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Old 07-08-2014, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Scared about messing up

I know I'm probably severely overreacting and the sleepless nights are getting to me but I'm definitely having a hard time with this puppy thing. He turned 8 weeks on 4th of July and I have had him since Saturday. I think I've read too many horror stories about how crucial it is to do everything right in the first few months and I'm a nervous wreck I'm going to do something wrong that will scar him for life.
I did months and months of research before I even thought about this breed and lots of consideration of what I was getting myself into. I knew going in that he would be extremely smart and loyal once he was bonded. Little did I know that no matter how much preparation I did it in no way would prepare me for actually having him. He's an incredible puppy with a super sweet personality but I can't help being worried.
He has LOTS of toys and things to chew on. His crate is next to my bed and I keep a towel over it and my iPad sits on top playing radio talk shows all night so he feels like he has company (it's the only thing that's helped him settle down a little at bed time). He will willingly go into his crate during the day, he will eat in it and take his toys in there but when it is time for bed, he screams like a hyena and it doesn't stop for at least an hour. Any time I shut the door, no matter the time of day or If I'm sitting there next to it, he screams like it's the end of the world. I make sure that he is ignored until he calms down but when he doesn't stop for a LONG while, I'm not sure what to do anymore. We wear him out before bed to make sure it's easier for him to fall asleep, he will barely be able to stay awake to go potty but once he gets put in for bed all heck breaks loose.
He has no interest in voices, or listening to anything you're saying to him. No interest in the clicker or any treats I have tried to give, so helping him learn his name has gone nowhere. He would rather play with his food bowl than actually eat the food in it.
He is however doing VERY well with only chewing his toys. When he tries for your hands or other appendages, we yelp and if that doesn't work, we get up and stop playing.
I'm sure it's all just puppy stuff that I am reading far too much into but it's worrying me and I've been crying almost every night since I got him. Is it normal for them not to be interested in your voice? I need him to be crate trained, mostly for convenience and safety but if he sleeps better in my bed with me and will sleep through the night with no accidents, is it imperative that he sleeps in the crate at night? Would him sleeping with me at night screw up trying to crate him during the day while I run errands? Any advice or help is absolutely appreciated.
I'm also adding a picture from play time today he's so darn cute, you wouldn't think he could be so much trouble
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First breathe. Everything you are describing is normal puppy behavior.

The screaming in the crate normal.

Not listen to you..normal. You've only had him a short time, not enough time for him to truly bond. Hang in there. It will come with time.

I read an article somewhere (I'll never be able to find it now) but you can actually train the closing of the crate door. That seems to be the most traumatizing part of the crate. Not sure what you are using for training but you can use a clicker or a marker word for this.

Have him in the crate. Treat treat treat. Move the door a smidge. Say yes or click. Treat. Keep moving the door closer to closed then farther out and marking all door movement and treating. Do it every day, 2-3 times per day for no more than 5 min sessions. For the first couple of sessions don't close the door. Then work up to just shutting it...toss a jackpot. Then open the door. Working up to longer duration. Very very short at first then go back and forth between short and long.

Also not sure what you are feeding. If kibble, wet it and put in a kong...then put it in his crate so he has to work to get it out. If that seems easy for him, freeze it. I also recommend bully sticks (though he should be supervised for those)...these are long term work to eat and should hopefully keep him busy and keep him from thinking about the crate...


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Old 07-08-2014, 01:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And if you don't mind him sleeping in your bed full grown, then by all means put him in the bed at night!! Hehe. That's probably what I'll end up doing when my girl comes home. I too hate whiny puppies.

But in the meantime keep working with the crate so you can safely leave him when you need to!! No one needs a chewed up couch!


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Old 07-08-2014, 01:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He is adorable
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lauren43 View Post
And if you don't mind him sleeping in your bed full grown, then by all means put him in the bed at night!! Hehe. That's probably what I'll end up doing when my girl comes home. I too hate whiny puppies.

But in the meantime keep working with the crate so you can safely leave him when you need to!! No one needs a chewed up couch!


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You are a fantastic person! Thank you for the positive words. I know it's the not getting sleep that's getting the best of my emotions. He came to me eating not so great brand kibble so I'm gradually switching him over to the evolutionary blue buffalo wilderness. He has started to come around to the frozen peanut butter in his kong as well as frozen socks, when it gets hot outside. I will have to try the food in it! Sounds yummy it's been 14 years since we got our last puppy and I was around 7 when we got her so I don't remember much about how she acted. I will probably put him in my bed tonight. When he has been in his crate at night, he will go all night from 11-8 without an accident. He will just wake up and cry for a little bit then back to sleep. Hopefully no accidents in my bed. Thank you for making me feel better!
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He is adorable
Thank you! He's a hoot
He decided to help the 14 year old cocker on our walk this morning. She's very tolerant of him and he's in love with her
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We normally take new puppies into our bed for the first few nights. It gives them a sense of security and calms them down. The added bonus is that they get restless when they need to go outside, so their wiggling or walking on the bed wakes us up and we can take him out.

Don't worry about doing it for the dog's lifetime. He just may need some extra assurance those first few days. When he gets more confident, you can move him to the crate, beside the bed, so you can reach in and comfort him when he gets upset.

Remember that this is the first time the pup has ever been alone, so he needs some help adjusting to this new routine. He needs to feel safe and secure, which is difficult for him when he feels alone and abandoned and separated from you.

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Old 07-08-2014, 04:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you! He's a hoot
He decided to help the 14 year old cocker on our walk this morning. She's very tolerant of him and he's in love with her
I love when they carry their leashes or help walk the others. Take lots of pictures because they grow fast and you will look back at all the sleepless nights and crying in the crate and laugh. With my female I was falling asleep at my desk at work.
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OP,

Your puppy is being a puppy. Rambunctious, aloof, interested in learning the new sights, sounds, environment... Take a step back and enjoy the little bundle of joy you have. If you focus too much on making sure everything is perfect, you will miss out on a lot during your puppy's development.

The crate behavior as others have mentioned is normal. Olivia would make such a racket in her crate at night. We put a puppy bed next to our bed along with the crate door open. This made a huge difference, as it was up to her to go into the crate and not us forcing her into it.

The things you want to do can be done at a later stage. For now, socialize, socialize, socialize. Form that bond and then worry about the larger training projects once your puppy figures out who he is.

And for what it's worth, Olivia sleeps in bed with me at night and there is no problem with crating her during the day. Just know if you go down that path, it's very hard to go back.

Enjoy these times, as your little guy will be full grown before you know it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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At some points. Jager almost didn't make it. The screaming almost had us murderous. But he is awesome now and I am glad we made it through, makes for a calmer more adjusted adolescent dog, which is good because he is bat **** crazy again in many other areas again now.
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