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I just recently got a 8 week old German Shepherd / Rottweiler mix puppy. I've never owned a puppy before so everything is very new to me and I wanted to make sure he is acting the way a puppy should, which to me feels like a have a newborn baby on my hands again. He plays for 30 mins to an hour and then passes out. When he wakes up I take him to go potty and then it starts all over again. We have been crating him at night when we are sleeping, but not during the day unless I need to go out of the house. He whines and cries the whole time he is in the crate. We had to move the crate to down stairs so we can sleep at night because of this.

This morning we had a little problem because he didn't want to go potty outside, he just cried at the backdoor. I tried picking him up and moving him deeper into the yard and saying "go potty" but he would just run back to the door and cry at it. We must have spent at least 30 mins outside before I figured he just didn't have to go. But maybe 10 mins into being back inside he peed on the floor. I'm not sure if it is because it rained last night and he didn't like getting his little feet wet, but its the first time he has done this.

He also seems very scared of my neighbors dogs, he hasn't been introduced to them yet but when the bark, and they are inside when they do, he takes off running for the backdoor. I figured he was to young to introduce to full grown dogs, but now I'm thinking maybe I should take him to the local dog park so he can socialize with other dogs so it doesn't scare him so much.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

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The whining and crying at night is normal - Suki did this for weeks before we finally got the sense to move her crate into our bedroom at night. The fact of the matter is - your puppy wants to be close to you, and he misses his mom and litter mates. Right now, your job is to comfort your little guy until he adjusts to your home and your schedule. Make the crate a fun place for him to be - use toys and treats in the crate so he associates it with a happy place :D.

The potty training is different for every dog - Suki only had a few accidents inside the house. We were very regimented at first. When we were not home, she was in the crate. We adjusted the crate as she grew so that she only had enough space to sit up, turn around and lay down - you want to do this because your puppy will not potty where he sleeps. If he doesn't have too much space, he is much less likely to go in the crate. When we were home with Suki, she went out on the hour, every hour - even if she didn't have to go. Pick a spot in your yard that is 'his spot' and when he gets to that spot, use the word 'potty' quite a bit. If he goes, say 'good potty' and get excited - he will start to associate potty outside with praise. It is inevitable that you will have accidents with a puppy that young, so just be patient.

As far as the socializing goes, your pup is still very young. He should not be exposed to larger dogs quite yet (unless they are already a member of your family). If you are going to take him out, he needs to be closely guarded by you. A dog park may not be the best idea until he is fully vaccinated, but until then you can socialize him by taking him to family and friends homes, and other places where dogs are allowed just to get him used to different sights, sounds and smells. What you might want to do now, though, is seek out a good trainer and enroll your pup in an upcoming basic obedience class to get him started.

The bottom line is - with a puppy that is 8 weeks old, you have a long ways to go until they 'get the picture'. It is a lot of work, but with a ton of patience you will do just fine. Hang in there, the first year is a whirlwind!
 

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I would not move the crate away from you, but actually move it CLOSER for the first while. As your pup gets used to the new routine, you can slowly move it further away.

He just lost his litter mates and mom, he's unsure of what is happening to him and wants to be close. Moving him down stairs is punishing him, in his eyes. Dogs are social animals, they live in packs. For him to be kicked out of his pack (your family), is seen as punishment to him.

I would maybe take him to a puppy class for socialization, vs meeting other adult dogs, unless they are very friendly with puppies. You want him to have only good experiences right now, socializing is so important. You also don't want to take him to high dog traffic areas until he's had his second set of shots.

Just give him time, he'll come around. I would really highly recommend training classes. It will help with socializing and help you be the pack leader.
 

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Thanks! I moved the crate upstairs with us. . .it was a hard night but we dealt with it.

I have a few more questions though.

I have been feeding him twice a day, once in the morning and once again later in the afternoon. The first day I had him I fed him three times and I thought it might have been to much cause his little tummy looked ready to explode. But I'm not sure if I should up it back to three times cause I know he would be able to eat it. . .or if I should keep to the schedule I have now and just do two times.

Also I keep reading online that I need to show the dog that I'm the more dominate one them him. I'm not to sure how to go about doing this. . .I mostly have just been using a loud voice and clapping my hands together if he is doing something bad, like chewing on the rug or trying to chew my kids. He stops and usually lays down looking all sorts of sad when I do this. I don't hit him, I don't believe that is the way to do the whole dominate thing and I don't want him to get aggressive. Any tips on this would be great.

Thanks!!!
 

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I would not move the crate away from you, but actually move it CLOSER for the first while. As your pup gets used to the new routine, you can slowly move it further away.
Agreed. If you put the crate in your room where you sleep somewhere near you, it may help him sleep a lot more soundly. Both of my pups were fine as long as I was in the room with them when they were in their crate. And yeah, the first few nights may be rough as the pup adjusts, but once he does he'll likely sleep through most of the night, only whining when he has to go out.

I have been feeding him twice a day, once in the morning and once again later in the afternoon. The first day I had him I fed him three times and I thought it might have been to much cause his little tummy looked ready to explode. But I'm not sure if I should up it back to three times cause I know he would be able to eat it. . .or if I should keep to the schedule I have now and just do two times.

Also I keep reading online that I need to show the dog that I'm the more dominate one them him. I'm not to sure how to go about doing this. . .I mostly have just been using a loud voice and clapping my hands together if he is doing something bad, like chewing on the rug or trying to chew my kids. He stops and usually lays down looking all sorts of sad when I do this. I don't hit him, I don't believe that is the way to do the whole dominate thing and I don't want him to get aggressive. Any tips on this would be great.

Thanks!!!
If you can, I'd go with three meals a day until he gets a little older. I did three times for the first few months and then switched him over to twice daily like my other dog once he got to around the six month mark.

As far as dominance goes, showing authority goes a long way. Try not to get angry with him, but rather just sternly correct him when he does something stupid. You should never hit him, but don't be afraid to "nip" him by giving him a quick pinch with your hands. Their mothers would be doing this in the wild every time they act up, so they naturally respond to it.

Taking him on walks and not letting him lead will help establish dominance too. A good way to do this is to turn around and walk the other way every time he tries to walk in front of you. This will force him to turn around and follow you. Eventually he'll get the idea that you're leading and he'll fall into line.

Right now you just have to remember that he's still a baby. Dominance training will only go so far right now. You'll have to deal with dominant behaviors a lot more when he's a bit older. Right now you should focus more on basic obedience training, socialization, and teaching him not to bite.
 
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