First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!
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Thread: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

  1. #1
    smooreo is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultFirst Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    Guinness just arrived on Friday and he's 8 weeks old. This is my first time with a dog, so I don't have any experience! I've read a couple of books, but now that he's here, it's all gone out of my head, it seems!

    He's very good at night - only needs to be let out once. We've had a few accidents, but that's to be expected. I don't think he's peed in his crate yet, which is great.

    I have a few questions about taking him outside and about crate training.

    When we're in our front or back yard, he's very interested in leaves, grass, and sticks. Is it normal for dogs to want to eat them? If it's not ok, how do I get him to not eat them? I already feel like "Guinness, No" is a regular occurence.

    As for his crate, I just put him in there after we were outside for quite a while. He's pretty tired and needs a sleep. I put him in there with a treat, but he keeps yelping, and is starting to bark. The last few nights he's fallen asleep in the family room and then we move him, but I want him to get use to going in there himself to sleep. Any ideas omn how to facilitate this?

    TIA!

    Sarah and Guinness

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  3. #2
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    Read the OUR BEST ADVICE sticky.

    And it's best if he doesn't eat sticks/leaves in the yard. Instead of NO, attach a specific command to the specific behavior you want. In this case, it's LEAVE IT (or whatever else you find that works to keep his mouth off things). But understand that you're dealing w/a baby here. At 8 wks, you're lucky if he even remembers that his tail is a part of his own body!

    Can you rake the yard some, just to get rid of the temptation?

  4. #3
    TangerineFizz is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    Ditto what Dweck said. Puppy proof your yard as much as possible, and within reason, and teach "Leave it". Leave it will turn into one of your many best friends over the course of your dogs life. I wouldn't let him get in the habit now of eating stick and rocks, as it could lead to serious issues down the road, or immediately, in the form of blockages.

    Guiness will get a routine shortly, remember he still has to get acclimatized to your schedule, and your preferences. He'll probably continue to fall asleep in your family room for some time, until he gets the gist of things. Teach him "Bed time", and that will help to teach him where he needs to go too. When Abby was little I would always wake her up if she was sleeping prior to our bed time, take her outside, then we'd come inside, where I would put her in her sleeping area and say "Abby, bed time!". She caught on pretty quick.
    Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.

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  6. #4
    smooreo is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    Thanks so much for the advice!

    I will definitely rake the yard to avoid temptation! I just didn't know if it was normal or not. I haven't let him eat anything, but I'm constantly taking things out of his mouth.

    I have read the advice post and had my hubby print it off. It's a lifesaver!

    How much can I expect him to remember in terms of training? We give him treats and lots of praise when he goes outside, and he seems to be getting it for the most part, but the "Leave It" and "Off" and "Down", etc. seem to be going right over his head.

    One more thing - he has taken a liking to eating the bottom of our pants. Use "Leave It"?

    TIA again!
    Sarah and Guinness

  7. #5
    regarese is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    He will outgrow the biting of the pants (I didn't believe it when I was told that, but it's true), but in the meantime, I think "leave it" and giving him something acceptable to chew on (one of his toys) is the way to go. Also, telling him "no bite" and and leaving the room for a little can be effective as well. As long as you're consistant, you'll start seeing him following instructions soon. We started Shelby's puppy classes at 11 weeks, had been trying our own version of "sit" before the class, and she picked up on it pretty quick. It's best not to overwhelm him with too many commands at once. Let him get the hang of sit, then work on "lay down", and progress from there. Consistancy is the key and if you make him sit for EVERYTHING-he'll get it quick. It's so much fun when you see the commands are actually working!!

  8. #6
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    zoesmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    yes, it's very normal. Your pup is a very young pup, exploring the new world.

    We started training as soon as we brought Zoe home. Simple commands, sit, stay, down.

    Once your puppy has had all of his shots, I would recommend puppy kindergarten. At least 2 sessions (K-I and K-II). You pup will be able to socialize with other puppies. From there, you can go on to obedience classes.

    Have fun! Take lots and lots of pics. They grow very quickly.
    Linda and Zoë, the Umlaut
    Honolulu, Hawaii

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  9. #7
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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    Be careful not to expect too much too fast, you'll set yourself up for disappointment!

    Puppies have an attention span of about 3 seconds (on a good day! ) so that can work against training efforts.

    For the first few weeks or so, I'd just focus on house training and name-learning.

    For the second one, say his name (only once) and show a treat, take treat up to your eye so he looks you in the eye, give treat. Slowly work on saying his name every once in awhile and giving him a treat.

    It makes training all the other stuff (sit, down, stay, etc.) soooo much easier when you can get their attention just by saying their name.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


  10. #8
    Brockersmom is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: First Time Dog Owner - Need Puppy Help!

    My puppy, who is now 15 weeks had a terrible biting problem, when we first got him. Our arms and hands were shredded and he attacked our shoes and pants legs too. In his mind it was being playful, in our minds it was painful. We started spraying our shoes and pants with "Bitter Apple," and even our hands and arms, too. It really worked and now he knows not to bite. We sprayed "Bitter Apple" on everything in the house except his chew toys and even some of the plants outside. It's really worked. Good luck.
    Don't ever trust anybody who doesn't like dogs.

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