How to Train your Untrainable Puppy
Updated: May 19, 2019
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It has been about a month and half since we've brought in a new furry face to our family. There's been lots of ups and downs and multiple days where I have thought, "Do I even want to keep this dog?"
here we are with a puppy who has stolen our hearts and is here for the long run whether he likes it or not.
Guinness has taken a lot of time and a lot of treats to get to him becoming "kind of" trained. Honestly, the biggest tip I could give for training a dog that doesn't want to be trained is to force them to be on a schedule. If you're bringing home a new puppy, try to see if they have a natural schedule that you can work around, otherwise it may take a couple of days for the dog to become on your schedule. From your work & meetings to grocery shopping & laundry. It will take a good chunk of time to get everyone on the same page. Below is the schedule that has ended up working for our dog BUT it will end up changing when I decide to go back to work. I'll let you know how that schedule change goes... Not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous for it!
Wake up: 6:18am
Pee Time: 6:50am
Eats breakfast: 7:30am
Pee + Poop: Between 8:45am and 9am
*If we take a walk: Anywhere between 11am and 1pm, Guinness takes another pee & poop break on our walk
*If we don't take a walk his bathroom time: 2pm
Dinner time: 5:30pm
Pee + Poop: 6:15pm
Pee Break: Anywhere between 9pm and 10:30pm depending on when we go to bed
We found the most important component to his schedule was limiting his water intake. He had a hard time potty training because he had unlimited water all the time (and in turn would pee unlimited amounts within our living room). With the vets suggestion, he only gets water during certain time frames (usually about 45 minutes) and once the time is up he dones't get any more water. THIS TIP HAS HELPED TREMENDOUSLY WITH HIS POTTY TRAINING!!!!! I cannot emphasize a water schedule enough.
Another thing we found useful for his potty training was this dog bell set. We taught him to hit the bells every time has to go to the bathroom. Although he only slightly nudges it with his nose and we usually can't hear him, he has learned to sit patiently by the door until we notice he needs to go outside. On our deck we have a little grass pad that actually doesn't work at all for him. He insists on rolling around on it versus actually peeing on it. But I know for some dogs, they prefer the turf and these mats work really well for them.
In the training process we hit a wall after awhile when he decided he didn't want anymore of his Milkbone training treats. He stopped caring about the treats and his training completely until we started giving him Beggin' Strips. Now he eats both types of treats! If you're having a hard time getting your dog to listen or be interested in treats, try something new that they've never had. From carrots, to peanut butter, to other dog treats, there are plently of options to get your dog excited about training again!
We got him to sit, shake, and lay down pretty quickly. Every time he naturally did an action we would give him a treat and say the command. Now he likes to do all three tricks at once just so he can snag the treat. I'll keep you updated on all the other tricks as they come.
Forever thankful my parents donated their old (I'm talking 1990's old) dog crate to us. (However, if you're looking for an updated similar one here ya go.) We have worked hard on making his crate his "happy place" and he very often just chills in there when he wants to. Every time he willingly walks in there he gets a treat. There are a lot of blankets and he gets all of his toys if we have to leave him alone. We did end up placing a blanket OVER his kennel to black it out. He sleeps more this way until he gets bored and he drags the entire blanket through the slits in the kennel, but we're getting there. The BIGGEST toys that have helped us has been his Kong and his Nylabones. They really keep him occupied when we can't or have no energy to. They both help with the teething process too!
Other Important Info
A puppy is definitely a time and financial commitment. From vet visits and shots to his food, Guinness costs a lot of money. We've been having issues with him scratching A LOT so we've been trying a few different things. We mix his puppy food with adult food that is grain free and is ideal for sensitive skin and stomach. We also had to get a specific oatmeal base shampoo. All of this mixed together has seemed to help. Mark and I are thankful to get a full nights sleep instead of waking up to thumper scratching himself in the corner.
Do you have any tips on puppy training? What worked for your furry friend? Drop a comment below or shoot me an email and I'll include your tips and tricks in a future post! Also if you want to dress up your dog for every holiday like we do for Guinness (sorry buddy) here's the bandana's he wears every day. I love them because no matter how much he chews them, they don't rip!