Here`s another great article:
So first I’d like to say that I really appreciate this sub. I’ve been obsessively reading what feels like every post and it’s been super helpful. Mainly because I’m really struggling some days with puppy blues and anxiety from both her and the Covid-19 situation. I was so relieved to see that the puppy blues are not uncommon because I’d never even known it was a thing! Not until someone’s post described exactly what I was feeling and I actually had a name for what it was. Originally we’d planned on a puppy this summer…but then quarantine happened. At first I thought quarantine would be a great time to focus on a puppy so we started looking immediately. I just hadn’t counted on the fact that stress about making sure I’m training her right might progress into puppy blues and play into my heightened general anxiety. She’s so sweet and cuddly but I just get overwhelmed so easily right now. A lot of tips that I’ve read and tried get mixed results from our puppy because she is smart but very stubborn. So I thought I’d try and give a little background to see if I could get some more tips that might specifically work for stubborn dogs.
My husband and I got her a little over a month ago at 3 months old and we were told she is a beagle hound mix. She’s pretty easy to correct in the moment but it doesn’t always seem to stick that the behavior I am correcting is what I want her to stop.
She works pretty well with our cats, she just gets swiped at a lot because she doesn’t understand they don’t want to play like she wants them to. But when they swipe at her she almost always backs off and/or lays down in a submissive posture. However one of our cats she seems to especially like because when he swipes at her she sometimes wags her tail harder and swipes her own paw at him. He doesn’t seem super concerned, he grumbles and hisses but he doesn’t leave the room until he gets completely fed up. I’m not sure if I should be discouraging her from doing it or should I let the cat take care of it. So far I’ve been just trying to get her to be gentle and correct her when she chases him but otherwise I’ve let the cat set his boundaries. We have her confined to the living room with a baby gate and let her out occasionally for supervised walks in the rest of the house.
She semi knows sit, stay, come, kennel, go potty and we’re working on lay down. But one thing I’m struggling with is that even though she did pick up on them pretty quickly, she doesn’t always listen to me and will sometimes stand there staring at me and then walk away. She gets very easily distracted and I guess I’m just not sure how to effectively get and keep her attention. She’s highly food motivated so if she knows I have a treat she’ll sometimes hyper focus on my hands and not what command I am saying, but then if she doesn’t think she’ll get a treat she’s more likely to lose interest.
She’s very skittish, on our walks she gets scared by dogs barking, kids shouting, people walking on the other side of the street, me kicking a rock, etc. When she gets scared she pulls hard on the leash and whines the rest of the walk. When she pulls I make her sit and we wait until she stops whining before we continue. But sometimes I’ll literally go two steps before she’s pulling and whining again. She can double or triple our walk time by doing this. She also pulls a lot on our walks once she realizes we’re going home, even if she’d been really good before that.
When I let her in the backyard she’s ok for about 10 minutes but then she cries if she’s left out there alone. We’ve been trying to leave her outside for 30 minutes along with putting her in her kennel so that we get a little time away from her, but also so we don’t end up with an adult dog with separation anxiety. And eventually she’s going to have periods of time where she’s alone for multiple hours when things start to go back to “normal”.
I know that some of this is her being a puppy, but I’m just worried that I’m teaching her all wrong and will eventually have this dog I can’t control. I really feel like she has great potential and I don’t want to ruin her.
Mainly I am looking for tips on command training, behavior correcting, and leash walking a stubborn, easily distracted hound. (Socialization is an issue as well, but I think that’s more a problem that the quarantine is causing, and while I have looked at the pinned Covid post I’ll take tips on that too!) We’re crate training her and while she does bark and whine in there she eventually settles down. We’re playing with different Kong recipes and we just bought (but haven’t yet tried) a snuffle mat to keep her occupied in the kennel.
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