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Struggling with pup

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Betty2301, Jul 11, 2021.

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  1. Betty2301

    Betty2301 PetForums Newbie

    Jul 11, 2021
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    I'm posting very cautious and anxious of judgement but really need some solid advice on how to deal with the situation I've found myself in. After long careful thought we decided to get a puppy and both my husband and I adore german shepherd's, so she was a much longed for puppy, and myself am a HUGE dog lover. Would go as far as to say I prefer them to people lol. We took a while to pick the perfect fit of pup, visited a few times, met mum and dad (human and biological )We already have 1 smaller dog who we took on from a family member who passed away. She's a 7yo schnauzer who has always been friendly with other dogs. We also have 3 kids who are also dog lovers.

    The pup has been with us for about 6 weeks now she is around 14-15 weeks. We have been trying really hard with training and toileting but her behaviour is "awful" (for want of a better word, I understand she is a puppy). When it comes to training such as paw, sit, lay etc she is amazing, very intelligent. She picked it up within days. Toilet training is a bit more difficult sometimes we will stand outside for 30 mins and she won't go then run in and do her business on the floor. Frustrating but not the main issue. I always praise when she does her business outside, I also never scold when accidents happen.

    My main issue is the nipping. I am trying everything I can. I've tried replacing with a Chew toy, praising and attention when the biting stops, I've shown no attention and leaving the play when she does bite, I've even tried a firm NO when she does and nothing. It's frustrating because as far as obedience training has gone she has shown how intelligent she is. The issue with this is now she's getting bigger her bite is harder and teeth are bigger so it's starting to break skin. My kids now won't play with her as they don't want to be bitten. They understand she's not doing it maliciously so aren't frightened. It's just more of a case of not wanting to get hurt so avoid the situation. This morning she was sat on my lap and out of nowhere just turned round jumped up and bit my nose and cheek, which provoked an instinctive reaction to push her away and she fell off and yelped and limped off. I felt so awful I cried. There was no sign of injury she quickly recovered and was bounding around again.

    My next issue is she is horrible to our older dog from our prospective it almost seems like playground bully behaviour. I think she's trying to establish dominance but honestly there's no competition there. Schnauzer is so placid and submissive she takes so much abuse to the point we now have to keep them separate. We allow play but with in 1 minute easily it becomes fighting. Which is just gsd biting and tugging at the tail and beard of schnauzer or just pushing her to the ground, sitting on her with her mouth around the nape of her neck, and the schnauzer screaming, yelping and crying. Schnauzer has began to now have toilet accidents I think from the stress. She seems really unhappy. She has began barking and crying for no reason which is upsetting for me as I love her very much.

    With all thrown together, a husband that works long hours, 3 children, 2 dogs, a lot of responsibility. We have now found out I am pregnant with a VERY surprise baby. Hormones are all over the place it seems to have seriously effected my capability to cope with the attention pup requires when at home alone(husband working) and I am beginning to feel resentful of her. Which is making me feel so guilty. I will hold my hands up fully and admit I did not expect it to be this hard. I have had 3 newborns and I will comfortably sit here and say I will deal with newborns over and over they are MUCH easier than a puppy. I don't want this behaviour to carry on and mould her into a horrible adult dog. And the whole situation is effecting my bond with her. I just feel like I don't want to be around her, or play or stroke her because I'll just get bitten. I'm starting to get frustrated with toileting accidents (although not taking it out on her, I think it's just pressure of the whole situation). My husband is much more accepting of it all but I feel that's because Monday to Friday 10-12 hours of the day he isn't here! Which is causing friction between us as I feel like he's silently judging me for struggling. I've even said to him I'll go out for the day and leave him a list of all the things I do in the day, and see when I get back how he's feeling then times that by 365. That's my life! All I got back was well only if you do my job for a day. Ugh yes, at least I'll be out alone, with some peace and quiet!! But I think that situ is for a different forum

    I'm trying really hard but I feel like I need to be an octopus to juggle housework, children, cooking, washing, dog feeding, dog walking, keeping puppy occupied, on top of my now developing sickness and crippling pregnancy fatigue. I don't feel like I have enough in me to carry this on much longer. This morning we woke up and she had ripped up the hallway carpet ‍♀️ after waking us up 3 times for seemingly no reason. We tried toileting, food, water etc. We think she just wanted to play hence the ripped up carpet!! But we can't be expected to get up at 3am to play! She obviously wasn't stimulated enough in the day to tire her out at night. But I dont have the energy or time to do much more than I'm already doing. Does that make sense? I also forgot to add in she eats her own poo!!!! It completely repulses me and even more so now with my sickness. I can't comprehend why she does it. She is raw fed. I try to clean up as soon as she does it but that can't always be done. Sorry I've gone on and on and on I just needed to get this off my chest and wonder if anyone can enlighten me on how to best deal with the situation and reassure me I'm not a terrible dog mum
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Feb 1, 2016
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    Don't wait so long outside. If you take her out and she doesn't toilet after five minutes, bring her in but don't take your eyes off her. Any hint of a toilet inside, scoop her up and get her out fast. If she doesn't try to toilet indoors (great!) take her out a second time and repeat until you do get outside toilets. And you might need to increase your reward. It has to be immediate to be clear that it's for toileting and not for anything else and it has to be generous to make it worth her while to hold her toilet until she is outside.

    And, as you will be with her, you can pick up poo straight away.

    For the nipping, keep walking out. There's no point in saying ”no” to a puppy, it's only a sound to them. And, while it might interrupt the behaviour, it doesn't tell them what you want instead. You might be seeing an escalation because of something called extinction burst.

    This is when a behaviour that used to get attention no longer works for the dog so he tries it all the harder and it seems like things are getting worse, not better. This is good, because it means that what you are doing is starting to work!

    How old are the children - can they help out?
    Ian246, Lurcherlad and O2.0 like this.
  3. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    May 23, 2018
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    All of what you describe is normal puppy stuff and totally solvable, but I feel like you also need to know that it is 100% okay also to return her to the breeder. She's still young and could easily find a more suitable home. Sometimes things don't work out and things change, that's why you get a dog from a responsible breeder or rescue so if need be, you can return them.
    There is no shame in admitting there is a mismatch between dog and home. It happens :)
    Burrowzig, Twiggy, lorilu and 4 others like this.
  4. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Take a deep breath. All of this is normal the biting, poop eating, toileting inside, harassing the older dog (not dominance just pups wanting to play).

    My neighbour who is the is the sweetest, most gentle lady with impeccably behaved dogs has just got a puppy. I bumped into her looking tired and harassed the other morning and she told me she could have throttled her the night before. All in jest of course but it is blooming stressful!

    In one sense all you can do is ride it out. Put the training and routine in and it soon passes.

    As others have said if you do feel it’s to much there is no shame in returning pup to the breeder.
    JoanneF likes this.
  5. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
    Staff Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    Closing at the op's request.
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