Puppy's behavior worries me:(

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by spreeville, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. spreeville

    spreeville New Member

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    I have a nearly 3 month old daschund/beagle puppy named Levi who has some issues once he steps outside.

    1.) He will begin out walking fine but he does not like to walk on the grass! When he notices we are approaching some grass he begins to resist. He must at all times have his feet planted on pavement, concrete, or rocks. Once I force him on the grass ('cause that's the only way he'll go) He desperately tries to get back on the sidewalk or street. When I don't let him go, he starts to struggle, jumps in the air uncontrollably and screams at the top of his lungs. I never give in to his tantrums and I wait until he calms down to resume walking.

    2.) Levi also stops as soon as we come across a curb or stairs which he can easily hop up on. I have to end up dragging him, and once he gets close enough, he tackles the curb and stairs with ease. He also tries to avoid walking up slight hills and inclines for reasons I cannot understand. These behaviors seem to get worse with every walk. Any ideas on what can be causing this behavior?

    F.Y.I. I never let him 'walk me' or lead me in any way. I'm always the dominant one. I've been raising dogs all my life and have never seen behavior like this from a puppy, so I have no idea how to fix it! HELP!!!
     
  2. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    To get him on the grass, you should stop forcing him and make it fun for him. Toss a ball onto the grass - start close to the pavement and gradually toss it further. Or bring a small dish with food and feed him on the grass.

    For the curbs and stairs and hills, it could be that he's not able to get up them easily. I would try to avoid stairs with him and minimize curbs - avoid them if you can, and also minimize hills. He might simply be too small and especially if he's built more like a doxie. It might even be painful for him when he does go up them. He should be better able to handle it when he gets bigger.

    As for walking him, make it fun!! Bring treats, bring toys, keep the walks short. Stop thinking in terms of dominance.
     
  3. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Forcing him certainly isn't working for you, especially if he is getting worse.
    I would expect he came from somewhere where he was never on grass or seen it with his littermates or dam either. Although some dogs do have very sensitive feet, can you gently handle his feet? What is he like when you trim his nails? and stroke his pads?

    Take a meal, sit on some grass (make sure the grass is soft) beside a sidewalk etc, put a piece of the kibble on the edge, let him eat it, DON'T pull or drag him to the grass, have a nice loose leash. If he puts ONE paw on the grass give him several pieces of his kibble, make it nice and fun.
     
  4. Put yourself in his position. Suppose you had, or maybe you DO have a great fear. Suppose someone much larger and stronger than you FORCED you to confront this great fear each time you are presented with it.

    How would you feel? I bet your fear and dread would increase exponentially every time you were forced to get up next to whatever it is you fear. I bet your puppy feels the same way.

    Agree whole heartedly with CP and Adojrts.

    :D
     
  5. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    I agree...

    Pics of the pup?? :D lol We love pics!
     
  6. noodlerubyallie

    noodlerubyallie Sprayin' the spiders

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    You are not alone!!

    My mini Dachshund, now three, HATES grass. She doesn't mind our backyard mostly, but we have the roundish landscaping wood pieces and railroad ties for borders and she runs on those instead of going through the grass. If she has a choice, she will potty, sleep, walk, run on concrete. ONLY concrete. It could be because she is only about 6 inches at the shoulder so grass is hard for her to get around in so she avoids it. She doesn't fight about getting in grass on walks but she will make you trip on her to avoid going in the grass (as in dead stop right in front of your feet!) If I toss food, toys, etc in the grass she'll go after them.

    On the other hand, this dog will go up stairs willingly, jump off the highest peaks, run up hills...so maybe a lot of encouragement and praise, and a lot of good treats will help your little guy out? It's all about making him have a good time and not stressing out about it.
     
  7. wants pictures!!!

    And you know, the puppy may hate the feel of grass on his belly. Even short grass would rub the belly.
     
  8. spreeville

    spreeville New Member

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    Consistancy

    Glad to hear I'm not alone! He has no problems playing in bushes and twigs, so I don't see how the grass could be bothersome to his paws or body. I only force him on the grass because if he's not on the grass, he wont go potty, then if I give in and take him home, he will go in the house! It's important to be the dominant one, especially with a puppy so he knows who's boss early on. I'm not joking when I say that if I let this puppy have his way during walks, he would sit on the sidewalk and do absolutely nothing the entire time and would only potty if he couldn't hold it any longer. At least forcing him on the grass will make him potty, but he will continue to struggle anyway. I don't believe what I'm doing is wrong at all. I don't believe in spoiling my dog and letting him have his way. If I let him have his way with the grass then he will always have this problem. Food, treats, and toys, have no effect whatsoever on his behavior.
     
  9. Please, let's not talk about trying to be dominant with a 12 weeks infant puppy who is probably less than 10 lbs.

    Forcing your puppy in this way will only cause him not to trust you, and to fear you.

    If you need to put him on the grass, pick him up and put him on the grass.

    And after reading the rest of your post, I won't waste any more time typing.

    Good luck to you!

    :)
     
  10. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    Well if I go out in the yard in flip flops the grass itches my legs.
     
  11. spreeville

    spreeville New Member

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    Age has no relevance when training a dog. It may sound harsh, but I assure you I'm not dragging him all over the street, just walking him onto the grass. In reality, he's the one who's actually pulling while I'm continuing on the walk. I'm not going to baby him just because he's a baby. This is how people end up with spoiled and uncontrollable dogs because they feel sorry for them and think in nature they are the same as human babies. Remember, in packs, older, and yes, more dominant members would be showing this puppy who's boss.
     
  12. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    I beg to differ, age has a LOT of relevance when training a dog. Older dogs wouldn't be showing him who is "boss" quite yet. There would be some correction when a pup was way out of bounds, but nothing too harsh. Most stable dogs will let puppies get away with murder until they are ALMOST adults and then the corrections get harsher. Oh and you are not another dog and thus don't have all the same accompanying body language to go along with the "show em who is boss corrections."


    Why the hell did you ask for advice in the first place if you already know everything?
     
  13. noodlerubyallie

    noodlerubyallie Sprayin' the spiders

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    Red and Hillside, I agree.

    I'll also go along with a puppy that is unsure about what exactly grass is, so they fight because it's an unknown. It seems like Levi may be seeking some reassurance from you when he needs to go over a curb/up stairs? Or he's waiting for you so let him know grass is "ok?" I think that puppies that lack confidence (my Dachshund still does) need someone to reassure them that everything is ok. It seems like babying, but if you look at it from a "doggy" standpoint, mothers take their babies into scary places all the time and are there for them if they are scared. Ever watched a duck with new ducklings? All huddled together, jump into the scary water one at a time, while their mother patiently waits for them to be brave and sets a good example. I think you need to give Levi positive feedback when he meets something that he is unsure of, it will help boost his confidence and make him less likely to balk. Forcing a dog to do something it doesn't want to do tends to reinforce the balking behavior as they didn't get anything positive out of the experience. It's annoying, for sure, when your puppy doesn't want to do something, but patience in the early years makes the adult years much, much simpler and happier for the dog.

    I also want to say that Dachshunds can be EXTREMELY stubborn. So it may take some extra time and patience to get the desired result.
     
  14. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Dogs don't need to be dominated, they simply need to learn how to obey and respect you. The best way to teach that is to respect THEM and teach them it is fun to obey you. Sounds like you've been watching too much Cesar ;)

    He is not trying to "control" you, he is AFRAID. By forcing him to do something that scares him you are destroying his trust in you, why would any good leader try to hurt him? (whether or not you are, he is afraid and that is likely how he sees it). You should be trying to build his confidence and show him the grass is not scary. use toys, treats, and example (lay down in it yourself) to try and get him on, be patient, he is a baby and yes that does make a difference, pups don't pop out with minds of a full grown dog. You could also start by giving a treat reward for even a step towards the grass so he gets the idea of what you want and learns it's rewarding to move near the grass. Puppies also go through fear periods when they become hyper sensitive to potentially scary things, during this time it is imperative that he not be frightened and that he shown he does not have to fear these things or else you risk it being a permanent fear.

    Stop thinking in terms of dog and wolf packs (in fact never ever think about wolf packs when training your dog, that's like learning how to raise human children by watching how chimps do it) and simply think about how the dog is seeing things. Watch his body language to see if he is frightened. Remember when a dog's leash is pulled (and it takes two to pull) the dog will resist much of the time. Dogs learn much better and become far more confident when they are allowed to have a choice and are heavily rewarded for making the choice you want. You can indeed let a dog have his way and still get the result you want (and a very well behaved, obedient, HAPPY to train dog), you just need to make HIS way YOUR way, so make doing what you want better than doing what he wants and he will start wanting to do what you want him to do.
     
  15. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    That's also a good point. If every time you go near the grass you have this big battle or you punish him or drag him or correct him he's going to hate going near the grass even more because every time he does it's scary and you get angry too and try to hurt him (in his mind). It will make things worse, he may start reacting even further from the grass in anticipation of the big battle you are going to have.
     
  16. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    OP, I'm really glad you came to this forum. I know you're new here, so I'll just let you know - EVERYONE who has posted a response to your question is extremely knowledgeable about dogs and how to train them, and I believe they all gave excellent advice. Please stay open minded, and maybe even try to listen to what they're saying. Because after all, the only reasons you'd ask a question is if: 1) you really want a solution to your problem, or 2) you only want us to tell you you're doing everything right and it's your 12-week old puppy that's the problem.

    I just wanted to add - 12-week old puppies do not see distance very well. This makes steps and curbs difficult. I had a puppy who was afraid of going down the steps to my backyard until she was about 6 months old.
     
  17. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    I know alot of Daxies who cant show outside. The grass tickles thier tummys and is VERRY uncomforetable for them. Perhaps this is his problem.

    Forcing a dog to do something they are scared of is the quickest way to ruin your relationship with that dog.
     
  18. a.baker

    a.baker New Member

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    Hillside I strongly feel that comment on your last post towards the end was uncalled for. That kinda stuff is not helpful.

    So anyways Spreeville I see where your coming from. If I were you because the puppy is so young try taking a blanket on the grass and laying on the blanket and have fun and cuddles with the pup on the blanket. Here and there throw a fun toy or treat you have been enjoying together on the blanket in the grass. Use this as a way for the pup and you to start a trust relationship and bondage. Show your pup how you go in the grass and "roll around with the toy or pretend to eat the treat" and how much fun it is and than go back to the blanket. I think this will work. Might take a couple of days or weeks but eventually the little guy will catch on. This might get better with age too.

    Good situation to build trust I believe. I have a pup who is scared of other dogs barking; not other dogs. So we walk in town and dogs bark. Well I have coaxed him into it with with a happy no big deal fun way and now he's half way there but takes time :)
     
  19. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Age is so relevant. And I would never want to 'dominate' my dogs. That is old out dated BS resurrected by a current and popular (with the masses-not with the dog training world) TV celeb.

    I have VERY obedient dogs, who respect me. Dekka will retrieve food without eating it. They are winners in the obed ring, agility ring, rally O ring, etc etc.. and NOT ONCE did I achieve this by dominating them. I want them to TRUST me, not fear me. Dogs don't like to be dominated for the most part, and most people have no idea what a dominant dog is even like (no its not the dog that gets in all the dogs faces at the dog park and tells them who is who)

    Dogs know we are not dogs (otherwise Dog aggressive dogs would be human aggressive too.) So trying to stoop to their level even if you do believe in the current pack theory myth is counter productive.

    You have gotten some great advice by people who TRAIN dogs.. some of them for a living. I would listen before you dismiss out of hand.
     
  20. a.baker, I confess the sentence Hillside wrote were my exact thoughts.

    See post 8 and 9.

    And then 11.

    I am still wondering why the person is here asking questions if they already knew all the answers.
     

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