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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 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.

JaxTellerIsMyFriend Thu 08-Nov-12 09:23:38

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

worsestershiresauce Thu 08-Nov-12 09:38:32

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.

worsestershiresauce Thu 08-Nov-12 10:06:42

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)

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