A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Valuable training articles posted by Victoria and other Positively members.

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Nettle
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Nettle » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:47 pm

May I just explain a common misunderstanding about the pack thing?

Dog packs are a loose social/family group. There is NO leader, and dogs do not follow each other in or out of danger. The dog pack exists purely for hunting. It does not even defend territory like a wolf pack. It is every dog for itself if other dogs come onto the territory.

If food is plentiful, there is no overt 'packing'.

There will be dominant and submissive dogs, but they will rarely interact. Instead they will keep out of each other's way unless there is food, or a b itch on heat. If the latter, normally all the males mate the b itch, with the strongest character first.

There has been a lot of incorrect information given out about dog packs, based on study of captive unrelated wolves, so a lot of well-read people can have the outdated information through no fault of their own. Actual observation of dogs in packs tells a far different story.
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Mattie
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Mattie » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:33 pm

monib1969 wrote:The one thing missing is that at 8 weeks the puppy needs to be separated from it's mother and litter mates, even if a new home has not been found for him. This is a critical imprinting age that if the puppy left to be with it's mother and littermates during this time it runs a high risk of become a dog that will suffer from separation anxiety in life.
Rubbish, leaving a pup with his mum and litter mates won’t develop seperation anxiety, a pup can still learn a lot from mum and siblings, in fact many trainers, behavourists and breeders prefer a pup to stay until they are 12 weeks old.
Also, if a dog has begun marker training at 8 weeks, which is when all puppies should be started, you will never have an older juvenile that won't listen when called to come.
You don’t need to teach a dog marker training for them to have a good recall, all my dogs have excellent recalls, including my Greyhound, and none have ever been marker trained.
So if you buy a puppy from a breeder it is always best to buy a puppy from a breeder that is also proficient in marker training because they will understand this need for beginning his training and the groundwork will have been started with the puppy. You will not run into a problem of a run away and puppy that wont listen.
Marker training isn’t necessary, it is just something else to teach your dog if you want to, it won’t have anything to do with a dog running off and not listening, that is just lack of training. There are many ways to train a dog, some suit some dogs but not others.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

Wicket
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Wicket » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:08 am

In addition to what's said here, I found this article helpful on the canine adolescence.

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Nettle
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Nettle » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:58 am

Good article - but I'm not so pessimistic about the length of adolescence even in slow-maturing types. By two years old the worst is over for most.

Dammit I'm thinking of entire animals not neutered - that makes quite some difference. Sorry.
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Noobs
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Noobs » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:20 pm

:lol: Oh Nettle. Way to drive your point home.

Well Murphy got neutered by the shelter and they said he was 8 months old when I got him. That puts him at 3 years old this month. Oh lordy I do hope his adolescence is over.

Leigha
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Leigha » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:21 pm

I think Bruiser's actually starting to mellow out some, he's only a year and 8 mos, so I'm not sure if it's maturity or what. Definitely not as calm as he COULD be, but we're seeing little things here and there that would have previously sent us into a major meltdown not being such a huge deal anymore. This afternoon I got home from working in my classroom and I let them all inside after a potty break since it's hellaciously hot. Lu was getting on the couch and Bruiser was coming up immediately after him and Lu turned around and bared his teeth a little bit at Bruiser. "Normally" this would have resulted in Bruiser completely flipping his lid and losing his mind, me getting bitten trying to dislodge Bruiser from Lu while attempting to safely put Bru in timeout. Today all he did was lower his ears and step back a step. It looked to me like it was a facial expression of "oops, sorry, didn't realize you were right there." He was completely calm, let Lu move and get settled, then he got up on the couch. I have no idea why he's starting to act this way. I really don't mind at all.

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Noobs
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Noobs » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:38 am

Murphy has had his moments of snarling at dogs for who knows what reason (their ears are up, they're sending the wrong message somehow, or he just doesn't like the look of them), and if I can tell he's going to react (lowers body, slow stalk) then I take evasive action.

However, there have been a couple of times that he's greeted a dog nicely and the dog growled and all he did was back up and walk away. The other day I saw our vet tech in her yard with her very large Great Dane mix. Murphy wanted to see her through the fence so he approached with tail wagging in a circle (good sign). She was super hyper and barking like crazy and putting front paws on the fence. Lovely dog but just really excited. Murphy just backed up, looked at her from a couple of feet away, inched closer to try to sniff, backed up, inched closer, backed up, relaxed body language. Finally he went to a patch of grass a few feet away and started sniffing.

1 1/2 years ago he would have gone BALLISTIC, off leash or on, and it would have been a snarling, barking, lunging mess.

jacksdad
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by jacksdad » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:47 am

way to go murphy. oh and you too noobs :lol:

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Noobs
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by Noobs » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:50 am

Now if we could just knock out this CATS thing! :lol:

reactive123gsd
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by reactive123gsd » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm

Noobs wrote:
Mattie wrote:
Young Adulthood 18-24 months

Many dogs may show a rise in aggression levels during this time. They may become protective and territorial and take advantage of any relaxation of the guidelines set by the owner.
My black lab mix is 12 months old and he hasn't been vocal at all since we got him from the shelter at 8 months old. A few weeks ago he started growling and barking at cats if they are standing still and/or staring at him (he just watches them intently if they are just walking around) and also at certain dogs - dogs that I've been told by the owner are "mean" or "doesn't like dogs". When he starts growling I move him from wherever we are so it doesn't escalate, but if I don't see it in time he does start barking and I have to pull him back, which thankfully isn't that hard as he's on a no-pull harness most of the time. And then I have to give him a stern "ah-ah" until he calms down, which he does pretty quickly. Is this part of the stage you mention in the quote above? I know it's a little early but I am getting concerned; I hope Murphy isn't becoming aggressive.

He's gotten too rough sometimes at the dog park because when he's playing he gets carried away, so there have been a couple of scuffles. I don't want to stop taking him because I want him to keep meeting and playing with other dogs. So these days as soon as he starts growling and I can tell it's not play (hair on his back up, tail fluffing out, also his facial expression), or if I see a scuffle brewing, I put him on the leash and give him a time out by standing off to the side with him sitting until he's calm. If something does escalate he gets a cheerful, "Okay, time to go!" and we leave. Whether this has to do with the question I posed, I'm not sure, but I thought it would be worth a mention.

Anyway that was a digression. I just want to know if this could be a stage and what can I do to make him more confident. We don't clicker every day and I am trying to do that more. He gets plenty of exercise - 2 miles trotting/running alongside my bike to and from the dog park 4-5 times a week, and a 30-40 minute brisk walk on days we don't bike. So do you think he's going through a stage, or should I be worried?
Sounds like mine he is 12 months old too!!

doggiedad
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by doggiedad » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:29 pm

the daily most important stage is the training and socializing. training and socializing
consistently takes care of the "stages".

ScarletSci
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by ScarletSci » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:09 am

So Pixie (Springer/Trrier mix) is now 18 weeks old, and in the last couple of weeks has noticeably entered a fear period. She's still pretty good, but is much more easily spooked.

Sometimes it's simple things that I can reassure her about, twice it's been when a carrier bag has been caught on a hedge and filled up, blowing in the wind. She stopped dead and stared at it, low growling and tiny barks. I let her stay at the full range of her lead, while I approached the bag and trod on it, talking to myself/her about how it was just a silly old bag. Soon she'd approach warily, then gain confidence and relax once she realised it wasn't a threat. The second time she even grabbed the bag and ran with it, looking very pleased with herself! Thanks ClaireMarsh, it was your post about the traffic cone that meant I learned to do this!

Pixie had been doing really well with off lead work, I think she'd copied my older dog in that he runs around off lead, but never goes too far and checks in regularly. But yesterday she was spooked when a doggy friend got into a shouting match with two big dogs through a fence. It was loud, and she shot away from me, running very fast and far, and I had a hard time getting her back. So she won't be off lead again for the foreseeable future, and I'm kicking myself for letting her off lead when I knew she was getting into a fearful period. She'll stay on the long line now until this stage has passed.

She's been more wary of strangers, often stopping, staring, and woofing or a little worried growl. When I stay calm and walk past, praise her when she relaxes, it tends to pass quickly and she relaxes again. One person yesterday was great, a man with three kids, with one scooter and a bike. The kids obviously wanted to say hello to the puppy, and Pixie usually loves kids, but she was really worried. I gave the kids treats to give her, explained that she's a bit nervous now so just to let her come to them, and not to put their hands over her head. The man was great, reminded the kids what to do, and said he remembered when his dog went through that stage. They let Pixie sniff the scooter and the bike, and she relaxed and loved the attention. For the rest of the day, she decided she wasn't worried about strangers or kids on bikes and scooters anymore! Love it when we meet people like that.

So.. I'm not sure what else to do but to keep doing what we're doing, keep her on-lead until this stage has passed, and ride it out. Is this really going to last for another 4 months?? Is there anything else I should be doing? We've already had one fearful dog (he was neutered during a fearful period, nothing I could have prevented, was my parents dog and I didn't know about the dangers of early neutering at the time) and I really want Pixie to get through this fearful stage and regain the confidence she had before. She's a happy, curious and playful wee soul. She won't be neutered until she's at least two.

She did great in her puppy class again yesterday, no fear, and she isn't as bad as the above might make it sound... it's just noticeable that she's more easily spooked. Obviously I'll be keeping an eye out for potentially scary stimuli, watching her closely to see how she's handling certain things, as usual! But more aware that she's in a delicate stage.

Any advice?

WufWuf
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by WufWuf » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:32 pm

It sounds like you are doing really well :D

The one thing I would do (you may already be doing this) is food rewards for pretty much everything. Anytime you see a person, another dog or novel object on a walk I would give her a little something tasty, you can use a marker word/clicker if she's already used to this way of learning. It should help her relax quicker and help prevent her forming negative associations. You may need to do more shorter walks and view them as training sessions rather than actually walking anywhere. She'll still be tired as all that learning is actually quite taxing.
ScarletSci wrote:Sometimes it's simple things that I can reassure her about, twice it's been when a carrier bag has been caught on a hedge and filled up, blowing in the wind. She stopped dead and stared at it, low growling and tiny barks. I let her stay at the full range of her lead, while I approached the bag and trod on it, talking to myself/her about how it was just a silly old bag. Soon she'd approach warily, then gain confidence and relax once she realised it wasn't a threat. The second time she even grabbed the bag and ran with it, looking very pleased with herself! Thanks ClaireMarsh, it was your post about the traffic cone that meant I learned to do this!
When Honey reacts like this I do pretty much the same but I also drop a couple of treats around the object so that when she comes to investigate the object smells pretty good :wink: . She used to FREAK at anything *different* but now she will usually just stop for a second to assess the "threat" and normally moves on calmly herself even if we are going towards the object.
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules

ScarletSci
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Re: A puppy 0 to 2 years old.

Post by ScarletSci » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:31 pm

Awesome, thanks Claire! :D

She gets lots of treats, the jackpot treats are working well! I now carry a treat pouch almost 24/7, because it's a carefully prepared blend of her favourite, stinky high value stuff like tiny pieces of duck and tripe, and some lower value stuff. Both dogs now regularly come to me when they think they deserve a treat! Have had to cut their meals right back, and Jack is doing a lot more ball chasing now the weather is better, to work off his winter tum!

Odd confession: Starting to think that Pixie might not be a cross after all, and actually just be a (potentially) rather small Springer. We thought terrier cross at first because she was so tiny when we got her, and her build looked terrier like. But she was riddled with worms, and at nine weeks, was the size of a chi. The vet also thought she was a cross, even putting her down for the small dog health plan, estimating that her adult weight wouldn't exceed ten kgs. But that's based on her weighing 2-3 times her weight at ten weeks old, and she put on a hell of a lot over her first few weeks once I'd wormed her and she was on a steady diet. Now that she's bigger, and people who see her once a week at dog training or we see sometimes while walking have commented on how much she's grown, she's starting to look more and more like she might just be a small Springer. Perhaps she'll surprise me and grow even more, might not even be such a small Springer after all!

I know I shouldn't really have bought her from the people we got her from, I didn't trust them at all, she clearly needed worming, and we didn't even trust them about her parentage. But she's such a darling, and I'm very glad we got her, whatever breed or mix she is! The people did no screening at all, so I dread to think who she might have ended up with if I hadn't taken her. I didn't catch it at the time, but my mum told me afterwards that when I mentioned the fact that I was glad she wasn't docked, the woman said "you can do it yourselves if you like". At nine weeks! Ourselves! I adore her tail. It's way too long for her at the moment, which I think is adorable, and has a twisty tuft at the end where her feathering is starting to come through. Very comical and cute!

So I'm excited to see how she turns out, whether she ends up closer to a full size Springer than the Jack Russell sized dog we were predicting she'd be. I'll have to post pictures when I can to get peoples opinions! :D

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