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Meet Poppy

(113 Posts)
Fifyfomum Fri 21-Mar-14 18:50:51

Poppy is six months old, she is a Spaniel crossed with a Husky and has had two previous owners, the first kept her in the kitchen all the time, barely walked her and as far as I can tell gave her away when she wasn't 'puppy like' enough for them.

The second owners already had a dog and 5 children in a 2 bedroom house and when I arrived it was clear she had not been walked and was in a dirty, tiny kitchen. I found out about her through face book and immediately went to get her.

We pretty much fell in love straight away, I walked her as soon as I got home and we've been out once more today, I am just about to take her for another hours walk before settling down for the night.

She hasn't eaten much today, I put some bisto gravy in her biscuits but that didnt seem to entice her and she also hasn't passed urine or had a bowel movement since I collected her.

She is quite pulley on the lead and doesn't seem to have been trained at all, still she is very clever and has come a long way even since this morning, she is jumping up at us less and less and she is wonderful with the children.

I suppose I would love any advice on how to get her off the lead, because we live near lots of fields and I want her to be able to run and jump and do all those things that dogs do, I also want to throw balls for her and so on.

I got the best dog food that I could and a chew toy and a ball and rope thing but she hasn't really been played with so shes not really interested in any of it.

We are used to dogs, I grew up with dogs and helped my dad train our boxer and she was amazing, really calm and happy and friendly. I am sure that my husband and I can train Poppy very well. Any support or advice is greatly received.

thank you

Fifyfomum Fri 21-Mar-14 20:29:11

Oh, she pissed on my bed. Lovely. grrrrr

Fifyfomum Fri 21-Mar-14 20:33:30

Any advice or support with this would be amazing. I've had dogs from puppies before but not from six months and not that clearly aren't house trained!

monkeyfacegrace Fri 21-Mar-14 20:38:19

Can I strongly suggest joining Sally Bradburys facebook page, Dog training and Advice. You will find everything you need there.

Poppy sounds like she will need a huge amount of work. Unfortunately, she will be very damaged from lack of training/socialization from her first 16 weeks.

Good luck. You may need it.

And join that facebook page, now!

MuttonCadet Fri 21-Mar-14 20:41:35

Oh she's lovely. What do you mean by "getting her off the lead", do you mean recall training?

I'd start with training classes as quickly as possible, and as far as food goes, what has she been fed previously? I'm not sure you should be changing a dogs diet as soon as you adopt them. Small changes to not upset the stomach was what our vet recommended.

Poor little thing doesn't sound like she's had much stability. If you've taken her for 3 long walks and she's just pissed on your bed she might be feeling a little out of sorts.

poorbuthappy Fri 21-Mar-14 20:45:33

Awww she's lovely and good on you for getting her out of her previous home.

Remember trust takes time, and you have weeks and weeks worth of crappy life to help her forget about.
Just love her, show her you love her, and train her.

Fifyfomum Fri 21-Mar-14 20:52:14

she pissed on my bed at some point during the day. I imagine it was about midday.

I would love to do training classes but I dont think that is something we could afford immediately, perhaps in a month or so.

She is Very clever, she is already learning not to pull on the lead and how to wait with me and come to me when I ask her too. I have basically been pulling her back to me every time she starts pulling on the lead (really pulling, a little bit is okay) and then telling her to wait and releasing the lead so that she is 'waiting' on her own and then telling her to go.

I will join that facebook page right now thank you.

she doesnt seem to understand roads, she doesnt like men at all, she is fine with other dogs and children. Obviously she isn't house trained but she is very, very clever. I will let her out first thing tomorrow and hopefully she will do her business in the garden instead of in the house and she won't be going upstairs again.

she is absolutely glued to me, she has been crate trained (by the sounds of it she's spent half of her life in the bloody crate) so I have put her in there with some food and her bed and some water and shes relaxed properly for the first time today. She has stopped at times today but if I move/get up/leave the room she will follow me and get all excitable again.

I would like to be able to walk her OFF the lead and know that she will come to me when called. That is what I mean by 'off the lead' training

butterfliesinmytummy Fri 21-Mar-14 21:01:21

Well done for giving her a loving home. I would strongly recommend training classes, a good trainer will help you correct bad habits and train her quickly. Socialization through classes will also be essential. She will need to be proofed in recall in your garden or a private space (so you can be sure she will come back regardless of what she is doing) before you let her off in a public place and will have to have enough experience with other dogs that you can be confident in her meeting them. I'm not in the uk so can't advise on cheap classes but your vet might help. I grew up with dogs and it wasn't til we went to classes that I realized how little I knew and how to read my dogs behavior and reactions. Enjoy your dog!

Fifyfomum Fri 21-Mar-14 21:12:56

She is fine with other dogs as far as I can tell, we've been out a lot today and she has met a few 'sniffers' and been absolutely cool with them.

She is in her crate now and seems really settled which is good. Tomorrow is another day!

Fifyfomum Fri 21-Mar-14 21:47:15

I've joined the Sally Bradbury page and just waiting for them to allow my post to get some advice. I basically copied and posted from here!

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 07:40:29

Okay well a mixed morning so far.

Poppy urinated in the kitchen in her crate so had to clean that up but the first thing she did was run outside and go for a wee, so that is positive.

She is being a bit odd within the family, obviously she has not been well trained so she is bounding around a lot and that is scary for the children. So I sat right by the kitchen door and gradually brought her into the room using the same 'wait' technique that I used for walking her, except I said 'Calm' and would not release her until she was calm. Then when she got into the room if she became bounding and scary I put her back into the kitchen for a short time and went through the same 'calm' steps before reintroducing her into the room.

Then we gave her a chew toy but she got really possessive of it and growled at my husband and the children sad We told her off a lot and have give her lots of praise for being calm and kind but it does worry me. I can deal with most of it but the being unsocialised with young children does worry me a lot.

going to take her out for a nice long run around the new forest shortly which hopefully will help her feel a bit more chilled.

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 07:59:39

Oh dear, she has snapped at one of the children...

God I wish she wasn't so old, if we'd had her from a puppy then none of this would be an issue. We will give it a good go but the nastiness towards the children must be resolved immediately.

superlambanana Sat 22-Mar-14 08:03:52

In what context did she snap?

Aked Sat 22-Mar-14 08:10:28

I would suggest taking her to a rescue centre to see if they might take her on. You have no idea about her history, her temperament, nor how to deal with her issues. She has been taught nothing, not socialised and possibly abused. You need to know about how to help her, and from your posts you seem pretty naive about how to go about this. I imagine the last thing she needs is being 'told off a lot'

Poor dog. Rescue centres are jam packed so I'm not sure how easily you will get her a place, but she deserves a chance with someone who knows what they are doing. Sorry to be harsh OP but this sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 08:30:53

She is getting lots of love, lots of attention and lots of walks. She snapped while she was sat down the child approached her, it shouldnt have happened and we are silly for letting it happen.

She was not rough or hard with him, she did not 'bite' him she just snapped at him.

but still totally unacceptable. The next step for this dog would most certainly be impounded and then put to sleep. She is only six months old I want to at least give her a shot at life. She learns very quickly and is learning how to behave in the family environment. Shes only been with us a day, we just need to be more careful. I agree that it is a sensitive situation and if not resolved immediately I will be taking her to the dogs trust.

That would be a shame for us and a shame for Poppy though.

basildonbond Sat 22-Mar-14 09:25:07

You've had her for a day - you're expecting far too much and sorry to be blunt but you sound like you don't really know what you're doing

You've taken on an unknown quantity - a tricky mix of breeds and with a v difficult start so far

You need real life help with this right now or something bad will happen to either the dog or one of your xhildren

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 09:50:50

I am accessing all the help I can right now, she is responding very well to training

needastrongone Sat 22-Mar-14 09:59:39

Well done for taking her on. I would really recommend that you get a behaviourist in (check your insurance documentation) and read/keep posting on the Facebook site, which is excellent. Post about the snapping incident too.

You might just want to leave her be a bit too, rather than try to train. Give her chance to settle, let her be quiet if required, it's been such a short period of time and you know nothing about her circumstances. Get the family members to drop treats on the floor near her. Keep her to one room, this will actually help her feel secure. Let her have space to settle.

You need to get the kids to NOT approach her, the snap was a warning that she was uncomfortable with that situation. And supervise their interaction with her at all times.

Further behaviours will probably come to light as she settles.

needastrongone Sat 22-Mar-14 10:24:24

And let her have her toy for now, don't tell her off. She's resource guarding, but telling her off will only make her think she needs to guard the toy more, better to drop an even more exciting toy next to her, or maybe some treats, as she releases her original toy, then quietly say 'good drop'. But, at present, I would be tempted to let her be with the toy and consult a behaviourist.

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 10:54:13

Hey we do let her have her toys etc, we didn't take anything away from her. Thanks for the last two posts have been great I will respond in my detail in a bit, we've just been out for a walk and I need to get the kids and dogs in the house and do the slow and calm into the room routine!

Won't be long thanks again

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 11:13:48

Okay am back now, the calming settling in worked really well and she is at my feet with a chew toy with a spoon ful of peanut butter in it, which she absolutely loves.

The children are being firmly told to give her space which I think is good for them, I think all young children should be aware of dogs and able to refrain from being in their space.

We've just been out for a long walk where we made good headway with walking correctly, passed lots of dogs (no aggression at all) and other people.

you are expecting too much of her

I dont think that is true, I am expecting her to be calm in the lounge or not be in the lounge (there are other spaces for her to go including a large garden)

I am expecting her to walk on the lead without pulling me all over the place

I am expecting her not to jump up, nor to jump on the sofa.

This is not a lot to expect of a dog, it might take her a while to learn these things but there is no reason why they cannot be taught immediately.

I think we've made really progress in the last day and a half, she is calmer already, aware of her place in the pack (family) and being gentle around the house.

She ate well last night and has had a couple of hours walk and training this morning. I met a guy last night who had a spaniel X and he said that the most important part is keeping their minds active, which we are doing of course with all the training.

I will speak to the vet tomorrow about getting some real-life advice from a behaviourist but I have high hopes.

needastrongone Sat 22-Mar-14 11:14:39

Sorry, that's me misunderstanding the post about the growling and toy then smile

Good luck, you may have a windy road ahead!

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 11:17:12

She did get possessive of it but we didnt take it away, we removed her from the room when she snapped at my youngest but other than that we have just told her off when she has been out of line and just given her lots of love, comfort and support when she is not.

It seems to be working really, really well!

fanoftheinvisibleman Sat 22-Mar-14 11:40:08

I don't think anyone means that your expectations are too high of how you would like her to end up but they are unrealistic to expect to have of a 6 month old pup who has had little or no training or socialisation in the first few days / weeks of being brought home. These are all expectations you have of her that she needs to learn.

I think you have had good advice. You obviously want to do the right thing by her and I'm sure it will happen in time once she has settled and you can start putting the work in.I promise you that all dogs are hard work in the first few weeks whilst they are learning, new puppies even more so. You'll get there with the right help. smile

Fifyfomum Sat 22-Mar-14 11:48:45

I don't think my expectations are too high either, neither do I expect her to learn everything immediately but she will be taught immediately and be controlled/excluded when she is unable to control herself around the children, behave reasonably on walks or jump up on things she shouldn't.

I would most certainly expect those things of a six month old puppy who had been trained correctly and I realise that is not the case with Poppy, but we can work together and she learns SO fast it is almost scary.

She has been just wonderful since we returned from our walk, she is sat in the lounge with the children and being very calm - not bounding around like a mad thing and knocking things over etc. She is having lots of strokes and cuddles and basically learning that this calmer, more collected way of being allows her much more love and cuddles. She is taking to it really well, for example we shut her into the kitchen while we ate lunch and when she came back in, instead of bounding in and needing to be integrated into the room slowly, she has just come in, calmly, walked around and eaten a few bits of scrambled egg off the carpet and then come to either me or Husband for attention.

Much, much better!

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