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Puppy Issues

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Ashley McAdam, Mar 16, 2019.


  1. Ashley McAdam

    Ashley McAdam PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there!

    I’m looking for some advice/reassurance with regards to my 12-week-old Boston Terrier, Arlo.

    We have had him for two weeks now and I can’t describe the love that I have for him. The first week was definitely overwhelming but overall he settled in really well. There were no issues with him sleeping, eating or crate training. We were encouraging and rewarding him when he does the toilet on his puppy-pad or outside and ignoring the little accidents. We expected the toilet training to be the hardest part but overall he was doing pretty well.

    However, this second week has been completely different! I almost feel like he deliberately avoiding going to the toilet on his puppy pads, and his behaviour when playing has become much more aggressive.

    In the past week I feel like he’s became so rebellious by constantly biting and barking. It’s so overwhelming! I am aware that toilet training can take a matter of months but how do we get him back on track, it’s as though he doesn’t care if he gets his reward or not!

    I’m trying to remain positive but I feel so overwhelmed and exhausted by it, and then I feel guilty for getting frustrated with Arlo. I was aware art would be difficult but maybe not this hard? And I don’t regret getting him but I just feel like I need some guidance.

    I know we have only had him for a short time but I just feel very lost. I am planning on enrolling him into puppy training classes ASAP which I’m hopeful will help with some of the issues, however if anyone has and tips or trick in the meantime I would love to hear them!

    Thanks, Ashley
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I really don't like puppy pads - they give mixed messages about whether it's ok to toilet indoors or not and confuse the puppy, and make toilet training a lot harder.

    Toilet training happens when two things come together - the ABILITY to hold the toilet, along with the DESIRE to hold it in order to earn the reward for doing so.

    Ideally you want him to not be in a position where he needs to toilet before you have him outdoors, so that every toilet is outside - as far as possible, there will be accidents! So set him up to succeed by taking him out even more than he needs; for example every 45 minutes to an hour and always after sleeping, eating, playing. The time between a puppy realising they need to toilet, and being unable to hold that toilet, is zero. So your aim is to have him outside before he can't help himself. When he toilets outdoors make a huge fuss (never mind the neighbours, act like outdoor toileting is the best thing you have ever seen) and reward him with a high value treat. Do that immediately, don't make him come to you for the treat so he is clear that it's for toileting and not for coming to you. The idea is that he eventually wants to earn the treat enough to hold the toilet until he is outside - once he is physically able to control his toileting obviously. If he has an accident inside don't react at all. If you get annoyed he may learn to fear your reaction and avoid you if he needs to toilet - the opposite of what you want. Dogs cant make the distinction between you being annoyed at them toileting, as opposed to toileting indoors. Take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not having taken him outside in time. Not when he is there though in case you scare him. Then clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner to remove any trace of smell that might attract him back to the spot. As he is actually performing the toilet you can introduce words he can associate with it (like 'do weewee' and 'busy busy') that later when he is reliably trained you can use these to tell him when you want him to toilet.

    Indoors if you see him circling or scratching the floor, that can sometimes precede toileting so get him out fast.

    Overnight he is unlikely to be able to control his toilet as his little bladder and bowel are underdeveloped and not strong enough to hold all night so set your alarm to take him out at least once if not twice during the night.
     
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  3. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

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    Hi and welcome.
    Everything you are describing is totally normal. The first week is always the honeymoon period as you are getting to know pup and he is getting to know you. After the first week, pups have their feet under the table and then start pushing their luck to see what they can get away with. This is where you need to be assertive and look beyond the cute puppy face. We have a two year old dog and a new nine week old pup so I know exactly where you are coming from. Our older girl took a long time to be dry in the house. She is a shih tzu and they are notoriously stubborn and can be difficult to house break. She was around 18 months old before she stopped having accidents. Everything that you are doing in regards ignoring accidents and being OTT with praise when he goes where you want him to is great and is exactly what you should be doing :)
     
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  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Regarding the 'aggressive play', he isn't really aggressive, this is just an extension of the boisterous play he had with his littermates but he needs to learn this is not how to play with humans. Some people find a sharp 'ouch' works but it can just ramp up the excitement. Some people find putting a toy in the dog's mouth works, others find the puppy is still more interested in nipping hands. My preferred method is to teach him that teeth on skin equals end of fun. So as soon as he makes contact, walk out of the room for a few moments. As long as the whole family is consistent - do it immediately and do it every time - he will learn. You could use a house line to draw him away, which keeps your hands both out of reach and also keeps hands for only good things.
     
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  5. Cookielabrador

    Cookielabrador PetForums Member

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    Hello and welcome :)
    Puppies usually tend to bite moving objects, so when our dog was a puppy, whenever she tried to bite, we would ignore her and do nothing until she stopped. Then we would reward her with chew sticks and toys once she became calmer.
     
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  6. BUDDY18

    BUDDY18 PetForums Member

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    Welcome to puppy hood, what you're going through is totally normal we were the same and it does get better with consistency, hang in there!

    Ditch the puppy pads, they dont teach the pups to toilet outside. Take him out after he wakes up, eat and every 20 minutes - he will soon start asking to go. Pay very close attention to his queues such as sniffing / circles / going to the door and use a command word such as get busy and then reward when he does.

    As for the aggressiveness I imagine it is just puppy play but he eont realise how rough it is so you need to teach him. Use a word such as off or stop when he dies reward him. If he is biting something he shouldn't distract him with a toy.

    Good luck xx
     
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  7. Woah

    Woah PetForums Member

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    I second everything that’s been written in reply to you so far. Yes it is HARD having a puppy and the second week particularly so as you feel tired and a bit worn ragged. It’s easy to suddenly think what have I done? And feel overwhelmed by it all because it’s so full on. But this IS temporary and every week you will look back and be able to see change and progress in certain areas being made because of course they grow so very quickly and with consistency (because that is key) and positive reward will learn house rules, toilet training etc really quite quickly. Just enjoy his little cute puppy self and do t worry if you ha e a wobbly moment here and there - I think most would admit to the same. I had a real wobble in the second week as was alone doing it all while hubby at work, kids at school etc, and it really disrupts your normal life routine. But a new routine will emerge over the next few weeks and everything will feel so much easier.
     
  8. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

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  9. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

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    I really feel for you, being a first timer myself. I was exactly where you are now and a couple of months on, so far it seems to be coming together. Dan is 5 months old now and it does get easier, although it does take time and repetition (lots of repetition).
    We started taking him for a walk round the block before he ate in the morning and now he is almost asking to go. As for peeing on pads, we thought we had that sorted only for him to have a reaction to something he ate and back to square one. He now goes to the backdoor and sits looking at me
    We just completed an eight week puppy training course and learned so much! Highly recommended if only to see how other owners cope, it wasn't just for the dog, it helped me such a lot, from week to week you could see the progression in all the pups and we got a rosette and certificate at the end. Just signed up for the next bronze level. We just keep saying "he's a puppy" when we get the bad behaviour and try to stay calm and divert his attention to something to chew when he gets the "bitey" moments, we found that this worked for us. Good luck it will get better!
     
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