T Nation

dog training

I just got a 1 year old jack russel terrier and she piddles when she gets excited. I rub her nose in it and throw her in the kennel. any alternative measures of training?

The trick is to catch her, dogs learn by association get an empty soup can put some pennies and a couple of washers in it and use it as a shake can. When you catch her piddling shake the can, and pick her up and bring her outside to a designated spot. Have her do her business and praise her when she does. Just like lifting weights she will eventually learn good “form” through trial and error with you “spotting” her. Good book is “How to House break your pet in seven Days.” Good luck

you may want to get her checked out for a bladder infection or urinary tract problem. you may be punishing her for something she cant control on her own. just a suggestion. if she does have a problem, the excitement may be too much for her to hold back. You may want to try dog training classes. Petsmart has them. good luck!

Nuranis has given you good advice. Positive reinforcement always works better than negative reinforcement. Your dog will learn much faster through reward and praise. When your dog does her business outside, praise her like a fool and stuff her full of treats. Soon she will associate peeing outside with wonderful things and it will become habit. When you rub your dog’s nose in her pee you are basically attacking your dog. Buy some dog behaviour books and learn about dogs. Jean Donaldson’s " culture class" is probably the best I have read. You should have done the research before getting the dog. I apologize for my rough response to your post but, if you continue to rub your dog’s nose in her accidents you are a giant ASSHOLE. No dog deserves to be treated that way. They are a blank slate and it is your job and responsibility to teach her everything. Think of a baby. Would you rub a baby’s nose in it’s piss when it has an accident. Of course not, so why do it to a dog. Personally, if I witnessed you doing that, I would tear your fucking head off. But then I’m the type of person who thinks dogs are infinetely better living beings than a human could ever aspire to be. Human beings have a lot of evolving to do before we can ever achieve the nobility of a good dog. Please do the right thing and do some solid research on dog behaviour and operant conditioning training.

Actually I don’t think Zoo was referring to his dog just having to relieve himself. He refers to wetting when the dog gets excited which is common in younger dogs. They usually grow out of it. You shouldn’t react negatively to it as the dog is probably just so happy to see you that he has to squirt a little joy juice your way. Just take him outside.

I had the same problem with my puppy. I found as stated before that positive reinforcement is the best method, but I would like to add that refraining from direct eye contact as you enter the house is a good move. Take the puppy outside and then give the reward for the appropriate behavior. My dog started agility training and the use of clicker devices are wonderful.

A puppy - or even a dog - peeing from excitement is not a punishable offense. Think of it was peeing your pants because someone tickled you too much. It is an involentary response.

NEVER put your dog in the kennel as punishment. What happens when she is good and needs to go in the kennel? She is going to wonder why she is being punished.

I don’t know if I agree with giving your dog treats to train it. When a dog is trained with treats it will come to expect a treat for everything it does. The praise should be enough of a reward for the dog. I trained my labrador to hunt and for hunt tests and have never used treats to train him. His reward is my praise and if he is retreiving than the retreive is his reward. If I was to give him a treat for everything he did then I would be handing out hundreds of treats every couple days. I know I might be talking about a different situation but you get my point. Also I don’t think anything is wrong with telling your dog NO and kind of scolding him, then taking him outside to do his business. It always worked with all my dogs I house trained and I never had any problems with them. I also don’t rub their noses in it. The dog comes to associate outside and the grass with using the bathroom.

There is a BIG difference between peeing in the house and peeing from excitement. The first is bad behavior, the second is not exactly a decision made by the dog.

Rewards with treats are not bad. Once the behavior is learned, you slowly stop giving the treats for what ever it is.

Michelle is right when she says you can gradually ween your dog down on treat rewards. It becomes a slot machine type scenario for you dog. Even though a reward is not given every time a command is accomplished your dog will still continue in the expectation that he will get something at some point. If you gradually get to a point where you pop a treat one out of every ten times your dog obeys a command, he/she will still stay motivated. If overfeeding is a concern, simply use one piece of kibble as reward. This way you literally can pop dozens upon dozens of treats within one day. While treat reward is not absolutely neccessary for positive reward based training, it is without a doubt the quickest and easiest way to train your dog. Many people don’t like treat reward as they feel they are bribing their dog. Many believe their dog should obey commands to please their owners and not for the hopes of reward. I always find this amusing. While dog’s are very loving, protective and loyal, they don’t do anything for the their owners. Operant conditioning through a ssociation is the only way a dog can learn to accomplish tasks or learn to refrain from certain behaviours. Michelle also makes a very important point when she says that a kennel should never be used as punishment. Isolation punishment is a valid training method, but time outs in a bathroom or bedroom should be used, not the kennel. Your dog’s kennel is it’s den and safe place. By giving your dog reward when he/she is put in their kennel you help them to associate their kennel with positive feelings. Using her kennel as punishment will create negative associations.

You are also correct JasonL that a quick word to stop a dog’s inappropriate behaviour is o.k. “No” is not a great word unless it means only one thing. Many people say “no” to stop their dog from having an accident, jumping up on people, stealing food and many other undesirable actions. This confuses the dog. You must have a seperate command for everything or your dog won’t have a clue what you are refering to. For example I use “off” when one of my dog jumps up.I use “off” instead of “down”, because down means “lie down”. I used to use a sort of guteral “ahh” sound when I caught a pup peeing on the floor. My point here is that every command can only have one word which only means one thing. Like everything, consistancy is the key.

I didn’t mean to say treats are bad just not in my case where I am training my dog for competitions. This is a different situation than just having a pet or house dog. I do agree that it is a easier and faster way to train dogs.

Point taken. Training for retrieving is a different issue and one, I admit , to not being all that informed about.

I don’t think punishing your dog is appropriate for an involuntary reaction. I would just use your “negative behavior” word to let them know it’s “bad” behavior. I use ‘No’ which means “stop what your doing” or “don’t even think about it” to my shepherd. It’s important to note that you should never use your dog’s name with the negative word. I always use my dog’s name for commands, positive behavior, but never for negative behavior. For example, “Nitchske, sit” and “Nitchske, down” vs a simple NO! I also sped up his training by using hand signals with the verbal training. He responds to verbal and non verbal commands. I can tell him “Nitchske, down” or simply touch the ground, the non verbal commands work great when I’m involved in a discussion and my little guy is harassing my guests for attention. I used a combination of treats and praise to train him but now he only gets treats under exceptional circumstances, standing still while I brush or bathe him. Otherwise, he gets a high pitched “daddy’s proud” and a scratch.

I agree with other posters about using the kennel for punishment. The kennel is supposed to be your puppy’s “safe place” and using it for punishment only confuses your dog. Mine still loves to squeeze his big ass into the kennel I used for house breaking.

If you have a JRT and never knew how to train a dog, you’re in BIG TROUBLE !! my fiancé has 3 JRT’s . I hope you don’t have small kids, and keep them away from cats. Do a search for JRTCA and read up…

javaguru made a great point with not using the dog’s name when scolding or attempting to get your dog to stop inappropriate behaviour. Your dog will eventually associate his/her name with negative consequences. This is obviously not a good thing. Podge is right on the money concerning JRT’s. They are a major handful. We have fostered a few over the years and they are simply minature pitbulls. They are very strong willed, independent and tough as nails. If you put the time into the training however, they are a fantasic, loyal and loving dog.

I dont see what the problem is, my wife does that to me and I turned out ok