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Old 10-21-2008, 10:53 AM
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antipunt1 antipunt1 is offline
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Red face how much is too much attention?

hellooo [sry for the multi-nature of the post, but I wanted to condense all my new puppy questions into one!]

just need some advice! i'm really attached to my [7 week old chiweenie] puppy and am currently unemployed-ish so I have tons of time to spend with it. But I have a crate/puppy pen and sometimes I feel like I should leave it in there (independence training?). But I don't know when and for how long. For now, I spend time with the puppy almost constantly in 'some' form (either napping next to its puppy pen or watching tv with it, etc.). To reinforce this habit, when its in the pen, it seems so tormented like its being punished, so I hurry back to it within a couple of minutes.

Any advice on whether I'm spending too much time with teh pup and should just leave it in the pen? or am I doing something thats ok because its still young? I heard there's such thing as a hush-quiet training? but i dunno if I can pull it off?

Edit: oh yea, I should add though I don't sleep with it. At night it DOES go into the puppy pen/crate area

PS #1: at night, is it better to move the crate into the bathroom where its more confined or should we leave the crate in the rather open puppy pen area? [note that I heard the bathroom might be better because it would feel safer in a smaller-warmer area/ in conjunction to the fact that we hear it less in the bathroom]

PS: #2: how 'aggressive' should the play be allowed to get? It seems recently the puppy is starting to burst with energy [probably less shy]. It's play is starting to get very 'bite-y' and sometimes it looks like its straightout attacking me ! [probably the chihuahua side of her]. But is this OK? I'm thinking that getting a kong toy [no idea what this is lol] or walking it [it took its first walk yesterday!] would help make it less crazy?? Or is this kind of play completely natural

thx!
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:27 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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While you're unemployed and at home most of the time, it's a perfect opportunity to prevent seperation anxiety later on. I'd recommend you let puppy spend short times in the crate where he's apt to be pretty happy about it. You can feed him in there and leave the door open at first so he can come and go. Some of his nap time could be spent in there or when you're doing something in the kitchen, if the crate is in the kitchen, he could chew on a kong toy with something yummy inside. Then try closing the door for short spells and letting him back out (BUT ONLY WHEN HE'S QUIET) Don't let him out when he's whining or fussing. And don't talk to him. Ignore that unless you want it to continue and escalate. Wait for a lull. Gradually increase his time in there....but not too long....a few times during the day. It's not a bad idea at all to put his crate in your bedroom at night so he's fairly close to you, but in his own place. Sort of a compromise. And dogs love being near their family. When you want him to go in his crate, start out by tossing a really yummy treat in there ahead of him. As he goes for it, give a cue, "crate" or "go to bed" whatever you want. Then asap....when you think he's made the association between the cue and going in his crate, start giving the cue first, wait for him to go inside, then toss him a treat as reward. Always associate the crate with good things, never punishment. Put him in there for nap time when he's already tired, not when he's full of energy. Increase the odds that he'll be peaceful when he is in there....happy experiences will make it so he'll love his crate, which can be very useful as long as it's not used for excessive amounts of time.

Practice leaving the room, into another room and immediately coming back out. Gradually lengthen his alone time. Go outside for a bit and come back. Get him use to being alone a little bit now and keep on giving him some practice so you can go to the store or anywhere and he's happy enough staying in his crate. While you're at home, it's a perfect opportunity to introduce him to that gradually.

As far as rough play, it's best to teach him now that anything close to painful biting results in a yelp ("ouch") from you and the immediate end of playtime and any attention from you. Get up and walk away. No scolding or talking needed. If he chews on your hair or clothing, "ouch!" Walk away. You won't feel pain that way and he won't learn bite inhibition. When he mouths gently, continue playing/patting. This teaches him to regulate his bite force. He needs to learn that certain roughness won't keep his playmate around. If you don't do this now, he'll have a hard time learning this lesson. Later on you can eliminate any mouthing you don't like by not reinforcing it or putting it on an "invite only" cue. But it's important to let him mouth gently now...but ONLY gently. Rough play, biting, chewing, jumping, zooming is all normal puppy play. They need to learn the "human way." Save some of your attention for times when he's behaving how you like....teach him that calmer, gentler playing results in good things. And be careful not to inadvertantly give attention or otherwise reinforce behavior you don't like.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:30 PM
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Punkygirl0101 Punkygirl0101 is offline
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I just wanted to ask, cause I noticed you either put "The Puppy" or "It". What sex is it? lol (Sorry..just was curious )
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:00 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Welcome to chaz! And congratulations on your new puppy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by antipunt1 View Post
i'm really attached to my [7 week old chiweenie] puppy
First off, "weenie" is not a dog breed. Your puppy is a chihuahua/dachshund mix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipunt1 View Post
For now, I spend time with the puppy almost constantly in 'some' form (either napping next to its puppy pen or watching tv with it, etc.).
While constantly spending time with your puppy is nice, he's going to get used to you constantly being next to him. Which will be a problem when you go back to work (or leave the house at all). Be sure that you spend several hours a day away from him, with him in the crate and you in another room. You can break it up into several sessions, but definately get him used to this now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipunt1 View Post
To reinforce this habit, when its in the pen, it seems so tormented like its being punished, so I hurry back to it within a couple of minutes.
As long as you know he's not in physical pain (like, he's stuck on a bar or has to go potty or something), if you run back to him whenever he vocalizes, you're teaching him that vocalizing gets you back in the room. Wait until he's quiet, even for just a few seconds, before going back into the room, and completely ignore any vocalizing while you're out of the room. This will teach him that being quiet gets him what he wants, while making noise does not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipunt1 View Post
PS #1: at night, is it better to move the crate into the bathroom where its more confined or should we leave the crate in the rather open puppy pen area? [note that I heard the bathroom might be better because it would feel safer in a smaller-warmer area/ in conjunction to the fact that we hear it less in the bathroom]
I ALWAYS suggest for puppies to sleep in the bedroom with their family. He's still very young, and needs that feeling of being near his "pack" to feel secure and safe at night. The crate by itself (door closed) will be fine, but keep in mind that no matter where he sleeps at night he'll need to go potty at least once during the night.
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipunt1 View Post
PS: #2: how 'aggressive' should the play be allowed to get? It seems recently the puppy is starting to burst with energy [probably less shy]. It's play is starting to get very 'bite-y' and sometimes it looks like its straightout attacking me ! [probably the chihuahua side of her].
Chihuahuas are no more "bitey" than any other breed. At 7 weeks old, puppies are just beginning to learn bite inhibition. They learn this by biting their mom and their litter mates, who yelp and/or quit playing if the puppy bites too hard. This is why most good breeders don't sell puppies until they're 9-10 weeks old, so that the puppies will already have an idea about bite inhibition. Unfortunately for you, YOU are your puppy's litter mate who will have to tell him when he's biting too hard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by antipunt1 View Post
I'm thinking that getting a kong toy [no idea what this is lol] or walking it [it took its first walk yesterday!] would help make it less crazy?? Or is this kind of play completely natural
Kongs are a great way to let a puppy burn off some energy, they're good to give him in the crate as something to do. You can google Kong to learn what they are, but you can find them in any pet store.
Good luck, and keep coming back as you have more questions!
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:02 AM
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antipunt1 antipunt1 is offline
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Thank you for all the very helpful advice! Glad to be apart of the forums here.

And just a quick note towards the question: I updated my signature,etc., but the puppy is called Cali, a ~8week old girl. =P

I've started to learn the importance of independence as suggested by many users. I'm starting to/planning to implement periods of being left to play alone [around 2-3 hours]. I think turning on the TV helps it feel more secure. Also, I leave it alone whenever I need to go to the gym, or run some sort of errand for the family.

the HARDEST part, is that I'm now learning to become 'immune' to its whining. I completely ignore its whining behavior (or try to) and then reward it lavishly when it acts quiet. Today Cali was bad! she was hyper as ever, and I did a trick that was suggested online. I picked it up with a serious tone and put it safely in the bathroom and closed the door. After 1.5 minutes I reopened it and I think it learned that being hyperly barking/whining would only get it a 'time out'. I had no more behavioral problems for the rest of the day!

My neighbor told me that it was too young to discipline the puppy, but my other friend told me that was ridiculous advice.

In short, I am learning to give it some 'alone' time. I do realize that I may be spoiling it a bit, and it would hurt me (and her!) in the future if I kept spending too much time with it. Just b/c its only 7 ish weeks doesn't mean I put disciplining on hold! [so it seems I'm being told]

-I've received multiple inputs so far that 8 weeks should be the minimum age of releasing a puppy from its littermates. In short, our breeder buddies seemed to have made a big boo-boo....oh well. It's up to me to keep the puppy well adjusted!

-I agree that it would be best to have the puppy right next to the bedside but b/c my folks have work and that I've been sometimes stressed with being constnatly woken up, we've adopted an interesting tactic. our puppy has thankfully started loving her crate, so we now let it sleep in the crate with an open door. We DO, however, put it in the bathroom to prevent it from wandering and hurting herself. We also put some puppy sheets for it to go potty on. This way, we'll get our sleep, and the puppy will have enough freedom to feel comfortable. I do feel a bit insecure about IT being insecure and away from the pack, but I was told by multiple dog owners that leaving it in the bathroom would be fine as long as it had potty sheets. I figured we couldn't possibly wake up in the middle of the night consistently, it would kill our nerves! (update: the puppy actually sleeps very soundly in the bathroom; the only thing is that it consistently [so far] has woken up around 5:30, and gets energetic then; i assume its b/c of its sleep-rhythm being slightly ahead of ours)

-gotcha on the biting too hard. I'm so proud of Cali, I think she's learning! Whenever I do the yelping trick, it seems to react. It bites a lot softer than it did just 24 hours ago!

-I bought Cali a kong! she may be a bit dense though (lol =P), it doesn't seem like she keeps at it. She might be giving up too easily! I'll keep giving it to her to play and see if there's any development with the kong. I put the kong along with other chew toys with her when she's in the pen during the day or in the bathroom area at night

PS: a general trick we've started using is to make the crate RIDICULOUSLY comfortable. We pad it with a comforter so comfy that a human could doze easily into it. Because of this, Cali prefers to sleep in the crate over anything else, so we never lock the door. We usually find that locking the crate door actually makes it more insecure, and ruins its sleep b/c it feel more insecure about pottying. We never have to worry about this problem, because Cali is [when left alone] either in the bathroom or in the puppy pen area

-thx again!
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