Poodle Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello to the community, and thanks to everyone for all the valuable advice! I have been spending a lot of time reading your posts! I am a first time owner of a spoo and the family and I are just thrilled with our little Olive. She is now 10 weeks old and beginning her third week in our home. I had read Ian Dunbar’s book and watched some videos, but somehow have been unable to follow him to the letter. His program seemed designed for people who go out sometimes, but at this point all four of us are home all day and I felt that all day short term confinement with breaks to relieve herself and to play and train was somehow too confining. Also, she had already been relieving herself outside while with the breeder. So I created a sort of hybrid space with the crate inside a very small playpen. She gets fed in her crate and will nap there sometimes but mostly hangs out in front of the crate inside the little pen. There is no indoor toilet because we take her out frequently. She has not had any accidents at all inside the setup for 2-3 hours at a time, and in fact has only had a total of 3 pee accidents when left outside to play in the kitchen with us for too long without going out. My kids also mistakenly let her play around the house a few times when she was full, which led to the unmentionable. Now she is confined to the kitchen when playing outside the pen and does well when she is walked every 2 hours and after eating. I think this is working but it still feels rather different than what Dunbar suggests. I am concerned that she is not spending much time in a crate with the door closed other than at night when she gets distressed sometimes if we do not sit with her until she is sleepy. Any thoughts?

Also- I am afraid I have really botched the pooping part of house training. I had not realized she should poop in the same toilet area she readily pees in on command already. I have been taking her out on her leash in the yard (too young still for street walks) and letting her find her own spot to poop. Sometimes we also play outside. However in rereading Dunbar last night it seems he recommends pooping in the same toilet area and coming inside to play. I wonder now whether when it comes to leash training she will be confused since she has been walking and running in our yard on the leash wherever she wants to go. I somehow had not planned ahead for that. I would really appreciate some guidance here because I am having a mini crisis of confidence. (Of course we are having a great time with her, we just want to do well by our new family member.). Thanks again for all the help already provided!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,701 Posts
It sounds to me as if you - and Olive - are doing brilliantly! Dr Dunbar's advice is there to be adapted to your circumstances, and I am sure he would be the first to tell you so. I do think it is worth encouraging her to poo in more or less the same place, preferably somewhere easily accessible on dark wet nights, but many dogs need to run a bit before they are ready to go - just say your poo-word as she does it, have a party, and try not to make it the end of fun, so she does not hold off going in order to stay out longer If she is learning to be happy on a leash that is another good thing. Toilet training - most training, in fact - is very much about what works for you and your dog, and raising a puppy is not so very different from raising a child, and you know how to do that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kontiki and Dechi

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,777 Posts
You are doing fine. I think Dunbar sets the bar really high under the assumption that people are only going to follow 80% of his instructions no matter how much or how little he tells them.

Like you, I did not follow the Dunbar program strictly to the letter. However, every time I deviated, I asked myself what the consequences might be, and if I was ok with those consequences. For example:
Not choosing a potty spot outside consequences: I need to take my dog on a real walk to empty him, and I have to hunt for poop piles in my yard when cleaning up. I can live with these consequences.
Not introducing the puppy to a variety of people consequences: the dog may become fearful or snippy around children and people who don't look like my family. These are not consequencesI'm ok with, so I spent as much time as Covid permitted letting Galen meet all my neighbors and play with their children.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks fjm and cowpony! I already feel less at sea! I definitely want to pursue having Olive poop in the same general area, but since I have been letting her go hither and yon at Will anywhere in the yard, I will have to switch course. She does not resist the leash, but neither does she see it as requiring any s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Sorry about that! Phone died. Olive does not see the leash as requiring anything of her (like walking with me) and am just wondering how I will transition to leash walks around the neighborhood. At the moment, she just goes where she wants to, to poop and eat moss. Any advice on how to start transitioning? Meanwhile, thanks for your votes of confidence and flexibility
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I agree with everything everyone is saying about needing to adapt and it sounds like you're doing great! We are also home all the time so I think it's important to try and consciously build in times when the puppy gets practice being left alone in her crate for short periods extending to a little longer. Not so much on the house training but just to get her used us leaving her.

It's a bit easier for us since our noisiest family member (my 9 year old) is going to school during the day (fingers crossed we make it till the holidays with no lockdown, but anyway we got a good few months!) and so we started to practice with going out for a short errand during a time when she usually naps, and have continued to do more outings without her since. I also go upstairs to my office and close the door most days to work while she's in her crate downstairs and my husband has gone out to the store or works in the basement, which I figure is almost as good as leaving for real. Maybe you can plan some times do errands without her or to hide from her and work/hang out in other parts of the house while she naps?

It is a pain to have to plan times to practice leaving or to hide from the puppy, but I think it's important so we don't wind up with 1-2 year old dogs who can't be left alone when we go back to work outside the house. It reminds me of when I was nursing my daughter and never properly taught her to take a bottle because it was easier at the time. It was a drag but it would have given us more independence. Actually this seems even more important with a puppy since human babies outgrow that phase!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,572 Posts
You are doing okay and I think nearly all of your adaptations of the Ian scheme are going to work out well for you.

Here are a couple of thoughts about the potty issues. If you take your pup to a designated potty spot she should adapt pretty readily if you leave some poo behind to help her know why she is at that spot on her leash. Have a party when she goes so she knows this is a grand accomplishment. Make sure you do give a potty on command order and make sure it isn't a word you are likely to say with emphasis in normal conversation. If you train the command with a word like empty and you have lots of discussion in your home with that word, you will have a pup that may think they are being told to empty on the living room carpet and that will make a mess of things.

It is super important to do two things that I am not sure you are doing enough of. First is helping your pup learn how to self soothe on being left alone. Put pup in long term confinement area, put out a nice chew toy and just leave. Do not make any fuss and don't even say goodbye. Listen for what is happening. If there is crying try to wait it out. If there is no crying go back before there is any distress and tell pup they were good. Gradually increase the time. The other thing you must do is expose baby dog to many different kinds of people. There doesn't have to be any petting, just so long as there is a lot of seeing any different sort of person you can think of.

As to whether Ian means people should make approximations to his protocols he actually has said at a number of workshops I've been a part of with him that he tells students/clients those exact numbers of treats and such because that is precisely what he intends. I also think he really means it on how many people puppies should meet. Clearly though there are many people who won't be able to set up the house space exactly as he describes, but it is worth it to get as close to those set ups as one can. For Javelin we had a crate in my small office next to our bedroom and the whole room was his long term confinement area. We did have a piece of sod in a leakproof tray but just outside the back door, not in that office. We had a baby gate to separate that room from the rest of downstairs since we wanted him to be able to safely interact with the two older dogs. All in all following Ian more with him than the older dogs definitely helped make him a much easier pup that Lily and Peeves had been.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,453 Posts
Catherine is right about choosing the right potty word.

My mom taught our basset hound, Rosa, to pee on the cue, "Hurry up!" Well, trying to get four young children out of the house one morning, she said, "Hurry up!"
Rosa looked at my mom, looked at her some more, obviously confused.
Mother to four kids under the age of 10 who can't find assorted homework, mittens, and shoes, "Hurry up! Hurry up!"
Rosa looked at my mom again.
"Hurry up!"
Rosa obediently peed on the kitchen floor.
The look on my mom's face after that was priceless.

Anyhow, be careful with what you tell your dog. They are so much smarter than we give them credit for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,868 Posts
Catherine is right about choosing the right potty word.
My mom taught our basset hound, Rosa, to pee on the cue, "Hurry up!" Well, trying to get four young children out of the house one morning, she said, "Hurry up!"
Rosa looked at my mom, looked at her some more, obviously confused. Mother to four kids under the age of 10 who can't find assorted homework, mittens, and shoes, "Hurry up! Hurry up!"
Rosa looked at my mom again. "Hurry up!"
Rosa obediently peed on the kitchen floor.
The look on my mom's face after that was priceless.

Anyhow, be careful with what you tell your dog. They are so much smarter than we give them credit for.
Laughing out loud!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,868 Posts
Congratulation on how well you and Olive are doing:) I think the most important parts of Ian Dunbar's teachings are on dog training, not on where to pee and poo, or how your house is set up:) I had to totally scramble my house up to allow workers to put in new windows, moving things away from all of the walls, etc and we were in disarray moving stuff around for over a month. My spoo seemed to actually enjoy it as it gave him more things to run around and jump over. Cheers:)
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top