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Thread: At Wits End, Urgent Help Needed

  1. #1

    Default At Wits End, Urgent Help Needed

    I must be doing something wrong because we're not getting anywhere and today I ended up in tears in frustration and feeling like a failure at puppy parenthood!

    So Max is 4 1/2 months. When I first got him I was told he was house trained to go on newspaper - yeah right!! Well, partly. Some times he'd go and sometimes he wouldnt. And he kept eating the soiled paper which of course was no good. I switched to the training pads and again, very hit and miss. It seems like he KNOWS what to do but just gets lazy. There's a couple of spots in the house he loves, beside and behind the couch and the carpet in my bedroom.

    I started trying to train him to go outside. I'd take him out every couple of hours day and night. Despite my sleep deprived state, it was working fairly well until about a month 3 weeks ago.

    He'd wake me up to go outside, I'd take him out and he'd just play for 10 minutes, I'd bring him back in and he'd wee on the floor. He would also poo everywhere inside which of course is great when you step on it in the middle of the night!

    Today, I'd been home for 2 hours with about at least 45 mins of that time with him outside and he managed to wee 3 times on the floor - and would come and tell me about it afterwards!!

    This week I have put up a barrier next to his bed so he cant wander around the house at night. Working in that he'd wake me up to go to outside but again, at least once a night he'd wake me up just to go outside to play.

    I'm thinking of putting him in the laundry at night but not sure if its too late to start doing this.

    He is also constantly nipping at my feet and legs when walking. He hangs on to the bottoms of my pant legs - my pj bottoms and trackies all have holes in them now. I've tried everything to get him to stop - lifting my leg, growling at him - no, stop, sit etc. nothing works.

    I've gone through 2 bottles of cat and dog repellent since I've had him to try to stop him biting at me but it only works for a minute or so till the smell goes away.

    He's outside during the day when I'm at work and has plenty of toys to keep him occupied. He gets VERY excited when I get home at night and we usually go for a walk as soon as I get in but the last week I've had a bad back and havent been able to do any walking. Walking doesnt tire him out though and he seems to get over excited very easily especially in the evenings when I'm home - its nearly impossible for me to do anything as he's jumping at me the whole time. He wont even let me talk on the phone!

    Tonight, being so distressed over it all, I've put him outside - he's out there now happily playing away but I know as soon as he comes in he'll start up again.

    He never listens to me except when we're donig our "training" play - he's mastered sit, shake, roll, stay perfectly except when he's being naughty.

    We're going away for the weekend on Friday to my parents and the last thing I want is Max weeing/pooing all over their house and misbehaving.

    I'm feeling like a total failure and dont know what to do. Would love some advice from the experts here!

  2. #2

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    He's been back inside for less than 5 minutes and has wee'd on the floor again!

    I just dont know how much more of this I can handle. Maybe I'm just not cut out for having a dog. I had a cat for 15 years and it was so easy. I never guessed a puppy could be this hard. I shouldnt be sitting here crying over this, surely it shouldnt be this hard

  3. #3

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    Firstly ... don't panic & beat yourself up. You are not a failure or a bad person.

    Secondly .... he's testing you, so you have to become "Alpha".

    There's lots to handle & get on top in this situation. After he eats, it's straight outside for toilet & it doesn't matter how long it takes, you stand there until he does his business & then you verbally reward him.

    While you're in this "reshaping" phase of training him into being a good boy in the toilet department, he can have access to water while he's eating, but then it is removed ... along with his food bowl. No "snacking & drinking at will" with this little cheeky monkey.

    If it were me, definitely into the laundry with newspaper all over the floor. Back to square one.

    With the clothes ripping & nipping. It's a dominance thing. When he tries this on, immediate "sin bin" ... it might as well be the laundry. Show him you're not interested in a dog that doesn't know it's manners. Hard to remember to do but ... ignore the bad behaviour & when he's getting physical either "sin bin" him or leave the room and reward the good. You have to catch him being good & give the reward of your choice .... treat, pat verbal, special toy so he understands "Ah, THIS is what she wants."

    Dogs look for a leader in their pack. If you're not the "Alpha", they will make up the "rules" themselves. The "rules according to Max" may very well be not to your liking.

    Hang in there. There's heaps of people on this forum with a wealth of experience. Some of us will agree with some, all or none of what's posted based on our own experiences over the years. Pick the "eyes" out of the advice & ask heaps of questions. This isn't an exact science so you're not really doing anything wrong. It's all a learning curve no matter how long you've owned dogs. And I hear the members reading this post who've owned challenging dogs for one reason or another saying "Amen to that Sista".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Near Newcastle, NSW
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    VERY Amen Sista

  5. #5

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    Thought you'd be one of the "choir leaders of experience" in the "this is going to be tricky to navigate" department Clea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Near Newcastle, NSW
    Posts
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    When I read the story...I went...tick...yes tick....yep tick...yep been there tick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Near Newcastle, NSW
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    4,215

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    Quote Originally Posted by FancypantsJen View Post
    He's been back inside for less than 5 minutes and has wee'd on the floor again!

    I just dont know how much more of this I can handle. Maybe I'm just not cut out for having a dog. I had a cat for 15 years and it was so easy. I never guessed a puppy could be this hard. I shouldnt be sitting here crying over this, surely it shouldnt be this hard
    I am a bit nagged right now, but will get back to you tomorrow. I will try and enlighten you on what to do, because I have been in your situation...trust me!

  8. #8

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    Thank you for the replies so far. Helps to make me feel a bit less of a bad mum

    I've rearranged the laundry and set his bed up in there as well as his toy basket and have put down a couple of puppy toilet mats.

    I did have his water bowl there as well. So I should take that away yeah?

    I hope I can stay strong during the night when he starts crying and carrying on. I caved the first night I bought him home... if only I'd been stronger that first night things would be different now (but he was soooo tiny and cute)!!!

    He's currently napping at my feet which he normally does this time of night. Will be heading off to bed shortly, so fingers crossed we get through the night in one piece!

  9. #9

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    Yep, take his water bowl away now please.

    If he starts screaming, don't give in. If you've got a clock radio, set it up in the laundry for him on a talk back station. If you've got any Rescue Remedy, give him some & take some for yourself as well. Spirit was a real screamer for the first couple of nights. I had her set up in the bathroom of a night time. I put a pillow over my ears & was able to drift off to sleep.

    You're starting from scratch, so just imagine this is night one all over again.

    Night night Sweetie. Get some rest.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    You might want to investigate "crate training" too so you don't have any problems visiting other people's houses.

    You definitely don't want to leave him unsupervised for a minute in your parents' house and the minute his nose goes to the floor (or any furniture corners) - it's outside for a "go pee pee" or whatever word you want to command it - and no coming inside until you have seen him perform.

    And no water or food after 4 hours before bedtime. But don't forget to put the water out for him in the morning. As soon as you wake up in the morning take him outside. Be boring. No greetings or pats until he's performed. Same deal when you go and return from work - no fussing. And when you get home, outside for You Know What and be boring for at least 5 minutes before you greet him. You can praise and pat the minute he performs though. Just don't play for five minutes at least - and as long as it takes to get a pee/poop.

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