issues in the future.

Again Sal is a really adorable puppy but you've got your work cut out for you for sure! If you go ahead and relax a little on him now and put him in puppy classes when he is old enough you will definitly lay the groundwork for a super happy human dog relationship for many years.
Such great advice Wonderpup - I am beginning to think that the reason Ginger has had the fear problem is because the breeder gave her to me at barely 6 weeks - a little too young but she seemed to want to get rid of these puppies fast! Poor ginger must have missed her mommy.
 

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Oh thats a great book reccomendation, it's definitly in my collection. Another great one is the culture clash, I forget who writes it and am to lazy to drag myself off the couch and go see. It talks a lot about how dog's think and how communication can be improved.

Pamela, that is likely part of Ginger's issues. I have two single puppies in my home, who grew up without litter mates and raised a third who was lives up north now. Howie and Mr. Wonderful were both only children. They are most definitly different! In Mr. Wonderful and Merlin (who is the dog who lives up north now) they were both basicly rejected by their first time mothers. So they REALLY missed the boat. Especialy Merlin, he was a c-section baby like Mr. but with Merlin his mother actualy got agressive if we put him in with her. A real shame, but she just didn't "get" the whole mommy thing. Wonder didn't really want much to do with Mr. Wonderful but she seemed to go back and forth so at least he got some attention from her. She was a first timer as well who had a c-section. I often wonder if that has much effect on the puppy in addition to being basicly hand raised?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Another question, how do I take care of my pup's eyes? Ive heard that poodles have eye issues (something with tear ducts)... Sal's hair near his eyes are always crusty and seems to be gunk too. Is there anything I can do to prevent this or is this something I should I always clean every few days?
 

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If his eyes run a lot/all the time, I would clean them every morning and/or night with just warm water and cotton balls or to get everything out. Flea comb works great to remove the gunk from the eyes.
 

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Timberlandkim - Sal is simply adorable & will be an amazing new member of your family.

Since you are home all day (sorry to hear that) try taking Sal out about every 2 hours. I had shoulder surgery in January and was able to be home all day with my 5mo little girl for the first 6 weeks that I've had her. About every 2 hours I would take her outside and tell her to "get the bunny" (that's the command I use). As soon as she starts to go I say "Good girl get the bunny". (Praise is a must every time you get the behavior you want, AS SOON AS the behavior occurs.) I just went back to work a couple weeks ago and so far (knock on wood) I've had no puddles to come home to.

Just remember, he's an infant/toddler. At the same age humans are still in diapers. Be patient. The most recent pamphlet I got from the vet at Morgan's "new puppy" visit said that you can't expect them to hold for 8 hours till they are about 8-9mo old.

Good Luck.
 
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