New dog and feeling very overwhelmed

(9 Posts)
Curley16 Fri 08-Jul-16 19:04:03

Hi all, i'm looking for some advise or something, i'm not sure tbh but any help would be lovely

We have just taken on a new dog, hes about 7 months, and is a staffy cross who knows what - guessed at a daschund or similar! We have only had him for a week and to say I'm overwhelmed would be an understatement, i really know a week isnt long enough really to adjust but im having serious second thoughts about him sad

We didn't go into this blind, we've done plenty of reasearch etc. And we had a pup before so we thought we knew what we were getting in to - thankfully he already came to us as housetrained and crate trained, so there isn't that to deal with

I think my 'problem' is we have taken him on as a 'teen' - he pulls, gets far too excited about things, nips (he's nipped one of my cats faces!), chews everything (lucklily nothing we couldnt just throw out and replace, but i did catch him at a door frame a couple of times) and just wont listen at times - typical teenage behaviour i was fully expecting and felt ready for - but its hit me as massive, too big a challenge, something i wasnt expecting to feel like tbh! It's his excitement i find particulary difficult to deal with, i just dont know what to do with him, its in this state that he'll nip, bark and jump and he just wont listen,

I have been trying to get him booked into obedience classes, honestly this is mostly to help with my confidence in dealing with him as i do recognise this is probably the biggest issue - but no where will take him on due to his excited nature as it will distract the other dogs! Infact one place basically gave us a dressing down over the phone telling us we were doing it all wrong - i know we are, hence the reason we're looking to do classes!
There are a few who have offered to do 1 to 1 sessions but these are during the day, i work part time and have no hols available so sadly thats out - there is also the issue of cost for those that will do eves and weekends as 1 to 1 sessions then are incredibly expensive (£60+ a session and we'll likely need several) - to make matters a little more difficult my partner has had pay cut, so the money we had set aside for things like this has vanished (long story re this, but it was a very unexpected and sudden cut)

I am trying to watch videos etc, but when it comes to actually putting what ive learned into practice i crumble - i need someone to stand there a tell me when im doing it wrong and show me how to do it with my dog,
It doesn't help that our last dog was by no means a well trained dog, but she would listen when it mattered and was just a lovely dog who was easier to deal with It seems, this pup isnt so forgiving on our bad training methods and its caught me out - i think i expect too much of him too fast if im brutally honest with myself (im an impatient person by nature)

my dd (who is 6) adores him and my oh is warming to him so it is just me - im on the verge of tears at times, particularly as i can't see us being able to afford many , if any, classes anymore, i thought about just doing one of the 1 to 1s but for my own confidence i just know ill need more - i feel i just need to get a grip on his excitement and nipping before i can feel confident enough tomdeal with him on my own

I'm a complete mess, as you can probably tell from the rambly message - I just don't know what to do, my oh keeps telling me it'll get better and i keep telling myself that too, but i suffer badly with anxiety (as well as impatience.. I do have some good qualities too i think lol) so its very easy for me to keep flipping to the reverse thoughts and consider rehoming him, which i know in my heart i really dont want to do, but i just cant seem to find another solution at the moment - i know the importance of nipping unwanted behaviour in the bud so without any help training him im worried he'll become unruly

Any advise would be so welcome,

georgedawes Fri 08-Jul-16 19:50:07

Just a few quick thoughts, will try and post more later.

What food is he on? A decent food can make such a difference in behaviour, my dog improved dramatically when I changed hers.

I got my dog at 14 months and she too had very little training. Things that helped me include making her work for all food, I never feed her from her bowl. She either earns it through training or has it in a kong wobbler. She's a lot calmer for it. Also, any jumping up or nipping results in an immediate time out.

Clicker training has been brilliant too. Just charge the clicker and then start teaching some things, doesn't matter too much what but it teaches them to listen and good things happen! Also, any pulling on the lead, stop walking and/or walk backwards until the lead goes slack. This can take a long time but you have to be consistent.

I wonder if something like an adaptil diffuser may help to settle him?

Finally, remember to try and teach the dog what you want them to do, not what you don't want them to do. It's much easier for them to understand. Good luck, I felt overwhelmed for weeks but I adore my girl now.

Curley16 Fri 08-Jul-16 21:23:57

We feed him Harringtons dry biscuits, morning and evening - he was being fed pedigree treats before but we stoped those as they were giving him terrible wind, he gets james wellbeloved ones now and its improved that situation thankfully!

I have considered not feeding from his bowl, i think that may work as he is very food motivated - when you say time out, how do you do that? We have tried standing and ignoring him when he jumps/nips, but if he nips the cat she can't do that - im thinking a time out maybe the answer?

We have decided to go with one of the 1 to 1 trainers who haved offered a discounted rate if we go to them - if we can do one or two sessions to improve my confidence with him, that will make hopefully make a difference - clicker training and the stop/backwards on the lead thing i have tried, but i didn't give them a chance so ill certainly give that another go once we've tried the training session

Thank you, really appreciate your advise smile

georgedawes Fri 08-Jul-16 21:45:41

I am by no means a dog expert! But what has worked for us regarding time out (our dog is very people orientated) say if she nipped in excitement, we said ah ah and/or put her in the hall for 2 mins.

The one thing I've really tried is not to let her practice bad behaviour because the more they do it the more ingrained it gets, whatever the original motivation. So I'd try a house lead on him and ensure he had no opportunity to be overbearing with the cat, if that makes sense.

Kikopup on YouTube is a really good watch. I'm sure he'll settle down, my girl was a horror but is brilliant now. And I am just a novice dog owner so it's much more down to her than me!

tabulahrasa Fri 08-Jul-16 22:11:09

i just dont know what to do with him, its in this state that he'll nip, bark and jump and he just wont listen,"

I'm going to pick this apart a little bit...

You don't have a teenage dog really, what you have is a puppy, an overgrown puppy, but he is still a puppy...and you've had him a week, what is it you're expecting him to listen to?

It's all totally normal puppy behaviour and he doesn't know what to listen to yet.

What are you trying to train him to do? Not stop, but do.

Ignore him when he's over excited, completely withdraw attention and at the same time, work out what you want to teach him first - sit might be a handy one?

Concentrate on teaching him what you want him to know, one command at a time, withdraw attention when he's OTT and reward him for calm behaviour at other times, he'll soon get the message about what's desirable and what's not.

Curley16 Fri 08-Jul-16 23:39:41

Ah yes i see what you mean with the time out, ill try that i think
Yes im worried that the longer we flounder around with working on his training and things, bad behaviours will set it - no fault of his but ours for not correcting him
I'll certainly check out the youtube videos smile

I'm very aware that we have only had him a week and we are trying to work on one thing at time but its just knowing where to begin and what we want him to do - he does know some basic commands already - i know him being a puppy is why he does what he does but it just got a bit overwhelming is all, we are working with him and figuring what it is we want him to do rather than not blush

I know things will get better, Hopefully the class we've booked will give me more confidence in how to work with him properly

Thank you for advise, will continue with working on his training and see how the class goes too smile

GinBunny Fri 08-Jul-16 23:43:57

Quick post because I'm just doing something other than MN! We got a rescue dog about 4 months ago and she was very stressed and traumatised, so I really get how overwhelming it is. The best advice I can give you is not to take your dog to obedience classes where there are lots of distractions for both your dog and the trainer, but get a 1:1 trainer to visit you at home. They can assess your dog and the environment he/she is in and work on a personal programme for you. We've done this and it's been a game changer.

tabulahrasa Sat 09-Jul-16 00:00:15

" i know him being a puppy is why he does what he does but it just got a bit overwhelming is all"

Oh of course smile

I was just pointing out the obvious because, well, a puppy is not a dog, puppies are horrible, lol.

It's dead early on and it's normal to have a little panic.

frumpet Sat 09-Jul-16 10:21:45

My old dog was a rescue and was madly giddy when I first got him , he was still a bit nippy too even though he was 14 months and he was very big ! We did a short sharp yelp noise if he nipped and he would stop , took a couple of weeks and he stopped doing it altogether . This was years ago though so not sure if this is still currently advised ?
It took me a good six months to get to the point where dog ownership was enjoyable and there were very many times when I despaired . What helped for me was actually working out what was the minimum I wanted him to do , so I worked on him coming back when I shouted him and we got up to a really good in my opinion 90% ( if he was digging up creatures his hearing would fail him !) , I taught him 'away' , so if any visiting people were a bit overwhelmed with him and his size they could say this and he would leave them alone . Those two things alone made everything a lot easier . Your things might be different though , I think it is good to work out a couple that will make things easier and concentrate on those initially , but I am by no means a dog expert smile

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