Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
The Lounge
Moderators: spoiled_candy, nomoreexcuses, Mollybygolly, peaches0405

Need help with the it the terrible two's?

Quote  |  Reply
I've had my puppy for almost two months, she is now almost 4 months old...a little cocker spaniel.

First let me say...I absolutely love and adore my little girl. She's sweet, beautiful, and has quickly become very important to me.

However, the last few days she's become a little snot!  She's "forgotten" everything we learned in the first two sessions of training...the 'watch me' command, and the 'sit' command...and was absolutely awful at last nights training session!  She was doing so good! Sitting on command and I could even get her attention by just saying 'watch me'....but the last few days she's run around like a chicken with her head cut off, chasing my cat,  and ignores me!  She's even regressed in her house training!

So....Is it just the terrible two's? (she's 4 mths old) Is she feeling comfortable and just testing her boundries?
13 Replies (last)
Training your dog is an ongoing feat. My dog is 7 years old and STILL tests boundaries with me. I'm not the best dog trainer and the breed I have is notorious for being little a-holes (min pin).
Hey Rd hang in there. At 4 months your puppy has a long way to go.There will be good days and bad. They have moods just like we do and can be quite a challange. One good thing is that cocker spaniels are veryvery trainable.
My kids started working with their dogs when they were around 4 months old. We entered them in 4H and have now done it for 4 years.
We just competed last Sunday at the local 4H fair and our one that is usuall so well behaved acted like he didn't have a clue what any of the commands were.. The one who doesn't like to obey well received Grand Champion in the two classes she competed in. You just never know.
 Be firm and consistant but remember she is a baby and her attention span will be short. Don't over train or she will get bored Try to incorporate play and training.
  When you feed her is another time to work on sitting and staying.
Use as much positive praise as you can and keep the negetive to a minimum. I am sure there are alot of good training books out there so start reading.

We taught my poodle to roll over and lay on its back wen we said "bang bang" and made gun hand signs...after about 2-4 days he didnt do it anymore..*shrugs*
first of all let me say YAY for you taking your pup to training classes. i assist a trainer (and hope to be one someday) in puppy kindergarten and in a good manners class for adult dogs.

the best thing to do in this situation is take a few steps back. i assume in class you are using really tasty treats to keep her attention. have you started using something different at home? if so, up the value of the treats (ex-if you are using milk bones, switch to boiled chicken, etc). it may be that she has figured you out. she's thinking "well, before when i sat, i got chicken, now she just smiles and says good girl, i'd rather go chase that cat"

i'd suggest doing lots of very brief sessions with her going over what she has learned (3-5 mins max). use a variety of treats to keep her guessing. for example, ask for a sit, when she sits give her some chicken, next sit give her some kibble, next sit chicken again, next sit, just a smile. don't worry about her performance IN class, most puppies do terrible, but it's to be expected in such a high distraction environment. in my opinion classes are best looked at as socialization for the pups and training for the owners. don't worry if she's not star of the class, what's imporant is how she is at home. 

as for the house training, do what you did at the start. when she goes outside, throw her a party! make a huge fuss, have treats with you for after she goes. when you catch her (and only when you actually CATCH her) going in the house say "NO NO!" just loud enough to startle her a little, scoop her up and take her right outside. as for the cat chasing, if you have a crate, i would suggest giving her a time out (blocking her in a room would also do the trick). or you could also find something to distract her like a game of tug or something.

ok, sorry this is so long, but i hope it's been some help! feel free to PM me or respond in here, i'd love to help!
Jules, that was a huge help....thanks!

I do think that she's gotten used to treats and thinks "but I don't always get treats".

And I need to work on my patience :)
Edited... I decided to make my own post instead of hijacking this one!
you're welcome! i'd talk about this stuff all day if someone would listen. can't wait to make it my career one day.

it's tough to be patient! that's why short sessions are the best for both of you. and when you go to class, keep in mind that she probably is going to forget everything. i've seen so many owners get so frustrated and take it out on their pups because "she did it perfectly at home!"

you're going to want to wean her off the treats eventually, but she is very young. eventually she'll sit on command with no reward, it'll just take time and some work!
OMG so cute! I SOOOO know what you are going through right now. I have a cavalier king charles spaniel that JUST turned 4 months old, and he's being a little snot for sure! He's not going to the restroom in the right spots anymore, and he's starting to chew the walls.

This is called regression. He's regressing back to his old habits. Or she is, in your case. Just be persistant and re-teach her. She'll be alright.

As for my puppy, when he goes 'potty' in the wrong spot, we tell him NO NO, but then we take the 'potty' and put it in the right spot (bring him with you of course) and praise him like he did it there the whole time. Just telling him no and running him to the potty spot only left him REALLY confused.

Experience chewing/teething yet?

Here's a picture of my little Doodle Bug

Star...your baby is SO cute!!!!

I'm going to try your advice on taking the potty outside...that's a good idea.  She has a doggy door so can get outside anytime she needs to....she's just so young, gets excited, and forgets.

She's pretty good with chewing (right now anyway..LOL).  She has lots of chew toys and absolutely loves pigs ears.  I can give her one and it will keep her quietly occupied for hours!  I also just got this new toy called a "puppy kong" it's this thing made of rubber and you stuff treats inside...the puppy has to chew and play with it to get to the treat, it keeps them occupied and she likes it.
I have 2 kongs but he's super good at getting the stuff outa there then he's done with it. I need to get him a new pig ear. It ended up in his poo somehow. Same with his rawhide stick.

You're little girl is ADORABLE too. I was going to get a cocker when I first started looking at breeders, but I fell in love with a Cavalier. Can ya blame me? I just love the ears LoL.

But right now he's being a little snot by chewing the baseboards around the kitchen, and the wood on the cabinets. We have cayane pepper paste spread all around the kitchen so he wont eat it anymore! Hopefully he'll learn while we are in the process of getting him a larger pen for the kitchen.

What's your pups name? Mine is Huckleberry but we call him Huckers.
Here name is Molly...and I call her MOLLY!!! lately....LOL :p

My trainer recommended a spray called "bitter apple"....when she sprayed her hand and held it out to the puppies they wouldn't go near it...and it doesn't stain and you can't tell it's there.  I'm sure eventually I'll need to get some as well ;)
my dog will lick bitter apples off inbetween your fingers. you should have seen how much cayanne pepper he ate before it started bothering him yesterday. I dont think he minds "yucky" stuff for dogs. He's a crazy little one.

We are mopping up the walls and everything to get him a bigger pen today. Off to pet smart! I'll get him a new ear and raw hide too. He loved those.

Molly is a cute name. Very popular for a dog I noticed after sitting in a vet waiting room for a few minutes :)

Let me know how the new rules go. She should learn. Your pup looks nice :)
Puppy training takes a lot of patience.  Jules advice is excellent.  Do what he says!  Especially the short training sessions, 5 minutes at a time but you can do that several times a day.

I potty train my dogs by taking them outside every 2 hours and praising them when they do their "duty."  It eliminates indoor accidents. Because it is so frequent. 

I let my adult dogs out about once every 4-5 hours.  I did not train them to "ask" because I didn't want them to always be bothering me.  We had a Beagle who abused the privilege and was always jumping on us to go outside every 30 minutes.  That was annoying.  They go out when I want them to go out and it works out great! 

If you have a job.  Crate them.  Eventually, when they are older they will be able to hold it and won't go in the crate.  If you can, stop by at noon or get someone to stop by and let them out once during the day while you are gone if gone 8 hrs or more.

Good luck!!  Have fun! 
13 Replies