Help! Puppy care during the day
Hi everyone, thank you so much for the awesome advice on these boards. I read a little every day and learn so much (and am comforted when I feel like I'm going crazy with my little one!)
Our little guy is 10 weeks old and biting up a storm. NO, OW, redirection all seem to not work. I know this is a phase (and we are starting training on Saturday), but is there anyone here who can provide some immediate advice on what to do with him during the day?
I took a week off work when we first got him but need to work now. My parents, who are senior citizens, have been taking care of them during the day but are exhausted chasing after him and getting bitten. I need to give them some relief.
Is it ok to keep him in the crate for most of the day with the exception of potty breaks? Someone will be at home; they just can't have him biting them and everything else in the kitchen (where we've set his boundaries).
I can take him out for a walk at night and play with him in the mornings before I go to work.
I feel really awful for putting my parents through this. :(
I know with Delgado I had to enforce naps, otherwise he'd just keep going and get overtired. That led to him being more bitey and grumpy which led to both of us being frustrated. He was much better after a nap, even if it was just 45 minutes and then he was awake again and ready to roll
Key rule in raising a puppy - a tired puppy is a well behaved puppy. Make sure he gets lots of exercise before you leave and have lots of toys for your parents to trade off with him to keep his mouth busy. Do you have a flirt pole? It can be a great tool to wear out a puppy and they can be sitting comfortably in a chair while the pup does all the work.
Also stuffed kongs, frozen raw knuckle or marrow bones, beef tendons, etc can all be used to occupy the pup for a bit when they need a break
None of that worked for me either, what DID work like magic was something my breeder told me to do...
As for play-biting – your son, or if he cannot do it than you, have to show her that this is not an acceptable behavior. Supervise her, wait for her to start doing this. Make sure that he doesn’t run from her. Say NO, walk up to her, take her by her head (like a mother dog would do, with your palm from above), and squeeze it. Do not lift her up or anything like that, just squeeze pretty strongly, to imitate her mother’s bite. Puppies have instinctive understanding of this, and if you do it right, you will only have to do it a couple of times and she will stop biting. It is more effective than any human-invented remedies such as re-directing, shouting, lifting her up or hitting her with newspaper : )
Yes, just picture a nature show where you see the mother wolf with her pups. If they bite her too much, she will just take their entire head into her mouth and give it a good squeeze (never causing an injury though). So just use your palm in the middle of her head, where the mouth starts. As if you were to cover her eyes with your hand. Then squeeze from both sides to imitate a bite. It has to be strong enough where she will realize that you are not playing. But it will not hurt her really, it’s more playing on her instincts.
You can keep him crated during the day (save for potty breaks) but then you have to understand that he will likely be pretty crazy when you get home from all the pent up energy. A puppy that little doesn't need a LOT of time to get tired, a good 15-20 minute active play session can often do him in. So if your parents can do that a couple of times during the day I think you'll find him a lot more manageable when you get home.
Our puppy was the worst land shark in the history of the world...in our opinion of course. We've both had dogs before and Hans was just unbelievable. I was at my wits' end at one point. And then around 14-16 weeks he just slowed down and now at 5+ months he really doesn't bite at all anymore except when he's trying to wake us up. I tried EVERYTHING recommended here and absolutely nothing worked for him. Honestly, we basically just had to suck it up until he grew out of that phase.
Squeeze a puppy's head?
I can't even...
OP. Yes. Totally acceptable. Crate him except for potty breaks and when you are there to enforce proper teething expectations. If they are letting him out and yipping and yiping and shoving him off them, they are reinforcing him for biting and taking two steps back from everything you are doing!
DJ.. I'm with you on the squeezing the head.. um what??
But OP, like others have said, perfectly fine. When I raised Titan, he didn't even have people there for even moments of play during the work day. I often worked 9-10 hours a day and I or my roommate would come home to let him out to potty for a minute.. then back in the crate and back to work. I did make sure to tucker him out before crating and we did some pretty fun stuff when I got home from work.
It will probably aide in crate training also :) a two for one! :p
Well this lady breeds and trains these dogs for over 20 yrs and came highly recommended from this board. Not to mention it worked perfectly. ..ymmv.
He's a 10 wk old baby, you've only had for a brief time.
All training takes TIME and patience. You haven't had TIME to teach a puppy how to PLAY in a manner that won't hurt a human. And so you need to show the patience while you do teach it --> http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...tips-help.html
Please, no head squeezing when all he's trying to do is play with all his new human friends in the house. If every time you wanted to play games with your friends and family they started squeezing your head, you may not love them (or love playing) anymore.
We NEED to play with our dogs (so the head squeezing is possibly messing up future training).
What you SHOULD be doing with your puppy is ---> http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...s-puppies.html
I posted a thread on the same thing not long ago. Gretchen was biting and being obnoxious even with lots of exercise. Here's what we learned:
1. In the afternoon she was overtired and needed to be crated to enforce rest or she would become the land shark equivalent of jaws. A tired puppy is a happy puppy. An overtired, overstimulated puppy is a nightmare. Crates are their (and your) best friend.
2. She needs something she's allowed to use her mouth on as roughly as she wants while playing. We have tug toys she is only allowed to play with with a person. Bones, chew toys, etc. did not fill this need. When she gets a little mouthy, my kids will say no and grab one of the tug toys (we have them stashed around the house for easy access). This has virtually eliminated land sharking as she has an approved outlet for those desires. I've answered the door for Fedex with Gretchen dangling from a tug...:laugh:
3. Her mind, not just her body, needs to be tired. If I don't come up with cool things to teach her, she will come up with activities on her own and I guarantee you whatever it is won't be something desirable. I am not a trainer by nature so I have bought a couple leerburg videos and some trick books. It builds a positive relationship between us. I'm really enjoying it. Sometimes I wonder who is training who, but I think that is part of owning a GSD. :blush:
4. Basic gestures of respect. Before she eats, when she greets new people, when she's presented a toy, when I open the van door, etc., she is expected to sit politely and wait for my instructions. When in doubt about what to do in a given situation, she'll turn to face me, sit, and give me her full attention. It gives her power in that she knows this is guaranteed not to be a displeasing act. It may not be what I want, but it gives me the chance (since I have her full attention) to show her what I want.
ETA: Gretchen is 18 weeks now. At 12 weeks her biting was so bad I thought buying her was a huge mistake and that she would have to go back to the breeder. Thanks to the people here, I realized *I* was the problem. The above is what we learned she needed to be a happy, balanced dog.
This is what we have today. That is cereal my daughter is eating, and Gretchen loves milk and knows what is in the bowl.
Thanks all for the suggestions!
We've started crating him for 3-4 hours at a clip, and he seems to be okay. Not all the time, but just so my parents can have some quiet to watch a movie or get some housework done.
I also appreciate the advice to enforce his naps. He does seem to get zoomy at certain times (right before or after breakfast, and late afternoons), so perhaps we need to get him some more exercise. I have to buy him some more toys to get his mental gears working too. (Thank you for that suggestion.)
Finally, we've started taking him to our local trainer, who has 4 hour enrichment training twice a week. They work on specific areas (like no biting people), and we get a little bit of quiet.
Hope this all works out - feeling a bit helpless. It would break my heart to have to give him back to the breeder, but I also can't let my parents go through this.
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