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12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice please!

Hello all.

This isnt an easy thing for me to post, but I registered with these forums just so I could ask your advice...

My boyfriend and I bought an 8 week old Husky puppy almost a month ago. We have been waiting to get a dog for about three years - weve both always grown up with dogs and pups and did our research on Huskies before we commited ourselves to one.

Almost four weeks on and... We're struggling bigtime. I work as a tattoo artist five days a week, 9-7 but my boyfriend works as a part time social carer and hes pretty much with the pup 24/7. At first it was great; the pup has been super quick to pick up obedience training is extraordinarily loveable and sweet.

Now he wants to chew our fingers and toes to ribbons, he barks and howls at four in the morning, he never wakes later than five and makes a godawful racket meaning we get next to no sleep. He absolutely WILL NOT be crate trained - weve tried constantly but he hates the thing and forces his body parts through the bars until he hurts himself.

We are really, really trying to make this work but as I say, my boyfriend is at the end of his tether. neither of us get much sleep and Im currently unable to eat properly because I constantly feel severly anxious about how the two of them are getting on. Ive been in tears more than once. I feel like Im in the middle and am at a complete loss.

Please dont read this the wrong way, I am a puppy mummy desperately in need of help and advice, we are both trying our absolute best.

Thankyou.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

Can you find a *true positive method* dog trainer in your area ?
It's difficult/impossible to get correct help on a forum, as we cannot actually see your dog or your interactions with him. Plus you will get different opinions from different members.

We would need a lot more details to try to help you...how have you been trying to crate train, how are you housebreaking him, what do you do when he nips ?
He probably wakes up early because he needs to "do his business", so you need better management.
When he was 8 weeks old he was a sweet baby, but now he's exploring the world (with mouth and teeth), and his teeth are about to change.
Have you tried ignoring him every time he nips and giving him a chew toy instead - and I mean doing it consistently ?
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

Puppies are a handful since they're essentially babies that don't know anything, so while they're cute, they aren't great for first time owners who aren't ready.

Most of these sounds like things that can be fixed with training and it sounds like your boyfriend has the time to do it. I'm not a training expert and have pretty much avoided dealing with puppies. luckily there are lots of training gurus here that can probably offer good advice.

For now, I would recommend you reading some of the stickied threads. A lot of the ones in the first time owner section talks about dealing with puppies. The ones in the training section talk about some other general training and like manners and things like that.

http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/8377-bite-stops-here.html this one specifically talks about biting. I'm guessing he's teething.

I'm not sure what's causing the barking and howling which sounds like it's causing the most problem. What does he seem to be wanting when he does that? Attention? Is he uncomfortable?

When dealing with puppies it's important to be patient. You're essentially dealing with a little kid after all. Good luck
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

Puppies are like human babies - they're too young to make it all the way through the night. Get up at 4, take him out on leash and let him potty (no social conversation - just say "go potty", or whatever command you're using, and no play - hence the leash). It sounds like your pup is desperately trying not to mess in his crate and letting you know he needs to go out - good for him! It will get better as he gets older and his bladder matures.

Is his crate in your bedroom at night? Many puppies really miss their moms and littermates, and being near their people really helps to comfort them. We had two crates for Maddie when we first adopted her - and she's an adult (Potsie doesn't need a crate) - one in the bedroom and one in the living room. It's easier than carrying it every night. Now, Maddie's settled in better (3 months later), and she sleeps in the living room, along with Potsie. The only reason the dogs sleep in the living room, is because Potsie licks himself (self comforting) for several minutes every night, which drives me nuts! Otherwise, they'd still be in the bedroom with us.

The Bite Stops Here, mentioned by zhaor, is a must read. Consistency is the key. All puppies go through this - since yours is a big dog, I'm sure his razor sharp teeth hurt! Start the training now before it gets worse.

I would also recommend that you enroll your pup in puppy kindergarten to learn socialization. Since he's a big strong breed, this is important. A trainer will also be able to give you some good advice on training him.

Good luck, and hang in there!
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

It sounds like you're encountering puppy teething biting and maybe a lack of good bite inhibition (something puppies learn better if they're with their birth family longer). Fortunately, you can use training and redirection to steer him away from making your hands into chew toys.

Some dogs will get a little freaked out by a crate at first, depending on their background and personality. You can try putting an old blanket that has your scent on it over the crate to make it more 'den' like. Also, make sure he has toys to distract his attention.

Another thing to consider with the crate is that most puppies can only hold it for about an hour for each month of age. So, you're going to have to be getting up and taking the pup out about every 3-4 hours. It sounds like he's already letting you know about his discomfort, so you're more half-way there so far as house training goes.

If trying to get outside in the middle of the night is a problem for you, you could try pee-pee pads but this may not be practical or the best solution for a larger dog. We did this with our Chi, but we already had cats and putting her pad in the litter box area worked for her. You could put the pad down in your bathroom. Eventually, your dog's bladder will mature and he'll be able to hold it all night, up to at least 8 hours.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

Anyone who's had a puppy really REALLY sympathizes with you. Eventually teh sleep deprivation can make you feel like you're going insane! That's why puppies are so cute, because if they weren't, no one would take care of them hahha I kid I kid. Okay, on to serious business, here is my experience after having raised 2 puppies:

Now he wants to chew our fingers and toes to ribbons
- Please follow the advice above regarding "The Bite Stops Here" thread. Honestly, just making the loud yelp and leaving the room and closing the door between you and the dog, really can be the most effective way to curb it. Start with low criteria, so if the bite truly hurts, yelp and stomp away. Then return after 30 seconds and resume playing. Once he's a bit gentler, make the criteria more difficult. So if he bite kind of hurts, yelp. Next, if the bite hurts just a litle, yelp. Eventually, if he even mouths you or puts his teeth on yo u(however gently), yelp. and repeat, repeat repeat. The end goal here is that he learns it's never acceptable to put teeth on human skin.
- The other thing you need to do is provide plenty of chew toys. He is teething and his teeth and gums hurt which is also why he wants to bite (besides the playing part). Wet a small towel with chicken broth or water, and freeze it. Stuff a Kong and Freeze It. Provide bones to chew on. You get the point. Please don't feed anything digestible if you're not there to supervise him (Ex. bones).
- Biting also is less frequent if the pup is tired out. Exercise! Mental and physical.
- Instead of pulling away or freaking out when he nips you, be calm. When you freak out, or panic, and you move quickly, he will try even harder to nip and bite you because now he thinks your'e playing along. Just yelp in a high pitch tone (like an injured puppy might), "stomp away" while saying, "FINE! No more play!", and close the door between you and your pup.

he barks and howls at four in the morning
- He needs to pee. Or he wants attention. For the first part, take him out to pee. Don't do anythign else besides getting him to do his business. Once he's done, quietly and without a fuss, return him to the crate. if he's still barking and howling, then you know it's because he wants attention. You MUST ignore him!!! If you even look at him, you are rewarding his barking. There will be a period where it will get worse, which is called 'extinction', then after it will subside. He will learn that barking gets him nowhere.
- Tire him out before bed time so he has less energy. As you've done your research, you know Huskies in particular are not only incredibly intelligent, but also need a lot of physical exercise. Given their intelligence they also need a LOT of mental stimulation. Kind of like a Border Collie. He's only a puppy, so he should be going on 20 minute walks at a time. IF you exercise him too much, his joints will pay for it later. Try to play with him outside on soft grass, rather than walking on hard conceret pavement.
- Play hide and seek before bed time, make him find you, or an object or treat. The mental stimulation can tire him out.


he never wakes later than five and makes a godawful racket meaning we get next to no sleep.
- That is normal. Some dogs are just early risers. If he's consistently waking up at 5, then set the alarm to 4:55am, and then take him out. Increase the time on the alarm after each week, and he will learn that everyone gets up when the alarm goes off.
- This is part of parenting, and it comes expected that you'l be sleep deprived for at least a few months.
- My puppy woke me up 3 times a night for 5 months before settling down. I was VERY sleep deprived, and only learned the above method now.

He absolutely WILL NOT be crate trained
- This is not true. You've had him for a month. That's not enough time spend on training. It's also untrue especially if the crate training is done improperly or too quickly.
- His crate should be only big enough for him to stand, turn around and lie down in. Any larger and he may have accidents in it.
- Keep the crate door open and in an area that has a lot of traffic. Put in a comfy bed or an old shirt of yours as wel as some toys and stuffed kongs. Throw a treat in the crate throughout the day, and he will go in to get it. Do this until he's going into the crate willingly.
- TO make it a game, toss the treat in, and when he goes in, click and say "YAY! Good boy!". Ask him to come out of the crate. Once you do this 10x or so, he'll start going into the crate without you tossing the treat in. Once you see him entering the crate, say, "Go to Bed!" and then click and treat once he has all four paws inside the crate.
- When he's really enjoying the crate game, after a few weeks of doing the above, close the door for ONE second, and if he's calm, say "Yay! Let's go out!" and ask him to come out of the crate, while giving him a treat. He will learn from this that he not only gets rewarded for being in the crate, but he gets to leave when he's calm and quiet in the crate. Do this for a few weeks, SLOWLY increasing hte time the crate door is closed, never closing it longer than he's comfortable with.
- Never let him out of the crate when he's barking, anxious, whining. This will work against your favour. Even if it takes him 3 hours to calm down, he needs to learn this.
- At night, put the crate next to your bed and slip your fingers through the cracks. He will feel comforted by this and hopefully (if he's tired enough) will go to sleep.
- Drop treats in the crate randomly throughout the day.
- Feed him all his meals in the crate starting with the door open until he's comfortable with having the door closed.
- Don't just confine him when no one is home. Get him used to the idea that the crate is his bed and he may be asked to go to it while you are home as well.

Don't be discouraged. 12 weeks is VERY young and you have al ong way to go! But the effort is well worth it :)
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

No advice, I just wanted to sympathize. I, like a lot of members here, will not do puppies. Your post is why. This is totally normal puppy stuff. It really is.

But it will pass.

I swear to you, puppies do grow up. They really do. Just hang in there.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

No advice, I just wanted to sympathize. I, like a lot of members here, will not do puppies. Your post is why. This is totally normal puppy stuff. It really is.

But it will pass.

I swear to you, puppies do grow up. They really do. Just hang in there.
Haha yep I'm in that group. Don't plan on getting any dog under 2 years old, I think 18 months is the youngest I would go. Puppies are crazy.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

That's why puppies are so cute, because if they weren't, no one would take care of them
this is so accurate its not even funny. My last fosters (only 4 weeks when we got them) hit an absolute terror stage at about 8 weeks. There were some early mornings when I would've rather given myself a root canal then dealt with the yelping, biting, hungry, pee-making machines.

and then as soon as they got adopted I cried. It gets better, I promise. Hang in there, take lots of pictures, and remember that it does get better....eventually. I haven't ever had a pet that at some point in the first year didnt made me go "someone....PLEASE remind me why I did this????"
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

Chubby had some great points! Puppies are notorious for being bad. I had two lab pups at the same time (they were litter mates) and I thought it was never going to end. But, they did grow out of it and now they are GREAT dogs. They, just like kids, go through the terrible twos and threes :) Just hang in there, you will make it!
-Lauren
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

The first three months with my puppy were hell. He was cute and all, but man was he a pain in the BUTT. Things got waaay better after the three month mark.

Having a thoroughly exhausted puppy helps with sleeping through the night. We did unconventional crate training wherein we put his crate, open, in an expen, and he'd sleep in it but wasn't trapped, and then when he stopped weeing overnight, we started gradually shrinking the size of the pen until he was just in the crate and he had no problem with us shutting the door at that point!
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

The first three months with my puppy were hell. He was cute and all, but man was he a pain in the BUTT. Things got waaay better after the three month mark.

Having a thoroughly exhausted puppy helps with sleeping through the night. We did unconventional crate training wherein we put his crate, open, in an expen, and he'd sleep in it but wasn't trapped, and then when he stopped weeing overnight, we started gradually shrinking the size of the pen until he was just in the crate and he had no problem with us shutting the door at that point!
Wow, I really like that crate training method. Brilliant!
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

Haha yep I'm in that group. Don't plan on getting any dog under 2 years old, I think 18 months is the youngest I would go. Puppies are crazy.
LOL !
And I love when they are 3-5 months old, they learn so quickly !!
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

LOL !
And I love when they are 3-5 months old, they learn so quickly !!
Generally from talking to other owners and my own experience, sometime around the 1 year - 1.5 year mark, the dog starts to really calm down and gain more focus. For Butters, it happened right when she turned one, and my other dog, around 10 months or so. That's not really a long time, and I think the frustrations you gain from puppy parenting create this special bond with you and your pup...it's like, once you've cleaned their diarrhea, vomit, treacherous walks around the block, nipping, crate screaming, you have this magical understanding between one another...that you are bonded to each other.

Anyhoo, that's what I like telling myself to keep me sane from this madness. I know in 6 more months, I'm going to be able to rest easy knowing the hard part is over!!!
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

Generally from talking to other owners and my own experience, sometime around the 1 year - 1.5 year mark, the dog starts to really calm down and gain more focus. For Butters, it happened right when she turned one, and my other dog, around 10 months or so. That's not really a long time, and I think the frustrations you gain from puppy parenting create this special bond with you and your pup...it's like, once you've cleaned their diarrhea, vomit, treacherous walks around the block, nipping, crate screaming, you have this magical understanding between one another...that you are bonded to each other.

Anyhoo, that's what I like telling myself to keep me sane from this madness. I know in 6 more months, I'm going to be able to rest easy knowing the hard part is over!!!
I didn't have to deal with any of that nightmare with my boy Jubel who I adopted when he was just over 2 years old but honestly I don't think we could be more bonded than we are. I get comments all the time about how intuned we are to each other and how much he focuses on me in classes. A number of people are surprised when I tell him he's a shelter dog I got at 2 years old, of course a number of them don't believe anything BUT a puppy will really bond with them.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

You've had some great advice here, nothing really for me to add, just that I can sympathize. I've got my first puppy right now and we've gone through a lot of the same things training her. I've even cried a few times out of frustration. But it's getting better, as Izzie slowly gets used to the house and the crate and is working on her training.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

First off just want to thank everyone who's posted so far - everything has been a major help. Before we got our pup we spent loads on "perfect puppy" books, Husky books etc but nothing prepares you for the insane, chaotic mess they turn your life into!

I should have mentioned we live in a Bungalow but instead of a garden we have a big commumal field behind us, which the other houses on our estate border. So until he was upto date with his jabs, we didnt want to let him out onto it. He was toileting on puppy pads by the front door and since he became up to date vaccination wise last week, weve mived the pad onto the otherside of the back door in hopes he'll understand he has to ask for the door to be opened in order to go for a wee (hope that makes sense).

Since the original post Ive been getting up at 4amish when I hear him howl and taking him to his loo spot outside the door and hes taken to it really well. Only problem when I put him back to settle so I can go back to sleep until 7am he continues to whine and bark and howl. So far Ive been ignoring it but he really does manage to make some heartbreaking noises!

Like I said he gets 3 x 15 min walks on the big field at the mo and he has LOADS of chew toys to pay with, ranging from kong puppy stuff to rawhide rings to nylbones and even an old cushion off our bed. (He also has dog biscuits frozen in ice cubes after a walk - he LOVES them.

I think things are very slowly beginning to improve. I have another question if youll indugle me though; he seems to have sporadic spouts of horrible chocolate pudding like stools. he gets fed dry, hupo-allogenic food that seems to work well with him 80% of the time, then suddenly he'll just be pooing horrible wet stools for a day out of nowhere. Is this typical with a puppy? Do you think it could be stress from us ignoring his night howls, or maybe something he's picking up when he tries to lick puddles on walks or something?

Thanks again guys, this forum is amazing! I appreciate it.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

If you aren't supervising him whenever he has something to chew, it could be causing his trouble. Even at 6.5, I never leave my dog alone with chew toys. Too much potential for ingesting something that could cause a blockage. And I would get rid of the rawhides - just google rawhide problems and dogs -- the risks outweigh any benefits IMO. Is he eating any part of that old cushion? That's not something I would leave with a puppy, either.

RE the howling - three 15 minute walks a day and toys to play with is probably not meeting his needs for exercise or interaction with you. When our girl was a puppy, she would get us up real early, we would walk her, feed her, play quietly with her and then she would go back to sleep, which meant we could go back to sleep. She never slept more than 4-5 hours at a stretch, so like with a baby, we learned to sleep when she slept. She did gradually learn to sleep for longer stretches and eventually stayed sleeping as long as we did. But it took until she was about 8-9 months old.
 

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Re: 12 week old puppy. Possible buyer's remorse. I just need some help & advice pleas

The first 6 months are the hardest part- he will grow, mature, calm down, stop gnawing on you all the time- but you do need to do certain things.

FWIW, I've never used crates. They are not for every dog/dog owner. When we needed to confine our puppies, we used our laundry room.

The chewing on fingers and toes does end. There is a sticky that says "The Bit Stops Here" that I think you will find very useful.

You can make it through this time!

Some suggestions:

Read the free downloads from Ian Dunbar:


http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

Your puppy needs to be walked 30-45 minutes 2 times a day. This will help a lot.

Teach him to fetch (he may not take to it right away) for extra opportunities for exercise when you are just sitting around.

Use Kong toys and puzzle games to feed him. It takes a lot of time and gets him to chew.

There are 3 things I've noticed puppies need to have:
1. Exercise every day. If we skip a walk due to illness or other emergency, (and only emergencies) the next day our dogs are 3 times as unruly, not twice as unruly.
2. Things to chew. Our pups have to chew- oftentimes chewing for hours at a time. For example, last night they laid under my chair in the veranda and chewed for 2 hours! Then they finally fell asleep at 10pm, and woke up before 6am.
3. Mental exercise through training, games and puzzles.

This is in addition to socialization, etc, everything that Ian Dunbar talks about.

Finally, I hope you can have fun with him! He's your connection to trust, loyalty and innocence.

Can you and BF each do an obedience class with him? That might open up avenues for enjoyment.

Hello all.

This isnt an easy thing for me to post, but I registered with these forums just so I could ask your advice...

My boyfriend and I bought an 8 week old Husky puppy almost a month ago. We have been waiting to get a dog for about three years - weve both always grown up with dogs and pups and did our research on Huskies before we commited ourselves to one.

Almost four weeks on and... We're struggling bigtime. I work as a tattoo artist five days a week, 9-7 but my boyfriend works as a part time social carer and hes pretty much with the pup 24/7. At first it was great; the pup has been super quick to pick up obedience training is extraordinarily loveable and sweet.

Now he wants to chew our fingers and toes to ribbons, he barks and howls at four in the morning, he never wakes later than five and makes a godawful racket meaning we get next to no sleep. He absolutely WILL NOT be crate trained - weve tried constantly but he hates the thing and forces his body parts through the bars until he hurts himself.

We are really, really trying to make this work but as I say, my boyfriend is at the end of his tether. neither of us get much sleep and Im currently unable to eat properly because I constantly feel severly anxious about how the two of them are getting on. Ive been in tears more than once. I feel like Im in the middle and am at a complete loss.

Please dont read this the wrong way, I am a puppy mummy desperately in need of help and advice, we are both trying our absolute best.

Thankyou.
 
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