Puppy sadness

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Puppy sadness

This is a discussion on Puppy sadness within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record I am astonished that people get through puppyhood with their sanity intact because ...

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Old 04-24-2013, 01:46 AM
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Puppy sadness

I feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record

I am astonished that people get through puppyhood with their sanity intact because mine is long gone.

Bella is nearly seven months and shows no sign of calming down. She is mischief all the time, steal everything, chews everything. I need to have a constant eye on her. And I am sorry to say I don't think I can cope anymore. Even when I think I have put everything out of reach, she will find something. And with three kids nothing stays out of reach.

I know it's awful but I can see why people rehome puppies because if I could wake up and Bella not be here, then I would.

I really want to post lovely stories and picture on the forum, but the truth is I don't enjoy her, I dread going home to her. I sit in my car on the driveway not wanting to go in.I know this is totally stupid as she is just a little baby.

She can't be out in the garden with the kids because she gets too excited and growls jumps and nips them. We are doing what the dog trainer said and just freezing so that we don't reinforce the behaviour but it's not working and Bella ends up in her crate.

I shout at the kids all the time and I'm angry and stressed constantly. I think I have moved on from post puppy depression to full on depression and I don't know what to do. I look at her and she is so beautiful, but this is so hard.

Sorry to moan but if I don't vent then I think I'm likely to explode x
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:06 AM
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Feeling a touch better for ranting. Sorry.

Just spoke to my friend who has a nine month old puppy. She just picked him up from the dog sitter after two weeks. The dog sitter has refused to have him again! So I guess it's just puppies but I can't wait for it to end.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickyH View Post
Bella is nearly seven months and shows no sign of calming down. She is mischief all the time, steal everything, chews everything. I need to have a constant eye on her. And I am sorry to say I don't think I can cope anymore. Even when I think I have put everything out of reach, she will find something.
Yupyupyup, life with (part) Bichons. I kept expecting Calypso to calm down. Puppies learn to cuddle, learn to settle, right? They can be trusted on their own in the house at around six months, right? Bwahaha my dog would like a word with you...

I don't know if you've read my posts in the behavior or training forums, but in case you haven't: Calypso has a little (read: big) problem with getting overexcited, to the point where she's just not in control of herself. It's the "positive" side of reactivity, basically (in that it's not based in fear). With Bella's behavior in the garden especially, I wonder if something similar could be going on? That she just gets so stimulated she can't *think* enough to be able to learn?

What is working--very, very slowly, but it is working--is sort of a global approach to training calmness and impulse control. Yes, there are still many moments when Calypso drives me to despair with the excited bouncing and inability to listen, but I see definite progress.

This is stuff like having to sit and stay in place while I put her leash on before walks, while doors are being opened, while I get her meals together, etc. It is getting out the training treats, letting her smell them and go wild, but sitting quietly with a book until she calms down before I start the actual training session. It is definitely still using her playpen or giving her bully sticks to chew on when all else fails.

I am also working through the training program described in
Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out
, which is an approach to teaching calmness with some intermediate steps (there are more reviews at the US Amazon page if you're interested). It involves training the dog to settle down on a mat (I use a pillowcase) first, and then gradually phasing out the using of the mat until the dog can settle on command. I have to say that while Calypso is a champion at "see mat, lie down on mat, wait eagerly for treats," she cannot seem to relax on it. HOWEVER, since we have started trying this, with daily practice, she has gotten much faster to settle down on her dog bed or in her playpen. She also has chosen a couple of designated "I lie down here when I want you to pay attention to me and teach me tricks (i.e. give me food) but if you don't notice I will start chewing things very soon" spots, which is new and wonderful.

Maybe that book could be something that would help you? If you read through the preview pages you could see if it sounds like the author is describing Bella. The point of the book is to get the dog to a stage where it *can* think, it *can* learn--in other words, to enable Bella (and Calypso) to tune in to themselves and understand that the freezing means "nipping=>playtime's over".

Depression is not stupid or silly, it's a medical condition exacerbated by annoying things like a puppy who acts like a puppy. Venting is good, as is pounding Play-Dough or setting aside a little bit of you time and NOT feeling guilty about using a crate or playpen when necessary as long as it is a positive experience for the dog.

And really, it sounds like a playpen or ex-pen would be *hugely* helpful to you. I would never in a billion zillion years have survived Calypso's puppyhood without it. (I only need to use it now about once a week for a couple of hours, usually when the weather has been so bad that her walk was drastically curtailed or happened too early in the day).

I don't know about "ending," but it does get better.


Victory!: the first time Calypso ever in her life settled enough to fall asleep on the couch. That picture is from last Sunday, by the way.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:46 AM
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Oh, P.S., I *do* think you are on the verge of turning a corner, at least if Bella is developmentally like Calypso (which is reasonable, because Bichon). Six, seven, even eight months for Calypso were still crazytimes almost constantly, with daily playpen time. I don't know exactly, but I think somewhere around December or January (around ten months, maybe? nine and a half?) things were noticeably better on average.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:51 AM
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I feel your pain. I was in tears just this morning. My pup is not even 6 months yet (nearly)... some days are better than others. This morning was not good. We also have 4 cats I have to watch out for (much like kids! we cant have puppy attacking the cats... augh)... Then my boyfriend doesnt know ANYTHING about dogs and gets bent out of shape because she jumps on him. Augh. It is so stressful. I sometimes do the same thing... sit in my car and just breathe... Hope for a better time in the afternoon. She is a joy part of the time, and I know that in time, she will be AMAZING. We just have to get through this hard time.

I dont know how people get another!
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:34 AM
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Thanks everyone, just reading replies makes me feel better.

Sundog, I think I read the term 'bichon blitz' somewhere and is definitely true. The inability to control herself when excited sounds familiar. Bella is totally unable to sit and cuddle in the evening, it's loonie mischief time for Bella.

However saying that she is calm when I get her food, she will sit and wait, even when the bowl is on the floor until I say it's ok to eat. She also likes to help me unload the dishwasher, but we have been learning the leave it command and today she just sat and watched me load it. So there is hope......

Readmeli, oh the cats. Yes ours has made it her life's work to wind Bella up all the time. X
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:42 PM
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I feel your pain. My Tessa is a lab mix (my first ever larger breed dog) and as much as I tried to prepare mentally and physically for a puppy, I still find myself wanting to go into a closet and cry. I'm lucky that I don't have kids or cats to deal with, but Tessa really doesn't need either to get her self riled up.

There are even some moments when I compare her to my previous girl (not fair to Tessa because Jazzy was 14 and had a heart condition that slowed her down), and wish Tessa would just grow up. There's even some days when I wonder if I'm completely messing up, and wonder if she'd be better off in another home that gets labs; but then I leave her with my mom to watch her while I have a shower, and the whole time she whimpers for me and I realize she's my dog no matter how much of a PIA she is.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:24 PM
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I know that feeling, I quite often think that Bella would be better off with someone else. But she loves us.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:47 PM
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Wow, you have quite the handful in Bella! I am not sure how you are correcting the stealing/chewing issue but one technique my trainer shared with me and my 12 week pup regarding stealing/hiding/chewing on forbidden items: Instead of chasing her down and "off" or "no" or any correction of any kind, just swap it out for a treat. A really high value treat. This way after a while, they will actually want to bring the item to you in order to exchange it for a reward.

Only just started that recently myself so dont know what the long term outcome may be but instead of running off with my shoe or recycling item, she lets me take it with ease and is not acting sneaky about having something forbidden.

Best of luck and you are NOT ALONE!!!!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:40 PM
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You are in a very tough stretch... teenage months.

Use crates and baby gates much more of the time! The puppy does not need to be running about the house all the time. In fact, that can be over-stimulating for her and get her more hyper and more "naughty."

Make a "safe room" for her with a baby gate and she spends much of her time there. Only let her out when you can cope, that is for a half hour or an hour here or there. Also take her outside for vigorous exercise a couple times a day. She'll be fine with this routine.

Get some sleep. You'll feel better.
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