I just got my little Shorgi, Mischa, about a week ago, and she's the first puppy I've ever had to deal with. So far, she has a habit of peeing and pooping in the floor and likes to eat anything within her reach. I've looked online for training tips, but all of them seem to shout "one size fits all," which, let's face it, isn't usually true. Can anyone give me some tips for training her?

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Comment by Reix on August 1, 2009 at 11:15am
Thank you very much! As a first time dog owner, I'm a little lost, so I'm very greatful for your help!
Comment by Beth on August 1, 2009 at 7:48am
For treats, you want something that comes in tiny pieces, or you can break in tiny pieces. We would mix some treats in with pieces of his puppy kibble, and until we'd had him for about a month he thought kibble was a treat too!

The biting will take awhile. The method I prefer is that when puppy starts biting your hands or feet, say "Ah-ah!" and then grab a toy and give it to pup. When pup bites the toy, say "good girl!" If puppy still bites your hands or feet after offering a replacement (and she will), simply stand up, cross your arms, and turn your back on her. For many pups this will give them the message. If she then starts leaping at you and biting, don't think this means you have a wild puppy because some of them just do that. In that case, baby gates are invaluable because you can step over the gate and get away. This way, puppy learns that if she bites you, the game ends. When she is calm again, resume play, but realize you may need to repeat the whole process in a minute or two; they have very short attention spans and will soon forget.

Don't think you will stop her biting in just a few days, because it's a long process for many pups. Biting is normal for puppies and even adult dogs; it's how they play. We of course can't let them bite us, but because it's so instinctive for them it takes awhile to break them of the habit. Stay calm, don't yell or push her because she'll think you're just playing rougher. I don't like any method that involves putting your own hands back on the puppy to correct her, because if she's very exuberant she will misread this as a sign of you just wanting to play-wrestle, which is many pups' favorite game. If she were with her littermates, she'd be chewing on their ears and stuff.
Comment by Reix on July 31, 2009 at 11:16pm
We take her out shortly after she eats or drinks and as soon as she comes out of her crate. When she's out, we try to keep her in the living room with constant supervision, and we haven't had the chance to go buy treats for rewards. Are there any in particular that are good for this?

I'll be sure to keep everything out of her reach. Do you know of anything to stop her from biting fingers and toes? Those seem to be her most favorite snacks. I've heard many different things (holding their mouth closed and telling them no, holding their bottom jaw, squirting them with a spray bottle and lightly hitting them on the nose) but what we have tried doesn't seem to help at all.
Comment by Beth on July 31, 2009 at 11:13pm
If you check out the FAQ, there is a wonderful article about housebreaking! As for eating everything, that is normal puppy behavior. Just be vigilant, keep your important things and anything dangerous well out of reach, and replace anything inappropriate she picks up with one of her own toys. It will take a good long time (think months, not days), but she will get the point eventually.

Mischa is very cute! I didn't know there was such a thing as a Shorgi. LOL
Comment by Caroline & Merriam on July 31, 2009 at 10:44pm
Hey! Welcome to corgi ownership! So, it's hard to answer your questions without asking a few of my own --

1) what steps are you taking toward her potty training? (Is she taken out at regular intervals? Is she confined to a certain area? Are you keeping an eye on her at all times, or does she have free rein of the house? Is she being rewarded for her good behavior when she does go outside?)

And as far as the eating everything, it's mostly a phase. As puppies, they want to chew chew chew chew chew, on pretty much everything. Especially (it sometimes seems!) the things you don't want them to get at. The only real way to stop it is to keep a constant eye on her whenever she is loose in the house, make sure things you really don't want her to chew are up high somewhere when she is around, and confine her in a safe area (crate, baby-gate enclosed area, or something similar) whenever she is not directly being watched by someone. Otherwise, they pretty much have a tendency to get into everything they can get their little paws on.

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