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New dog in the family

P304X4

Moderator
This past Monday we "adopted" a rescue dog from the APA. She was listed as a 1yo terrier mix but appears to be a (mostly?) Rat Terrier that is still cutting back teeth. Does anyone here have any tips on house breaking/other training? She won't be used for hunting and we're in the process of getting permits and bids to fence the back yard. Also wondering on a good brand of dog food; the APA gave us a bag of Pedigree dry food but she will only eat it if we mix it with a little warm water. She has had at least two previous owners as well as running loose for a while so we're dealing with trust issues. She takes a lot of coaxing to get her to go outside even though we're walking her on a leash. We're not giving up on her so any and all tips will be greatly appreciated.
 
The method used to train dogs to go outside that made sense to me and worked good is create training. The dog stays in the create or his safe and sleeping place except for eating and going potty. They learn to shit outside because that's where you take em to shit, it's all about consistency and repetition with training.
 

P304X4

Moderator
Training is already coming along ok. What is a good brand of food that is better than others for a 1yo of this breed?
 
I have a bigger dog but I feed him natures domain from Costco. I used Diamond brand puppy for a while and that was good also
 

TheGDog

Member
To start try some Nutro Lamb and Rice. My Brizzy did very well with that. Also the Merrick Wild Game ones they love.

Rat Terriers are crazy smart. If you put in the time, you'll be rewarded with a very cool dog! One that is inseparable from your side.

In the beginning, do voice plus hand commands together, and treat every time. Then when they get it good, do just voice. Then just hand commands. each time once they get it, start backing down on the treats but always lavishing with the praise and high-pitched praise voice.

Bah-BQ's (freeze-dried Lamb lung fillet treats) work great because you can crack off tiny pieces so you're not overfeeding them since they are a smaller sized dog. OVerwise very easy to overfeed on the treats and then they'll barf 'em up.

Walking on leash make sure at curb they sit and their butt touches the ground and it doesn't raise up until YOU say it's time for them to cross the street. The on leash work is good to revert back to when they've already learned their tricks, but are starting to get lazy and attempting to short-change you on execution. Never give the treat unless they execute the command EXACTLY the way you want. If it's fetch.. and they try to drop it to soon and don't drop it on your hand... take a few steps backward and then once again point to your outstretched palm and say "Give!"

If they don't want to let go of the ball. Outstretch your finger above their snout, say "Let!"... if they don't let go... rap 'em on the snout with that finger while saying "Let!". In no time at all they fall in line.

Probably the hardest thing to work on with 'm to begin with is them wanting to pull when on leash. I would always just bark out my sharp No-sound (think "APP!) and would pull back on leash and execute the sit command. Once they settle in for the sit command, say "Slooowly..." and start to slowly release tension on the lead, but the very second they start wanting to pull again, ya gotta repeat. It's annoying as hell in the beginning, but it's necessary.

Also... when they get really good at remembering they are supposed to sit down at the curb. Test 'em by remaining silent and putting your foot down onto the ashpalt.. then quickly taking it back up and correcting them if they tried to walk as well, since you didn't say "Ok, let's go!"

Anyhoo... you probably already are good with training I suppose since you had hunting dogs before. Your family will adore the Rat Terrier. They're crazy smart and extremely bonded to you.

Only cautionary thing I'd say is that they are little toughies! So pay attention if your Rat Terrier is not liking what some other bigger dog is doing to them. Occasionally their mouths will write checks that their @ss can't cash, if you know what I mean :)
 
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P304X4

Moderator
Thanks for the info SmithB and GDog, although they weren't used as such we have had 'herding' dogs and also 'people' dogs as well as just plain mutts. This one won't be used for hunting but she is the first one we've had of that type of breed. I'll check into the food but we're already set with a beef flavored treat (about the size of a baby aspirin) used for coaxing; she's a rescue dog that has issues. We also use Nutro Crunchy Treats when praising her for good behavior. We aren't pushing on formal training yet while she gets used to her new home. Formal training will start in mid Feb. with classes through Pet Smart, then further training on our own as needed. I'm sure she'll train us well.
 
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Another thing to try if she is a rescue and timid is give her peanut butter on a spoon this forces her to stay close to you while she eats it and gets more comfortable with you as and builds trust.
 

TheGDog

Member
Thanks for the info SmithB and GDog, although they weren't used as such we have had 'herding' dogs and also 'people' dogs as well as just plain mutts. This one won't be used for hunting but she is the first one we've had of that type of breed. I'll check into the food but we're already set with a beef flavored treat (about the size of a baby aspirin) used for coaxing; she's a rescue dog that has issues. We also use Nutro Crunchy Treats when praising her for good behavior. We aren't pushing on formal training yet while she gets used to her new home. Formal training will start in mid Feb. with classes through Pet Smart, then further training on our own as needed. I'm sure she'll train us well.
You don't need classes. You wanna know how I learned to train my dogs? A little 99 cent booklet I bought at the grocery store early 90's.

It's not even really about "training" the dog really... it's more about training the __person__ to be consistent in what they expect from their dog and be consistent and persistent and not cave when attempting to train a new behaviour into their dog.
 

P304X4

Moderator
I signed up for lessons so my granddaughter will learn how to train what is suppose to be her dog, Dog is warming to the family very well but the peanut butter is good for helping her take an antibiotic she's almost done with.
 

P304X4

Moderator
After the second week the dog realized she can bark and now barks at every sound she hears. Had to skip the training lessons, she isn't friendly with other dogs and is very skittish with strangers. Other wise house breaking is coming along well now that we have fenced in part of the yard and is caged trained for bed time. Home training is going well but has a long way to go for her age. Wife calls her a Brat Terrier and the granddaughter calls her a Tasmanian Terrier. I think I might be stuck with a four legged tornado....think Jack Russel on steroids!!
 

TheGDog

Member
Yup Yup! One of my nicknames for Brizzy is "My Little Muscle-Butt".

Once on-lead training is going good and sits at every curb and waits for your command to cross the street. Then take to dog park off leash. Once there... continuously walk around the perimeter the dog will naturally want to follow you, and that will help to prevent her from getting into little aggro displays with others. And over time, she'll start to read from your relaxed nature around all those others and she'll eventually ease up. Be careful though, too much of snapping at her and yelling which she gets aggro with another dog *can* sorta act like a treat to some degree. Depends on the individual dog. I kinda had this issue with her barking when mailman would apporach. I used to yell and try to clamp down on her so to speek.

But then I realized my heightened energy level in response to the situation was heightening her reaction to it as well. So then I changed up the game and would now respond with "You're Ok. Gooood Girl... OH yes...you're Daddy's Big Protector, aren't you!" in much more relaxed tone, and it helped that issue tremendously.
 

P304X4

Moderator
Yup Yup! One of my nicknames for Brizzy is "My Little Muscle-Butt".

But then I realized my heightened energy level in response to the situation was heightening her reaction to it as well. So then I changed up the game and would now respond with "You're Ok. Gooood Girl... OH yes...you're Daddy's Big Protector, aren't you!" in much more relaxed tone, and it helped that issue tremendously.
Started with that when she first started barking in the house, when she's outside I raise my voice slightly to be louder than her but only to call her back in....which we're still working on. Big issues now are getting her to release her ball or open her mouth when we suspect she has something other than a treat or chew. Also had to buy the largest "Meat Bones" (real bones with a small amount of sinew on them) because she devours the mid size in about two days. Looks like house and yard training will take a while before getting deep into lease training which will begin when the weather warms up a bit so we can work on the back patio.
 
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TheGDog

Member
Started with that when she first started barking in the house, when she's outside I raise my voice slightly to be louder than her but only to call her back in....which we're still working on. Big issues now are getting her to release her ball or open her mouth when we suspect she has something other than a treat or chew. Also had to buy the largest "Meat Bones" (real bones with a small amount of sinew on them) because she devours the mid size in about two days. Looks like house and yard training will take a while before getting deep into lease training which will begin when the weather warms up a bit so we can work on the back patio.
Releasing is SUPER EASY!!! You hold your finger above her snout... and say "LET!!" or (GIVE!!).... if she doesn't let it go.... you rap on her snout good enough to make it unpleasant with that finger. IF she doesn't let go...REPEAT until she does... smacking slightly more harder and harder with each successive smack. Giving her a very small opportunity to release the object after each vocal command.

VERY QUICKLY... you will only have to say "LET!" (or GIVE!!) and she'll drop it right away. And if she gets stubborn again at some point in the future, after you've already said "LET!" ... just raise up your finger over her snout again and Boop! she'll immediately drop it, no problemo.
 

TheGDog

Member
P.S. when it comes to toys... DO NOT give her any PLUSH TOYS to play with!!! What happens is that those artificial fibers from the toy will end up getting wedged up between her teeth at the gum line... and since they are nylon or polyester or whatever, they won't biodegrade, and they will be holding food at the gum line, which will cause bacteria... so gingivitis and caries, which of course leads to tooth needing to be pulled if not caught in time.
 

soonerdoc

Member
Just got a new GSP female from Kansas last week. The breeder sent her (8 mos old) with his usual food, which was Purina Pro Sport Salmon and rice. After doing my due diligence, I have decided that Purina dog food is absolute garbage. It is ranked last for dogs. Sorry Purina lovers! So, I have decided to switch her from that crap dog food to either Acana or Orijen. Both made by the same company. The Origen is 85% protein, necessary for a hunting dog. The Acana is slightly less protein, 75%. Both are probably too much protein for a dog that is not actively hunting. So, I am going to switch her to a 50/50 mix of Purina dog crap and Orijen, then transition her to strictly Orijen. Will eventually switch her to a lower protein food. These are NOT dog foods you can buy at Costco! They are somewhat expensive but necessary to get the high energy an active hunting dog requires. Both these are prolly not good for a rat terrier, but I thought I would post since many of the guys that read this forum have hunting dogs.

Doc
 

P304X4

Moderator
P.S. when it comes to toys... DO NOT give her any PLUSH TOYS to play with!!! What happens is that those artificial fibers from the toy will end up getting wedged up between her teeth at the gum line... and since they are nylon or polyester or whatever, they won't biodegrade, and they will be holding food at the gum line, which will cause bacteria... so gingivitis and caries, which of course leads to tooth needing to be pulled if not caught in time.
Plush toys were taken away the first week.....instead of playing with them she was trying to eat them. Her ball is the hardest rubber dog ball we could find, the same goes for a "Cong Exercise Ball" we have for treats. She has pretty much learned what is her's for chewing and what she can't have unless she is outside then almost anything is fair game.....sticks, leaves, birds, bunnies, squirrels or anything else that doesn't try to eat her first. LOL
 
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soonerdoc

Member
P304x4, i think you are on the right track! At least she is eating everything OUTSIDE! Thats a good thing. My new GSP is eating everything INSIDE the house. So far she has chewed through 3 electric cords/plugs, shoes, blankets, pillows, toilet paper and anything else that is not nailed down. In spite of the numerous toys she has, balls, more balls, Kong, retriever dummys, she is relentless. Our house will never be the same!! So you need to keep on keeping on. I wish Reba would learn what is hers to chew on and what is NOT hers............

Doc
 

P304X4

Moderator
P304x4, i think you are on the right track! At least she is eating everything OUTSIDE! Thats a good thing. My new GSP is eating everything INSIDE the house. So far she has chewed through 3 electric cords/plugs, shoes, blankets, pillows, toilet paper and anything else that is not nailed down. In spite of the numerous toys she has, balls, more balls, Kong, retriever dummys, she is relentless. Our house will never be the same!! So you need to keep on keeping on. I wish Reba would learn what is hers to chew on and what is NOT hers............Doc
Try a 'Redbarn' ham bone, you can find them at chewy.com or you can use one similar from the local Walmart or pet store. My dog went through her mid size bones (her size) in about two days so I bought one meant for large dogs; those last her about a week to ten days. Once she picks the bone "clean" I give her a new one which helps a great deal to keep her out of trouble. My granddaughter has a bad habit of leaving "inviting" things in reach and leaving her bedroom door open but even at that the dog doesn't get into things as often as she could. Another help is to keep "inviting" trash like food wrappers, tissue or anything with a human smell where the dog can't get to it. Also, keep dentures and hearing aids out of reach and handle cords etc. with clean hands to keep inviting smells to a minimum. Puppies can be slower learners than dogs two or older. Dogs get bored if left alone for any length of time so Cinnamon is confined to the the kitchen area when we're away from home. Tall walk-through baby gates are good for making confined areas. I'm still leaning new things all the time.
 
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TheGDog

Member
Also... I'd highly recommend NOT having her eat on your left-over beef bones. I'm sure you already know not to give them pig or fowl bones. They will splinter and can pierce the esophagus. The beef bones will cause pre-mature wear on their teeth.

And yes... please do post up some pics! We're all family here right?

Mancha and Brizzy
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The day we picked up Mancha to come home!
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The Boy and Mancha
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The Boy putting Brizzy thru her paces
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