I have to admit here folks... I'm terribly confused, as well as extremely embarrassed to be having so many problems with this puppy....
To add a bit more here:
Miss Brieanna MacKellen ((aka poophead, poopeater, pooperstink, BRIEANNA! STOP! NO!)) is an 8th month old red tri that Joe and I adopted from who I now realize was a not so reputable breeder and to be honest I think its made a lot of difference. She was kept in a small space, that I DON'T think was cleaned often and has, since we had her at 8 weeks, a pension for pooping and peeing in her crate, around her food, where she sleeps be it in her crate or elsewhere, as well as eating her poop.... ((TIPS? HELP? Please?))
To elaborate on above:
We are at a loss of what to do.
We have bells on the door:
so she can make noise when she needs to go out, which she does, EVERY morning. Every morning she lets us know that she needs to go out. We take her out, she pees, she poops, and then we come back in. If we don't take her out again with in 45 minutes or so, she will "stealth poop" around the corner in our room. No bell ringing, no whimpering at the door. NOTHING.
The same thing will happen about two hours later if once again we don't take her out.
We take her out every two hours:
From everything that I have ever understood, puppies "can" hold it for as many hours as they are months old. with in reason. Brie..... doesn't.... From a very young age it seems that she just... goes as she please, when she pleases and where she pleases. We've tried to keep her on a very regular schedule and so far that has meant every two hours, every day. There was a while where we were not able to do this when she was about four months old, however, she was never left for more than four hours in her crate at that time either...
We've tried kennel training ((which she urinates and poops in and then eats the poop))
From what I understand of healthy normal dogs. They SHOULDN"T poop and pee in the places that they eat and sleep. Brie will.... She will be in her crate, poop, and then eat it. How do we know... her breath smells like poop and her teeth are covered in it. How do we get her to stop? She also wont just hold her urine until we can get her out of the crate. She will pee, in her crate, and then just try to avoid it by stuffing herself in a corner. This is a SMALL crate for HER appropriate size. Its not like she can "run away" to another spot in the crate to get away from it.
Nothing seems to be working.
We've tried to not punish her and just cleaning up the mess as training books have old us to do,
We've tried kenneling and just taking her out to wear her out and then taking her out.
Other Brie Problems:
She is EXTREMELY headstrong and stubborn.
Spitfire... does not cut it. She is highly demanding
A constant lick'er ((if you are anywhere near her face, or anything is near her face, she HAS to lick it, and will do so until its either drenched or shes fallen asleep.... tips?)) Is this a problem from not being weened right? you stick a finger in her mouth and she will STILL try to nurse from it at 8 months. How do you get her to stop?
I also know that at 5 weeks of age the puppies were completely removed from the mother and left to "bond and learn from one another" She is snippy, doesn't know when enough is enough, we can't get her to stop being snippy, growly, TALKATIVE to the point of high pitched demanding barks, whining non stop if she wants something no matter how long you try to ignore her.
Poor Mac(( our three year old Corgi Male)) has little scars on his lips from where she's decided its a good idea to come over and pester and chew on him. She hasn't had any other dogs ((like Mac did with socializing him with his mom and dad as well as Mari)) to roll her over and tell her "TOO MUCH," or "THATS WRONG." I've tried to do it, but she won't quit.
The worst part is... I don't know how I went wrong with her, and so very right with the Mr Mac.... The ONLY difference... Mac was raised with a yard, and Brie has been with us in the apartment and has never known "house" life with a yard....
Hi Sylvia, every corgi is different, some corgis are very headstrong and stubborn.
To correct the licking, say "no lick", move away your hand, if she tries to go further, say "uh uh", don't make it into a game. When she doesn't lick you, praise her and immediately give her a yummy treat, remember to use positive reinforcement to create the type of behaviour you desire.
Remember a corgi's purpose is to bark and nip, keeping cattles in a herd, you may not be able to completely take those traits out of a corgi, but you can certainly reduce them. Be consistent, you need to first exercise 45-90 mins daily outside walk, train her mentally, challenge her physically rain or shine.
Yard or no yard, a corgi will adapt to its surrounding, a yard will not result in an obedient corgi. Exercise, discipline, then affection. In that order. Good luck!
First of all, have you had a vet check her out. She could have a medical problem. Also, the vet can recommend some options for ending the poop eating. Unfortunately it sounds as if her early puppyhood may have damaged her. A puppy learns to naturally want a clean environment, they learn it from their mom. Being removed from mom too soon and kept in a cage takes away that natural aversion. (yet another reason to never buy from a pet shop :( ) So you have to very gently and patiently give her back that desire. I would go back to square one and go out with her every 2 hours (if possible) and walk her. Short walks are OK if that is all you have time for. I like to train "go potty" at this stage. As soon as she squats say a command and then tell her what a very good girl she is! If you do this every time for a while and then occasionally after that she will understand what is expected. In the house confine her to a safe area with newspapers or have her leashed to you so you can react fast if it appears she is about to go. Eventually you can remove newspapers a little at a time until there is just a small area. Always clean up frequently. You are trying to remind her of her natural instinct to have a nice clean environment. As for the licking try giving her a Kong with a little cheese smeared inside when she licks. If she persists in licking you after being told no give her a time out in a safe spot. I always use a very dramatic high pitched yelp for teeth on the skin and a time out if it continues. Again consistent and kind treatment will help her understand what is acceptable. Thank you for being willing to ask for help rather than giving up on her! She had a rough start and is fortunate to have a family that wants to train her. If you can take her to classes that would be great. Corgis love to learn. If you can't try googling some dog training ideas. Corgis love to learn tricks.
Hi Sylvia, there's 2 articles on potty training in the FAQ. The problem is too much freedom too soon, she should not have free roam just yet. As far as kennel training goes, it should be on going thing until the age of 1.5 - 2, you should adjust the inside space only allow her to stand up and turn around, nothing more. Read and re-read the FAQ, especially the mistakes article. Do not punish / yell at her, your dog wants to please you naturally, so that's why she stealth poop hoping you will not find it which causes you to get upset. Whenever you find a poop inside your house, slap yourself in the forehead, tell yourself your dog should be always within your eye sight and when she's not, she should be in the kennel. A human baby takes years to master potty training, an average dog takes 9 mo - 1 yr, you'll get there, we've all been through it, be consistent, follow your schedule to the dot. Good luck!
I would highly recommend a positive-based obedience class and NILF training since she is so headstrong. If she starts licking your hand I'd say EEHHHH or whatever your "no" term is, and if she continues remove your hand or get up and move away if necessary. I would also keep a short leash on her in the house and when she gets too snippy with your other dog, again I would give a sharp EHHH noise, grab the leash and move her away from him. Then I'd make her sit until she was calmed down. If she's too riled up then I would put her on a "time-out" for 5 minutes. You can also use the time-out method when she's being barky and not listening.
The potty training...IMO way too much freedom too soon. Keep her within your sight at ALL times. She should not be able to go in another room and poop without you noticing. Keep her babygated in the room you are in, or even leash her to your belt loop. If she starts to potty inside, screech like a banshee and immediately take her outside. If she goes outside, praise like crazy and give her treats. Do not rely on her to tell you when she needs to go out, just do it.
The soiling the crate issue...honestly I'm not sure exactly what will work. I personally would be inclined to attach an xpen to her crate, and put down some newspaper in the pen area. Maybe if she was actually able to get away from her pee/poop that would rekindle some of those natural cleanliness tendencies. There are additives you can feed her which will make her poop taste bad, but I haven't used them myself.
Along with the suggestions all ready given, I would suggest finding a good trainer. Find one that specializes in behavior modification using positive reinforcement. I realize that no one is made of money, but it may be very much worth your while to start setting aside some money to use toward that trainer. The trainer would probably be able to help the most with the barking (teaching her to stop barking when asked), but that doesn't mean you can't get his/her advice regarding the potty training.
You should also talk with her Veterinarian. If money is an issue, see if the Vet will speak to you over the phone to do some brainstorming. Maybe they could tell you if a visit is necessary or if there are other options. I know there is something they sometimes have you feed a dog that makes their poop taste bad to them.
If you have the time, I would also recommend trying to get her into a class. Obedience is where I would recommend starting, but you could also look into a herding class (I'm not sure what age they allow a dog to start herding, so Brieanna might be too young) or even something different like tracking. From what I've read and have been told by other owners, a corgi that is more stubborn than usual tends to be much better when they have a job to do. It works their mind and keeps them focused.
Lastly, try not to be embarrassed. You aren't the first owner to have trouble and you certainly won't be the last. Humans aren't perfect and neither are dogs. ;) Even the most experienced of trainers encounter dogs that are much more difficult to work with, so try your best to stay positive. If a trainer is completely out of the question, then I would recommend reading as much as you can. Go to the library or a book store and see what information is out there. I recently purchased Imagine Life With A Well-Behaved Dog to work on Yuki's barking habit and I've been very pleased with the information it provides. Plus the author provides a way to contact her for addition help or questions.
Good luck, Sylvia, and hang in there!
Everyone's given you good ideas. For the poop eating, the only thing I've ever had work was a recommendation by a vet. Put some Adolph's meat tenderizer on her food. It doesn't have a taste, doesn't hurt her--but it makes the poop taste bad so they quit eating it.
I strongly encourage taking her to a vet to have her checked out. She may have a medical reason for doing what she's doing.
Just an idea--do you know anyone who has a puppy she could be around and play with? Maybe you can substitute another puppy to help her learn the rules? Talk to the trainers in your area. I think a lot comes from her being taken from her mom and litter-mates too early.
I just want to add, you vet can give you For-Bid, its a powder you mix in her food that makes her poop taste extremely bitter. It works REALLY well. I had a chihuahua who used to eat cat poop (which is suuuuuper yummy to dogs) and I just added the For-Bid to the cat's food for about 5 days and she quit eating the poop. Works great.
As for the potty training, 2 things I want to mention, Franklin came to me crate trained and potty trained. I lived in an apartment with no balcony on the 3rd floor in San Francisco. In that apartment I was NEVER able to get him potty trained, the DAY we moved to an apartment with a small balcony he was immediately reliably potty trained again! I know moving may not be an option, just wanted to share that potty training in an apartment is WAAAAAAAAAY more difficult than in a house or a place with a "yard". What actually worked for me (but was a lot of work) was I set up a little corner with sod from Home Depot, so I created a little "outdoor" area inside the house. They have little grass patches you can buy for inside the apartment and that worked wonders. You have to keep it clean and change it often, but it worked really well to teach Franklin the command "go potty". Then when you take them outside and they know the command, they will go on cue. Franklin is 3 years old and still has never ONCE told me he had to go outside and go potty, he will sit and wait for 10 hours until I take him out (I don't do that, just an example!) before taking himself out through the dog door or telling me he has to go so don't rely on her to tell you she has to go.
And last, just to let you know you aren't alone, my friend has Franklin's 1/2 sister and when I have been around her she is the EXACT same as your pup. Everytime she has come to my house or my brother's house she has peed and pooped inside, is very headstrong and demanding, barks really high pitched, won't listen to Franklin when he tries to tell her to chill out, etc. She too is a red-headed tri. I've heard tri females can be VERY difficult. She had the exact same upbringing as Franklin, except she had 2 more siblings than he did, but she is a COMPLETELY different dog than he is. She was a dominant female in the litter, while Franklin was more submissive in his litter. Like others have said, obedience classes and/or a private trainer will help immensely and will be well worth the money. Its never to late to train these behaviors out of her.
Don't be embarrassed. Corgi's are tricky. My first Corgi was a dream, potty trained at 10 weeks, on his own in the house at 6 months, never jumped or nipped at anyone, was content just hanging out. My second one...total opposite! A little pineapple in her food will stop her from eating her poop...tastes great going in...not so delightful after it comes back out. I also practice NILF with Remy (my second). Nothing in life is free...meaning he has to perform a command before given anything. Even going through doorways or outside...he must sit and wait until I have gone through first. Sit for food, for affection, for play, etc. Remy was a very dominate puppy and would bark and run around you and try to nip when he didn't get his way. Removing yourself from your dog is a very powerful statement to them. When his behavior is not favorable, a strong Uh-uh and I would get up and just walk away....no talking, no eye contact, no affection. Bitter Apple stopped the licking, shaking a peanut jar full of pennies stopped the barking. It took a lot of repetition to change him, however after awhile he realized that I wasn't going to let up.
I heard the pineapple works, and anise seed worked for me. I just sprinkled a little in the food. And hang in there. Things will click with her!
I know its been a couple of weeks. I wanted to immediately impliment quite a few of the suggestions found here on the board and moreimportantly put them into PRACTICE before coming back to let you all know how things were going. As of now, things are going EXPONENTIALLY better then they were when I wrote in at 3AM wanting to pull my hair out. The following have been done in order to help with our little Brie bug:
-Smaller more controlled area:
She no longer has access to the portion of the room that she started to use for her "potty," Since then she has started to ring the bells and roll over on her back and grumble if she needs to go outside to use the potty. I am extremely pleased to say that yesterday while playing "laser chase" she actually started to try to go in the house having been having so much fun with the laser, but I told her a firm "NO!" and then a more excited "OUTSIDE!" Racing for the front door she ran down the stairs onto the grass, went potty and then immediately ran back up the stairs. Shes getting so much better at letting me know what she needs. Ok, lets be honest, I've gotten better at LISTENING and HEARING what she's trying to tell me.
-Bells only = outside potty breaks, and other "Bell Talk":
When we starting this whole venture Brie barely used the bells on the door, and when she did, it was for EVERYTHING. attention, water, food, to grumble, to let me know she needed a nap, to bark and listen to the bells reply. As we've been moving forward she is starting to get the point that bells mean "i need to potty now" and nothing else. If she does go outside, just to sniff around, she comes in and has a 15 minute quiet time in her crate.
If she grumbles and whimpers and is by the gate that sections off the room and where her water is, and I don't immediately listen, she rings the bells softly and once, and then goes and sits by the grate again. This means with out a doubt "water please!"
If she just lays by the door and grumble, grumble, grumbles, it means I'm cranky and wants the world. At which point I usually put her down for a nap in her crate and she generally passes out for the next hour.
-Overall Crating Behavior:
Her overall behavior in the crate has also substantially improved. Between the use of it during the day as "quiet down time" and small "time outs" she has learned that being quiet in the crate is a good thing. Granted she still has her moments.. at which point as SOON as she is quiet again I reinforce "good girl, good quiet," and will repeat that intermittently for about 5 minutes, which lets her know she needs to be quiet for longer than a second before I will let her out.
with so much overall improvement with everything else that the two of us have been working on, Brie and I had a long discussion. Her tongue is part of her expressing her gratitude and love of her people. So long as she stopped when I told her, I would allow her to lick my face, hands, feet, etc. Pretty much whatever gets in front of her nose she has an insistence on licking. However, with all that she is learning, and her overall improvement in behavior, listening, and in general growing up into a fine young LADY now, I am ok with this one trait sticking around if it does.
Overall: THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!
All of the comments, gentle nudgings and encouragement have made SUCH a difference. It let me put my pride aside, and get down to business with giving this girl the sort of attention that she really needed and deserves on a daily basis. I could not have gotten to this point with out all of you.
Other GOOD tricks she's learned:
-stay ((for food anyway))
-leave it ((for food I toss to the floor so she doesn't immediately go after something))
-sit pretty ((sitting up on her hind haunches))
-hold it ((extended sit pretty))
-Heel ((bought a gentle leader the day after posting, its been doing WONDERS on our walkies and she LOVES heeling as she knows she gets to do tricks for treats if she heels))
--Ive also enrolled her in an "adult learners" class as shes now too old for a conventional puppy class. I am hoping to gain more wisdom from a group training setting and hopefully after that we can try an agility class!