To ask puppy advice here??(18 Posts)
I'm sure many of you are dog owners so I'm appealing for help re my puppy!
He's a 9 nearly 10 week cockapoo and absolutely gorgeous. I collected him from the breeder 5 days ago and have been pretty strict with him so far insofar as getting him housetrained is concerned. He's pretty much there but still the odd accident which I obviously don't scold him for. Just a couple of things I'm worried about as I don't want to create a rod for my own back and my sister is telling me I am!!
1. He's still sleeping in a crate in my bedroom and does his business in a "playpen" if he's caught short in the night. Crate is clean every night and I take him out every 3 hours for a wee and he always goes. All good. He does cry for about an hour and then settles himself. I totally ignore him (hard to ignore) but the crying has decreased a bit each night. Now I'm wondering - how do I break this habit? He would go in the kitchen in his crate ideally - it's a tiled floor so can be quite chilly which is all that worries me? Also, would I need to contain him in the playpen or is he ok in the crate to Mill about the kitchen as he pleases? Will he not be really distressed in the kitchen?
2. He is basically stuck to me all the time. I keep him wrapped up in a blanket and usually on my lap I tried putting him in his crate to sleep in the day and he screamed and I couldn't do it and ultimately I want him to like his crate. I want him to be a bit of a lapdog but also want him to eventually Mill around withought supervision constantly! I understand that he is still only a babe but I'm concerned that I am pampering him too much and he'll stay like this for the rest of his years!!!!
I work from home as an artist in a studio in the garden so he would rarely be left alone, but I really want to be able to pop to the shops etc in future I haven't been working since I got him though.
Any tips?! Please feel free to tell me I'm doing this completely wrong!
Have a read through this collection of guides/articles, there's pretty much everything you need to know in there. I'd also recommend watching Kikopup's puppy related videos on YouTube.
Crate training, and teaching a puppy to be comfortable being left, needs to be done very gradually and should never involve them crying or being put/shut in against their will.
I think wrapping him up and keeping him on your lap won't be helping; by ten weeks he should be able to potter happily around the house for a short while without constant supervision.
Crate training is absolutely worth persevering with; never as any sort of punishment or in a harmful way, but giving them somewhere of their own that's quiet and calm is worth it's weight in gold. You can get padded mattresses for the base of the crate which warm them up, and covering the top with a thick fleecy blanket will help him settle and feel safer. Make it a 'fun' thing; put his toys, bed and a couple of treats in there, do very short bursts and never use it as a punishment even when he's older.
In your post you said you want him to be a lap dog but also independent and I'm not sure he's designed to be both. My Mum has a lapdog that she can't leave anywhere because he's like a baby; needy and miserable without her. There's no logic to raining your puppy that way because if they're so needy you'll end up never going anywhere without him.
If you leave him do it for short bursts initially, and make sure you've got people locally who can check in on him; on days I work we have a dog walker who comes in and she's worth her weight in gold; we have long days out occasionally to London etc and she'll pop in and spend an hour walking the dog to ensure she's not alone for too long.
Also look online for puppy training classes local to you. We have a dog school locally that our Spaniel's been to for years; we only go once a month now just to stay on top of things and they've been incredible at helping socialise her (she can be anxious and prone to fretting so they've been amazing with that).
THanks so much everyone, v useful advice. I just wonder how much crying is actually bad for him and what to expect at what age.
He's gonna cry. It's how he got his mums attention.
Try not having on your lap so much. I have a lapdog who is happy to potter around too. I've let her do it
Also start leaving him now too. Leave him in a room, walk out for 10 seconds and come back. No major fuss, no major deal.
Increase it until you can leave the house for a few moments at a time.
I know you work from home but all dogs get left alone at home at some point
I really wouldn't worry. Our cockapoo has now been home for around 7 weeks and he has changed so much. I have to admit he still hates being alone! However he is much calmer and he will stay on his own if he has to, he sleeps through the night and does his business on a puppy pad. No accidents during the day and pretty well behaved all round. I felt exactly as you do at the beginning but I promise it gets a heck of a lot easier...I never put ours in our room though, he slept in the Hall way for a week as he hated the kitchen but has slept in the kitchen ever since.
P.s he is well and truly spoilt and has had cuddles from day one but now frequently chooses to sleep on the other side of the lounge to us etc
Have you read The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey? Its highly recommended, she explains how to raise your pup to help prevent behaviour problems when he's older.
Thank you for all the advice, this is enormously reassuring!
I'll check out that book too. He is sat beside me on the sofa as we speak rather than on my lap
Can't help until we see a photo - come on!
I used to leave mine for seconds at a time then build it up. We did have some teething problems with her getting upset but eventually she did learn that it was okay and I was coming back. She never liked the crate door closed much though so I ditched it in the end.
We allowed ours to sleep near us and she still does but you can gradually increase the distance the crate is from you over time.
Mine is 6 months and just about house trained, it does honestly get easier!
I would never ever lock him in his crate - it needs to be his haven not his punishment!
I would work on two things at the minute - his independence and sleeping in your room.
Start each night moving his crate a few inches out your room.
Slowly build up the distance at bed time - let him become comfortable on the landing, near the stairs, downstairs, in the kitchen etc. It will be hard and he will cry but with perseverance it will ease.
In regard to his independence, try ignoring him for thirty seconds every time he comes at you, limit his snuggles to evening/afternoon. If he jumps on your lap, stand up and go and make a cup of tea. He needs to learn to self soothe.
Or just do what we did, give in to his cries, snuggle him every time he wants it, let him starfish in bed and let him become your fully fledged fur baby
don't do that
You've had loads of great advice already OP.
I've got a ten month old Cockapoo, and it does settle down I promise. Just persevere with leaving him for short amounts of time (slowly) building it up, to get him used to it. It's really important to not make a big fuss before you leave or after you return.
They are brilliant dogs, but super smart, it's the poodle in them I think. They pretty quickly work out how to train you in to getting what they want (at least ours does). We thought we were training ours to drop items she'd stolen, but instead she was training us to bring her treats by stealing things She soon lost interest in them, when we stopped doling out the treats.
You've had some great responses here, Comeonlittledog, but do you know there's a specific dog topic here on MN if you need further help?!
In the doghouse www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_doghouse
When my dog was a pup, I used to think she was part parrot. She'd fidget and cry (well, whimper a bit) in her crate but as soon as I put a cover over it she'd go off to sleep. She had a stuffed toy that the breeder had put into her crate before I got her, so she had the scent of her mum and siblings to comfort her (she's 7 now, and still has that toy!), and I stayed in the room with her. I built up the time she was in the crate veryyyyyy slowly, and rewarded instantly for being quiet in there. She also got all her treats in there, so she built up good associations with being in the crate.
She goes everywhere with me, and sleeps on my bed now (she has tasks to do before I get up), but she still takes herself off to the crate for daytime naps sometimes.
Yes to all advice above. Be wary of the pup developing separation anxiety if e is with you constantly. Start with a few seconds then keep making it longer. Wouldn't advise longer than 4 hours though, even when he is a grown adult.
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