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Tips on dealing with a cocker spaniel puppy.

(11 Posts)
teta Wed 29-Jun-11 10:02:57

We have had a puppy for a few days now.One of us is still acompanying the dog when it goes out every time.At what stage can you stop doing this?.We have a large garden and several places he could get lost or escape [are waiting for the dog tag but he has been chipped] and i am worried he will get lost.Also with the demands of 4 dc's i can't always be taking him out when he needs to go poo and he has cried to be let out [and i havn't got there in time] and then pooed inside [and then yaps to tell me he's done one].Secondly he made a big fuss of being put inside the kitchen last night[where his bed is] and scratched the kitchen door.He kept on running back to the conservatory where he likes to sleep when the children are in school.Is their anyone with experience here as i am a bit clueless with puppies as i've always had fully-grown dogs before!.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 29-Jun-11 10:12:37

You won't be able to stop accompanying it out for quite a while yet, not until toilet training is 100% and the dog is asking to go out when it needs to and not at all until your garden is 100% secure against people getting in aswell as the dog getting out. Dogs are stolen from gardens all the time for various reasons including being used as bait in dog fights sad

You need to make sure you take him out before he gets so desperate that he goes inside or you will set toilet training back. The odd accident won't matter but if it's happening daily you need to find more time.

They will fuss for the first few days. They've just left everything they know and been placed in a strange house and expected to sleep alone when they are used to the company of their mother and litter mates. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Anything else and your pup will learn that crying/scratching gets your attention and wil continue to do it as it's rewarding.

Crates help them feel safer and will also protect your doors and floor. Some people say hiding a ticking clock in the crate helps them as it would sound similar to the mothers heartbeat. Personally I find leaving a radio playing works just a well.

The first few months with a puppy are very hard, but if you stick at it you will see results in no time. If you haven't got the time or space to dedicate yourself 100% to the pup and it's training for these few months you should think about rehoming now, while he still a highly trainable, cute puppy.

Bast Wed 29-Jun-11 10:26:52

I'm on my own with four (and two dogs and two cats!). It's not impossible old are your eldest?

It is so important to be able to consistently meet your puppy's needs. Puppy's doing it's best to work with you, you have to be able to give the same (and more!) in return.

Secure your garden, asap. You'll never be able to just discard pup to the garden for any lengthy period, without incurring risk of it finding mischeif new and ingenious ways of entertaining itself out of boredom or loneliness, so your current position wont be changing a great deal in that respect.

When you choose a bed for your puppy (wherever that may be), consistency is key to them settling and accepting. Puppy will be upset at first, naturally so. A piece of your clothing, a radio on, etc can help them to feel comforted.

teta Wed 29-Jun-11 10:28:08

We live in a semi-rural location so i am not worried about him being dog-napped but i am worried about him escaping onto the road.He is just 12 weeks and is used to being outside in a cage surely he will probably have accidents for a while?.Its impossible to make the garden totally secure unfortunately as he is small enough to escape through the bars of the gates.We have planned for this dog for a long time and he is my eldest daughters dog and we have no intention of rehoming him as he is very much loved.But there must be some way of reconciling my dc's bedtime/storytime and his poo time!.How do other families do it?.He often forgets to poo when taken out and then i think he remembers when he comes in.

fruitshootsandheaves Wed 29-Jun-11 10:33:42

how old is your daughter. Perhaps the 'poo run' in the evening whilst you are dealing with the younger DC's could be her job.

Howdoesjuliancope Wed 29-Jun-11 11:30:29

I am definitely not an expert, more like a complete novice, but can tell you what has worked for us since getting our puppy.

Basically she sleeps in a crate at night so that I know she is safe and can't cause any damage in the house. I made that a really nice place and she seems to love it.

The other advantage is that puppies hate to soil their crate, so I can pop her in their for an hour while we do homework/stories in the evening and be quite confident that I won't come back to a mess; she has a chew toy or kong to keep her entertained but usually she naps.

I do accompany her outside at regular intervals and say a word that she now associates with doing a wee/poo (click and treat when she performs too) but I only wait for 3 mins - as recommended by Ian Dunbar though seems arbitrary - before coming back in and trying again half an hour later. I plan on doing this until she is completely reliable.

I do think that you need to secure your garden though, otherwise you will never be able to relax. We did this with pet fencing, although we also have a puppy play pen that allows me to pop her outside without worrying.

Howdoesjuliancope Wed 29-Jun-11 11:37:07

Sorry really should learn to be you could do a 3 min poo run and if no joy put her in safe fenced area of garden to poo until her hearts content (though not ideal as you won't be there to reward), or crate/puppy play pen to avoid little accidents altogether while you do other stuff.

teta Wed 29-Jun-11 12:04:15

Thank-you for the eminently sensible advice.We do have a cage ,but we were leaving the door open so he could move about the kitchen/utility [as my dh said it was cruel to lock him in]confused.Now i have just put him in the locked cage with his comfy basket and he seems quite happy.I think this is what i'll do during bedtime [thank-you Julian.....].My eldest daughter is 12 and is very good with the puppy - but is having a bath at the same time as my younger ones routine [who are 5 and twin 6 year olds].He is really quick at weeing but takes forever to poo but i had completely forgotten about clicker training-thank-you for reminding me.I think i will ask if i can cover the lower portion of the gates with chicken wire because i panic if i can't see him.Incidentally does anyone elses puppy love flowers?.He loves gambolling amongst the perennials and has sat on and squashed several!sad

runningbarefoot Wed 29-Jun-11 13:44:06

We have a working cocker now 3 years old and I've used a great website cockersonline which gives lots of info on all aspects of cockers. There's also a discussion forum which is helpful. Dog thieving happens all the time so please watch out, cockers are "popular" dogs to be stolen, it doesn't matter where you live. We are semi rural with lots of open space but we have tried to dog proof the garden, chicken wire across the 5 bar gate! checking it from time to time. Looked after a friends 16 week old cocker last week for a few days, the children adored her and they would love to have another! Good luck!

Bast Wed 29-Jun-11 16:22:50

Teta, was puppy cooling himself down? Sprocker wriggles and writhes along and lies in the base of our hedge to find the shady spots and cool leaves.

teta Thu 30-Jun-11 10:54:23

Thank-you for the website RunningBarefoot.It will be very useful.Have set up an outside 'puppy pen' in a corner of the garden so doggy can be go ouside when he needs to .Puppy has found his voice today and yapped excitedly at the kids as he wanted to play 'chase the shoe' when they were getting dressed this morning.very funny to hear a high-pitched bark!.Bast i'm not sure -i think he likes smelling and playing with the plants.Also if he sits in the plants he has a good vantage point on the hill -he can see who's coming and going.He is asleep on top of a pile of dirty washing now as he must like the smell.He kept on pulling down my eldest daughters pyjamas and sleeping on top of them yesterday.So cute.

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