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New puppy and would love some help!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by CornflowerBlue, Dec 20, 2018.


  1. CornflowerBlue

    CornflowerBlue PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I would really appreciate your thoughts on how I can better manage my new puppy. He's a crossbreed, a bit over 8 weeks old, and I took him home yesterday.

    In general, things are going well - he's not destroyed anything (in fact has been remarkably non-chewy), the few accidents he's had have been entirely my fault, he's learning quite quickly not to jump up or to mouth, and generally he's a really sweet little guy.

    There are, however, a few things I feel like I could definitely be managing better/could use a little help with.

    1) Eating - he's really not into his food or his treats at all. He's on the same dry kibble as he was on at the breeder's and is meant to get about 250g per day but to be honest if he's taken 50g today I'd be surprised. He's not interested in treats - you can offer them and he'll sniff and then ignore them. I've tried interactive toys with food in, kongs, soaking the food, etc and he's not fussed.

    2) Crate - obviously as he's very young I'm not wanting to shut him in the crate really (apart from possibly overnight?) but I would really like him to get used to the idea of it being a nice, non-threatening place. A lot of the advice given is to feed in the crate, put stuffed kongs and treats in it etc, but for him that makes no difference because he's completely uninterested in food/treats/toys like that. He just wants to be around you and doesn't seem to care what's around if you're not there.

    3) Separation - on occasion, I do need to leave him in his secure playpen to go use the loo, make some food, or clean up after him. Since he arrived, if you even turned your back on him he would start to cry, which would soon escalate into howling and screaming. The advice is to distract with stuffed kongs, chews and toys and then when he's suitably distracted pop out for 2 seconds and back again, so he sees that you went and came back but he doesn't get to the point of anxiety and reactiveness. As above, this doesn't really work because he really doesn't care about chews or toys or food and is super alert to whatever you're doing. When he makes noise I don't react, I wait until he's quiet then I turn back to him.

    4) Overnight - last night I slept in the sitting room with him because he couldn't come in my bedroom and I didn't want him to have a bad experience being alone the first night and then be terrified of his playpen. He was in the playpen with the crate open inside it, so he could sleep in whichever bit he wanted. He chose the playpen. He howled/screamed for about an hour at a time, then would stop for an hour (I think, or maybe I just fell asleep) and then scream for another hour. Me being there seemed to make no difference at all. Is it worth sleeping in the sitting room with him again, and if so how much reassurance should I provide? If he starts to fret do I talk to him or ignore him until he's quiet? I went with the 'ignore until he's quiet' approach last night but it literally took an hour before he was quiet for 3 seconds together, and then once you spoke to say good boy he would start howling again so evidently that was the wrong thing to do. Also, I really don't want to give him a bad experience in his crate but I know quite a few people just put them in the crate, close the door and then let them cry it out overnight for the first few nights (taking them out to use the loo every hour or so, obviously).

    If anyone has any thoughts on the above I'd love to hear them!

    Thanks.
     
  2. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    I’m wondering if you are feeding him too much, 250 grams seems quite a bit, which could impact on why he’s not interested in treats etc. There’s no real need to buy special treats, try things like tiny pieces of cheese or chicken which he may find more appealing.
    Don’t leave him to cry, be with him, he needs your company still as he is used to be being with his siblings
     
    Jamesgoeswalkies likes this.
  3. Chatcat

    Chatcat Guest

    Hi - very exciting, but very early days yet - or even day - you've only had him 24 hrs. Regarding eating, he will be totally gobsmacked at what is going on, so it's not surprising he is off his dinner. 250g sounds like an enormous amount - my medium sized grown dog gets 250g. I wouldn't think he had a big enough stomach for it. Try much smaller amounts. I would be looking to change dry kibble to something more nourishing eventually, but he should remain on what the breeder fed him for a while. Crate - I think it's too early. yes, the crate can be a good place, especially for rescue dogs, but he isn't rescue and he is missing his mum, so you must be his mum and cuddle him when he cries! You can do the separation training, but he hasn't been with you for a whole day yet, so he is still probably really upset and worried. Overnight - again, he is upset, sad and lonely, because since he was born he cuddled his mum. Now his mum isn't there, but this nice hooman might just cuddle him instead if he makes enough noise!

    I am not a puppy expert, but I do think you need to think in terms of you are now his surrogate mum. Why can't he be in your bedroom? he needs to have a bed or crate right next to you in your bed, which you will eventually move away to whereever you want it to be. Good luck!
     
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  4. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

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    1) 250g is a lot of food, especially for an 8 week old pup. My 7 month old springer is currently eating 240g a day, at 9 weeks old when we brought her home she was eating roughly 60g a day, split into four meals as puppies should be fed little and often. Once they reach around 4 months you can move them to 3 meals, and at 6 months on to 2 meals a day. So my springer was eating 15g 4x a day when we brought her home.

    2) Once his food is sorted, you may find he becomes more interested in treats. You can also try putting a t-shirt with your smell on it inside the crate so he can smell you while in there. Work it up slowly though, don't put him in and shut the door. You may have to sit with the door open when you're getting him used to it, I remember the second night our pup was home I ended up sleeping sat up in front of her crate so that she would settle.

    3) Again, this is something that just needs to be built up slowly and you may find once his food is sorted he'll respond better to treats and other bribery.

    4) Talk to him, reassure him he's not alone. Remember, he's a tiny baby and he's just been taken away from everything he knows, he needs to know he's not being abandoned and left to be anxious. It may take a bit of time at first, but these things take patience.

    I hope that helped a little bit? :)
     
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  5. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    As above really ----

    Food - sort out the amounts and give hime time, you only got him yesterday he may still be a little anxious and off his food. But in general find a food he likes and stick to it. Treat wise as has been said, most dogs love a bit of chicken!

    Crate training takes time - so does getting your puppy used to being on their own. Be patient. Getting your puppy used to being on their own can take a few weeks. I don't think i even try it in the first few days I have to admit.

    Night time - I tend to sleep down with the pups (or new dogs) until they are happy to settle on their own. With baby pups it can take a couple of weeks. Reassure him. I don't like the 'cry it out method' as this increases not decreases anxiety. Give the pup a cuddle and settle him down again. As other have said he has only just left his mum and litter mates.

    I am sure you will get there .......... :)

    J
     
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  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    The pup is bewildered, missing mum, siblings and everything he’s ever known and possibly cold too.

    I’d have him in my bed for the first few nights (or on the sofa with me) and give him cuddles tbh.

    Whatever it takes in the early days for stress free nights when everyone gets some sleep.

    I would also limit leaving him alone too often while he settles.

    Once he has settled you can then work on weaning him off you a bit and building his confidence.

    He will naturally become more independent anyway and the less anxiety/crying now the better in the long run.
     
  7. CornflowerBlue

    CornflowerBlue PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your replies, all very helpful! He's on Royal Canin Puppy Dry 11-25kg and expected to be around 22kg as an adult, maybe a bit bigger. It does sound like a lot but according to the recommendations on the bag that means he gets 237g/24hr period (I'm splitting it into 4 meals). Unless I'm reading this wrong? Would post a link to it but don't think the forum will let me.
     
  8. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    According to this chart he should be getting 145 g a day at 8 weeks old. And of course that's just a guideline, adjust per individual dog

    https://www.royalcanin.com/products/royal-canin-size-health-nutrition-medium-puppy-dry-dog-food/3003
     

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  9. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Yep, you’re reading it wrong. The 22kgs amount is for an adult dog weighing that amount, feed the puppy recommendation amount which is 155grms over the four meals. As the puppy gets older then adjust amount accordingly. As said above, this is a guideline and not mandatory amount. I go by how the dog looks and how they feel rather then sticking rigidly to the amount on the bag. Remember these manufacturers want to sell dog food and encouraging people to overfeed means more bags of food get bought and either food not eaten is thrown away or the dog gets overweight.
    Don’t worry that you have been giving your puppy too much food as he appears to be self limiting to a degree, but feeding less will make him want to work for a treat which is useful
     
  10. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

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    Actually, I'm just reading the guide myself and 244g is the recommended amount for a 2 month old puppy with a target adult weight of 22kg. Those amounts aren't for adults of that weight, they're for puppies expected to be that weight as an adult.

    That is a lot of food for a puppy... I'd recommend switching if you can, royal canin isn't great as it is.
    Puppyfood.png
     
  11. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Oops my bad, I misread the chart I was looking at, shows how easily it is done. However it does seem like a lot of food to give such a young pup. But then different foods will vary and something that appears more expensive can actually work out cheaper as you don’t give so much which is perhaps why I dont feed mine as much as that when a puppy and now as 32kgs adult (she’s on about 200 grams).
     
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  12. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Me too! Really seems like they could do a less confusing job of this.
     
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  13. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

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    No worries, it is quite confusing to look at I'll admit.
    I agree that feeding a better quality food means you're saving money in the long run, because you generally have to feed less. Hazel is over 12kg(that was her weight at her last vet check in November) and eating 240g a day of her food. She was on the Royal canin when we got her and it just wasn't working very well.
     
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  14. GundogsRock

    GundogsRock PetForums Newbie

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    I worked in a pet/tac shop when I left school (About 20 years ago). For the shop to sell royal canin we had to do their nutrition course. We had to learn all about their food as in what was in it, why and how it was made. Their was a lot of hoops to jump through. Other brands had the same thing but for their brand.
    Just looking at the chart it looks like they have changed a bit but if they still make companys do this then if you just popped into your nearest pet shop they should be able to tell you the right amount for your puppies age and weight and when to put the food up or down. That is if you chose to stay on that food.
    Good luck and I hope all goes well
     
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