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Thread: New Puppy, I Really Need Your Help!!!!!!

  1. #1

    Default New Puppy, I Really Need Your Help!!!!!!

    Hi guys,
    This weekend my Maltese X shih tzu puppy will have been with me for 2 weeks now.
    He's adorable but he's a real handful. Sometimes to the point where I'm mentally exhausted by him.
    To bring you up to speed I've had a behaviorist/trainer come to my house for training. Plus he starts puppy pre-school on Thursday going for 4 weeks.
    He's going ok despite the chewing and the occasional bout of biting/snapping when playing which is getting better because each time he does it I "bite" his neck with my hand (not hurting him but firm in the middle) until he goes limp on the ground (as instructed by the trainer) and after a few times he doesn't bite and only licks me.. for which he is praised greatly.

    I think I'm starting to adjust to him properly and fully "get" how I have to be, EG I must be firm with him and I MUST give him structure and reliability. Always repeat behavior and make things clear for him.
    Which is fine but I'm a little unsure of two things right now.

    Jumping- He loves to jump up on you and things, puts his paws up on the couch etc.... and to be really honest, I don't mind it... it's not an issue for me. But everyone seems to think it's a problem (trainers other dog owners I talk to).. so i've been "biting" him when he does it until he stops, and he's kind of got the message. But I feel bad, because I actually quite like him jumping up and being excited so sometimes I get a bit lax with stopping him because i'd literally be "biting" him constantly which I hate because I don't want him to be a sloth that just lies there not doing anything.
    But at the same time I can't be sending him mixed messages, otherwise he a) won't understand b)won't respect me

    Toilet training- I live in apartment which I can easily get outside from but I work full time so face the facts he's going to need to wee/poo inside during the day. I've been putting down newspaper and he seems to like going on it (most) of the time now. I also try supervising him and locking him in the bathroom (with me in there as well) and then waiting until he finally goes then praising/giving him a treat. He still has the occasional squirt/poo though on the carpet in a weird area although I don't punish him, I just clean it up and spray the spot with white vinegar hoping he won't go back there.
    I really would prefer him to go when we're outside on his walks (twice a day right now) But he just doesn't seem to want to.. plus i'm worried that I'm training him well to go on the paper in the toilet for when i'm away, how will he learn the difference???????

    I'm really quite confused on a lot of things...

    FYI, I know working full time is bad for a puppy but I'm literally with him every second i'm home and he gets plenty of varied training time and WALKS with a varied route every time and plenty of slow introduction to traffic, other dogs and people.
    I am a very commited owner and life time animal lover so he is very well taken care of.

  2. #2


    A new puppy, very exciting times

    Jumping/Nipping- The 'dominant down' is pretty old school tbh (Either through 'biting' the neck or getting a dog to stay down by stepping on the lead) It seems to be a favourite of those who support dominance theory. Dogs do not force one another into a 'down' so if a human does it, it means little more to the dog than a smack does IMO it is just physical punishment. IMO it only leads to bigger behavour issues later like fear biting and aggression. I have a 10 month old staffy myself, who was terrible at jumping/nipping when we first got him. If he bit to hard i let out a loud OUCH NO! (Dont snatch your hand away as this will engourage them to chase it) once he let go i would stand up,fold my arms and look elsewere or simply walk away (Just as another litter mate would walk away if he was biten to hard in play. Bite to hard = game over) With his jumping he has been taught AH AH down or sit, but when first teaching him it took many time outs to get this message through. He would jump I would tell him AH AH down with my arms crossed, if he continued to jump i would pick him up not saying anything and place him in the bathroom by himself for 1 minute (Time out). Again is he continued when he came out of time out, i say nothing, pick him up and put him back in timeout (Much like the super nanny with kids) He is excellent now! He will still jump when he is over excited (When i first come home from work) but a calm assertive AH AH down, is enough and he will resume sit position, waiting for his pat.

    Check out Victoria Stiwlwells forums, in particular this thread: Victoria Stilwell - View topic - My puppy and nipping

    Toilet training-
    At 3 months, they need to go out at least every 2 hours during the day. For the first few days of house training, you will have to wake up a couple of times during the night to let them out, however, puppies usually get the hang of sleeping through the night and you wont have to worry for too long. Just keep committed, he will be house trained! At 4 months of age, they normally need to potty every 4 hours. 5 to 6 months, about 6 to 7 hours. All dogs regardless of age need to relieve themselves every 8 hours or they could develop bladder infections.

    Puppies always need to potty first thing in the morning when they wake up and following any naps they have throughout the day. Anytime he or she wakes up, first things are first – and that’s to go outside.

    Puppies will also need to go out after eating. After they have breakfast it’s on to go potty before they start the rest of the day – which is usually going right back to sleep. They sure do have the life. Finally any excessive emotional moment such as the puppy getting scared, hurt, or a super rowdy rough play session, make a short trip outside for good measure.

    I would look into getting a pet loo (Being your in an apartment) and giving pup lots of praise when he uses it. TBH, To expect a puppy to only go to the toilet twice a day on walks is very unrealistic. Also, they say when puppy does go in the wrong place, dont say anything, just pick him up and put him in the right place and clean it up without him watching you. Leo (My 10month old staffy) was trained on paper first in the bathroom, when he went in the wrong place i picked him up and put him in the bathroom without a word, shut the door and went and cleaned up. This is because for some dogs i can become a bit of a game, like a toddler throwing food from a highchair, i make the mess and you clean it! I then took the newspaper outside (Once Leo had all his shots and was aloud) and he understood pretty quickly with much praise that outside was the new right place (He did go in the bathroom a few times after that, picked him up put him outside and cleaned without him watching me) I find they catch on pretty quick with these methods.

    8 hours is an extremly long time for a puppy to be left alone during the day, is there anyway you could pop home during the day, or have a friend/family member do it for you? So the pup is able to have a small play session, be fed, go potty/clean potty before pup goes back to bed and waits for you to get home for the day. How are you handeling feeding, being pups needs to be feed at least 3-4 times a day untill i would say 4-5 months? Please dont think im having a go, i realize people have to work to make a living and am sure you are a very commited owner. Many owners dont realize how much work a puppy will be, pup is home alone way to much and isnt getting the training and guidance needed and is not being taught rights/wrongs and what is expected of them, then 10 months down the track they have an 'naughty' dog and are looking at rehoming, when in fact the dog hasnt been taught how to act. Not saying that will be you, but it does happen to alot of dogs and it just isnt fair.

    I hope i have helped in some way and you dont feel like you have copped and ear bashing! Cheers

  3. #3


    No no thanks that makes sense,

    I understand what you're saying about the time away from him,
    I'm considering getting him in daycare and maybe some adhoc walking a couple of days a week.
    The vet and trainers have told me that I should only be feeding him twice a day, and that so long as he's properly exercised and socialised it shouldn't be a problem leaving him during the day.

    I do feel bad about it though, because trying to crate train him as well means that he really only gets about 7-8 hours of play/exercise a day with about 3 hour intervals of sleep at night in his crate, broken up with being let out to go to the toilet.

    It really is impossible for me to get home to him during the day, and I guess that's really my fault for getting him so young knowing that I wouldn't be able to be at home but I did really want him and I guess nobody is ever fully prepared for what a puppy will be like the first time (i've had dogs my whole life but looked after by my parents)

    I am actually in a bad personal situation at the moment but I'm trying not to let pup suffer because of it,
    I got him a few weeks ago and my partner was on opposite shifts to me so she was coming home and playing with him etc, etc.
    But we have split up and she is gone so I am in the situation I am in and that's that.. there has been times when i've considered re-homing him because he is young and I think maybe he'd be better off.. but that is only because I am having a rough time emotionally and when he's a handful he really wears me down.
    But despite my own problems, I'm up at 5AM every day give him a 30 minute walk/run. Stop for lots of smells, take him on a different route each time and introduce him to cars/trains new sounds etc and let him experience them.
    Then we have about an hour's playing session then he's fed and slowly gently moved into the laundry where he has a room full of toys water and dog puzzles with a radio going all day.
    Then when I get home in the afternoon he gets another hour of playing, then it's dinner/training and treats. (training is going on ALL the time obviously but more things like commands etc),
    Then another 30min walk with the same sorts of things..
    I don't know,
    There are times when I feel quite down about it, because I do have a small place and he does demand a lot of my attention,
    But then there are the times when we fall asleep together on the couch and you just can't imagine being without him,

    I dunno, any thoughts?

  4. #4


    Oh hun, i feel for you, i really do.

    I work 9-5 but My OH works from 10-3 generally (1hr give or take) and I live next door to my OH parents, so when my pup was a bit younger they would go over to mine and throw a ball for him, feed him and give him a cuddle before my OH got home again in the afternoon. I couldnt do it without others support

    The amount of excerise you are doing at the moment i would say is to much, it is recommended for puppys to have 5 minutes walking for every month of life. To much excerise can damage their joints/hips and cause problems later down the track. Thats not to say you cant be out with you pup for 30 minutes, stopping to sniff this, socialising with other dogs and people, just not long strenuous walks/playing just yet.

    You sound like you are being way to hard on yourself, relax, enjoy pup being a puppy It took quite a few months to fall into a good routine with my dog that we were both happy with, He is a 10 month of staffy (Leo) and heres how his daily routine goes:

    Wakes up with me at 5.30 have cuddles and coffee and get ready for work/feed Leo breafast. 6.30am its time for 20 minutes of play and 10 minutes of treat training with me before i leave for work at around 7am, OH gets up around 6.30-7am and Leo follows him around till he leaves for work. OH gets home at 3pm and takes him for a 1/2 walk then does 1hr play in the backyard, playing socca/ball, learning agility (Just for fun, not serious comp stuff) before i get home around 6.30-7pm. 7-7.30pm is Leos dinner time, once he's done eating i start preparing dinner for me and my OH and Leo settles on his blanket in the lounge at our feet. It took time to get Leo used to this too, when he was smaller he just wanted to be crazy at 8-9pm at night but you gotta put your foot down, when Leo got too roudy at night he was sent for a 1 minute timeout in the bathroom. Thats not to say he isnt aloud to play with his toys, just not go running through the house like he was on pep pills LOL (I too have quite a small 1 bedroom place and have a 25kg 10month old staffy so i totally understand!)

    I would also suggest getting a dog walker/day care if you can, just while he is still so young and has so much to learn as he will really benefit from it in the long run.

    Also, just wanted to add, What do you mean by slowly gently moved into the laundry? Dont diddle daddle around the fact that you are leaving, is not good for the dog to learn that having you there and you leaving and coming are the be all and end all of his life, thats were seperation anxiety starts and thats a whole nother bag of worms. I give Leo a quick pat and tell then im going now and point at him and say you stay, ill see you later. When i point and say you stay, he knows this means im going and he is not. These days he is usually he's trying to wonder off like Ok, bye, see you later when he is getting his quick pat, cause he knows, im dressed, i have shoes on and my handbag over my shoulder, im ready to get going.

    Sorry, i feel like i waffle on so thats it for now, but have fun with your fur baby! and dont be so hard on youself, your doing good.

  5. #5


    Thank you so much for your support!

    You know, I just am having a very rough time right now but I think it will get better and better,
    Each day that goes by we are getting more and more into a routine and he is behaving better!

    I took him to puppy pre-school last night and I was AMAZED, he was the BEST behaved of all the dogs and I was so in control of him because of the hard work i've been doing..... unfortunately another problem arose in that he wanted to hump all the female pups
    I've called the vet today and he is getting fixed soon so hopefully that'll be the end of that!
    It was also great to see that all the other owners were going through the same thing as me so it made me feel a lot better and relax too.

    I must admit i'm a sensitive person but because my spirits have been really low it's just hard when he's being a buredon, because I'm just having trouble looking after myself right now.

    But my strength gets re-newed every day,

    I totally relaise now that I was structuring my behavior WAY too much around him, over the last 2 days since i've been putting my foot down and doing what I want when I want it and making sure he fits in around me (in a nice way of course).
    He seems to have settled down heaps and just accepts when I need to be away from him or if he needs to go in his crate for whatever reason.

    I really think that If I stick with it 6 months down the track we'll both be inseperable (already basically are) and most problems with be gone and i'll be so much strong for having had stuck with it,

    Will keep you updated on me and my little man

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Hawkesbury NSW


    Hi RaeRae

    Cogratulations Hon, your are a wonderful Mum!

    You are doing all the right things and the very best you can which is really outstanding

    Puppies are an enormous amount of work for sure, though in no time he will settle and you will be able to laugh and tell everybody of what a monkey pants he was as a bub! (And then no one will believe you because you will have a little angel sitting at your feet, perfectly behaved!!)

    Desexing is a great decision, and your vet will let you know the best time to do this. The surgery is very straight forward, boys only take about 10/15 mins to do.

    Let us know how you are getting along, and have a gorgeous weekend!


  7. #7


    Go RaeRae! So glad to hear you getting along just fine. You got it, he needs to fit around you. At the end of the day you pay the bills and put a house over his head so what you say goes (Gosh, i sound like my mother! LOL)

    Puppy pre-schools are great, really good for metal stimulation as well as socializing. You can if you want carry on with obedience training with your pup after pre-school if you think he will continue to benefit (And why not! ) There are alot of clubs that offer a one off fee and then a few bucks per group training session after that (Much cheaper than alot of the puppy school) This is one for Sydney west (Not sure where you are) but just to give you an idea SABDTC - Membership

    Sounds like you 2 are going to have a ball of fun! Keep up the good work
    Last edited by leo01; 03-02-2009 at 10:59 AM.

  8. #8


    Hi RaeRae. Am glad things are going ok. I hope you're feeling ok.
    Don't forget that your little guy will learn to fit in with you going to work - and he'll always love you no matter what else is going on!!
    I know you don't need anything else to do but... don't forget to teach him how to be groomed.
    He's going to grow stacks of coat in his lifetime with his breeding. So if you get a chance, try and get him used to being brushed (especially around his face and feet where it's invasive if he's not used to it).
    If you give it a little go when he's tired (maybe after a walk?), it can be nice quiet bonding time for you both and save a stack of trauma later in life.

  9. #9


    Thanks heaps for the support guys,

    Really appreciate it!

    Things of course are still on and off with the lil guy, but you can't help but love him no matter what he does!

    And yes life is hard (I am beginning to imagine what parenthood is like).. but there is times when you're just exhausted and all you want to do is lie down but you can't because he needs supervision.... I am longing for the day I'll look back on this and laugh!!

    Work schedule is very hard, I feel so awful leaving him on his own at home.. but I really just can't afford to have him at daycare.. it's a bad situation but really I suppose it's better than re-homing him or a shelter (I really could never live with myself if I did that).

    Had a bit of an incident last night.. he was being snappy and I "submitted" him with my hands fairly gently, but he kicked up a real fuss and was screaming and yelping.. I didn't let go but I changed my grip to make sure I wasn't hurting him in any way but he was terrified of me afterwards, I was so heartbroken..
    I had to just coax him over and slowly build up the trust again and he was back to normal today.
    The trainer thinks it was a tantrum but he was going pretty crazy for a tantrum.. either way he said to try ignoring the biting/snappy for a while rather than getting physical with him.

    His socialisation isn't going as well as I'd hoped, i've got puppy class again tomorrow but it's seriously Murphy's law when I take him out for walks!!!!! There are ZERO dogs around... and then as soon as I jump in the car for work they are EVERYWHERE!
    He is still terrified of other dogs.. but what more can I do than keep taking him out as much as possible??

    Oh well....
    Life will get better i'm sure and now i've got a pal who will stick by me!
    I must admit though it is hard forcing them into your schedule when they need constant supervision and attention..
    Nights are still sometimes sleepless, if he's energetic he'll scratch and whine in his crate all night long until the sun comes up and I let him out again.. other nights he'll be quiet the whole time.

    Toilet training.........yuck.. he's about 90 percent on the news paper now but he still pulls the odd random. It's very frustrating!

    Totally hear Nat on the grooming.. it's next to impossible he hates being brushed.. and baths are another nightmare, he hates them.. then feels the need to wipe himself on the carpet after
    Not sure how to condition him to get better with grooming and settle down..

    Any thoughts?

  10. #10


    You are doing it tough - he sounds a little bit demanding... Lack of sleep is a real pain, and makes it harder to deal with everyday stuff - like cleaning up accidents!!
    Try not to worry too much - you're doing a great job!!
    Heaps of dogs don't have the luxury of daycare, he'll get used to your work routine eventually! Try walking around or near kids playgrounds for socialising as well - the noise and movement is great for them when they're little.
    Have you tried giving him a pigs ear or something to chew on in his crate at night to help keep him settled?
    With baths and grooming it really is just a matter of him getting used to it - "Just deal with it - I'm going to keep on washing you!" . But it can be so hard when they're little and so very squiggly!! Towel time can be a fun excuse for play - wrapping it around him and wrestling a little is fun and a good confidence builder!!
    Making things fun is often the key - but it's hard when you're tired to think positive!
    I blow dry mine - but have done since they were little. Sometimes it's easier if you can put him on a small table (with non-slip surface, a towel on top will often do), so he feels less able to escape than on the floor.
    If you want to get him used to a little hair drier turn it on nearby and leave it just lying there running while you're brushing him, and eventually move it closer a bit at a time - you might only blow dry his feet for a little while!! It could be that it freaks him out just in the same room - just put it on the other side of the room, there's no rush. You can build up his confidence one day at a time and creep it closer as he relaxes.

    If you were near Canberra I could give you a hand with him . But you will be ok - don't forget to relax and enjoy yourself with him as well as working so hard to look after him.

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