First time owner bonding problems

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First time owner bonding problems

This is a discussion on First time owner bonding problems within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; When I was a little girl, my family adopted a lab/shar pei mix puppy from a local family. He was an amazing dog, just too ...

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:08 PM
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First time owner bonding problems

When I was a little girl, my family adopted a lab/shar pei mix puppy from a local family. He was an amazing dog, just too large for such a tiny child. My older brothers had a lot of involvement in raising him and playing with him. His only flaws were that he was not trained very strictly, so he often didn't listen. This lead to him dragging people on walks, chasing other animals, not coming when he was called, etc. I was simply too small to have a part in his life until he was almost gone. Naturally, I've always dreamed of having a dog of my own.

Years later, this dream has finally come true! I spent months researching breeds, looking for something small that could survive the upcoming apartment living and also lower-energy that enjoys sitting with me and spending nights in my bed. I ended up falling in love with a small yorkie/pomeranian mix. She's now been with me a little over a month. Despite her questionable background, she's clearly brilliant. She's learned a variety of things that earn her treats and will gladly do any of them. She's incredibly friendly and loves everyone that she meets, dogs or people.

Despite her being a great dog, I've been unable to form much of a bond with her. I do the majority of her training, walking, feeding, and care. She spends days, when I'm usually working, out running around a few rooms where my mother will sit with her. During mornings and evenings, I take her. She has a very strong bond with my mother, but not much of any with me. I think that's partially because I do most of her training, which also means putting her away when she won't potty outside, working through frustration of things she doesn't understand, keeping her from pulling on the leash, etc. My mother is very much a marshmallow and will allow her to do anything, even if it's not consistent with her training, in their time together. I believe it may have lead her to see me as an authority figure or a 'bad cop' and my mother as fun and playful.

I'm doing my best to be patient and work with her as best I can, hoping that she will eventually come around to me, but I've been feeling for the last few weeks that she's just not the right dog. So what would everyone on here suggest?
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:43 PM
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Welcome to the forum..
Do not get frustrated. How much play time do you spend with her a day? You have to make your presence more then "Must Behave". I have always been the bad guy in my home. Not only the one who makes them do things but also the one who cuts nails and does all the mean things to them. I do however play with regularly either with a toy or just wrestling with them. I hunt them...stalk them..do all kinds of funny things with them. Make up a game that only you and her play. She will come around..
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:58 PM
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Thanks!

Playtime depends on how much I work. My job is part time, because I'm still a teenager, but I only work around five hours on a normal day. She gets me up in the morning, we do a ten to twenty minute walk, then breakfast for her and she follows me around the kitchen (which is gated off along with one other room for us) and plays a bit, we do some obedience practice (since she just started puppy class), and gets some treats. She sits with me in her own bed chewing while I eat, then we do another quick walk before she has some more crate time. That's usually almost two hours. Then she usually has another hour of walks/lunch/play before I work, in which time she'll be in those two rooms with my mother playing. Once I get home, we do more walks, and she rolls around on my bed with me and chews on her toys and gets pet. The only time this changes (which has been happening a lot recently) is when she refuses to go to the bathroom outside and I have to put her back in her crate and keep running her out. She puts up fights about it sometimes and will go outside, then save a lot up and pee inside the house multiple times.

The place we got her from called her a 'very low energy dog' which she definitely is not. Another concern of mine was would she ever calm down? My uncle often pet sits his friends small maltese/yorkie mix and she is just as lively as our puppy. She also still has the potty training issues, like if she thinks she's been in the crate too long, she'll hide somewhere in his house and potty. I'm concerned not that she's not smart enough, but that she's too smart and will end up like that.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:08 PM
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That other puppy is hiding to go potty because it got in trouble in front of a human for going potty. Now it feels it must not do it in front of a human. If they cleaned good with an enzyme cleaner and crate trained. The dog would more then likely stop doing that. Also if they rewarded (praised...petted..played.or.gave treat) it for going potty outside. It would feel good doing it.
Are the walks for exercise or for her to go potty?
Instead of putting her back in her kennel, can you stay outside with her longer?
Do you walk her on lead to go potty in the yard?

Honestly she sounds pretty connected to you. Though Mom may be kick back buddy. You are her partner buddy (a team).
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:55 PM
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She's allowed to and often does go potty on walks, but they're not her only chance. From her crate, she'll ask if she has to go out. We're still working on telling us she has to go when she's playing inside, but she gets a quick potty trip (outside to her spot on the lawn, a treat once she goes, and a treat inside) after coming out of the crate, anytime we think she might need to during play time (which is sometimes a mistake, but basically if she sneaks off, if she circles, if she sniffs a ton, or if she's starring at the exit to the room), and before she gets crated again.

I try to keep her out as much as I can. She's still very young (about four months I believe?) so it seems like at a certain point of being out, she gets sort of overwhelmed and just sort of cracks. She'll start pottying on the floor, chewing on things she knows she shouldn't, etc. The trainer says it's important for her to have rest time in the crate, so that's why we put her back.

And yes, we don't have a fence around our yard, so I use a six inch leash while my mother uses a 16 foot extendable leash.

Maybe what I think are signs she doesn't seem connected are puppy things? My mother is, like I said, very laid back, so she thinks very much that a pet should be allowed to do most anything, because it's just an animal, and that making them do things they don't want is abuse. She's gotten into several arguments with our puppy class teacher over things like that, so I'm really not sure what to think! She often rolls on her back, belly up, when I'm petting her, or puts her ears back a bit, and she runs away sometimes when she's downstairs with my family. My mum says this is because she's afraid of me and doesn't like me.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:00 AM
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She is not bonding with you because you have the mistaken idea that training her properly requires some degree of unpleasantness or strictness.

This is absolutely not true. If training is a negative experience for the pup she will learn that you are not safe or enjoyable to be with.

All training can be a positive experience for her and for you as well. Check out the training section and particularly the sticky threads.

Also see the house training "how to" thread. There should be no reprimands in house training done properly.

Check out "kikopup" on you tube and see how training can be the most pleasant and rewarding of activities for dogs and their owners.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:50 AM
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Why are you giving her treat once she comes in? A puppy loves treats if she knows she is going to get one when she comes in then she will hurry to go in for that treat. This might mean not finishing what she needs to do outside.

It is not that she hates you she is just wondering what now when you walk in the room. She is young so do less training and more playing. If you do want to work with her on something. Make it a fun game. You say overwhelmed and that is possible it can also be frustration, not knowing for sure what to do with herself. Chewing up things is just her releasing her confusion or frustration. When you see her like this give her something she is allowed to tear up. Paper towel cardboard rolls are great for this. A puppy will shred it to pieces. I would give my Golden puppy one and encourage her to tear it up.

We can not read their minds so can only learn by watching them how they respond to different things. Making everything positive for her will help her be less stressed. Reward the good ignore the bad.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newpup View Post
She's allowed to and often does go potty on walks, but they're not her only chance. From her crate, she'll ask if she has to go out. We're still working on telling us she has to go when she's playing inside, but she gets a quick potty trip (outside to her spot on the lawn, a treat once she goes, and a treat inside) after coming out of the crate, anytime we think she might need to during play time (which is sometimes a mistake, but basically if she sneaks off, if she circles, if she sniffs a ton, or if she's starring at the exit to the room), and before she gets crated again.

I try to keep her out as much as I can. She's still very young (about four months I believe?) so it seems like at a certain point of being out, she gets sort of overwhelmed and just sort of cracks. She'll start pottying on the floor, chewing on things she knows she shouldn't, etc. The trainer says it's important for her to have rest time in the crate, so that's why we put her back.

And yes, we don't have a fence around our yard, so I use a six inch leash while my mother uses a 16 foot extendable leash.

Maybe what I think are signs she doesn't seem connected are puppy things? My mother is, like I said, very laid back, so she thinks very much that a pet should be allowed to do most anything, because it's just an animal, and that making them do things they don't want is abuse. She's gotten into several arguments with our puppy class teacher over things like that, so I'm really not sure what to think! She often rolls on her back, belly up, when I'm petting her, or puts her ears back a bit, and she runs away sometimes when she's downstairs with my family. My mum says this is because she's afraid of me and doesn't like me.
I suspect your mum is correct that the pup is afraid of you. It is a very alarming thing if she is running from you.

Your puppy class may be very old school and teaching you things that are making problems worse. If this class is telling you to correct the puppy or yank the leash that is all bad stuff.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:11 PM
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She's very social, so she doesn't especially like the crate. I think most of the unpleasantness or strictness is just me crating her when she's done something like chosen to pee inside. Like, she really hates her exercise pen as well and will pee there to get out.

We give her treats that way because our trainer said it was important to do one treat after they go outside, one once they come in so that they learn that coming back in is good too. She's a very intense lady. She says she still treats her three adult dogs for going potty outside and they she makes them do tricks and such to earn their dinner.

We have some of those nice bully sticks and food chews that help keep her calm when she's out. She really loves them and will chew on them for awhile, but after awhile that just ends and she'll start making messes. The trainer told us that, because she's so young, she may still need breaks. Like nap time.

And when I say she runs, honestly, I don't think she's afraid of me. She doesn't tuck her ears or whine, and when I let her out, she runs into my lap and wags her tail excitedly. If it's just the two of us, she always tries to crawl into my lap for pets and follows me if I move. It's only when she's out with my whole family there, and I think it's because everyone else rarely crates her, so she thinks I'll be putting her away.

The puppy school definitely doesn't teach us to yank or anything, and in training to do commands and that, there is no correction except for making a 'no' noise when they do things like jump and try and take the treat from you.

Is there any thing 'positive' I can do to reward her other than treats?
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:39 PM
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She is going to hate her crate or pen if you are using it for punishment. If you do not see her pee inside you can not doing anything about it. If you catch her...simply say her name and tell potty outside as you are carrying her outside.

Reward can be anything she likes...toys...petting on the chest...hugs...kisses..etc.. I do not use treats at all when training. I always do different things as a reward always verbal praise though..
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