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Old Aug 6th, 2012, 12:45 PM   1
Fizzyfefe
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Our first dog, Jenny


Hi everyone!

My husband and I rescued our very first puppy yesterday! We are so excited. Her name is Jenny, she is a little over a year old, and she is a black lab mix. Okay, so maybe she's not quite a puppy anymore, but she feels like my baby puppy.

We've never owned a dog before, so this is will be an experience! Any suggestions are appreciated. We need all the help we can get with our new fur baby. I'm so excited that we are finally able to join this forum!



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Old Aug 21st, 2012, 02:41 AM   2
Bevziibubble
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Aww, she's gorgeous! How are things going with her? Hope she's settling in well!



 
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Old Aug 22nd, 2012, 13:23 PM   3
Fizzyfefe
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Thanks, Bevzii! Unfortunately, it has not been all candy and rainbows since we got her. She was great the first few days, but has basically turned into a nightmare ever since. She is a sweetheart when hubby and I are home with her, but that's about the only time she behaves. She barks and growls at other people and other dogs, has destroyed our house once while we left her alone, has broken out of two (expensive) crates when left alone, and will not listen to any commands when we try and teach her something. Just in the past few days, she has now started whining at every little thing. She won't stop biting when we try to play with her, and it's really worrying me that she won't be able to socialize with other people, dogs, and especially, children. Her training classes start tonight, thank goodness, so we'll see if they help.



 
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 04:28 AM   4
Kess
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Aw bless, she sounds scared (especially the destroying things when you're away) - not surprising if she's still settling in etc. Have you looked into clicker training? It worked wonders with my dog - we thought she was really dim before that (all the training I'd done with previous dogs just wasn't working with her) but it turns out she just learns best with the clicker. Did you introduce her to the crate slowly with treats etc? A good positive, reward-based training class is a good idea, hopefully it'll help.

"Scaredy dog" and "Control unleashed" are great books, they really helped me understand my dogs better.



 
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 07:50 AM   5
Bevziibubble
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How have the training classes been going? hope they're helping Jenny. It certainly sounds like she's got a personality!
When my hubby first got his dog (before he met me) he was biting everyone but he did calm down in time and now he just nibbles. He has never bitten me as he won't bite women apparently! I think dogs get so over excited when they're young but they do calm down in time!



 
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 12:01 PM   6
Fizzyfefe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kess View Post
Aw bless, she sounds scared (especially the destroying things when you're away) - not surprising if she's still settling in etc. Have you looked into clicker training? It worked wonders with my dog - we thought she was really dim before that (all the training I'd done with previous dogs just wasn't working with her) but it turns out she just learns best with the clicker. Did you introduce her to the crate slowly with treats etc? A good positive, reward-based training class is a good idea, hopefully it'll help.

"Scaredy dog" and "Control unleashed" are great books, they really helped me understand my dogs better.
Hiya Kess! The trainer said the same thing about her being scared when we went away. She has crazy separation anxiety and nothing calms her down.

The classes she is taking are based off of clicker training and positive reinforcement, and she is slowly getting better. It's still extremely hard getting her to listen if there are other people in the room. She gets so excited that she won't sit still or listen to a command. Also, if there is another dog in the room, forget it. All listening goes right out the window.

Also, yes, we did introduce the crate slowly and with treats and toys. We put a nice bed in there for her, made sure that we stayed in the room with her for the first few times, and did not put her in there as punishment. She sleeps in there with no problems, but, mind you, we are in the next room. She is completely fine when we were in the house, but the minute we leave, she starts trying to break out. (The attached picture shows what she did to her bed, and the second crate that she was able to destroy. It's a dark photo, so you may not be able to see too much. Also, don't mind the hubby wearing socks with sandals... he won't stop doing it and it drives me crazy! )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevziibubble View Post
How have the training classes been going? hope they're helping Jenny. It certainly sounds like she's got a personality!
When my hubby first got his dog (before he met me) he was biting everyone but he did calm down in time and now he just nibbles. He has never bitten me as he won't bite women apparently! I think dogs get so over excited when they're young but they do calm down in time!
Hey Bevzii! The first one went all right. There was one other dog in the class, and she did not like him at ALL. He was very hyper, though, so I don't know if he scared her or not. She listened most of the time, and it somewhat stuck when we brought her home. She did finally learn her name, so that's good. Our homework assignment was to make her sit for thirty seconds by the next training class, and she's done well. I've been working with her every day since that class. However, like I said to Kess, she doesn't listen as soon as other people come in to the room. Also, she chewed through her leash. It's like we fix one bad behavior, and she develops another one.

What constitutes a young dog? She is a year and seven months. How long does it take them to develop an adult personality? Or do they ever grow out of it? How old is your dog now? Glad to know that there is some hope!


I appreciate your responses, ladies!



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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 14:06 PM   7
Kess
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Aw, for a medium sized dog 1 year 7 months is not adult yet. When she hits two she's technically an adult, but at least another year after that before I'd expect her to calm down in general (judging by my cocker anyway lol). Really recommend Scaredy Dog and Control Unleashed. My cocker never listened. It explains in one of those books, can't remember which of the two, that when a dog is nervous they can't learn as the adrenaline etc stops the connections in the brain being made and stops them concentrating. She was stressed because of a dog attack on her in her fear period, she'd decided all of outside was scary, especially other dogs. Her daily walks were keeping her stress levels high. Once we brought her stress levels down for two weeks she was able to learn properly and we taught alternative behaviours (with the clicker). She's sooooo much better now!



 
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Old Aug 28th, 2012, 15:05 PM   8
Fizzyfefe
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How do you use your clicker? At the training class, they were teaching us that we only click when she performs a command or listens, and then we give her a treat immediately. Click, treat, click treat. But what do we do when she doesn't listen?



 
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Old Aug 29th, 2012, 06:14 AM   9
Kess
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Depends why she isn't listening, and which command, for me. Is she distracted, just not understanding, not giving you her full attention, not interested? Which commands are we talking about? I assume you 'charged' the clicker (treat with every click before you even start training so she learns to associate the click with good stuff). Which treats have you tried?

Tell me more and I can tell you what I would do. I'm not qualified, I can't promise I know what I'm talking about, but I read a lot and I can tell you what I would do based on my experience with my dogs (my own and fosters) - a couple of which have had fear issues.



 
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Old Aug 29th, 2012, 06:35 AM   10
Bevziibubble
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Aww sounds like she made a bit of progress at the training class then. Have you watched the Dog Whisperer? I quite like that programme

My dog is around 6 or 7 years old, we're not totally sure as he was a rescue dog, but he has calmed down a lot from what he used to be like and is really good at following instructions. Apart from running and barking at cats in the garden!



 
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