Can you tell a puppy "NO" to much?

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Chefturner's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-03

MY wife and I recently brought home a new doberman pup after much deliberation on choosing a breed. We have been doing everything by the book in regards to crate and potty training her and yet we seem to be making almost no headway at all. Our pup is 10 weeks old now and we have had her for two weeks. When she empties outside we praise and praise and praise her for doing the right thing. yet we are still having problems with her coming back in the house and emptying again just after she has emptied outside.When we catch her (Which we usually do) doing her business inside, she receives a sharp NO and is immediately taken outside. She has been checked out by our vet and she has no parasites or infections so what are we doing wrong?

Also we feel like we are constantly telling our puppy NO to the point where it feels like that is all we ever say to her anymore. She gets a loud deep NO whenever she chews on anything that is not approved by us, and then we quickly exchange the unapproved item for an approved one and praise her for chewing on the good toy. we almost feel like we are over correcting her... if that is possible? We are afraid of her not bonding with us because of how much we correct her. Can we say NO to much? (She is spoiled beyond belief and has more toys than I did growing up)

Our last concern is she is barking uncontrollably when in her crate. We have never used the crate for punishment and always made it warm and dry and comfortable for her. yet she continues to cry uncontrollably. We never run to her rescue when she cries and sometimes she receives a sharp NO for crying in her crate. We are draggin because of sleep deprivation and need to know that this is all natural? When can we expect this to stop and hopefully get some sleep?

Are we going about things all wrong here? HELP US PLEASE!!!!!

Grendelspop's picture
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Joined: 2007-12-31

Hello, I just wanted to say that these are questions that I have asked myself with a number of pups and been afraid that by using the word NO too often that they would become numb to it. I hoped to be helpful by saying that in all cases with the pup being taken outside about every hour and a half , eventually they start to respond more and more.I think that for me, everything starts getting easier after I have started training a few basic commands. I seem to say NO less when the pup has learned that it wants to do good things for me.  Your pup is still very young and just learning what it is that you mean by the sharp NO. It sounds as if your doing a pretty good job and I think it will get easier for you as time goes by. With the crate training you could try some exercises during the day by starting out putting her in for very short periods of time and working up to longer periods.Good luck 

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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Yeah Chefturner, what you are describing are all the right things. No can be overused only when you don't back it up. For example, the puppy is barking. If you just keep telling her no, she just learns she can get away with ignoring it.

Physical correction is inappropriate for puppies under six months. If you find he ignores a no, you can stand over her and let out a bigger no. You can also grab her and hold her still while you give the no.

The only mistake you have made that I can see is getting a Doberman puppy.  ;) They are really terrible. But like I always say: the best dogs start out as the worst puppies. The wonderful characteristics of the adult Doberman are in a raw state during puppy hood. Until she gets trained and matures a bit, she'll be causing trouble. It's tough now, but you'll miss her puppyness when she's grown up.

Yarr's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-01

We got Scout at about the same age.  We had some problems with her hating the crate that turned out to be separation anxiety.  Try moving the crate around a bit.  Keep it in a room with you so she can see you.  That way she doesn't think that every time she's in the crate means that she's left alone.  Move it into another room and put her in for short periods.  (Try waiting for her to fall asleep outside the crate and then carefully put her in there without waking her up.  The when she wakes up, praise her for being so good and quiet.)

As far as house training, Scout was somewhat the same.  She just didn't get it.  For about 2 weeks from when we brought her home she just did whatever.  My wife was at her wits end!  Then, one night, Scout went to the door, scratched it and looked back at us.  I opened the door- she went out, pottied, and then came back inside.  We were shocked!  She hasn't even had an accident since that moment.
(In my 'about me' post I said that she was trained within a week.  My wife reminded me that this was not the case, and was why there is  no carpet in the living room anymore.  I had forgotten.)