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Out of my depth with new puppy

(20 Posts)
belindarose Sun 07-Aug-11 08:06:57

I've just acquired a 3 month old puppy. Had him two days now and am on my own this weekend with toddler, so it's been a litke stressful. Don't know if I'm doing the right things. Will be seeing vet on Tuesday so will ask about puppy classes then. Until then, any top tips on how to cope?
I've taught him 'sit' already, so that helps in a multiuser of situations. He's managed most toileting in the garden. Have a collar on but not managed lead yet. Slept well both nights. He has a crate. What do I need to do urgently? What should I avoid? Are there any helpful websites I could try?

DogMatic Sun 07-Aug-11 08:13:23

I can't offer any advice, but thought I'd just post to say hello. Our new puppy has been with us for less than 24 hours, the only reason I'm not still in bed is because I got up to let him out.

It sounds to me like you've achieved a lot already, what is it you are worried about?

belindarose Sun 07-Aug-11 08:29:33

Just it being a terribly bad idea! A very quick decision, but we've made it now, so will make it work. I'm worried that I've had to use the crate too much to keep DD (2) safe and happy. Obviously he needs complete supervision if loose as toddlers and their toys are so tempting! Hasn't had first vaccs yet so it's going to be a long time before we start getting out. So far it's been half hour stints in the garden with the two of them, then him crated for a bit while I do toddler stuff. Very exhausting! At least I'm used to early mornings.
Thanks for your post. Good luck. What is he?

DogMatic Sun 07-Aug-11 08:39:38

I'm sure someone who knows what they're talking about will be along soon. Have you read any books about puppies? I've had a look at a couple, which has meant that I feel confident both in terms of how to approach situations and what to expect. We have a rescue Lurcher who is allegedly 12 weeks, but we think may be younger. What do you have? I didn't enjoy listening to him cry last night, but his crate was dry this morning and he's fast asleep again.

Fortunately the local dog training organisation meet very locally, so I'm going to join after his next vaccination.

DogMatic Sun 07-Aug-11 08:41:16

Oh btw my youngest is 8, so we are past the toddler stage, but when mine were little I used to lothe it if dh was away at the weekend let alone adding a new puppy I to the mix. Don't be hard on yourself.

clam Sun 07-Aug-11 09:01:55

Come and join our 'new puppy' thread on here. Lots of us in the same boat - or emerging from the depths of despair anyway.

What sort of puppy have you got?

belindarose Sun 07-Aug-11 09:53:47

Thanks. Ploughing my way through the many pages of the new puppy thread at the moment. Hoping for some happy endings there!

Howdoesjuliancope Sun 07-Aug-11 10:55:28

Belindarose, I am also on the new puppy thread, and can remember feeling overwhelmed for several weeks after bringing our puppy home. In fact I think I would have given her back to the breeder if it hadn't been for the children at one point!

But she is almost 18 weeks now and I don't feel like that any more - we all love her and couldn't imagine being without her at all. I think the relentless puppy misery just eased gradually until we suddenly realised that she hadn't jumped or nipped or done a wee indoors for ages.

In my experience, the most important thing you need to do is decide on your house rules and apply them consistently - don't allow your pup to do things now that you won't want her doing as a big muddy slobbery dog. I think it is very easy to make mistakes in the chaos of the early days and end up with a problem that is difficult to resolve.

Also socialisation is very important at this stage so even if pup can't go on the ground, you could carry her around your neighbourhood and get her used to the sights and sounds of the outside world.

I would also suggest getting a good book - maybe something by Gwen Bailey - that will give you training advice and other useful information.

belindarose Sun 07-Aug-11 11:07:52

I noticed you on the other thread, thanks. Haven't listened to Julian Cope for years! I ordered the Gwen Bailey book on Friday. Hopefully will arrive tomorrow. Or maybe I'll get the kindle edition now if there is one. Definitely keen not to get into any bad habits. So far have been using ideas from the Dogs Trust site. I'll join in on the other thread when I can manage more than two seconds on here!

Howdoesjuliancope Mon 08-Aug-11 09:42:24

The new puppy thread is enough to put anyone off grin so you really need to persevere to the end, when most of us started finding things a bit easier!

I did lots of reading before our pup arrived, and it really helped me to recognise certain situations or behaviours as they arose, and gave me confidence to deal with them. I think that I would definitely download the kindle version and start reading immediately - but maybe that's just me, I never do anything without reading a book about it first!

One other thing I wondered about was whether you would benefit from a puppy playpen - ours is 8 panels (one with a door in it) and you can configure them to suit. We found this a big help, and are still using it now. It is usually in the kitchen and just gives her a roomier space than the crate, so she can play safely while I cook supper or whatever. Today it was in the garden because we had a barbecue, so we could pop her in when we were eating or when the children got fed up of her 'joining in' their games. Anyway, just a thought if you are struggling to keep your 2yo and puppy separate..

belindarose Mon 08-Aug-11 14:27:13

Thanks again. I can section off a bit of kitchen with a room divider. Wouldn't stop him jumping over I don't think, but would certainly help in some situations. Think we're bonding okay. Feeling guilty about not spending enough time with either of them, but that's probably just parenting in general! DH has been away all weekend and working late all week, so will hardly see him.
Damn, puppy now all chilled and sleeping next to me and the baby has woken up! Aaaaaagh!

belindarose Mon 08-Aug-11 14:28:10

There isn't a kindle edition unfortunately. Been reading Ian Dunbar on the web to help in the meantime

alp Mon 08-Aug-11 23:21:51

Belindarose both myself and a few others on the new puppy thread have toddlers too si we know exactly what you are going through, we are also out the otherside and I cannow say like howdoesjuliancope has done that we are enjoying having a puppy. Hang on in there.

Ps Gwen Baileys book is very good

belindarose Tue 09-Aug-11 08:27:30

Hurray, toddler will be going to childminder's in half an hour! I'm working from home so will have more time for puppy. Yesterday was a pretty good day. He settled in the evening better and slept on my lap, then went into his crate without a whine at bedtime. Must join in on puppy thread! Hoping my book arrives today. He's mastered 'sit' now and I don't know how to do much else!

belindarose Tue 09-Aug-11 10:52:14

Book hasn't come in morning post, so probably won't today. Can anyone with the Gwen Bailey book suggest what I should be doing about jumping up? He's stopped jumping up at me as I ignored him if he did and rewarded/ praised him when his feet were on the ground. But a couple of times he's got to the toddler before me and jumped up. I've called him to me each time and have mostly been able to prevent it happening. Am I doing the right thing? Also, any advice on stones! He seems to love them and picks them up in the garden. So far I've swapped them each time for a piece of kibble. Able to distract him with play sometimes. Constant vigilance!

Howdoesjuliancope Tue 09-Aug-11 10:53:38

Sounds good belindarose.

If you have mastered 'sit' you could try progressing to 'down' (when you want her to lie down).

If you can't wait for your book, we did this by putting pup in a 'sit' and then holding a treat near her nose and then moving it slowly down between her front paws. As puppy naturally moves into the 'down' position to get the treat, use your clicker or special word that tells her she has done what you wanted (we just say 'yes'). Gradually you can progress to naming the action and saying 'down' as she gets into position. Soon you will be able to say the word (perhaps accompanied by whatever hand action you choose to use) and she will do it. It worked for us anyway!

Enjoy your toddler-free day!

Howdoesjuliancope Tue 09-Aug-11 10:57:44

Sorry x-post!

We ignored the jumping, but then we don't have small children in the house so am not sure really - am sure someone will be along with experience.

With regards stones - our trainer said to teach 'drop' and just persistently replace stone with a chew toy.

After the billionth time of doing this, and the realisation that I wouldnt be able to stop it if we were on an off-lead walk, I gave up and let her have them. She rattles them around her mouth a bit, but doesn't swallow them, and it does seem to happen a lot less now. Maybe something they grow out of?

belindarose Tue 09-Aug-11 11:17:13

Great tips, thanks. Can't imagine me running round after her on a shingle beach replacing every stone, so hopefully they grow out of that one!! Funny you suggested teaching lie down. I thought it would be a good next step and have looked for tips on the Internet (Ian Dunbar fab, with videos). Anyway, using the same technique you've suggested he just doesn't get it at all! He hasn't managed to lie down once to get the reward to learn what to do. He walks forward or just sits and looks at me and is cleay thinking 'wtf am I supposed to do here??'. He's a very nice dog so far. I'm already feeling a lot more hopeful. Vets this pm for first jabs, so car journey. Are they expected to be in crates like cats or is carrying and lap okay? I know not to put him on the floor.

Pisky Tue 09-Aug-11 11:24:19

For trip to vets for jabs she was on DHs lap - I didn't trust one of the kids to hold her still long enough.

We then went into the pet shop and got her a car harness (goes round her and clips into the seatbelt thingy) that we will try out tonight to get to puppy class.

I've only got a micra so no space for her crate.

belindarose Tue 09-Aug-11 11:30:42

I've got a harness so will have to use that as I'm on my own. He came here in the back of my friend's car and just sat, but he's gained confidence since then! Thanks.

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