Please help - finding this tough!

(90 Posts)
doublemocha Wed 07-Nov-12 10:21:46

Please help/encourage me!

We have had our new puppy since Saturday. He's lovely and sweet and hard work obviously.

I need some help with crate training. On the advice of our breeder and friends with well behaved dogs and specifically close friends with a Vizsla (our puppys sister from a previous litter) we decided to do the 'tough it out at night' method. We don't want him upstairs.

Well, I have hardly slept since Saturday and desperately unsure what's the right thing to do.

First night we did go down to him but he wanted to play at 1.30pm, DH not impressed, ended up soothing him to sleep so bad move. The night after he got out as DD hadn't shut the bottom latch and pooed all over the floor then slept on my coat. Monday night was tough. Last night, he was super tired as he had been over with our friends Vizsla playing (they live over the road). Went to bed at 9.30pm (couldn't keep him awake). We woke at 11pm and cried for 90 minutes, then woke on and off all night but cried for 10-15 minutes. I got up with him at 5.15am as he was quiet then and I didn't want him to be crying when we went down. he hadn't wee'd or pooed.

Big play session, food etc, toilet etc now he's howling in his crate.

Been out for an hour to do some chores and he's still howling, although think he did have a sleep.

I am so tired and confused about what to do. My house is a tip, I can't get any work done, confused as to how often to play with him etc etc. I have even got angry with him and shouted, which I am ashamed of.

Please don't flame me, I am so tired and down, I don't even feel like I even like him........

I need him to be crate trained so i can go out etc.

doublemocha Wed 07-Nov-12 10:27:18

ps - crate is covered. He has a rag from his mum, clothes from us, a chew, some toys, eats his meal there etc. Radio on low last night etc.

Do I make him sleep in his crate at every nap? etc

Housewifefromheaven Wed 07-Nov-12 10:29:16

Oh it will get better, honestly!!!

I felt like you do too, I thought I would have to return her as I just couldn't cope.

It does all come together though, it's just a huge shock and change.

The only advice I would give is tough it out at night. Don't go down at all and ignore crying.

It worked for me and everyone else I know. I didn't use a crate as such I had a playpen sectioned off at one end if the kitchen with a puppy pad at one end. Within a few weeks she stopped using them and then we removed the playpen about a week later I think.

He's just a baby and as such are hard work and lovely all at the same time!!

Good luck!

Spero Wed 07-Nov-12 10:36:21

It's only been 3 days!!! And he is only a baby. Dont beat yourself up just yet. I think you need to decide what routine works for you and stick to it. Don't go down in the night as that is confusing for the dog. If you don't want dog upstairs and to sleep in crate you will have to tough it out. Also shouting at the dog if he doesn't know what he has done wrong will be very confusing and counter productive.

My dog seemed ok quite quickly but I guess a lot is down to temperament - but if you are stressed and unhappy, likely dog will be too.

Spero Wed 07-Nov-12 10:38:22

I have an unlocked crate in the kitchen and when I go out just leave dog in there as there isn't much damage she could do. She now just takes herself off to the crate when I go out and she is fine for a couple of hours.

doublemocha Wed 07-Nov-12 10:55:41

Thanks for your replies, it is much appreciated.

Spero - I know, I feel terrible, just so damn tired and unsure I am doing the right thing. Very tearful today.

Do I just use the crate, no other bed? He will sleep on the floor in the kitchen if he can see us. Do I always leave the door shut?

Our friends have suggested going out for 90 mins to 2 hours morning and afternoon to reinforce the crate, establish a routine etc.

Also, how much attention do I give him? He's had a lot, loads! Do I play all day?

SpicyPear Wed 07-Nov-12 11:00:05

We've had our pup nearly 3 weeks and I felt exactly the same the first week. I work from home but got nothing done, was exhausted and found his crying like nails down a blackboard. Don't beat yourself up about not liking him yet -you've had no time to bond and at the moment he's just a big pain!

It sounds like he will start to settle if you persevere with the crate. My guy is more or less fine now but I have also got used to his howling and it doesn't bother me so much if he takes a few minutes to settle. start strong!

SpicyPear Wed 07-Nov-12 11:03:23

Cross posts! And that was meant to be stay strong! Don't play all day, just short bursts. He will soon learn to occupy himself for some of the time. Do you have a kong or two to stuff for him?

Blimey. It has only been three days! And he is a baby. A real baby. Be gentle with him.

Last night it sounds as though he was over tired, over stimulated and over wrought. Puppies are like babies. They NEED their sleep, but they don't actually know they do. They will run and run on adreneline all day long if you let them and their behaviour will deteriorate drastically as the day progresses. They will also sleep much less if they are over tired.

He doesn't have to sleep in his crate for every nap - that will be utterly impossible. You have to teach him that sleep is what the crate is for, and in time he will take himself off in there by choice. Let him sleep where he fancies for now, then scoop him up and pop him in the crate if you can - don't stress if you don't manage it every time - it will still work.

At night, tough it out. It will work. You will need to set your alarm to go down to him once in the night for a wee/poo trip - about 3ish usually works for us. Then move the time of that trip later and later over the next couple of weeks until it's not necessary. Ignore everything else.

How big is the crate? There should only be room for his bed at the moment, nothing else.

Dogs don't just 'get' crate training. They need to learn about it and it doesn't suit all of them. One of mine couldn't get to grips with it; she was a disaster. All the rest were as happy as larry after a week or two. But keep the house calm, keep him calm and try not to overtire him.

I'm also not sure why you said you couldn't keep him awake? In that respect they are not like babies. Let him sleep when he needs to; at his age it should be alot of the time.

x post.

No! Don't play with him all day.

And, no you don't have to shut the door every time he's in there. That will make training very hard indeed.

I wouldn't be going out for 90 mins/2 hours at the moment with a new pup. He needs to transfer his affection from his litter mates to you. He has gone through possibly the most stressful period of a dogs life in the last few days - the changes for him have been mammoth. I would recommend that yes, go out when you have to, but for the first couple of weeks you have him, put him first. Leave him as little as you can manage for now - the stress of leaving him alone so early would be a lot to cope with. Gradually increase the time he is alone and make no big deal of it. A biscuit before you go wouldn't hurt, but other than that, no fuss.

doublemocha Wed 07-Nov-12 11:54:41

Thanks, again I appreciate the replies very much.

He's asleep on the floor next to me now, is that ok? Scoop him up put him in his crate?

Crate has his bed in and a small amount of space. He has a quite a few accidents in the house obviously if we don't leap to the signs but, last two nights, none at night, despite it being 9/10 hours and we haven't been down, I think that would be a disaster.

We couldn't keep him awake because he had been trying to go to sleep from about 7.30pm, we just tried to get him to go until 10pm but there was no way!

Yesterday, I played in our garden for 2 x 45 min sessions with him, it's a large garden, is that too much?

I know i am asking a lot, I am just tired and overwhelmed and don't know what's the right thing to do tbh.

So, not having the door closed sometimes during the day and closing at night won't confuse him? And letting him sleep by my feet won't either? I just don't want to send mixed messages. So unsure of myself.

Trouble is - I read everything I could about getting a puppy and have just ended up confused tbh.

Lastly, if I do go out, get home and he's crying in the crate, do I let him out?

Thanks all.

Well it sounds as though you're very lucky at night. If there's no need to go down, then don't. Many pups can't last all night, but it sounds as though yours can. If you find he is waking very early, then introduce a middle of the night wee to get him to sleep longer; just go down, scoop him up and pop him in the garden. No lights, no fuss, no games.

If you can pop him in his crate while he's asleep then all for the good. If you think it'll wake him up then it'll do no harm for him to sleep near you. Are you hoping that he will ALWAYS sleep in a crate? When he is fully grown? Or are you using it as an aid to house training?

Let him sleep when he needs to - keeping him awake is asking for trouble tbh because keeping him awake will involve stimulating him somehow. And all that winding up can't just be switched off at bed time yet. He just won't get it.

As he learns and matures, he will understand bedtime and what it implies, but there's quite a bit of learning and pushing his luck to be done yet.

2 long sessions in the garden is a lot for a teeny pup. Can you perhaps do 4 15 minute sessions over the day for this week? So that he is less exhausted and hyped by the end of it and able to nap afterwards? See if that helps him self settle.

You're aiming for him to feel safe, comfortable and cosy in his crate - I have never shut a dog in during the day except for their own safety, ie if I go out, want to answer the front door, have dropped something pup can't have, etc. but have always shut the door at night. They work it out - they are pretty bright. If the door is shut on him every time he goes in, I think it would be counter productive. He certainly won't see it as a safe haven, more of a restrictive cage.

Ideally, no, don't let him out immediately you get home - crying or not. If you can bear to come in, hang up your coat and things and maybe even put the kettle on or something before you do, you will be setting yourself up for a dog who is a joy to have at home rather than a frantic panicky one. Of course, if he is in a bed covered in poo or other disaster, deal with it immediately.

He needs to learn that crying doesn't get immediate attention otherwise (and I have one dog my husband has taught exactly that) he will ALWAYS whine or cry for something. For the rest of his life. And that is shit!

doublemocha Wed 07-Nov-12 12:39:00

Thanks Daisy, I popped him in his crate, he woke up and was aware that I was doing so, have left the door open. He went back to sleep, wooden floor in the study must have been uncomfortable!

Perhaps I did overstimulate him, we popped to Pets at Home too yesterday and I carried him up the street. You read that you MUST expose them to as much as possible, to prevent being fearful later - well that's where I got that from.

Yes - I have been attending to the whining, should have realised that too, given I did that to DC1, it's all so new!!!

Yes, I can do 4 x 15 minute sessions. Do I get the kids and DH to make less of a fuss in the evening too? I have also stopped chatting to him as much, just pottered round the kitchen earlier, he needs to see me at all times but just sat down with a chew.

Just want him to be in his crate until training or unlikely to chew in the house when we are away.

I do have Kongs, it's stuffed ready for if I go out later.

Lastly, when you say no whining if i can bear it (which I can), does that mean full on barking? If he has reduced himself to the odd whimper and sitting expectantly (which he does, usually when I am faffing with the door!) is that ok?

tabulahrasa Wed 07-Nov-12 13:36:29

I let mine sleep wherever he wants...unless I want him in the crate. Sometimes he sleeps on my foot, sometimes on the floor and sometimes he pops himself off to bed.

I let him nap whenever he wants too, I take him out for a tiny walk before bed now, but a few weeks ago I just let him fall asleep and about 45 minutes - an hour before I wanted to go to bed I'd wake him up, take him in the garden for a bit and play with him, bring him in and let him follow me round while I did all my last minute things, gave him about 5 to 10 minutes of attention, popped him back out for a last pee and then put him to bed. It didn't seem to matter then that he'd been asleep for an hour or so beforehand, he was tired enough to go back to sleep.

ijustwant8hours Wed 07-Nov-12 14:03:50

No advice, I am not qualified! Just hugs and wine

doublemocha Wed 07-Nov-12 15:34:24

Cheers again, I'll have a LARGE wine please!

I must sound like a right wimp, just rather befuddled that's all.

He's been asleep since 11.30am, with a short wake up, when he wee'd then played a bit and I did a 2 minute max 'sit' session, then went back to sleep. I have been much clamer with him, letting him do his own thing, not so chatty, is this ok? Should i wake him after all this tim?!

tabulahrasa Wed 07-Nov-12 17:13:15

If it helps this is roughly what mine does all day - he's 16 weeks today, he slept for longer when he was younger...

7-7.30 gets up, has food, pops in and out of the garden, generally mooches about watching the DC get ready for school, does a bit of random chewing and cat bothering hmm DC leave at 8.20, then I play or train for 10-15 minutes, and he's usually asleep by 10 to 9.

He sleeps till 11ish, sometimes longer, I feed him again about 11.30 and he gets a 20 minute walk at about 1, in between being fed and his walk, he just does more random chewing and cat bothering. He's usually asleep by 1.30 and he sleeps till the DC get back at 3.50, he plays with them till about 4.30 when I feed him again...if I didn't walk him at lunchtime I do it now just before it gets dark, if I did he sometimes has a bit of a play out in the garden - then he gets in my way while I make dinner and falls asleep again at about half six.

He wakes up again at about 8, mooches about some, DP and DC sometimes play with him now, I iccasionally do if no-one else is more till I feed him at half 9, I then take him out for 10 minutes and he's usually asleep again by 10.30, I wake him up for a pee before I go to bed at about half 12, but he wakes reluctantly then, really he's settled for the night at half 10.

I'm not currently doing training sessions as such as he knows, here, drop, leave, sit, down and I just do them through the day randomly to try and get him better at them.

LadyTurmoil Wed 07-Nov-12 18:21:59

I am not experienced either so offer you a big glass of wine as well! I looked after 14 wk old puppy for a week and it drove me nuts, i was stressing so much about EVERYTHING, wondering if i was doing it right so I sympathise with all you first time dog owners, it's really hard! all the puppy books go into detail but it still doesn't prepare you...It certainly taught me that I wasn't cut out for it and will take on an older dog when I can, definitely not a puppy. Have looked after friend's dog for 10 days and brother's dog for weekends on several occasions which was great but couldn't do puppies again - no matter how sweet they look!

WTFwasthat Wed 07-Nov-12 19:02:08

i actually started virtually an identical thread last week! i was tired, ill and it was half term too. I relented and pup slept on a dog bed, uncrated in my room. it was the best night's sleep i had had since he had arrived (6 days previously). he is still in there and so peaceful. i don't particularly want him to sleep there permanently but I was desperate for sleep. He has got used to his crate over the last 10 days and goes there without a peep. i only crate him for short spells but today it was 90 mins. he hardly looked up when i came home, he isvused to it now I think. i put a chew or a great treat in there each time. it will get better honestly.

LadyTurmoil Wed 07-Nov-12 23:54:43

WTF it's really good to hear that it's all working out for you. Sounds like he's made HUGE progress in the week that you've had him congratulations!

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 07:27:37

LT - he even took himself into the garden for a poo this morning! Mind you I restrict access to carpeted rooms until after the morning mayhem so he mooches about in the hall and kitchen

catsrus Thu 08-Nov-12 07:47:38

I know crates are popular - but I never used one. I've had 5 puppies over the last 20+ yrs and they have all either started in a 'den' next to my side of the bed or I have slept with them on a sofa downstairs. But then again I co-slept with my babies too grin.

None of the dogs or children currently share my bedroom smile that's the cat's domain and the dogs are not allowed upstairs.

I found sleeping downstairs for a few weeks, until the puppy was secure in the new environment, was the best solution for me. A good nights sleep for everyone (I did the same with adult rescue dogs we got too). I did this on the advice of our first vet who was a big advocate of dogs n the bedroom - his own always had a basket by the bed - my exH wouldn't go for that which is why I switched to sleeping downstairs....

You have to do what works for you - but I went for the easy option of getting sleep and I really don't think it's had any long term negatives.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 08:01:47

How did you get them downstairs then though long term I wonder?

Thanks for the advice and sympathy. Last night was another bad one. He dozed in the evening, chilling. Wee and poo with DH at 11pm. Slept for a couple of hours then howled on and off until 5.15am, when we got up. Worried about DH, he is struggling today.

Also, I HAVE to go out today for a bit, I have to pick up my SIL. Dreading it tbh.

Tab - that's interesting re your puppy, thanks. Gives me an idea of a daily routine. What lead did you use btw, I tried one on our puppy this morning just to see what he would do and he chewed it basically!

DH also going away next week on business for 5 days. I know our friends with their Vizsla will be fab but I am dreading it.

Needless to say he's fast asleep now.

tabulahrasa Thu 08-Nov-12 08:27:14

Just a nylon one - he still has a nibble of it occasionally, I just don't let him get a good go of it... He chews everything still though, lol.

He's less interested in the lead now that he's out as he's too busy trying to chew the rest of the world.

I nearly took him into my bedroom a couple of weeks ago because he suddenly took to howling at night, it was because he was too awake though so I didn't have to. My last dog slept in my room, the main reason this one isn't is because my DP objected tbh, I wouldn't mind him there myself.

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 08:27:50

OP, I have big alarm bells ringing I'm afraid. It sounds as though you decided to get a puppy with little understanding of what having a puppy involved.

This is my advice. Let him sleep in your room - is it really such a big deal? - or do as catrus suggests and sleep downstairs with him. He is scared and wondering why his new people disappear at night. No wonder he's not happy.

The night after he got out as DD hadn't shut the bottom latch and pooed all over the floor then slept on my coat.
You realise he slept on your coat as it smells of you and he missed you don't you?

Also I have no idea why you'd stop talking to him around the house. Talk away, he needs to get to know you and your voice. And don't shout at him again, if you're getting frustrated then it's because YOU'VE done something wrong, not him. And tell your DH to chill out, why is he 'struggling'?

I also recommend carrying pup around for a bit. Great bonding for both of you. Just occasionally scoop him up and carry him upstairs with you if you're going to get some laundry etc. I had one pup who enjoyed the return journey downstairs in the laundry basket!

Also how old is he and where did you get him from?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 09:07:56

Rhinestone, yes this is our first dog. I am struggling because, no matter how what people tell you and however much you read, it can't prepare you for the reality. And I am exhausted. I feel dreadful about this I really do, I have terrible guilt that I don't seem to be coping.

Yes I realise that he missed me. He has an item of clothing of both mine and DH's in his basket, plus a blanket from his Mum, a hot water bottle etc.

DH is struggling because he has depression, he's bi-polar and in a down phase at the moment, he runs a company and works long hours. He finds it hard to think positive when down but cannot control being down. He cannot 'chill out' so easily when down.

I am sorry, I stopped talking so much to him because I was talking in a really excited voice all the time and probably exciting him. I do talk to him, of course I do, just less often than I was doing.

He is 9 weeks, a Vizsla, from a breeder who works their dogs.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 09:10:27

What do I do when I go out today? It will be for less than an hour.

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 09:11:32

doublemocha - try not to worry. you are stressing yourself out. you sound like i thought i was going to be. When panic arises in me I tell myself to stf up and stop being ridiculous - he is a dog. you all have to get used to each other. It is a massive learning curve. He will survive as long as he has love, food, company ( not 24/7) and boundaries. It would be so much easier if you slept near him - upstairs or downstairs - mine did this howling all night long ( please type my name in search and you will see my desperate threads, they really could be yours!) Just think of all the successful dog owners you know. If they can do it, so can you. That really helped me. Pm me if you like. I really do understand smile

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 09:12:16

If I do sleep downstair, do I keep him in his cage and just be near it? Then move away gradually.

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 09:14:17

doublemocha - pop him in the crate. He will be fine. Honestly. even if he howls, no harm will come to him. Pop a chew in there ( or whatever he likes foodwise) and leave the radio on. Honestly, you are me one week ago .

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 09:14:40

Or if I sleep upstairs, would I ever get him downstairs when older?

I would prefer DH and myself to be in our room only long term.

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 09:15:53

you could try that. he is just settling in. make up your mind as to what you're going to do and stick with it. Once I decided to bring pup upstairs I felt immediate relief that we were all going to get some sleep!

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 09:17:46

doublemocha - i don't want pup permanently in my room but i will cross that bridge when i come to it. If I think about it it makes my panic so I don't smile

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 09:18:23

WTF - thanks, I am tired and stressed, thanks for your kind words. Did your puppy accept the crate after you let her sleep upstair? I do need some form of confinement area for when I go out.

I have crate trained and I NEVER had the crate upstairs in my bedroom. upstairs is not for dogs, imho, besides in large breeds it isnt good for them to be going up and down stairs as puppies.

Keep going doublemocha all of us who have had pups have been where you are. It does get easier. Your puppy is a baby and needs lots of praise, encouragement and kindness.

I used to take my GSD pup everywhere with me - car, school, coffee shop (sat outside) and it is great for socialisation. It gets them used to lots of sights and smells and traffic. All carried in my arms, if I get any pups in future I will get a special dog sling thing to carry them. German Shepherd pups are bloody heavy! grin

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 09:24:04

he sleeps on a dog bed upstairs, He screamed his head off in the crate next to me so I ditched it for bedtimes as noise like that at close proximity was shocking! When i wake up I pick him up so he cannot pee on the floor, carry him outside and plop him on the grass for a wee. When I go out I put him in the crate and he snuggles down or stares pleadingly at me through the bars! He has got used to it and he has only been here 11 days. It does get easier quite fast but I still feel that rising panic whenever I have to go out. I try and ignore it. Thankfully pup cannot tell the time. yet winkgrin

TwoIfBySea Thu 08-Nov-12 09:29:06

If you do decide to sleep downstairs then this is what my friend did (none of my pups have done this thankfully but she had a terrible time with her last one & this is what worked - labs & goldies though).

Important to stick to your routine. Put pup in his crate & at that point end any interaction, don't talk to him or anything. He can see you are there but not to play or fuss over him. You might have to do this over a couple of nights but you're establishing him into your pack & letting him see you're top dog so to speak!

Puppies need a routine, will help them toilet train a lot quicker too. The crate should be their den, no kids allowed, you'll find he'll probably like to take himself off there when he gets sleepy so it should never be used as punishment. First week is always the toughest!

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 09:29:15

Right doublemocha I want to help your puppy you but you need to start being very honest with yourself and you need to take what I'm going to say in the right spirit.

Firstly did you honestly research the breed before you got him? I don't know much about vizslas but 2 minutes of Googling and I found this on Wiki -

*Vizslas are very high energy, gentle-mannered, loyal,[5] caring, and highly affectionate. They quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children. Often they are referred to as "velcro" dogs because of their loyalty and affection. They are very vocal dogs, and will gladly "sing" along to the radio. Sometimes when these dogs feel neglected or want something, they will cry.
They are natural hunters with an excellent ability to take training.[2] Not only are they great pointers, but they are excellent retrievers as well. They will retrieve on land and in the water, making the most of their natural instincts. However, they must be trained gently and without harsh commands or strong physical correction, as they have sensitive temperaments and can be easily damaged if trained too harshly.[6] Vizslas are excellent swimmers. Like all hunting dogs, Vizslas require a great deal of exercise to remain healthy and happy.
The Vizsla thrives on attention, exercise, and interaction. It is highly intelligent, and needs challenges and simulation, both mentally and physically.[7] Vizslas are very gentle dogs that are great around children. The Vizsla wants to be close to its owner as much of the time as possible. Many Vizslas will sleep in bed with their owners and, if allowed, will burrow under the covers.*

As you can see, they're a vocal breed, they need A LOT of exercise and stimulation and they want to be very close to you and expect to sleep with you. Did you know all this before? Basically all the things that seem to annoy you are traits inherent in vizslas. THAT IS HOW HE IS.

Re the breeder you got him from, did you buy him when he was already born or did you have to go on a waiting list and pay a deposit and wait for a litter? Did the breeder promise to take him back at any point if things didn't work out?

I never normally advocate people giving up on a dog but to be honest, you sound like you're not enjoying this and are not suited to this breed at all and thus you may give up anyway. For his sake it's better that you do it now than in a few weeks. IF the breeder is a responsible one who will take him back then I think you need to have a very honest think about whether this is right for you.

If the breeder won't take him back, then you have a problem. Ultimately you're responsible for him and whilst I'm sorry that your husband has some MH problems, it's not fair on the puppy to use that as an excuse for failing in your care to him.

Re the crate, how have you approached crate training? The crate should NEVER be used as a punishment, rather you need to promote it as a lovely snug safe place for him. Every time he goes in, give him a treat for example. Google it. But can you really not take him out with you?

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 09:29:39

i took pup with me too. In the car, to my Mums, carried to letterbox etc. bloody heavy! He is a lab x

You have my sympathy. One of mine was a crier too. I think he left his mum too early tbh (only 8 weeks). My other dog was 13 weeks by the time we got him, and his mum had already turfed the pups out so to speak so he was much more independent.

I used a crate because when I tried without I nearly went mad. He couldn't be left on his own for even 5 minutes. I'd come back to puddles, poos and destruction.

My solution was to have a set routine, so he learnt what to expect when and didn't worry that he had been abandoned. I didn't go to him when he cried (waited until it was quiet and then went in). I also ignored him totally for about 5 minutes when I got in, before taking him outside calmly and without fuss (so home coming did not turn into mad puppy jumping everywhere time).

Re evening routine he went to bed at 9pm, I took him out for a wee at midnight, and got him up again for another wee at 6am. His day proper started about 8am, and I made sure he was only crated when necessary (if I was out or busy in another room). He wasn't left for more than an hour until he was much older. I also had a puppy proof outside area with shelter that I put him in on nice days as he preferred that to the crate.

The crying will stop relatively quickly provided you don't run to him when he cries. Dogs aren't stupid - I cry, someone comes and plays with me => constant crying. I stop crying, someone comes => I'll sit quietly.

Best thing I ever did was teach the dog that 'toilet' meant have a wee. It meant I could get him up, out, toileted and back to bed in less than 5 minutes. Until I did that he'd spend about 20 mins playing first.... not fun at midnight!

To be fair Rhinestone I struggled with my pup for the first 6 weeks or so, and I did think I knew what I'd let myself in for. I adore him and he will be here always, but my God those first few weeks of adjustment were tough. Puppies are full on, unformed beasts with lots of snappy teeth. The puppy zoomies every evening had me reaching for the gin. There were times in the early days where I resented him, wondered what the hell I'd done, saw nothing but the disruption and hassle. I also suffer with anxiety, so for a time I lived on my nerves. I persevered, though, forced myself to engage with him and carry out daily training. Gradually, it got better. And, I think, I fell in love with him. Now, he can still send my anxiety in to freefall (anal glands or dog aggression anyone?) but you'd take him off me over my dead body. It was compounded by the fact that DH didn't really want anything to do with him while he was hanging off his shoes, although now the dog's favourite place in the evening is curled up next to DH on the sofa while he strokes his ears. Typical <eyes faithless spaniel>

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 09:46:51

Rhinestone - I have spoken to our breeder, she will take him back at any point. She said to tough it out if we were going down that route but I am confused re the right thing to do.

Yes, I researched the breed. We are a busy active family, kids are 13 and 11. I have arranged to wfh for the majority of the time. I am happy that he is vocal, not an issue, I just meant that at night, it's hard. Our friends Vizsla slept in her crate from day one, not a peep, although I know they are all different.

I was trying to give him lots of exercise and stimulation but i thought I was over doing it a bit and making him over tired, as I said previously in my earlier post.

I haven't ever put him in his crate in anger, he eats in there, has his bed in there etc.

I wasn't using excuses, just that when you are in a down cycle, you can't think clearly, it's hard to explain.

I have been picking him up and taking him out and around etc. We go to the top of the street.

I wasn't thinking about giving up, just trying to explain my feelings of confusion that's all.

He howls in his travel crate, that's all.

Oh, and OP? It all got better with consistency and time. By the time Jasper was 20 weeks, he was toilet trained, sleeping through the night and no longer trying to eat the kids' arms like they were a corn on the cob. He is now 16 months old and pretty much perfect around the house, great with the DC and a source of hilarity and fun. But it took work on my part on growing up a bit on his.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 09:50:55

Chickens - thanks, that's just how I feel. DH is a bit like that too. Like I did with DS1 where it's all new and overwhelming.

I am sorry I feel like this, I really am.

tabulahrasa Thu 08-Nov-12 09:53:37

If you need to go out, either take him or put him in his crate - he'll be fine either way...

This is not my first dog, not by a long shot, but he's my first little puppy and I've really struggled. I knew it would be hard work, I researched and still vastly underestimated how hard it would be. The first few days are a massive adjustment for everybody.

Doublemocha - pick what matters to you about night time and do that, if it's massively important that you not have a dog in your bedroom then stick at getting him used to being alone at night. If sleep is more important take him upstairs or sleep downstairs and either work on it gradually or just have a dog in your bedroom. It'll work itself out.

Is he happy in the crate in daytime?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 10:00:17

Tab - thanks. yes, he's happy in there if the door is open and I am around. Sometimes even takes himself there.

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 10:06:02

OK, glad you researched him. But can you understand my confusion that you seem to be surprised by and don't like the traits that are inherent in vizslas. confused

Puppies ARE hard work but I think they're great fun too and I've loved having all our puppies (am a fosterer so have had over 20). You don't sound like you're enjoying it at all and seem to be surprised by some of the basics. You speak as if everything's a chore and you resent him just for being a very normal puppy. I recommend this book - "The Loved Dog Method" by Tamar Geller for an excellent training plan which emphasises that dogs need love too.

If you want him to be quiet at night then let him sleep in your room. If not then you're going to have to put up with it or get earplugs. And your DH does need to do his best to engage with pup and start to enjoy him. Pup will pick up on his tension.

One thing - does he have two crates? You mention a travel crate, that's all. Lots of dogs hate them as they're mainly plastic with just some small slits for 'windows'. You should have something that looks like this.

I don't really know what else to say. Either determine that you're going to enjoy him and REALLY start researching what you need to do or give him back to the breeder.

Don't beat yourself up and get stressed about it. I remember sitting crying that I couldn't cope, and my DH saying 'he's a dog hmm get a grip, just leave him'. Best advice anyone could give me as once I relaxed and stopped stressing that 30mins on his own would traumatise the pup the happier we both were.

Just stick to your routine, and never make an issue of it. crate time = nap time. Give him a treat, make sure he has water, and then close the door to that room and take a break. My dogs still sleep in their crates (doors open now). They regard them as their personal zone, and there is trouble if either goes in the other's!

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 10:19:21

worcester - yes I say 'be good' for the toilet but haven't managed to get him to go in the same place, like the books say you can. Yes, I do need to stop stressing, that's EXACTLY how I feel, that screaming for half and hour will traumatise him!

If I do sleep downstairs, should I cover the crate apart from the opening so he can see me but not communicate or touch him after taking for a wee break? I found a tiny leak of wee today so I will take him out twice tonight, he comes rather alvie that's all.

I am going to keep going, it's a shock that's all!

Typing while playing, so sorry if it's disjointed.

tabulahrasa Thu 08-Nov-12 10:31:27

I slept downstairs one night so he wouldn't wake the neighbours up... I left him exactly as he was, lay on the couch in the opposite corner from his crate (mostly because that's where it is rather than out of any plan) and just said no whenever he made a noise, he settled down pretty quickly.

Mine was definitely doing it out of boredom though, so I don't know if that makes it different.

Like I said, I've had dogs before, older puppies, adult ones - rescue ones with various issues, none have caused me as much stress as this one tiny puppy, lol. Now after a couple of months we're at the point where I enjoy him slightly more than I'm tempted to get rid of him, rofl. (ok, I haven't seriously thought about getting rid of him, but I have had lots of, wtf have I done getting this puppy moments)

I didn't enjoy the little puppy stage. I'm not a big fan of newborn babies either. They both grow up, luckily, and become much more interesting and fun wink

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 10:43:04

Is there not somewhere in your house that you could fence him in rather than crating him as it sounds like he slept better the night he escaped! Our puppy (14 weeks ish when we got him) came to us suddenly so we borrowed my mothers cat pen . I slept downstairs for a few nights , but never took him out for toileting in the night . We quickly moved to a pen created by the use of a stair gate in a corridor outside the downstairs loo. He has his blankets on the floor there and we've now removed the gate ( he's 2.5) and when we go out he has the run of the hallway and kitchen . He is not allowed upstairs at all as he chews anything that is fluffy/ furry/ slippers . He was reliably housetrained by 20 weeks and goes to wee on command ( go quick) . Please don't be put off , It is hard work at first but thy get bigger and better very quickly. If you're going out and can take him do that , mine loves the car . He has always had a car harness ,sits on the font seat and TBH we find it wears him out as well as a walk does .

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 10:58:44

Chickens - do you know what? I enjoyed my DC's more after about 6 months and particularly after 3, when, as you say they are more interesting and fun.

Floral - our friends did suggest our utility room. Ok, he could chew the units, which are new but I guess a door wouldn't cost all that much to replace. I am not sure I want him upstairs either and I don't think it's good for their joints (he has really long, legs). I am just a bit worried that, if we do move him to the utilty he will howl in there and I will have undone any progess (lol) I made with the crate.

What do people think about that idea? He did sleep for 6 hours after he escaped!

Have just been in the garden playing with him for the last half an hour, lots of fun. He was loping about making me giggle, he runs like a rabbit 'cos of his long legs. I did take a lot of toys out with me but he was happy me sniffing and me kicking the leaves around. He's curled up now by my feet after this, going to sleep, he did whine a bit after we came in for attention which I ignored, was that right? Was half and hour ok? It's a big garden but I came in before he seemed too tired?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 10:59:54

Have scooped him up and put him in his bed in the crate, which he accepted?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 11:04:12

The travel crate is a Ferplast 80 or something like that, I would need to check.
Not sure DH would be happy with him being on the seat of my car, it's new and we saved hard etc for it. It's still a bit at the 'precious' stage that men seem to have about their cars. Should have kept the old one but sods law etc.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 11:08:28

And! He's asleep now in crate, I need to collect my SIL at 12pm. If he's asleep, best to put a Kong in maybe and leave him? Damn the timing of him going to sleep!

If he's wide awake when I stick him in his travel crate he will howl like mad, which will impress SIL, who is getting her new pup in three weeks!

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 11:09:10

Balls, just had a text from SIL, who is arriving at 11.30am, will have to leave him.

BerryPie Thu 08-Nov-12 11:11:39

I don't know DoubleMocha in real life, but I feel I want to speak up on her behalf - she's been posting in the Doghouse for months now, waiting for her puppy, and has always struck me as incredible prepared for what lay ahead. If you're quoting Gwen Bailey and know what protein level your puppy's food should have (I was so impressed!), two months before said puppy is due to arrive, I think it's fair to say you're not doing things on the spur of the moment.

Double, it's good to hear from you, sorry you're finding things hard. Sleep deprivation is a killer, and if you're trying to spare your DH from the worst of it, it will make it even worse. You won't be seeing things clearly at the moment, you're just too tired, so just have faith and hang in there!

I found the first 2-3 weeks with my puppy a total nightmare, tbh. I was trying to pretend it wasn't so bad (because it had all been my idea), but it really was. It was just SO full on - she slept at night but had tummy problems and the whole house reeked of diarrhea the entire time, and when she was awake she would just bite bite bite us. I really didn't like her, at all.

To be frank, even when the tummy improved and the biting got slightly better, I still had moments when I wished I'd never got her. I liked her, but didn't think I would mind too much if someone had come and taken her off my hands and promised her a lovely life somewhere else. It's only recently (she's almost five months now) that I have started to really love her. She's developed into the sweetest young dog, the DCs adore her (after being petrified in the beginning), and she now feels like a proper member of the family.

It's normal for it to take time, though. Don't give him back!! Hang in there, find a way of getting some sleep, even if it's on the sofa with the puppy. When he's more settled with you, you can start working on getting him to sleep where you want. For now, just get to know each other, and don't be too hard on yourself.

Oh, and don't worry too much about when and how much he's sleeping. Puppies sleep a LOT - just leave him to it, don't wake him up unless you have to. He'll find is own routine, enjoy the peace and quiet when you can!

LadyTurmoil Thu 08-Nov-12 11:32:06

Berry is absolutely right! You can do all the research in the world but it will never prepare you for the reality, it's really, really hard in the beginning. As I've said, I had a complete meltdown in a week so you're doing very well! You also feeling the extra weight of responsibility/guilt when you can see that your OH isn't very happy with the situation but, as everyone says, it will get better. I know that when you're really down as well as knackered, it's almost impossible to believe that it will get better, BUT IT WILL. I know that I felt completely confused and out of my comfort zone in the week we were looking after the puppy and it took me a long time to not feel bad about howI didn't cope, when I saw that everyone else was (or so it looked). It was a hyper collie cross puppy who absolutely stank the whole house out so we had all windows open in November (not good!) Don't be too hard on yourself, get out of the house a couple of times a day, leave him in the crate after a play and a wee/poo and it will be ok. Even if it's just to get yourself an expensive cup of coffee from Starbucks. Take care of yourself, that's the most important thing. Xx

Hey. Come on. You are over thinking this.

If he needs to go in his crate, that's exactly what should happen. YOU are the one in charge and that is exactly what he will expect you to be.

He is not a baby. He is a puppy and needs treating like one. He does not get to call the shots; you do. Continue just as you are, firm calm and gentle with him. You are doing everything right.

DO NOT change your night time routine now. You have battled this far and it won't be many more nights before he gets the drift. You could add a big soft cuddly toy in the crate to give him something to snuggle up to if you like.

You have only had him for 4 days. He has only been alive for 8 weeks; and only eating solid food for 2 of them. He has a lot to learn, and to do that he needs consistency. Don't bugger all your hard work up by changing tack today. You will end up with a very confused pup and right back at the beginning.

Puppies are tough. And bloody hard work. Adorable, but very challenging. I have answered so many posts here on pretty much the same thing that I've thought about asking HQ for their equivalent of a sticky.

Calm down, stop stressing. Stop treating him like a baby and worrying accordingly. As long as he is warm, fed and toileted there is little else he needs. Love him, enjoy him and ignore the noise.

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 11:42:17

doublemocha am a bit confused, is the Ferplast 80 the only crate you've got? Not surprised he hates it, you need to get one like in the link i posted. Apologies if I've got it wrong and you do just use that for travel and he has a bigger one for the house. When you use the Ferplast in the car make sure it's positioned so that he has maximum view out of the rear window iyswim.

If you go with the seat of the car, get a big blanket to protect the car seat with.

I read BerryPie's post with interest. I still maintain that the OP doesn't come across as prepared in her posts, I'm sorry. All these things she's posting about are ENTIRELY normal for any puppy and even more so with the breed she's chosen.

Yes, a puppy is hard work but they are also fun and I wasn't getting any sense of 'joy' from some of the OP's earlier posts.

LadyTurmoil Thu 08-Nov-12 12:46:12

It's NOT fun, Rhinestone when you're completely stressed with worries about if you're doing things right - crate, food, housetraining, husband, children - they all seem to be insurmountable problems when you're stressed/tired and have a busy life full of things to deal with. You can start to doubt why the hell you ever brought this little ball of trouble into your life, were you mad? That's the kind of thing that goes on in your mind, ALL the time, in these kind of situations. Suddenly, you feel inadequate and powerless to improve matters and so it's very hard to see where the fun is, and very hard to imagine a time when things will get better, however much you're prepared for it. Of course, all these things are normal for a puppy, but if you're a first time owner, you may be doing all the right things but you're never SURE you are, which makes you stressed.

Agree, Lady. If I ever get another puppy ( a big fat IF <traumatised>) I'll be a little more prepared for all of those feelings. It was the same with the DC. I remember being completely overwhelmed by DS1 for the first few weeks, it was nothing like how I'd expected it to be. When DS2 came along, I knew it would be tough but would pass.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 12:55:11

Thank you, that's how I feel. I read all I could, talked to breeders, spent lots of time talking to our friends with the Vizsla, and of course time with the dog herself. Changed my working hours to be at home etc. I am not sure what else I could have done?

It's like when I had my first DC, nothing can prepare for it.

No, there's not much joy yet (some, but not much) for all the reasons LadyTurmoil and BerryPie say. Surely not everyone bonds even with their own babies sometimes even if they longed for them??

I am not sure how to establish a routine, whether to go with the flow, persist with the crate or sleep with him? Whether being with him all the time will make it harder at night etc etc. If I do sleep downstairs, how to move back upstairs, etc etc.

But, in answer to the question, I have two crates.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 12:57:55

Cross post with Chickens. Exactly. I WANT our dog to be happy and lovely and well behaved etc but it's all feeling overwhelming.

Am worried about the kids too, DS looking very pale, even with ear plugs!

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 12:59:48

It's NOT fun, Rhinestone when you're completely stressed with worries about if you're doing things right - crate, food, housetraining, husband, children - they all seem to be insurmountable problems when you're stressed/tired and have a busy life full of things to deal with.

LadyTurmoil - you do know that getting a dog isn't compulsory don't you?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 13:03:11

Nor is having children but how much stress do they cause?!

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 13:12:48

doublemocha I've tried my best to help you and give you some honest advice to help you and your pup. I don't really get the vibe from you that my advice is wanted or appreciated so am going to leave this thread.

Read your earlier posts back and I'm afraid you don't come across as someone who was prepared for any puppy, let alone that breed. Some of the questions you're asking are very basic and any puppy training book would have contained the answers. Of course I believe that you did do all that research, just saying your posts don't come across that way.

Good luck and I sincerely wish you and pup many happy years together.

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 14:11:10

Hi , I think I'd be tempted to try the utility room . Also re the car , I have a new car it's got seat covers on and I have a blanket that I put on the seat when the dog is in there . I don't open the window on his side as that encourages him to try and stick his head out . On nice days I take him out in my sons car which is older and he's allowed to stand with his head out of the window! I do think its very stressful at first , especially if the whole family are not as on board as they could be . My DH didn't really want a dog at all and although he loves him now at the beginning it was entirely up to me to deal with him . The thing to remember is it does improve quickly ( way quicker than children) and stop worrying so much , do what is right for your family and your pup - he won't break !

LadyTurmoil Thu 08-Nov-12 14:31:56

Sorry, but Rhinestone doesn't seem to get it that you might have wanted a dog (for years sometimes), read all the right books, like DoubleMocha, but like many things in life, things don't turn out they way you had visualised them, just like children! I'm glad to see that others are more understanding about the situation and I'm sure you will settle into more of a routine and everything will seem better for you and not so overwhelming. All my best wishes to you in the few days/week. floralnomad I'm interested to see that your DH wasn't keen, mine isn't either - how did you persuade him??

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 14:47:37

In the end it was pressure from our DD that made him cave , she hadn't been well ( still isn't ) and he just conceded . He then wanted a Westie and was persuaded to come to Battersea and ended up with a X Patterdale , so nothing really went his way . Having said that he loves him now , although he won't admit it ( we have photographic evidence ) .

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 15:04:48

I don't want an argument, really I don't. I read Ceasar Milan (!), Gwen Bailey, Ian Dunbar. They all say different stuff and even on this infomative and supportive place (The Doghouse) there's a myriad of opinion.

For example, Gwen Bailey suggests taking pup home on your knee a cuddling etc during the drive, so he can go to sleep. I took wipes, a toy, rag from mum, blanket. Was that not prepared? She doesn't say what to do when the puppy wriggles and moves up down and round for the entire journey! Cesar suggests a different method. It's hard for a newbie.

I took out to the garden immediately. I had prepared the crate, fed him there, left the door open etc. Pehaps tried too hard to be upbeat and excitable.

I have been carrying him around to let him see stuff, been to see our friends vaccinated dogs etc. Trying to let him see various situations etc.

Perhaps mentally I wasn't prepared for the reality.

In addition, it's hard to know the reality. ie - this afternoon, we played in the garden for 20 minutes, I let him sniff around a lot too. I took him up the street to let him see traffic etc. He wriggled like mad!

I then toileted him but then had a bit of a tug with him on our broom which he loves then pottered round the kitchen and he's found a bullystick (dried bulls willy) which he also loves and let him chew by himself. He took himself to his bed in his crate and is now asleep. Would that be appropriate?

If I am not around when he wakes up, he will worry a bit. I wonder whether to close the crate or not, I haven't.

Thanks Lady, maybe I will be in a position to provide advice in a few months!

I am sorry your DD is unwell Floral and thanks for your kind words.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 15:11:52


Thanks for your supportive messages. When you are on your own and tired, it's lovely to have people to 'chat' to!

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 15:16:09


For those who slept downstairs in some capacity, did you just quietly say shush when puppy woke and after a toilet break, no lights or fuss etc. How did you 'withdraw', just move yourself slowly further away or, decide they were settled and go back upstairs?

Many thanks

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 15:25:51

Personally if you are at home and there is no need to have the crate closed I would leave it open , however I'm not a crate user so others would be able to give better advice. With regards to the showing Him stuff I wouldn't get to hung up on it at the moment ,there is plenty of time for that when you can take him out . BTW a Halti training lead is a good thing to get , it was the one our puppy trainer recommended. I think sometimes you can over think things , as I've said on a previous thread my DH agreed to get a dog on the Thursday and we bought pup home from Battersea on the Sunday so there was no time to really prepare or worry . In a way I think that was a good thing and my dog is very well adjusted.

It sounds like what you did this afternoon is perfect.

When you are at home, I wouldnt close the crate door all the time - I sometimes shut it, but didnt lock it.

Remember to give a 'command' when you are toileting - busy, be quick, whatever you want to call it. grin and gentle smiley praise "good busy" when they do their business.

Inthepotty Thu 08-Nov-12 17:20:55

OP, calm down! I know it seems overwhelming, but puppies aren't really the hardest thing in the world.

Pop him in crate when u need too, play with/small training sessions when you want too. Make sure food and toileting needs are met and adopt a benign neglect policy!

Basically I agree with Daisy.

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 20:49:49

I Certainly don't play with pup all day. I chat a bit and interact with training etc and i wave a toy at him to have a game of tuggy. He seems very happy about his level of care though smile

I don't play with mine all day either!

Although to be fair, I am probably the worst person to give advice on crating as mine sleep upstairs.

Honestly, you really seem to be so anxious.

I think you have to do what feels right to you rather than focusing on whether everyone else thinks you are doing it right

If you want the dog to sleep in a crate, carry on with what you are doing. If you want the dog to sleep in the utility room, or in your bed, it's ok. It's up to you.

If you want to take the dog in the car, do it however works best for you.
If you want to chat away to the dog all day, yes, also fine.

I take my dogs to work with me, LittleDog since he was 4 months old. Everyone chats away to them. It's lovely.

Just try and relax. Try not to worry if you are doing it the right way.
Try and enjoy it a bit.

WTFwasthat Thu 08-Nov-12 22:00:42

tantrums good advice

doublemocha Fri 09-Nov-12 06:37:55

Quick update!

We are all bonded! DH slept downstairs with him last night, not a peep from him and is completely on board, loves him to pieces. That was half the battle tbh, feeling the guilt of bringing him into the house. And being knackered!!!

DH alarm went off at 5.15am which woke him but he sat in his crate chewing. Toilet break, small cuddle with DH and he's asleep on DH's sleeping bag. DH can't wait for the weekend to be with him. He just needed a few days to accept the changes.

I love him more each time I look at him.

You guys are right, I always want to do it the 'right' way, but the right way is what's right for us, I realise that now.

I also left him for 40 mins last night and went to our friends for a drink, he didn't seem to mind.

Just want to voice my appreciation for those who posted understanding messages and advice, I needed to hear it yesterday!


I'm really pleased for you. You see, it's going to be ok.
Relax and have fun, puppies are amazingly good fun.
Stroppy, rebellious adolescent dogs who forget everything you ever taught them, however are not so much fun.

<glares at *LittleDog>

WTFwasthat Fri 09-Nov-12 07:11:32

doublmocha - glad to hear it! If u are anything like me you will still have moments of doubt and anxiety - mine is based on leaving him in his crate while i pop out, I constantly feel as ifbi am racing against the clock and I hate that!

catsrus Fri 09-Nov-12 07:20:40

Brilliant :-) once he knows he's "home" then he will get more and more comfortable with being left alone.

LadyTurmoil Fri 09-Nov-12 16:41:03

doublemocha SO pleased to read your post earlier today. How nice of DH to sleep downstairs with him, as he's not been feeling as his best recently himself, and how great that he feels more positive about it all now. How lovely it must have been to get a decent night's sleep! Really glad for you and fingers crossed for another quiet night Don't forget some of this wine smile

keep going DM it will all work out. relax. grin

WTFwasthat Sun 11-Nov-12 08:56:58

How's it going DoybleMocha? I had a surge of WtF have I done today!!

charlearose Sun 11-Nov-12 19:32:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlearose Sun 11-Nov-12 19:35:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WTFwasthat Sun 11-Nov-12 20:45:21

charlearose- what a great post. Everytime I have a minor wobble i remind myself that Max is happy, well cared for, loved and he is not judging me! Hope op reads this :-)

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