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New Puppy & I Need Help!

January 15th, 2006, 07:45 PM
Hi Everyone!
I'm new to the forum and I've been reading your posts and have found some imformative and useful information.

My husband brought home an 8 week old puppy the day after Christmas without warning me. He went to the store to get bread and milk and came in the door with this adorable puppy. I had NO clue this was going to happen! Yes, you're right that WAS an issue, but I'm past that now and am trying my best to deal with this abrupt change in my life.

The puppy is a male, who is now almost 11 weeks. He is going to be a BIG dog cause he has almost double in size since he arrived here, and his paws are gigantic. His face looks like a St. Bernard, (markings and coloring), his legs and belly are white, and his tail is tipped in white. His body is brindle, caramel and black. We were told that one of the parents was predominantly rotweiller, but he seems to have longer legs proportionately that a rottie would. I don't know "WHAT" he is, but we do know that the parents were large dogs, and probably "mixed" breeds as well. I have been researching on the net and I personally think he has boxer in him.

Now.. to skip forward to the problem.....

As I said this puppy was a SURPRISE to me....and my husband works 12 hour shifts so I am the one who HAS the puppy. In the short time I've been dealing with him I've taught him to retrieve on command with no problem at all. He is doing pretty well with the SIT command as well as house training. He fully understands the "go lay down" command (my husbands choice of words), but he only does it for a few seconds at a time. I fully understand that he is a puppy and is full of energy. HOWEVER... he SNEAKS about getting up after we've told him to "go lay down". He has a blanket that is his on the floor with his toys right there beside him. He just simply WILL NOT stay put for more than a minute at the most. This I'm sure sounds awfully nit-picky for his young age, but it is causing such an uproar you can't imagine. We play with him with his toys, retrieve with him, walk him outside every day at least twice and give him as much exercise as we can. We cannot watch tv, we cannot MOVE, we cannot go to the bathroom, etc, because he is RIGHT there jumping and nipping at our feet and pant legs. We can't simply close the bathroom door because he then goes off in those few seconds to begin chewing something. If we're in sight we have NO problem with him chewing anything. We give him his toys and he's fine with them. We do have a crate which he enjoys and sleeps in at night and for naps twice during the day with NO protesting at all.

Now on to the other, more important problem. I know fully and can recognize PUPPY nipping/mouthing. HOWEVER.....while he's doing somewhat better with this with our firm "NOs", he just HAS to test us... sneakily again. And, when I corrrect him for something, he snaps his teeth in the air towards me and occasionally growls. I am very concerned about the future ramifications of this, especially for his size...and with my granchildren. He has twice now broken my skin and made me bleed. I just can't get him to stop this. I am very worried. I have read so much I am about cross eyed, and have employed a lot of what Cesar Millan, TV's The Dog Whisperer recommends, and very very much of it seems to get results with the previously mentioned exceptions. (Well... also he is a TERROR on the leash-pulling, etc.)

I'm 51 with 4 YOUNG grandchildren who visit VERY VERY often and frequently stay over for days at a time. Their ages are 7, 5, and 3, and an infant 6 months. I am trying with all I am to make this work, but it's very simple... my grandchildren come first and I am worried.


January 15th, 2006, 08:19 PM
Welcome to the board. :)

Congratulations on your new family member.:party:

It's great that you are training your pup from home, continued training and giving him lots of affection will help him become the dog you want him to be. When I was teaching our dog "Go lay down" it was a test of patience.:angel: When they are young they do have a very short attention span, maybe going from small amounts of time in the stay area then lengthening the times gradually would help.

Because he is going to be such a big boy you really should bring him to a puppy class, he can get socialized with other pups, and experience new situations, which will make it easier for your grandkids and you when they visit.

I really hope that your pup works out for you.

I found Stanley Cohen (he has books for training) to be a great help. I didn't use his books, I watched his show almost every day when I was pregnant with my twins (I have a pit bull who is great with kids, it just took a lot of patience and proper socialization).

January 15th, 2006, 08:35 PM
Hi and Thanks for your reply!

About the training/obedience classes... I would LOVE to do this, but there are NONE within 2 hours of where I live. I've checked already all over the place and can't find a thing!

I'm just so worried about his snapping at me. I can handle it and correct him, but I fear I'll never be able to adapt him to the grandgirls. The 3 year old is so small that if he jumped at her face, as he did mine as I was sitting in my recliner, well...I can't imagine...

Anyways.. I'll just trudge on and pray for the best. :(

Lucky Rescue
January 15th, 2006, 08:37 PM
An 11 week old puppy's attention span is only a few minutes, so you can't expect him to "go lie down" for long periods, since he forgets why he's there in short order. Training takes time and patience with little babies.

For the biting, here's a great article by Dr. Ian Dunbar, an expert in dog training and behavior.

January 15th, 2006, 08:44 PM
Yep.. you're right! I realize that their attention span is only seconds long. I kinda relate this to children/toddlers and their attention spans. In many, but not ALL ways... it SIMILAR to relating to a 1-2 year old human. My main concern is not so much that when we move, he moves, but rather that when we're walking/moving about he is jumping and nipping/snapping at us... and the sneaking crouching behavior. MOST of it is typical puppy mouthing, but there is a definite obvious difference to the snapping when we tell him NO about something, especially if we have to repeat it several times. And, it goes beyond protesting/sassing. You can just see it.

I do also realize it's gonna take time... so I'm in it for the long haul. Thanks very much for your input!

January 16th, 2006, 09:28 AM
The mouthing and snapping will subside as you are consistent in your corrections. He has broken your skin probably because his baby teeth are so sharp right now. But you are going to have to manage him very well around the children for quite some time. He will look at them as other pups and challenge them and win. It is best to have him in his crate for the times you just can't watch everyone together or to have him on a leash with the children so you can control the outcome as you teach the children how to behave with a dog and teach the pup how to behave with the children.
He is snapping back at you because he is testing you and doesn't respect your corrections. Be careful that your corrections aren't so intense that he just thinks you are upping the ante. Be clear and firm but not too energized. He will challenge you 3-5 times until he believes that you mean what you say, then he will back off and go find something more fun to do or calm down and start licking you.
He is young to expect too much patience, but he can lay an mis bed for a few minutes to start learning patience. It would be good to have him on the leash to help him. Place him in the down stay on his bed and then mill around the bed (while holding the leash) and be ready to catch him before he actually walks away. Be aware of the signals he gives when he's thinking about moving off - correct him and then invite him to sit/stay again. He will challenge 3-5 times but if you are consistent he will also submit and learn to hang out. Just ask him to hold it for a few minutes, when he looks into your eyes, then release him and praise, praise, praise. This takes patience on you part in order to teach patience.

January 16th, 2006, 10:18 AM
I understand how hard it is to find a puppy class close to you. Keep trying with the books etc. and keep an eye open for a class near you. If there is a community college near you if you ask (and enough other people ask) they will try to find someone to teach a class.