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Sensitive/fearful puppy?

puppy4ever
August 21st, 2005, 02:42 PM
Yesterday was Freeway's first day home (he is an 8 week old puppy). The car ride was probably the worst part...he kept yawning, licking the car window (?!) and was really restless. I was afraid that he was going to jump on my husband with his long nails and cause an accident so I tried the crate and that was a bad idea....he cried so much that I took him back on my lap.

I was so amazed and proud of him that he wasn't at all afraid of the crate when we brought it inside. When he is sleepy there is no problem with closing it (I slept on the floor next to him) but when I took a shower he cried when I closed it (I waited till he relieved himself and ate).

Two minor accidents inside already but he is doing so well with the housetraining! He is really a wonderful good boy. I heard him being restless at 3:30 this morning and took him out. It's funny how you can read all the info ahead of time but are never prepared. To be honest I hate the crate because it feels wrong to me yet I know the advantages to crate training.

Is it wise to be correcting him for everything he does wrong right now? He seems sensitive and fearful still and I don't want to give him a complex. I try to ignore him (be a tree) or walk away when he bites, etc. but I don't want him to imitate me and ignore me. He also seems really sensitive to corrections.

I know this is going to take a long while and I want to make sure I'm consistant and doing the right thing. I'm quite tired and a little emotional but am having fun too!

Any advice for a new inexperienced mommy?

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 09:55 PM
[QUOTE=puppy4ever] I tried the crate and that was a bad idea....he cried so much that I took him back on my lap.

(I waited till he relieved himself and ate).

Is it wise to be correcting him for everything he does wrong right now? He seems sensitive and fearful still and I don't want to give him a complex. I try to ignore him (be a tree) or walk away when he bites, etc. but I don't want him to imitate me and ignore me. He also seems really sensitive to corrections.

I know this is going to take a long while and I want to make sure I'm consistant and doing the right thing. I'm quite tired and a little emotional but am having fun too!

QUOTE]


Any time your puppy is in a vehicle he needs to be contained. Either in a crate that is fastened or a seatbelt for dogs. The whining is very common and very annoying. As hard as it is ignore it and he will stop and settle. If you remove him from the crate when he does this, he will know that this is what he needs to do to get his way.

Your puppy is in a strange place, nobody he knows, first time away from everything familiar. He should adjust quickly to you, and his new environment but you need to stay consistant, stick to your rules and offer your love. All will be ok.

Try your best not to have him using the crate as a washroom. It should be his safe place, bedroom. If he starts to use it as a washroom it will be a very difficult behaviour to stop once started.

You don't need to be harsh with your corrections but you do need to be consistant. He may be lacking in the social department so you will need to offer as many social experiences as possible in the coming months. If he looks to be scared you need to act as if there is nothing to be afraid of w/o picking him up or petting him. Let him hide between your legs or behind you instead. He will read his cues from you so if you start comforting him he will think there is reason to be scared. When he accepts a new situation praise this. The more he sees and does the better he will become.
*Socializing is not with what they know but with what they don't know*

Dogs do best with consistancy, rules and routine. Even though you are tired be careful not to give in to bad behaviours for a moments piece. Your puppy will still love you.

TracyG
August 21st, 2005, 11:08 PM
Hello puppy4ever! I am in the same boat! I have an almost 9 week old golden retriever and I had the same question about correcting him for everything! I,too, feel like I am saying "no!" to everything! I am hoping that this will just pay off in the long run! Hang in there! Wait until your puppy discovers he/she has a tail! Our Indy just discovered this the other day. Just sit back and enjoy the show! :)

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 11:15 PM
Just remember that your puppies come to you knowing nothing, you need to teach them everything they need to know. Nobody gets a puppy to have a bad dog. If you don't teach them your rules, they will learn their own. You may not like these ones.

puppy4ever
August 22nd, 2005, 02:26 AM
Thank you two! :) Very reassuring!

He seems to be doing a lot better...he had a busy day today and came to life at the end off the day but he also had his 1st #2 inside on the floor (why oh why is it only 15 minutes after we took him outside LOL). Must be all the playing that got things moving.

My husband and I have never been so exhausted! I seem to be taking him out every 1/2 hour to 1 hour but am still missing the right time. He usually circles for #2 but with #1 their is no sign.

I have printed out your responses to read over and over. Very much appreciated.

jessi76
August 22nd, 2005, 09:32 AM
My husband and I have never been so exhausted! I seem to be taking him out every 1/2 hour to 1 hour but am still missing the right time. He usually circles for #2 but with #1 their is no sign.

After a full week or 2 you should be able to read his signs well. With my pup, I made sure he went out every hour, and paid attention to any signs he gave us. Also, right after eating, after playtime, before going in the crate, and when let out of the crate. It is exhausting, especially after weeks & months of getting up in the middle of the night, but power through the exhaustion and you will have a housetrained pup before you know it.

mona_b
August 22nd, 2005, 10:41 AM
Call me old fashion,but I never crated my dogs as pups.I had the kitchen blocked off and put papers down in one corner.And I had absalutely no problems housetraining them.They had free run of the house by 6 months.

Is it wise to be correcting him for everything he does wrong right now?

The answer is yes.If it's not corrected now,you will have a harder time when he gets older.

Always remember that when you correct them,and they listen,PRAISE like crazy,and reward.Either with a treat or a toy.As mine got older,they got rewarded with a favorite toy.

Also,when correcting,always say their name before the correction.Like "freeway,no"..."freeway,leave it"

All this is going to take time a patience.But in the end,it's all worth it. :)

gomez
August 22nd, 2005, 11:41 AM
Ah, Gomez never gave us any signals, and he doesn't now for that matter! Sometimes he would pretend to be walking in to his crate and pee right on the edge, that would be 5-10 mins after coming in from outside! Sometimes he would just be walking around and let loose... We have a big kitchen, so he was baby-gated in for the most part, with us in there as well...

BUT he is good now, at almost 8 months, still doesn't tell us when he has to go, we take him out for 4 walks a day, 9, 2, 7, 11-12 and he hasn't had accidents, he may be able to hold it for longer, but why find out the hard way??!

tenderfoot
August 22nd, 2005, 01:01 PM
Try to give some of your corrections different words - don't make 'no' the main thrust of his vocabulary - otherwise all he is going to feel is pressure and he might get desensistized to 'no'. You can use - 'quit' for stop it, 'drop it' for spit that out, 'leave it' for don't go near that and any startling noise to get him to stop something so you can redirect him. Remember that the learning happens on the positive side of teaching. So you can say 'leave it' as he approaches your slippers and then 'take it' as you offer him one of his toys instead. Teaching things in balance raises a balanced dog.
He is also in his first 'fear period' (8-10 weeks) and he will over react to things and scary experiences can imprint themselves on him for life, so try to keep things calm and don't take him to any potentially scary places (ie vet) until you see him starting to take things in stride. Yes this is all new to him and if he is sensitive then his reactions are going to be even more dramatic, but this will not last forever if you provide good leadership. You can create a drama queen if you buy into his drama or you can show him confidence and he will mirror your confidence.

canis
August 22nd, 2005, 03:58 PM
I agree with crate training especially in a car. Almost 2 years ago someone ran a red light and plowed into my car. If my pup had not been in a crate he would be dead. Even a seatbelt is better than nothing but avoid putting the dog in the front seat where the airbag could deploy.

As for corrections. My biggest problem was the chewing and biting stage. Mostly he would bite me. I started yelping like a puppy in his litter might have done. That stopped him. I did a lot of positive training with a clicker and food. When he was 9 weeks old i taught to ring a bell on a string attached to the back door to tell me when he needed to go out. I did that with a clicker and food too. I found that using "wrong" or "ah-ah" instead of "no" all the time helped as well. He started offering behaviours to me. Jst some thoughts.

Canis

puppy4ever
August 24th, 2005, 09:13 AM
I appreciate the help! Been so busy with the puppy! He is now doing so much better and starting to sit at the door to show us he wants to go outside! I am so glad because there are still no warning signs for #1 yet. We still have accidents in the house of course but I can't believe how fast he is learning! We are bonding really well but we haven't had a chance to go out much as the weather hasn't been great. This is something he really needs soon, I think.

Yes, I've noticed he has become desensitized to "no". I've started using other ways of expressing my disapproval and praise him extensively when he does what I'm asking. He doesn't seem to want to come to me when I call though but he will sometimes follow if I leave the room...I'm hoping it's that he just doesn't understand yet and not that he is super independent.

The biting has almost been reduced to just teeth resting on my hand which I am really happy about. My nephew who is one was way too excited to see the puppy so I had to stop him from playing with him as he wasn't gentle enough. The puppy was really sweet and gentle though.

I will start using a crate in the car from now on...thanks. I noticed last time that he was tossed around a lot in the crate...everytime we took a corner he'd be tossed upside down. :sad: I wonder if there is a seatbelt for inside the crate. I was ready to throw out the crate as I saw it as really inhumane but it seems he has become attached to it now and goes there when he is sleepy or frightened so that is good news.

canis
August 24th, 2005, 01:13 PM
I have a van and I used bungi cords to tie down the crate in place. I removed my back seats which enables me to use the bungi cords around the bars that the seats are normally hooked to. In a car, you might be able to hook the cords to the underside of the seat and the back of a seat to prevent it from moving. Two of my 3 dogs love their crates and won't travel in the van unless they are in their crates. The third was trained for either but given the choice she would prefer to be out of the crate.

Canis

buffytwin
August 25th, 2005, 09:51 AM
Also,when correcting,always say their name before the correction.Like "freeway,no"..."freeway,leave it"



I read in a few books that its not good to use their name in dissaproval and to use it if your rewarding him for something good. This not true?

StaceyB
August 25th, 2005, 09:59 AM
I never suggest using their name, especially with a correction. Make the cue simple and precise. Sit, down, stay, come, give etc. There name should always be viewed as a positive not negative.

buffytwin
August 25th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Thats what I thought and what I've been doing, good, thank you :)

mona_b
August 27th, 2005, 09:13 AM
I read in a few books that its not good to use their name in dissaproval

Sometimes you just can't go by what books say.We have had people come on here saying they read training books saying to bully the pup to get them to listen to you.Or to use a rolled up newspaper.Or to do the alpha roll on an already aggressiv pup.

As for using the name in dissaproval,well you reall are not.

I have always trained my dogs as pups using their name with every command.Why,because it gets their attention.If you have a pup and he/she is chewing something they shouldn't,you say a firm NO without the name.Does he/she know you are talking to them?No.You say their name first(which also gets them used to their name)you get their attention and then you say NO.This way they know.This also goes with the "leave it" command.Another example,your pup takes off,you tell start calling the "come" command,do you think he will?Now if you say his name first,then the "come",chances are he will listen.The name comes first then the command.And I know of trainers suggesting this also.

I know when my dog is having a play date with his dog buddies,and it's time to go,I will say Tron,lets go(in an up beat voice)and he will come right away.If I just say "lets go" when he's around 4 other GSD's,he doesn't know I am talking to him.Sorry,but to me saying the name first is important.



This also goes for the other commands.Their name gets their attention,then the command gets said.And with these commands your tone is different.It's more of an up beat tone.So they can tell the difference in your tone with every command,negative or possitive..I have also suggested this to friends when they are teaching their pups.And they have noticed a huge difference.They say they listened better when using their name before a command.Remember,you don't have to yell the name.You just have to watch your tone.

StaceyB
August 27th, 2005, 10:38 AM
I agree with not believing everything in the books. And I would like to add magazines, sources online. They are mostly made up of anothers opinion. Becareful of opinions, they can sometimes be dangerous. What is the saying, with a grain of salt.