The Resources: Trying to find a place to start with my Dog Training

Eddy, my new rescue pug who is one-year-old, has been an ongoing headache for me.  When I first rescued him I was optimistic and felt confident in my dog training abilities.  I was raised around well-trained dogs and since being an adult I have trained my first pug, Evian who is five-years-old, perfectly.

Eddy has presented an entirely new set of obstacles for me. For starters, Eddy wasn’t a young puppy when I rescued him contrary to the average time-frame of introducing a new puppy into my house around 8 to 12 weeks, which I believe is the standard.  Eddy has an estimated age of 1 year as of January 2014. He wasn’t neutered until that point either.

His first year of life was met with abandon and reckless dog owner behaviors.  Whoever owned him before my fiancé and I took him in had no business raising animals.  The extent of what I know about his background is that he was kept in a backyard with multiple other dogs, including 4 other black pugs.  He had a tarp for shelter from the Southern California heat and that was about it.

Since bringing him into my home I have noticed a few odd behaviors that are heartbreaking, but not shocking considering what we know about his history.  He is afraid of umbrellas, bottles, and anyone reaching out a hand too fast over his head. This tells me that he wasn’t treated well by his previous owners, and by that I mean he was probably abused.

With that said I should also mention he is permanently missing teeth from the top of his mouth.  He has one snaggle tooth that hangs out from his top row of teeth.

Since he had never been house-broken at an early age I need to house-break him ASAP.  The longer you let a dog go without being trained the harder it will be.  Let me tell  you, it’s been hard!

I also had to neuter him since the previous owner never had.  He was neutered in January around one year of age.  Because he was allowed to go so long without neutering he sprays all over my house.  We were told it could take a few months for the hormones to work themselves out of his system, but I haven’t seen any improvement with that and it’s been four months.

I need to find out how to break his spraying habits.

He seems too slow to learn how to lay down.  Maybe this one is just my trying to take on too many tasks at once, but I feel like this shouldn’t be such a fight everyday. I have managed to teach him to sit, so he can learn how to lay in my opinion.  Not-to-forget that he has Evian around to help show him the ropes. Shouldn’t she be making training easier? Shouldn’t there be a learn by example reality to having her around?

I need him to learn basic commands like sit, lay, stay, respond to your name, etc.

To combat these issues I have invested in a lot of training resources. Now I just have to invest the time and figure out which resources and which methods are best.

  • Clicker Training: Does this work? Where do I start?
  • Spray bottles: Sometimes this seems to work, but not really training him anything besides the need to stop the immediate bad behavior.
  • Purchased many books including 14 Days to a Well-Behaved Dog and Training Your Dog (Animal Planet Pet Care Library).
  • Purchased training treats from Exclusively Pet Best Buddy Bits-Peanut Butter Flavor.
  • Downloaded iPhone apps like Canine Academy Dog Training App, iClicker_free and DogClicker.

Now it’s time to start tackling this training head-on. What are your suggestions?