At my wits end with puppy(71 Posts)
Sorry, long. Right. So I'll start by saying that I am tired, exhausted and having constant fights with my family because I brought this puppy into this house.
He's a 7 month old french bulldog who has severe (people and dog behaviourists seem to think is normal puppy behaviour, whereas I DON'T) behavioural problems. Please trust me when I say I love him to bits. I need to mention that he's doing classes with a behaviourist, he's taking him out for walks to teach him how to properly walk on a leash with his head up, and when he's gonna be stable enough(is that going to happen I wonder?!) we're gonna do sessions together.
Now please have a look at my issues.
1. He BITES! Mostly at night, this behaviour has improved, it's been much worse when he's been younger. But when we go into bed at night he JUMPS at us, BITES (when I say bites I'm not joking) and won't be calmed down. This happens sometimes during the day, not so often. At night it happens regularly, the second we get into bed.
2. He drags us everywhere when in leash, walking. He's been doing puppy classes, no improvement, still working with a behaviourist. With him walks just fine, with us not really. Also his head is always on the ground, never walks with his head up, and eats a shitload of crap from the ground.
3. Fussy eater. Always needs something mixed in his dog food (like carrot, beef meat), and even then sometimes he won't eat.
4. His behaviour is so crap even at the vet, he'll have to sedate him so he can have a look at his ears (a bit of otitis we suspect, waiting for results)
5. He knows basic commands like sit, etc, but only does them if you have food in your hands and he sees that.
I am at my wits end. I am the one who's blamed all the time. I have done the best I could. Walked him 5-6 times a day (bear in mind I have a full time job), mainly he goes potty outside but accidents have happened in the house as well (not bothered about that, I do realise he's a puppy). I am exhausted and don't know what to do...
Please, help. And if you can't help, please give me a hug
Actually all those things do sound quite normal to me . What's his daily routine , what do you feed him , who lives in the house are some of the questions needing answers to get the best advice . Also where did you get him from .
I have tried calming him down and soothing him with words. Tried punishing him by leaving him on the hall. Tried to smack his ass (softly, please don't think that I tried to beat him)
Why does he sleep in your bed?
He need to accept he is a dog and you are the boss.
Food is his friend - and yours as he will be more trainable with food incentives!!
He is a puppy so basic commands are great for now!! Little and often to remind him what he knows so far!!
You are enabling him to be fussy by changing his food and adding bits etc!!
Maybe some calms - for you! Try and accept he is a puppy and will be picking up your anxiety!!
Don't let the family make you do all the work either - he needs to know his training rules are towards all members not just you.
@Floralnomad He eats taste of the wild pacific stream (so quality food). Twice a day. Changed that recently from 3 meals a day. As treats he gets carrot, zucchini, banana (very rarely)
Routine as follows: - 20 mins walk at 6.30 AM.
- 30 mins walk at 10 AM
-30 mins walk at 1 PM
-30 mins walk at 5 PM.
-1 hour walk at 7 PM
My DH and I live in the house & my grandma visits every so often...
Juat saw you smack him - this will make him mistrust you and no training at all will work. . Then one day he will bite you and you will be on mn saying you need to rehome a dog... Please stop.
@Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 I stopped that already, I felt ashamed. As I said, nowhere near beating him, could never do that. V light smacking
Have you discussed crate training with the behaviourist?
Firstly take a deep breath and go back to basics as if you had just got him as a young puppy.
With the biting read about teaching bite inhibition as you need to train that. Saying ouch and ignoring did not work for me. Timeouts in a crate did and now my 5 1/2 month puppy will gently hold my hand with his teeth and does not bite down at all anymore so he now knows he cannot bite even when I am doing something horrible like inspecting his ears etc.
Walking: well I have a spaniel who are notorious for being hard to lead walk so I feel your pain but I try for a few mins each time I take him out. If he walks better with the trainer then he knows he can push boundaries with you.
Get a crate and teach it to settle in a crate at bed time. Some people sleep in same room as dogs and that is ok when it works but it isn't working for you.
Get a trainer to explain consistency to the rest of the family. Take everyone to classes so they feel part of the training.
Fussy eater, well aren't most of us and dogs included. Again they will push boundaries. Mine at the moment is begging for treats rather than eating his normal food. I am therefore making sure he doesn't get any until food gone and he isn't begging.
All in all it does sound like normal dog behaviour in a dog that knows to push your boundaries. I would look at all the different techniques and start from scratch. I fully expect to continue training mine for at least a year, training is hard and long and repetitive but so worth it.
I understand your tired and frazzled but yes you can do this but it does sound like training is key.
My puppy was biting me, really hard, when about 4 months old and mostly out on walks. She seemed to target me. What worked for us was managing the walks; shortening them, changing route, treating more and changing her food. We had her on ROyal Canin and since changing her to Barking Heads she's been much calmer.
Reading your post I think your puppy is getting too much walking and is probably over-threshold(ie stressed from being over-stimulated). Do you train indoors often, or hide treats? These things can tire a dog without overwhelming them. Treats/food is your friend. I would suggest tethering or a crate at night and reward calm behaviour(ie laying down) with treats. When our puppy went bitey we often found leaving the room worked best, but with no shouting or fuss. Good luck, it hurts!
Straight away something that didn't sit right.
Your behaviourist is training him not you. You're hoping to do sessions with him once he's 'stable' enough. You do realise you're the one who's meant to be training him and the trainer is supposed to be the one showing you/him how things are done?
This dog doesn't sound abnormal to me. He sounds like any other puppy, he just needs a better routine and training.
First of all get him out of bed with you. Give him his 'own' space on a night. Make it safe and comfy for him. Turn it into a positive thing. Say goodnight and leave him with a kong stuffed with treats.
The best thing you can do is get him into a routine! And I don't just mean his walking. With my puppy - wake up, play time, walk, breakfast and then she sleeps. Lunch time, wake up, walk, lunch, play, sleep. Evening - wake up, walk, dinner, play, kong full of treats when we say goodnight.
Your dog is incredibly clever. He will be picking up on how you're feeling! Stay calm, get him into a proper routine and stick to it, change your behaviourist, take it to proper puppy classes where YOU do the training and so he can mingle with other dogs.
I also highly recommend changing his diet to a raw diet - google for info. But it's much much better for their health and behaviour!
I also suggest mingling your dog with others that arent puppies - they'll teach him good manners and correct any bad habits.
And please for the love of god, never smack your dog!
@BiteyShark your username is so funny! Did my frenchie get a MN account? Omg he s stalking me.
Joke aside, thanks so much for taking the time to give me such a comprehensive reply. Will try your tips.
Also considering seriously buying a crate. Ok, starting over. Thank you!🌷
Problem is where I am (not in the UK anymore unfortunately), in this bloody city there's just one trainer and that's the one. He also has a shitload of recommendations. I feel down. I am doing my best.
My MN name is honour of my puppy because god he used to nip and bite when younger
Yes yes to crate training, it might take time as yours is a bit older but mine loves his, will take himself in there when he wants to get away from everything and sleep and I know he is safe if I have to leave him or give him a timeout.
I think you will feel a lot better when you feel more in control of your dogs behaviour and starting back again will make that happen.
Also don't be afraid to change trainers and get someone who will work with BOTH you and the dog together. I am on my third training class and this one has clicked and both me and the dog are making really good progress with this trainer so don't be afraid to swop to another one who will work with the both of you.
Oh and lastly when things are getting tough just post on here and people will give you hints and tips to keep you motivated as there are many different techniques and sometimes you just need to find the one that works for you and the dog.
Just seen your update about the trainer. There are lots of tips and information on the internet if you can't get it from them. The problem with someone else training your dog is that it's about the bond between you and the dog which you are not developing unless you are actively taking part.
To me he's getting too much exercise which will overstimulate him and could be adding to your troubles. Guidelines are 5 minutes per month of the pup's age so he is getting about five times the recommended exercise.
@insan1tyscartching How much a day do you recommend then? I m only taking him out so many times so I can properly train him to go potty Just outside...
I think guidelines would recommend 35 minutes a day for your puppy if that is walking him on a lead.If it's to take him out for toileting then isn't he just mooching around the garden? If so that wouldn't be considered exercise as such and wouldn't count.
This does sound like normal puppy behaviour and it is exhausting and time consuming. May I suggest you look at the Facebook page Dog Training Advice? They are brilliant experts and have loads of material to help you as well as individual advice. Sounds awful that you are getting blamed all the time, that is not nice. But you love the dog so believe me things will improve. Good luck.
@insan1tyscartching it takes a bit for him to poo normally, he pees quite quick...
All sounds pretty normal puppy behaviour to me.
Our dog is now one and is a totally different do to how he was at 8 months.
It's been very very hard work and taken a lot of effort from the whole family but he is now a lovely dog
@Hoppinggreen May I ask? Did he have similar behaviour to ours? What things was he doing back then and is not doing anymore? Also, how did you correct said behaviour? Thank you
There's a great FB group called dog training advice and support.
Re toilet training. Out often. But not for a walk. Out to wee. If no wee then out again in 10 minutes. Out after a drink and food and playing and when waking from a nap and...,
YY to crate BUT you can't just get one and shut the dog in. It's a gradual thing.
A decent trainer will train you. Not the dog. And they start ASAP. Not wait until the dog magically calms down.
That FB page can help with biting and toilet training and even recommend a new trainer.
Yes he did
He was very very bitey - my poor daughters arms were very scratched. He did guard a couple of things as well which was more worrying.
Any biting in play meant a time out and no more play. He wasn't allowed on the furniture or upstairs at all
Pulling on walks meant we stopped dead until he waited - when he did he got a treat
Lots of fetch and hide and seek games for more bonding.
He's not perfect yet but he's generally very good and certainly doesn't bite even in play
@Wolfiefan Joining that just now cheers for the advice! A huge bunch of 🌷 for you
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