Training a St. Bernard

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by stbernard, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. stbernard

    stbernard New Member

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    I have been crate training Missy, my st. bernard, for about five days now. She is about to turn 12 weeks old. She has had no accidents inside the crate during the daytime and night. I have her go straight outside when she gets out of the crate and she has no problems. I work during the daytime and play with her at night/evening. I comed home and let her out to go to potty when I get the chance. When she is free of her crate she has had a few accidents. How long does it usually take a st. bernard to potty train? IS there anything different I need to do to make this a successful expereince for her to learn w/o setbacks? Also, the other night, she started to nip. What's your opinion on stopping this behavior? Can playing w/her cause her to get rough or learn to be aggressive? How can I play w/her and not cause the behavior to happen?
     
  2. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Didn't you already have a thread like this? Sounds familiar.

    Sounds like you are doing a good job with crate training. Just be patient.

    As for nipping, I think that ignoring her for 10 minutes or so after she nips or by isolating her in some way are good ways to show that you don't play that way. Playing with her is not going to make her aggressive as long as she knows the rules. Scroll through some of the older posts about nipping. It comes up a lot.
     
  3. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Most pups go through a nipping stage where they try to see if they can get by with it. It's a natural part of play when they're with their littermates, so you don't need to worry that it's necessarily a sign of impending aggressive behaviour, but you do need to teach her that it's not acceptable play behaviour with humans.

    Just like Saje said, when she nips, the play stops immediately and she gets ignored - something a pup hates worse than anything!
     
  4. stbernard

    stbernard New Member

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    Sounds gr8. I am just trying to make sure I don't do anything to allow behavior to have setbacks. I want to make sure Missy learns properly. I'm not much of a dog trainer but enjoy teaching and want to have a well behaved dog. With the size of a Saint, they have to be in control. So how long am I looking at for the potty training to be effective? This morning after taking kids to school, (one of my kids left the cage open) I was greeted by Missy when i went into the office....along with a small puddle on carpet. So looks like she has not graduated at this time. But there is progress with no poop!!! B4 training began, she would poop anywhere! Anyone have suggestions with crate training? Or approx how long this needs to take? I feel so horriable locking her up in her crate. I am planning on her roaming the house when she is P.T'ed. while I am working and relaxing. Any help is highly appreciated. Saja I did kinda get idea from past post, but thought everyone missed. Thanks for your input....:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2005
  5. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    We're glad you are such a dedicated mom.

    You can't really put a time frame on crate training/house breaking. It's not a four week or eight week program. Every dog is different. It will take weeks though. Possibly months for real consitency.

    I didn't crate train Maverick and I have to say we weren't that religious about house breaking him either. He wouldn't pee or poop outside unless we walked down to the beach and played for a hour or so. He would get too excited about being outside. We didn't really stress about it. We didn't have much furniture and we cleaned up a lot of puddles and poop. Then we moved to an apartment with a balconey and he always went out their on paper. Then we moved out of the city and after that he just go the hang of it. He never had a problem after we left the apartment. That was six months after we got him. We weren't that diligent about it. Just took him for at least two walks a day (at least an hour each) and he was pretty good. So, every dog is different. BTW there are lots of people on here with big dogs (me and Renee for starters) and while we don't have St. Bernards we know what it's like to have those giants in our house.
     
  6. stbernard

    stbernard New Member

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    So I need to follow the crate training steps and keep her in the crate and only let her out to go to the bathroom and play at night for as long as it takes? Which could be more than a week? I take it as she will eventually catch on????? I was home more today and let her roam the house and she had no accidents and I took her out every hour. But then I guess she got mixed up and wet in the crate..grrrrr Good thing I have lots of patience...lol
     
  7. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    A good tip is to keep her at your side when she is loose so you can keep an eye on her. You can tie her leash around your waist. That way she is with you all the time and if she is making potty gestures you can distract her and take her outside.

    Had she been in the crate long when she peed in there?

    It is going to take a lot more than a week to perfect. Some dogs still have accidents when they get excited or scared and they will be like that their whole life. It's part of having a puppy and one of the reasons that I love to adopt adults from resuces. LOL
     
  8. stbernard

    stbernard New Member

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    NO Saje she had only been there about an hour. I have no clue why the backstep? And again this morning, I got up and she was completely dry no messes at all. I took her outside and she relieved herself just like she should. Hopefully the stepback was a mental block..lol
     
  9. stbernard

    stbernard New Member

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    Now, how do I teach Missy to NOT bark? Expecially during playtime? Or any time?
     
  10. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    The saint b that I grew up with chewed the legs off of my parents bed so when they replaced them Mom put miracle whip jars over each one...she also taught him to lay down and be covered up when he came in all snowy or wet. The siamese cat took advantage of a warm bed and would get up on his back...she was a terror and the queen so he would hold still. Don't have anything to do with crates..but I thought I woud write it anyway.
     
  11. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Don't worry about the backstep. It always happens. They are living creatures and therefore capable of error. :) I was going to say they are human beings... but that didn't really work.

    Just continue to be consistent with her and she'll make progress. You're doing a good job. Have patience.
     
  12. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    It happens with children too//My mom was a liscensed child care provider in the home..I grew up with I kid u not 200 children 6-10 at a time over a 15 year period. Almost always after they are getting pretty good at staying dry, u have a short back slide, then u are home free. Hope your home free is on the way.
    ps..saje I think they are more human than most thehumans I know..think you were right the first time!
     
  13. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    LOL Smkie, I think you're right. Although that may be an insult to them. It should be the other way around. Smkie, you're a dog. LOL (That was a compliment)
     
  14. Sakasha

    Sakasha Sheltered

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    I may be a little bit late for this topic, but I figured I would add my $0.02 anyway.

    It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job crate training Missy. Just be patient, give her at least a few more weeks with the crate. I know it may seem cruel to be "putting her away" all the time, but remember, when used correctly, most dogs actually like their crates! My 1 year old Pit X Dutch loves (almost) nothing more than to lay on a comfy blanket in his crate and play with his kongs. He dosen't need the crate for housebreaking anymore, but I keep it around simply because he feels so comfortable with it. So keep doing what you're doing - take Missy out as soon as you get home, then have play time after she relieves herself outside. Keep her near you when she is out of the crate - as Saje said, you could leash her and tie the leash around your waist. That way, if she seems like she needs to go to the bathroom, you are close enough to scoop her up and bring her outside, avoiding "accidents" in the house. When she is in the crate, make sure she has a blanket and toy to keep her buzy. The most important thing is patience. Missy will catch on eventually, but don't take the crate away until you are 100% sure she is reliable enough to leave in the house alone. Better safe than sorry!

    As for the nipping issue, always make sure that you have one of her toys available when you are playing with her. As soon as she starts to nip at you, show her the toy, give her the sit command (if she knows it), and as soon as she sits, give her the toy. By interupting playtime when she starts to use her mouth, you are letting her know that nipping is not an acceptable form of play. By making her sit, you are 1.] reinforcing basic obedience training, and 2.] calming her down. And by giving her the toy, you showing her what IS an acceptable form of play - her mouth on the toy, not on you. If Missy dosen't resopnd to your command, or to the toy, then do what Renee and Saje said - walk away.

    As for barking durring playtime, try the same things as for the nipping - make her sit, then when she is calm start playing again. She should soon pick up on the fact that each time she barks, the fun stops. If that dosen't work, try walking away - she'll come to associate barking with you leaving, and won't want to do it.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
     
  15. stbernard

    stbernard New Member

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    Hi all,
    Thanks so much for the info. It seems at times she is being stiff and not learning. This morning when I awoke, she had gotten out of her crate!!! I guess I had not locked it good enough. Anyway, I guess she had eaten something, cause she had messed on the floor and it was the first time she had diarehea. She had a great ole time and roamed all night. But it was only one mess and that was progress from b4 PTing. She went to the bathroom throughout the day and the poop started to form again. I'm sur ewith everyone's help, I will be able to train my silly saint to be a great dog. Thanks for eveyone's help.
     

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