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On Valentine's Day we purchased a non AKC etc unregistered Havanese pup. Knowing that he may have come from a puppy mill but seeing the strong emotional tie to my 2 1/2 yr old (who has developmental delays) I felt I should save this adorable pup from this puppy shop.
I now know exactly why true dog lovers are aganist purchasing from puppy shops.
We have been running into issue after issue with our puppy. He has been sick from the beginning and now I'm concerned with behavorial issues.
As for a puppy he likes to play 'bite' a lot. However he is biting my 2 & 4 yr old kids
I am crate training him. He has some success but has had several accidents in his crate. He has peed and pooped in his crate. I have been pretty vigilant on taking him to both wee-wee pads and now outside.
I feel terrible feeling that he is going to be more of a challenge than I can handle. I work full time and so does my husband.
To top off the minor issues, my husband is allergic to this 'hypoallergenic' dog
Should I find this poor puppy a new home? :redface:
I know it's hard work to add a dog to a home I have had dogs before.
But going through a puppy shop and having little knowlegde on the breeders is proving to be worse than I vaguely believed. PLease share your ideas and suggestions.
And gently as I am in tears thinking I made a mistake with this adorable puppy.
 

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These are problems that any puppy will likely have. Regardless of where he came from, though I do not support pet shop dogs, any dog can be sick, and all puppies come needing training. It sounds like you are over your head. I would personally find a great home for him, and wait to get a dog until the kids are older and you have more time to devote, and then look at grown dogs. There are many in shelters, past the puppy stage. Don't feel bad, but give the dog what he needs, before any of the issues turn into behavioral problems that you don't have time to work through.
 

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While buying from a pet shop is NEVER a good idea (feeling sorry for that pup? Feel sorry for its mother back at the mill pumping out those puppies for you to feel sorry for and purchase so she can make more) and sickness is probably related to that, but this is a normal puppy. If you thought a puppy was not going to including mouthing, crate pooping, craziness in general then I'm not sure what to tell you. I would personally rehome and consider an older dog from a shelter. They will likely fit your idea of what a dog is with the work you're willing to/"have time for" do.
 

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Perhaps I should have emphazied or just plain added the term excessive to these common puppy stage traits. Hence why I suspect behavorial problems! However I am learning from other's experiences and vets that a pet of this nature may have genetic defects and other issues, ex/ behavorial, emotional, social, etc......... I know that I can not rehabilitate or provide intensive therapies for these types of pets. Thats not to say I expect a pet or act in any specific way. He is a wonderful animal....I just feel like I am not experienced enough to fully help him reach his potential and overcome many major obstacles that may result in him being bred in those horrific ways. Every dog is different and I was/am willing to help him have a fulfilling and happy life. As for puppy mills it should sadden any individual with a heart. feeling badly is no crime, to me criminal would have been to let him stay there and perhaps go unpurchased and even end up in a puppy mill himself. I know puppies/dogs need a ton of work/love/care they are like babies that never grow independent. Despite working full time my schedule and work field allow for plenty of time for life in general and more.
Even if you'd like to use my words aganist or perhaps reinforce what I already know I'll take the constructive criticism because ultimately I want him to be happy.
I am just concerned for him not me. I am researching and speaking to different vets as to what to expect from these 'puppy mill' puppies. That's the fear. I am willing to do DNA and blood/lab tests to see if there's anything going in him that will not be apparent to the naked eye because he is a beautiful puppy. It is not his fault as to how he came into this world and that is something I feel sorry for. I mean really, what would of happened to him @ the pet shop? He has been treated for kennel cough/upper respiratory infection, parasites, skin conditions, amongst a few other puppy store related issues all within the first few days of him being home with us
So again I am not opting to simply rehome Bear (his name) I am just afraid of what may happen.... Are my fears normal? I do hope I'm understood
 

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Maybe I missed it in your post but I'm not reading anything super abnormal in your puppies behavior ?...maybe you can go into more detail?
seems like mostly par for the course stuff....especially for a store bought pup.....how old is your puppy?

all puppies take tons and tons of patients and time....they generally drive you crazy for a while

I'm pretty sure that is why they are all start out so cute...because if they weren't we would probably never have the urge to ever raise them LOL
 

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I actually did not go into details (my mistake) My biggest fear/concern is the spontaneous aggression which results in biting. I can easily control this but while my toddlers and I play with him he growls and bits the kids while they are petting him. He stops when corrected but becomes fearful and runs away.

The pooping in crate issue is expected but has made mistakes even after he's been taken outside or put on pad. Maybe he doesn't like the crate. But he doesnt seem to mind poo/pee in there with him. I find him sleeping in it>

Health is another huge concern. He's been here now 2 weeks and has needed to see a vet 4 xs for different medications. If his kennel cough does not clear up I'm afraid as I know this can be deadly

Emotionally he is very sensitive. I need to carry him and hold him quite a bit. Or he's the total opposite and will run non stop and crash into furniture in sprints>

His eating habits are improving but he is very afraid to eat (results from co-living with store pups)

Getting him to focus takes a while (normal and expected) but he needs extra help but seems very fearful even when I baby talk to him.

He plays with me and my kids but then would suddenly stop and just change his demeanor.

One vet was very aganist puppy shops and gave me an earful. That set in greater fear.

Pugmom what do mean 'seems like mostly par for the course stuff....especially for a store bought pup..."

Its more general really but does not respond to me very well. He's withdrawn. The more I write the more I realize maybe these are just normal for him>? I dont want to make him seem like a nutty dog because I am attached to him. He is less aggressive with my son but will still growl/bite him quite a bit. When I've mentioned these things to vets they go into this speech about its expected the dog to be imbalanced and unstable, aggressive, untrainable.....

I just dont know if I'll be able to provide to help rehabilitation and/or intensive training if it comes to it......what if these issues are just red flags for an underlying issue
BTW he is asleep on my lap and it breaks my heart to even write this thread.....he must have potential just like any other pet......
 

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Of course he has potential. Almost, if not every dog out there, has potential. The key is finding the right home for the dog.
I have 7 dogs, not one would fit your home. The dog you would like, would not fit me. Nothing at all wrong with that. Behavioral problems can arise with any dog, no matter the breeding. Puppy mill dogs may have worse issues, or not. Either way, if you don't feel like you can successfully handle his issues, find someone who can.
The reason people are suggesting a grown dog, is because you are likley to see his issues up front. You can usually see how they are with children, If house trained already, if he is skittish, clingy, etc.
 

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Perhaps I should have emphazied or just plain added the term excessive to these common puppy stage traits. Hence why I suspect behavorial problems! However I am learning from other's experiences and vets that a pet of this nature may have genetic defects and other issues, ex/ behavorial, emotional, social, etc......... I know that I can not rehabilitate or provide intensive therapies for these types of pets. Thats not to say I expect a pet or act in any specific way. He is a wonderful animal....I just feel like I am not experienced enough to fully help him reach his potential and overcome many major obstacles that may result in him being bred in those horrific ways. Every dog is different and I was/am willing to help him have a fulfilling and happy life. As for puppy mills it should sadden any individual with a heart. feeling badly is no crime, to me criminal would have been to let him stay there and perhaps go unpurchased and even end up in a puppy mill himself. I know puppies/dogs need a ton of work/love/care they are like babies that never grow independent. Despite working full time my schedule and work field allow for plenty of time for life in general and more.
Even if you'd like to use my words aganist or perhaps reinforce what I already know I'll take the constructive criticism because ultimately I want him to be happy.
I am just concerned for him not me. I am researching and speaking to different vets as to what to expect from these 'puppy mill' puppies. That's the fear. I am willing to do DNA and blood/lab tests to see if there's anything going in him that will not be apparent to the naked eye because he is a beautiful puppy. It is not his fault as to how he came into this world and that is something I feel sorry for. I mean really, what would of happened to him @ the pet shop? He has been treated for kennel cough/upper respiratory infection, parasites, skin conditions, amongst a few other puppy store related issues all within the first few days of him being home with us
So again I am not opting to simply rehome Bear (his name) I am just afraid of what may happen.... Are my fears normal? I do hope I'm understood
All puppies bite. They have to learn not to. http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/teaching-bite-inhibition Honestly, while a pet shop is not a good place to get a puppy, and probably the reason for his health issues, he sounds like a completely normal pup, behaviorally. Don't build up scenarios about all the behavior problems he "must have" from his past. He's likely to only develop those issues if you keep that idea in the fore of your mind. Your fears may or may not be normal, but they are probably unfounded. If you aren't experienced enough to work with him, you probably really don't need a puppy.
 

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I actually did not go into details (my mistake) My biggest fear/concern is the spontaneous aggression which results in biting. I can easily control this but while my toddlers and I play with him he growls and bits the kids while they are petting him. He stops when corrected but becomes fearful and runs away.
To be honest, they are probably scaring him. Kids can be rough with small dogs with out it seeming like it, and many dogs just don't like children. Until he is comfortable and and settled into his surroundings, I suggest not forcing him to be pet by the children. Have them offer him treats but don't force any interactions. Don't correct him if he growls, but if he bites or nips do a loud "Yip!" and stop the playing for a few seconds. Bites again, do the yip, and wait even longer before interacting. 3rd bite, do the yip, and stop playing for a few minutes. He will learn that when he bites, the playing and fun stops.

The pooping in crate issue is expected but has made mistakes even after he's been taken outside or put on pad. Maybe he doesn't like the crate. But he doesnt seem to mind poo/pee in there with him. I find him sleeping in it>
That is normal for puppy mill dogs. In puppy mills they have to poop and pee in their crate and are not let out so they learn that it is okay to sleep in your "stuff". A healthy, ethically produced puppy will typically not poop where they sleep or eat. Puppy mill dogs have to do all three in the same place. Also, I suggest choosing one: pads or outside. Pads teach the dog that it is okay to use the bathroom inside, but that they should just do it on soft materials like wee wee pads, bath mats, carpets, etc. Use a pet waste cleaner with enzymes to get all the smell out of the crate and just try to keep it as clean as possible. Take him out even more times through out the night and day to keep accidents from happening.

Health is another huge concern. He's been here now 2 weeks and has needed to see a vet 4 xs for different medications. If his kennel cough does not clear up I'm afraid as I know this can be deadly

Emotionally he is very sensitive. I need to carry him and hold him quite a bit. Or he's the total opposite and will run non stop and crash into furniture in sprints>
Make sure you don't coddle him. If you comfort him and coddle him every time he exhibits sensitive or fearful behavior, he will start to show it more and more because being scared gets him attention.

His eating habits are improving but he is very afraid to eat (results from co-living with store pups)

Getting him to focus takes a while (normal and expected) but he needs extra help but seems very fearful even when I baby talk to him.

He is not used to positive attention probably. Before coming to the store most of he attention he got from humans was probably negative or just neutral. He may not understand that attention can be good too.

He plays with me and my kids but then would suddenly stop and just change his demeanor.

One vet was very aganist puppy shops and gave me an earful. That set in greater fear.

Pugmom what do mean 'seems like mostly par for the course stuff....especially for a store bought pup…"

She probably means that store bought pups are not known for their health or good genes. They aren't given very good care and the mom dogs that produce them are given even worse care or none at all. It is common sense, but if a pregnant woman is kept in inhumane conditions, given the lowest quality of food, and deprived of love and human attention you can pretty much guarantee that the baby will have some sort of issue. Same goes with dogs, prenatal care and puppy care is vital. They have lots of behavioral issues because of the conditions they are born into as well.

Its more general really but does not respond to me very well. He's withdrawn. The more I write the more I realize maybe these are just normal for him>? I dont want to make him seem like a nutty dog because I am attached to him. He is less aggressive with my son but will still growl/bite him quite a bit. When I've mentioned these things to vets they go into this speech about its expected the dog to be imbalanced and unstable, aggressive, untrainable.....

I just dont know if I'll be able to provide to help rehabilitation and/or intensive training if it comes to it......what if these issues are just red flags for an underlying issue
BTW he is asleep on my lap and it breaks my heart to even write this thread.....he must have potential just like any other pet......
I don't think he is untrainable, but I do think you need help. If you aren't going to rehome the dog, I HIGHLY suggest you pay for a session or two with a dog behaviorist. They will be the best at telling you what potential your dog does or doesn't have. I wouldn't go by what your vet says. I don't see how they would determine a puppy "untrainable". Vets are not the best for nutritional or training advice.

A behaviorist will also be helpful in determining why he is biting the kids. I wouldn't let them touch him for now. He is still settling and the kids are probably making him scared. Two and Four years old is a very young, so please be very cautious when the kids are around the dog. Kids can be unknowingly rough with their petting and may be touching him in places that make him nervous, like his head or rear. To be honest, I don't recommend small children with small breeds of any kind so please take everyone's advice into consideration before keeping him. You have so much work ahead of you with this dog, you really have to ask yourself, can I care for this dog for the next 15 years? Try to consider all the life stages that your kids still have to go through (starting school, teen phase, etc) and think if he is going to fit in through all that. Don't keep Bear just because you and your kids have become attached. You need to put his well being before your feelings.

If you are absolutely sure that you are going to keep him, I would hire a dog behaviorist for a few sessions to help you out for now. Once he is healthy, sign him up for puppy classes.
 

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As for puppy mills it should sadden any individual with a heart. feeling badly is no crime, to me criminal would have been to let him stay there and perhaps go unpurchased and even end up in a puppy mill himself.
You need to read this: http://rufflyspeaking.net/blog/i-consider-him-a-rescue/

And Pawzk linked you to an excellent resource for training bite inhibition. That entire (free, online) training textbook is great. I used the errorless housetraining program with my pup and he learned incredibly quickly. You might have a bit more of a challenge considering your pup doesn't mind sleeping in its own waste (a common issue with pups kept in small cages their whole lives), but with perseverance and consistency, you can train him.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I must say that you have really done me an honor in replying to my concern. I have learned a great deal with this experience and have learned my lesson so to speak. I am a bit ashamed of my little knowlegde on what puppy mills are and do. I will take this as a learning experience and put my experience out there so others do not ever buy from a pet shop....... Still, this leaves me with my little "Bear" I will truely take all of your opinions and my own into consideration and will determine what will be best for Bear.....It is not about emotions but he's well being. I have more hope for him and you all have been able to prove that 2xs over. Thank you very much...... AND SAY NO TO PET SHOPS!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish more people would educate themselves but that's going to be part of my future now....
thanks again :)
 
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