Thursday, August 6, 2009


While Betsy's problems are few and far between, there are some I need some advice about.
  1. What should I do to help Betsy get over her fear of stairs?
  2. How can I get Betsy more excited about learning her commands? I can't use treats.
  3. Betsy is a vacuum, how do I get her to stop sniffing and eating off the floor. I have tried super hard corrections, but she doesn't understand.
  4. Betsy loves spilling our pet dogs' water dishes, how do I stop her from doing this. I can't pick up the dishes or my other dogs won't drink.
Thanks so much!

And I end my blogging spree with a funny picture...
It's kinda blurry, but if you look closely you will see that Betsy got her bottom jaw stuck in her black kong. She has done this a few times. When this happens she shakes her head until it flies off and then she goes and chases it. It's the cutest thing!


Mitch and Meade said...

Meade has had all of those problems!!!! Here is what I did to fix them:
1. I started by setting him on the bottom step and putting his front paws on the ground and called him and when he came down I jumped around and got him super excited and then we played. In an hour or two I would do it again but on the next step up and so on..
2.I jumped around and got excited and played tug!
3. Head collar. It is a lot of work to monitor the puppy but it is all worth it.
4. Meade did the same thing with his dish. I used his head collar to fix this.

Hope that helps!!! :D

Emily and the Labradors said...

You've been a prolific poster this afternoon (providing all sorts of good distractions for me trying to study!)... I like all of Mitch's suggestions! I am a definite fan of the head collar, especially when I feel like I am nagging a puppy too much about something like the garbage mouth on walks. Also, I would add for #4 that you could switch to a heavy ceramic bowl without a lip that she can't pick up until the she outgrows the habit. I know it isn't really teaching her, but sometimes you have so many other things you are trying to teach that it is just better/easier/sanity saving to manage a behavior for the time being. I've done this with a few puppies and they have all just sort of forgotten what fun it is to dump water everywhere after a few weeks/months.

Mandy and Terence said...

Talk with your leader about this stuff! My advise would be to take stairs slowwwly. When I first got Terence at 4 months he was afraid of stairs (would back away, cower even!) we were put on a NO STAIRS protocol for about a month or two. After a month or so he followed a coworker of mine up the stairs, like it was never ever a problem. It was his decision though, I never pushed it.If there's a real fear, forcing a pup to deal with the situation will only make it worse, this is something I've had to learn with Terence - all my other pups were very confident and I had to work to contain them but Terence approaches life cautiously and I've had to learn to work at his pace. Go slow with the commands too, it's not a race. :)
Mitch is right - headcollars and supervision are great for garbage mouth, in our group we always think of the word ACCESS, and this is true of the water bowl too - try to minimize her ability to access the water bowl (and things on the ground). If you really can't remove the water bowl, try to do some set ups with her, be ready with collar corrections with a drag line when she goes for the bowl and give LOTS of praise when she leaves it be.

Aren't baby puppies FUN? :)
- Mandy and Terence

Erin and the Furry Troops said...

Defiantly talk to your leader so to make sure you don't get in trouble by doing something you aren't supposed too :)

She's still young so you have time to work with her, don't force her to do anything she's scared of doing, as you might cause it too get worse!

Believe me allll puppies love to scavenge; a head collar will help,but most likely she'll grow out of it.

As far as the bowl thing...well...both my labs would do things like that so they could lay in the water they had spilled.. I don't remember what we did, other than use something they couldn't pick or tip over!
As far as her commands go, remember you have 1 year + with her, so you don't have to rush her to have all of her commands in at once.

Make sure you are keeping training sessions super short!! 5 minutes MAX!

Anyways hope this helped! :)

Erin said...

1.put her on the second or third step, next day, go to the next step. Also, try following an adult dog up and down. Sometimes if they see that the big dog didn't die, they wont be as afraid and will follow.
3. Head Collar. or Take out inappropriate item, substitute toy.
4. Get a Heavy ceramic bowl that can't be tipped.

Miley said...

I love getting my jaw stuck in my kong, too!!! As for the other things I guess patience is a virtue, that's what my mom always says.

Good Luck!!!