My boyfriend and I got our puppy three days ago , we have done just about everything on the list for crate training but I’m having a really hard time because we had to leave him at home in his crate for work. I’m nervous to leave him in there and have him upset and very stressed out. We unfortunately are unable to go home and visit him throughout the day due to our job locations and I’m having a lot of guilt. Is this normal?
Hello Taylor, Most puppies take up to two weeks to adjust to being in the crate. It's important to give them the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain in the crate, and you don't want to let him out while he is crying unless he needs to go potty. Instead, wait until he is quiet for a second, then return to him while you practice during the day. Since you are gone for most of the day, you can practice for 30 minutes in the evening and on the weekend. In addition to the methods you have already followed, you can also follow the "Surprise" method from the article I have linked below. It is similar to the Crate for Food method you read but just goes into more details. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Check out the Crate Training method for potty training when you are home as well. Follow those times listed when you are home, and every 2-3 hours with a dog walker at this age while you are home. The general rule is that a puppy can hold their bladders for the number of months they are in age plus one - meaning 3 hours at 2 months, then 4 hours at 3 months, and 5 hours at 4 months. Remember those are the maximum times under ideal circumstances not the ideal times while you are home. Ideally he would go out twice as often as those times while still learning to help him learn faster. When you have to leave be sure to give him a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy, like a Kong. You can even place his food into a bowl, cover it with water, and let it sit out until the food turns to mush, then mix a little peanut butter (Avoid Xylitol- it's toxic) or cheese or liver paste into the mush, then loosely stuff the Kong and freeze it overnight. You can make several of these ahead of time to grab as needed, and even feed him his meals just from Kongs right now if you want to. I am assuming you have something set up for potty training and him being able to go potty while you are gone. The main issue with crating him for that long without you returning is his small bladder. A puppy his age under ideal circumstances cannot hold his bladder for longer than 2.5-3 hours during the day. At night he will be able to go about twice that long if he stays asleep. You will either need to hire a dog walker to come that often to take him potty or set up an indoor potty area for him. If you decide to indoor potty train him, then I suggest setting up an exercise pen, connecting it to the crate so that he can go into the crate to sleep when he chooses to, and placing a disposable real grass pad on the end of the exercise pen furthest from the crate - dogs don't like to eat or sleep near where they potty. Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below to teach him to use the grass pad when you are home. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad - the exercise pen method mentions litter box training but you can use a real grass pad instead to better mimic outside potty areas: https://www.freshpatch.com/products/fresh-patch-standard?variant=3477439297¤cy=USD&gclid=CjwKCAjw04vpBRB3EiwA0IieanLFLdgb5wXwlO_UdxdPB08FZAvRvyoRn14MHmLRTe3MQIhVdjCELhoCR8kQAvD_BwE If you intend to train him to potty outside, the ideal scenario is to hire someone to take him potty during the day - to make potty training more effective, rather than starting with grass pads then switching, if you have the option of hiring someone to take him potty. Whatever you do, do not simply leave him in the crate to go potty in there. Dogs have a natural desire to hold their bladders and bowels in a confined space, so he will attempt to keep it clean, will fail because of his age and the length of time he is left in there, then be soiled all day and eventually loose his desire to hold it in a confined space - which will make potty training incredibly difficult for you, since potty training is mostly based on that natural desire to hold it in their 'home'. Assuming you have potty training needs taken care of while you are gone, and are just feeling guilty for leaving him in the crate while you are away - you are not alone! Most pet owners who care for their pets struggle with the idea of leaving their pup in a crate, especially during the early days while pups are still adjusting. One thing that can help is to understand why you are crating your pup. When used correctly crate training help you effectively potty train, it prevents destructive chewing, prevents separation anxiety, prevents boredom and territorial barking (if away from windows and given a food stuffed chew toy), and helps your pup learn to self-entertain, self-sooth, and be calmer in the house. Many dogs die from ingesting things they shouldn't during heavy chewing phases (during teething and later jaw development during the first year), and are given up because of issues that could have been prevented with crate training. A pup that is crate trained while unsupervised and supervised while free during the first 1-2 years of their life can often be trusted out of the crate for the next 10+ years because bad habits were prevented while young. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My partner and I would like some advice on how to stop our 3 months old puppy JRT stop biting and nipping, especially while he is playing. We understand that he is exploring with his mouth, that's why we got him a lot of toys to chew on and get him outside 4-5 times a day on average.
As he is still not vaccinated fully, we can't let him meet other dogs/humans.
The biggest problem is that he considers my partner as a play toy and charges towards her with full-on excitement and starts biting her and her clothes. We think he doesn't consider her as a pack leader(or above him in hierarchy).
Any suggestions and recommendations are warmly welcome.
Alen and Lea
Hello Alen, Hello Carlotta, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Out command from the second article linked below to make him leave the area as a consequence. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning Leave It, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The Out method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just playing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area, is an especially good command for biting your partner. Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior for how to calmly enforce that command once it's taught. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Go ahead and check out the article linked below on finding a good puppy class once you feel it's safe to do so - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: There is also information in this article about timing and safety tips for younger puppies. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Practicing regular obedience commands or having pup earn what they get by performing commands like Sit and Down before feeding, petting, tossing a toy, opening the door for a walk, ect... can also help stimulate pup mentally to increase calmness and wear them out. Commands that practice focus, self-control, and learning something a bit new or harder than before can all tire out puppies. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. Finally, below are some class videos if you wish to begin some training at home before you can join a class to help with trust and respect, as well as communication with pup. Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Our Jack Russell is 13 weeks,myself and partner took him out his first walk first 2 days together and he enjoyed his walk, when we have tired to take him out in his own he doesn’t want to go and cries/shakes sits and not interested in any enticement we do to encourage him to walk. He is scared of all traffic noises and bins but is ok with people and other dogs. He has also started being aggressive and trying to bite at night and doesn’t take notice of any distraction or firm no as he seems to be in a ‘zone’. We haven’t crate trained him though he has a pen where he sleeps fine tho doesn’t spend much time there during the day,I’m wondering if we should have crate trained him and how do we help him not to be so anxious/stressed.
Hello Kerrie, First, the fear of being outside actually shows that pup needs to be taken out a lot more, not less. Start with simply sitting outside with him for 30-60 minutes at a time at least, each day. Practice tricks and commands with treats, play games you can do on a leash, like short range fetch and tug, scatter treats for him to find (but make sure that grass or area hasn't been treated for pesticides). Whenever he acts brave, curious, or calm around something new - like a car passing or new noise - reward with a treat before he reacts fearfully. - you want pup to associate them with good things. Check out the free PDF e-book download, AFTER You Get Your Puppy, that you can download below. Don't worry about what you haven't done with socialization, but focus on the tips for how to help pup adjust in the future. While socially distancing, a long leash and outside interactions can be a great way to help pup adjust to things like people, a six foot leash and walking lots of places - starting by simply sitting with pup in a new area and acting confident, while rewarding pup's good responses, works well for things like noises. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads For the biting, I do recommend crate training pup, since many pups get especially wound up when overtired, and often need a space to go rest and calm down - give a dog food stuffed chew toy in the crate during these times. You can use an exercise pen with this at first, but pup will eventually out grow that if they get big enough. If you choose to crate train, check out the Surprise method linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ I also recommend teaching Out and Leave It though. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Regular obedience and trick training to build trust, respect, focus and to simulate pup mentally can help with some anxiety. Teaching things like agility - where pup is exercising but also overcoming new things, and socializing pup are all good things to help with confidence in the long run. Pup temporarily having a hard time with something a bit new isn't always bad - as long as you can help pup work through it through regular exposure and practice - that can ultimately teach pup how to be more adaptable as an adult, rather than avoiding those things. The goal is to make sure it's not so hard that pup can't progress and improve with help, taking things a step at a time, and rewarding pup for successes. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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