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DESPERATE for help!!! w/my new 4 mo. old maltipoo

January 1st, 2011, 09:28 PM
I purchased a male maltipoo who was born 9-1-10 nine days ago from a local breeder.

The first day and a half the puppy wouldn't eat or drink, but he soon started eating and drinking and has continued to do so. I've even been able to teach him to use pee pads and I'm very slowing moving them farther away from him - hoping to eventually have them moved to the front door and then teach him to go outside. So I am pleased with that.

The problem is - he lays in one spot not moving ALL THE TIME. Yes, I know he's moving to his dish and to the pee pad, but I never see that happen. If he starts to move and he sees me watching him, then he immediately stops and lies down. He has to be in a corner with his head hidden all the time. I can pick him up and hold him for hours - actually anyone can. He doesn't seem to mind being held at all. The actual "picking up" does frighten him though.

If I put him down in the middle of the room, he will quickly move to a corner.
I put a leash on him yesterday and thought maybe I could coax him into walking. He absolutely would not stand up at all. When I took the leash off and he was in the middle of the room, he only laid there shaking terribly. I've tried playing with him with balls and toys, but no go.

It's apparent that the little fella is EXTREMELY fearful. He's getting loads of TLC from me, but I'm also not spoiling him. He will cuddle with me and lick my neck or hand, but he continues to never get up and move or play.

He's not sick, blind, deaf, etc. I SO DESPERATELY NEED HELP!!!!! I'm afraid he was possibly never taken out of the crate, maybe no human contact, maybe even abused in some way. I've read that whatever their personality is at 12 wks, then that is what it will be. He was 14 wks. when I got him. What can be done?

January 1st, 2011, 10:27 PM
I'm no expert but that would worry me. From what I know, 14 weeks can be too young to be separating a pup from it's mother, depending on the individual puppy. The breeders in my area insist on keeping the puppy with the mother for at least 2 months before separation, so that it can develop confidence and be properly socialized, but that doesn't ensure that the puppy was completely ready to be separated.

It's very good of you to be concerned and seek advice though :D

Edit: 14+kitties posted a few good resources! Also, if there's some sort of specialist you could get to come in to evaluate and work with your dog, that would be the best bet.

January 1st, 2011, 11:08 PM
I am assuming 9-1-10 means the pup was born on Sept 9, 2010 and you bought the puppy 9 days ago?
It seems to me that this pup is severely lacking in socialization. Most likely because the "breeder" really did not take the time to socialize and/or because the pup was taken from its' mother too young. Both of the breeds in your pup can be timid little ones. A maltipoo would be a Maltese/poodle mix if I am correct?
There are many many articles and books written on socializing dogs/pups. It would behoove you to read as many as possible, weed out the info that is redundant, and work with your puppy as much as possible to make him a confident dog. It will be a lot of work but worth it in the end. We also have some great folks here who have done a lot of work with shy dogs who will be along to help. Being the holiday I'm sure they are just busy.

Some of the reading you can do: (slightly outdated in some of the information)

One thing I did notice. 9 days ago would have been just before Christmas. Was there a lot of people in your home? Was the puppy passed around a lot? There most definitely would have been a lot more commotion than normal which would understandably upset a young dog. Were young children allowed to handle him? Was he dropped or handled roughly? All of those things may have a large bearing on how he is reacting to you now. It will take a lot of time and patience to help your pup come out of his shell.

January 2nd, 2011, 06:37 PM
9 days is not a long time for her to start feeling comfortable in her new environment, she may need a few more weeks especially if she was under-socialized but there are things you can do to help her. Get down on her level (on your stomach and hands and knees) when you want to play or give her affection, use small treats to entice her to come to you and follow you around and avoid picking her up unnecessarily.

January 3rd, 2011, 06:34 AM
14+K is onto something in regards to having the pup before X-mas and possible activity around the event. It could have been too much for the baby.

Try to reach LuckyPenny who is a member here on Pets and has tons of experience and great advise on puppy rearing. I think she may be able to help you out.

Does your pup show any interest in play? I personally would not coddle the babe too much as it may just add to the insecurites.

I am not sure about this breeder. Is it a reputable and ethical breeder or is it a back yard breeder? Did you get to see the parents on site before making your purchase?

January 3rd, 2011, 11:41 AM
First, has your pup had a vet visit yet?

Your puppy definitely sounds like he was undersocialized/understimulated while with the breeder and, as suggested, the hustle and bustle of the holidays may have contributed to his current behavior. What was the environment like where he was raised at the breeders? Where was the litter kept? Did you meet his parents? If so, how did they behave?

Above all, I can't stress enough the importance of a vet visit asap.

T.pettet, gave excellent advice. Don't put your face directly into his, keep you eyes and head averted until he's more comfortable with you. You can hand feed him all his meals for the next little while (on the floor, not in your arms). Invite friends and family to calmly hand feed him as well. Rather than going to him for feedings, stay back a foot or so and encourage him to come to you. Slowly increase your distance over a period of a few days so that he's always coming to you for food, not the other way around. You will want to eventually have him come to you right to the door to go outside rather than being picked up to go out (this will help immensely with housetraining). Be careful to not overwhelm him at this point. Distractions, loud noises, etc., should be introduced slowly over time and always paired with treats/food/affection/toys, whatever he values most.

You're correct, positive early puppy experiences are extremely important. However, that's not to say that after 12-16 weeks, all is hopeless. I've seen mature dogs with extreme fear anxiety be nearly fully rehabilitated with the correct techniques.

A book that will prove incredibly invaluable: Puppy Primer, 2nd Edition by Brenda Scidmore & Patricia McConnell

...and a free-load, After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar

Here is a book that might interest you as your pup grows older. Help For Your Fearful Dog - A Step-By-Step Guide To Helping Your Dog Conquer His Fears by Nicole Wilde.

Good luck and please keep us updated.

January 7th, 2011, 07:32 PM
I have to agree with what 14+ and luckypenny have said and the questions that were asked.

Anytime someone gets a pup, the first thing that should be done is, they are taken to a vet for a full checkup.

A pup should actually be bouncy and playfull. And if he is not acting this way, then something is definitely not right. And I get the feeling it has to do with this BYB. How was the pup acting at the "breeders?

An ethical breeder socializes their pups at a very young age.

BenMax this is a BYB who breeds "mutts"

mirtilo, 14 weeks is not too young. The age is usually 8-12 weeks. 12 weeks is usually for smaller breeds. All my guys(GSD's) were 12 weeks when I got them. No fear issues at all. Alot boils down to how they are raised from the breeder.

January 7th, 2011, 07:35 PM
I figured that Mona B...I just did not want to bluntly point that out.:o

To the OP, please follow guidance from LuckyPenny. If ever I personally had a question in regards to puppies...she would be the first door I would knock on.:thumbs up

January 7th, 2011, 08:06 PM
I figured that Mona B...I just did not want to bluntly point that out.:o

Well I have been told many times that I am very blunt. Mother always told me to say what I feel. :D