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Generalized puppy concerns and blather

This is a discussion on Generalized puppy concerns and blather within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Lol, looks like when I was still typing you got my first paragraph out!...

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Old 04-29-2014, 08:25 AM
  #11
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Lol, looks like when I was still typing you got my first paragraph out!
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:51 AM
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I'll be posting a longer post in this thread later today, but it sounds like you're doing well so far. : )
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:38 AM
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Grabby posted a link to this article about SA in another thread and I thought it might interest you:

Taking Measures to Prevent Separation Anxiety Related Behaviors - Whole Dog Journal Article

By the way, I agree with Cadence. I think you're doing great!
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:11 PM
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1. You don't have to have a cicker. You can use a marker word instead. Sure, having a clicker is easier, but a marker word can be effective too.
2. It's possible he just doesn't like the food you're feeding him very much. I'm convinced Merlin mustnot have liked his previous food because he wolfs his food down nowamd he looksforward to eating it. It may take a couple different foods, but if your dad isn'twilling to pay for more than one food, stick with the plan to make itmore desireable.
3. I'm glad to hear you have a crate now! If you can convince yourdad to let you crate the puppy during the day, potty training should pick up. The only warning I have is don't leave the puppy longer than he can hold it.

I think I covered everything?

LikeO said earlier, it sounds like you're doing really well, given the circumstances. If your dad is disappointed that the pup doesn't seem interested in him, only in you, then you have a perfect way to gently bring up the subject of him helping with the caretakingof the dog. Frame it as a way for the puppy and your dad to bond more and make it a gentle suggestion, not a demand. You neber know, he might actually consider it if you frame it as something useful for him.

Keep us updated on how things at going! I know this situation isn't easy for you at all.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:06 PM
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Dad is not quite as onboard as I'd like. Sammy growls at him when he gets too close, and his response to this is to actually strike the puppy. I really don't see this ending well. I told him all the reasons I've ever heard why this is a bad idea, but since he's personally raised exactly one dog himself, he knows more than the professionals. He's still doing the friendlyvoice and treats thing, but if he pushes too far and Sam growls, it's sudden angrytone and a sharp smack. Explaining this isn't going to help the puppy's fear at all got me a smack too for backchat. Don't regale me with tales of how evil and wrong this is, it won't help matters and I don't like dwelling on it. His House His Rules etc. If you have ways of how to work AROUND it, that would be helpful though..

Counter-conditioning is going to be very, very tough. I'm no longer sure if he keeps this up, the pup will EVER learn to trust strangers.

I added a spoon of yoplait yogurt to his food and mixed it well, he was interested in eating it then. I happened to have a yogurt so it worked. Day 3.5 and still no accidents save the two yesterday, and he's beginning to recognize 'let's go peepee' as he heads right for the door as bouncy as a normal pup. We're willing to try different foods, but since these two were so expensive (wellness and natural balance) we do want him to eat them before trying a different brand.. so sauce it is for a while. Yogurt, gravy. Turkey drippings tonight, just enough to add flavor and hopefully not get the runs.

Is it safe to give a puppy a RAW chicken or turkey bone to chew on? I'll be deboning thighs later on and if they'll be nice treats I want to save them. I've also never used peanutbutter in a Kong before, just solid treats like kibble; how much peanutbutter goes into the kong?

Edit: I'm recruiting a VERY masculine cousin to try to help me with counterconditioning when dad's not around. Maybe if we work together on his wariness, he'll become less hostile to dad's advances and the problem will lessen.

Last edited by Redwood; 04-29-2014 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:14 PM
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I wish I knew a way to convince your Dad that what he's doing is going to have the opposite effect. I really feel for you. I have to say how much I admire you for doing all you can to help raise this puppy the right way. There's only so much you can do in your situation.

I've never given a puppy raw bones except chicken wings. I'll let someone else with more knowledge on the subject answer that one.

When I use peanut butter in a Kong, I put in tiny treats or kibble and then fill in the spaces with the PB. I like to freeze them that way.

You're doing a good job. Keep doing what you're doing. We've all been in situations that we can't control and have to make the best of. It sucks.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:20 PM
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Now I understand. Honestly, counter conditioning could be as simple as playing the Look At That game with Sam whenever your dad is around. You don't have to tell your dad what you're doing or why you're doing it. If you're hanging out on the couch with Sam and yiur dad walks in the room feed Sam treats until your dad leaves the pup's sight. Make sense?
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:23 PM
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Thanks. It's ... tough, and most people just think it's as easy as putting my foot down and it really isn't. I'm just going to do what I can. I'm not the best for the job but I can't stomach the idea of neglect just to spite dad. It's not the pup's fault, why should he suffer?

I'll try just treats and distractions when he's around, and see if that helps over several days, that seems like a pretty good idea. Maybe then he'll connect dad being around to getting lots of good things. Maybe. So long as he doesn't reach over and deliver a smack, I got bit this morning when that happened, since I had the bad luck of holding onto Sammy at the time. My cousin can probably help too, but he can only come down on weekends and fridays.

I'm assuming the cartilage bits are safe enough to offer, if raw bones aren't. I hope so at least, we were working on downs today using the leftover ends from school lunch. Sam is not at all enthusiastic about hotdogs, so the 5 packs I have of those are going on the grill this summer..
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:23 PM
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As you understand, the puppy is growling because he is afraid.

Your father hitting the puppy proves to the puppy Dad is dangerous. Dad has done a lot of damage emotionally to the puppy this way, and he will need to totally reverse his approach to the puppy if he wants ever to have this puppy like him and feel safe with him.

Maybe you can get Dad to read some of the stuff on Dog Forum.
Its going to be a very tragic outcome if he does not wise up. The pup will turn into a fear-biter and may end up being put down. Tell Dad this!

Understand that the temperament the puppy comes with is largely genetic. You all were luckier with other puppies that were not so fearful. This puppy you will have to handle very carefully so he learns the world is safe. (Of course, his world needs to be safe if he is to learn its safe!)

This puppy should never be hit, never be yelled at, and never be yanked around on a leash. All handling must be gentle and loving. This puppy should never, ever, be punished. Teach him what you want him to do, and teach him behaviors you can ask for when he is doing something you don't want him to do (so he does not have to be scolded.)

Well, I know YOU know all this, but I'm writing it out for you in case you are able to convince your Dad to read this thread.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:27 PM
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I can try to make him read it. That's all the stuff I'd said too! I even got a good chunk of it off the much-hated Cesar Milan, who also is not okay with ever hitting a puppy. Dad thinks Cesar is the best thing since cake frosting, but that wasn't enough yet. Maybe if I can show progress in other ways he'll start listening.
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