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Poor poor puppy, what to do?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Paxxy, Feb 27, 2019.


  1. Paxxy

    Paxxy PetForums Newbie

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    Hi


    I have a severe case of the puppy blues, but I feel, not without good reason.


    I just want to know if what we’re experiencing is in any way normal, I’ve spoken to friends with dogs and things seem very different.


    Our puppy (a lovely bouvier) is just over 10 weeks old and we’ve had her for 2 weeks. She was vet checked by the breeder and then I took her to the vet here, all seems fine. However, she still won’t eat normally – she has about 1 of her 3 meals a day (exactly same food as at breeder). She won’t settle at night – my husband sleeps on the kitchen floor, but even that isn’t enough – there is a baby gate in between them. She is very unsure of her crate, though we’ve been doing lots of training with it, so we don’t lock her in it at night – just in the utility room, though the crate is there. My husband encourages her into it throughout the night as she cries and wakes up, but with very short-lived success. She won’t be left to play or sleep on her own (behind the baby gate) during the day, she cries and barks and pants and paces and drinks water even when she can see us in the kitchen.


    She is incredibly anxious in the car and this is getting worse. Vomiting and pooing within a few minutes and constantly salivating. This is doubly bad as it means that we can’t take her on the school run or anywhere to socialise her as she covers herself in it.


    She is also proving poor on the housetraining front and today bolted back to the house to go inside! I guess this is possibly to do with feeding – she eats so little so nothing happens immediately after like it normally does. It can take hours. Likewise, if she’s anxious she will just pee.


    We spoke to a behaviourist today who I hope we’ll be able to book to come round, she said that as she’d had a traumatic journey to get to us (a long ferry trip) and that if she’d never been crated before (which she hadn’t) then this could have been a trigger for this behaviour and that it might have a lasting impact.


    Is this normal puppy behaviour? It really doesn’t seem it (though its been a very long time since I’ve had a puppy) and we’re seriously wondering whether she should go back to the breeder. If it were just me and my husband, we’d probably persevere, but we have 3 children and she can be a bit barky at them, and having what appears to be an extremely anxious dog seems possibly like a disaster waiting to happen. Though she is good natured in general and easy to train to commands and has already learnt bite inhibition to an extent.


    Any suggestions? We are so sleep deprived, though on the plus side I've lost half a stone! (Just too worried to eat). Many thanks.
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Hello and welcome. Two weeks is not long (I know it feels it when you have had no sleep). My pup is 18 weeks now and also did the bolting inside thing I assumed he was cold. He is fine now and has few accidents inside. I took him out and used a key word 'wee wees' if he didn't go after 5 or 10 minutes we went back in and tried a bit later.

    Crate training needs to be done carefully so it's a safe space she has just been separated from her litter mates could you have the crate in her room for a few weeks and slowly move it out ? Does she use it in the day with the door open ? Pop a stuffed kong in.

    If she is still not eating I would perhaps double check with your vet. A good breeder will also be happy to speak to you and give advice.

    The car you need to build up slowly at first just sitting in in with out moving.
     
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  3. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    If it really doesn’t seem like normal puppy behaviour then please do get her assessed by a qualified behaviourist.

    My girl was extremely anxious from day 1 and I knew in my heart it wasn’t normal. We couldn’t go into another room without her or she’d immediately panic and get into such a state that she’d pant/pace/vomit/pee/poop within seconds. A vet told us “all puppies behave like that and we need to leave her to suck it up” which regrettably we did and it made things 10 times worse. She also ate very little - barely a few mouthfuls from each meal, which we later discovered was because she was just too anxious to eat.

    After a couple of weeks we took her back and a different vet assessed her, diagnosed her as having severe separation anxiety and immediately referred us to our behaviourist for a proper assessment. Her help has been invaluable and we couldn’t have coped without it.
     
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  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I would take the line of least resistance and keep her close as much as possible, especially at night.

    She sounds very anxious (the journey will have been very scary) and possibly cold at night do I would have her sleep with me tbh.

    Reducing anxiety now will enable her to settle and gain in confidence. Once fully settled she can gradually be weaned off you - and she’ll naturally grow more independent as she gets older anyway.

    Is there a way of avoiding putting her in the car at the moment so the negative response gets a break?

    Could a neighbour sit with her perhaps?

    If her lack of eating is a response to stress, I would probably go against the grain and sit with her and encourage by hand tbh.

    Make sure the behaviourist only uses positive, reward based methods - any suggestion of being firm and letting her cry it out is a no no for me.

    As for puppies and kids together, it’s well documented just how difficult that can be in the early days so look at the puppy thread for some tips and support.
     
  5. BUDDY18

    BUDDY18 PetForums Member

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    Hmm, there could be an issue, but the pup is still very very young. Try moving the crate into your bedroom at night, put in a jumper / piece of clothing with your scent into the crate too, once she settles after a few nights gradually start moving the crate further away from you until it is in the room you want your pup to sleep in. Dogs are very social, so putting the crate in a utility room may feel like punishment, we keep ours in the kitchen where we spend most of our time.

    Everytime they fall asleep pop them into the crate but don't close the door, you are going to need to build up to that. Hide treats around and in the crate, feed the pup in the crate, place their fve toys in the crate, this all encourages them to go in and when they do do not make a big fuss, just say good girl.

    Skip a meal, and try again, maybe put more water in? As for the toilet, use a command word and when she does eventually go click and treat, make a big fuss over it!

    As for the car, try taking her into it, but don't start the engine, give her a treat inside the car, let her sniff her surroundings and have her sit on your lap. gradually moving to the back of the car where she will be strapped in (don't think shutting her in the boot is going to be a good idea, not right now at least). Once she seems settled at this stage, start up the enginer, but don't move, do this a few times. Once she seems settled, start your journey along the street and back again, keeping them short.

    Hopefully this helps! Must be such a stress, I hated when our puppy cried in his crate the first couple of nights, he is only 14 weeks now though but hopefully he stays calm :) xx
     
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  6. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

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    I can’t bear the cries so pups come to bed with me and then, once settled into the family, we focus on all the other stuff. I’ve never had a pup who won’t eat so can’t advise on that, sorry but I would hazard a guess that the journey over here, along with being taken away from her mum and siblings and arriving in a strange house with noisy kids may all be a bit strange to her. We were fortunate that all of our pups have come from breeders who have young children in their family so Olive was absolutely bombproof when she came to live with us and nothing phased her. Perhaps try her on some poached chicken. It may just get her interested
     
  7. Paxxy

    Paxxy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all your advice. We do feel like we're going a bit crazy at the moment. My husband has been sleeping on the floor next to her for 2 and a half weeks now but still she wakes and cries for long periods of time even though he is right there next to her. We have ditched the crate altogether now as we felt that that might just have been adding to her stress and reminding her of her journey here. The food she's been having is identical to what she ate at the breeder - beef mince, heart, scrambled egg made with goats milk and a maxi canin for breakfast, natural yoghurt, grated cheese, maxi canin for lunch and tripe, goats milk scrambled egg and maxi canin for dinner. I'll try the chicken idea if its ok to alter her meals? There was no need to take her in the car so we've stopped doing that, though it means that we can't take her to places where we socialised her. (We'll try your idea buddy). My husband works from home, I don't work so there is someone with her at all times.Just want to be able to have a shower or go out to pick up the children without howling and panting and wetting herself through anxiety. Much as she's lovely I really am worried about having a problem dog (if that is what she is) because of the children.
     
  8. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    The think is, most of the behaviours you describe are behaviours often found in puppies that have only just arrived in a new home. And sometimes for weeks. They cry at night, yes, even if you are the other side of a baby gate and remember if no one comes when they are upset then the fact that someone is there becomes irrelevant. They are anxious if the human is out of sight. They are anxious of the car (and often sick for quite a few of those early jouneys). And of course they have no idea about toilet training.

    But if this appears to be excessive then you will need a strategy to deal with her anxiety. So this is where a behaviourist comes in ..they should be able to observe and advise. But as has been said, please find a behaviourist who uses positive methods in behaviour modification.

    I would look to pop her onto a more simple diet to be honest - I am not sure about all the tripe and beef mince and heart (raw?) mixed with scrambled egg and grated cheese and what I presume is Royal Canin Maxi? Altering their meals should be done gently but if she isn't eating then I would be finding her something she will eat. A little plainer if she is feeling sick with anxiety. And boiled chicken is a great go-to.

    Have you spoken to her breeder? Where did she come from if she had such a long journey? What was her mum like - of confident temperament? And what do you know of the family line ...sometimes this can go back to the breeding line being used.

    Hopefully the behaviourist will be able to come round and reassure you and give you a way forward.

    J
     
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  9. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    You might find this article helpful.
    https://bouvierclub.co.uk/dont-buy-a-bouvier/
    If you do feel she's too much for you with 3 young children I would seriously consider returning her to the breeder if possible, or at least asking for advice. I appreciate that if she was traumatised by her journey over here sending her on another journey is far from ideal.
    Poor little girl, I hope she settles soon.
     
    DaisyBluebell likes this.
  10. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

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    The pup is young, frightened and alone, maybe even cold - it needs to be where it feels safe, warm and loved,. You could put him in a large cardboad box next to your bed and just touch her till she falls asleep then gradually move her further and further away from you, it could take weeks for this to happen!.
    With 3 children to look after, having a young puppy is not ideal and as you say it could well be an accident waiting to happen if the kids are boisterous & noisy, the pup will either be frightened or want to join in by barking . The dog doesn't need a behaviorist it just needs to feel safe, warm & trained. You have only had it a matter of weeks and are already setting yourself up for problems. How long have you spent training the pup to travel in a car - it takes a while, just letting them sit in the car, engine off a good few times, then in car just with engine running before you even consider taking them out for a drive in it!
    I'm sorry to sound harsh but I really think perhaps you need to reconsider if you really should be keeping this pup.
     
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  11. Paxxy

    Paxxy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Daisy. Though my husband is sleeping on the floor right next to her and the radiator, we don't have a cold house and for the first few nights we gave her a hot water bottle. She cries a lot throughout the night - we'd be further away from her if we had her in our room as we'd be on a bed - whereas they are on the same level now. The children are calm and are only allowed to see her under supervision - we have a large house and they go somewhere else after playing with the puppy. The accident I'm talking about isn't an inadvertent puppy bite or being knocked over, I'm concerned that when she's a fully grown dog if there is an actual problem with her mental state that this may show as true aggression related to anxiety. We have now hidden her crate as this may have reminded her of her journey and we'll come up with another way to take her in the car, a harness maybe - so that she doesn't have to go in a crate.
     
  12. Paxxy

    Paxxy PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you Susie, we've read that article many times over the past few years (when deciding which dog to get). I don't feel that a puppy is too much for me with 3 children - they are at school, my husband works from home and I don't work. What I do feel would be too much for me is if she develops aggression due to her excessive anxiety (there is no sigh of aggression currently). I suppose that is why I just want to know how normal is this? If it is unusual and extreme as the vet and 2 behaviourists suggest, then I'm just not going to risk it.
     
  13. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    It's hard to say whether she is anxious or normal puppy without seeing her.

    I know the first few weeks of having Loki he cried if left in another room so came everywhere including the shower he seems to have grown out of that now and can be left for 3 hours no problem he is 18 weeks.

    He slept in bed with us and now tends to kip with my older dog. Is she separate from your hubby on the floor?
     
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  14. Paxxy

    Paxxy PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Boxer

    Yes, she is separate, but next to. She's one side of a baby gate, he's the other. She's not in a crate though, so is very close to him.

    I think it's the panting, going constantly back to her water, constantly crying/barking/whining, wetting herself and drooling that just doesn't seem like any puppy I've ever come across. And this is when we're just a few feet from her and just for a few minutes, perhaps cooking in the kitchen or something where we don't want her in with us as she wraps herself round our feet and may get hot stuff or knives or something dropped on her. It doesn't seem like an excited, impatient or happy 'let me back, I want to play'. It seems desperate.

    Was Loki like that too? Or was it just normal crying?

    Thanks, P
     
  15. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    The wrapping himself round my feet absolutely he is currently wrapped around me now. The drooling panting and wetting would worry me.

    I would for now sleep on the couch or have her in bed try and get some sleep then you can think clearly. Does she settle if you cuddle her ? Has she had jabs yet ? What is she like if you take her outside or somewhere like pets at home?

    What has the breeder said ? If you do return her and people do it is probably better sooner. I would want to know how the siblings are getting on. Loki breeder has sent us pup dates.

    If you do decide to keep her nettles is probably a good person to pm for advice and a good behaviourist these issues can be worked on.

    Ps can we have a puppy pic ?
     
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  16. Paxxy

    Paxxy PetForums Newbie

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    Here's a pic. It won't let me send a good one unfortunately! I just don't know how to work these things. I am unable to click on the good ones for some reason.
     

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