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Discussion Starter #1
So we just got our first ever puppy, Hunter, on Friday night. He's a lab bred by a great breeder. He was 8 weeks old when we brought him home. I have several questions.

First of all, he seems to have gotten bored with the routine already. Usually when he wakes up we take him outside. We'll play with him for a bit until he gets tired. This usually consists of chase games, letting him explore, and and playing with a big ball.

When we're inside, he's either exploring, or we're on the floor with him playing with toys. The toys vary from rubber chew toys to plush toys with stuff to bite and pull on. Including hard ropes. Pretty much every moment he's awake we're trying to stimulate him.

But now we're starting to have problems (already?) because he's getting bored of the routine. I've tried playing games like hiding toys, but he doesn't seem to understand that the toy is hidden and he needs to find it. If it's not in front of his face he becomes uniterested. Any help with stimulating games is appreciated.

The other thing I noticed tonight is he started trying to bite his tail alot. He would be trying to bite his tail, then when he couldn't reach it he'd start whimpering. I thought it might be itchey (am I an idiot?) so I was trying to help him reach it. After that he seemed to stop. I am concerned because I've heard so many warnings about parvo, and I live in an area that higher propensity for it. Also, I just worry that he might be stressed out. Has anyone ever witnessed this problem?
 

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ummm......Maybe he just wants a new toy....He is a little puppy so maybe try to let him sleep until he wants to wake up then play with him inside first and then outside. Don't feed him before he plays though because his stomach could flip and he can die (that is very true) Some puppys just run out of steam....how long do you play with him?
 

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As you have only had him a few days don't judge him yet. He's still getting used to his new surroundings and YOU guys. Interact with him when he wants to interact and let him explore his new home. Please bear in mind you have a BABY on your hands.. one that will explore with his nose and mouth and he probably finds the home new and interesting. He is going to sleep alot... you will probably find that he has small short bursts of energy and then sleeps. He's growing, it's normal. Don't wake him or stop him from napping. He needs his rest to grow...and he'll grow REALLY FAST! Enjoy this quiet stage, trust me... it won't last long.

Have you tried playing hide and seek with him... don't hide a toy.. YOU go hide... call his name in a happy fun tone and when he finds you lots of "yay's" and praise. It will teach him his name and be fun. As I mentioned in a different thread earlier, for each month the puppy is old add 5 minutes of attention span. So you have a 2 month old puppy.. he'll stay interested for 10 minutes maximum! So... keep all games and training to 10 minute intervals every hour or 2 hours or so.

The happier and more interesting your tone is the more interested he'll be. It is also never to early to start teaching Hunter to sit, drop and stay. Get his mind working, I am afraid that hiding a toy and expecting him to find it is a little bit hard for a baby! Keep it simple, short and sweet and interesting. Always at this age give a small tidbit of food as reward and lots and lots of praise.

Good luck with Hunter.... where are the pictures of this gorgeous little guy BTW?? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips. I went to the store and got him a few more toys and some soft chew toys and a tennis ball. He seems to like to chase after his toys, so I'm thinking maybe he'd like a tennis ball. I will keep in mind the tip on his attention span. I'll post pics in the main forum tonight.
 

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Awesome! I can't wait to see them! Don't forget that his stomach will turn if you feed him before he runs!!! ;) :) :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I am noticing an improvement in Hunter's playfulness. I've been training him in 10 minute intervals once a night. He's taken to it very well. I think he's starting to realize that if he pays attention to me while playing he will understand that I'm communicating with him. Before he wouldn't even look up at me.
 

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Well I am noticing an improvement in Hunter's playfulness. I've been training him in 10 minute intervals once a night. He's taken to it very well. I think he's starting to realize that if he pays attention to me while playing he will understand that I'm communicating with him. Before he wouldn't even look up at me.
Excellent news! How are you rewarding him and what are you teaching him?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well Sunday night I taught him to sit in one ten minute session. He now sits on command.

Last night I was watching one of those "It's me or the dog" shows and got some good tips on Puppy Pushups. I had been physically trying to make Hunter lay down, but on the show it was more of a guiding him with the treat. Also, a really good tip I learned was, in order to make him sit back up when he's laying down you move into his space a little bit and he'll either stand up or most likely go back into the sitting position out of instinct.

So far he hasn't learned the command for down and stand, but I read on a website today that you have to say the command once he performs the desired action. I had been saying it before. So I'm going to give it a try again tonight.

I can't get over how smart this dog is. When I'm training him he's really paying attention, and when I give him a command I can tell he wants to do what I'm telling him to do, but he just doesn't understand. He looks like he's trying really hard though.

Also, when I take him to go to the bathroom in the back yard I've been leash training him. It usually takes him awhile to go, he'll walk around sniffing so I've been just walking semi-briskly. So far he's following me (not leading yet) but he is at the point where very little tension is put on the line most times before he picks it up.

I've been training him with bits of his usual food and biscuits, plus positive reinforcement. Hugs and love basically. The first time he sat and didn't get a treat he seemed shocked. I was kind of surprised too. But he sits now without getting the treat. Like I said, hugs and love.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Another interesting story, last night we had a bad thunderstorm. He was outside when the first one went off and he nearly ran into the sliding glass door trying to get in the house. After that he wouldn't go outside for the rest of the night. Not even when I was out there trying to coax him. Such a cute little guy.
 

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Another interesting story, last night we had a bad thunderstorm. He was outside when the first one went off and he nearly ran into the sliding glass door trying to get in the house. After that he wouldn't go outside for the rest of the night. Not even when I was out there trying to coax him. Such a cute little guy.

Be careful about how you react to his fearful behavior. If you baby him or comfort him when he is being fearful you can unintentionally reinforce his fear. The best method to keep him from being reactive to noise is to just act as normally as possible when he is reacting - he will follow your cue.

When they are little like this they also go through specific fear periods - if you offer your dog calm consistent leadership you can avoid potential lifelong issues with fears.
 

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Sounds like he and you are doing great with the commands! good work! :) and puppy pushups are awesome to teach. I do sit, drop, stand, sit, drop, stand with Milly now but started just with sit and drop and sit and drop. She does it over and over and over and over for me now. And we do it with just voice or just hand signals or both ... Labs are the best learners and the best dogs ever!!!!!!!!! (from a very biased Lab owner ;) ) hehe..
 
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