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New Puppy - First Time Owner - Help Please


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Hi there,

I bought a 9 week old Japanese Spitz puppy yesterday and she is great, very playful, was eating right away, went toilet outside and even slept through the night , there was a little whinging and crying but it stopped after 10 minutes during the night. I got up every few hours and took her outside to pee and she did straight away. In that front she has been great.

What I am struggling with is her constant need to be right next to me, I love that she is attached to me already but I am simply at my kitchen table writing this and i'll throw her chew toy and she will start playing with her chew toy and then realises I am not playing with her and comes and curls up next to my feet and has a little whinge. The worst part is I created a big play pen for her which she is meant to stay inside whilst I am at work however before I left for work she was howling and crying even though I got up at 6 am and took her outside for a wee, played with her for half and hour and gave her breakfast, I left for work at 8 and got home at 2 pm and she managed to open the gate (Very smart dog already) and was sitting in the spare room (Did a wee and poo in there too), I then took her upstairs with me as when I am home she will stay up with there with me until its bed time or i go out. However I simply run down the steps to get something and she is at the top crying, I cant walk to my kitchen without her following me or even go to the toilet myself.

I have read million of articles and posts about all of this but I just want to see if this is all common for a pup who just left her litter of 5... will the need to be next to me every minute ease up and she can pre occupy herself, i know they will cry the first few days when home alone as this is a natural reaction.... further to it all, I will feed her also some kibble and she will have a few biscuits but if i move out of the pen she runs with me.

I'm probably being over cautious cause I was so worried all day when she was home alone.

Any advice or help would be great.

Thank you in advance

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Less than 24 hours? OK give her a chance to get used to the new routine. smile.gif

The best thing you can do is NOT to fret. If you are anxious about how she is feeling she may well pick up on your anxieties and hers may escalate. So stay calm and enjoy her!

A chat with her breeder might give you some guidelines on how long it will take for her to settle in.

Remember she is a dog, not a human, so pretty much lives in the moment. Of course she wants to be with you when you are there, but I bet that most of the time you are out of the house she is either sleeping or happily playing with all those lovely toys!

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Thanks for the reply RuralPug,

I guess the other part I am struggling with is the howling and crying.. literally put her in her pen for 5 minutes to eat and walk away and she goes off. I guess I just have to wait this part out whilst she adjusts to her new life correct?

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That is a fantastic video PK!! thumbsup1.gif

You would do well to actively train her to be happy in her pen as per the video, but eventually the carry-on will stop if you keep calm while its happening so as not to reinforce it.

And yes, please we need baby spitz pics!! biggrin.gif

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for your responses.

I certainly am trying everything.. we are on day 4, night 4 currently and she is so attached to me it isn't funny. I can't walk anywhere without here following.

I literally sit by her pen every night before bed until she falls asleep, but if I walk away to quickly and she isn't sleeping she gets up and howls and cries and bites the gate to get attention.

How long should i let her do this for before I walk back down or do I literally just let her cry until she tires herself out?

Thanks

Jay

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for your responses.

I certainly am trying everything.. we are on day 4, night 4 currently and she is so attached to me it isn't funny. I can't walk anywhere without here following.

I literally sit by her pen every night before bed until she falls asleep, but if I walk away to quickly and she isn't sleeping she gets up and howls and cries and bites the gate to get attention.

How long should i let her do this for before I walk back down or do I literally just let her cry until she tires herself out?

Thanks

Jay

Okay. So have you tried to make the pen her happy place as demonstrated in the video?

I'm not sure that you waiting for her to fall asleep before leaving is actually a good thing. Does she have toys, chews etc in the pen? Have you tried getting her interested in interactive toys?

Your focus at this stage should be on helping her to feel safe, comfortable and enjoying her pen time. Of course she loves being with you, but she needs to feel ok when you are out of the room as well. If she came from a bustling family home then perhaps a TV or radio with the sound on low will help her to feel comfortable alone.

If she is howling and biting the gate I might be tempted to toss a sheet or blanket over the whole thing so that she is fully enclosed, then not remove it until she is quiet. That is a last resort though, it is not positive reinforcement. :(

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She is used to being with a whole litter of other puppies.

I caved in after half a night of puppy screaming in the laundry-kitchen area (crate), and moved her to a cardboard box next to my bed, on lead, with the lead attached to me so if she got up, I could take her outside.

And I set the alarm to take her out a couple of times during the night.

She still sleeps next to my bed.

screaming when I left her home (in a crate) and I had to go out... that took about two weeks maybe longer to stop. It did stop. If I was leaving a puppy alone now, I would leave talk back radio with calming talk back people on it.

And I always play the I forgot something game - ie I get my stuff and leave but there's always about three or four things I have to come back in for, one thing then go out then come back then go out...

Now when I leave her - she just sleeps.

Just be very careful with your attention. Have set potty breaks - put her on lead, take her out, wait for potty break to happen, (say magic word), and then go back inside. No play, pats, praise or reward for demanding your attention... No scolding either.

You might find this useful tho I would not try to listen to it all in one hit unless you have long train commute.

Tim Ferris interviews Susan Garrett on dog training...

2hours and 4 minutes jam packed with dog training for an awesome family pet

includes descriptions of its yer choice, restrained recall, call once game, how to potty train

why you use reward based training and you don't use punishment.

http://fourhourworkweek.com/2016/11/14/susan-garrett/

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Hi guys,

Again, thanks for your replies.

Ruralpug: I have tried to make her pen a happy place, we have toys in there, chew toys as well - my wife and I play with her in there, feed her in there etc I haven't had a chance to try the clicker training in the video although I plan to this weekend.

Mrs Rusty Bucket: I want to cave in but i end up turning my TV on so I can't hear her - a bit of tough love. I hope this isn't detrimental however. I know it's only 4 full days in so I am probably expecting too much from her to just be cool with being on her own and to be honest from the second day, my wife and I were at work so she was alone for a fair chunk of the day so I can understand that as well. I got home about 10 minutes ago and waited outside my front door for a couple of minutes (My wife left home an hour ago) and I heard nothing then i heard crying and howling, wasn't sure if she maybe heard me which I doubt cause I was quiet, or had been crying since she left. She's at the stage where unless she is at my feet she is won't be happy. I gave her a nice chew stick and she picks it and sits down near my legs to chew it, if i move, she will move too... I have tried all these calming anxiety songs I found on youtube apparently specifically for dogs which she is ok to fall asleep to, but if she is going off and then it really has no point. Maybe I need to try talk back radio.

I am just trying to nib this in the butt as early as possible but maybe I have asking too much of her at 9 weeks old and only being home for 4 full days and 5 nights and I haven't been home all that time either.

Thanks again for your replies, they are much appreciated.

Jay

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I have a foster at the moment who is carrying on like a pork chop in his crate... he's fine in there when it's dark, but as soon as there's any light whatsoever, he starts up... he just doesn't like being confined. He's been slowly destroying the plastic tray in the crate in his frustration when he's not let out when he wants to be. The other foster loves her crate and would be in it 24/7 if given the chance... *sigh*

One of my own dogs just doesn't do crates at all - she destroyed 2 steel mesh crates before I gave up on the idea. Luckily she doesn't want to eat the house, so she is fine to be free when I'm asleep.

T.

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Hi all,

I did watch the video by Mrs Rusty Buckets, I am trying it this weekend. Is it possible to almost re-train her to love her pen? I feel it has a negative impact towards her, she started moving her bed closer to the gate, I'm assuming because she wants to be as close as possible to us.

Roova - I have a kong but once she is in her stressed state she sees nothing but wanting to get out of the pen.

Thanks again

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I would start by making sure all food happens inside the pen. Any treats, chews and meals are given inside the pen and she stays in there while she eats it. Give her something she can't resist, some stinky sardines in a kong? Pick up your keys like you a leaving the house. Then put down the kong in the pen then go sit outside while she eats it. Come back in just before she finishes. Hopefully to a puppy that was nice and quiet. Baby steps.

Perhaps start fresh by moving it to a new spot if possible, but all good things are to now happen in the pen. Is there a crate inside the pen for her to curl up in?

Edit: if she doesn't even like being in the crate, find something high value she likes that takes her mind off being in there (and here mind off you) while you are even still in the room and house minding your own business.

Edited by LisaCC
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Okay first off the pen wont have a negative impact on her & the breeder will have used a pen to contain the puppies so your pup will be very use to being confined in some way .

The difference now is pup is on its own ,has no idea who you are & what is expected off it .

Puppies will follow you around so just go with the flow ,ignore & go about things .

Keep in mind when pup comes home it becomes reliant on the humans to do everything so its important to teach independence as soon as possible.

Does pup get to play outside & explore on its own ??

Does pup have access to a doggy door or open door or will it rely on you to let it out for toilet,play & time out to explore the outside world ?

You say at night it will be upstairs with you so what do you expect of this at this time ??Keeping in mind whilst upstairs in that way its being taught to be with you & again requires you to take it out .

Many dogs don't like kongs,chews etc etc & Spitz breeds are very unique & the Jap Spitz is a thriving companion animal that loves its humans hence teaching it to amuse itself & be able access things on its own is important .

I would suggest just take a step back ,its very early days .Some will act like pork chops but unless your dog came from a pet shop or puppy farm it will be used to puppy pens & set areas ,just stick with what needs to happen ,Let puppy follow you around but don't make a big deal,let it find its feet but have toys around ,change them each day if possible so theres variety ,start your lead training now as many breeders do put puppies on the lead before they go .

During the day is the radio or TV on or is it just silence.

All our pups are use to TV on when in the pen for noise training .Put a snuggly teddy in the it can cuddle up to like a fellow puppy

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Okay first off the pen wont have a negative impact on her & the breeder will have used a pen to contain the puppies so your pup will be very use to being confined in some way .

The difference now is pup is on its own ,has no idea who you are & what is expected off it .

Puppies will follow you around so just go with the flow ,ignore & go about things .

Keep in mind when pup comes home it becomes reliant on the humans to do everything so its important to teach independence as soon as possible.

Does pup get to play outside & explore on its own ??

Does pup have access to a doggy door or open door or will it rely on you to let it out for toilet,play & time out to explore the outside world ?

You say at night it will be upstairs with you so what do you expect of this at this time ??Keeping in mind whilst upstairs in that way its being taught to be with you & again requires you to take it out .

Many dogs don't like kongs,chews etc etc & Spitz breeds are very unique & the Jap Spitz is a thriving companion animal that loves its humans hence teaching it to amuse itself & be able access things on its own is important .

I would suggest just take a step back ,its very early days .Some will act like pork chops but unless your dog came from a pet shop or puppy farm it will be used to puppy pens & set areas ,just stick with what needs to happen ,Let puppy follow you around but don't make a big deal,let it find its feet but have toys around ,change them each day if possible so theres variety ,start your lead training now as many breeders do put puppies on the lead before they go .

During the day is the radio or TV on or is it just silence.

All our pups are use to TV on when in the pen for noise training .Put a snuggly teddy in the it can cuddle up to like a fellow puppy

Hi Showdog,

Thank you for your reply.

Our situation is a little unique, we live in a townhouse with no backyard but a front yard which we have to take her out too. We are moving to a house in a few months so this isn't permanent by any means but we have to make do with what we have.

The pup is very clingy, we have toys galore in her pen and upstairs when she is with us and we give her new ones every few days, but she will play for a minute and then come and jump on us for more attention. She is starting to settle down after a few minutes when we put her in the pen, there is maybe a minute or 2 or crying/howling but then she just stops and i presume goes to sleep. I find that a win from when I first started this post. Unfortuntly she doesn't have free roam just yet as sometimes she will go toilet inside, most of the time outside but we are in the middle of toilet training. She has a great personality and is always ready to play until she is tired and wants to sleep.

I will start using a radio when we pen her so it's not silent when we are not home, what happens when your pups sleep at night and you do? you don't have any noise on do you?

She has a rooster plush teddy and blanket she cuddles up too at night, found her sleeping on the rooster the other morning rather than he comfy bed. I am not crate training her because she has a big pen to herself.

Baby steps i know is the name of the game here.

Thanks for your reply once again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Bballj.

How are things going with your pup?

I hadn't heard of crating till recently. It does work for many from what I've read (I've just got a Rotti pup who's going to be quite big so I didn't bother. Plus he settles & sleeps soundly at night tethered next to me on HIS bed) & it appears that it especially works for insecure/anxious pups because it's their safe place (A pen is open, a covered crate is like a cave, giving a sense of security) Makes a lot of sense to my mind.

Re; "night noise". If your pup sleeps next to/at foot of your bed (either tethered or crated) your breathing noises & smell are enough & she should learn to settle herself. (never been a fan of locking a pup away alone, especially considering that they're used to sleeping with siblings)

As hard as it may be, ignore whining (not to be rewarded with attention or that's what they'll learn to do to get it) but IMHO, I don't think it's detrimental to make one or two very soft 'shhhh' noises (the idea is that they have to quiet to hear it) every now & again.

As much as it may drive you mad at first ignoring her, they will wear themselves out whinging & will fall asleep.

It sounds like you've chosen a very people focused breed (that will make training even easier) that needs human company. Not a bad thing at all : )

Hope that she's settling for you.

Edited by Paul777
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