My Puppy is Weird

houlahoops

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#1
I think my dog is broken.

So she is completely comfortable in her collar and leash, and wears both all the time when she is supervised in the house. She goofs around fine in the yard for five or ten minutes. But as soon as I take her for a walk, she just kind of stalls out. Sits back on her haunches and whinewhinewhines.

I have been coaxing her with treats and that works decently, but I'm just mystified. I bring water. She is usually walking with the other dogs (curs + a little white dog) We are not trekking cross country (I'm talking like 400-800 meters on grass). Sometimes there is an obvious stressor (other dogs barking at her or we are in a new place), but other times I can't figure out what's up.

It's warm (60-80F) out there, but WHAT KIND OF A PUPPY DOESN'T LIKE WALKS. I'm just mystified. How do I help her realize that walks are the BEST THING EVAR?

Bonus puppy picture (she is 9 weeks old today and somehow she looks like a real dog already):

 

Equinox

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#2
Ugh, for one, she is so ridiculously cute and I love her.

Secondly, she's not broken, don't worry :p Trent went through this phase, too, and it lasted for several weeks at least. Maybe even a month or more? He would park his little butt right on our front lawn and that would be the furthest he'd go - and this was after being TOTALLY fine with walks for his first few weeks. We'd even play a game where we'd try to get him to chase after us, but the moment we went past the house he'd sit and watch. Once I did get him to walk, he'd sit on neighbors' lawns and refuse to budge.

I know this is totally useless information because I'm no help at all - sorry!! He grew out of it eventually. Pippa hasn't been home very long, and even if there aren't any obvious environmental stressers, she could just still feel a bit overwhelmed at times. She may be used to your house/yard by now but the outside world with ever changing smells and such might still be a big deal. I'd just keep keeping walks positive and short for now and incorporate her favorite games/toys throughout.
 

umterps97

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#4
Maya was the same way! She would walk fine for a short while (like to the house next door) and then when she got past her "safe" distance she sat down and refused to walk any farther. However, she would walk back home with me just fine....she just had some distance in her head that was unacceptable to pass.

She grew out of it after a couple of weeks. Puppies....so confusing sometimes!!
 
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#5
What everyone else said! I don't think any of mine liked walks at that age.

Also, she is perfect and remember to take lots of video in addition to pictures because you'll regret it if you don't! (Has nothing to do with this thread but there needs to be video of her so oh well)
 

houlahoops

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#6
Oh good she isn't an alien from outer space. I had this panicky moment where I was like, "OMG she's never going to grow out of it how will I take her on adventures NOOOOO!"

I'd like to take this opportunity to ask more stupid questions:

1. She is bothersome to some of the old dogs (my dad's vaccinated and healthy curs). They get upset. They make a lot of smoke and thunder but have only made contact once or twice. Do I let that happen? Do I keep them completely separated until she is bigger? When do I intervene?

2. Crate training has been fantastic. She sleeps in the crate and has no problem going in at night. If I am gone or if it is daytime she screams her little heart out (and usually blows chunks all over the crate) even with a Kong filled with peanut butter plus beef tendons. How do I transition from, "the crate is where I live at night" to "the crate is also a safe place to be when people aren't home to keep me from murdering myself"? At first I tried to use an ex-pen as a transitional tool, but she has no issue climbing out of that (and over baby gates, up on counters, onto the kitchen table…)

Thank goodness I have you guys. Here is another bonus puppy picture.



ETA: Sorry, Linds, I took like 45 minutes to write that post and I posted before I saw your comment! I have definitely been taking videos…but they are staying in my personal archives until I figure out how to edit out my high-pitched-girly talking to dogs voice hahaha
 

Oko

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#7
As for the other dogs being bothered, if it's obvious, I would take the job of correcting her by removing her from the situation. She'll have her 'puppy license' to get away with murder until she's 4 months old or so, but it'll be a rude awakening if you let her get away with bothering the adults until she grows up enough for them to start correcting her.
 

Skits

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#8
Buddy did the same when we first got him at 8-9 weeks old. I'd walk with him in my arms to the other side of the street, and he'd run back home. I'd just do it farther and farther each day and eventually he'd just walk. :p
 

skittledoo

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#9
Itztli is doing the same thing and he is 10 weeks old. We just brought him home today and already he does it. He is totally fine and happy to trot alongside me up to a point and will randomly stop and not want to go any further. Sounds like a normal puppy thing to me.

I don't think an expen is going to last long for us either. He has already almost made it over the expen and this is just our first night.
 

JacksonsMom

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#10
SO CUTE, omg.

I dogsat for a Rottie pup (starting at 9 weeks old) that nearly refused to walk for a month lol. It took a TON of patience and coaxing and then finally one day he just 'got it'.
 

CharlieDog

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#11
As for the other dogs being bothered, if it's obvious, I would take the job of correcting her by removing her from the situation. She'll have her 'puppy license' to get away with murder until she's 4 months old or so, but it'll be a rude awakening if you let her get away with bothering the adults until she grows up enough for them to start correcting her.
If the other dogs DON'T teach her what's acceptable, then she WILL have a rude awakening. As long as they're all being appropriate with their corrections of her puppy antics, let them tell her what they'll tolerate. It's only when a dog WON'T correct a puppy for anything (ENZO, I'm looking at you!!) that I'll intervene.

In our house, it's "no blood, no foul" Mind you, my dogs are well adjusted adults who are appropriate with their corrections of puppies (even Oz!) and yeah, while Ozzy SOUNDS like he's going to rip their guts out and use them as garters, he's never hurt them, even when he escalates up to a snap or smacking their head with a tooth.
 

houlahoops

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#12
If the other dogs DON'T teach her what's acceptable, then she WILL have a rude awakening.
That's what I was kind of thinking. They had been doing pretty well correcting her when she was being rude (keep in mind she isn't doing anything wildly inappropriate: no nipping or jumping, just running up to them and being super stoked about life).



Well Bailey got ahold of her last night and while there wasn't any serious damage he was clearly escalating things and he punched a nice little hole in her forehead. So right now we are going back to the beginning, with her penned up in the living room and the other dogs free to roam in the other areas of the house as they wish.

They do okay on leashed walks together, and we have been putting them together for short, supervised periods when she is relatively calm (after puppy ping pong or hide-and-seek). She is in puppy classes starting September 11, and I imagine that will help her learn some more appropriate behaviors (i.e.: JUMPING ON SOMEONE'S HEAD WHILE THEY ARE SLEEPING IS NOT THE PROPER WAY TO INVITE PLAY).

Sorry for all the stupid…she is my first puppy and I don't want to screw up too bad.

Another bonus puppy picture (I feel like you all deserve a reward for making it through these posts hahaha):

 

Stingr69

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#13
My boy Pap started refusing to walk a while back. I thought it was just a phase or an illness and it got to the point where he would not walk a few hundred feet. He got where he started just sitting down right at the beginning of the walk before we went anywhere. This happened over a period of a few months so it was not just a "mood". I stopped taking him for walks for a few weeks and asked the breeder what she would suggest. She said "Don't let him do it"! The answer she suggested was a chain choker collar. I reluctantly put it on him and tried it out. A couple of pops on that leash and he was "cured". He still does not love walks but he does walk fine without fighting now. I don't know if this helps in every case but it is a data point that did help in our case. You can put it on where it tightens when pulled or where it will not tighten when pulled depending on the circumstances.

-Mark.
 
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#14
My GSD's are pretty restricted. Chances are, she's going to be bigger than the other dogs, so I would be very careful of their interactions. You don't want her getting her butt kicked as a puppy and then fighting back as a full grown adult when she can cause worse damage to the others.

As far as walking goes, maybe I'm the jerk, but I really don't do too much coaxing. I'll just gently pull until they decide to walk, or snatch them up and we go back into the crate.

As far as crating goes, I give zero attention while they're inside. I'll offer toys/treats if theyre not super destructive, but otherwise its empty. I cover it with a towel or sheet completely so that they can't see what else is going on. I've never used an ex pen, personally.
 
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#15
My GSD's are pretty restricted. Chances are, she's going to be bigger than the other dogs, so I would be very careful of their interactions. You don't want her getting her butt kicked as a puppy and then fighting back as a full grown adult when she can cause worse damage to the others.

As far as walking goes, maybe I'm the jerk, but I really don't do too much coaxing. I'll just gently pull until they decide to walk, or snatch them up and we go back into the crate.

As far as crating goes, I give zero attention while they're inside. I'll offer toys/treats if theyre not super destructive, but otherwise its empty. I cover it with a towel or sheet completely so that they can't see what else is going on. I've never used an ex pen, personally.
I tend to agree with most of this. I think people tend to try and "over socialize" their puppies with other dogs because everyone says you have to. I think a lot of the imprinting is done with the litter and mother. After that it's about me and what I expect. when they're older they know how to deal with other dogs because they learned it before 8 weeks old. I know so many disagree with me, but for every well socialized puppy I see with other dogs, I see just as many screwed up by bad experiences.

They get to be around my dogs, but they don't get to annoy the crap out of them either.

walking, i'm a jerk too I guess. If i'm going, you're coming with. i'm not sitting and asking a whole lot. That said, I don't often take them on "walks" we're mostly exploring things and i'm very in to my dogs. If they look zonked or uninterested i'll just pick them up and go. But i can't say i've ever had an issue with a puppy not coming with me when I walk somewhere.
 

houlahoops

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#16
Stingr69: I am really reluctant to use a choke on a 9-week old puppy. Maybe if it persists. But that feels like a Band-Aid solution to a fear phase or normal puppy nervousness?

GatorDog:
I would be very careful of their interactions.
Care to elaborate on this a little bit? Just leashed interactions? Interactions through gates? Supervised visits only?

or snatch them up and we go back into the crate
So are they crated for the majority of the day, then, while you are home? So far I have only been crating her at night and then doing a lot of training/interacting during the day while I am home.

As far as crating goes, I give zero attention while they're inside. I'll offer toys/treats if theyre not super destructive, but otherwise its empty. I cover it with a towel or sheet completely so that they can't see what else is going on. I've never used an ex pen, personally.
Do you correct for screaming at all? Or just let them work it out? She does really well at night but doesn't tolerate being crated during the day yet (just screams for hours and hours). Will that just work itself out, or…?

releasethehounds: Although I don't disagree that puppies can be and are negatively effected by bad experiences with other dogs, I will say that with our hunting dogs, there is serious social development that has to get done well after the 8-week mark, and dogs that don't safe, calm interactions with other adults almost universally asshats in a dog-heavy environment. I am comfortable implementing this to a reasonable degree with a dog like Pippa who will be expected to be around lots and lots of dogs for the rest of her life, but obviously am struggling with the size difference and the potential to do damage (both now and later).

but they don't get to annoy the crap out of them either
So how do you correct this? Crate one/both? I had been recalling Pip from the curs when she gets annoying and that had been working really well until last night.

Also, "walks" aren't necessarily a structured thing. She has just as much trouble when I am headed out to the back woods to feed the deer. Follows for a ways and then just stops and whines.
 
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#17
I don't have any real hard fast rules when it comes to training my dogs. Beyond setting things up so they can't ignore me and recall always means come right now everything "depends" :)

if the adult dog looks like they're doing ok, i just let it go. If they both look like they're having the time of their life I'll make them stop too :) I don't interfere at all unless I want things to stop. Usually a word to the adult is enough to stop their actions and I will physically move or be a barrier to the puppy doing what it wants to the adult. They catch on quickly that when I say enough or done, play time is over.

with puppies its not about punishing or putting your thumb on them or dominating, although being assertive is certainly part of it. When it comes to social type training and not the stuff that's done with food and balls and play, i'm very matter of fact, I don't raise my voice, I don't ask sweetly either i just say it, Done, and if I have to remove, i'm not asking, i'm not pushing away playfully i'm not really paying them much attention at all. I will hold them out at arms length I will wall them away from the older dog, I will just pick and remove to a crate. Just depends on the situation. but I also am not allowing them to use the other dog as a play thing either when it's time to stop.

it's hard to explain, it's just something I do. Even though leashes can get tangled, I like a drag line. I can always limit a puppy with one of those because some have a lot of focus on what they want :) and that's a good thing. It also gives me a reason to stop play pretty frequently to untangle it and then let them start again.
 
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#18
My dogs don't get to spend all day out of the crate. Typically, I'm doing some errands, training, etc, so crate time is absolutely necessary. I don't correct for the screaming yet. I find that it does take a couple weeks for them to settle into it. I'm right now transitioning my 14 week old to not having his crate covered every single time, and weaning off of it. If they drive me up a wall with the screaming, they usually end up in the crate in the car.

My dogs also don't get a ton of socialization with each other, and when they do I'm just very aware of when is a good time to stop. Puppies are bold and if you have a dog who's too polite or a dog who's too snappy, you're not imprinting great behaviors either. Mine also don't typically go for a ton of walks really, more so just trips to stores or some play in the yard. I think puppies need just as much break time or nap time as a human baby would, so they do get a reasonable amount of daytime crate time. I really don't care about socializing as much, because I care much more so about their focus on me vs how much they truly enjoy being with other dogs. I practice obedience with food around other dogs from the first day that they come home, and they learn that not every opportunity around other dogs is a social occasion.

I really don't believe in "fear phases" really either. I think the genetic nerve and thresholds of any puppy will show early on, and as they develop, they will learn how to adjust their own attitude accordingly through the situations that we've shown them and what they've learned. Carma as a puppy was barky and reactive, and to this day has a much lower threshold and is stimulated very easily than some other dogs. Boaz at 14 weeks old really doesn't even acknowledge that other dogs exist. He has a much higher threshold than Carma and isn't stimulated as easily. So it depends. Not wanting to walk on a leash wouldn't seem like something to be genuinely fearful of. She's never done it before and its going to take some time to get used to. I usually let my one older male handle most puppy socializing/raising because they learn good habits like staying close to me and follow him when recalled, etc. I pretty much always have food on me to reward puppies at this age.
 

Oko

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#19
For me, it depends on the screaming. I'd consider, is it 'holy hell this is life scarring' screaming, or 'noooo I want out!' Screaming. I think I've mentioned it before, but the first night Feist was home, I put a bowl of food in her crate, stuck her in there, and closed the door. She flipped the $&@! Out, food everywhere, screaming, throwing herself against the walls. I immediately took her back out, because I didn't want her to think of me as someone who wouldn't help her when she was scared. At that point it was such a fear response that there was no way she was going to find it rewarding. She's now absolutely lovely in the crate.

As for the older dog thing, I like to consider the stress level of my other dogs from having to deal with a puppy. Most puppies don't take no for an answer at her age and it can make interactions hard, and the dog ends up so stressed and agitated that a hole gets put in the puppy's head. For me the older dogs comfort level comes first, and I would focus on teaching her that other dogs aren't that exciting (look at that game type deal).

As for the on leash no go...I didn't walk Feist just to walk her very much when she was little, especially because vaccinations aren't complete. I just carried her places. :)
 

AgilityPup

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#20
Puppies are bold and if you have a dog who's too polite or a dog who's too snappy, you're not imprinting great behaviors either.
This! I have the perfect example of it with Simi and I wish I had known better. Psyche NEVER corrected Simi, and to this day still will not, which allows Simi to be a real a-hole. She's about 15lbs more than Psyche and will use that to body slam Psyche as she pleases, etc., but Psyche will never correct her, although Psyche DOES correct other dogs/puppies.

Then my mom's dog Rhyme used to correct Simi for every little thing, and because I thought that it was good for her (especially cause Psyche wasn't correcting her for being an a-hole), I let it happen, because Rhyme wasn't doing any physical damage. Rhyme and Simi can no longer be out together. If this is REALLY caused by Rhyme correcting her, I don't know, but I don't think it helped the case.

Also, Simi never used to go for walks at that age either. We were mostly just playing and sleeping at that age, honestly.
 

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