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Thread: Puppy sleeping on/against humans

  1. #1

    Default Puppy sleeping on/against humans

    Hello

    Husband and I are the new proud owners of a little black miniature schnauzer called Wikus who is 8 weeks old. He's been home for 6 days now. We've never had a dog before - I had a dog when I was a child but can't remember the details and husband has never owned a dog before.

    I'm reading a lot of material about being a pack leader and how to communicate with my pup. Toilet training is interesting, he's really good during the day so far, asking at the door to do outside, but from about 4.30pm he starts going all over the house. Tonight he weed on the bedroom carpet while I was looking at him! But I digress.

    My actual question is: Wikus likes to sleep on my lap, or on my feet, or against my feet, or husband's feet. When he's been asleep for a while I put him in his bed and he'll stay there until he's done sleeping, even if he wakes up and looks around he'll go back to sleep there. But to start with he wants to go to sleep touching someone.

    I'm not sure if this is setting us up for trouble down the track, or is normal puppy behaviour, since he'd be accustomed to sleeping in a pile-up with his siblings.

    Is it OK to let him sleep on/against us?

    He sleeps successfully in his crate at night.

    Thanks.
    Plankton

  2. #2
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    There's lots of advice out there on how to be a good pack leader that I don't agree with. Things like never allowing your dog to be on the same level as you (eg. him on the couch or you on the floor), or always feeding them after you've eaten or never letting them go through a door first, etc. I don't believe it is necessary to constantly remind a dog that they are inferior to you in some way. And that kind of advice is based on a really out-dated dominance theory that in turn was based on someone's interpretation of observations of an artificially created pack of wolves.

    I think being a good pack leader is about providing good leadership. Which to me basically means that you let your dog know very clearly what is expected of him and that you are consistent with rules and how you enforce them. Dogs don't lurk around waiting for an opportunity to become top dog at the slightest sign of weakness by their owners. Only if they feel they are not getting the guidance they need to feel secure and safe, will they assume it is up to them to lead the pack simply because someone has to.

    Sorry, that was a long rant!

    I think it is totally fine to let pup sleep on or against you. My dog is nearly 2 and still sometimes does it! Though she will move if I tell her to, which is kinda important.

    And with the toilet training, you can take a bit of pressure of him by taking him out at regular intervals instead of waiting for him to ask. It is the best way to avoid accidents and if he never has the opportunity to wee inside, he will just not regard it as an option anymore. I just watched this video on toilet training the other day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvPiFcG7ROI She is my favourite dog trainer on youtube. Though this vid is a bit boring as she is just talking and not demonstrating anything, but I found it very sound advice.

    I think him asking to go out at all is very impressive at 8 weeks, but the training doesn't stop until he can do it consistently and he might just be a bit too young to always get it right now. It's also really good that he sleeps in his crate all night. He sounds like a very good boy and you're doing very well!

    I learnt so, so much about training and dog behaviour and body language on this forum. It might be worth having a browse of the posts in the Training forum.

    Oh and there's an unwritten rule here that you cannot write about a pup and NOT post pictures!

  3. #3

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    Yea give ya pup lots of love, I've found the most important thing when raising a dog is the way you command them, it needs to be firm direct and stern and once you have it down pat you can get a half trained dog to do whatever you want. I go over to my perants house they have a 6 year old super silly lab and everyone hates me because I can stand there and tell her to stay sit laydown and she does exactly what I say and funnily enough she will come to me over them everytime

  4. #4

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    Hi Beloz

    Thanks for your advice. It can be pretty daunting as a new dog owner to be presented with so much information, a lot of it conflicting, and worrying that you'll not do the best by your canine companion.

    It's good to know I can let my puppy sleep on my feet or my lap and I'm not likely to make him crazy.

    With the toilet training, we do take him outside as soon as he wakes up and if he's been inside playing for a while. He's very good at going as soon as we get outside. It's just in the evening, he goes like 4 or 5 times in the space of an hour, and we put him outside and he doesn't do anything, and he comes back in and does a whizz straight away, even though he's been good with it all day. I think maybe we're giving him too much attention during the day, and in the evening we're making dinner and generally doing other stuff so maybe he's doing it for attention or something. I'm going to put him outside earlier tomorrow and leave him there for a good while and we'll see what happens when he comes back in. It doesn't seem related to his dinner either, since he does it before and after he's eaten. Maybe it's just a phase.

    It was really funny yesterday, he waited at the door and I pulled the curtain across and he head-butted the glass in his haste. hehe.

    I will definately explore the forum more! Thank you.

    Okay, picture! (like I'm not spamming facebook with them already! )
    P1010334.jpg

  5. #5

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    Thanks Matty.

  6. #6
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    He's adorable!

    I think if you try to make the training itself into a rewarding exercise for both parties, you can't go wrong. And if you use reward based training, it doesn't matter if you make the odd mistake because you can always just take a step back and start again.

    Something I didn't used to understand either is that puppies (and older dogs) just can't comprehend that weeing inside is wrong. If they get told off over it, they simply don't get it is because of the inside/outside thing. Best thing to do is to not give them a chance to go inside. So either stay outside with your pup until he actually goes (which sounds like it would be hard because you're busy making dinner, etc.) or confine him to a small space when you cannot watch him like a hawk.

  7. #7
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    The obedience trainer I go to suggested I write a list of what I would like Maggie to learn. This is individual for everyone. The dog is then trained to fit in with your house and your preferences. For instance Maggie may sleep next to me on the floor but only gets on the bed when invited ( mainly cos my husband doesn't care for it much) She has learned that, also that when i get up in the night she might as well stay asleep until I speak and say good morning.. when I am ready to get up.. because I WONT be sociable I have taught her to sit and wait before we exit the house as a safety precaution, as she is so heedless if she sees something interesting and ran out onto the road when we first got her. She keeps her bones outside as I don't want them inside. Anyway there is other stuff that you will figure out for you. You sound very caring so your pup is already onto a winner!
    One pice of advice I received I have found useful is that every day is training for your puppy so be aware what you are teaching. What you do and do not react to will teach the pup something about what is acceptable and what is not. Enjoy.

  8. #8
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    I did the list thing when I got Banjo. It's a useful exercise. And I agree that for a dog, and especially a puppy, everything is training.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by farrview View Post
    The obedience trainer I go to suggested I write a list of what I would like Maggie to learn. This is individual for everyone. The dog is then trained to fit in with your house and your preferences. For instance Maggie may sleep next to me on the floor but only gets [I]on the bed when invited ( mainly cos my husband doesn't care for it much)[/I] She has learned that, also that when i get up in the night she might as well stay asleep until I speak and say good morning.. when I am ready to get up.. because I WONT be sociable I have taught her to sit and wait before we exit the house as a safety precaution, as she is so heedless if she sees something interesting and ran out onto the road when we first got her. She keeps her bones outside as I don't want them inside. Anyway there is other stuff that you will figure out for you. You sound very caring so your pup is already onto a winner!
    One pice of advice I received I have found useful is that every day is training for your puppy so be aware what you are teaching. What you do and do not react to will teach the pup something about what is acceptable and what is not. Enjoy.
    I saw this trick posted on another forum - so cannot take credit..

    Keep a water bottle beside the bed, at the first hint of whining, a quick squirt and a stern "Bad husband"!! LOL

  10. #10
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    Meh alpha crap.

    What it boils down to - is stop your dog from doing what you don't want. Everything else with permission is fine.

    Frosty is allowed to be on the couch with me but not on the lounge chairs. She's allowed on my bed but not in it. I set the rules. If she wants something - she has to ask for it and if that's ok with me - I give it to her or not if it isn't. I prefer her to ask for stuff - than steal it - so I reward the asking when it's convenient.


    A 7 dog night is one that is so cold you need 7 dogs lying on top to keep you warm.

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