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Old 04-24-2014, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Overwhelmed, need help...

I just got my puppy Thor 2 days ago. He is 5 months old and is a great dog...he listens so well, and he picks up on things very quickly. He doesn't bite or nip, doesn't even jump on people.

But his potty training just doesn't seem to be working, and its killing me...every time I think hes got it, he pees in the house. I don't know where im going wrong.

He also can't handle being away from me, and its not good. I have been skipping all my classes and work this week to make sure he is ok, but I don't know how he will do next week when reality strikes and I have to go back to work and class. He will never be alone for more than 4 hours, but I still can't help but worry. Will he get used to it? I'm going to keep him outside rather than in his crate.

The biggest issue here is that I have no help and its making this very stressful for me. My family (consisting of my mother and her boyfriend) ignore Thor, making me all he knows. Its worsening the situation and I can't get them to realize that. I did not expect them to be this way.

Its very hard on me because I have no time to myself to do the things I love (or need) to do. I have to watch him 24/7. Will it get better?

That all being said, I love Thor and I can't see myself without him now. I am torn apart and I just don't know what to do. I thought I was prepared, but I guess I was wrong. I understand everything I need to do, I am just completely overwhelmed and I need help.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You have had him for two days- it takes them a while to adjust. With how frantic you sound, one would think this has been months. Take a step back and breath This is a BIG change for him. Right now, he's absorbing his new family and new environment- it's a lot to take in for a young dog. You're expecting too much way too soon.

How is his crate training? The crate training is key to both the potty training and him dealing with being alone. Your crate is your best friend right now.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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4 hrs in a crate should not hurt him
is there another reason you would opt to keep him outside?
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Make sure his time outdoors is in a secured area which is somewhat " puppy proof ". I never used a crate but I certainly would if the outside area has any hazards...such as toxic plants/outdoor household items/small areas where he could get caught or trapped in...etc. I have a large kennel with a shelter in it as well as being secured.

As far as the potty training....make certain you deodorize anywhere he has peed inside...completely. Take him outside more than you think you should and when he pees where you want...have a celebration with praise and treats....perhaps come up with a word which the dog will associate with the action of urinating....my phrase is ..." gotta take a squirt "...nothing like having a dog that pees on command. 5 months old is old enough to where he can hold it for a bit but I'd ingrain the idea by going outside more often than you think. The previous poster's comment about crate training might be something you should heed. My outdoor kennel was essentially the same in many ways.

YES ! Things get much easier and you will be rewarded handsomely for your efforts today but raising a GSD pup does require effort...it's so well worth it.

Forget about the others as Thor is your dog and the bond which will be created will blow you away. This requires follow-through on your behalf of the responsibilities you assumed by bringing Thor into your life. You only get one shot at it, so go for the gold.

Thor will most likely do fine in a crate for 4 hours or so like the other poster mentioned...maybe a bit of whining/barking at first as he wants to be with you...but he will learn.

I'd suggest as well..."Take a step back and breath"...what you thought would happen ( others helping ) isn't....so reevaluate...make a new plan..and proceed with a plan that only relies on YOU!....

Hang in there, I cannot stress how richly you will be rewarded if YOU put in the effort, discipline, dedication, patience and love for Thor today.

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Old 04-24-2014, 02:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree that you are expecting too much too soon. Go to youtube and look up crate games. Work on his seperation from you in small rewarding increments. How does he tell you he has to pee outside? Have you thought about that? Get a bell to put on the door handle. Ring it when you take him outside. He will soon understand he needs to ring the bell to tell you he needs to go. Also teach him 'go to mat'. There should be a youtube video on that as well. Its easier to see how things are done then try to explain them.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
He is 5 months old and is a great dog...he listens so well, and he picks up on things very quickly. He doesn't bite or nip, doesn't even jump on people.
Be prepared for this to change. It may not, but many new dogs go through a "honeymoon period" where they seem like perfect angels to us. Most of them get through it after a few weeks and start acting like real dogs again, which includes jumping, biting, and all sorts of other doggy things like barking and chewing.

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But his potty training just doesn't seem to be working, and its killing me...every time I think hes got it, he pees in the house. I don't know where im going wrong.
It takes in and out dedication for several continuous weeks before house training is achieved. Even a dog who was already house trained often needs a refresher for the first week or two in a new place. A new puppy who has not been house trained previously you will likely have to work closely with for a few weeks before you start to see any big progress. Supervision is key here, he should not be out of your sight at all, keep him on leash if needed. When you need a break, use his crate. Crates should not be used for more than a couple of hours at a time. Exercise pens and/or baby gates can be good alternatives for when you need to leave him for a bit longer.

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He also can't handle being away from me, and its not good. I have been skipping all my classes and work this week to make sure he is ok, but I don't know how he will do next week when reality strikes and I have to go back to work and class. He will never be alone for more than 4 hours, but I still can't help but worry. Will he get used to it? I'm going to keep him outside rather than in his crate.
You will train him to have issues if you are not careful. Don't teach your puppy to have separation anxiety by being with him 24/7, then returning to "reality" next week leaving him totally unprepared. Give him plenty of downtime in his crate this week to get him ready. Feed all meals in stuffed KONG toys alone. Give 12" bully sticks alone (once you are sure he won't swallow them. Teach him alone=fun food things. Also, don't leave him alone until you're sure you've completely tired him out! A tired puppy=a good puppy. A bored, energetic puppy=a puppy who teaches himself to bark/whine/paw like crazy from his crate.

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The biggest issue here is that I have no help and its making this very stressful for me. My family (consisting of my mother and her boyfriend) ignore Thor, making me all he knows. Its worsening the situation and I can't get them to realize that. I did not expect them to be this way.
I recommend seriously looking at your situation and deciding if this is the best choice for you right now. A puppy raised by one person is a serious, full time commitment. Super rewarding, but you have to be dedicated. It will get worse before it gets better. He will need daily training, several daily outings, lots of exercise, lots of time prepping food toys, grooming, etc. Not to mention the expense of the vet, food, training, chew toys, bully sticks, beds, etc.

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Its very hard on me because I have no time to myself to do the things I love (or need) to do. I have to watch him 24/7. Will it get better?
It will definitely be a part-time job for the next year or two, sacrifices will need to be made!

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That all being said, I love Thor and I can't see myself without him now. I am torn apart and I just don't know what to do. I thought I was prepared, but I guess I was wrong. I understand everything I need to do, I am just completely overwhelmed and I need help.
You've had him for two days. Not to sound too harsh, but I think it is a great time to really look at the situation. Do you really want to do this? Lots of people would be willing to take on a 5 month old, purebred, easy going GSD pup. People who have the time and resources to give him what he really needs. Not to say you are not the best home for him if you are 100% committed, but if you are not, you have to think about what is best for Thor. There are terrific breed rescues that could help you to rehome him.

I'm also not sure you understand everything that you need to do. Do you really understand what a 5 month old puppy needs? Your initial question about house training with the assumption that 2 days is enough for him to get it, makes me think that you do not.

Sorry about the brutal honesty, but I don't want to gloss over the amount of work this is going to be or what he will need. If you really love him, it is important to make the best decision not only for yourself, but also for him.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for your replies, it really helps. I keep going back and forth on everything. I guess I'm just having a hard time because my initial plan of having at least some help didnt happen and its making me panic.
I am a very anxious person in general. I don't do well with change, and I am a perfectionist; I get stressed out a lot and very quickly when things don't happen as I intend them to. Its an flaw of my own character and I have a very hard time calming myself down. I was the same way when I got my cat and my very first dog, but not this bad. Me being a perfectionist makes me very scared and anxious that I will do something or everything wrong and mess him up in some way, and I love him too much to let that happen.
Thor is fine in his crate if I am around. I always give him a kong stuffed with food, but he ignores it if i leave him, even if it's the first time I am feeding him. This has me very worried. I am working on getting him ok with being alone by letting him have some time in my backyard by himself; would his crate be better? I am going to get him a dog house too so he can stay out there when he can't be inside with me. My backyard is very puppy safe, theres nothing he can get in to or anything out there. I think him being out there will be easier on both of us.
I plan on not letting him sleep in my room any more either, because I am sure that it is adding to his problem.
I realize now that I am expecting too much from him. I started that because he learned to sit, shake, and to down after two tries each so I assumed he should be learning fast.
I still am not sure I can handle this, but I really want to. I have a lot of time I can and am willing to dedicate to him, I just need a little bit of breathing room which I guess I am making a mistake in not taking. I don't want to make a rash decision and rehome him when I feel like I will be torn if I do. I love this dog and I absolutely want to give him my all, I just want to make sure its enough and im scared that it wont be.
It feels like I forgot the months of research I did on training. Its like I don't even know where to start and I don't know why I am drawing such a blank.
And I appreciate brutal honesty. I need to hear it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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make sure you start training him before you go back to school/work.and I highly suggest keeping him in his crate/den,he will be much happier.start training asap.
best of luck.
remember discipline comes from love,punishment comes from anger...
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The nice thing about trying to be a "perfectionist" is....you are forced to learn continually, otherwise "perfection" is just a far off in the distance hope.....which in that case...you'll just drive yourself crazy.

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Old 04-24-2014, 06:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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His training starts today. We are working on it now. I am letting him just relax in his crate, without the door shut. I think he will do much better this way, he seems to feel a lot more secure in the crate. I may go pick up some bully sticks for him too, and im thinking of bringing him along with me. I may also invest in a trainer if I can. I really, really want this to work. I don't want to give up just yet. Or ever if I can help it. I love this dog, he is worth it.
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