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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

we recently (1 week ago) adopted a cattle dog x from a rescue. He’s 5 months old, we were told he’s an absolute gentle sweetheart and we really noticed how calm and relaxed he is. They had no idea on his background as he’d just been dropped off there, but seeming that he’s extremely affectionate and social we think it wasn’t a traumatic past. We honestly think he settled pretty quickly with us, like instantly seemed to love and trust us and is just a very Social, affectionate puppy. He could cuddle with us and lay on the couch all day. He’ll literally just lay on top of us.
The first week he slept in his bed in front of our bed, didn’t have any toilet accidents and stayed in his bed all night without complaints, it’s been almost hard to get him up in the morning or off the couch when we try to go for walks. He would start sulking if we’d distance ourselves from him more then 5 meter.
Once he actually gets up he seems like a happy pub though. He’s also responding well to training, drinks and eats normal, plays with other dogs in the park and walks well on lead.
But tonight he’s decided to leave and go downstairs all by himself. We tried to lure him up a couple of times and gave him treats but he just goes downstairs and lays on the couch all curled up by himself. It now almost seems like he’s sad instead of just being a relaxed and calm puppy, like he has no energy. He gets around two to three 10-25 min walks and park play a day, and two daily 10-15min training sessions for mental stimulation, which we think is appropriate for his age. The rest of the day he’ll just go back to his spot and lay on the couch and sleep.
It just feels weird that he decided to sleep by himself suddenly. He was cuddling with us on the couch all night and as we decided to go to bed he kept going back to the couch. He didn’t seem to like being in our room much at all and refused to come back upstairs but we don’t understand what has changed. Is he just becoming more independent at this age or should we double check with the vet? Any ideas or how to make him comfortable in our room? We didn’t feel like he needed a crate as he’d been so good staying where he’s supposed to at night, but should we introduce a crate again? He was crate trained at the shelter before. Could it be his dog bed? We also use it for him to stay when he’s been naughty. Maybe he’s associating it with punishment.
It’s only been a week so can’t really tell if any of this is normal behaviour or concerning at all. It feels weird leaving him all alone downstairs, he’s never actually been alone since we got him, as we are currently both out of work due to lockdown. 😔 and while I think it’s good he’s leaning independence, it still seems a bit odd.
Please help to ease some concerned puppy parents. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I was leaning more towards just being more settled and not feeling the need to know where you are al the time until I read this -
We also use it for him to stay when he’s been naughty. Maybe he’s associating it with punishment.
I don’t really understand why you would use his bed as a punishment? It should be a safe, comfortable, happy place, so please don’t use it as a punishment. Perhaps if you could describe more about the reason for punishing him, and how you use the bed for that, maybe we could suggest alternatives.

of course, there is nothing wrong with cueing a calm ’settle’ in a specific place, but that is quite different from punishment.
 

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It could be a lot of things. Settled, true personality, but, if he seems low energy, I'd pop into the vet. Especially since they recommend new pets visit your vet in the first week anyways. If it's the crate, reintroduce it like you would a new puppy.

But, since he keeps going to the basement and it's summer, it just might be it's cooler down there. Some dogs don't even like to sit too close to people for pets if it's too hot. You can try a cooling pad in your room or a living room and see if that works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was leaning more towards just being more settled and not feeling the need to know where you are al the time until I read this -

I don’t really understand why you would use his bed as a punishment? It should be a safe, comfortable, happy place, so please don’t use it as a punishment. Perhaps if you could describe more about the reason for punishing him, and how you use the bed for that, maybe we could suggest alternatives.

of course, there is nothing wrong with cueing a calm ’settle’ in a specific place, but that is quite different from punishment.
We use his bed to settle him down when he starts nipping too much on our hands, as he’s just teething. As a way to tell him that it’s enough playtime. He has plenty of chewy toys, so we usually want him to calm down there first and use those instead. But he’ll just pick them up and jump on the couch anyway. We take the bed downstairs during the day. Do you recommend getting separate beds? He doesn’t seem to like the bed at all now that I’m thinking about it. Not sure if that counts as punishment, but could definitely be a negative association. We only got it a few days ago. Before he slept on a blanket. I also used his bed to train him to stay today with plenty of treats as reward.
Also tried giving him lots of cuddles and some treats when we took him upstairs while he was laying in it to make him comfortable, but he’d just go downstairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It could be a lot of things. Settled, true personality, but, if he seems low energy, I'd pop into the vet. Especially since they recommend new pets visit your vet in the first week anyways. If it's the crate, reintroduce it like you would a new puppy.

But, since he keeps going to the basement and it's summer, it just might be it's cooler down there. Some dogs don't even like to sit too close to people for pets if it's too hot. You can try a cooling pad in your room or a living room and see if that works.
With the energy we’re just not sure as we don’t know him long enough to notice a change. The lady from the rescue already mentioned that he’s a very good natured and calm puppy, very gentle and relaxed compared to other pups his age. I just thought maybe cause he doesn’t get all hyper and crazy for walks. He definitely seems fine in the park with other dogs and on walks. Just at home he honestly just chills unless I get him up, which sometimes take a little nudge.
It’s winter here in Australia, so I don’t think he gets too warm, also because he’d just snuggle with us and seeks human affection a lot on the couch..
 

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Completely missed that, funny, since I remember your first post. (Belated congrats by the way!) It sounds like you're doing a great job, so maybe he's a bit overwhelmed with everything? New house, new exciting things, two new people always around; it's a lot in just a week. Wandering off may be just decompressing from all of it.
 

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Completely missed that, funny, since I remember your first post. (Belated congrats by the way!) It sounds like you're doing a great job, so maybe he's a bit overwhelmed with everything? New house, new exciting things, two new people always around; it's a lot in just a week. Wandering off may be just decompressing from all of it.
Oh remember now too!! We ended taking lots of advice from that discussion and are really happy we went for a rescue. He was actually recommended to us because of our lifestyle and his personality. Perfect match ☺ Maybe I’m just too concerned. I think I just solved the sleeping problem though (it’s 3:30am here and it’s been keeping me up all night, as im scared of him chewing our house apart 🤣) once I allowed him to come into our bed he’s happy and loving it, seems like he just doesn’t like his bed. I was gonna keep the no human bed rule for a bit longer, since I’m a bad sleeper myself and like the space, but it was gonna happen sooner or later anyway.
 

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I may have misinterpreted your post, asking him to settle on his bed isn't really punishment, it's just ”that's enough, we are going to stop that and do this instead”.

For nipping, it's a puppy on puppy play style but he needs to learn this is not how to play with humans. Some people find a sharp 'ouch' works but it can just ramp up the excitement. Some people find putting a toy in the dog's mouth works, others find the puppy is still more interested in nipping hands. My preferred method is to teach him that teeth on skin equals end of fun. So as soon as he makes contact, walk out of the room for a few moments. As long as the whole family is consistent - do it immediately and do it every time - he will learn. You could use a house line to draw him away, which keeps your hands both out of reach and also keeps hands for only good things.
 

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Hi there,

we recently (1 week ago) adopted a cattle dog x from a rescue. He’s 5 months old, we were told he’s an absolute gentle sweetheart and we really noticed how calm and relaxed he is. They had no idea on his background as he’d just been dropped off there, but seeming that he’s extremely affectionate and social we think it wasn’t a traumatic past. We honestly think he settled pretty quickly with us, like instantly seemed to love and trust us and is just a very Social, affectionate puppy. He could cuddle with us and lay on the couch all day. He’ll literally just lay on top of us.
The first week he slept in his bed in front of our bed, didn’t have any toilet accidents and stayed in his bed all night without complaints, it’s been almost hard to get him up in the morning or off the couch when we try to go for walks. He would start sulking if we’d distance ourselves from him more then 5 meter.
Once he actually gets up he seems like a happy pub though. He’s also responding well to training, drinks and eats normal, plays with other dogs in the park and walks well on lead.
But tonight he’s decided to leave and go downstairs all by himself. We tried to lure him up a couple of times and gave him treats but he just goes downstairs and lays on the couch all curled up by himself. It now almost seems like he’s sad instead of just being a relaxed and calm puppy, like he has no energy. He gets around two to three 10-25 min walks and park play a day, and two daily 10-15min training sessions for mental stimulation, which we think is appropriate for his age. The rest of the day he’ll just go back to his spot and lay on the couch and sleep.
It just feels weird that he decided to sleep by himself suddenly. He was cuddling with us on the couch all night and as we decided to go to bed he kept going back to the couch. He didn’t seem to like being in our room much at all and refused to come back upstairs but we don’t understand what has changed. Is he just becoming more independent at this age or should we double check with the vet? Any ideas or how to make him comfortable in our room? We didn’t feel like he needed a crate as he’d been so good staying where he’s supposed to at night, but should we introduce a crate again? He was crate trained at the shelter before. Could it be his dog bed? We also use it for him to stay when he’s been naughty. Maybe he’s associating it with punishment.
It’s only been a week so can’t really tell if any of this is normal behaviour or concerning at all. It feels weird leaving him all alone downstairs, he’s never actually been alone since we got him, as we are currently both out of work due to lockdown. 😔 and while I think it’s good he’s leaning independence, it still seems a bit odd.
Please help to ease some concerned puppy parents. Any advice would be appreciated.
If he is eating well, no digestive upset that kind of thing I wouldn't worry too much right now but by all means if you feel a vet visit is warranted, there is no harm in doing so. Keep in mind that, he is still settling in, adjusting to the changes in his life, it can take some dogs weeks to months to truly adjust and 'believe' their life has changed for the good, and it is confusing and stressful, for them, so it understandable that they seem 'off'/sad/tired periodically.
If I may suggest perhaps at least give him the option of using the crate, if that is something he is familiar with, leave the door off or open if you wish, sometimes newly rehomed dogs need a (familiar) place to go where they feel safe and to process all the changes in their lives. When I adopted a 6 month old pup (2 1/2 months ago ) he was crate trained, and even though he didn't 'need' it to keep him out of trouble, he did need it as a 'safe place' - a place to go where he felt comfortable, could just watch what was going on and process the changes in his life. He had his 'ups and downs', days when he seemed okay, and adjusting well, and days when he seemed less confident about the changes in his life and would spend time in his crate by himself. Even now, he still has the odd time where he seems a bit 'lost', but over all he has adjusted really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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If he is eating well, no digestive upset that kind of thing I wouldn't worry too much right now but by all means if you feel a vet visit is warranted, there is no harm in doing so. Keep in mind that, he is still settling in, adjusting to the changes in his life, it can take some dogs weeks to months to truly adjust and 'believe' their life has changed for the good, and it is confusing and stressful, for them, so it understandable that they seem 'off'/sad/tired periodically.
If I may suggest perhaps at least give him the option of using the crate, if that is something he is familiar with, leave the door off or open if you wish, sometimes newly rehomed dogs need a (familiar) place to go where they feel safe and to process all the changes in their lives. When I adopted a 6 month old pup (2 1/2 months ago ) he was crate trained, and even though he didn't 'need' it to keep him out of trouble, he did need it as a 'safe place' - a place to go where he felt comfortable, could just watch what was going on and process the changes in his life. He had his 'ups and downs', days when he seemed okay, and adjusting well, and days when he seemed less confident about the changes in his life and would spend time in his crate by himself. Even now, he still has the odd time where he seems a bit 'lost', but over all he has adjusted really well.
Thats grat advice and totally makes sense.
 
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