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Need Advice- Regarding Pitbull Puppy

SleepyTime
August 15th, 2009, 03:06 PM
I got a pitbull and black lab mix puppy from an ad the was advertised online, and It was the first time I've ever bought a dog before, so generally I guess I didnt ask the right questions. All I knew is that she had started to ween him on food and that He would need to be de-wormed a couple more times. I knew that puppies need to be kennel trained young so I went to my local pet store and asked about getting a kennel and she inquired about what type of dog I was getting, I told her and she asked me how old and what not, and she told me that I should make sure that the dog is 8wks + before I take it away from the mum and litter. Well My boyfriend went to pick up the dog and found out it was only 6weeks old... I guess from what he told me the living condition of the animals wasn't considerably horrible, but also wasnt exactly great. They were kept outside all the time, and the mom had killed two of her puppies. So he decided to take the dog.

I realize that this is a huge part of the dogs social growth time... but I figured if we are constantly with him, (like even sleeping with him) that he wont get that anxiety from being alone.. we've had him two days so far and he seems to be getting along just fine without whining too bad. I also read somewhere online that when ever the dog might try and play bite us, we should yelp and look them in the eye (as to act like another puppy hurt). And this will teach him to be gentle?

I also have some questions about food, I bought puppy food and soak it so its all mushy, he seems to enjoy it. The only problems are, How often should I feed him? How much should he eat? I don't want him to be obese. I'm afraid because he sleeps a LOT I was expecting to have to put up with a ball of energy.... all he does is sleeps... :( Is this normal for his age?

When he poops its a little runny, is this bad? Or is it because his food is very mooshy?


Sorry for the long post, I just really would love to do what ever I can for this pup, someone is always home to watch him. I just couldn't stand seeing him where he was before, I doubt he was even being fed properly.

ownedbycats
August 15th, 2009, 03:28 PM
There are others who know a lot more about dogs than I do, but this much I do know. Dogs need other dogs during this time in their lives. It's important that they spend time with both humans and dogs. This is when they learn dog language from other dogs. If they don't know this it causes problems later in life when they try to interact with other dogs, and its something humans can't teach. If you can find someone with an older dog that is used to puppies, or a puppy roughly the same age that can work. Make sure all dogs are healthy (vet checked and shots.)
Have the vet check a fecal sample for you. Your puppies poo might be runny because of a food change, because of worms, or because it has a parasite of some kind. Fecal checks aren't too expensive ( around 5- 10$ at my vets), just make sure the vet knows why you want it done.

Bailey_
August 15th, 2009, 07:44 PM
I highly suggest you consult a proffesional behaviorist in your area to come and assess your puppy, as well as IMMEDIATLEY taking it to a vet.

The fact that two puppies were already dead is a HUGE warning sign. Unless your boyfriend saw the mother dog kill her own puppies (which is very rare) I would not believe that this is the case.

Parvo would be one of my huge concerns in your situation. Please have your puppy looked at NOW for health concerns, and for behavioral/mental concerns.

If you haven't already, I would also contact your local Animal Control and report this woman. Those dogs need to be out of that condition.

SleepyTime
August 15th, 2009, 10:55 PM
Well, as for the deaths of the other puppies, She said that her cousin had picked out one of the puppies in the litter early that she wanted, and it was held often... which led to the mother abandoning the pup
She said the other pup died early and she said she thinks the mom accidently stepped on it or something

sugarcatmom
August 16th, 2009, 12:06 AM
Well My boyfriend went to pick up the dog and found out it was only 6weeks old...

It's against the law in many states, including Maine, to sell puppies less than 8 weeks old:
http://www.animallaw.info/administrative/adusme01_001_cmr_ch_701_I.htm
http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ovuspuppysaletable.htm

N. UNLAWFUL SALE OF PUPPIES AND KITTENS

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, adopt, or give away any dog (puppy) or cat (kitten) until completion of its seventh week of life.

I agree with Bailey, please get in touch with Animal Welfare, for the sake of any future puppies that could be subjected to her cruelty.

LavenderRott
August 16th, 2009, 12:27 AM
You hardly need a behaviourist at this point - and if you are smart about raising your puppy, you probably won't need one at all.

Yes, you need to get your puppy to the vet for a full checkup.

If you have friends who have fully vacinated friendly adult dogs, then socialize your puppy with them. Most adult dogs that have been properly socialized will play well with puppy but set him straight if he steps out of line. Until your puppy is fully vacinated however, avoid the temptation to take him places where unknown dogs will be or have been. This means no trip to the local pet store. :)

Get the puppy out of your bed and into a crate at night. These behaviours that you start now will be very hard to break later. A full grown pittie/lab mix will take up a large portion of your bed. Also - it is a good idea to leave the puppy alone for short periods of time (in the crate). If you don't start now, then you may find you have separation anxiety issues later.

Puppies bite. It is a fact of life. It is how they explore the world around them. When he bites you, yelp and get up and walk away.

Check around for a puppy kindergarten class. You have about 6 weeks to find one. Try to go and observe a class. You want to find a trainer that uses positive reinforcement not brute force.

mollywog
August 16th, 2009, 09:32 AM
I have to agree with LavenderRott on the bed issue. Do not let the cute little puppy get away with any behaviours you wouldn't want a full grown dog doing- such as jumping all over people and furniture, sitting on you, etc.
Give fair and consistent rules right from the start. I am sure it might be tough to say no to that adorable face sometimes, but it will be worth it once he's a well-adjusted, well-behaved adult.
How about some pictures of the little guy?? :shrug: :cloud9:

BenMax
August 16th, 2009, 10:00 AM
You hardly need a behaviourist at this point - and if you are smart about raising your puppy, you probably won't need one at all.

Yes, you need to get your puppy to the vet for a full checkup.

If you have friends who have fully vacinated friendly adult dogs, then socialize your puppy with them. Most adult dogs that have been properly socialized will play well with puppy but set him straight if he steps out of line. Until your puppy is fully vacinated however, avoid the temptation to take him places where unknown dogs will be or have been. This means no trip to the local pet store. :)

Get the puppy out of your bed and into a crate at night. These behaviours that you start now will be very hard to break later. A full grown pittie/lab mix will take up a large portion of your bed. Also - it is a good idea to leave the puppy alone for short periods of time (in the crate). If you don't start now, then you may find you have separation anxiety issues later.

Puppies bite. It is a fact of life. It is how they explore the world around them. When he bites you, yelp and get up and walk away.

Check around for a puppy kindergarten class. You have about 6 weeks to find one. Try to go and observe a class. You want to find a trainer that uses positive reinforcement not brute force.

Top notch advice given here.:thumbs up. I have nothing to add.:sad::thumbs up

Bailey_
August 16th, 2009, 11:22 AM
You hardly need a behaviourist at this point - and if you are smart about raising your puppy, you probably won't need one at all.



I 100% disagree with this. Puppies that are taken from their mother too early, most commonly have serious behavioral issues that other puppies who stay with their mother for the appropriate length of time never deal with. Many trainers at a puppy kindergarten class will simply not be able to help with this and generally when these different things occur in the home, owners aren't aware of what is happening or how to respond.

Monique Laracent (owner of Liberty Dog Training) said is quoted: These critical few extra weeks with mom and siblings are necessary for the pup to learn how to be a dog, how to read/speak dog body language, bite inhibition and other dog life lessons. A puppy taken too early from its canine family will be more likely to suffer from separation anxiety, destructive behaviors and will also be more likely to draw blood, even in play.

Not to mention that if the Mother WAS showing aggressive behaviors towards her puppies, there is a good possibility that these behaviors will be passed onto this litter of puppies. Some aggressive behaviors and tendencies are also passed onto the puppies just by seeing the parent exhibit them.

It could only be proactive to have someone come into the home now and help the entire family move forward, especially seeing as how this is the OP's first dog. It's incredibly important for the OP to understand how to properly manage and handle her puppy, to be aware of the things that they will most likely have to face because of this situation; what is normal behavior for a puppy in this situation and what is not. These dogs are at higher risk down the road as they grow older, it's a sad fact, and especially considering this dogs breed - they are dealing with a touchy situation.

Sleepytime, I can assure you that if your friend held the puppies often, this should never be a cause for a Mother to abandon her puppy. Sounds really sketchy to me.
Please take your puppy to a vet, and keep us posted.

BenMax
August 16th, 2009, 12:05 PM
Bailey - I don't think a behaviouralist is a priority right now. I understand what you are saying but I think that the advice given above by LavenderRott is very sound. This pup does need absolutely to see a vet first and foremost. If everything is fine medically with the baby then the pup should be interacted with other dogs to learn. A behaviouralist I can almost guarantee would be give the same advice.

I have to edit and add: A behaviouralist would be beneficial to teach the owners how to interact accordingly with the pup however, it does not replace animal interaction.

LavenderRott
August 16th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Most of the issues that arise in dogs that have left the litter too early are social issues and can be addressed, quite successfully, by a vigilant and responsible owner. They learn how to "read dog", bite inhibition and other similar social skills. These can be taught be a friendly, socialized dog - not just the mother and siblings.

For generations, people have brought home puppies at 6 weeks of age without a second thought and those puppies have lived to be happy, healthy dogs. In the 70's it was thought that 8 weeks of age was fine for toy breeds yet now, we live by the rule that 12 weeks is better. The difference is that now - in the internet age - we are more able to read and research and learn.

Does the OP need to be more aware of her puppy, what it's behaviours are and what issues to look for? You bet! But does she really need to rush out and find a high priced behaviourist? No.

Here is a link to some wonderful information on stages of puppy development. Using it as a guide, you can see what your puppy should be learning at what age.

[URL="http://www.thepuppynetwork.com/puppyinfo/puppy_development.html"]

LavenderRott
August 16th, 2009, 12:32 PM
Well, as for the deaths of the other puppies, She said that her cousin had picked out one of the puppies in the litter early that she wanted, and it was held often... which led to the mother abandoning the pup
She said the other pup died early and she said she thinks the mom accidently stepped on it or something


Not to mention that if the Mother WAS showing aggressive behaviors towards her puppies, there is a good possibility that these behaviors will be passed onto this litter of puppies. Some aggressive behaviors and tendencies are also passed onto the puppies just by seeing the parent exhibit them.


There is no mention of the mother of this puppy being aggressive. It says that a puppy was abandoned and it is believed the other was stepped on.

There are many reasons why a mother might abandon a puppy. While overhandling is rarely the reason - it is a possiblity. It is also a possiblity that that particular puppy had something wrong with it that caused her to abandon.

Puppies get stepped on all the time. An ethical breeder takes precautions to prevent it but most byb'ers wouldn't.

Bailey_
August 16th, 2009, 01:02 PM
Most of the issues that arise in dogs that have left the litter too early are social issues and can be addressed, quite successfully, by a vigilant and responsible owner. They learn how to "read dog", bite inhibition and other similar social skills. These can be taught be a friendly, socialized dog - not just the mother and siblings.


Exactly. I'm not saying that this dog cannot live a long and happy life with the OP, which I'm sure can be the case. I think we can all attest to the fact that raising a puppy is no easy task, ESPECIALLY when there are potential behavioral/mental issues at risk. Not every owner 'learns' how to read their dog - often times when they attempt to do so on their own, this is what can actually cause bad behaviors to become increasingly worse. I would never, ever reccomend anybody in this situation to attempt to do this on their own.

For generations, people have brought home puppies at 6 weeks of age without a second thought and those puppies have lived to be happy, healthy dogs.


Right. And there are also those that are rehomed consistantly because of lack of proper training and understanding right from the getgo.


Does the OP need to be more aware of her puppy, what it's behaviours are and what issues to look for? You bet! But does she really need to rush out and find a high priced behaviourist? No.


First of all, owning a dog is not a cheap investment. If we want to raise a happy and healthy dog, we should be aware of all the costs that may be neccessary.
Secondly, no one said a behaviorist needed to be expensive. Many rescues or shelters can refer an owner to someone reputable that will be willing to offer discounts for certain family situations and/or payment options. If you can't find one, you aren't looking hard enough.

There is no mention of the mother of this puppy being aggressive. It says that a puppy was abandoned and it is believed the other was stepped on.

There are many reasons why a mother might abandon a puppy. While overhandling is rarely the reason - it is a possiblity. It is also a possiblity that that particular puppy had something wrong with it that caused her to abandon.

Puppies get stepped on all the time. An ethical breeder takes precautions to prevent it but most byb'ers wouldn't.

My point is that we don't know exactly what happened - whether the Mother killed the puppies or they died from illness or some other means. BYB's can say one thing, just to sell a dog. If there IS any aggressive tendancies at risk, a professional WILL be able to help the OP spot them and start the family on a proper training program which needs to start in the home first and foremost.

Sleepytime: Good luck with everything. If you are interested in finding someone to assess your puppy, let us know. Don't forget to post pictures of your puppy!! :)

Bailey_
August 16th, 2009, 01:07 PM
Bailey - I don't think a behaviouralist is a priority right now. I understand what you are saying but I think that the advice given above by LavenderRott is very sound. This pup does need absolutely to see a vet first and foremost. If everything is fine medically with the baby then the pup should be interacted with other dogs to learn. A behaviouralist I can almost guarantee would be give the same advice.

I have to edit and add: A behaviouralist would be beneficial to teach the owners how to interact accordingly with the pup however, it does not replace animal interaction.

BenMax, I am one and I wouldn't give that same advice. ;)

Seeing a profesional in this case isn't the 'be all-end all'. By no means is that EVER the case.

However, in this situation - with the breed background, where the dog came from, first dog to this family - it can only be a postive added step that I would highly reccomend and I don't think it's a good idea to deter a person from doing so.

Just my :2cents:.

LavenderRott
August 16th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Ahhh. Well. That explains a lot.

AT this point - paying for a behaviourist would be a lot like paying for an ACL tear. Yes, owning a dog is expensive and those expenses need to be met WHEN they are needed. At this point, a behaviourist is NOT needed as the puppy is not showing any issues.

Bailey_
August 16th, 2009, 01:28 PM
Ahhh. Well. That explains a lot.

AT this point - paying for a behaviourist would be a lot like paying for an ACL tear. Yes, owning a dog is expensive and those expenses need to be met WHEN they are needed. At this point, a behaviourist is NOT needed as the puppy is not showing any issues.

Let's agree to disagree.

Often times the best time to seek help is BEFORE any obvious concerns are met in the cases that they can be predicted. (If you're going to compare this to health issues, don't forget that many people test their dogs for HD and other such things, without the dog actually exhibiting any concerning behavior.)

Most behaviors aren't noticed immediatley, which in this case is a concern to me - considering this is a 'first dog'. That is all I'm saying here. It's up to the owner as to where she goes from here, but it's important for her to recognize all her options.

BenMax
August 16th, 2009, 03:27 PM
Bailey - your :2cents: is worth it (not being sarcastic either). Absolutely, this pup is at a disadvantage, however the breed has nothing to do with the potential for behavioural issues - any dog could fall in this category. I would not single out the fact that this pup has a certain 'type' within.

The situation is such that this pup was taken far too young. I would be looking into spending the money on a vet assessment before looking into a behaviouralist. Couldn't they read something before hand in order to assist them. Could you provide that information to the OP?

I think if they take step one seriously, then step two. I don't think that panicking them is necessary.

I agree with you if the pup exhibits any abnormal behaviour. What behaviours could that be as a 6 week old? Maybe this can help the OP as well.

I do not think a behaviouralist is always the answer as you stated above. I think they need to first read up on the combo breed they have and learn about what to look for. This is not extensive research that will take weeks or months either. I am certain that you will be able to assist them in the near future about the dos and don'ts but for now the emphasis should be on medical aspects.

Bailey_
August 16th, 2009, 03:43 PM
BenMax, I agree with everything you've said. Actually in my first post in this thread, you'll notice I stated that a vet checkup is essential.

As I've said before, where the OP decides to go from here is her choice; but I thought it was quite damaging for some to advise the OP that a profesional in this situation NOT be a concern. I don't think I was coming across as a panic, I was simply stating the seriousness of this and why I feel that it should be something they look into - sooner rather than later, after certain behaviors have established themselves.

In my opinion, the best way to ward off any potential problems is to cover all your bases. This puppy IS at a disadvantage because of it's history AND it's breed. We all know that if a dog exhibits behavioral problems, the first thing people look at is what the dogs breed/background is. Not everyone is as understanding and loving towards the bully breeds unfortunatley.
Because of this, I think there is even more need to ensure that the owner understands how to approach the next few weeks as it is a very crutial learning period for the dog.

I give kudos to SleepyTime for seeking help online, however I think in their situation the best way to go from here is to have one-on-one in person help to let them know where to go from here. :thumbs up If the OP requires more help and understanding of certain subjects, I'm sure we can all get together and do what we can.

BenMax
August 16th, 2009, 04:06 PM
I saw that you mentioned vet visit and I am emphasizing the same. So are others.

I don't think anyone is discouraging a behaviouralist, I think they are saying to take one step at a time.

The 'type' has nothing to do with this Bailey. It never should infact. This pup could very well be more lab mentality but at such a young age it will be difficult for anyone to determine what is the dominent type/breed behaviour. You will not be able to tell at this moment. I hope that you don't tell me that you can, because that is where you and I will head into some friendly discussion.

So - to sum up (because I got to go out) - we agree a vet visit. Maybe a behaviouralist.....later.;) (if need be of course)

Bailey_
August 16th, 2009, 04:11 PM
BenMax, no matter what we say, it's the OP's choice as to how she proceeds.

I encourage her to have someone assess her puppy now and allow her to understand what to watch for and important ways to HANDLE her dog and what not to do with it, while it's still so impressionable. Things that other owners may not have to worry about at all. You don't think that this is needed now, that's okay. :) This is why the pet forum is a good place, lots of varying opinions.

:offtopic: As far as breed, I highly disagree with you. Whether we want to say that breed matters, bully breeds are labelled. It's as simple as that. ANY dog that is pulled from it's mother too early has certain disadvantages and may need special attention. But for these breeds that have unfair labels attached to them, the outcome is much more dire compared to say - a bichon frise, or a golden retriever.

Unfair, but it absolutley comes into play.

BenMax
August 16th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Bailey, a bichon, GSD, pom and any other breed for that matter that is taken away from mom is at a disadvantage. The way a pittie mom is with her pups is the same as a golden would be with her babies. It's not about the breed or type of dog at all.

The bullies are definately disadvantaged due to some ignorance but by this pup seeing a professional is not going to spare this dog from discrimination.

Ok - you are talking about ensuring that the dog will be an embassador pittie X. I agree 100% with you but where I do not agree is that anyone is going to be able to tell what the predominent gene is in this pup. It's too early Bailey - you will not be able to tell right now.

Bailey_
August 16th, 2009, 04:32 PM
Yep, I agree. I think you're misunderstanding my point for bringing this up.

As we've both mentioned, any dog will be at a disadvantage regardless of breed, if taken from it's mother too early. Regardless of what gene is predominant in this puppy, it will still have a very different view of humans and other dogs, it will have trouble communicating and socializing, than a puppy that was able to stay with it's mother for a good length of time.

Which is my particular reason for having someone who can help this family start them on a road to success with their dog, so that this puppy CAN grow to be a stable dog - and any potential behavior problems can be warded off. :thumbs up

As for bringing up the bully breed subject, because these dogs (mix or purebred) come with nasty and unfair labels everywhere, it's essential that the owners make sure they can help their puppy the way he needs to be helped right now - from day one of bringing him home.

Every puppy taken prematurely from it's mother usually needs some form of specific specialized training and attention.
Getting this help while the puppy is getting used to their environment and it's new owners, is the ideal time to do this. I don't care if the puppy hasn't established any behaviors YET. It is simply better to be safe than sorry in my opinion.

If this doesn't happen, this dog is at a much higher risk as he gets older. Too many people blame breed and not behavior, which is all I'm saying.

I'd rather reccomend someone right away to contact a proffesional, than to see a family struggle with behavior issues suddenly popping out of nowhere that they don't understand.

SleepyTime
August 18th, 2009, 05:49 PM
Wow! Thanks everyone for the advice!
I only have a couple of pics of him, haha He's a cutie pie
I wish the lighting in my house was better.
http://i402.photobucket.com/albums/pp109/KawaiiUsagii/SANY0395.jpg

http://i402.photobucket.com/albums/pp109/KawaiiUsagii/SANY0416.jpg

BenMax
August 19th, 2009, 11:37 AM
What a little angel.:cloud9:. So glad you have her and are committed to love and protect her.

mollywog
August 19th, 2009, 09:16 PM
oh wow, he is adorable. Keep us updated.... lots of pictures too please!!! :lovestruck::cloud9:

luckypenny
August 19th, 2009, 09:36 PM
Your pup is adorable SleepyTime :lovestruck:.

Here are two books on the important puppy development stages by Dr. Ian Dunbar that you can download for free. I strongly recommend you read them.

http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/BEFORE%20You%20Get%20Your%20Puppy.pdf

http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/AFTER%20You%20Get%20Your%20Puppy.pdf


As well, I can't help but notice a penny on the floor in one of the photos :o. Please pick that up right away, it's dangerous, and make sure that your home is puppy-proof in order to keep him, and your belongings, safe.

Zinc Toxicosis From Penny Ingestion In Dogs
http://www.aspcapro.org/animal-poison-control/documents/zp-toxbrief_0202.pdf

Love4himies
August 20th, 2009, 08:11 AM
Oh my, what a sweetie pie your pup is :cloud9: :lovestruck:.