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#1
Old 12-09-2003, 12:57 PM
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Teaching an 8 week old puppy the word "No!"

I just adopted the first actual puppy I've had in many many years. (I've adopted grown dogs, but not a baby.) He's an 8 week old 4 lb. 1/2 Jack Russell & 1/2 Other (Not Caucasian or Hispanic).

He's adorable and perky (of course- JRs aren't known for their lethargy) and a biter. I've gotten him several chew toys for teething but I'm trying to teach him "No" for when he bites me or furniture or whatever and for any other time "No!" might be appropriate. Any suggestions? Obviously I don't want to hurt or scare him or use his crate for punishment, but I do want him to understand that saying "No!" isn't a part of playing (especially since I know from experience terriers can be incredibly stubborn little dogs).

Any advice appreciated.
#2
Old 12-09-2003, 01:51 PM
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Your puppy is pretty young to have learned 'No,' but it's not too early to start training him. Also, be aware that puppies need to chew, and it's instinctive, so adjusting that behaviour will require sustained, consistent training on your part.

All puppy training advice I've received included roughly something like the following advice for negative reinforcement:

"Swat the puppy on the rump with a rolled up newspaper while saying 'No," sharply. Swat just hard enough to startle him and make it a clear rebuke. By saying 'No' at the same time, the dog will learn to associate the word with the rebuke, and will eventually not need to be swatted."

For a puppy the size of yours, use something like the TV section from the Sunday paper, or a thin magazine or catalog (like Science News or Victoria's Secret). Under no circumstances should you hit the puppy repeatedly, or hit him on the snout. Give a sharp, loud "No!" and simultaneously swat him on the haunch, with a downward motion. You can use your hand or a flyswatter or something more handy, but a newspaper is difficult to hit too hard with. Do not hit him with anything harder than your hand.

Also, be sure and give your puppy praise and loving attention when he does good things. Using only negative reinforcement will make your dog nothing but afraid of you.
#3
Old 12-09-2003, 02:00 PM
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Location: Washington, DC
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I like to train my dogs what they should do rather than what they shouldn't do. Once you have trained a toolbox of commands, it is easy to redirect your dog to a positive activity that they can be praised for. Get him signed up for Kindergarten Puppy Training.

At this stage, you should be using the "umbilical cord" technique with your pup. This involves attaching his leash to your belt loop so he comes with you everywhere while you are in the house. This has two benefits: 1) it keeps your puppy under your constant supervision so he can't get into things he's not supposed to 2) it's a passive way of establishing leadership because he quite literally has to "follow the leader".

Such young pups really shouldn't be left for even 2 seconds without your eye on them. So use the umbilical cord, or if you can't do that, put him up in a crate/x-pen/puppy safe room when you can't watch him.

This is a time for teaching and management, punishment has no place with a young pup. Good luck with your puppy!
#4
Old 12-09-2003, 02:31 PM
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While y'all are at it, can you tell me how to teach my 18 month old daughter "No!" as well?
#5
Old 12-09-2003, 03:28 PM
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I recommend avoiding the command "no" altogether because it isn't specific enough. I use the "off" command to have the dog drop something.

To teach "off," show him a treat. Place the treat on the ground in front of him and say, "off." Just before he grabs it, pick it up. Repeat. Once he doesn't go for it, praise him with, "good off" and give him the treat.
#6
Old 12-09-2003, 03:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sampiro
I just adopted the first actual puppy I've had in many many years. (I've adopted grown dogs, but not a baby.) He's an 8 week old 4 lb. 1/2 Jack Russell & 1/2 Other (Not Caucasian or Hispanic).

He's adorable and perky (of course- JRs aren't known for their lethargy) and a biter. I've gotten him several chew toys for teething but I'm trying to teach him "No" for when he bites me or furniture or whatever and for any other time "No!" might be appropriate. Any suggestions? Obviously I don't want to hurt or scare him or use his crate for punishment, but I do want him to understand that saying "No!" isn't a part of playing (especially since I know from experience terriers can be incredibly stubborn little dogs).

Any advice appreciated.
Try this: whenever your puppy mouths are bites too hard, in a very loud high pitched voice, yell OUCH! Then ignore your puppy for a few minutes. In the litter, this is how Mom and littermates let each other know when play gets too rough.

When the mouthing starts, you can redirect your puppy to an appropriate target, like a chew toy and say "Good Chew" when you do it, so the puppy will know this is OK to chew.

If your puppy insists on mouthing you, try some bitter apple (you can get this at the pet store). Most dogs do not like it and it is a good thing to smear on things you do not want chewed or mouthed.

You can also, if the puppy is very stubborn and Jacks are known for tenacity, is to get one of those lemon shaped containers of lemon juice and give him a little squirt in the mouth when the mouthing starts.

A good general "no" type thing is not a word but a sound...hard to spell, but just think of the sound that Jeaopardy buzzer makes. Every time your puppy starts to do something you do not want him to do, make this noise, then redirect him to an acceptable activity. A note about corrections: you can only correct what you catch them at. If you don't catch them in the act, they will never know what you are correcting them for, so it is good for you to make it impossible for your puppy to be a bad dog (the umbilical cord leash at this age is a wonderful idea).

Remember that for puppies, their mouths are like our hands and this is their main way of exploring their world. Since dogs are pack animals, even the hardest headed do will have some investment in pleasing you and maintaining pack acceptance.

Good luck and a kiss on the nose to the new pupper.
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#7
Old 12-09-2003, 09:32 PM
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For when your dog is biting your hand while you're playing with him, you can try something my family has done with both our dogs, and they both caught on fairly well. When your playing with your puppy and he bites your hand, you take his muzzle, hold it closed, and say "No biting". Or you could just use "No". After you let go, he'll try to bite your hand again, and you just do the same thing over. Just keep doing it, and he'll learn not to bite you.

As for what you should say to your puppy, I've always believed that it's not what you say but how you say it. If you're stern in what you say, your puppy will pick up on that before he's able to pick out words. I've never had to hit any of my dogs because they've always understood when they did something wrong just by the tone of my voice.
#8
Old 12-09-2003, 10:18 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 1,616
All I can say is this:

Good luck with a Jack. I attempted it with a Min-Pin, which is arguably second in line to a Jack when it comes to smarts and attitude. I grew up with dogs and my sister was a dog trainer. My wife was a dog trainer. Our Min drove us to the edge of insanity.

Try to find something that works, that plays to it's ego. Again, good luck. Not much I know, but I know Jacks and you have your work cut out for you.
#9
Old 12-09-2003, 11:20 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 247
Puppies seem to want approval, so if your puppy knows that what he does doesn't please you, he should eventually stop on his own. When he bites you you could dramatize up the pain you're feeling.
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