Friday, January 20, 2012

Puppy advice

Okay, so our puppy Pepper (Blue Merle Aussie Shepard / Black Lab mix) is about 4 months old and she is driving me nuts!

I have had tons of dogs in my life, and this is the first that I don't know what to do!

First of all, she is CRAZY SCARED of me. I don't know why, I have never hit her, or beat her, I've only pluck her on the nose when she is too crazy. I mean she is scared! Like she pees herself if I stand up too quickly, or if I'm telling her no. She doesn't do this with Michael. I've tried loving on her, giving her treats, nothing works.

Second, she pees in our house wayyyyy more than a puppy should. She knows she pees outside, and sometimes I'll let her in after being outside for awhile and she immediately pees. And she knows shes not allowed because she'll pee as she runs. Plus we have new carpet, so no other animals have peed on it before her, so it's not that.

We have tried puppy pads by the door, doesn't really work for her, cause she'll just pee where ever.

I'm seriously stressing over this. I can't figure out why she is doing this or how to stop it. I don't want to find another home for her, and I definitely don't want her to be an outside dog. She's super sweet and super smart. We have taught her sit, stay, lay down, paw, and even speak but she is refusing to be potty trained! AHHHH! It's very stressful with a baby and her peeing. I knew it would be hard potty training a puppy in the winter with a 3 month old baby.

P.S. She loves the rain and cold weather, so that's not an issue at all.

I just neeeeeeed advice/help!


  1. what a freaken cute puppy!!  okay, i have a little experience.  my dog is part aussie shepherd part blue healer and she is super skittish!  i wonder if it's the breed.  my girl's 6 years old and she still will get scared if you get up to fast or touch her fast or without her knowing and she'll cower and put her ears back and act like she's in trouble even if she isn't.  it's pretty annoying sometimes but i think it's maybe the breed.  

    when she was a puppy, we got her in the winter also...and she was absolutely horrible for SO SO LONG.  she'd do the same things...go outside and the come right inside and go potty.  plenty of times we would spank her for it...and i always thought that's probably why she's skittish but we haven't laid a hand on her in years and she's still the same way.  it took her a super long time to be trained completely.  like the first year of her life was a nightmare.  we'd keep her locked up anytime we left and at night just because she was so naughty and we did spank her to let her know it was wrong because it would be so frustrating when she KNOWS she goes outside to go potty but would still do it inside all the time.  do you have a kennel for him?  that seemed to work well for my pomeranian...we didn't try a kennel for my big girl though....

    i would recommend probably keeping her in sight all the time...take her outside every hour....let her know it's wrong (however you want) when she potties in the house....and just keep calm and be patient and give her love and play and get her used to just being around you too....and give her i said, my girl was a nightmare the first year...but now she's perfect and we love her a lot and we have no troubles with her at all...well besides her still being scared sometimes...she's weird.

    don't give up!  when baby's sleeping work with her and she'll eventually get it :)  puppy training is tough work.  good luck!

  2. Did you guys kennel train her at all. Usually pups learn pretty fast if they are contained to a certain space and are brought out to potty immediately upon leaving that space. Also, what's worked for us is not punishing when they do pee inside unless you automatically say "no" if you actually catch them in the act and then immediately bring them outside, at which point they should be praised like crazy for pottying outside where it's good to do so. Dogs forget pretty quickly what they've done so if they aren't caught in the act the praise or "punishment" (of saying no or what not) doesn't really mean anything to them because they don't understand what they are being praised or punished for. 

    I don't know much on the skitishness but Aussies and Labs have lots of energy, especially Aussies and pups in general, but it's always helpful to give them a job now and then, something mentally stimulating for them to do. Treat toys where they have to work for their food or treats are great for this 


    You can feed them there meals in this so they have to work for their food but also use their minds which wears them down as well.

    Also, a short walk in the morning and night is always helpful, that structured time is good for them and helps with the energy too. Maybe Micheal could do this before/after work? If you can ever get hold of a pack for them to wear it is helpful for wearing down their energy as well because it makes it feel more like a job and they use their mental and physical energy together again which is always good, example:

    You can even put a little weight (we use ziplocks full of rice for Lilly May) depending on their size and that helps even more.

    Hope this helps at all and let me know if you want any other advice or anything. Different things work for different people but those are a few things that have worked for us.


  3. Heyyyyy I had 2 naughty dogs while preggo. They peed and pooped in the fricking house. Before I had 2 we did havr our boxer trained but the new pup messed that up somehow. Anyways. We did kennel training and treats when he pottied outside. I was lucky to have a dog park in the neighborhood so he.could learn and interact with other dogs. I think that helped.

    Do you guys have a doggy door or a place to put one? Thats what we do now with our boxer and its perfecto.

    Oh & I would be careful on taking her out too often. My friends did this and now if they dont take their dog out every hour she pees everywhere.

    Goooood luck mama!

  4. Puppies are HARD.  Probably harder than any child I've ever dealt with. 

    My dog is also afraid of my boyfriend for no apparent reason.  Maybe dogs just have one person they really attach themselves too?  He, of course, still plays with her and takes her out, loves on her, so we are hoping that slowly she will stop being a scaredy dog.

    As far as potty training, have you tried crate training her?  She's still pretty little but we would keep Emma in her crate, take her out to potty, FEED HER TREATS AND PRAISE HER LIKE NOBODIES BUSINESS IF SHE WENT, brought her back inside to play a bit more and then in the crate again.  We kept this pattern up every few hours and while she didn't enjoy it much, she's was potty trained pretty quick.  Dogs don't like to soil where they sleep so she should hold it until you take her out.

    I've also heard of people literally hooking the leash and dog to themselves and wherever they go, puppy goes.

    Emma is about a year and half now and she is still a ton of work.  We've noticed she is much better behaved when we wear her out from exercise.

    Good luck!  As much trouble as they are, they are sure fun.

  5. Your puppy is adorable!  I wish I could help you or give good advice but I"ve only had cats.  :)  I wish you the best of luck.

  6. Hey, just stumbled across your blog...

    I have no other advice than the others, I just thought: have you ever had a vet check the kidney before (or better, her blood) ? Because it kind of sounds like she can't hold it, even if she tried to. I'm if I get this wrong and dramatic, I just thought of it because I used to have a dog with issues like that (though not only that, way more health issues) and it turned out her kidneys were damaged and that's where it all came from.

    So I don't mean to be all drama about this, I just thought... you know... better double check than regret it later...

  7. Do not make her an outside dog! No dog wants or deserves to be outside. Re-home her before you do that. I have 2 rescue pups who drive me crazy all day long, along with a 17 month old son. My dogs puke & poop in the house more than the baby. It's rough, I understand.

    Puppy pads suck and they just teach a dog to pee inside! Try to teach her more about outside...fix the problem, ya know?Definitely try crate training her. My one dog (she's about 9) still pees in the house. When I'm not home, I crate her. She never pees in there. Also, take her out OFTEN. At least 4 walks a day. And walk them, don't just put the dog in the yard. It's hard to distinguish where to go out if they think the yard is just an extension of the house.Good luck. If you can't figure anything out, get some good training before you put the dog outside (PLEASE NO) or re-home her. All dogs need a bit of training, and I bet someone could help you with this's really not something that can't be fixed. The dog is also just really really young.Good luck!!!

  8. So, I think I may be able to offer some advice. I've potty trained A LOT of puppies and one of them sounds just like your Pepper! This dog, Zorie, always peed when my dad came into the house...gradually it went away but he was just scared of him as a puppy. Girl dogs usually gravitate towards one person in the house, not sure why but they just do.

    #1 - Have her checked for a UTI at the vet. It's pretty common and that my be a part of it.

    #2 - CRATE TRAIN! Take her outside ALL THE TIME. If she's inside put her in a crate OR confine her to a small space with baby gates. The best thing would have been to put her in a crate the day you got her, then have her stay in the crater for intervals of an hour or less and then take her DIRECTLY outside when she comes out of the crate. Then with time give her access to small areas of the house, eventually she'll be able to roam free in the house and sit by the door or let you know somehow when she needs to go out. I hope all that makes sense. Crate training really works, it's not mean at all and gives the dog a "home" and somewhere they feel safe. Dogs naturally don't "pee where they sleep" so basically when they start off in the crate and the space they can go in the house gets larger...they just don't pee in the house because they associate it with a place where they sleep.

    I hope all that makes sense! I hope it helps!

    - Johanna