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New Puppy Mummies No. 4

(300 Posts)
SallyBear Thu 30-Jan-14 10:52:22

Have we really got to a fourth thread already?! grin Wow.

Please feel free to join in.

I have Toby, who is a 7 month old foxy coloured Labrador.

moosemama Sun 02-Mar-14 22:37:07

Hi insantity, just thought I'd bump the thread for you and keep it visible for any new puppy owners that might be in need of support.

Hope it's all going well for you all.

Sorcha1966 Sun 09-Mar-14 20:45:48

any advice about how to encourage calmness n the lead? Lola is pretty calm most of the time but goes ballistic when you put a lead on her, she twists and bites the lead and growls, sometimes she spins round and round and round. We are only walking in the garden at the moment but I cant imagine walks are going to be much fun if she doesn't relax with the lead on..

mintchocchick Sun 09-Mar-14 20:48:53

Is Lola into treats? Could you make her sit for a treat, stay and while she's concentrating on you and your treat, clip lead on and quickly distract with treat then keep treating/distracting and start to walk?

Our puppy took a while to get used to his lead, like you in the garden to start with, and we needed or distract him LOADS as he found the lead really exciting. Treats worked wonders for us though for just about everything!

steppingintothecanineunknown Mon 10-Mar-14 16:38:57

Hello, can I join you!?
I am getting a puppy in three weeks and as a first timer, am rather clueless about what I need etc.
We have spent ages considering the actual decision about whether to get one and been very careful about it all. I work at home, dc school age and sensible, so lots of people for him to play with etc.

Please can you tell me your very best puppy tips for complete idiots first timers?

hmc Mon 10-Mar-14 16:58:20

I think I might need this thread - have a flatcoat retriever pup 9 weeks old tomorrow and feel a bit out of my depth ( despite not bring new to dog owning - I think I have forgotten it all!)

insanityscatching Mon 10-Mar-14 18:42:33

Well it's only been a fortnight but it feels like Eric has been here forever tbh. He's a funny wee thing and makes us laugh daily and I think he's far smarter than I am some days.He misses nothing no matter how stealth like I think I am being.
We've dropped from four meals to three which seems to suit him better and it means he snoozes from early evening instead of having a chase round at about 11pm.
We seem to be getting on alright, the house is tidier in some respects in so far as everything is up off the floor so that he can't chew but he has amassed a collection of toys that he has scattered around instead and the hoover is always out.

moosemama Mon 10-Mar-14 20:03:33

Busy now, but will try and pop back later.

insanityscatching Wed 12-Mar-14 20:16:54

Well Eric has been on his first lead walk out of the house/garden today. He was very cooperative although that might have been down to the bits of sausage I had in my pocket. He did bark and growl at an old man who wanted to fuss him but he was his new best friend once he fed him a piece of sausage (he is so easily won over) Gratuitous photo alert grin

moosemama Wed 12-Mar-14 20:42:57

Oops, bad week, didn't pop back after all. blush

Oh look at him -he's gorgeous! It's amazing the power that sausage has over them isn't it? Well done Eric on your first four-paw outing. grin

Sorcha What sort of lead are you using? Some leads might feel quite heavy and drag on the neck to a young pup. Could you start off with something like a piece of string and let it trail whilst treating her, then gradually build up the tension using treats as reward? An alternative would be a house-line (you can get them from pet shops) as they're really lightweight and you just leave them to trail all the time. This would get her used to being attached at the neck, iyswim and eventually she'd just forget it was there.

steppinginto what sort of things do you want to know?

Off the top of my head:

1. don't bother with paper training or puppy pads if you can avoid it. Take pup outside regularly (after every meal, game, sleep and intermittently in between) and give lots of fuss (preferable to treats) to reward them toiletting in the right place. If they do have an accident inside, ignore it and clean up quietly using a biological/biocide cleaner such as Simple Solution or the Pets at Home own brand. Anything else will leave a scent that you won't be able to smell, but pup will and that will encourage him/her to go again in the same area. You need to clean up as waste residue as possible, then thoroughly douse the area with the cleaner, leave a few minutes then blot off the excess.

2. Don't buy an expensive bed unless you're prepared for it to get wrecked. Puppies can be very hard on their beds with lots of chewing and ragging etc, so something cheap and cheerful like an old duvet with a piece of vet-bedding (available from most pet shops) or some blankets will suffice to begin with. Some people use a cardboard box with blankets in that they can replace when it gets damaged.

3. Don't expect pup to be happy sleeping alone at first. Personally I believe it's best to either sleep downstairs nearby for the first few nights or have them in your room. Being taken away from Mum/siblings is hard enough for them, but do bear in mind, in most cases, they've never been on their own for a second before you brought them home. Which leads me to ...

4. Start building up the time you leave them very gradually asap. Just a few seconds at first, perhaps starting with you on the other side of the same room, then a couple of seconds out of the door, then work up to minutes and so on. A tasty chew, treat or kong smeared with something yummy will help distract and teach them that your absence is a positive thing, rather than something to worry about.

5. Have plenty of puppy safe toys around ready to redirect them if they chew anything they shouldn't or are a bit nippy/mouthy. No need to scold, just shove the appropriate chewable item in their mouth and then tell them they're good in a really positive voice.

Very tired right now, so that's all I can come up with. Do come and ask any more specific questions though and I'll do my best to help.

Oh - and what breed are you getting ... and we will need gorgeous photos to coo over especially as some of our cute cuddly pups have now turned into lanky legged teenage hooligans. wink

hmc how can we help? I'm sure it's just new puppy nerves. I've had dogs for well over 20 years now, but I still panic with every newcomer. blush I love flatcoats, there are a few at our training club and they all have lovely temperaments and such beautiful coats. smile

steppingintothecanineunknown Wed 12-Mar-14 22:27:57

Thank you for all this fab info. I had started a separate thread as it went quiet on here but this is great too.
Lots to think about!!
I've ordered the crate and got some treats in from Ocado but we have a couple of weeks yet to buy other things eg. bowl. Still not sure how to transport him in the car. Concerned that a crate will take up the whole boot but not sure about other options. Argh!

He is a golden cockapoo. Hoping he will be low shedding but know it is not guaranteed by any means. His mum is a lively springer spaniel and dad is a calm and chilled poodle.

hmc Thu 13-Mar-14 13:44:10

hmc - it is new puppy nerves. I've also added on another layer of pressure for myself - we lost our Bernese Mountain Dog (age 7) just a few short weeks ago to a brain tumour and I keep feeling guilty that I took her for granted and didn't give her sufficient attention; it's like I am trying to make amends with this one and helicopter parenting the puppy! (nutter alert). At least I've realised what I am doing though and trying to ease off now. My friends did laugh though - have been over to a friends house with others for coffee with puppy and I was the first to leave because it was past pup's lunch time

If you have any advice on how to stop Beau nibbling my 9 year old son that would be great - we've tried offering him a chew toy every time he does it and saying "no" quite sternly, but he is still going for ds with his sharp little teeth

Stepping - re transport in the car, I have a travel fold away light weight tough fabric 'crate' that goes in the boot and does the job perfectly. I got it from Pets at Home. I'll try and look it up online and post a link

hmc Thu 13-Mar-14 13:44:44

moosemama! - see how I am losing the plot, I addressed last post to myself and not you blush

hmc Thu 13-Mar-14 13:47:55

our travel crate for the car

moosemama Thu 13-Mar-14 14:50:29

Steppingin, how about a car harness if you only have a small boot? Bear in mind that car/travel crates don't need to be anywhere near as big as house crates, as you need the dog contained so they don't get flung around in the event of an accident.

hmc, I am so sorry you lost your Berner. We were supposed to be getting a Bernese when I noticed Oldgirl on a local rescue's website and couldn't just leave her there. We had researched breeders and were regularly emailing a couple about potential litters etc, but fate stepped in and we ended up with our gorgeous rescue girl instead.

I was/am very similar in terms of feeling guilty. We lost Oldgirl to osteosarcoma, very suddenly, last Spring and once we took on Pip I was wracked with guilt that we hadn't been doing anywhere near as much for Oldgirl as we did for him, but that's just the way it is, puppies are high needs for a relatively short while and eventually start to fit the family and settle within it's rhythms. That's why we choose to have dogs, because eventually they become part of the family and we start to compliment one and another. If they stayed as high-needs as tiny pups forever I am pretty sure less people would have dogs. People that want that level of constant activity choose high-energy breeds and do things like flyball and agility with them, most of us just want to end up with a well-rounded, easy going member of the family.

I am also pretty helicoptery when they're tiny, but as you are now doing, you have to try and make yourself remember that we want our dogs to enhance our lives, not take them over and if they do end up taking over they become a chore and that's not good for us or the dog. We all have to find the balance that works for us. Also, we need to teach them how to fit into our lives and if we start living our lives around them too much they never learn and become those well rounded family members.

I know needastrongone is very similar to us and put in 110% when she got her first pup, then found it all too much and no fun. She now has her second pup, is much more relaxed and loving it.

Re nipping, if shoving a toy in his mouth doesn't work, try getting your ds to stop whatever he's doing that's giving pup attention and turning his back. Nipping stops play immediately every time, even accidental toothy contact should be treated the same - the rule has to be no pup's teeth should ever touch human skin. If pup tries to jump and nip etc and is too much for ds, I'd recommend a short time out for the pup. No anger or scolding, just stop the game and lead him away to behind a dog gate or door for a couple of seconds. Then bring him back in calmly and get him to do something different, like a sit or down that you can reward.

A lot of it is age, consistency is the key and he will grow out of it as long as you always handle it in a firm, calm way. Lots of people on the New Puppy Mummy threads have had similar issues if you have time to do a search and read back through the posts and I think we've all come out the other side now with pups of 8/9 months old.

steppingintothecanineunknown Thu 13-Mar-14 14:52:22

Sorry to hear about losing your Bernese too young. Understandable that you are being extra-cautious with the new pup.

The crate looks ideal - can it be hooked up to the seatbelt (some can be right?) or is it loose in the car?

hmc Thu 13-Mar-14 19:04:41

Thank you for your very helpful and sensitive post moosemama - lots to reflect on there. I agree, your dog should enhance your life not encumber it. Tbh Beau seems to be a very happy go lucky puppy so I should just relax a bit. I will try that advice re the biting, sounds like it should work.

Interesting that you were looking at Bernese - I'd say Belle was the most loving, loyal and gentle soul and we were so lucky to have her...but I wouldn't go there again with a Bernese because their life expectancy is so short. Sorry about Oldgirl - I guess you must be coming up to her anniversary. They leave such a gap behind don't they sad

Stepping we have a grill divider thingy (I forget the appropriate terminology) in the boot of our car separating the boot from the passenger area and we secure the travel crate with a couple of bungees to the divider thingy so that it doesn't move around in the boot (if that makes sense)

moosemama Thu 13-Mar-14 19:44:48

I wouldn't have a Bernese now, despite what incredible and beautiful dogs they are. It's hard enough to lose them anyway, without it being so young. Dh has always wanted a Leonberger, but we won't be having one of those either for the same reason.

We still miss Oldgirl so much, she was a huge character and such a loving girl. I try not to remember anniversaries of losing people/animals, prefer to remember them on their birth or gotcha days (the day we rescued them). She was so full of life, right up until she was diagnosed, we had no idea she was so ill and it came as a huge shock to us. I always thought she'd be one of those dogs that went on forever getting creakier and smellier. She was just shy of 14 years old, so no spring chicken, I just always thought we'd have her for longer. sad

insanityscatching Fri 14-Mar-14 14:27:18

Just wanted to post to say that today Eric cried to be let out to toilet grin I am so proud, it probably equals the first wee on a potty with my PFB. He is such a clever dog which is just as well as I am probably clueless in all things dog and rely on these boards and others for advice.

moosemama Fri 14-Mar-14 14:45:21

Well done Eric! grin

insanityscatching Tue 18-Mar-14 18:41:54

More questions sorry, Eric definitely knows when he needs to go and asks to be let out, (if only potty training had been so easy wink) I also take him out about hourly.
It has to be said that he always pees/poops if he asks and only occasionally does on my supplement trips so how long should I leave it before I stop the extra trips and allow him to just tell me instead?
Eric loves to dig and we now have various items "buried" in the garden but the funniest thing is he "buries" stuff indoors too which actually means he places a treat or a toy in the corner of a room and then covers it with a piece of paper the size of a postage stamp or a stray sockgrin

SallyBear Thu 27-Mar-14 18:17:07

Just popping my head around the kennel door. How are you all? Toby (yellow lab) is 9 months old and full of beans. Has a couple if habits that if any of you can give me some advice/tips then is be grateful. First one is eating poo, his own. Ugh. Second is his love of hard plastic kids toys - Lego is great to crunch.
He gets two meals a day and is about 25kgplus.

basildonbond Thu 27-Mar-14 19:53:17

hello sally - i was wondering how you and Toby were the other day (we saw a lovely fox red lab who must be about the same age)

no advice on the poo eating front I'm afraid, although my sister's springer/lab cross did eventually grow out of it (when she was past 3 though ...)

As far as the lego goes, I've told the dc that anything which gets left in Fitz's reach is fair game - he's not allowed upstairs so they can be messy with impunity (as far as marauding puppies are concerned) in their rooms but I have to say it's resulted in much less crap on the floor downstairs!

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Sat 19-Apr-14 16:05:06

Sorry for not posting, haven't been on mn much at all recently

Griff is still hard work. We did a five week puppy training course but they're not doing the next stage one so am really not sure to do next

Had an incident today where the draw of a boy fussing him was greater than my ability to recall him and he terrified a little girl (who backed into a gorse bush then claimed he had scratched her) I think she was scared of dogs full stop not just him.
Actually fucked me off as it's where we walk the dogs (loads of us do and we locals get to know each other) wind, rain and shine and as soon as the warmer holidays kick in the grockles appear and expect us to change our behaviour.
I had been worried about letting him off the lead as his recall is still getting there but of course I can't teach him recall without letting him off so the trainer had told me I had to. Feel shaken up by it, especially as I've been in bed ill all week and don't feel particularly strong as it is.
Sorry am rambling

Good news is he chews a lot less and when he does it tends to be appropriate things. He understand loads of commands, attention is another matter.

Any tips on teaching him 'quiet'? As he's got quite barky.

moosemama Sat 19-Apr-14 17:11:18

Hi Jayne.

Remind me how old Griff is now?

A lot of us have jumped onto a thread for slightly older pups, not wanting to scare off new owners here - but this thread sort of dried up after that.

I would highly recommend a harness and long-line for recall training. That way you retain a degree of control and he can still have some freedom.

For barking, try capturing the barking, adding a command/cue word to it and rewarding, then doing the same with 'quiet'. Basically once he's stopped barking say 'quiet' and reward. They tend to pick it up really quickly. I quite like this video for seeing it in action.

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Sat 19-Apr-14 19:28:08

He's 4 1/2 months. I've tried the long line idea. Both my dogs seem to know they're still on a lead and so behave differently.
Will watch the video when I'm on a device I can. I was trying to tell him quiet and then rewarding him for being quiet but he seems to have learnt that as 'if I bark and then stop I get rewarded'.
No wonder I couldn't find you, I'll have a look at the other thread

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