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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?

daisydotandgertie Wed 07-Nov-12 11:04:53

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.

daisydotandgertie Wed 07-Nov-12 11:09:42

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.

daisydotandgertie Wed 07-Nov-12 12:14:16

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?

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