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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know what to do, I cannot cope with my 14 week Cockapoo puppy. She is vicious towards me but will not stop barking if I leave her sight.

I have previously helped bring up a Westie, Basset Hound and Bulldog puppies so I have got experience of puppy behaviour, but I just can't cope with this.

She's absolutely adorable as you can see but I find myself wishing I'd never got her- and then hate myself for it :(


She bites me so hard it makes me bleed, and my cries of pain and yelps spur her on, she will bark at me and try to bite me again. She snaps at my legs from behind when my back is turned, so turning away makes it worse. Sometimes she sneaks up on me and bites me. Since sounds of pain didn't work I tried growling at her but this was a provocation too. Now literally the only thing I can do is scruff her, which I don't like to do. I've never had a puppy before who is completely unbothered by signs the human is unhappy with them.

Aside from attacking me she barks at night for up to an hour when she is left. We've had her for nearly five weeks and she has always been put in the kitchen alone to sleep, we have never changed the routine but she has never adjusted. Same goes when we leave the room, she will keep barking until we come back. She is frequently left two hours at a time when I'm at work and between dog sitter coming in. She is walked once or twice a day.

I'm really desperate. I don't know what use posting here is, I don't know what I'm hoping for really, I just don't know what to do because I can't stand the thought of starting to hate my puppy :(
 

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Firstly, just want to offer you some reassurance, it's all normal behaviour and sometimes even seasoned dog owners struggle :)

Don't feel bad, lot's of people go through the 'puppy blues' when you're tired and frustrated and see no light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm not an expert in dog training, so I'll leave the advice for the more experienced members but just felt your pain in the post.
I could suggest maybe puppy classes, you may find lots of other owner experiencing very similar things and sometimes having a good old rant and realising you're not alone is very beneficial.

Do keep going, it does get better :)

BTW, she's a beautiful little pup, clearly spirited.
 

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It might seem awful now but it WILL get better!

When she bites DON'T yelp or make noises as this can encourage the behaviour because they think it's a game, instead tell her "NO" in a firm voice and put her in time out. She will soon learn that biting = no attention!

Is she crate trained?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the support. I'm taking her to her first puppy party next week.

I do think she's going to grow up to be a wonderful dog; she's smart and vibrant. But it's so hard not seeing any progress at all in five weeks :(

edit: She's isn't crate trained, she was hurting herself banging around in the crate and I admit it frightened me.
 

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The puppy blues are perfectly normal. I still have them every now and then and my boy is 6 months old. It does get better and if you keep leaving her little and often with things such as kongs then she should get used to being left and the nipping will definitely get better.

You'll get there in the end :)
 

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Been there, done that.
My doberman puppy had me in tears on several occasions in those first few months. He, too, bit me hard enough to draw blood, seemingly constantly. Puppies have needle sharp teeth, they don't have to put much pressure on to nick the skin or scratch it. I looked like a self harmer for quite a while.
Never malicious, never snarling, never growling, just total over exuberant play.

And, like your pup, squealing at him just ramped him up and got him excited and he came back harder. This isn't uncommon, despite how often this method is touted as being the best one; the squealing method is only useful if your dog responds to it in the way you hope! A lot of dogs don't, and won't ever.
Dresden still doesn't, at 9 months. A squeal, or loud noise, does nothing but excite him.
I put it down to him being a high drive, working puppy, which Im sure doesn't help. But its really not unusual.

Dresden, too, didn't give a monkey's whether I was unhappy with him or not. He really didn't 'get' that kind of understanding until he was about 7 months old. Prior to that, he couldn't care less if I was annoyed, hurt, or bawling on the staircase.
I remember once being in tears over him (sleep deprived, bitten constantly, forever cleaning up poo and wee, you know the deal) and I was sitting bawling and he came up to me, and I thought 'I wonder if he will know Im sad, like we're always told dogs do'.
He instead latched onto my calf and thought it was all a huge game.
I don't think its unusual for young pups to not realise, or not care, whether you're upset. Young kids sometimes don't either; they're too self absorbed. Not in a malicious way, they just don't have that kind of brain development to empathise!
I, too, had many moments of 'can I cope? What am I doing wrong? Why won't he respond to the methods everyone is telling me to use? Whats wrong with my puppy? Do I even have the ability to raise this dog properly?'
Didn't help with me that he was my first ever puppy, so I had no comparison to know what was normal and what wasn't.

I feel your pain with the barking when left. I was always very grateful that Dresden adjusted to his crate, and being left, quite early and relatively painlessly, as I think that would have been a huge issue for me if he'd not (we have very close neighbours!)

All I can say is that 14 weeks was one of the most intense times for me, too, one of the times I had the most doubts.

It DOES get better. Dres is 9 months now. He no longer bites constantly. He'll still mouth sometimes when over excited, but the bloodied, wounded hands and legs are long in the past.
All dogs are different. Not all learn at the same speed, or in the same way. Dres was about 5-6 months before I noticed the old bite inhibition thing beginning to click, and we worked hard at it, every day. It just didn't hit home with him until he was more mature.

Have you tried a time out when you get nipped? Putting the puppy out of the room, or leaving the room yourself? Puppies hate being ignored. I still use this method on Dres now when he gets mouthy.
You do have to keep at it, so they get the idea that 'if I bite, all fun stops and everyone goes away' or 'I get put out on my own'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She's resting on my arm licking me right now, it's like she knows o_o

How do you balance dog + rats? I think that's one of the things I'm finding hardest, I really miss my rats. I have to be with the puppy in the other room for them to free range :(
 

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Yelping depends on if they have learnt bite inhibition with mum and littermates. In the litter they bark chase bite and play games in play and to instigate play. If one bites the other too hard and the pup yelps in pain then they should learn to cease, Mum will also reprimand when they get too rough and over the top too usually, but if they havent learnt the lessons there then yelping doesnt help, in fact it can spur some pups on to do it more.

A lot of it is probably attention seeking any form of acknowledgement can reward it, it can be looking at them, talking to them, trying to push them down, anything like that is still attention and rewards it. If they think they have got a response then they will do it to get more.

Try doing some training with her if you havent already using praise and treats when she gets it right, 2 or 3 short 10/15 minute sessions a day so they dont get bored usually works best. Also mix it with some play chasing after a toy or ball, that should get rid of pent up energy too. Teach her the basics of sit wait down come when called etc praising and rewarding when she does.
Training uses up mental and physical energy as well, gets them to focus on you and once you have some basic commands in place it should help in general with control of her. Start getting her to sit wait and focus for anything she wants and anything you give her too that should help with impulse control too. Cheese, chicken, hotdogs, sausages anything liver based cut up as little treats for doing as she is asked usually goes down well.

You might be leaving it too long before she gets hyper exciteable and nippy before you try to rectify the behaviour, timing is important wait until they are too hyped or into the biting and its harder still to stop them and get them to re-focus and carry out alternative behaviour you do want.

Giving her stuffed Kongs, other forms of treat toys and safe chews should also get rid of mental and physical energy and give her something to self amuse with and take out the bitey behaviour on instead of you. Here is some ideas
Recipes - Kong

Busy Buddy Twist-n-Treat - YouTube

https://www.antlerdogchews.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=140

If she is on wet food you can give some of her meals in the Kong, if she is on Kibble you can put them in the busy buddy so she has to work for her meals giving her stimulation and keeping her occupied. These are good too if on kibble
Buster DogMaze - YouTube

On the subject of food, what is she on? some foods can send pups into orbit hyper wise so that might be worth looking at too.

If you see her start to get hyper pop her out to calm down in another room, and leave her with something to take it out on if necessary, then when she is calm let her out, but say and do nothing ignore her totally until she remains calm, then call her get her to sit and do a few commands treating when shes calm and does them. If she starts again straight out and do the whole thing over again and keep repeating it, biting nipping behaviour gets her nothing but doing as asked and calm behaviour gets praise attention and rewards. You need to be consistent and keep doing it some pups get it quicker then others.

You need to start getting her used to having periods of self amusement and rest on her own when you are in and build the time up. Things that can get them to settle are leaving an old tshirt or jumper you have worn in her bed as having your smell still can settle them. Leaving a radio on a talking station turned down low too can help rather then silence. Pups sleep touching and on top of each other in the litter, so leaving a large soft toy or a couple of smaller ones in their bed can settle them as its something to cuddle up too.Having a baby gate on the door can be better then a closed solid door as they dont feel so isolated but they are still kept separate from you.
Adaptil dog appeasing pheromone diffusers can help calm them to read more on these
Adaptil - Adaptil
Ar night depending on what you do now, some pups sleep better in darkness, others do better with a baby night light, but dont leave bright lights on it can stimulate them wide awake, see what she settles best with darkness or a very dim light.

Set up her area and give her periods of down time, always leave her with something like a Kong or similar it makes a good association with being left too and gives them something to do. Just take her there give it to her and walk away no fuss no goodbyes anything. At first you need to return before she starts to get vocal even if its for just a minute but let her out and apart from this say and do nothing totally ignore her, then you can call her to you get her to sit and praise and treats. Gradualyl build the time up.

Hope theres some ideas there you can use to make it easier.
 
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We got Millie at 14 weeks and she too barked the entire time we wernt in the room or when we left her (she was/is crate trainned...although we no longer use it for her). At the time it was awful and I used to get so worried about going out...but I stuck with it..left the house everyday...same routine...when i got back in I ignored her while she was barking and as soon as she calmed down I went and let her out the crate and gave her lots of praise :)

The puppy days are HARD! but it gets so much better...Millie is 1 today and when we go out she just goes and sleeps on our bed...no barking/whining/messing or anything.

Mouthing was a nightmare too..we have small children and she would get so excited when they were being loud/excited etc and it would be worse then...I taught them to tell her a firm NO when she did something 'wrong' and we soon got over it..i never thought it would pass but it did :)

((hugs)) she is adorable and it WILL get better :)

ETA we have a 5 month old foster pup at the moment (staffi cross) she is amazing in the crate, never barks when I go out or anything but the mouthing...ohhh the mouthing...it HURTS! her teeth are like pins and she has got my chin and few times too! Little monkey but I know that too shall pass...
 

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Just to say, when we got Pip, we put her into the crate (the afternoon after we got her) and she barked for ages!
We just covered the crate up and left her to get on with it. She stopped crying after a few hours.
She only cries now when she needs the toilet :)
 

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Just wanted to assure you that we've been there too, plenty of us on here have, so you're not alone:)
 
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Hang in there,I'm sure you will get a lift in spirit and support from the classes you are going to attend, she will be a cracking dog in the end it just sounds like she's going to make you work for it.
 

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It might seem awful now but it WILL get better!

When she bites DON'T yelp or make noises as this can encourage the behaviour because they think it's a game, instead tell her "NO" in a firm voice and put her in time out. She will soon learn that biting = no attention!

Is she crate trained?
My pup went through a very persistent jumpy, bitey stage around 5-6 months, he has stopped doing it now. I used a firm 'AH-AH' and put him in the kitchen behind a stair gate ignoring him for 10 minutes.

Being ignored to a pup is the worst, they much prefer to be around you being praised for good things than to be put elsewhere and be ignored! He still gets time outs when he is being a pest which soon calms him down. :)
 

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My parents went through this when we had our puppy benji. He was a nightmare beyond words!! He'd cry to be picked up as he coudn't get onto the sofa and he'd let you pick him up and place him on the sofa he'd quickly turn around and bite your hands and drawer blood. It did get better. She doesn't realise she is hurting you. She is a baby and in time she will learn!!
 

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Hi, I've got a little cockerpoo, he's also 14 weeks and looks just like yours, he is just the same although doesn't bark when he's left, he loves his crate luckily, however he goes mad at me barking and growling whenever I tell him off, spoke to someone today who told me its the poodle in them, how true that is I don't know, they should also be losing their baby teeth soon as well, yay. I think I have aged 10 years in the 3 weeks I've had him and spent the first week mostly crying wondering what on earth I had done lol, but he is now laying beside me like a little angel and feel things are and will get easier, hope you're feeling better as I know how hard it is.:sneaky2:
 

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Just to say, when we got Pip, we put her into the crate (the afternoon after we got her) and she barked for ages!
We just covered the crate up and left her to get on with it. She stopped crying after a few hours.
She only cries now when she needs the toilet :)
OMG! I couldn't in a million years leave any puppy of mine to bark in a crate - and then cover it. :( Especially as everything was so new and different for him/her. :(:(:(:(
 

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She's resting on my arm licking me right now, it's like she knows o_o

How do you balance dog + rats? I think that's one of the things I'm finding hardest, I really miss my rats. I have to be with the puppy in the other room for them to free range :(
Don't worry too much about that. Puppies are hugely time consuming for the first few months but they do settle down and you'll be able to get stuff done again.

My rats got a bit neglected when I first brought Rio home but I timed their free range for just after some intense puppy play and used her naps to spend time with them.

Rattie free range will eventually become a great opportunity for your pup to practice spending time alone since you'll only be in another room.

Chin up, I know its really tough now but it will get better.. promise ;)
 

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I'll give you an example of how it CAN and WILL get better as long as you keep up teaching pupster

We are looking after a nearly 6 month old husky, she is not house trained, is babied at home, they hand feed her, she cries at everything, has no manners, knows no basic comands, can't walk on a lead as she sits down the whole time and chews her lead and they do not do any discipling.

Harvey we got at 8 weeks old, was crate trained from day one, house trained in 2 weeks, knew all basic commands in a few weeks, we taught him manners and he most certainly has never been babied. He doesn't and has never been a crier and understands discipling.

It does get better, we have all had the puppy blues at some point, but if you keep it up then you will end up with a well behaved and well rounded dog and not an attention seeking unruley dog like Radley properly will end up as.
 

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i used to work with gang members/drug dealers/drug addicts/prison rehabilitationers etc.. in south london, I could get their attention and their respect, I could also reduce them to tears, and have them begging for mercey as I dragged them up mountains and lowered them down cliffs etc..

But a puppy? I was at my wits end at about 6months, he kept being a **** no matter what I tried! Which in turn reduced me to tears and feeling like I was about to take him back!ARGGHH

Honestly, I still have ocasional grr moments, but it does get better I promise!

one thing I use its (He knows what all of his toys are called, and what getting the post means etc) wheres your .....? go get it!!! or wheres dad? find him!!!
this seems to work 80% of the time and he trots off to do that instead of munching at my ankles when I try to walk inside after play, or attacking my long cardies. maybe try that?
 

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I promise you it will get better, as long as you are consistent with her. She needs to know that what she is doing is wrong, so when she does do it she gets no attention from you at all, therefore biting gets no attention so i wont do it anymore ;) dont give up yet :)
 
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