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Feeling disheartened

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by edinoodle, May 6, 2021.


  1. edinoodle

    edinoodle PetForums Junior

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    Hi everyone!

    Bramble has been with us for just over a month now and is such fun and such hard work! Despite all my preparation having a puppy is harder than I thought, but also more rewarding. She's a happy and confident pup who takes everything in her stride.

    We've been going to zoom puppy classes since she was 8 weeks, but we're in a class with a much older pup who is more advanced and has a much longer attention span. Bramble is now 12 weeks and last nights puppy class was awful. My partner arrives home around half 5 every day and immediately Bram turns into a land-shark. During yesterdays session she was jumping up and grabbing at clothes, obviously this isn't acceptable but to my knowledge it's puppy behaviour and I intepret it as her trying to initiate play, however the trainer said she was "attacking" and showing her prey drive. I really don't think this is the case, I think that my partner being home excites Bramble and this causes the increase in energy level and then the increase in biting and grabbing behaviour.

    So the question is how do we deal with this? Our trainer initially advised walking out of the room for 30 seconds and walking back in, but Bramble sees this as a game and will launch at us with more and more excitement the more we do it. She isn't bothered if we leave the room, she'll grab a toy and play with that and then come for us as soon as we enter again. My thoughts were that as soon as my partner returns we should head off on a walk instead of expecting her to be excited in the house with no direction? We didn't get any constructive ideas on how to deal with it from the trainer and we have another session on Saturday so I would like to be prepared! Also the class was recorded so I plan to watch it back today to see what the trainer was seeing!

    The trainer also said we should think about how much effort we're putting into her training and whether she gets enough opportunity to expend her energy, which has really got to me. I'm the one who looks after her during the day and I felt like I was doing a good job. She is walked 3 times a day - nothing too long because of her age and one is a very slow and sniffy walk, we play in the garden and use it as an opportunity to practice recall. She has likimats and a kong - although not at the moment because she has an upset tummy. She sleeps a lot, so I think she's getting enough sleep.

    In terms of training she doesn't know many commands, but she has a solid sit, even in different environments with distractions and her recall is very good too (she's always on a long lead). We work a lot on getting her used to being handled, as she's a poodle and will need her coat maintained regularly and had her first visit to the groomers on Monday where apparently she was perfect and happy to have the dryer on her - so I felt like we were doing a really good job but it's clear the trainer doesn't agree. There was a lot of "well if she was my dog..." talk. Am I doing enough with her?

    Any advice is appreciated! :)

    Sorry for spelling/grammar mistakes in the post
     
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  2. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Dump that trainer and look for a decent one

    That's the best thing you could do for you and your puppy
     
  3. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Several years ago, my friend - who is a very good dog trainer, was raising a puppy. We had met for lunch with some other trainers and dog obsessed acquaintances. My friend reached for something on the table and revealed an arm and hand covered in scratches and puppy bites. Several of us laughed it off, but a couple others were horrified and thought she was definitely doing something wrong or there was something seriously wrong with a puppy being that vicious in her biting.

    That "puppy" is now 6 years old and one of the best dogs I know. Multiple titles in multiple venues, amazing dog skills, and a joy to take anywhere and do anything with. She's just a super dog.

    Bitey land shark puppies are just that - bitey land shark puppies, they're also my favorite kind because they have drive and motivation and that makes them a hell of a lot easier to train in the long run :)

    If your trainer thinks a young puppy leaping and biting at clothes is a problem, they just haven't been around a lot of puppies.
     
  4. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Your 're doing really well:) Your dog trainer is out of date and has been said , find another one.
     
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  5. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    ‘Well if she were my dog’.....

    Is no help whatsoever. If she was somebody else’s dog then she’d be behaving differently; not better or worse, just differently.

    At 12 weeks old she’s about what you’d expect, and the time and effort you’re putting in now will give you your results, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.

    Apart from trying to make your partner’s return home ‘cool’ and unexciting I can’t think of anything to suggest (to 12 week puppies everything in the whole world is exciting) I agree with finding a different trainer; it’s her job to motivate you, not make you feel bad.
     
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  6. edinoodle

    edinoodle PetForums Junior

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    Thank you. The trainer has been great up until this point so I'm going to wait until I've watched the class again and discussed it with her. Do you know how to find a good trainer? It is a minefield out there!

    Thank you, that's reassuring! I celebrated over the weekend when I didn't have any new marks on my arms for three days! I think you might be right about the trainer being around puppies, it would explain a lot!

    Thank you, it means a lot! :)
     
  7. edinoodle

    edinoodle PetForums Junior

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    Thank you, yeah I didn't find the comments helpful and felt judged. I'm hoping I can have a talk with the trainer and clear it up but if not I will look to find someone else. It's just a shame when all the previous sessions have been really good and motivating!
     
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  8. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Torin. and rona like this.
  9. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Surprisingly there are a lot of calm, easy, non-bitey puppies in the world. I say surprisingly because they never end up in my home, but I've been around them.
    But then to me the calm puppies seem like they have something wrong with them :eek::D

    It may just be that your trainer is not used to the land shark type.
    It may also be that the trainer is used to seeing puppies in a class setting where they will naturally be more subdued than in their own homes where they feel more comfortable being themselves.

    Either way, I wouldn't worry about it :)
    If this trainer is helpful in other ways, take what works and ignore the rest.

    ALL puppies grow out of being land sharks. Eventually...
     
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  10. edinoodle

    edinoodle PetForums Junior

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    kimthecat likes this.
  11. edinoodle

    edinoodle PetForums Junior

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    I was talking to my Dad this weekend and we were saying how perfect my childhood dog was, none of us ever got scratched or bitten or anything! He was so calm! Bramble on the otherhand is like a tornado, with teeth! :D
     
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  12. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I agree although I understand why they do classes in the evening due to work it really is the worst time in terms of crazy puppy hour. She will grow out of it, it sounds like you are doing a good job.
     
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  13. edinoodle

    edinoodle PetForums Junior

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    Definitely! We do a class on Saturday mornings too and there is a big difference! Thank you :)
     
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  14. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Isla was awful as a puppy and hung off clothes or my hands. I spent a good deal of my time stood in a corner ignoring her. Now you couldn’t ask for a sweeter natured dog.

    Some friends of my daughter have a standard poodle puppy who was hard work as a little pup, so it sounds as if this is more of a typical reaction. The pup is now about 6 or 7 months old and is a lot better and responds well to the owners. My daughter and her fiancé are queuing up to look after her as she such a nice dog now, she’s parti coloured which generates a lot of interest on walks.

    The trainer you are using doesn’t seem to be well versed on puppies, most puppies are pretty awful and it’s a trial getting through those first few months. I found Isla’s biting started to reduce round about 14 weeks. I taught her how to take treats gently and not grab at my hand and I think this helped. I picked the technique up from Kikopups video ‘Don’t mug the hand’
     
  15. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Are you prepared to go to Linlithgow?

    I cannot recommend Claire Staines and her team at Lothlorian Dog Services highly enough.
     
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  16. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    I wouldn't dump the trainer, but they clearly have the wrong end of the stick. Bitey puppies are normal, and they certainly have triggers for getting over excited.
    Poodles can be quite mouthy, and they like to play with their mouths and front feet, so I expect she's just getting a bit OTT with her playing. Try a long handled tug toy that she can grab and you can play tug, but she will be far enough away that she won't redirect onto you. Get her doing something with that excess energy.
     
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  17. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I've known more than one Standard poodle that even as adults like to "hold hands" where they go up to their owner and gently take a hand in their mouth and just sit there, holding hands. It's very sweet actually.
    But yes, as puppies they're monsters :D
     
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  18. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    One of my standards used to hold hands. She once raced over from the farm when she heard a strange car at the house and terrified an insurance salesman by holding his hand. Serve him right cold calling! As pups though they were not at all mouthy. Candy (miniature) was but just holding on to trousers and getting dragged round the house or holding on to horses' tails and swinging around. I cant say I have ever had marks on my arms because I keep them out of the way and divert the pup with a toy. I have had a bruised leg from winding up a collie doing obedience heelwork.

    I would suggest turning your back on the pup, folding your arms and staying still whatever happens. Be boring. Or divert with a toy.
     
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  19. Nicola234

    Nicola234 PetForums Senior

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    I agree dump the trainer, sounds like you are doing an amazing job with your pup x
     
  20. edinoodle

    edinoodle PetForums Junior

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    Thanks everyone! Thought I'd update. We've mostly cracked it in the house now by completely ignoring and then diverting play onto a toy, things did then get a lot worse when we were outside so we videoed ourselves and realised just how much we were moving and how fun we were making it! We sat down last night and came up with a plan of action, so hopefully now things will improve outside. It is just attempt to play and the tugging on clothes has become a great game so I've ordered a long handled tug toy as a better alternative!

    With regards to the trainer we had a great session on Saturday so we've decided to stick with them, but acknowledge that when it comes to a couple of things we have different opinions and I've also emailed the trainer recommended by JoanneF although I know they are really busy at the moment.

    This weekend we went to a secure dog field and had a fab time and also went for a quick lunch with Bramble settled under the table which was lovely so we do have moments of calm (and moments of chaos!!)
     
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