Brand new puppy owner -- confused!

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Brand new puppy owner -- confused!

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Old 01-26-2011, 08:49 AM
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Brand new puppy owner -- confused!

Hello all, I'm new to the forum. I'll give a little bit of info about my situation. I just have so many questions, and the people here seem very knowledgeable, so I wanted to know what you think. I've never had a dog (not even a family dog!), and I got a puppy 11 days ago. She's now 9 wks old, and is a mix. I got her from a shelter, and she was diagnosed with sarcoptic mange and ringworm, therefore I can't socialize her with my roommate's dogs until it's cleared up. The shelter sent me home with Science Diet food, and it is also what the vet strongly recommended, but I went against their word and got her 4Health because the ingredients are so much better. Do you think this is alright? We're having a really hard time with the housebreaking process. I'm a student, so I can be here with her most of the time, she just doesn't seem to associate being outside with going to the bathroom. I use a trigger word (potty) when she goes, and give lots of praise and a treat when she goes outside. But sometimes we'll stay out there for like 15 minutes, then we'll come in and she'll pee in my room. What the heck?! She thinks her leash is a toy. All she wants to do is bite it and play tug of war with it. Going on walks is a royal pain. What can I do to make this easier on both her and myself? I know that puppies are supposed to learn from early on not to bite. How should I teach her this? All she wants to do is bite on me and play. It's near impossible to get her to stop. I've taught her how to sit, but we have tons of other commands to learn. I basically will take ANY advice you can give me about having a puppy. I have no experience whatsoever, and I'd like to do the best job I can. Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:51 AM
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Oh yikes, one big paragraph sure is hard to read. I had it divided up in the text box....I guess it needs coding?
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:30 AM
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LoveLola,
Its great to have you here!
First off, I just want to say that the things you are experiencing are totally normal for puppies! They do grow up very quickly and she'll get better at all things!

I'm going to take your questions one at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLola View Post
Hello all, I'm new to the forum. I'll give a little bit of info about my situation. I just have so many questions, and the people here seem very knowledgeable, so I wanted to know what you think. I've never had a dog (not even a family dog!), and I got a puppy 11 days ago. She's now 9 wks old, and is a mix. I got her from a shelter, and she was diagnosed with sarcoptic mange and ringworm, therefore I can't socialize her with my roommate's dogs until it's cleared up.
I assume she has had medication for these? What did the vet/shelter give her? The mites will be dead long before her coat grows back, so hopefully you can let her socialize some time soon...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLola View Post
The shelter sent me home with Science Diet food, and it is also what the vet strongly recommended, but I went against their word and got her 4Health because the ingredients are so much better. Do you think this is alright?
I think you made a good decision. If she does not do well on this food, there are other good choices out there to try. I'm sure Science Diet is fine and would not be harmful, but you are right, the ingredients are not the best. Vet schools really promote it though, because its the mega food companies that are somehow involved in the Nutrition component of the curriculum... Sigh..

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLola View Post
We're having a really hard time with the housebreaking process. I'm a student, so I can be here with her most of the time, she just doesn't seem to associate being outside with going to the bathroom. I use a trigger word (potty) when she goes, and give lots of praise and a treat when she goes outside. But sometimes we'll stay out there for like 15 minutes, then we'll come in and she'll pee in my room. What the heck?!
Stay the course! You are basically doing it right. I would suggest that if she has not pottied while outside, that you not turn her loose inside yet. Either keep her on a leash with you, or put her back in her crate for a while, then take her out again. If she is on a leash with you, and she starts to pee, you can quickly and gently scoop her up and say "outside!" then take her out and reward her for finishing up. Be sure to keep your "correction" very low key. You don't want to frighten her, just interrupt her. As you know you want her to feel comfortable peeing in front of you, so you can give her the reward!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLola View Post
She thinks her leash is a toy. All she wants to do is bite it and play tug of war with it. Going on walks is a royal pain. What can I do to make this easier on both her and myself?
This is totally normal for a puppy this age, and one so young is not ready for a real "walk" anyway. All a pup this age can and should do is simply go out to potty then perhaps romp around in the yard for a few minutes. Linear motion happens later. Mostly pups this age feel insecure going very far from the "den" in the first place.
Overall, the leash will be a "toy" to a dog for several months. Its something you can gradually train her out of, as she matures, by using another toy to distract her. Also, as she gets older her senses get better, so she'll be curious about things further away than the leash, so she'll lose some interest in the leash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLola View Post
I know that puppies are supposed to learn from early on not to bite. How should I teach her this? All she wants to do is bite on me and play. It's near impossible to get her to stop. I've taught her how to sit, but we have tons of other commands to learn. I basically will take ANY advice you can give me about having a puppy. I have no experience whatsoever, and I'd like to do the best job I can. Thanks!
ALWAYS have a toy to shove in her mouth. That is the easy, first answer. If she is biting your hand, pants etc., GENTLY remove her mouth and re-direct her to a toy. This is really a process of Prevention and Patterning, not about training. She is playing with you the only way a puppy knows how, which is with her mouth... the part of the body she uses to explore most, like a baby.
The other thing is not to over stimulate her. Keep your voice calm, and keep your hands, legs, feet moving slowly. She will get excited if you get excited, then its hard to calm her. A puppy really can NOT calm themselves down very easily, so if you get upset with her when she is biting, she will take that as more excitement and it will get worse. So if she gets out of hand, just calmly walk away... leave her in her pen, crate, or tethered to a table leg, for a short "time out" (obviously keep any eye on her for safety). You don't need to say anything, better not to in fact. Just a minute or two is all that is needed. Once she is calm, go back to her and talk softly, use a toy to gently entice her... keep it mellow. You set the tempo.
The other thing is to ask her to DO something, such as sit, then praise and treat. Its so much easier for a puppy to do something, than to NOT do something. That is they don't understand "stop biting" but they do understand "sit."

Overall the most important things I can say to you regarding raising a puppy are:

- Stay very calm: voice, hands, body... this keeps them calm
- Train / pattern what you want them to do, try to manage the situation and the environment so you don't have to do a lot of "no". Negative input to the puppy will come back later in terms of timid or fearful behavior. Puppies don't have much/any self control this young, so they can't help themselves anyway.
- Have faith! Most of the naughty stuff a puppy does will pass as they grow up, if you continue the Positive Reinforcement for the behaviors you want, and you just manage things to keep them safe.

Finally, here are a couple of books I really like

Amazon.com: Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Non Violent Guide to Early Training and Care (9781593375973): Paul Owens, Terence Cranendonk, Norma Eckroate: Books Amazon.com: Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Non Violent Guide to Early Training and Care (9781593375973): Paul Owens, Terence Cranendonk, Norma Eckroate: Books

Amazon.com: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (9781577314554): Dr. Ian Dunbar: Books Amazon.com: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (9781577314554): Dr. Ian Dunbar: Books

Read them while your puppy is napping...

One more thing, there are some great links and videos on some of the puppy threads so check em' out! I'm sure I did not cover everything here.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:39 AM
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Thank you soo much!! I really appreciate all the help and words of advice!
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveLola View Post
Thank you soo much!! I really appreciate all the help and words of advice!
No problem! Puppies is my favorite topic on the forum. I never get tired of talking about puppies! So feel free to come back with more questions anytime.

And how about some pics of your baby?
You can post them right in the thread if you go to "manage attachments" in your comment, or you can make an album from your user control panel.

Like this! https://www.dogforum.com/members/3356/album/
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:51 AM
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Well thank you, I'll definitely be coming back to you for advice I don't have any pics of her on my camera, but I'll link you to the shelter where I got her, because there's a pic of her on there. My boyfriend and I had to drive way the hell out of the way to get her, but she's worth it! PetSavers - Dogs Needing Homes She's the fifth picture, and the puppy on the right. She is being treated for her illnesses. I'm giving her baths twice a week with special shampoo as well as antibiotics for the ringworm, and ivermectin for the mange.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:54 AM
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I know this sounds ridiculous, but she's kind of taking over my life!! My boyfriend and I never get to see each other anymore, and that's causing a lot of tension between us. It's all about the dog now. When does it get easier?
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:02 AM
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She is gorgeous! Thanks for the link!

Well a puppy this age really is a full time job, but this stage does not last long! And its good practice for you and the BF too... I know a lot of people who raised a puppy together before having "real" children!

It gets easier in stages. Right now is the most time consuming because as you know, you cannot leave the puppy loose unattended, so she is with you, or in her crate, and she needs a lot of outside trips, play time etc, AND they tinkle like every 20 minutes at this age!

Some time soon you should be experiencing a breakthrough with the house training, so she'll start to get the idea and that will feel like a relief. She'll still make mistakes for a while though.

Here's one way to think of it:
Your pup now is the equivalent of a 2 to 3 year old child.
By 4 months, she will be like an elementary school child.
By 6 months she's in high school
By 1 year she is 20-something.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:12 PM
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Good advice from Tess!!!

I just wanted to give you a tip, some links to sticky treads and also a video that would give you even more help.

As far as teaching your pup not to bite/tug on her leash, you can simply drop it every time she grabs it. That way it is no longer a fun game of tug.
IME this works for many pups, though not neccessarily all.

Here are some sticky threads you may find useful.
Housetraining (though you are on the right track!)
https://www.dogforum.com/housebreakin...-how-tos-2135/
And for the future.
https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...ning-faq-3974/
https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training/recall-9595/
https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...-walking-1683/

And in addition to Tess's advice advice about teaching your pup not to mouth...

Also, your puppy is adorable! Congrats!
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the links Kmes, and the video. I know they are around here somewhere, but I am not very adept at locating them! You always seem to be able to find and link/post the good stuff!
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