Always my angel.
|Barked: Mon May 21, '12 12:38am PST |
|I'm not sure if you meant that you aren't going to be reading this forum anymore for some reason, but just in case you are (or someone else has a similar problem), I'll go ahead and respond. I apologize in advance for not responding to them in order.
I can't get her house trained. She's better than she was at first, but still has too many accidents. She doesn't mind being in a crate, but it's not my favourite place to put her when I'm gone. She's okay when I'm home and can let her out several times a day.
Out of curiosity, why don't you like to keep Daisy in the crate if it doesn't bother her? That seems like your best bet to prevent any accidents.
If you're uncomfortable with the crate, then you could try using an X-pen (or something else that confines her to a smallish space, but still gives her room to play) and just put a small area in there where she is allowed to potty during the day. Lots of people newspaper or even litter-box train puppies and small dogs in this way. There are a couple different types of dog litter boxes available online if you google around a bit (don't use kitty litter! Wee pads are better for dogs, or there are some places that sell a type of artificial grass).
I know you want her to just hold it all day, but it sounds like right now she either can't or doesn't know that she's supposed to. I'm sure that seems strange to you since your past dogs never had a problem, but it really isn't an unusual problem for a small dog to have. Just be grateful that you lucked out in the past and start adjusting to Daisy's different needs, I say.
Another thing I thought of - do you feed Daisy on a set schedule, or is she allowed to eat throughout the day? If you feed her at set times, then you can get her body on a similar schedule and you should be able to better predict when she'll need to go out to potty.
When Daisy is very soundly asleep and she gets woken up, she can become very dangerous.
As for the startle-awake response, I don't think there's much you can do other than wake her gently, especially for now. It could be that over time she'll get used to being woken up; she might not. If there's nothing medically wrong, I can't think of much that you can do other than work around it. This is another one of those areas where some dogs are just different. (And on a sort of related note, I do have a brother who most of us could not safely awaken from a nap growing up...not sure what that was but I did NOT ever wake him up for fear of getting smacked! I'm sure this is an area where dogs and humans differ, but the similarity did make me smile.)
How did you respond when Daisy lunged/snapped/bit? Remember that punishment in that situation can actually make her more likely to snap again, since it reinforces the idea that being woken up is unpleasant and bad. Stick with waking her gently and giving her lots of treats and gentle reinforcement for staying calm. Work your way up from there. And if either of you slip up and she goes all Cujo at you, just get yourselves to a safe distance and otherwise ignore, ignore, ignore.
She does not really like going for walks. I can make her go a short distance, but then she will stop and stand there, paralyzed, and not move. She won't go on a leash at all. She stiffens up then falls over and rolls onto her back. She seems to prefer sitting on my lap to just about anything else except bacon.
With this and the car ride, I think baby steps and loads of reinforcement are in order. Bust out that bacon and start working with her in very short sessions throughout each day. Start with something you think she can handle. For example, bring the leash near her, then reward her with bacon. When she seems comfortable with that (she may be already), take the leash to where you would normally attach it to her collar (but don't do it yet) and then give her bacon. Repeat this several times until she sees it as a good thing. Then move to attaching the leash to her collar. Give her the bacon at the exact moment you attach the leash - then remove the leash, take it away, and repeat the whole motion again (including the most important part - the bacon!). From there, move up to leaving the leash on for longer and longer periods of time, always rewarding with the bacon. If you think she can handle it, let her drag the leash around for a while. Then work on picking it up. I think you get the idea.
Again, to you this is pretty basic stuff. Dogs wear leashes, right? No big deal. But for some reason it isn't basic stuff to Daisy. So you need to break the whole thing down into TINY pieces and reward her for each step along the way. Be patient and stay positive. If she seems overstressed at any point (or if you do!), do something you know she's OK with and give her a treat, then put the leash away. You always want to end on a good note - for both of you.
You can use a very similar method for getting her used to the car. Start small.
In fact, as a general note for all of these issues, your mantra should be: Start Small and Go Slow. You will need lots of patience to overcome these things, especially with a small, fearful dog. Don't expect too much from her. She may never be like the dogs you grew up with, but I'm confident she can become a fantastic companion for you.
She barks at thunder, not in a fearful way, but like she wants to go out and attack it.
I'm guessing she wants to go out and attack the thunder because it scares her (remember, most dogs don't attack things for fun...some do, I'm sure, but most do it because they think the target is a threat). Here are some tips I've used with various sound-sensitive dogs we had growing up:
1) Take the dog to the quietest room in the house. For us, this was the downstairs bathroom. Some dogs are calmer in the dark, as well.
2) Associate the sound with good things. To accomplish this, you will do very similar things to what you did with the leash and the car. Every time you hear the thunder - regardless of how she's reacting to it - give her a reward. Every. Time. Contrary to what some people say, you actually cannot reward her for being scared. Do try to get her the reward before she has a chance to bark, though.
3) Act like there's nothing wrong. You can comfort her, but do it calmly. There's no danger of rewarding her state of mind, but if you're worried about how she's acting or stressed because she's barking a lot, then that can convey to her that there's something to be afraid of. Instead just act like you don't have a single care in the world. You don't need to ignore her, but you shouldn't act like there's anything special going on either. To accomplish this state of mind in myself, I used to watch TV or read books during thunder storms. My dog would whine or circle or get scared, and I would just glance up at her every now and then, say something casual, and pet her on her back briefly. After a while, she started to settle down.
Anyway, I know I wrote a lot there...I hope it helps!
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