For starters, there seem relatively few opportunities when the Whippet is in the right 'head zone' to learn. Then, when he does engage in the lesson, he quickly becomes bored and tunes out again. Indeed, training a Whippet has taught you a whole new level of patience and meant you embrace small improvements with the sort of enthusiasm you once reserved for a complex trick with a GSD.
Anyhow, the good news is you and your Whippet are getting there.... albeit slowly.
To successfully obedience train a Whippet means taking advantage of their more lucid moments, and engaging in brief bursts of training activity. Also, only use reward-based methods which major on encouraging the dog to behave, and be prepared to have the patience of a saint. That said, when all the stars align you will have a happy, well-trained, and obedient dog that will give you an immense sense of satisfaction at what you have achieved.
Hi, I have had Winston since he was 8 weeks and although we had a tough time with using people as chew toys we've got through.. He can sit on command and getting there with recall.. He also knows the word "pee" for doing a toilet (solid or wet!!) my problem now is that he will go for a walk in the rain (with a coat on) but he point blank refused to "do wee" outside when it either raining or the floor is very wet. I've taken him for walks and he's held on till he got home to go into the bathroom (downstairs bathroom) and do his business. When it's dry he takes himself off to the loo. Unfortunately I live in hull (East Yorkshire) so it gets wet a lot!! Any ideas? Thanks in advance - Charlie. (ps. My other dog is a lab retriever so he never cared about the weather!!)
Hello Charlie, First, if there is a creative way you can have a dry alternative for him to go potty when it's raining, that will be easiest. Using a real grass pad on a dry concrete area is one idea, building a little outdoor space somewhere that stays drier during rainy times, looking for areas outside that naturally get less wet, ect... Since the above suggestion may not always be an option, the second option is to wait him out in the rain. Obviously this isn't the most fun, but right now he is probably holding it to try to come back inside as soon as possible because of the weather. He is doing what keeps him driest in his mind - not venturing into the weather, taking the time to sniff and relax, and potty, and instead trying to return home as soon as possible despite needing to potty. It sounds like he already knows "Go Potty" and is being given treats when he goes potty - if he doesn't know that yet, start saying "Go Potty" every time you take him potty and giving several small treats or pieces of dog food after he potties outside to teach him the "Go Potty" command. When it's raining, be prepared to get very wet, take him potty, tell him to "Go Potty" and walk him around slowly on the leash - you absolutely have to go with him and slowly walk him around outside to get him to leave the door and sniff at this point. If he potties, praise, give several treats and rush back inside. If he doesn't go, stay outside until he goes (yes, in the rain). As soon as he finally goes (which might take a LONG time at first), praise, reward, and rush back inside quickly. You want him to learn that the quickest way to get out of the rain is to go potty, so that he actually learns to go potty EVEN faster while it's raining - so he can go back inside sooner. Pottying = getting out of the rain. Start now while the weather is warm enough, so he isn't out in freezing weather for too long when fall and winter come. You want him to be faster at pottying by the time weather is super cold. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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