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New member with a few ?'s

March 28th, 2005, 10:20 PM
Hello folks

I've been lurking through your forums for a couple weeks now and decided to join the fun. I have recently adopted a puppy from some friends in a Volkswagen camping club that I belong to. They had been traveling in their VW camper down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when they found this poor puppy abandoned along the highway in the desert just outside of Todos Santos, Mexico. She is named Tosa and she is aproximately 14wks now. They pulled over and rescued her from certain death as she was only about 8 weeks old then and was sure to not last much longer in her condition. They took her to a vet south of the border and got her first set of shots and a certificate of good health. Considering what she had been through she was very lucky. Tosa spent the next two weeks traveling with them in their VW. They took her to an American vet in California when they crossed back over the border and was given another bill of good health.

Unfortunately for them they live in no pet appartments in B.C. and posted to the VW club list to see if anyone was interested in taking Tosa in. I had planned on adopting a dog from the shelter this spring so it worked out well for all of us. They became very attached to Tosa in the short time she was with them and they will be able to see her whenever we get together for club camping trips.

Tosa has been doing very well with most of her training. Within the first two weeks I had her I was able to teach her to come, sit, fetch toys and drop them with the aid of treats and she is walking well on a leash most of the time. I have also taught her not to bite with the yelp and ignore method and she does well 95% of the time. I am currently crate training her which she took to surprisingly well. When I say crate she hops right in and is sleeping through the night inside with the door closed. She had some accidents the first day but now is able to stay and not soil her blanket for up to four hours.

This is what my first question is with. I work an eight hour day and am wondering how long she should be by herself inside the crate? I am able to come home on my lunch break after four hours for about fifteen minutes to let her out and feed her and then I have to leave back to work. Today was the first day I closed her in while I was at work for the first four hours only. After lunch I left the door open to see how she would do. I layed papers down as I had done for the first two weeks I had her (she is paper trained for the most part). As normal she had gone on the papers and then shredded them and eaten her poo which she just recently started to do. :rolleyes: I would like to keep her in her crate for the second four hours but I'm concerned with her becoming dehydrated. I would also not be there to let her out for her after meal poo which she always does about an hour or so after eating. I'm looking for some guidance for what I should do here. Is it unrealistic to keep her in her crate for those last four hours?

The second problem I am having is durring walks she is very leary of strangers and children that come up and try to pet her. I tell them to move slowly and let her come to them but she doesn't want any of it. She begins to cry and cower and I am afraid that she may bite if scared to much. Being found the way she was and then traveling with Bernie and Viv for the first two weeks and then comming to me she has gotten a late start with socializing. She is only on her second set of vaccines which is why I have only just recently started walking her around the neighborhood. She is now 14wks. Am I going to have a hard time socializing her due to her late start? What should I do to help with her not being scared of strangers? When meeting new people at home she is great. She will run right up to them and want lots of attention but in a new environment she doesn't want anyone comming up to her. Any suggestions? I also haven't been able to let her around any other dogs yet to get her used to them due to her not having all her vaccines.

I'm afraid I'm going to have a scared, shy dog. Here are some photos of Tosa the wonder pup.

Wow, sorry for the novel for my first post but I really need some help and you seem to be a very knowledgeable group. :thumbs up


Lucky Rescue
March 28th, 2005, 11:23 PM
Welcome to the board!:) Tosa is very adorable. She looks like a little pit mix! She's very lucky to have been found by kind and caring people and it sounds like you're doing great training her.

But she is spending approx. 16 hours out of 24 in a crate. This is not good and living a large part of her life caged and in isolation is not conducive to being well socialized.

She is at the right age for a puppy "fear period". It usually passes, but since she is alone so much, you must make the effort to socialize her to everyone and everything. Take her everywhere you go, if possible, and ignore her fear. Allow no one to approach her and do NOT drag her up to anyone to force her to meet them. She is depending on you to protect her, so don't let her feel she must protect herself.

Bring a bunch of yummy treats with you, and when people are around (stay just far enough so that she's not afraid) start dropping the treats around her. She will then make the association that when people are around, treats fall out of the sky! This way you'll eventually get closer to other people and hopefully her fear will pass.

Do NOT comfort her when she is acting afraid or you reward the behavior. To a dog, "It's allllright" sounds just like "Good girrrrl".

I strongly suggest you enroll her in puppy classes, to get her used to people and dogs.

If she eats when you come home at lunch time and then you crate her, she'll have to go anyway and if forced to sit in her own mess for hours you run the risk of having a dog who is impossible to housetrain. I would leave her gated with her papers and lots of chewy toys for the second 4 hours.

March 29th, 2005, 06:19 AM
I agree with what LR has said.

Also,I have always made sure when my dogs were pups,they had access to water 24/7.I never crated.I did do the blocking off of the kitchen and they were paper trained.And water was always available for them. :)

Oh I forgot,Welcome a board..... :D

My comp is acting up,so I couldn't get to see what your furbaby looks like.When it's a link like that and I click on it,my page closes.... :sad:

March 29th, 2005, 07:41 AM
What a great feel-good-story,lucky little pup to have found people who care :thumbs up
She's adorable and you are wonderful for taking care of her.....
If you got taken aback because she's described as a pit-bull puppy,please don't pick up on the pittie-hysteria here in Ontario,we have many,many pit-Bull owners on this site and they are wonderful dogs.

March 29th, 2005, 07:51 AM
another option if you feel she must be crated for the last 4 hours of your work day is feed her 2X a day, in the morning when you wake up so that she does her business before you leave, and then again when you get home for the day.

that was she doesnt ahve to do her business while your at work, most likely tho she will want lots of atention and exercise when you get home since thats alot of time for a pup to be cooped up

BTW there is something you can give the dog that will stop him from eating his poop, im not sure the name of it im sure someone else here will post the name for you, but ive heard people have great sucess with it


March 29th, 2005, 08:13 AM
Wow, she looks just like my pit only with longer hair! She's so cute!

They will grow out of fear of the unknown. Mine is 14 months old and just recently started walking through puddles and not turning tail when someone rides up on a bike. She'll still run out of the kitchen if you reach for the garbage bags but she's slowly grown out of many of the fears she's had. What was said before is right, don't force her to confront anything she doesn't want to. Let her investigate on her own and eventually the curiosity will get the better of her. As you take her for walks she'll eventually realize that everything is ok and won't be so scared of the new situation. With people the best thing would be if they don't try to pet her, that can be taken as a threatening posture. If they could just squat down and gently call her with a treat in hand it may encourage her to approach them. As she does they shouldn't make any sudden moves or try to reach over her head, just let her come and get the treat out of their open palm. You could set this up with someone by arranging to meet them as soon as you get away from your house somewhere in the neighborhood. She's also still at the age where she has a type of homing instinct, puppies naturally stay in the den when older dogs go out to hunt so it can be hard to even get her to walk away from home. This will pass after 4 months of age or so if she has this issue.

And I agree, she only needs to be fed twice a day. Our pit has a very strong desire to keep things clean, once she threw up in her kennel in the car and was quite upset that it messed up her space so she desperately tried to cover it with a blanket, when that failed she wanted to eat it. That might be part of the poop eating thing. Our pit actually only had one pooping accident in the house since we got her at 3 1/2 months old, when she had diahrrea in the middle of the night. She went into the bathroom to do it, I think because that's a room she never spends any time in! Also if you feed a good quality food it will lessen the amount of poop generated, which is a plus for housetraining. Make sure you are feeding an appropriate amount for her size and age including any treats you give her, extra food just means extra coming out the other end!

Four hours shouldn't be a problem with no water in a dog of that age and size as long as she's indoors, protected from heat, not being exercised. Come home at lunch time, give her water right away, and let her outside for a while. If you're worried, freeze a bowl of water and it will thaw slowly for her so she'll always have a little to drink. She'll be fine then till you get home. Give her some safe chew toys to keep her busy and not eating paper. A kong filled with peanut butter is great. Cow hooves at that age are great too, but as she gets older and stronger she'll be able to break big chunks off and swallow them so watch her and take them away if she starts breaking them.

March 29th, 2005, 12:23 PM
Forbid is one of the products to feed a dog to keep it from eating its own feces.

I would say gate her if possible, rather than crate.

About 3 weeks ago there was a great article on the home page here with a schedule for socializing a puppy. If you cannot find it, send me a pm with your email address. I save all the articles as Word documents.

My mini doxie Valentin, has some fear aggression issues too. An up beat voice when they are afraid will help to signal to them that there is nothing to be afraid of. If you use a soothing voice, that reinforces the idea that there is something to be afraid of because you are reassuring them.

I also try to take my little guy to the vet office in his crate. We sit there for about 15 - 20 minutes, ask the vet to say Hello and then leave. I think this is teaching him not to associate the place/smells with just bad things. I open the door to his crate (depending on what animals are in the waiting room) so he can come out and see people when he is comfortable.

Going for car rides would be good too, where the dog can see people and things, but be safe inside the car. Kinda like big screen doggie TV.

There is a trainer who has written a great book for barking/biting fear aggression. She is in the middle of revising the book and so it will not be available for another month.

Hope the others have some suggestions for you too

She is a cutie :angel:

March 29th, 2005, 01:43 PM
Jasan: what a heart-warming story! Unfortunately I can't view the pictures now, but I'm sure she's a cutie!

Both my husband and I work 8-hour days, so my 12 weeks old puppy Diego is in his crate during the day. My husband goes back home during lunch hour, lets him out and have him drink water. In the beginning, he couldn't hold for 4 hours, so he'd pee on the papers we laid down for him. Since about last week, he has only soiled his crate once, so it does get better. :)

We just started to let Diego sleep in the crate at night, he's liking it so far. The crate is placed right beside our bed. If I hear him moving during the night, I'd take him out. So even though he's in his crate, he won't feel isolated.

4 hours without water in a crate is not a problem for Diego, even at 7 weeks, because he was indoor in a temperature-controlled house away from heat and cold. Also we had set up a webcam to monitor him when he was younger, he was mostly just sleeping in his crate. Try to exercise your puppy a little bit after each meal, like playing mini-fetch at home, this would induce bowel movements.

We regulate what Diego eats and on a fixed schedule: twice a day, at 7am and 7pm. I let him eat as much as he wants for about 15 minutes and take away his dish. He usually eats about 3/4 of food in less than 5 minutes, then goes away to play for a while, then comes back to finish off the remaining 1/4, leaving only a few kibbles. Amazingly, his "chosen portion" is a dead match with the recommended feeding portion, but you'll have to watch it closely to adjust for the amount of food. We had tried to feed him 3 times per day, but he refused to eat any during lunch, even after changing portions, so we finally just gave up the middle feed. I rarely give him any treats, except during active training (short training sessions), verbal praises and lots of patting on the back work just as well.

We take every opportunity to socialize Diego with other people/animals, short car rides here and there, bring him to visit friends, going to vet, having people over...we even borrowed a friend's older dog for 2 days to teach Diego bite inhibition, and that worked out great! As far as I can see, you are doing all the right things, just keep doing them, and it will get better.

I highly recommend the "KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy (Keep It Simple Series), which I borrowed from a friend, it was a great book, simple, concise and to the point, very easy to read too, lot of graphics and point forms, only took me a couple of TV nights to finish.

March 29th, 2005, 10:47 PM
Thank you everyone for the great advice. This is my first puppy so I am at a bit of a loss on some things. Good thing for the internet as that is where I have read many training tips and methods.

Lucky, yes I believe she is a pit/shepard mix. As she has grown the wavey, wirey shepard hair has begun to come in. The first vet she was taken to said that is what he thought she was. My vet seemed to think there might be some greyhound in her also by the way she stood. I don't know about that one though. I'll have to wait a few more months to really tell. At first I was a bit leary of having a dog with pit genes but after reading on some sites I was convinced that they are some of the most loyal and wanting to please people dogs out there. I have some friends that have a pit/springer spaniel mix and she wouldn't even think of harming anyone and she loves people. I'm looking for a puppy class now. Anyone in the states know of any in the Portland metro area?

I think that I will let her stay gated for the second four hours and cut her feeding back to twice a day for now. A qustion about feeding though. I am giving Tosa Nutro Lamb and Rice wheat free. They suggest feeding three times daily untill six months. Should I stick with this or would going to twice a day be OK? I think her shredding the papers, aside from just being a puppy thing, is that she is frustrated that I am there and gone in such a short period. She doesn't do it when I can spend some time with her before leaving. The joys of puppy training. :)

Puppup, Tosa did much better on her walk today. I did as you suggested and had the kids in the neighborhood squat down and hold a treat in their palm and let her go to them. Then let them pet her chest, not over her head. After that she was fine with them. She was much better with passing cars and kids on bikes today also.

GoldenGirl I would love to read that article if you still have it. You can send it to me at the address in my profile. With the eating feces thing. I read here that meat tenderizer mixed in their food does the same thing as Forbid. Is this true? Does it have any drawbacks or health concerns with using it? Tosa is good in the car once she gets settled down. The vibration usually puts her right to sleep. I think she got used to the car in the two weeks she spent traveling with Bernie and Viv.

Nymph, glad to hear you pup is doing well in the crate also. I was against crate training at first but seeing how Tosa took to it I don't think it's a bad thing anymore. After she had chewed up her second bed I decided it was time to get the crate. The bed also always ended up drug around the room and usually over the soiled papers. :yuck: It has been good for both of us. For her to get on a better potty schedule and for a less stress and frustration inducing time for me. It's funny you mention having a camera on your pup. I have a security camera that I did the same with hooked into my room. Tosa also sleeps most of the time she is in her crate. She does not sleep in my room but in the pantry where I have her gated when not in the crate so it really helps at night so I can keep an eye and ear open for her durring the night. The first night she was a little restless but now sleeps all through the night.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. This forum has given me some good answers to questions I had about raising a puppy.

For those of you that couldn't see the photos here are a few. She is bigger now. She's growing fast. She is now 15lbs. When I first got her a month ago she was only 7.5lbs.

March 29th, 2005, 11:45 PM
She is an adorable puppy. :crazy:

March 30th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Hey...a fellow Northwester! Very cute puppy!

When we first got Gabby (3 - 3.5 months old) she was crated for 4 hours at a time with an hour lunch break. We left a little bowl of water in with her and she never had a problem...other than playing in it! After a couple weeks we just gave her the downstairs bedroom instead (I felt bad leaving her in the crate). After a few accidents she caught on. We later installed a dog door into the backyard and she stays at home all day and can run in and out of our downstairs room.

Another thought is maybe get a dog walker during the day. We have someone come over 3 times per week once a day to walk Gabby and she really seems to like it. It is kind of expensive though.

We only fed Gabby at lunch and dinner when she was little...Nutro Puppy Lamb and Rice. She turned out fine...70 lbs now.

Tenderfoot Training ( has a good set of training DVDs that we use for Gabby. Techniques are gentle and work very well. Therer are tons of training options...this is just one we liked. She also went to a class for socialization too.

Anyways, welcome and good luck. :thumbs up