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Old 01-09-2013, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by celticfang View Post
Okay I'm trying to take these one at a time, starting with the cage. I want to move it, but there is nowhere upstairs big enough to put it, it simply wouldn't fit up the stairs while it's put together. I'm trying to think of how else to stop them whining at night, aside from sleeping downstairs in the next room. I've read so much on it that honestly I'm confused on what to do about it, I can tell my parents Gelert's insecure until I'm blue in the face but I know they won't move the cage, even if it's in the room where I am with my comp (which probably wouldn't make a lot of difference really as I'm on it most days), though like I said the cage won't fit in any of the rooms upstairs and my parents are adamant the dogs sleep downstairs (the sole reason their last dog slept upstairs was due to poor health).

It wasn't my choice to keep them in a cage at all, that was the breeder's advice, however personally I want to get them into beds as soon as possible so they can feel more at home, I tend to think of the cage in their minds as a kind of prison (yes, I'm crazy), and I want to get away from that idea ASAP. Besides, the cage just looks awful in the kitchen taking up a lot of space.

As far as being pushy goes, I've just had a perfect example. Elsa wanted food as she doesn't get a lot with Gelert pushing her off of food, so I went to get her food bowl.

Gelert came charging in at full speed and ran into both her and me so I dropped the (empty) bowl, whch point he shoved her out of the way and began whining for food. He won't listen, I can tell him to go away for a few minutes or he can settle in the cage (which I think is totally and utterly in the wrong place), but as soon as I go to talk to Elsa (or anyone does), he's over jumping up and pawing and barking at them, when he gets told no, he's still doing the same thing.

Another thing is there's a low wall at the front of my home, even without a running start I'm concerned both dogs will be able to climb onto and over it. Am I being too paranoid about it or am I right that even without a running start, a dog can get up on to a low wall? I've seen cats that are smaller than both dogs leap up onto it (though taking into account cats are also a lot lighter)

Training, is it worth spending money on a professional or finding what works? I've been reading over various articles by a lot of people and making notes and seeing what they all have in common.
The crate is your FRIEND. It gives you a place to put the puppy where he will be safe, and your belongings will be safe. It is not a prison, try to get that thought out of your head.

You should be feeding the puppies SEPARATED, so the one stealing the others food can not go get it at all. If you have two crates, for now feed them in the individual crates so they each get their correct portion. If not in the crate, put them behind closed doors in separate rooms. Or put a baby gate up in a doorway and feed them on either side. But do not let the puppy steal the others food. Over time, as they get older, you will teach them to respect the other's food bowl and stay away just as good manners.

Learn to redirect the puppy away from unwanted behavior, throw a toy or a ball, walk away to another area.

I think you are expecting too much from 9 week old puppies. They KNOW NOTHING, you have to teach them, with positive methods.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2013, 06:16 PM
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Hi there. I can see that you are trying to do the best for your puppies, & it is certainly confusing, as so much contradiction in training methods on the Internet. Choosing a trainer who uses positive reinforcement is the first step. The trainer will show you how to train certain things, & then you use that training method Only ...use the same word for the same command every time ....& everyone else in the house Must use the same word. If you don't do this, you will end up with puppies who are very confused & do not know what is expected of them. Your pups are very young & do not know how to do anything. It is totally up to you, to show them what you want. Teaching them their names needs to be done separately, so one pup stays in another room with someone, whilst you work with the other pup. You get your pup's attention by saying its name ....when it looks at you, you immediately say Yes! & give it a tasty treat. You can use a clicker instead of saying an enthusiastic Yes! I found clicker training really easy to use, but my husband preferred Yes! You repeat this several times & do it several times a day. You will be amazed at how quickly your pups will respond when you are training this. If they only do it a couple of times & lose interest, that's fine. End training & do it again later. Lots of praise when they get it right. No frustration when they don't.

Next command to teach is usually Sit. Go onto YouTube & look at Kikopup videos ....they are simple & effective. She uses clicker, but you can replace with Yes! seconds before you treat for correct behaviour. At the start, you will be Gently guiding puppy into a sitting position by gentle pressure right at base where tail joins body. Don't say Sit yet. When pup is in sitting position click or say Yes! & reward with yummy treat. Repeat. Soon your pup will sit automatically for you without any help & when that starts happening, you add the verbal command to the action .....so you will now say pup's name & Sit command, click (yes!) when pup sits & immediate treat & praise. When pup loses interest, stop training & do again later. All basic commands are easily trained using this Kikopup method. My boy picked up Sit within one day at 8 weeks old, but other commands can take longer. Each pup is different. Remember, train your pups separately.

I would certainly feed them separately too. Your boy is obviously the more dominant of the two pups, & nothing you do is going to change that. Your girl won't mind it. The behaviour of pushing her out of the way when you are petting her etc, is a jealousy/dominance issue. My boy is a dominant puppy & he was always doing this when our six year old papillon came up for attention. My trainer told me to ignore both dogs when this happened, but to ensure our papillon got lots of cuddles when the pup was occupied or sleeping. He is almost six months old now, & he gets on very well with the small papillon, but will still sometimes try to push in when the older boy comes for attention. Other times, he will look on & not be bothered, as he knows he will get cuddles when he comes over for them.

I only used the crate for overnight sleeping. During daytime, Loki was either with me or my husband all the time, or if there was no-one home, he went into the big exercise pen, set up in our large dining area at end of kitchen. Ex-pen was also used for Timeout if misbehaviour could not be dealt with .....infrequent & only needed a few mins to calm down. Have not had to use Timeout for a while now. Barking issue is more difficult. I would say that he is either not getting enough mental/physical stimulation so not tired. Or it could be that crate has been used for punishment, so he does not want to be there. My trainer told me very early on, after Loki had barked the entire night at nine weeks old in his crate ......wait til he falls asleep at your feet, then gently lift him up & carry him to his covered crate. Place him in the crate, close door & drop cover over the front & walk away ......so he will snooze in the crate & wake up in it, & it will have been a pleasant experience. Keep doing this, & he will get used to sleeping & waking up in crate. It worked a treat for us & I only had to crate him like this for a few days during the day, & after that he was happy to go into crate & sleep all night. I then allowed him to nap at our feet during the day again. You boy is not aggressive. He is just a dominant puppy & training will help him control that & help you to control it, but it will take many weeks. Chewing on everything ...nipping ....perfectly natural in a golden pup & they stop doing it when adult teeth come in. Loki has turned into the most awesome six month old pup. Your guys will too. Just takes time ...lots of patience ...consistency ....& training. No rolling or pinning. Will make matters worse.

Last edited by Dwyllis; 01-09-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticfang View Post
...Training, is it worth spending money on a professional or finding what works? I've been reading over various articles by a lot of people and making notes and seeing what they all have in common.
This is a definite YES. Taking training classes, especially since you have two puppies, is very important. Find a good, positive method, puppy class and go as soon as you can. You will learn so much from the instructor, your puppies will learn to pay attention even in a class with other puppies to distract them. It is really the very best thing you can do for yourself and the puppies. I would continue on to the next level of class as well, not stop at just the puppy class.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwyllis View Post
Hi there. I can see that you are trying to do the best for your puppies, & it is certainly confusing, as so much contradiction in training methods on the Internet. Choosing a trainer who uses positive reinforcement is the first step. The trainer will show you how to train certain things, & then you use that training method Only ...use the same word for the same command every time ....& everyone else in the house Must use the same word. If you don't do this, you will end up with puppies who are very confused & do not know what is expected of them. Your pups are very young & do not know how to do anything. It is totally up to you, to show them what you want. Teaching them their names needs to be done separately, so one pup stays in another room with someone, whilst you work with the other pup. You get your pup's attention by saying its name ....when it looks at you, you immediately say Yes! & give it a tasty treat. You can use a clicker instead of saying an enthusiastic Yes! I found clicker training really easy to use, but my husband preferred Yes! You repeat this several times & do it several times a day. You will be amazed at how quickly your pups will respond when you are training this. If they only do it a couple of times & lose interest, that's fine. End training & do it again later. Lots of praise when they get it right. No frustration when they don't.
They're nigh impossible to seperate though, wherever one is, the other one is always near, if I keep them in seperate rooms they start whining and baring (which is a problem), I have had success training them like you said though, they do come back when called.

Quote:
Next command to teach is usually Sit. Go onto YouTube & look at Kikopup videos ....they are simple & effective. She uses clicker, but you can replace with Yes! seconds before you treat for correct behaviour. At the start, you will be Gently guiding puppy into a sitting position by gentle pressure right at base where tail joins body. Don't say Sit yet. When pup is in sitting position click or say Yes! & reward with yummy treat. Repeat. Soon your pup will sit automatically for you without any help & when that starts happening, you add the verbal command to the action .....so you will now say pup's name & Sit command, click (yes!) when pup sits & immediate treat & praise. When pup loses interest, stop training & do again later. All basic commands are easily trained using this Kikopup method. My boy picked up Sit within one day at 8 weeks old, but other commands can take longer. Each pup is different. Remember, train your pups separately.
I need to start printing these posts out and taping them up around the house so my whole family knows what's what.Like I said though Elsa sits already without being prompted when I click my tongue (since I don't have a clicker and am used to that working with horses), yet when I go to praise her Gelert charges in demanding attention.

As far as treats go, is there anything I should watch out for? I've been giving them carrots as rewards but I don't want them having anything they could choke on.

Quote:
I would certainly feed them separately too. Your boy is obviously the more dominant of the two pups, & nothing you do is going to change that. Your girl won't mind it. The behaviour of pushing her out of the way when you are petting her etc, is a jealousy/dominance issue. My boy is a dominant puppy & he was always doing this when our six year old papillon came up for attention. My trainer told me to ignore both dogs when this happened, but to ensure our papillon got lots of cuddles when the pup was occupied or sleeping. He is almost six months old now, & he gets on very well with the small papillon, but will still sometimes try to push in when the older boy comes for attention. Other times, he will look on & not be bothered, as he knows he will get cuddles when he comes over for them.
Any ways besides feeding seperately? I've been trying to think of ways to curb the jealousy issue and not getting that far at all, even when I give both attention he's dominant and aggressive trying to hog all the attention constantly so it does come off as jealousy and dominance, I'm tending to take Elsa's side as she is my dog

Quote:
I only used the crate for overnight sleeping. During daytime, Loki was either with me or my husband all the time, or if there was no-one home, he went into the big exercise pen, set up in our large dining area at end of kitchen. Ex-pen was also used for Timeout if misbehaviour could not be dealt with .....infrequent & only needed a few mins to calm down. Have not had to use Timeout for a while now. Barking issue is more difficult. I would say that he is either not getting enough mental/physical stimulation so not tired. Or it could be that crate has been used for punishment, so he does not want to be there. My trainer told me very early on, after Loki had barked the entire night at nine weeks old in his crate ......wait til he falls asleep at your feet, then gently lift him up & carry him to his covered crate. Place him in the crate, close door & drop cover over the front & walk away ......so he will snooze in the crate & wake up in it, & it will have been a pleasant experience. Keep doing this, & he will get used to sleeping & waking up in crate. It worked a treat for us & I only had to crate him like this for a few days during the day, & after that he was happy to go into crate & sleep all night. I then allowed him to nap at our feet during the day again. You boy is not aggressive. He is just a dominant puppy & training will help him control that & help you to control it, but it will take many weeks. Chewing on everything ...nipping ....perfectly natural in a golden pup & they stop doing it when adult teeth come in. Loki has turned into the most awesome six month old pup. Your guys will too. Just takes time ...lots of patience ...consistency ....& training. No rolling or pinning. Will make matters worse.
I did try leaving a sheet over the cage last night, it worked well but they were so exhausted that I'm not about to say the sheet did anything, it isn't a clear thing at all as far as that goes, I tend to let them just sleep wherever in the kitchen (they've taken to sleeping on a rug or under the table come to think of it).
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:04 AM
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I'll write more later---

1. Enroll in a puppy obedience course, separately. Either go to two classes, one with each puppy or have someone else in the family take one and you take the other.

2. Train them separately. Crate one while you work with the other in a separate part of the house

3. If you can't be watching them 100% then they need to be crate with an appropriate chew toy. That will save your walls.


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Old 01-10-2013, 09:12 AM
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As someone who has littermate labs- let me offer you some advice.

You really need to teach them that being away from one another is alright. Start it right away. Put them in separate crates, probably in two separate rooms. Train them individually, take them outside individually. You really will run into a problem later down the line if they are too attached to one another. Feed them separately, you can do that in their crates which will help them like their crates. Raising littermates is a challenge and it is not something I ever wish to do again. The labs were terrible as puppies and teenagers. Now they are 7 years old and one is a normal dog. The other has anxiety issues.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:22 AM
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By crating them, do you mean physically picking them up and putting them in the crate while the other one's in the same room? I was talking to my parents about it and they basically said training them together is the only way, I'm disagreeing though, it usually winds up with me on one side of the room and my mom on the other training them both at the same time, though I do want to keep their attention on me.

I'm going to sound harsh, but I wish somewhat they weren't litter mates as much as they are, it's a challenge getting them away from each other and having a family that believes that is okay (when several people I've asked not just on here) said that it isn't. Thing is my mom's had dogs all her life (she's nearly 60) and is too set in her ways though and I can only do so much as far as training goes.

EDIT: Okay, something that I just read and is bothering me, my sister shows up with her two small kids every single day, which is taking away from training. Also there's not a lot of positive articles online about training littermates. It turns out the dog trainer I got coming tomorrow's an ex-police dog handler, so I'm not getting my hopes up too high as training a police dog and a civilian dog (though he's been training for 35 years) are different things.

Last edited by celticfang; 01-10-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:37 AM
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Forcing your poor little guys into their crate will only make them scared of it.

The way I encouraged crate training was putting treats in the crate and leaving it open. Just make it a normal part of the room, don't make a huge deal. BUT! Dog goes in on their own, I would go NUTS - "GOOD BOY! Yay!! What a good boy!" - and give tons of affection. After a few times of them going in/coming out of the crate on their own (again, with CRAZY praise each time), I would close the door for a short period of time. If they start to cry, wait until they stop (usually it's when you're standing in front of the crate that they stop ), give it a beat or two, and then let them out. Go from there extending the length of time for their crate stay as needed.

After they've learned the crate is a good place, you can add a command to that - "crate" or "bed" or "lay down" - but that'll come later.

Also, when they're tired, start putting them in the crate to sleep. They're tired so they won't be as apt to cry, and they'll start to learn that they sleep in the crate. I cover my kennels/crates in a blanket (at least on top) so it's darker and more comfortable.

They're always going to be close to each other, they were born together. The problem is if they don't learn it's okay to have some time apart you're going to have major anxiety issues in the future. Imagine getting them fixed, or groomed, or going to the vet, and being separated. They'll be miserable, and a 70-pound Golden trying to find his sister (or vice versa) is NOT fun.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:43 AM
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They're always going to be close to each other, they were born together. The problem is if they don't learn it's okay to have some time apart you're going to have major anxiety issues in the future. Imagine getting them fixed, or groomed, or going to the vet, and being separated. They'll be miserable, and a 70-pound Golden trying to find his sister (or vice versa) is NOT fun.


Which is what I've been trying to get through to my parents but to no avail, they think it'll all be fine regardless, I've spent half an hour going through sources online explaining why they need time apart and they aren't buying any of it
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:37 AM
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Maybe discreetly mention this to the trainer you're having come over, so that the trainer can, at some point, tell your parents the importance of them being trained/crated separately? Possibly hearing it from an "expert" rather than her child will make it easier for your mother.

Also, you could try taking them on walks separately (if they're ready to be walked) and train them while on a walk. If your parents protest, cite how difficult it is to walk two dogs at the same time. Or "hey, I'm going to introduce so-and-so to Elsa/Gelbert!" and just taking one dog?
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