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Rookie Puppy Owner

(13 Posts)
raspberryripple43 Wed 07-May-14 18:48:34

OK, was persuaded by my dh and 2 ds to allow them to get a dog. As we have cats we decided on a puppy, so cats could get used to him etc. I care for dogs, but I'm not a dog person, IYSWIM.

So now we have a gorgeous collie/ lab cross, aged 9 weeks. We've only had him since Friday, but I feel a bit 'stuck' at home at the moment. Had one set of vaccinations, but he can't go for walks yet, and we're toilet-training. I feel a bit narked that the person who wanted the pooch least is lumbered with the most dog-related work!

How long can you leave a puppy alone for? My DH seems to think we can leave him out in our yard (which is safe and fenced off with a kennel and shade etc) for a few hours at a time. I'm not so sure.

Thoughts please?

insanityscatching Wed 07-May-14 19:06:50

Eric who is eighteen weeks can be left alone in the house for up to two hours now, we have built up to this gradually. I do think though that Eric is a pretty chilled out dog though so I'm not sure that he is typical.
I'd say you have got quite a while yet before you can leave the pup for any length of time. We took Eric with us wherever we went (and still do much of the time) carrying him in our arms before his jabs.
It wouldn't be fair to leave essentially a baby alone outside when what he really needs is your company IMO

raspberryripple43 Wed 07-May-14 19:47:50

insanity, what about leaving him in the yard when someone is in the house? Is it OK to let him whine, or cruel?

insanityscatching Wed 07-May-14 20:02:37

It's not something I would do with a puppy tbh. Eric is happy to wander in and out of the house into the garden now (especially whilst we have had sun) but we wouldn't shut the door so he's only alone for as long as he chooses.
Puppy's want your attention and company from what I can see anyway. To make them secure they need to be able to choose when they are ready to be apart from you I think and trying to force this I would imagine would cause separation anxiety.
At 9 weeks Eric was pretty much always in touching distance because that was where he was happiest. He'd only just left his Mum and his brothers so needed to be close to us instead.

Floralnomad Wed 07-May-14 20:10:56

If you just leave him in the garden or leave him to wander in and out alone it will make toilet training a lot more difficult and will probably take longer . You need to be on the spot when he is out there and doing it in the right place so that you can praise him and treat otherwise he won't have a clue whether its good or not IYSWIM.

insanityscatching Wed 07-May-14 20:34:28

Oh yes Eric is house trained and doesn't use the garden to toilet now. when we were house training him as a young puppy we went out with him (well took him out because he couldn't get down the step)Eric chooses to toilet on his walks now he goes in the garden to chase birds and lie in the sun mostly.

raspberryripple43 Wed 07-May-14 21:17:40

thanks for this. I can now show ds this post.

fanoftheinvisibleman Wed 07-May-14 22:15:17

At 9 weeks I didn't even leave mine in the garden alone if we were in...too many hazards as he was into everything!

It is early days. It does get better. I'd be wary of leaving in garden when you're out at any point though due to the amount of dog thefts. I'd want a secure run at the very least.

47greenbottleshanging Wed 07-May-14 22:16:28

I know exactly where you're coming from with all the work and it is very hard at times!
The others in my house reckon it's all easy but that's because they are out all day!

I wouldn't leave mine for more than two hours and agree with the others about needing to supervise him outside for toilet training. Also if he roams out there and does his business here there and everywhere it won't be very nice as you won't spot it to pick it up.

moosemama Wed 07-May-14 22:37:27

The first couple of weeks with a new puppy are exhausting and restrictive, even for experienced owners, so you're not alone and it's bound to feel worse if the dog wasn't really your choice, iyswim. I had my first young pup for 14 years last summer and it was a shock to the system, despite him actually being dog number 7.

As others have said, you really should be going out with him every time and rewarding him for weeing/pooing in the right place, letting him out on his own will just result in a dog that never learns it's more rewarding to go outside than in.

As far as being trapped in the house, you can and should be taking him out and about, carrying him until he's completed his vaccination confinement period. This will socialise him to sights, sounds, people, other dogs. He needs to experience as much of the world as possible, from the safety of your arms in his first few weeks, as this is his critical socialisation period and after that he won't be so receptive and will start to lose all that lovely lack of inhibition they have as tiny pups.

On a nice day take him to a cafe that has tables outside. Sit outside with him and watch the world go by. Take him anywhere you are going that he is allowed to go too and work on the amount of time you leave him for by gradually leaving him alone in a different room with a stuffed kong or chew toy for just a few minutes to start with, building up to 5, then ten etc up to half an hour. If you get him used to the fact that short periods of time apart from you are just part of normal everyday life, it won't be long before he can be left in a secure area for up to an hour.

I wouldn't leave him outside. Dog theft is rife in the UK for a variety of unsavoury reasons.

Booboostoo Thu 08-May-14 10:59:56

What moosemama said. You need to get him out and about, carry him when necessary and just keep him away from other dogs and fox poo until his vaccinations are complete. It is absolutely vital that he gets socialised before the window closes at around 14-16 weeks.

Also worth considering that you have chosen a mix of very active working breeds and this dog will need a lot of time spent on exercising and training. Perhaps its something you need to set some rules on with the rest of your family regarding who takes responsibility for what.

Claybury Thu 08-May-14 13:00:06

Raspberry - I am afraid to tell you you are going to be 'stuck at home' for quite some time. We got our pup in February and it is really quite a shock. You will find it easier, if you are like me , once you can get out on dog walks. And maybe some training classes.
I was the least keen on getting a pup in our family as I knew I would be doing the work, despite the promises of the rest of the family. Thing is, you have to park that resentment and find the positives otherwise you will be very annoyed ! The positives are, for me, enjoying (some ) dog walks ( when she behaves ) and making new friends, having an excuse to go to the park when it's sunny, and seeing the DC 's relating to the dog ( especially the teenager who is only affectionate to the pup, never to us ).
The toilet training alone is pretty much a full time job in the early weeks, I was taking ours out to the garden every 15 minutes at first. But it is really worth it as she became reliable quite quickly.
Good luck !

CrazyPuppy Thu 08-May-14 13:57:38

I feel your pain too Raspberry but things will improve. We got our pup at 8 weeks too and pretty much followed him around the house for the first week or so toilet training. Like Claybury, I found it was worth it as he got there really fast. It is a bit depressing at times but he is a first dog for us and all that time together in the confinement period did enable us to bond with him!

We also found a training school which accepts vaccinated puppies from 8 or 9 weeks so we have been able to attend a socialisation session there once a week. That is fun and helps us build a positive relationship.

I have recently had a bad experience with a neighbour who was most upset about my puppy barking in the garden so for that reason alone I would be most wary of leaving him outdoors.

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