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Struggling with new dog(23 Posts)
We have a 8 month old chi he's lovely adorable but just full on jumps constantly etc & having a frank chat with my Dh he hasn't bonded with him at all
He's still not toilet trained & in this wet weather is refusing to go outside
i'm also worried our previous dog more tolerates him that enjoys him
Dh thinks we should give him back to breeder & I'm starting to agree. I know puppies are hard work but I'm beginning to think we've made a mistake & worries about the other dog as well
We have really preserved but even shutting myself outside in the rain with He's refusing to go then comes inside & goes on the floor. The thoughts of how dirty the house is are starting to get to me.
Advice please I feel like a failure giving him up
In all honesty it sounds like the reason your DH (or the other dog) hasn't bonded with him is because he is an untrained child.
Jumping: just ignore it. Blank the dog when it jumps. As soon as it puts all four paws back on the floor make a fuss of it. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Don't vary the response. Don't get soft and reach down to greet the dog when it is jumping.
Re toilet training, he sounds a bit on the late side but it's not totally unusual for 8 month old puppies to still be unsure about this. Especially if they still have opportunity to go inside - every time he pees indoors it will undo a little bit of learning to go outside. If he dislikes the rain can you put up a temporary shelter (e.g. a little gazebo) to provide a dry spot for him?
I wouldn't expect a grown dog to enjoy a puppy. That comes later after he's learned some manners and calmed down a little.
If you really don't want the dog then hand it back to the breeder pronto - he'll have more home options the younger he is. However, honestly, there is nothing you've written here than sounds like normal puppy training problems to me.
honestly, there is nothing you've written here than sounds like normal puppy training problems to me.
Honestly, there is nothing you've written here than DOESN'T SOUND like normal puppy training problems to me.
8 months is firmly in the difficult age for a puppy. Mine was a complete arse at that time as he was pushing boundaries all the time.
However, I do think you should recognise that it is a difficult age and that this is part and parcel of owning a puppy until they grow up and become that adult you dreamed off.
It isn't your puppies fault your DH hasn't 'bonded' with him so he should be looking at how he can strengthen that bond as it's up to him not your dog iykwim.
Then go back to basics with the toilet training. Take him out after every meal, drink, play, sleep and frequently in between. Praise when he goes outside and yes that means staying with him every single time in the garden until he goes. Tether him to you when in the house so he can't sneak off to toilet and you can rush him outside if he starts to toilet and then praise. It will be hard work and full on for a bit but well worth it. Make sure you clean up anyaccidents properly inside.
Get a trainer to come in and do some 1-1 training with you and your DH for the jumping etc. I was told by a good trainer to keep doing obedience training for at least the first year of the dogs life and I think that was good advice. My dog is nearly 2 and we still 'train' to cement old things and learn new ones. It's also good for bonding so your DH should be doings lots of that.
Many dogs are given up when they hit the difficult teenager stage because it's hard which I think is such a shame as I look at my once pain in the arse teenage who is now a lovely 'young' adult.
This all sounds completely normal I mean I'm afraid, and I'm pretty sure chihuahuas are meant to be very difficult to toilet train anyway.
What are your responses to him jumping up? The best thing for us (our beagle is six months) is to cross our arms and look away. It only takes us moving our arms now for him to stop and calm down a bit. But it is a behaviour you need to train out of him - lots of people tolerate it in smaller breeds but jumping up is a bad habit.
As for the toilet training - persevere with it. Keep taking him out regularly - lots of praise and a treat when he goes outside, ignore and use a decent enzyme cleaner inside. He'll get it eventually!
And yes, what training are you doing and how often? We train with ours 3/4 times a day in all situations, including on walks or even just when I'm making a cuppa or the ads are on TV. Little and often and get everyone to do a bit.
Sounds very normal to me too. Our pup is similar & whilst the behaviour is annoying at times I wouldn’t consider giving her up. I think the cleaning up is just part & parcel of owning a dog !
I know it's a faff but have you got a raincoat to put on her to go out?
Thanks everyone for your responses we've had a tough couple of months & I think it's making coping with a puppy harder. I was home when we got him but now I'm working again so that's an added stress
He knows he goes outside he waits all night most nights only occasional accident just today cause it's raining he won't go out or will but comes straight back in & goes in the house.
Earlier I spotted him getting ready for a poo & said 'NO' toon him outside stayed out with him but he wouldn't go kept my eye on him came in & our a couple of times but then about 20mins after he did it inside. I just feel like my house is dirty cause there is wee/poo everywhere even if I clean it I don't feel clean & it's added stress at the mo when me & DH are both unwell.
I give treats after every toilet & lots of fuss. Just some days he chooses to ignore what he knows.
Have thought about a gazebo by the door so might try that & puppy classes start Tuesday so that might help.
Just it's causing DH stress & not sure how long he can cope with it.
Jumping up I said no & hold my hand out flat in front of him to stop it it works but then he does it again. He jumps continuously against the door when he knows you're there & the dogs now fight for attention when we have guests etc even tho I always greet oldest dog first etc so pup knows he's the boss.
I will try & persevere it's just if this toiletting is a chi thing then I can't do it forever.
Read the dog listener. I don’t agree with it all but it really really works,
Is there any reason he's not been to training classes before now? 8 months is quite old to begin training as they're going through their teenage/hormonal phase where they ignore absolutely everything you say!
Classes will not only teach him to behave but they teach you how to behave. And please make sure your trainer uses positive reinforcement and doesn't talk about dominance and pack theory.
Out of curiosity, I just googled chihuahuas and toilet training and the first few websites on google all say that they're the hardest breed out there to toilet train. So I think you need to expect accidents for a long while yet unfortunately - I'm sure I've read posts here and on other forums where it's taken people 18 months to train some of the more stubborn breeds.
Personally I would have got a trainer in to work with you in a 1-1 setting as you at talking about rehoming a puppy because of normal puppy behaviour. That makes me think you need specific training to show how consistency can alter the dogs and your behaviour. I did a few 1-1 sessions and learnt far more in that time than in a group setting and they aren't that expensive for what you get.
Training was booked earlier but health issues meant we had to delay it.
I really have been consistent etc he goes most nights without accidents.
I was put on antidepressants yesterday so that's probably making it harder to deal with but even friends who visit comment how super bouncy & energetic he is. He just rarely sits still!
I can understand the odd accident but we now leave the doors open all the time so he can get out if he needs to b he still goes inside.
The puppy training has a 1-1 option so I will talk to them
Thank you all for not completely shooting me down I appreciate it
Puppies are bouncy - it's kinda in their job description! Training will give you (and him) something to focus on and training tires them out too (more than a walk in my experience) so the bounciness should slowly start to calm down a bit.
8-12 months is meant to be the worst stage in puppyhood so just keep pushing through it - you'll get there
Thank you but is it unfair to keep him if DH isn't coping?
What is it that DH isn't coping with? He needs to get involved with the care and training as much as you do. My DH thought we had made an awful decision getting BiteyDog at first as all both of us could see what this bitey, demanding peeing pooing ball of fluff but I said we just needed to get through the puppy stages. Now DH is totally besotted with BiteyDog. The first thing he does is greet and play with him when he gets home and is super protective of 'his boy' .
but we now leave the doors open all the time so he can get out if he needs to b he still goes inside.
I know in this warm weather it's hard but I wouldn't leave them open expecting a non toilet trained puppy to understand the difference between outside and in when there is no barrier. I really would go back to basics so doors closed, tethered to you when you can't actively watch and take outside and stay until he goes and praise like mad. I don't even think you need to use treats but just obvious praise (neighbours will think you are mad kind of praise).
As for not sitting still. One of the best things to teach them is how to be calm. And at 8 months of age they still have times where they need to be forced to calm down if they are over stimulated (mine used to get put in his crate for an enforced sleep when he was over stimulated). This again is where I think a 1-1 trainer coming to your home can help as they could recommend a suitable place etc to practice getting him to be calm and still.
Chihuahuas are renowned for being one of the worse to toilet train - but, I do wonder how much is due to them being teeny and so being allowed to get away with it. Generally that is a common theme with small dogs, behaviour that would not be allowed in a big dog gets overlooked.
I'm not saying this about you OP, just generally and to point out that Chis maybe unfairly portrayed.
We used to have one, she was brilliant, we always treated her the same as the other dogs and she acted the same - because she was a dog. But the number of people that commented as though that was a strange thing, like Chis were different to every other breed 🙄
You get breed traits, definitely but they are still a dog.
Back to OP, as previously said this is the most trying stage. Besides the energy of youth they go through another socialisation period at this age so it's really important to have positive experiences.
I would recommend 1to1 training with a good positive reinforcement trainer - no negative things like shaking bottles etc. Reward the good, ignore/distract from the bad is always a good rule of thumb.
Only gets attention when all four paws are on the floor, turn away if he jumps up and walk off if keeps going. Don't say anything, they want attention so even negative attention will work. Everyone must do this including visitors, no exceptions. If visitor can't get it (eg too young or just not listening!), put the dog away.
Toilet training - have you tried a house line? A lead that is attached to you so you can be super aware of what he does and can catch him when he's starting to sniff or circle or whatever his cue is. Then straight out and huge praise.
You don't normally have to do it for long, I've never had to use it myself but people I've recommended to have seen results in just a couple of days. Don't forget to keep it up though until the behaviour is ingrained. As Pp said, if he doesn't know that outside is for toileting (and he clearly doesn't) then having the door open won't make any difference.
Also, what are you using to clean up? You need to ensure it's completely broken down as he will still be able to smell it even when you can't - don't use any ammonia based cleaners like bleach for example. You can specially made ones like Urine Off or you can make your own but as he's such a small dog it's probably worth spending the cash on the posh stuff.
You need to check over the houseand try to make sure you get everything you can - if you know anyone with a black light that's the best way although you might be horrified! You may have to do it a few times but if really really persistent and using the house line, you can nail this in a week.
Re DH - he needs to help with the training, best way to bond. Clicker training is great for any dog and Chis are super smart.
And self control exercises will help him, and you. Just Google, there are loads. They will help him make the right decisions as he grows older and learn how to settle himself.
I love seeing a well trained dog and even more so when it's not a breed people expect. Chihuahuas get a bad press as seen as handbag dogs but I know people who do top level obedience, agility, dog dancing and more with theirs. Seeing a little dot charging around the agility ring is hilarious and so much fun (almost as much as watching the sheer joy of a staffie do agility ).
These are little big dogs, they have a heart way bigger than their body and are very capable. Ours was also amazing with children and such a huge character.
One final thing, which is the same for everyone no matter the breed - you will have good days and bad days, even when seems like you're doing everything you should. Don't let the bad days get you down, brush off and keep going but maybe change a gear, do something different, do something fun (scent work, hide and seek, go for a lovely walk, anything). Training sessions should only be 5 minutes or so then take a break.
Ooooo I could go on but will shut up now. In short, it is possible if you want to do this and will only be a bit of work.
Equally, if you have too many other things on your plate don't be embarrassed to say actually this isn't the right thing for us. Have a full and Frank discussion with DH, he has to be on board. Ask why he thinks he isn't bonding?
There are sadly too many dogs in rescue where people have changed their minds and many is because there wasn't the thought there in the first place - but sometimes it just isn't the right thing and it's better to do it now whilst he's at a really rehomable age.
A problem with reacting and saying "NO" when he starts weeing/pooing in the house is that he doesn't understand you mean "don't wee/poo inside". He's just going to be more reluctant to do it when you are near by wherever he is. Also if your older dog is only tolerating him does he have time apart from the puppy and somewhere he can go and chill on his own?
There's lots of info on the Dog Training Support and Advice group on facebook, good luck
Why isn't your husband coping? You've got a teenage puppy in the house - of course it's hard work but it's not a reason to rehome! So many puppies get rehomed at this age because too many people get them and don't realise how much work it is.
If you want a well-trained adult dog who is calm and doesn't jump or bite or chew, you need to put the work in when they're small. Which yes, means a lot of repetition and frustration and accidents on behalf of the pup - because they're just babies who are learning how to behave.
Dogs aren't born knowing they don't toilet inside and don't jump at people or steal their food - it's upto the owners to teach them what to do and to reinforce it for the rest of their lives.
Seriously as a dog lover, you have to put humans first. If the dog is too much for you and your DH and is making health problems worse, it is not the worse thing in the world to work to find a better home for the dog.
It might be the right thing to rehome but it really frustrates me when people get puppies and then struggle with the reality of having a puppy!
Thank you for the replies I do understand this might b normal puppy behaviour but when we got him we had a lot less going on.
We have agreed to wait until after puppy training to see if he gets better. He won't b rehomed the couple we got him from would keep him. They adore him.
I think hubby is worried we can't give him what he needs.
Puppy training should really make a difference. Ours loves it and it's taught him (and us) so much. Plus it tires him out!