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The W - Random - Puppy Advice
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Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 237 days
Last activity: 127 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.26
Well, the Zims West just recently got a puppy. His name is Stormy and he's a 50/50 Lab/German Shepherd mix. He is of course the cutest thing to ever have a waggily tail. He'll be 11 weeks old on Wednesday.




We are of course reading all the books, getting advice from friends and strangers alike, so I thought we'd go ahead and let the W's share their puppy knowledge. He's crate trained for night time, but stays in a play pen while we're at work. He's doing pretty good with house training, but he's pretty mouthy (which while normal for a pup, he's going to be waaaay too big to let him get away with it). We have a hard time getting him to realize the biting is what gets him in trouble.
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wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 46 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Well my wife hated it when I did it, but I used a trick my father taught me. When the puppy would try to bite or nip at me, I would take my hand and push it sideways into his mouth far enough that he couldn't bite down. Not down his throat, just with the wrist sticking out one side and the fingers the other, enough to keep him from chomping down. Sure you get a slobbery hand, but the dog learned he couldn't/shouldn't bite. Once the wife saw it was working she stopped being bothered by it. Now a few years later I can put my fingers or hand in his mouth, check his teeth, take things directly out of it without any worry that he would bite.

I think that's the main tip is to mess with them. When they eat, mess with them. That way they don't get too protective about food, as you see in some dogs who growl when you get close to them while eating. Their ears are sensitive, so mess with them all the time so they get used to it.

And you MUST take them to a puppy training class. Not just for the lessons, which you could do yourself, but the interaction with other dogs and people. It's very important to do this while they are young so they come to like other dogs especially. And then after the training keep it up by taking them to dog parks or other places they'll meet animals. Makes a big difference in how they react to strangers.

We used a play pen during the day as well with puppy pads, which worked great. Until she got strong enough to break out, which for an English Bulldog didn't take long.

The only other major thing we do/did is watch the protein content of treats. High protein means constant farting to be blunt, though of course it's a bigger problem with my breed than yours.


(edited by wmatistic on 17.10.07 0615)
Eddie Famous
Andouille








Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 151 days
Last activity: 145 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.37

That is one cute pup.

But is that some kind of AC/DC adapter sticking out of the poor thing?



As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004
OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005
OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005
OFFICIAL ONE YEAR COUNT: 187 pounds on December 7, 2005
As of 2/27/06: 202 pounds "I've lost a heavyweight"
As of 7/31/06: 224 pounds

Now announcing for the NBWA!
www.wdws.com home of DWS Sportsnight and downstate radio home of thecubsfan!
haz
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 2 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.46
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Well my wife hated it when I did it, but I used a trick my father taught me. When the puppy would try to bite or nip at me, I would take my hand and push it sideways into his mouth far enough that he couldn't bite down. Not down his throat, just with the wrist sticking out one side and the fingers the other, enough to keep him from chomping down. Sure you get a slobbery hand, but the dog learned he couldn't/shouldn't bite. Once the wife saw it was working she stopped being bothered by it. Now a few years later I can put my fingers or hand in his mouth, check his teeth, take things directly out of it without any worry that he would bite.

    I think that's the main tip is to mess with them. When they eat, mess with them. That way they don't get too protective about food, as you see in some dogs who growl when you get close to them while eating. Their ears are sensitive, so mess with them all the time so they get used to it.




Their mouths, ears, paws, and rear ends are all sensitive spots that you should so this with. The training we took our dog to stressed that. I can do the same with our dog, in terms of being able to check all those spots, except for the paws, which is due to traumatic paw injury as a puppy.

If you even look like your going to touch her paws, our dog flips out, not in a mean way, but she just jumps up and goes to another room. Makes it impossible to clip her nails. We have to get it done at the vet, with two people holding her down while the third person clips.


    Originally posted by wmatistic
    And you MUST take them to a puppy training class. Not just for the lessons, which you could do yourself, but the interaction with other dogs and people. It's very important to do this while they are young so they come to like other dogs especially. And then after the training keep it up by taking them to dog parks or other places they'll meet animals. Makes a big difference in how they react to strangers.




This is a critical element that we partially failed on. It has led to lots of barking when other dogs walk by the house. We do a lot more of it now, but it seems to be too late. Have to make sure they get used to other dogs early on in their lifes...


Overall, I think every puppy bites and they eventually grow out of it. Depends on the breed how much they will do it when older. Our Husky-Chow cross doesn't chew at all, but my sister-in-law's Lab does lots. She constantly keeps him happy with rawhide bones or chew toys to munch on. It's important to teach them that there is something they can chew on and other things they can't.

He is a cutie!


(edited by haz on 17.10.07 1053)

There's a World Container with your name on it, and a billion ways to go bezerk!!
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 46 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
Oh, haz mentioned rawhide and from everything we read and were told that stuff is a big no no. It's very hard to digest and most dogs will end up filling their stomach with it and then throwing it all back up, sometimes choking to death.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 13 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Oh, haz mentioned rawhide and from everything we read and were told that stuff is a big no no. It's very hard to digest and most dogs will end up filling their stomach with it and then throwing it all back up, sometimes choking to death.


Agreed. Our dog loves the green chewy things shaped like a toothbrush that we give her once a week to help keep her teeth clean. No rawhide.

Along those lines, carefully select a proper, quality dog food and stick to it. And really limit scraps from the table.



Perception is reality
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


Lise - we've used the bitter apple spray to keep our 1 year old English Shepherd from chewing things. She really dislikes that.

My wife suggests the pennies in an empty soda can routine. You need two people generally to do this so she doesn't see the can. When she's doing something that you disapprove of, a quick shake of the can of pennies makes them jump and at least proved to work with our dog. Once she fears the can, you can then tell her (at least with our dog) - "I'm going to get the can." It has been very effective.







CRZ had to edit my profile and close my table for me before, but I did this one all by myself with Frosty's help!
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 4 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
At the Petsmart classes I took for my puppy last year, squirt bottles can work for dogs, not just cats.

When he bites, a light squirt on the nose will change his behavior.

I did the crating with my Lily and she was house trained in no time.

Here is Lily in April of 06 and today.





-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

"Let me see if I can get inside his mouth." -- Michael Wilbon on PTI August 28, 2007
emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 28 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.97
Puppy!! He's darling!!

I do a combination of several different things with puppies.

1) No teeth on humans ever.

2) Puppy has his own toys that he can chew on & shred & tear up & generally be as mouthy as he wants. Anytime I've got the puppy close to me, I be sure to have some of his toys close by. Any indication of mouthiness on something inappropriate (like me!), make a gentle correction noise ("Eh."), then immediately swap in a toy for the inappropriate object & positively reinforce ("Good, Stormy!", "Get that toy!"). At his age, this kind of substitution is your primary technique.

BTW, I expect soft toys to get shredded. Naturally you'll want to supervise anything that he could shred up & ingest. I've known people who give the puppy a toy to have his way with, then tell him "no-no" when he starts to shred it. Confused puppy.

Also BTW, remember he'll be getting into teething pretty soon, so he'll *need* things to gnaw on during that time.

3) If he's specifically wanting to bite/nip on you (rather than just general mouthiness), you can react like another puppy. Say "Ow" in a sharp, whiny (puppy cry) voice. He should basically freeze to see what your deal is. At that instant, all interaction stops. Take your hands away, ignore him, say "That hurt, I don't want to play any more" in your best pouty voice. Ignore him for at least 30 seconds. When you go resume interaction, if he goes to do it again, second infraction, game is totally over. Get up, walk away, all done.

4) Some breeds will cross the "I've gone totally insane" line really quick. (I doggy-sat a baby beagle who would go from nice play to total loonies in about 3 seconds. I'd expect your boy to require a little more to get too over-excited.) Once they're too crazed, they're too worked up to "teach" anything. If he does get like this, he needs to calm down before you interact with him. He may need a brief crate or pen time-out to get calmed down.



One activity that I think is really fun is the "follow me" version of tethering. Use a lightweight leash, maybe 6'. Loop the leash on your belt, just above your elbow, or whatever's convenient for you. Then do housework stuff. Say "follow me" repeatedly in your best fun, play voice. Put laundry away, pick up the house, anything that entails a certain amount of going from place to place. "Follow me." At first, the puppy will be all under foot & tangled up -- you're expecting this, but the biggest brain part of this game for him is to start to figure out what you're going to do & how not to be underfoot. "Follow me." The puppy bonds with you. You reinforce that you're more fun to be with than any other mischief he might be getting into alone. You're keeping him supervised, but he's also busy running around doing stuff. He's getting some exercise (& draining some energy!) running around with you. And you're tapping into the pack mentality of "c'mon -- we're on the move".

Congratulations on your darling baby! He's adorable!
brick
Bockwurst








Since: 17.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 357 days
Last activity: 353 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.00
The most important thing that I've learned from training dogs is consitancy.

If you don't want the dog on the furniture, there can be no exceptions when you want to cuddle.

If you don't want the dog walking you, you have to be sure to always make them follow (great way to ingrain this is go into the backyard with the leash and start walking, everytime the dog starts to run ahead of you change direction, give a tug and say "lets go" or whatever your key word is.

Same goes for treats, toys, socks... whatever.
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


    Originally posted by emma
    P Any indication of mouthiness on something inappropriate (like me!), make a gentle correction noise ("Eh."), then immediately swap in a toy for the inappropriate object & positively reinforce ("Good, Stormy!", "Get that toy!"). At his age, this kind of substitution is your primary technique.

    BTW, I expect soft toys to get shredded. Naturally you'll want to supervise anything that he could shred up & ingest. I've known people who give the puppy a toy to have his way with, then tell him "no-no" when he starts to shred it. Confused puppy.

    Also BTW, remember he'll be getting into teething pretty soon, so he'll *need* things to gnaw on during that time.

    3) If he's specifically wanting to bite/nip on you (rather than just general mouthiness), you can react like another puppy. Say "Ow" in a sharp, whiny (puppy cry) voice. He should basically freeze to see what your deal is. At that instant, all interaction stops. Take your hands away, ignore him, say "That hurt, I don't want to play any more" in your best pouty voice. Ignore him for at least 30 seconds. When you go resume interaction, if he goes to do it again, second infraction, game is totally over. Get up, walk away, all done.

    4) Some breeds will cross the "I've gone totally insane" line really quick. (I doggy-sat a baby beagle who would go from nice play to total loonies in about 3 seconds. I'd expect your boy to require a little more to get too over-excited.) Once they're too crazed, they're too worked up to "teach" anything. If he does get like this, he needs to calm down before you interact with him. He may need a brief crate or pen time-out to get calmed down.



    One activity that I think is really fun is the "follow me" version of tethering. Use a lightweight leash, maybe 6'. Loop the leash on your belt, just above your elbow, or whatever's convenient for you. Then do housework stuff. Say "follow me" repeatedly in your best fun, play voice. Put laundry away, pick up the house, anything that entails a certain amount of going from place to place. "Follow me." At first, the puppy will be all under foot & tangled up -- you're expecting this, but the biggest brain part of this game for him is to start to figure out what you're going to do & how not to be underfoot. "Follow me." The puppy bonds with you. You reinforce that you're more fun to be with than any other mischief he might be getting into alone. You're keeping him supervised, but he's also busy running around doing stuff. He's getting some exercise (& draining some energy!) running around with you. And you're tapping into the pack mentality of "c'mon -- we're on the move".

    Congratulations on your darling baby! He's adorable!


Good Gravy, emma. IF I didn't know better I would have thought my wife wrote this post. Spooky.




CRZ had to edit my profile and close my table for me before, but I did this one all by myself with Frosty's help!
whatever
Lap cheong








Since: 12.2.02
From: Cleveland, Ohio

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 1 hour
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.07
Zeruel - what a pretty dog.

Emma and brick gave great advice that we also got at our puppy class too. Crate training worked great on our two dogs, but man it can be tough for that starting out period with puppies. Those middle of the night whimpers to go out get really, really old after awhile. I would almost recommend that if anyone is thinking of having a baby that they get a puppy first - it's a heckuva similar experience.

I'll echo the statement that consistency is a HUGE key. My in-laws have a shepherd-collie mix (beautiful dog, too), and they would pretty much let her get away with murder. When we babysat her, I did not let her get away with anything. Not in a mean fashion - I will not hit a dog - but by distraction and/or walking away while she is on a fixed lead or gated in a room. Now whenever she sees me, she immediately sits and waits for me to praise/pet her instead of jumping up. When she went home, they noted immediately how much better behaved she was, and how much more fun they had with her as a result.

"An obedient dog is a happy dog."




"As you may have read in Robert Parker's Wine Newsletter, 'Donaghy Estates tastes like the urine of Satan, after a hefty portion of asparagus.'" Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

Cerebus
Knackwurst








Since: 17.11.02

Since last post: 7 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.48
http://www.thephatphree.com/features.asp?StoryID=1800&SectionID=11

Every animal owner needs to read this.




Forget it Josh... it's Cerebustown.
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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Y!:
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
Congratulations! Yours is the post that doesn't belong in this thread!



Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by DrDirt
      Originally posted by wmatistic
      Oh, haz mentioned rawhide and from everything we read and were told that stuff is a big no no. It's very hard to digest and most dogs will end up filling their stomach with it and then throwing it all back up, sometimes choking to death.


    Agreed. Our dog loves the green chewy things shaped like a toothbrush that we give her once a week to help keep her teeth clean. No rawhide.

    Along those lines, carefully select a proper, quality dog food and stick to it. And really limit scraps from the table.


For something to gnaw on, especially while the dog is teething, I recommend pig ears. They're super cheap, and dogs love them. You can get them at most pet stores (or butcher shops). The only thing I'd caution is that dogs can go through them pretty quick if you let them, and overeating on them tends to give dogs the runs.
Spank E
Kolbasz








Since: 2.1.02
From: Bournemouth, UK

Since last post: 27 days
Last activity: 3 hours
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.06
I second the cute puppy motion.

If you have a problem along the lines of coming home/walking into the room to find a slightly chewed up sofa or other furniture and an innocent looking dog sat waggy-tailed 5 feet away, resist the temptation to discipline him there and then. This will just confuse him. Instead, and this sounds really weird, but encourage him to start chewing the furniture again, and when he does, discipline him THEN. He'll soon associate the two and won't do it anymore. I had this problem with my dog several years ago, and it worked a treat.



StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

Since last post: 25 days
Last activity: 1 day
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.90
    Originally posted by Spank E
    If you have a problem along the lines of coming home/walking into the room to find a slightly chewed up sofa or other furniture and an innocent looking dog sat waggy-tailed 5 feet away, resist the temptation to discipline him there and then. This will just confuse him. Instead, and this sounds really weird, but encourage him to start chewing the furniture again, and when he does, discipline him THEN.

I don't know about actually ENCOURAGING him to start chewing again (because that'll confuse him) but you're spot-on about not punishing him right then and there. As far as the puppy knows, that furniture chewed itself up. He won't remember that he chewed it up 40, 20, even 5 minutes ago.

In general, you have to catch your puppy in the act of doing something wrong to punish/discourage him from doing it again. This goes for chewing, peeing, pooing, digging through the trash, etc. This is ESPECIALLY important when it comes to housetraining. If you show your displeasure when you find puppy's business in the house, he's going to think that you are mad at the pee/poo itself. He is NOT going to realize your anger is at the fact that he peed/pooed in the house. All this will mean is he's going to start looking for secret places to do his business so that mommy won't find that stuff that makes her mad.

If all you catch is the aftermath, try to control your disappointment/anger and clean it up quietly. You are more than likely to catch him doing it again anyway!

- StingArmy
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 237 days
Last activity: 127 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.26
Well, I guess we're a little spoiled because Stormy has slept through the night from the third night we had him. I slept next to his crate on the floor for the first few nights, and we kept his crate next to the bed until about a week ago when we moved it into the bottom of my closet at the foot of the bed. We're feeding him Diamond Lamb and Rice Large Breed Puppy, because it is what he was getting before and we can get it at the farm store.

The can with pennies seems to have some success, the pushing your had further into his mouth DOES NOT work with this one. That was one of the first things I tried because it is supposed to over-ride the prey instinct thing. I think he's been learning from the cat, because that's never worked with her either. We're having moderate success with the switching a toy for the hand or foot that is currently being mauled (er well over-zealously mouthed) and I've also tried folding his lip over his tooth so he can feel that it hurts when he bites down, but that doesn't seem to work very well, partially because he isn't all that sensitive, and partly because that involves keeping your hand very close to his teeth. Ignoring him hasn't worked very well, and apparently I'm exceptionally bad at the fake crying. Partly I'm bad at it, and partly he usually manages to find a sensitive spot with a particularly pointy tooth pretty quick, so it goes something like *whine* that hurts Stormy *whine* Ow no, really that hurts....ahhh ahhh ahhhh let go... *Whine whine...OWWWW THAT REALLY HURTS! AHHH AHHHH AHHHH!!!! Aaron seems to be able to make that one work, while I do much better with the can and switching out for a toy.

We've also set up puppy play dates with some of his litter mates so that hopefully the canine reactions he'll get from his behavior will also help clear this up. He also sees some very well behaved and well socialized dogs when he goes to the beach. He gets plenty of exercise, and we try to take him out to the beach when we can, and for walks in the neighborhood at least once a day. Our yard is huge, but it still helps to get him out and about. He always sleeps really well after a trip to the beach. Yesterday he and I got caught on the beach during a thunderstorm which was kind of scary but we did find a couple of cool bottles.

The vet said to be particularly careful to check where the pigs ears are coming from, because they've had problems with Mexican and other foreign products being contaminated with salmonella.

We're going to try switching out his food and water bowls today for some heavier tip proof ones, because he has this weird thing where he tries to ground-pound/dig at his water bowl to make more water appear. We had flexible gutter drain extenders (sort of like a big flat straw made out of green slip and slide) that had holes at the end of them, so he found that if he jumped on the gutter side it would make water appear further down the line. He also found that water becomes deeper in mud puddles if he does similar stuff. So now he thinks that if he does that to his water bowl he'll get even more water. Now that he has better bladder control, this means most of our clean up now has to do with water bowl related splashing than biological accidents. I am hoping that a new heavier bowl, and correcting him every time we see (or hear) him doing it should clear that up.

It isn't a plug it's a cord leash we were using on the beach that day, though it sure does look like a plug.

Zeruel- your dog is soo cute!
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by Lise
    We're going to try switching out his food and water bowls today for some heavier tip proof ones, because he has this weird thing where he tries to ground-pound/dig at his water bowl to make more water appear. We had flexible gutter drain extenders (sort of like a big flat straw made out of green slip and slide) that had holes at the end of them, so he found that if he jumped on the gutter side it would make water appear further down the line. He also found that water becomes deeper in mud puddles if he does similar stuff. So now he thinks that if he does that to his water bowl he'll get even more water. Now that he has better bladder control, this means most of our clean up now has to do with water bowl related splashing than biological accidents. I am hoping that a new heavier bowl, and correcting him every time we see (or hear) him doing it should clear that up.


My dog did this as a puppy, too. We didn't do anything to stop her (mostly because we couldn't think of what to do that would stop her), but after a while she just stopped doing it.
Dutchie
Boerewors
Moderator








Since: 29.1.02
From: PA

Since last post: 33 days
Last activity: 4 min.
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.20
    Originally posted by Lise
    We're going to try switching out his food and water bowls today for some heavier tip proof ones, because he has this weird thing where he tries to ground-pound/dig at his water bowl to make more water appear. We had flexible gutter drain extenders (sort of like a big flat straw made out of green slip and slide) that had holes at the end of them, so he found that if he jumped on the gutter side it would make water appear further down the line. He also found that water becomes deeper in mud puddles if he does similar stuff. So now he thinks that if he does that to his water bowl he'll get even more water.


We rescued our puppy when he was a year old, so he was almost full grown, but he did something similar with the shallow bowls. He'd put his paw on the edge and press down, sending water or food flying. Our solution was to give him the old metal mixing bowls that are about 4" deep. He's a Boxer mix, so there's less for him to push around, and the thin edges have prevented him from knocking them around. We've also got a mat under the bowls to prevent them from sliding across the fake-hardwood floor. Obviously, a 4" bowl is too deep for a small puppy, but the same general shape could help break him of the habit. Stormy's an adorable puppy, by the way! Has that innocent 'who, me?' look down cold. :)



Bananas bruise...on the inside
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DOH! You are correct. And I actually remeber all of the Noah's ark details from a play about Noah that the entire sunday school participated in when I was 9.
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