Hi everyone. We just got Harley last week and he was 6 weeks, yesterday. He's a gorgeous little black lab and has completely stolen our hearts. We are having some minor difficulties. I've raised several different dogs in the past and I haven't come across these problems before so I'm a little baffled as to what to try next. I'm wondering if he's maybe still a little too young. We're doing crate training. the first day he loved his crate and kept going in on his own. Now we have to almost force him to go in. We were getting very good at training ourselves to take him out to do his business, however, it's becoming more challenging since he seems to have suddenly developed a preference to pee on the floor in the house. We end up being outside more than inside trying to get him to go. When he begins to show no interest in peeing, we bring him inside (usually after 15 to 20 min. We no sooner get in and he pees on the floor. We've started extending the time we stay out in hopes that eventually he'll go whether he wants to or not, but to no avail (although, I suppose he is learning to hold it). We've tried taking him for walks, but he plumps his behind down on the ground and there's no way we're making him walk until he wants to go (yesterday I spent 25 minutes standing in front of the house trying to encourage him to walk, but he wasn't having any part of it).
The final problem we are having and the only one that really concerns us right now, is his quickly increasing aggression. Since yesterday, he has literally jumped at my husband on 4 seperate occasions and bit him in the face and growls. We have tried constantly and consistently to distract his biting with toys and we praise his every little move. He shows little interest in any of his toys and his biting is becoming worse. We withdraw attention, he doesn't seem to care. He's not intested in any of the large variety of treats we have bought, so of course we have yet to find his motivator. We are so desperate and concerned that we finally gave in and tried pinching his mouth when he bites, he has yelped, but then tries harder to bite. We give him short time outs, when he comes out, he goes right back to aggressively bite again. All the dogs I've had, of course, can be a little nippy as they are teething and exploring, but I've never experienced it even close to as bad as it is with Harley. I'm not really sure what to do or if it's just a result of his age and perhaps things will turn around shortly. Any advice or hints anyone can give would be so greatly appreciative.
If you got Harley last week - he was five weeks old? - that is way too young to be taken away from mom and siblings (unless this was a rescue situation and you had no choice). Many of his behaviors are due to the fact that this is the age where both mom and littermates teach each other was is acceptable social behavior and what isn't. Remember he is extremely young and not used to being on his own. Don't force him into his crate. Give him a plush toy to snuggle up against so it reminds him of his siblings. Have his crate next to you at night so he knows you are nearby. Puppies are NOT aggressive - again, this is the type of playing behavior he would be doing with his siblings - they would teach each other what is acceptable and what isn't. Do 'yelp' loudly when he bites down and re-direct his little mouth to something more acceptable. I used to carry toys/bones in my pockets all the time so I always had something handy to give the pup.
good luck with him.
You need to get the pup into a routine. The fact that you got him so young (puppies shouldn't leave the litter until they are 8 weeks) won't help his potty training. You will need to take him out at least once an hour. I would get him on a strict routine --either in the crate (because he is so young, he should be sleeping most of the day), outside for potty and play or leashed to you. He should not be loose in the house. If you let him loose, he will have accidents. Wait until he is older and more reliable before you allow him that kind of freedom.We're doing crate training.* the first day he loved his crate and kept going in on his own.* Now we have to almost force him to go in.* We were getting very good at training ourselves to take him out to do his business, however, it's becoming more challenging since he seems to have suddenly developed a preference to pee on the floor in the house.* We end up being outside more than inside trying to get him to go.*We've tried taking him for walks, but he plumps his behind down on the ground and there's no way we're making him walk until he wants to go (yesterday I spent 25 minutes standing in front of the house trying to encourage him to walk, but he wasn't having any part of it).
Your pup is FAR too young for walks. You will need to wait until he has finished his set of vaccinations before you start any walking. Even then, walks should be kept short. A sensible guideline to follow is the '5 minute rule' --5 minutes of exercise per month of age, designed to project the growing joints. Until then, stick with playing in your house and yard. This is all the exercise he will need. By all means get him used to the leash but do NOT walk him yet.Because your pup was removed from the litter early, he has missed out on some valuable skills (bite inhibition). These articles should help;The final problem we are having and the only one that really concerns us right now, is his quickly increasing aggression.* Since yesterday, he has literally jumped at my husband on 4 seperate occasions and bit him in the face and growls.
At this point I wouldn't be getting on the ground with him, that will stop the face biting. As far as the crate in my opinion your better off getting him used to it now rather than waiting. If you get him used to sleeping in bed with you, its going to be that much harder and he will protest even more. I'm not saying you should force him in, just make the crate a wonderful place to be.A couple of things you can do is get a wind up alarm clock and put that in with him the ticking of the clock will remind him of his mothers heartbeat. You can also put a hot water bottle under a couple of towels or blanket the warmth will remind him of his mother's warmth. Never use the crate as a form of punishment.
The peeing inside you need to get a product like Nature's Miracle from the pet store because no matter how well you clean the mistakes he can still smell it.
One thing I agree with threelabs on is that you got the puppy too early. Why did the breeder give him to you so young? Because he missed the socialization period between the 5th and 8th week when responsible breeders send their puppies home Harley may have some problems relating to other dogs this is something that can be corrected once Harley has recieved all of his shots.
Rebel, our family dog was taken from his litter when he was a month old because he was lactose intolerant and his mother stopped feeding him. Rebel, a Great Dane GSD mix lived until he was 14 years old.
Thanks for the replies. I was getting worried that he may have a problem that we can't find a solution to. Harley has all his naps in his crate. He has never slept with us in our bed. I guess that's a benefit of him peeing so much...we can't trust him to sleep with us so we can't develop this bad habit
We take him outside, usually about every 15-20 minutes so messes were minimal until the last 2 days. It seems the more aggressive he gets, the more he holds it outside and then pees inside. We take alot of his play sessions outside because he doesn't seem to be quite as aggressive outside as he is inside. Although, this morning, all he wanted to do was bite me.
I've been reading a lot of articles on crate training, recommending a blocked off area that holds his crate, dishes and toys and papering the entire area. I tried this was this morning. It didn't go well at all. He yelped and cried something fierce. I try not to give him any attention when he whines and then praise him when he's quiet, but this time it was almost impossible. On top of being so adorable, he's definitely very stubborn and persistent
I had no idea he was too young for walks. we put his leash on him several times a day and he seemed to be getting okay with it, so I assumed he was able to walk. At what age should he start going for walks?
We've been trying to adopt a puppy for so long now. I've researched how to find a good breeder and filled out pages and pages of application forms for many dogs, both from breeders and the SPCA, and I was on several waiting lists. When we found Harley, we were just so excited that I guess all my research just left my head and my heart took over. We just love him to death, already. I thought pups were taken from their moms at 6 weeks, so it never occurred to us that a week would make such a difference. Now I can see how he missed out on the socialization. We signed him up immediately for a class when we took him to the vet last week, but it doesn't start until next week. Hopefully, that will make a hugh difference.
again, thank you for the replies. I'm feeling more optimistic now and less concerned. I've always heard that when a dog bites the face, it's a dangerous sign. We've been keeping him away from other dogs for the most part until he's finished all his shots, but I'll try to introduce him to some dogs of friends who I know are up to date. Perhaps this will help.
I feel for you and hope you can get to the bottom of things but the main problem as I see it is that he was taken from his littermates WAY too soon. They need this time for proper socialization skills. Unfortunately, you didn't know.. but your breeder should very well have!
We are bringing our puppy home next weekend and she will be 2 days over the 7 weeks.
As for attending classes and hanging out with friends dogs... I would suggest waiting until all vaccinations have been done. After all the friends dogs may be immune to any disease but could be a carrier and infect your puppy.
This forum is a great place for info ~ you've picked the right place to come and ask for help. I know I have benefitted a great deal in the short time I have been here.
Best of luck!
After he has had his set of vaccinations.At what age should he start going for walks?
Even then, he doesn't really need "walks" for a good while. For the first few weeks I prefer "walks" to be socialization trips. For example, I take the pup down to our local park, sit on a bench and allow him to meet other people/dogs. For exercise, I allow the pup to run around with other dogs, to explore off leash, to play with me etc. etc.
Please be aware of the dangers of over exercising. As I said in my previous post, a sensible guideline to follow is the '5 minute rule' --5 minutes of exercise per month of age.
Make sure that your pup is properly vaccinated before you enroll him in puppy school. In our area puppies must be at least 10 weeks old and have had two sets of shots (including a parvo).Originally Posted by Harleys Mom
Congrats and good luck with your pup!
Hmmm. If you wait until he's had his full series of puppy shots for puppy school, he'll be 16 weeks and you'll have lost a valuable time in his development for socialization. I think this puppy has lost enough of that. I would not recommend a class at a petsmart type place where any dog can walk into the store with no proof of vaccinations. But, I think if you can find a reputable school where they only allow puppies that are getting the vaccinations they need, I'd go for it. Yes, there is still a risk that he could pick up something, but weigh that risk against the socialization aspect of his life. If you are signing up for a class your vet recommends, hopefully, it's reputable. I took Miles at 10 weeks to puppy class and he still had 2 sets of shots remaining. I talked it over with my vet and he knew of the school I was taking him to and felt that the benefit of puppy class at this school outweighed the risk because he knew she runs a tight ship and her clientele are conscientous dog owners. The place is not open to the public like a pet store is. In Harley's case, I think the benefit would outweigh the risk.
Walks before full inoculation are fine as long as you don't go to parks frequented by many random dogs. Your yard, the neighborhood. He'll be read for walks once he's about 10 weeks. Short ones. I don't think it's a good idea to keep your dog isolated for 16 weeks.
I have to laugh because I wondered if this was a post I did because of my screen name. Looks like we have not only a good choice in pets but in names as well. Welcome! This is a great site and I've learned a lot so far.