3 month-old Lab Puppy
Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:09 PM
My fiance and I just recently adopted a rescued black lab puppy (this past Friday). She is an absolute doll and took to us immediately. We keep her crate in our room because it soothes her crying and she is letting us know when she has to potty which is great! However, we're struggling with two things:
I am currently looking for a dog-walker, and have a co-worker who is going to take her home while I'm my night shift so she isn't alone. In the meantime, we both work 12 hour shifts three days a week. Our first night having to work, we left her in the crate reluctantly (before I worked out this situation with my friend), and while we did expect her to potty there as she is just a puppy, she's doing this, possible separation anxiety-like thing where she'll poop in the crate, put her paws in it and literally the poop ends up ALL OVER the wire crate walls! Has anyone ever had such an experience?
However, at night and when I'm laying with her on our deck she never has an accident, but when we're at home, out of the crate, just playing, she will have accidents like she isn't sure how to tell us she neesd to go out and we're not sure what to do. She does get a treat every time she potties outside, but she can't seem to communicate it other than when she's crated.
One more thing, she is picking up most things very quickly, she is a smart pup, but she's really struggling with the no chewing and no biting. Any suggestions?
Thank you so much!!
Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:40 AM
As you know, you don't have the best circumstances to have a puppy. But I am glad to see that you are trying to work it out.
At three months of age (12 weeks) you still have a small puppy. Puppies do three things, eat, poop & pee. They bodies have not yet developed to a point of having bladder control, just like little human babies. You can't expect housebreaking to begin for another month or two, and even then you'll have occasional accidents until your pup is 7 months or so.
The chewing and biting is just your dogs way of exploring the world. We have hands, dogs only have their mouths. They are experimenting as to what they can do and what they can't do. When your pup bites on your fingers or hands tell the dog "no" in a normal tone of voice and put the pup down. It'll soon get the message that you don't want that behavior.
And yes, I have had pups poop and roll in it or get it on it's feet. It's a mess. Sometimes it's best to just take the kennel outside and spray it down with a hose, then wash with a disinfecting type of soap solution. She'll soon learn to communicate when she wants outside. Some people have mounted a bell on their doors and taught their dog to ring the bell when they want outside. Maybe someone here will tell us how they accomplished that training.
Posted 14 August 2011 - 07:27 PM
We're getting better at potty training, slowly but surely. My coworker took her home last night as to eliminate some of her being by herself (she raised our boss's black lab) and she said she let her sleep in the dog bed no crate and she was fine, woke her up to go out. I'm still too scared to try this at home.
She has learned not to do certain things, but the chewing of our area rug is just not one of them. I could say no, remove her from the rug and it's like it never happend - right back at it. I may as well be talking to myself.
My fiance has a shorter attention span, I think he thought you went there, they handed over the pup with a nice ribbon and when you get home, you undo the ribbon and *poof* perfect, well-behaved puppy. I'm just frustrated with people who don't have puppies being puppy experts. We were going to bring in an obedience trainer Tuesday to make sure we're doing it all right and there's nothing else we need to be doing. Is this a good idea?
Thank you again!
Posted 14 August 2011 - 08:57 PM
As for chewing on unwanted items, try this tip. When you catch your dog chewing on something he is not supposed to just take the item away and in a calm voice tell him No!. Then take a toy of his (like a Nylabone or similar) put it in his mouth and say "Good Dog!" with a teeny bit of excitement. He'll get what you want him to do pretty quickly.
At this age, all your puppy should really be learning his name and what NO means. Let him explore your home (supervised, of course) and make sure he gets handled by different people and let him see other animals. When you do this, your dog grows up to be calmer and more confident. It's just basic socialization. I would wait until your dog is more like 5 months old before you start with a trainer.
But you can still get tips and advice from a trainer about puppy care at any time though.
You really have been thinking this out, and I congratulate you for it. It seems people who take the time to educate themselves about their dogs usually are the ones who end up with the best dogs!
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