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Puppy brings leaves and dirt from the garden
  • Hi there,

    I have searched on Google as it was described and looked into the related areas in the forum but couldn't find any thread already opened on this issue.

    We have our Yuna since 3 weeks and we love her. I think she behaves very well and we have lots of luck with her in general. But of course we are aware of difficulties of bringing up a puppy. Therefore the forum is very valuable to me as a first had reference.

    Yuna is 11 weeks and I haven't really started to train her regularly except household training like potty training, kennel and etc. She does very good and does all her necessities outside in the garden. So garden is life saving. I have also trained with her for commands like - sit with treats. I have the impression that she is sitting rather she knows then she'll be awarded.

    Our problem with her is that she loves to bring leaves, dirt, ground etc. with into the house. I am disapproving this behaviour of hers saying - no - to her with a serious and a bit louder tone. However she keeps doing it and now I am sure that she's also quite aware that what she does it is not allowed. So when she sees me walking toward her, she rushes away and does't let me to correct her behaviour. I basically don't get any chance to disapprove her deed.

    I would appreciate to hear your way of acting in case of similar issues.


  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    She’s a baby. I would think she hasn’t connected the association of being scolded with bringing leaves and things into the house. It sounds more like she has associated you with being scolded, so she chooses to run away from you. This can definitely cause some problems with her feeling like she can’t trust you. For her to recognize what she is actually being scolded for, it needs to happen like within a second of the behavior, and redirected to a more appropriate behavior. I would not allow her to bring in any leaves or things from outside if that is your rule. I would teach her to drop them and leave them at the door in exchange for a reward, like a treat or snack. I would not give her the opportunity to fail. Eventually, she would ideally associated coming inside without her outdoor treasures with getting a treat or a toy instead, so she would have a positive association with leaving the leaves outside before she comes in.

    As a puppy, my shiba loved to carry pine cones and sticks and things and wanted to bring them inside. I allowed him to carry them outside, but had him drop them by the door whenever we got home. It didn’t take long for him to figure out that good things happen when he follows the rules, and sticks and pine cones stay outside.

    Instead of trying to teach her what not to do, teach her what to do instead. Set her up to succeed and praise and reward a ton when she correctly puts down the leaves and stuff outside before coming in. I also wouldn’t yell or scare her by being stern with your punishment. I would give a gentle “uh uh” or “nope” and not allow her to come inside or get her treat or toy until she drops the leaf. She will be much more likely to comply when it is fun and a good experience. Otherwise, she might learn to fear or resent corrections from you. Rather than stopping the behavior, she might choose to just avoid you. Shibas respond much better to positive reinforcement.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-08-02 15:15:53