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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.

I didn't enjoy the little puppy stage. I'm not a big fan of newborn babies either. They both grow up, luckily, and become much more interesting and fun wink

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 10:43:04

Is there not somewhere in your house that you could fence him in rather than crating him as it sounds like he slept better the night he escaped! Our puppy (14 weeks ish when we got him) came to us suddenly so we borrowed my mothers cat pen . I slept downstairs for a few nights , but never took him out for toileting in the night . We quickly moved to a pen created by the use of a stair gate in a corridor outside the downstairs loo. He has his blankets on the floor there and we've now removed the gate ( he's 2.5) and when we go out he has the run of the hallway and kitchen . He is not allowed upstairs at all as he chews anything that is fluffy/ furry/ slippers . He was reliably housetrained by 20 weeks and goes to wee on command ( go quick) . Please don't be put off , It is hard work at first but thy get bigger and better very quickly. If you're going out and can take him do that , mine loves the car . He has always had a car harness ,sits on the font seat and TBH we find it wears him out as well as a walk does .

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 10:58:44

Chickens - do you know what? I enjoyed my DC's more after about 6 months and particularly after 3, when, as you say they are more interesting and fun.

Floral - our friends did suggest our utility room. Ok, he could chew the units, which are new but I guess a door wouldn't cost all that much to replace. I am not sure I want him upstairs either and I don't think it's good for their joints (he has really long, legs). I am just a bit worried that, if we do move him to the utilty he will howl in there and I will have undone any progess (lol) I made with the crate.

What do people think about that idea? He did sleep for 6 hours after he escaped!

Have just been in the garden playing with him for the last half an hour, lots of fun. He was loping about making me giggle, he runs like a rabbit 'cos of his long legs. I did take a lot of toys out with me but he was happy me sniffing and me kicking the leaves around. He's curled up now by my feet after this, going to sleep, he did whine a bit after we came in for attention which I ignored, was that right? Was half and hour ok? It's a big garden but I came in before he seemed too tired?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 10:59:54

Have scooped him up and put him in his bed in the crate, which he accepted?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 11:04:12

The travel crate is a Ferplast 80 or something like that, I would need to check.
Not sure DH would be happy with him being on the seat of my car, it's new and we saved hard etc for it. It's still a bit at the 'precious' stage that men seem to have about their cars. Should have kept the old one but sods law etc.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 11:08:28

And! He's asleep now in crate, I need to collect my SIL at 12pm. If he's asleep, best to put a Kong in maybe and leave him? Damn the timing of him going to sleep!

If he's wide awake when I stick him in his travel crate he will howl like mad, which will impress SIL, who is getting her new pup in three weeks!

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 11:09:10

Balls, just had a text from SIL, who is arriving at 11.30am, will have to leave him.

BerryPie Thu 08-Nov-12 11:11:39

I don't know DoubleMocha in real life, but I feel I want to speak up on her behalf - she's been posting in the Doghouse for months now, waiting for her puppy, and has always struck me as incredible prepared for what lay ahead. If you're quoting Gwen Bailey and know what protein level your puppy's food should have (I was so impressed!), two months before said puppy is due to arrive, I think it's fair to say you're not doing things on the spur of the moment.

Double, it's good to hear from you, sorry you're finding things hard. Sleep deprivation is a killer, and if you're trying to spare your DH from the worst of it, it will make it even worse. You won't be seeing things clearly at the moment, you're just too tired, so just have faith and hang in there!

I found the first 2-3 weeks with my puppy a total nightmare, tbh. I was trying to pretend it wasn't so bad (because it had all been my idea), but it really was. It was just SO full on - she slept at night but had tummy problems and the whole house reeked of diarrhea the entire time, and when she was awake she would just bite bite bite us. I really didn't like her, at all.

To be frank, even when the tummy improved and the biting got slightly better, I still had moments when I wished I'd never got her. I liked her, but didn't think I would mind too much if someone had come and taken her off my hands and promised her a lovely life somewhere else. It's only recently (she's almost five months now) that I have started to really love her. She's developed into the sweetest young dog, the DCs adore her (after being petrified in the beginning), and she now feels like a proper member of the family.

It's normal for it to take time, though. Don't give him back!! Hang in there, find a way of getting some sleep, even if it's on the sofa with the puppy. When he's more settled with you, you can start working on getting him to sleep where you want. For now, just get to know each other, and don't be too hard on yourself.

Oh, and don't worry too much about when and how much he's sleeping. Puppies sleep a LOT - just leave him to it, don't wake him up unless you have to. He'll find is own routine, enjoy the peace and quiet when you can!

LadyTurmoil Thu 08-Nov-12 11:32:06

Berry is absolutely right! You can do all the research in the world but it will never prepare you for the reality, it's really, really hard in the beginning. As I've said, I had a complete meltdown in a week so you're doing very well! You also feeling the extra weight of responsibility/guilt when you can see that your OH isn't very happy with the situation but, as everyone says, it will get better. I know that when you're really down as well as knackered, it's almost impossible to believe that it will get better, BUT IT WILL. I know that I felt completely confused and out of my comfort zone in the week we were looking after the puppy and it took me a long time to not feel bad about howI didn't cope, when I saw that everyone else was (or so it looked). It was a hyper collie cross puppy who absolutely stank the whole house out so we had all windows open in November (not good!) Don't be too hard on yourself, get out of the house a couple of times a day, leave him in the crate after a play and a wee/poo and it will be ok. Even if it's just to get yourself an expensive cup of coffee from Starbucks. Take care of yourself, that's the most important thing. Xx

daisydotandgertie Thu 08-Nov-12 11:42:05

Hey. Come on. You are over thinking this.

If he needs to go in his crate, that's exactly what should happen. YOU are the one in charge and that is exactly what he will expect you to be.

He is not a baby. He is a puppy and needs treating like one. He does not get to call the shots; you do. Continue just as you are, firm calm and gentle with him. You are doing everything right.

DO NOT change your night time routine now. You have battled this far and it won't be many more nights before he gets the drift. You could add a big soft cuddly toy in the crate to give him something to snuggle up to if you like.

You have only had him for 4 days. He has only been alive for 8 weeks; and only eating solid food for 2 of them. He has a lot to learn, and to do that he needs consistency. Don't bugger all your hard work up by changing tack today. You will end up with a very confused pup and right back at the beginning.

Puppies are tough. And bloody hard work. Adorable, but very challenging. I have answered so many posts here on pretty much the same thing that I've thought about asking HQ for their equivalent of a sticky.

Calm down, stop stressing. Stop treating him like a baby and worrying accordingly. As long as he is warm, fed and toileted there is little else he needs. Love him, enjoy him and ignore the noise.

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 11:42:17

doublemocha am a bit confused, is the Ferplast 80 the only crate you've got? Not surprised he hates it, you need to get one like in the link i posted. Apologies if I've got it wrong and you do just use that for travel and he has a bigger one for the house. When you use the Ferplast in the car make sure it's positioned so that he has maximum view out of the rear window iyswim.

If you go with the seat of the car, get a big blanket to protect the car seat with.

I read BerryPie's post with interest. I still maintain that the OP doesn't come across as prepared in her posts, I'm sorry. All these things she's posting about are ENTIRELY normal for any puppy and even more so with the breed she's chosen.

Yes, a puppy is hard work but they are also fun and I wasn't getting any sense of 'joy' from some of the OP's earlier posts.

LadyTurmoil Thu 08-Nov-12 12:46:12

It's NOT fun, Rhinestone when you're completely stressed with worries about if you're doing things right - crate, food, housetraining, husband, children - they all seem to be insurmountable problems when you're stressed/tired and have a busy life full of things to deal with. You can start to doubt why the hell you ever brought this little ball of trouble into your life, were you mad? That's the kind of thing that goes on in your mind, ALL the time, in these kind of situations. Suddenly, you feel inadequate and powerless to improve matters and so it's very hard to see where the fun is, and very hard to imagine a time when things will get better, however much you're prepared for it. Of course, all these things are normal for a puppy, but if you're a first time owner, you may be doing all the right things but you're never SURE you are, which makes you stressed.

Agree, Lady. If I ever get another puppy ( a big fat IF <traumatised>) I'll be a little more prepared for all of those feelings. It was the same with the DC. I remember being completely overwhelmed by DS1 for the first few weeks, it was nothing like how I'd expected it to be. When DS2 came along, I knew it would be tough but would pass.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 12:55:11

Thank you, that's how I feel. I read all I could, talked to breeders, spent lots of time talking to our friends with the Vizsla, and of course time with the dog herself. Changed my working hours to be at home etc. I am not sure what else I could have done?

It's like when I had my first DC, nothing can prepare for it.

No, there's not much joy yet (some, but not much) for all the reasons LadyTurmoil and BerryPie say. Surely not everyone bonds even with their own babies sometimes even if they longed for them??

I am not sure how to establish a routine, whether to go with the flow, persist with the crate or sleep with him? Whether being with him all the time will make it harder at night etc etc. If I do sleep downstairs, how to move back upstairs, etc etc.

But, in answer to the question, I have two crates.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 12:57:55

Cross post with Chickens. Exactly. I WANT our dog to be happy and lovely and well behaved etc but it's all feeling overwhelming.

Am worried about the kids too, DS looking very pale, even with ear plugs!

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 12:59:48

It's NOT fun, Rhinestone when you're completely stressed with worries about if you're doing things right - crate, food, housetraining, husband, children - they all seem to be insurmountable problems when you're stressed/tired and have a busy life full of things to deal with.

LadyTurmoil - you do know that getting a dog isn't compulsory don't you?

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 13:03:11

Nor is having children but how much stress do they cause?!

Rhinestone Thu 08-Nov-12 13:12:48

doublemocha I've tried my best to help you and give you some honest advice to help you and your pup. I don't really get the vibe from you that my advice is wanted or appreciated so am going to leave this thread.

Read your earlier posts back and I'm afraid you don't come across as someone who was prepared for any puppy, let alone that breed. Some of the questions you're asking are very basic and any puppy training book would have contained the answers. Of course I believe that you did do all that research, just saying your posts don't come across that way.

Good luck and I sincerely wish you and pup many happy years together.

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 14:11:10

Hi , I think I'd be tempted to try the utility room . Also re the car , I have a new car it's got seat covers on and I have a blanket that I put on the seat when the dog is in there . I don't open the window on his side as that encourages him to try and stick his head out . On nice days I take him out in my sons car which is older and he's allowed to stand with his head out of the window! I do think its very stressful at first , especially if the whole family are not as on board as they could be . My DH didn't really want a dog at all and although he loves him now at the beginning it was entirely up to me to deal with him . The thing to remember is it does improve quickly ( way quicker than children) and stop worrying so much , do what is right for your family and your pup - he won't break !

LadyTurmoil Thu 08-Nov-12 14:31:56

Sorry, but Rhinestone doesn't seem to get it that you might have wanted a dog (for years sometimes), read all the right books, like DoubleMocha, but like many things in life, things don't turn out they way you had visualised them, just like children! I'm glad to see that others are more understanding about the situation and I'm sure you will settle into more of a routine and everything will seem better for you and not so overwhelming. All my best wishes to you in the few days/week. floralnomad I'm interested to see that your DH wasn't keen, mine isn't either - how did you persuade him??

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 14:47:37

In the end it was pressure from our DD that made him cave , she hadn't been well ( still isn't ) and he just conceded . He then wanted a Westie and was persuaded to come to Battersea and ended up with a X Patterdale , so nothing really went his way . Having said that he loves him now , although he won't admit it ( we have photographic evidence ) .

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 15:04:48

I don't want an argument, really I don't. I read Ceasar Milan (!), Gwen Bailey, Ian Dunbar. They all say different stuff and even on this infomative and supportive place (The Doghouse) there's a myriad of opinion.

For example, Gwen Bailey suggests taking pup home on your knee a cuddling etc during the drive, so he can go to sleep. I took wipes, a toy, rag from mum, blanket. Was that not prepared? She doesn't say what to do when the puppy wriggles and moves up down and round for the entire journey! Cesar suggests a different method. It's hard for a newbie.

I took out to the garden immediately. I had prepared the crate, fed him there, left the door open etc. Pehaps tried too hard to be upbeat and excitable.

I have been carrying him around to let him see stuff, been to see our friends vaccinated dogs etc. Trying to let him see various situations etc.

Perhaps mentally I wasn't prepared for the reality.

In addition, it's hard to know the reality. ie - this afternoon, we played in the garden for 20 minutes, I let him sniff around a lot too. I took him up the street to let him see traffic etc. He wriggled like mad!

I then toileted him but then had a bit of a tug with him on our broom which he loves then pottered round the kitchen and he's found a bullystick (dried bulls willy) which he also loves and let him chew by himself. He took himself to his bed in his crate and is now asleep. Would that be appropriate?

If I am not around when he wakes up, he will worry a bit. I wonder whether to close the crate or not, I haven't.

Thanks Lady, maybe I will be in a position to provide advice in a few months!

I am sorry your DD is unwell Floral and thanks for your kind words.

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 15:11:52


Thanks for your supportive messages. When you are on your own and tired, it's lovely to have people to 'chat' to!

doublemocha Thu 08-Nov-12 15:16:09


For those who slept downstairs in some capacity, did you just quietly say shush when puppy woke and after a toilet break, no lights or fuss etc. How did you 'withdraw', just move yourself slowly further away or, decide they were settled and go back upstairs?

Many thanks

Floralnomad Thu 08-Nov-12 15:25:51

Personally if you are at home and there is no need to have the crate closed I would leave it open , however I'm not a crate user so others would be able to give better advice. With regards to the showing Him stuff I wouldn't get to hung up on it at the moment ,there is plenty of time for that when you can take him out . BTW a Halti training lead is a good thing to get , it was the one our puppy trainer recommended. I think sometimes you can over think things , as I've said on a previous thread my DH agreed to get a dog on the Thursday and we bought pup home from Battersea on the Sunday so there was no time to really prepare or worry . In a way I think that was a good thing and my dog is very well adjusted.

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