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Please help, I'm going crazy.

Casper is from a shelter, she was abused/neglected as a pup and is about 2 now. I toilet trained her, and she knows what to do. But half the time she doesn't. I do everything I know of, I've gone through countless books and websites and forums for advice and nothing is helping. I'm starting to think I have to crate her and I really don't want to. I've used pads and outside, to the point I sit outside for 30-50mins to make sure she does it, otherwise she comes in to go on the carpet.

The other issue is she is very resistant to training, it's been 4 months and now she'll sit most of the times you tell her, and sometimes she'll just stop and look at you. Even walks, food, all that, she's been very slow to learn what signals mean what. I've read Chi's are stubborn and sometimes hard to train, but this is crazy. I've thought of puppy pre-school but she's 'too old' for it, even though you'd think they'd make exceptions for shelter animals. Other courses are too advanced.

Please help, I'm 22 and I'm heavy into research and technique and I've never failed an animal as badly as I am now. I want to love my furbabies, not get grumpy and have to resort to tough love.

Dren
 

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Hi and welcome to the board.

I am not really sure what to tell you on the potty training other than just be patient and consistent. I would tether her to you and not leave her unattended at any time in your home. I would also crate her when you are not there or cant watch her. Praise and treats are crucial when training.

Also praise and treats with short numerous training sessions throughout the day with obedience training. I am not sure about your area but we have trainers in our area that do not have an age requirement on training classes. Maybe find a more stubborn dog class? If you are stressing about her not learning she can sense this and feed off of this. Scolding will never work and will only confuse her so keep the praise method going and be so excited that you feel silly, LOL! They really feed off or your excitement and want to please you =)

Good luck and I am sure others will chime in soon :)
 

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My milo was abused and neglected and we got him at 2.

It took us months to figure out... he was trained... he only would use news papers. The shelter didnt know and neither did we. Every time we would take him out he would stare at us like we were crazy. Once I recall being out with him 45 minutes and after we went inside he went right next to where we stored the recycling (which at the time was all old newspapers).

Maybe she is paper trained? I know its a rare chance but she may be more comfortable with it.

As for everything else.... Milo was a pain to train. he was so overly anxious about food that he couldnt focus on what we were asking him to do. We did a beginners class (a class similar to a puppy class except for older dogs). That helped out a whole lot. Pet smart has the beginners class for dogs like yours and mine. Its very basic. Socializing her is also important so the class will help with that.

keep positive. It is worth it in the end. <3 you sound like you are doing everything you can.
 

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I tore my hair out with Tango after I rescued him at 7 months. I was very frustrated. I'm not a newbie at dog training, but he was SO resistant initially.

Then I discovered clicker training. I was AMAZED at the difference. It took me a bit to load the clicker (teach him the click=treat connection) but once he made that connection, he was off and running!

I think, because they're so small and quick, it's harder to get them to make the kinds of connections that we want them to make in order to train them because we're so slow by comparison. Clicking is a much more precise and swifter way of marking the behavior we want. And if they understand that the click means that they're doing something right, and that a treat will follow the click, they can connect those dots far more easily.

Also, as far as potty training goes, I don't know how you're managing to potty train WITHOUT using a crate! I'd find that next to impossible, personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your replies. As horrible as it sounds, it's nice to know others have struggled.
The clicking thing sounds like a great idea! I'm definately going to try it, I think she gets confused with the praise and all the commotion going on and doesn't understand I'm asking her to do something. She's totally adorable and so sweet, and I know she has the ability to be perfectly trained, I just have to find a way to communicate with her and not get upset when she doesn't seem to get it. She loves her squeeky toys, and I was wondering how I can incorperate them into her training without her thinking it's all just playtime and getting mummy frustrated?
I had a talk with my partner about your suggestions and some others I've come across, so we've got a gameplan to go by until the next training class (if she still needs it). I really don't want to crate her, I know everyone says it works and their dogs love it but it's really a last resort for me.
Dren
 

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Thank you all for your replies. As horrible as it sounds, it's nice to know others have struggled.
The clicking thing sounds like a great idea! I'm definately going to try it, I think she gets confused with the praise and all the commotion going on and doesn't understand I'm asking her to do something. She's totally adorable and so sweet, and I know she has the ability to be perfectly trained, I just have to find a way to communicate with her and not get upset when she doesn't seem to get it. She loves her squeeky toys, and I was wondering how I can incorperate them into her training without her thinking it's all just playtime and getting mummy frustrated?
I had a talk with my partner about your suggestions and some others I've come across, so we've got a gameplan to go by until the next training class (if she still needs it). I really don't want to crate her, I know everyone says it works and their dogs love it but it's really a last resort for me.
Dren
I'm glad you're going for the clicker training. There are numerous books out there, PetsMart has classes on clicker training (and it's the only training method they use) and there are endless net resources. Karen Pryor is the pioneer of clicker training and she has a website: clickertraining.com that you have to register to be part of, but it's free and the information there is invaluable.

Also, I don't know what you have against crate training....it sorta sounds like you think it's cruel. :( Which is completely false. Before you just completely reject it as an idea, I suggest you do some research on that, too. My dogs LOVE their crates. They don't associate the crates with punishment, because I've never used them that way. Their crates are their safe spot, their sanctuary, their private place. If they can't get on me or use me as their sanctuary, their crates are a very acceptable and necessary second choice. It makes potty training way easier, not to mention it's wonderful to be able to have a safe, contained place for my dogs to go when I need them to be out of the way......when the grandkids are over and I don't want them messed with, when I'm trying to mop the floors, when I need a repair man inside the house. I just tell them "in your crate" or "crate" and they make a beeline for it and jump in happily, if they haven't gone there already....they're smart little things, they've come to associate me getting out the mop with getting in their crates without me having to say anything usually :D
 

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I don't think using a crate is cruel, if I did I would rule it out entirely. I just don't really see the need for it, for us. When we travel she is secured and happy, when we're out she's in the backyard or in the kitchen if it's raining, I have agoraphobia so I'm home most of the time anyway. She has her dens under the bed and under her daddy's computer desk so she's not missing out on that safe place. Crating is a choice, I don't judge those who do it and I don't wish to be judged as ignorant, stupid or cruel for not doing it.
We don't have PetsMarts in Oz (to my knowlege) so I'm going to my favourite pet shop tomorrow. I'm sure I've seen the clickers and books on it there and they're just awesome.
Dren
 

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I don't think using a crate is cruel, if I did I would rule it out entirely. I just don't really see the need for it, for us. When we travel she is secured and happy, when we're out she's in the backyard or in the kitchen if it's raining, I have agoraphobia so I'm home most of the time anyway. She has her dens under the bed and under her daddy's computer desk so she's not missing out on that safe place. Crating is a choice, I don't judge those who do it and I don't wish to be judged as ignorant, stupid or cruel for not doing it.
We don't have PetsMarts in Oz (to my knowlege) so I'm going to my favourite pet shop tomorrow. I'm sure I've seen the clickers and books on it there and they're just awesome.
Dren
Nobody has said you're ignorant stupid or cruel,others here are just giving you their advice and trying to help you.
 

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I don't think using a crate is cruel, if I did I would rule it out entirely. I just don't really see the need for it, for us. When we travel she is secured and happy, when we're out she's in the backyard or in the kitchen if it's raining, I have agoraphobia so I'm home most of the time anyway. She has her dens under the bed and under her daddy's computer desk so she's not missing out on that safe place. Crating is a choice, I don't judge those who do it and I don't wish to be judged as ignorant, stupid or cruel for not doing it.
We don't have PetsMarts in Oz (to my knowlege) so I'm going to my favourite pet shop tomorrow. I'm sure I've seen the clickers and books on it there and they're just awesome.
Dren
I didn't judge you, and I certainly don't think you're ignorant, stupid or cruel. I don't know what I might have said to give you that impression.

Here's everything you said about crating.
I'm starting to think I have to crate her and I really don't want to.
I really don't want to crate her, I know everyone says it works and their dogs love it but it's really a last resort for me.
You gave no specific reasons why you didn't want to crate, just that you didn't want to, and that it was a last resort. As crating is a very common training tool, not to mention widely accepted, used and approved by renowned trainers, your statements were surprising to me. Based on those statements, it appeared that you might have some misconceptions about crating, which I hoped I might help clarify.
 

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I have a dog with an unknown past. although we're piecing it together with his behavoirs as best we can.

I also don't like to crate train, especially since he's pretty spot on for a one year old and paper training. but i have one for him for a few reason. One is he's a baby, or a kid i guess at one, and sometimes a good nap is needed without having to worry about the other dogs. It's rare we get to the frumpy part of him ( this may not even apply to you, Duke is grumpy when tired lol) and when we do he goes in the kennel for at least 30 minutes, and he goes in happily, usually i just ask him to and he walks in.

we also use it for greeting people since he has serious issues with meeting people. but again not really applicable.

but i'm just giving you other reasons people use crates. Chi's like tight spaces, or burrowing spaces most of the time. rarely do i ever put him in for any length of time other then a needed nap LOL.


Also, honestly you may not get the perfect trained chi. I just want to say that, at two years old its not impossible, really to get there. But you have a dog who is a little set in her ways, lol! I was once told by a trainer I trust, that if a dog will do a trick half the time you ask, it means they know the command/trick. It's just the other times, they don't want to. I find this true with my Salem, who knows sit, but most of time looks at me like I'm dumb. He knows it when he wants to. He's what i call "manner trained" which for me, is good enough. I know for many its not enough, but get down, enough, drop it, stop all that is good enough for me. so he can't do fancy tricks, i like my chubby butt the way he is LOL.

I think the reason chi's are noted to be harder to train is they ( general exceptions to every rule of course) don't have the same drive to please as some of the working dogs. They love you, of course, and want to cuddle but they don't get as much out of things as working dogs. People may disagree ( feel free! people have owned far more chi's then i have here!) but thats my take on chi's.

Look up NILF training ( nothing in life is free) and just check out positive training tips. And remember 4 months is not a lot of time. Especially in the training world! Oh another tip i learned is always end up on a positive note, if you see her getting frustrated or distracted teaching sit, it was time to stop a couple attempts ago.

also look up the books/pamphlets by Patricia B Mcconnell. Especially the other end of the leash LOVE her books and she has taught me much about dogs :)
 
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