picking up by the scruff
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Thread: picking up by the scruff

  1. #1
    jasonguard is offline New to the Village
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    Default picking up by the scruff

    Is it ever right/ethical/appropriate to pick a pug puppy up by his scruff? Say you see him peeing on the floor and you yell NO to interrupt him, grab him by his scruff and tell him no to his face as you carry him outside. Is this good or bad technique? I'm not asking about "the scruff shake" that I've read so much about. I've already ruled that brutal method out. I'm talking about my puppy's convenient handle behind his neck. It seems to get a response from my 10 wk old puppy. Right now he's about 4 lbs, by the way. I'm looking forward to feedback.


    Also, he won't stop biting our feet and chewing on our pant-legs. Ouch!

  2. #2
    silverlady's Avatar
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    Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?...............


    Jasonguard, I assume this is a wind up......... if not, then I am sorry you feel it appropriate to handle a small puppy in this way. What on earth do you reinforce to a puppy you have scruffed and then glared at whilst you carry him, except total utter fear of you.

    If you do indeed have a Pug puppy, then we are all happy to help you with the training of it. In a kindly and appropriate way.
    Last edited by silverlady; 03-13-2005 at 09:27 AM.
    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do." - John Ruskin

  3. #3
    jasonguard is offline New to the Village
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlady
    I am sorry you feel it appropriate to handle a small puppy in this way.
    If you refer to my question, I was ASKING if it is appropriate to pick up a pug puppy by their scruff when they're misbehaving. I've found advice that argues in favor and against all over the net. It's mind-numbing to try and figure where the truth lies between all these conflicting training tips.

    Admonishments aside, I am looking for housetraining tips from pug owners. Some of this may already be in the previous threads. But I'm having trouble navigating the site and don't know how to find the archived stuff. Also, I don't know how to put Frank(ie)'s picture with my post.

    Anyhow, thanks Silverlady for chiming in. That's one ABSOLUTELY NOT under the NO picking up puppy by the scruff.

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    Kizzypug's Avatar
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    I think so many of us head here to the Pugvillage forum that we forget that there is a wealth of information on the Pugvillage site. I suggest that Jasonguard reads the information given here

    http://www.pugvillage.com/pugtraining_main.htm

    and I am another ABSOLUTELY NOT under the No picking up puppy by the scruff
    Nicky, mum to Uncle Cecil, Pip and Ty

    We should all try to be as good a person as our Dogs think we are (anon)

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    My vote would also be a big NO, my husband just moved Viv slightly by the scruff of her neck one day, did not pick her up, just moved her and I nearly lost it. I kinda figure it this way, would I like to be picked up this way?
    You will hear a lot of conflicting advice on training a new dog, lord knows I did when I first got Viv and knew nothing about dogs, but eventually after a lot of questions being asked and some commonsense on youre part you get the hang of it. I do believe in positive reenforcement .
    Viv is 10 months old now and we still have potty training issues, rumor has it it's a forever thing with pugs, not all of them but most pug owneres I have come across.
    Have fun with him.
    Donna, Vivian and Stewie..... Rupert forever in my heart

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    Another one here in the NO WAY IN HELL category. Manhandling a puppy only teaches them to be afraid of you and makes them handshy. PLUS it also causes setbacks in potty training since they don't understand that pottying INSIDE is the problem, just that pottying is bad. And then they start hiding it from you.

    Positive reinforcement works SO much better!!!!! Read that link Kizzypug gave you and also try some good positive reinforcement books. "The Other End of the Leash" is GREAT and I've heard that "The Power of Positive Dog Training" is also good.
    Courtney: Mommy to the precious Ozzy, Angel, the Ironically Named Kitty, Gally the big little sister, and Percy the Naked Pug-Kitty!



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    ViralMD is offline None
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    This is absolutely NOT the way to ever pick up your dog. Nothing justifies this. If you find him peeing in the wrong place that's YOUR fault because you let him go unsupervised in a place that wasn't puppy proofed.

    Please look at some of the housetraining threads. Scolding when a puppy pees in the wrong place won't help get him trained. It will only scare him and make him pee in places you won't find it until you a) smell it or b) step in it. If he pees or poops in the wrong place do NOT scold after the fact. Dogs don't think like that. Just clean it up, use Nature's Miracle or Simple Solution (available everywhere) and scold yourself for not watching the puppy more closely. Scaring him by scolding while he's peeing will have the same bad effect, making him think that peeing and pooping are bad things and need to be hidden from you. AND ten weeks is WAY too young to expect a puppy to get much learning about all this....You're going to have to be much more positive and gentle.

    You'll get more from him if you reward him with yummy treats (chicken, cheese, beef) and praise when he does something in the right place. Again, please do a search for housetraining. I've posted the positive method a number of times here and it works - just ask all the PV people who use it!
    Viralmd, Cyril (aka Aljac Captain Hook CGC) and Tassie, the rescue chihuahua

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    jasonguard is offline New to the Village
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    I appreciate the energetic responses. We're half-way through the Pug Training literature you mentioned. Actually, we had already printed it out and were reading about Schedule Based Training. By the way, positive reinforcement has been and continues to be our top priority. However, lots of sites rationalize grabbing a puppy's scruff as a way to replicate his mother's behavior when he need disciplining. Other sites, say to ignore bad behavior completely.


    So, when we catch him peeing on the couch, or his bed, or ON US, I'm looking for a quick way to pick him up without putting my hand "in the line of fire." Personally, I understand animal rights arguments and extending the golden rule to all living creatures. But I also think that animals often need a heirarchy. It seems like a delicate balance, especially when half the literature says you'll ruin the puppy if you don't show him who's boss and the other half says you should be beaten for even thinking such a thing.

    Personally, I just wanna stop finding puddles and piles on my hardwood floors. Cheers.

  9. #9
    DantePugs's Avatar
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    Jason,

    Coupla things related to this subject:

    Most importantly at this point is to understand that at 10 weeks of age, your puppy does not have the physical ability to hold its urine. Plain and simple, the muscular development required to "hold" is not yet developed. As a result, you're going to find pee puddles on the floor...hardwood, carpeted, whatever. The ability to hold, in general terms, begins to develop around 12 weeks of age. Don't mistake this as meaning that at 12 weeks your pup will have the ability to hold....it means that the ability will have begun to develop.

    This is puppyhood, welcome to it.

    Please don't consider this an admonishment, because it's not intended as one. There are simply no quick fixes, no magic pills and no secret solutions to housetraining a puppy...Pee and poop all over the floors is a fact of life in a home where a puppy lives. Housetraining is a process which requires time, patience, calmness, consistancy, more time, more patience, more consistancy and more calmness...

    ...It also requires a sense of humor. So, seriously...lighten up dude. You'll find the pee on the hardwoods to be a lot less frustrating if you do. Understand this is a puppy, lower your expecations accordingly and approach this from a new, more mellow perspective. Some pee on the floor ain't no big thing in the grand scheme of life.

    Next up...domesticated canines:

    There are "purists" out there who approach training and owning a pet dog from the perspective of pure canine behavior. Included in this is pack behavior, the way a mother dog in the African Plains would raise her puppies and even in some, the belief that pet dogs should be fed the same foods their ancestors ate at 1,000 years ago in Africa.

    I'm not going to get into any of that in detail....I'll just suggest to you that in 2005, all these dogs in our homes are long domesticated. You can find web sites, even books out there which promote the "purist" approach to owning domesticated dogs...You can find anything and everything under the sun about the subject where everyone involved claims their way is the right way or the best way...

    Don't let yourself get bogged down...find a strategy that makes sense to you, make sure it adheres to some basic facts which hold true regardless of training approaches (the inability to hold urine at 10 weeks is a fine example as it is a biological fact) and select the approach that suits you best.

    Once you do that, apply the approach (ie; follow the guidelines) consistantly, and with patience..And you'll do fine.

    The people in this community, myself amongst them, tend to favor positive training....Not simply because it is more humane, but because we've found it to be most effective approach to dealing with the Pug...A breed which is if not the most, is certainly one of the most domesticated and most sensitive breeds of dog.

    There are no agendas here. We sell no books, peddle no products and own no stock in Positive Training Inc. It is the preferred method here because it works, and because it suits the breed.

    Finally...the scruff pick up....It's not considered an acceptable method of handling dogs the way it at least was considered acceptable to handle cats in this manner at one time. Why that is, I do not know. Perhaps it's unsafe and can cause them harm, or not..I don't know. All I know is that vets do not handle puppies or adult dogs in this manner, nor do the overwhelming majority of dog owners and dog trainers.

    OK, I'm done..welcome to the Village.
    DantePugs

  10. #10
    Fla. Pugs's Avatar
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    Having THREE pugs I couldn't agree more with what Viralmd has just said. Please everyone that has a puppy, read and listen very carefully to what she has said. Believe me, pugs are not easily trained!!! And yes, she does know what she's talking about.
    Quote Originally Posted by viralmd
    This is absolutely NOT the way to ever pick up your dog. Nothing justifies this. If you find him peeing in the wrong place that's YOUR fault because you let him go unsupervised in a place that wasn't puppy proofed.

    Please look at some of the housetraining threads. Scolding when a puppy pees in the wrong place won't help get him trained. It will only scare him and make him pee in places you won't find it until you a) smell it or b) step in it. If he pees or poops in the wrong place do NOT scold after the fact. Dogs don't think like that. Just clean it up, use Nature's Miracle or Simple Solution (available everywhere) and scold yourself for not watching the puppy more closely. Scaring him by scolding while he's peeing will have the same bad effect, making him think that peeing and pooping are bad things and need to be hidden from you. AND ten weeks is WAY too young to expect a puppy to get much learning about all this....You're going to have to be much more positive and gentle.

    You'll get more from him if you reward him with yummy treats (chicken, cheese, beef) and praise when he does something in the right place. Again, please do a search for housetraining. I've posted the positive method a number of times here and it works - just ask all the PV people who use it!
    Linda~ Bugsy Pug, Millie and Captain Jack our Schnauzers.


    Miyaghi~my pug angel, July 27, 2005
    Bubba our sweet pug boy, May 18, 2008
    Luke, May 8, 2012

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