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Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Karen, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi Mango's mum, I feel your pain, our Isla is exactly the same!

    I actually dread walking her as she pulls and lunges at every dog and person that walks past us despite following the loose lead advise on here. She too destroys every toy,I've never seen anything like it!my old lab still had her puppy toys when she died at 12. Have you tried yak chews?or Kong's?at least they can eat the chew and I freeze the black toughest kong and this keeps her busy for half hour. Isla is also very excitable all the time! She's 7and a hall months.

    I know things will get better for us so hang on in there and know you are not alone:(
     
  2. Stew

    Stew Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    What are you feeding Mango?

    Ziggy is around the same age and (touch wood) he’s settled down a lot. He gets some kibble in a slow feeder then the rest is used as a reward when he’s behaving well. He’s our first dog and the first couple of months we’re very hard at times but I think the food thing has made a big difference in shaping his behaviour into a relatively calm puppy.

    Edit: I should say, he definitely still has his moments. Eating rabbit poo, jumping on people, spotty recall and various other things. He’s no angel but he’s an enjoyable dog to have in our lives and you deserve to have that with Mango.
     
  3. Mango

    Mango Registered Users

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    @Stew
    He is fed kibble....or you ment how I feed him?
    He gets his breakfast half in a bowl half in a Kong, just kibble.he also gets some dinner in his bowl, but that is just what is left from his daily portion. He gets the rest on walks, scatered in the garden, in his toys, we play hide and seek...doesn't help much. He does get tired, but it doesn't last.

    Today he gave me a scare, I cried all afternoon. In the morning he was limping a bit on our walk, so I decidet he will rest the day. Well, he didn't....he ran up the stairs and came right down like a bullet. So we went upstairs again and stayed there playing with stuffable toys all day, just potty breaks. I will give the vet a call first thing Monday morning. Fingers crossed...
     
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  4. Stew

    Stew Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Yes, I hope he’s ok. What brand of kibble is he on?
     
  5. Mango

    Mango Registered Users

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    He is on Taste of the wild prarie puppy.
     
  6. Stew

    Stew Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    It’s quite hard to decipher from their website but I think that’s quite high in carbs which could be part of the problem? I’m no expert by any means but I’ve seen anecdotal stories of dogs on higher carb diets being a bit of a handful.

    It’s just a theory from an inexperienced person but might be worth talking to a nutritionist or trying him on something different?

    We use Acana puppy.
     
  7. CPTCrash

    CPTCrash Registered Users

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    Sounds just like Scout. He does great some days (sits on command) then other days i might as well be speaking Ancient Sanskrit! Toys generally last anywhere from a few minutes (even the Kong toys) to a few days. My wife cant take him out as he pulls like crazy and im really the only one that can hold on to him. I take him for walks in the evening hoping to "wear" him out and it works for a bit then he gets his second wind! Some days i could cuddle with him and other days im pulling my hair out. Ive been told that (by the breeder) the high protein foods that puppies need to grow help with this behavior and we can reduce the protein after 1 year, so I am hoping that helps some! But hang in there! Ive been told also it gets better!!
     
    Saffy/isla likes this.
  8. Browneyedhandsomebuddy

    Browneyedhandsomebuddy Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I’m going to post my experience on here so far, there are so many knowledgeable people on here, and it is so helpful, and I’ve learned so much, but I thought that, from one new puppy owner to another, it might help with simple things and expectations.....

    Firstly, be open minded, accept criticism, and take on board what experienced trainers etc on here are telling you. For instance, pleeeeeeease don’t dismiss crate training. This has been the single biggest help with buddy. Yes he cried a bit the first night, yes it looks a bit like a ‘cage’, yes we have to be a bit strict with it, and yes those little puppy eyes are a killer, BUT, Buddy slept through all night from the second night, he napped in there ensuring he got plenty of rest and never became over tired, and this was ‘his’ place. A week or so down the line and he waited at the door to go in when he was tired, he loves it. He was house trained incredibly quickly due to the crate, not a single poo in the house and about 3 wee accidents the whole time we have had him. And now he can’t wait to get back in when I take him for his night time wee.

    I could go on and on about crates but please at least think about it and do some research. I have seen so many posts on here about all kinds of problems, and when asked about crating, get all defensive about it, when crating would probably alleviate those problems. However, as I said, I’m open minded and I know there will be lots of people who don’t use crates with success, I’m just saying don’t rule it out.

    Expectations! I want to say ‘expect the worst and anything else is a bonus’ but that sounds a bit harsh, but I did expect buddy to be much worse than he is, maybe we are lucky, maybe we are getting some things right, but it’s no walk in the park however good your pup might be. It’s life changing, and the responsibility, care, getting up early etc etc is tiring, so be prepared, but it’s worth it!

    Expectations of your pup! I’ve read and heard stories about people being annoyed about their pup eating a full box of kibble, or my brother for instance ‘bollocking’ his dog for being nose deep in a cake they’d just made! Who’s fault is this? It’s not your dogs. So don’t expect them to know not to do things just because we expect them not to do these things. Whose fault is it if there is a hot iron within touching distance and a toddler burns themselves on it? They don’t know, why should a pup? So everything needs to be out of the way. Minimise, or better exclude anything you don’t want your pup to have until you have trained them enough not to do this.

    Last thing on expectations, these dogs are so intelligent, but need time to grow and be trained, bill gates wasn’t writing software programmes in his nappy! I’m sorry to whoever wrote this but there was a post about a 13 week old pup not ringing his bell when he needed the loo?! I’ll leave it there..........

    Training etc. I had done so much research but hadn’t even scratched the surface, I didn’t even really know the full extent of the argument about ‘balanced’ trainers, or positive only etc until I had come on here. We use positive only, so started as soon as we got buddy. Sit, stay, down, paw, and very importantly food manners/patience.

    There are so many reasons why this helps. It’s fun, it’s stimulating, it’s tiring, and it is the base for training those expectations I mentioned. Also I believe it builds and maintains a healthy respect and builds a bond with each member of our family. I have seen questions asking why a dog won’t ‘listen’ to a certain family member, or why they feel they aren’t bonding, but you have to put the effort in. If you just tell a child off but never give them time, love, praise, they will lose respect for you. I did think that some of this might be about ‘dominance’ and ‘pecking order’ but again, thanks to this forum, I have been given a very insightful and compelling argument that this is nonsense, which leads me on to my next point, but I do believe in the respect and bond that training etc brings....

    Back to being open minded. Before we got buddy, so many people said things like ‘don’t be afraid to give it a clout’ ‘show him who’s boss’.... now I did have some idea the this was utter rubbish and I certainly wouldn’t be doing that, but didn’t really fully understand purely positive training, or that dominance and alpha male/hierarchy etc was being found to also be nonsense. It is difficult because there are so many theories on it all, and then what to feed your dog etc, but if you are reading this then you are in the right place for all of these questions, don’t be afraid to ask.

    Chewing..... we mixed up the toys a bit and he goes from one to another, but the best thing by a mile was, and still is, an antler. Now some may disagree due to it being very hard, but this has been a godsend, even better if you can squeeze a bit of soft treat into the ends. Plastic bottles, distraction, and more training. Buddy has not chewed a single piece of furniture or anything we haven’t wanted him to.

    I go back to expectations now, we don’t leave buddy alone other than in his crate at home or at my work, God knows what would happen if we did, so when we try to leave pups alone during the day whilst we go to work, I’m not sure why we are surprised to come home and see that they haven’t just sat there happily waiting for us to come home and done no damage at all!

    I know people have to do this, but it is well worth making some arrangements rather than expecting your pup not to trash your house, it’s also not really safe for them.

    Tea time, going to the loo etc (for us). Kong is your friend, don’t give up when you don’t know what to stuff it with. When you find the right filling, it will keep your pup occupied, and I mean completely like nothing else in the world matters, for plenty long enough to eat a meal or do the washing up etc.

    Biting and over excitement. Buddy has really not been a problem in this area compared to some I’ve read. It could be pure luck, it could be the crate, it could be the training. But we did reinforce calm behaviour. When he’s lying down letting us stroke him with no biting, he gets a yes and a treat. Now at 16 weeks he is really chilled out. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still into everything, the bin, the worktops, socks, but that’s up to us to minimise what he can get, and then reinforce when he listens to us telling him no, or giving something up that he shouldn’t have.

    Feeding/Tea time/bed time. We put buddy in his crate at 8.30pm, out at 11pm for a wee, then he sleeps until 6.30am. Breakfast at 7am, lunch at 1-2pm then tea at around 7pm with a kong or two shared over the day.

    We made tea a bit later as he had a few early mornings and we figured it could be hunger, so we gave tea at 7pm and he was back to sleeping until 6.30/7am so we carried that on. Obviously we have been quite lucky with his bladder, but, he doesn’t drink an awful lot as he is raw fed and doesn’t seem to need as much to drink, so this could be a factor. We feed 5% of body weight plus treats and the vet last week was super happy with his body condition.

    Exercise. We took buddy for a couple of decent runs at the park, but with some advice on here and from the vet, we found that exercise, certainly in the wrong way, can do more harm than good whilst hips are growing, so it’s just a couple of short walks during the day and a bit of a longer one at night before tea. This seems to be enough for now.

    Socialising. I have been lucky enough to take buddy to work before his jabs kicked in, so he was used to lots of sounds, sights, smells, people, he loves people!

    I could also take him to see his siblings, this was quite rough play, which is fine, but didn’t want to overdo it. Also we have friends with adult dogs who he has been great with. He just wants to play, so when he sees a good ‘candidate’ he does a bit of jumping and barking, but no aggression when he gets to them.

    Toilet training. Again we were lucky enough to be able to sit and wait with buddy, then praise each time he went in the garden. The crate was a huge help. But the biggest thing was probably minimising distractions and getting at things. So we fenced off an area just outside the back door, this worked like a charm and he took to it very very quickly.

    There’s probably much more I could say, and I know everyone has a different situation, and all pups are different, but from an entirely new dog owner, this might highlight a few things and help someone else who was/is in my position.

    Yes buddy can still be a pain, but all in all he is amazing, like I said, really chilling out now. I know there’s lots more to come, but he is so loveable, not scared of a thing, and trusts us immensely. He literally sleeps on my head given half the chance, doesn’t growl or anything if we are near his food, let’s us check his teeth etc and all this come from advice, effort, consistency, love etc.

    We can treat them like ‘dogs’ and not be too soft, but can love them just the same. I believe that philosophy works for everyone.
     
    Jefna likes this.
  9. Alex Wilson

    Alex Wilson Registered Users

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    Hello!
    Does anyone else have any problems with their lab being a fussy eater? Monty is 8 months and weighs 25kg, he's putting on weight well still and starting to bulk out a bit (he is a field lab so he has a fairly slim, lean build) but he can be a terribly fussy eater! He currently has Arden Grange kibble and a small amount of tinned food 3 times a day as he wont eat the kibble on its own (we were advised to do this by the vet). Some days he will eat it straight away, other days he will dawdle about and eventually go over and eat it but not always finish. He's just not food orientated at all which is odd for a lab! Does anyone have any suggestions of how we can encourage him? I don't want to change him from Arden Grange as I don't want to make him even fussier!
    TIA! x
     
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  10. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    @Alex Wilson

    Maybe try the same amount of food but just two meals per day. He may be a bit hungrier for it that way.
     
  11. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    Just a bit of good news for all you new puppy parents. I remember posting on here when my gorgeous Chewie would bark and bark at us during our mealtimes. He reduced me to tears more than once.

    We ignored him and reinforced quiet and now he stares at us for a minute or two and then lies quietly on his mat until we are finished. Once we are finished he knows it's time for his evening snuggle. He is 7 months old and, though he can be frustrating at times, he is growing more and more wonderful and loveable every day.
     
  12. Alex Wilson

    Alex Wilson Registered Users

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    We did try this previously but we found during the day he started counter surfing a lot and was looking for food everywhere so we put him back to 3 meals a day.
    He does eat all 3 meals most days (occasionally he'll leave a little bit of dry food at lunch but he usually finishes that with dinner) and he's still interested in ours when we're eating - all I have to do is open the fridge and he appears! I think he just likes to eat on his terms so I'm unsure whether to try him on a different kibble. We had problems with him refusing to eat Skinners when we first got him so I don't want to encourage fussy eating by changing him again!
     
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  13. Sabine74

    Sabine74 Registered Users

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    This thread is another example why I'm so glad to have joint This forum. After reading everyone elses journey, and the things they go threw with their puppy, the great input and advice you get from others, I feel a hold lot more optimistic that with determination, consistency, and good training our girl will be just fine. :heart:
     
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  14. Tank the Destroyer

    Tank the Destroyer Registered Users

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    We adopted Tank at 7 months, when I didn't know that pups go through an adolescent phase (so naive...). He was crate and house trained, which was awesome, but a total wild child. He chewed on EVERYTHING, jumped all over people, nipped (hard!) at our arms and clothes, and just generally acted like a monster. It felt like we could never relax - all I did was exercise him, train him, and then chase him around the house. I cried a lot (the nipping was a challenge) and my husband wanted to "return" him.

    I noticed the biggest change in behavior at 1.5 years - that was close to the time that we could start to leave him uncrated and unsupervised in the house. Now he is almost 2.5. I will not pretend that he is perfect, but he's really only terrible if we haven't exercised him enough! He follows directions most of the time, is decent on a leash, and we can leave him out unattended while we're at work without issue. He still loves to steal new and exciting items but will drop them when asked... About 75% of the time, haha! Most importantly, he's well-behaved *enough* that we can enjoy his wonderful traits that were always there but were sometimes hard to see. Essentially his good traits now outweigh the bad, which was not always the case.

    It takes a ton of work, consistency, and time, but it's totally worth it. I wanted to share my experience with Tank because he has stayed high-energy and puppy-like longer than many dogs. This was demoralizing at times (I was so disappointed when he didn't magically improve on his first birthday), BUT he is still so much better than he was and constantly improving. This is the price we pay for having a bright, confident, intelligent, high-energy dog - they are wonderful but take a lot of work.

    Also, my husband shifted from "there is nothing I like about this dog" to absolutely adoring him. This shift started when Tank was close to 10 or 12 months. If that isn't indicative of Tank's improvement I don't know what is!
     
  15. KatyDex

    KatyDex Registered Users

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    We are in the throes of the puppy stage now and I am also having a bit of a panic - reading your post made me wonder if things had improved in theast few months? K
     
  16. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi KatyDex yes things have improved greatly, Isla never bites us anymore, she sleeps right through the night, can be left alone for a while and even most of the chewing has stopped. So be encouraged, hang on in there it does get better.

    We seem to be having most of the problems now with walking her as she pulls, thinks everyone wants to play with her and she is so strong I find it difficult to hold on to her, (despite consistent loose lead training!)

    Hope this helps
     
  17. Dill

    Dill Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Sorry to hear about your concern over Monty’s eating habits. I wonder if youve come across the book ‘Why does my dog do that’ by Caroline Spencer, a British trainer and behaviourist. I thought her section on fussy feeding and how to deal with it was very helpful. If you’re interested to know more, this link should take you to her website and info about the book: http://www.puredoglisteners.com/products/why-does-my-dog-book.php
    All the best!
     
  18. KatyDex

    KatyDex Registered Users

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    Thanks!
    Thank you, I really appreciate your reply, I can't wait for the biting to stop as we have 3 young children and it is very wearing. I am also concerned about the pulling as he does that already and will be a lot bigger soon!
    K
     
  19. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Really try now to put in some loose lead training before he gets to big. We have been doing this with Isla but she was quite late going out due to her jabs and she wouldn't walk properly for weeks, just sat on the pavement watching everything! So training started late.

    You have my sympathies with the biting, it really hurts, but we put Isla out of where we were everytime she bit one off us, telling her "no bites". They are little crocopups.

    Good luck
     
  20. Alex Wilson

    Alex Wilson Registered Users

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    Thank you!!! I will have a look :) We're still having troubles on and off. He has days where he'll eat every meal and days where he just isn't interested. He's still interested in our food though so I think it's more him being fussy more than anything! Some days like today he will eat the lot and lick the bowl clean and other days he wont touch it! We're just trying to give him lots of encouragement when he does eat and finishes. We're debating changing his kibble to something smaller as the Arden Grange kibble is really big so not sure if that's what's putting him off! I'm sure we'll work it out though! We have noticed that he will always finish his dinner if another dog is around so perhaps we just need to get a second dog! hahaha!
     

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