Puppy issues :-)

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Theo
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Puppy issues :-)

Post by Theo » Thu May 28, 2015 4:46 am

Hello all :-)

I have had little Kelta almost 2 full days now and she is doing well in some things not so well in some others.

1) Re her housetraining sometimes she pees and poops on the pad sometimes not. When she does not I don't tell her off I just clean it without a fuss according to the idea of positive training. On the other hand I praise her like crazy when she does it on the pad. Question: should I also give her a little treat everytime she does it on the pad? or is fulsome praise enough?

Yesterday and the evening on which she came to me I could coax her inside her training crate with food but I couldn't get her to stay there. As soon as she ate the food and also spent some time in there digging around hoping to find more bits of kibble she popped out and slept on the marble floor which is probably cooler for her now in the summer. Today however she went 3-4 times of her own accord inside the training crate and sat down to play with a toy I have for her in there (with door open). Everytime she goes in I give her a bit of kibble and praise her handsomely. Now I should start to close the door for ever increasing periods of time yes?

2) Re biting she has a very soft mouth except when she gets excited when her bite might get a little more sharp. As soon as she does that I yelp like a puppy and move away stopping play. It seems to have an effect as she stops roughhousing at the particular time and I hope it will generally teach her to have a soft mouth. Any other advice?

3) She is today 51 days old. Actually below the 8 week limit up to which pups should stay with their mom and though I am not happy about it, it was beyond my control. The guy who gave her to us bred his female westie and sold the other puppies. This one was a gift to my dad because he is a neighboor. At least my dad says he has seen the mom westie and that she is healthy looking (though comforting this doesn't say much as he is not a vet or experienced with dogs). Anyways to cut a long story short I mention her age to ask. What sort of training can I begin to teach her now at this age? Is it too early for anything other than housetraining? Could I for eg. also start to train her to recognize the clicker, maybe her name or even a basic sit?

4) Chewing! Now THIS is a problem with little Kelta :-) She likes to chew on my pc cables, my flip flops, the pee pad everything she can get her mouth on. I know that dogs experience the world through their mouths so I don't go crazy when she takes something in her mouth to see what it is but on the other hand I can't let her chew furniture or pc cables etc. So I basically need help with how to tell her NO when for eg. she picks up her pee pad from one corner and starts to munch it or she does the same with a cable. What I tried was to create a distracting sound and then a firm NO in even tones. At the same time I try to give her another chew toy i.e. to divert her to chew something else. That is what I read I should do. Problem is, it does not work with her. She just ignores me and keeps at it :-( I would REALLY appreciate your help with this. How does she listen to my No?

I had the thought that maybe she is not mentally stimulated enough or bored and that this chewing is a symptom of that. Which may very well be the case but what can I do now given that I can't take her out for a walk to tire her and exercise her? She is too young to be walking around the streets of the city with parno, leptospeirosis and all kinds of crap out there. Vet said I can walk her after 2 months or so. So how to keep her interested inside the room I am? I have toys but she is not too fussed with them. My only other thought was to go and buy one of those toys where you can put food in which pops out in bits as she plays with it or a Kong. Maybe that will help keep her busy and tire her?

Apologies for being so long winded. I just thought it would help provide better answers if I was thorough.
Thank you for your time and assistance.
best
Theo

JudyN
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by JudyN » Thu May 28, 2015 6:15 am

I'm not an expert by any means, but I'll answer what I can - I'm sure others will chip in.
Theo wrote:Question: should I also give her a little treat everytime she does it on the pad? or is fulsome praise enough?
Yes, do give her a treat. Research has shown that dogs aren't actually very motivated or reinforced by praise alone - particularly when young and they haven't learnt that praise = good things happening.
2) Re biting she has a very soft mouth except when she gets excited when her bite might get a little more sharp. As soon as she does that I yelp like a puppy and move away stopping play. It seems to have an effect as she stops roughhousing at the particular time and I hope it will generally teach her to have a soft mouth. Any other advice?
I'd stick with what you're doing as it seems to be working. Make sure that the yelp isn't upsetting/scaring her at all though. With some dogs, the yelp can actually get them more worked up and mouthy, and just stopping play while saying nothing works better. Other tactics are to try to stop play before she gets excited enough to do this, and to have a toy to shove in her mouth when she looks like she wants to mouthe you.
3) She is today 51 days old. Actually below the 8 week limit up to which pups should stay with their mom and though I am not happy about it... What sort of training can I begin to teach her now at this age? Is it too early for anything other than housetraining? Could I for eg. also start to train her to recognize the clicker, maybe her name or even a basic sit?
Seven weeks isn't considered too young now. It depends on the puppy and the breeders - if you can't rely on the breeders to work on socialisation, etc., you're better off getting the pup earlier. Trainingwise, you can work on pretty much anything, and the earlier the better. Just be aware that she will have a very short concentration span and will be extremely easily distracted!
4) Chewing! Now THIS is a problem with little Kelta :-)
Would it be possible to create a safe area/room for her, using a dog playpen or stairgates, for instance? It's not a problem that is likely to go away soon, and though at least furniture will still function with a few toothmarks, electric cables are another matter and really need to be protected in some way to keep her safe. Good alternatives for chewing are frozen kongs, Nylabones, stag antlers (some people worry that they can damage teeth, but I would guess this isn't a concern with puppy teeth) and 'proper' raw bones (I'm not sure of the best bones for recreational chewing, maybe someone else can advise). Another entertaining game is to give her a cardboard box full of smaller boxes or scrunched up paper with tiny treats hidden in them - she can shred the boxes and find the treats.

She is too young to be walking around the streets of the city with parno, leptospeirosis and all kinds of crap out there.
It's very important that you do take her out now to get her socialised. In the UK at least, it's sometimes advised now that puppies are allowed to walk in 'safe, clean' areas because the risks to their health are less than the risks to them from inadequate socialisation. This may well not be the case in Greece, but you could carry her, maybe in a pet carrier, and visit friends or shops so she gets to meet people and see other sights. You could sit on a bench with her on your lap and watch people, cars, other dogs... Make sure she's not overwhelmed by it all, you want it to be really positive. But you need to gradually expose her to anything she's likely to encounter later - children, babies, men with beards, people wearing motorbike helmets, bikes, big dogs, small dogs, people with disabilities (e.g. in wheelchairs or with unusual gaits), dustbin lorries, balloons.....

As mentioned elsewhere, DogStarDaily is an excellent resource. I personally find the focus on 'perfect, errorless' training and the suggestion that if you haven't overcome X by a particular age irritates me intensely - I'm too much of a hippy for the almost military approach and certainly didn't regard the odd toileting accident as a disaster, but the general advice is spot on.

Hope that helps :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Nettle
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Nettle » Thu May 28, 2015 11:28 am

Keep electric cables and furniture legs safe by getting plastic tubing from the DIY store and encasing everything valuable or dangerous in it.

Don't bother saying 'No' to your pup as it doesn't speak your language, and we use 'No' too generally anyway. Prevent whatever you can by management, and don't expect such a young puppy to have any self-control yet, any more than a baby has. JudyN's idea of a safe playroom is ideal.

Some photos would be good! :)
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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JudyN
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by JudyN » Thu May 28, 2015 12:31 pm

Nettle wrote:Some photos would be good! :)
Here you go Nettle: https://positively.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=20878 :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Theo
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Theo » Thu May 28, 2015 2:58 pm

Many many thanks for the advice guys! very much appreciated!

I am very happy! the little monster has now pooped twice outside in the balcony!! in the same spot I might add! I am trying to take her out every 40 mins - 1 hour.

Re the socialization;
I asked three vets and they said parvo is pretty much nonexistent here but leptospeirosis is still an issue for puppies. Your idea about taking her around in a bag sounds the business actually. I am trying to get her to meet as many people as possible. I read somewhere that she has to meet 100 people by the age of 3 months!!! I don't know where I will find so many people but I will do my best. This weekend I have my two cousins and uncle and aunt come over to meet her. I have an idea to give them bits of kibble and maybe try to teach her come. Sit around and each one in turn calling her. I also want them to handle her and touch her ears and paws and tail so that she learns that this is nothing bad or something to be fearful of. Fingers crossed.

Seriously worried by the way as to how she will cope when I have to go to work. As I mentioned in my intro of myself and Kelta I am recovering from an illness which kept me away from work but I have now started going back into the office 1-2 times a week and this will only increase. It's not for many hours, around 3-5 hours at a time but still I fear her training will fall behind when I am away. When does the need to be with her 24/7 and take her out every 40 mins stop? I do have my granny or grandpa who will happily dogsit (they have both fallen in love with her) but will they implement what i tell them 100% and even so what about the few times when she will have to stay alone?

Don't laugh but I am riddled with worry over this, will I train her well, will she be mentally stimulated, will she turn out a well behaved dog with bite inhibition etc. Because any fault she has as a grown up doggie will be ALL my fault really. I will be the one who failed her. Last week a doggie here, a pitbull bit 9 people in a gas station. The tv was full of crap about pitbulls being naturally agressive and I was like...well bollocks to that! Excluding some medical reason either the person who raised her did not do a good job or the dog was fearful of something and went on the biting rampage (actually it's probably the latter as the video from the gas station shows the dog happily being petted by a client only mins before the attack).

Thank you both again and I will post again when something else comes up. Thanks for making me feel welcome.

JudyN
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by JudyN » Thu May 28, 2015 4:11 pm

You're like any new parent, desperately keen to get everything right! But like baby people, puppies are more resilient than you think. Many dogs have pretty awful early experiences, end up in rescues, but go on to be perfectly good pets. Not all, of course, but a few mistakes don't mean your pup will grow up into an ill-mannered monster :wink:
Theo wrote:Seriously worried by the way as to how she will cope when I have to go to work. As I mentioned in my intro of myself and Kelta I am recovering from an illness which kept me away from work but I have now started going back into the office 1-2 times a week and this will only increase. It's not for many hours, around 3-5 hours at a time but still I fear her training will fall behind when I am away. When does the need to be with her 24/7 and take her out every 40 mins stop? I do have my granny or grandpa who will happily dogsit (they have both fallen in love with her) but will they implement what i tell them 100% and even so what about the few times when she will have to stay alone?
The housetraining will come better if there can be someone with her all the time until she is reliable. I wouldn't worry about them not getting it right 100% of the time. Plenty of new owners don't! But do work on separation right from now, even if it's just popping into the next room. When you can do that, step outside the front door and come back in again, then stay out for 10 seconds... build up gradually, make sure she's tired and/or has something to occupy her when you leave, and see how you go. If you need to leave her for longer than she's happy for at first, ideally get your grandparents to dogsit - if she's left for longer than she's ready for and gets upset, it can set back progress.
Because any fault she has as a grown up doggie will be ALL my fault really. I will be the one who failed her.
Honestly- that's not true. Again, think of children who are raised by good parents but end up as criminals. Genes do play a part. I have to say this because I got my dog at 7 weeks, did my very best to bring him up and train him properly , but over 5 years later he still has 'issues' which need careful management - he's always muzzled in public just to be on the safe side. I've had advice from a number of behaviourists and they assure me that it's nothing that I've done.

But sure - whatever the story behind that pitbull, someone failed her because she should never have been put into a situation where she felt the need to bite.

BTW, I hope your health continues to improve - I have health issues but they have improved immensely since getting Jasper. I'm pretty sure he's increased my life expectancy, even if he has caused me a lot of grey hairs :lol:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Theo
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Theo » Thu May 28, 2015 11:33 pm

Thanks for the kind words and the advice Judy. You are a gem :-)

Theo
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Theo » Fri May 29, 2015 7:39 am

Everyone a question about eating/sleeping habbits if I may.

My little westie monster (52 days old today) only ate 1/3 of her food yesterday morning (I feed her at 6am then 2 pm and then 10pm) then all of it at noon and all of it at night. This morning she only ate 1/3 of her food again but now at noon she only ate around 1/2. When she stopped eating I waited 2-3 mins to see if she would eat more and then took away the plate. Otherwise she seems fine as a fiddle playing and jumping around etc. Should I be worried or should I just relax and let her eat at her own pace?

oh also this morning I took her out in the big balcony and we both sat on the couch and she slept a straight 4-5 hours. She would pop an eye open from time to time look at me and then go off to sleep again. Again I suppose this is normal with growing puppies?

Thank you all,
Theo

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Nettle
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Nettle » Fri May 29, 2015 9:52 am

Both normal. :)

I find puppies often have a big eating day followed by a lesser eating day. I just let them eat as much as they want.
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Erica
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Erica » Fri May 29, 2015 6:10 pm

Delta slept about 20 hours a day when he first came home! Enjoy it while you can ;)
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Theo
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Theo » Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:23 am

Guys I seriously want to kiss little Kelta today! All day today and yesterday she goes out on her own to the balcony to pee and poop!!!

God I hope I don't jinx it and that she has really understood where to pee and poop!! Fingers crossed!!!!

Theo
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Theo » Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:32 pm

I DID jinx it :-( I left the room to have a shower and I came back to a pee puddle in the middle of the room.

delladooo
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by delladooo » Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:12 pm

Don't worry, normal part of house training. She'll have it perfect and then completely forget before she really understands it. She's doing very well so just stick with it :D

Theo
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Re: Puppy issues :-)

Post by Theo » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:44 pm

Hello all :-)
I can with much pride report that my Kelta is 100% potty trained. For 5 days now she has not peed inside once nor pooped of course (she understood not pooping inside much sooner than peeing).

Just now I had her in bed with me half sleeping half watching tv and she suddenly stands up on her four legs looks at me and whines. I immediatelly let her down and off the little darling went to the balcony to pee! She is a genius (well to me :-)) I tells ya :-P I just had to get on the forum and share my joy :-)

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