Help - New Puppy(63 Posts)
I'm expecting to get flamed.
We collected our puppy Cockapoo on Sunday. I am really struggling with her. I have two young children and she keeps biting and attacking my youngest. He is now scared of her. Keeps saying that he wish les we never got her. He stays away from her but she keeps going for him.
She is only 10 weeks. She is a lovely girl pup but I am concerned that I have taken on more than I can deal with. It is making me anxious and I am sat here in tears.
Any advice on what is best to do would be greatly appreciated.
I have a friend with two dogs who said she would take her if it all became too much for me.
Puppies are very bitey I am afraid. How old is your youngest? When mine used to bite I would try and distract or use a small time out so play would stop.
If your children make a noise or run off it will probably excite the pup even more so it important that they stay calm. Can they have a code word when they shout it you will come and help distract the puppy so they don't get nipped.
Puppies are hard work, even more so with young children. Have a look at the puppy survival thread on here for help and hints and tips.
Thanks so much for responding and for being kind in your response. My youngest is 6. It's so hard because I don't want to see him so distressed.
I must confess I hadn't appreciated how much hard work they are. It's exhausting.
When does it get better?
I'm not sure I have the answer but you have my sympathy. Puppies are really hard work. How old are your children?
IME puppies get dramaticaly better behaved around 6 months and continue improving so just because you are struggling now doesn't necessarily mean that it was a huge mistake.
Things which might help are trying to keep puppy and kids separate as much as possible. Do some puppy training whilst your kids watch tv then puppy should sleep a while. It diesn't matter is you park your children in front of the TV more than usual, it's just a short phase whilst you get the puppy sorted.
When there is more than one adult at home one of you should do stuff with the puppy and one with the children. Make sure you leave your puppy at home alone for a short time each day so that they get used to it.
Really tell your puppy off if she is too boisterous or aggressive with your son. Maybe put her in another room and ignore her as soon as she does it.
Are your kids school age? In which case things will be better next week.
It's not biting as such it's mouthing. Your puppy is exploring her new world and new family with her mouth- like a baby would. Explain this to the kids.
Also are you crate training or does pup have her own safe space away from the kids where she can chill out?
The best advice I can give is have a routine, with set amounts of playtime/ exercise followed by nap time, again just like a baby!
There are specific things you need to do to get this under control, and this will depend on how your kids are with the puppy - do they scream when the dog bites them, do they run around? Are they gentle with her or just pushing and pulling her? Did you get her from a reputable breeder?
The usual method most people recommend is when the puppy bites you say make a loud sharp noise e.g., you could say "AH AH". Adult voices work best. Kids can also turn their back on the dog and not make eye contact. You need to supervise contact too.
Didn't you get any advice or read up on puppy care first? If not, do so now.
The biting (mouthing but bloody hurts) does tend to reduce dramatically as they get older. My pup is now 8 months old so I am trying to remember when this happened. I think probably around the 5 month mark I notice the nipping tailing off a lot.
Puppy blues are a definite thing. If you look in the puppy survival threads you will see a lot of us have found it hard at one time or another.
Let children wear wellie boots in house so puppy bites boots not legs
Agree with others on thread
Or put oilbas oil on their socks puppies don't like smell
Or another oil like something you put with apples when cooking but forgotten name ATM
Thanks for all the responses. I have a 6 and 8 year old.
She eats 6am 12pm 6pm. I make sure she has regular quiet time to avoid her becoming more tired. She currently has diarrhoea which doesn't help. She came to us on Burgess puppy food but I have been mixing in portions of James Wellbeloved. The Burgess doesn't look as good. Maybe I changed the food too quickly.
I feel guilty that the pup is taking away time from my kids. I also feel tied to the house.
I am crate training her. She didn't like it at first but she sleeps in it at night in the conservatory. My husband and I take turns in staying with her. We are both exhausted.
I am back at work next week. My husband works from home two days a week and I am home at least once a fortnight.
We have a neighbour who will feed and visit her on the 2/3 days that we are out for more than 7/8 hours. She won't be on her own for more than 4 hours a day and only from August as my husband will be working from home for the whole of June and July which is why we got her in the summer.
I had looked at getting a dog walker as well.
Thanks for all your help.
We have a new pup too, we're two weeks in. It's hard work and I'm really tired. There's so much to keep on top of and the amount of advice is overwhelming. I felt that there was so much I needed to do. Now I'm focussing on two things each week. This week: basic commands and on the lead. Next week it's all about reinforcing the commands and being left alone...
I think it improves when you can go out (even for short walks) because it tires them out.
They bite. Mine bites everyone except me. Every time it has bitten me I say no and get up and turn my back on it. When it nips my ankles I give it something else to bite (usually throw it far away - it means having toys all over the place/out of reach) But then my puppy seems to be the type that wants company so being ignored / play immediately stopping works. Something will work for yours too.
Good luck, it won't last forever!
Distract the dog from your child, shout on her, give her a treat the minute she comes over to you.
Throw a toy to distract her. Get your child involved in training the dog.
Don't tell your puppy off, she is far too young to understand and is exploring and playing.
This is perfectly normal behaviour for a puppy, don't ignore her either, she is not misbehaving.
I am not going to flame you but am quite concerned that you don't know that this is not 'attacking'.
Loud noises when it happens will excite her more.
Are you on FB?
Distract the dog with a toy and re direct her to chew that.
To help with the nipping, its not actual biting and around this age the dog will be teething.Invest in a deers antler from PAH, about £8 but worth the money as he will enjoy exercising those razor sharp teeth on it for ages. Its all perfectly normal , when he nips your DC don't yell or hit puppy, but put him calmly in his crate for time out. You have a dog with spaniel in the mix, high energy dogs, I know I have an English springer. Encourage your children not to flap their arms around as this will just excite pup as he thinks they are playing. It does get easier with time but he is just a puppy who has been used to having his litter mates to play with..Please think about getting a dog walker to come in to exercise pup when your at work, a bored dog is a destructive dog. Always remember the 5 minute rule, 5 minutes walking for each month so 16 weeks is 20 minutes walk per day. Good luck and keep calm, but firm with pup.Do the children leave him alone when he is sleeping, children do have to have set rules around dogs. To Remember they are not a toy.
Thanks Heidi - Agree the advice is overwhelming. I'm not sure what to do for the best as I want Matilda (the pup) to be happy but I feel like kicking myself.
I am a total prat. I was naive and although I had done loads of research I did not expect it to be this hard.
It's the constant poos and wees that are making me depressed. When do they go to twice/three times a day?
You need to take it to spending pen every 20 mins
Hope you are meaning poo 2 or 3 times a day not wee!!!
I try to distract with toys. I would never hit a dog.
My 6 year old does flap but that's because he is scared of her now. I've tried to tell him to be calm. I've got him to feed her to teach her where she is in the pecking order. To be firm with her and to give her a toy to distract.
I just feel totally inadequate.
Sorry my question about the toilet training was when do they stop needing to go so frequently.
When do they have bladder control so it's not every hour.
I'm not sure I can keep taking her out every hour for the next 6 months.
Thanks so much to everyone who has so kindly responded
I gave up on crate training and it was a huge relief when we did. We put his crate on our bedroom floor and he was quiet all night from then on. He still sleeps with us because if he's downstairs he barks at foxes in the garden and wakes us all up. But I find it absoutely fine to have him in our room, despite having been brought up to disapprove of dogs being allowed upstairs.
Toilet training with mine was a couple of weeks of hell, a couple of months of having to be conscientious and vigilant and from then on has been totally fine.
My children were 8 and 10 when we got the pup and that felt pretty hard. Things will get better quite quickly.
I would highly recommend joining the FB group mentioned upthread (this one) and having a read through their files. This one in particular has links to all their relevant guides for new puppy owners, including toilet training and dealing with play biting. They also have a great of resources about dogs and children.
I'd put her back on the Burgess for now, I normally keep puppies on what they're fed by their breeder for a couple of weeks before starting to very gradually swap them over to what I want to feed long term. It's not unusual for puppies to be a bit "loose" for the first few days in a new home but swapping food so soon isn't likely to be helping.
The biting is a completely normal and necessary part of puppy development. You don't so much want to stop the biting altogether as make sure the puppy is biting appropriate things. Keep lots of stuff around that she can chew like antlers (go for the softer ones), chew roots, Nylabones, etc. and rotate them regularly to keep them all interesting. When she bites people she's trying to elicit play and doing things like pushing her away, making noises, flapping, etc. is just going to make her think you're joining in. When she starts biting redirect her onto a tuggy toy (fleece tug toys are brilliant for this), make it interesting and fun so she wants to bite that rather than you.
Puppies are never too young to start learning impulse control which can have a really positive effect on their behaviour as a whole. The "It's Yer Choice" game is a good place to start.
How long toilet training takes can vary hugely from dog to dog. Some get it really quickly, some take a bit longer. On average you'd expect a puppy to be getting there by about six or seven months but that is just an average. If the breeder has already made a start with house training (which I would expect a reputable breeder to do) they tend to get in their new homes much quicker than if it's a concept they've never been introduced to before.
I've got him to feed her to teach her where she is in the pecking order.
Disregard anything (and any trainers) encouraging you to do anything to "be the alpha" or "reinforce her position in the pack" as it's all very outdated and we now know that dogs just don't work like that. This srticle is a really good one on the subject if you're interested.
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