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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 8 week old puppy that I've had for about 4 weeks now. Not sure of her breed, but we're speculating American Bulldog or a Pit Bull terrier of the sorts, or just a cross of the two - she does look somewhat full blooded. She especially looks like the little gray puppy on the American Bulldog wiki page: similar patterning, similar bowed front legs, muzzle, cute floppy ears, saggy belly skin... adorable!
The wiki page says there are two types of American Bulldogs, and the pictures of the adults are all over the place. How she'll mature to be is just a guessing game, right? There's no sure-fire way to know how floppy her dewlaps will be, or how smushy faced or short-legged she will be?

Ah, back to the point! I'm a first-time dog owner but I think she and I are doing well! She sits, stays, lays down, and ignores me when I say "come" unless I have a treat!
However, we are STRUGGLING with leash training. I can snap it on her collar and she walks around the house with it, but once I even touch the leash, her brakes go on and her butt goes hits the ground.
I stand there and she sits there, and since we're both stubborn, neither of us will move until the other does. She knows to use the bathroom outside, too, and never has any qualms about pooping everywhere when she's off the leash. But nope, the poop won't leave her when she's on the leash. I can wait forever if I have to...

What is an appropriate way to leash train your stubborn puppy? Enticing her with treats seems like she will only walk as far as the leash goes (from her to me.)
 

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Wow. Why did you get her so young?

Keep up with the treats. She's a baby, so her understanding of things is very limited. If treats are what it takes to get her to walk on the leash, treats it is. Right now, at this stage of game, it's all about bonding with her and introducing her to the life she'll have for the next 15 years or so (hopefully!).

Also, be careful about where you walk her. Right now, she doesn't have defenses against parvo and such, so she can't be on the ground where other dogs have been, unless you know for a fact that every dog was vaccinated. (Like a friend's house.) Dog parks and the floor of Pet Smart are out, though you can carry her in.

Since you did get her so young, be sure to check out the sticky called "the bite stops here". She would have learned bite inhibition from her mother and littermates, but since she's been with you from four weeks, you need to teach it to her.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I found her in the middle of a dirt lot by herself. No houses or businesses around. What's sad is I really think someone dumped her there. She was healthy enough; didn't have fleas or ticks and had a typical puppy belly. She had started to wean, as well, since she was eager to eat mushy kibble.

Yep, she's allowed in the backyard and there aren't any other dogs that come through. She's right on track with her vaccinations and in 7 weeks she'll be done. Biting is a problem, too, but we're working on it. It's frustrating. Yelping really gets her attention, so does redirecting her mouth to a carrot or something else that's hard.
I was worried about her being isolated from other puppies for so long, but the vet reassured me she would be fine until vaccinations were over. As long as she does get puppy playtime, he said she won't turn into an eating machine. She's my first dog so everything seems 100x harder than it needs to be.

She's a real sweetheart though and always comes running and flops on her back for belly rubs when she hears me opening the door.
 

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Based on your number in the first post, you got her at 4 weeks. Guessing from this recent, I'd guess that she was closer to 5.5 - 6 weeks, and based on your training, may now be about 10 weeks. Not a big deal, but now you'll be prepared for teething and losing baby teeth in about 2 - 3 more weeks.

For biting , read the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here, to learn about Bite Inhibition. It takes about 3 days to kick in and then can take a few weeks to "stop" nipping. (You may not stop the nips, but they may be very soft.)

Google and Youtube for Loose Leash or Soilky leash for better leash training... it just takes some time for her to get used to it.

and download two free books: http://www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads
 

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My dog Clyde was exactly the same way when we first put a leash on him. He was a breeder dog in a puppy mill and had never been on a leash before. He would take a step and sit down. The first time he peed and pooped on leash we were so happy (our neighbors must have though we were crazy).

We started out slow with just to the end of the driveway and back. For some reason, he was more willing to walk in the front yard than the back yard. I guess it was because he knew he could run around back there without a leash and the front yard had new smells. I second the treats. We used a lot of treats. I would put it right in front of his nose, move it away so he would have to take a step and then give him the treat with lots of praise. I even spaced treats down the driveway to the mailbox so he would walk and eat them. It took a week or so to get him comfortable to walk an appreciable distance, a few days after that to urinate and another month to poop on leash.

He now LOVES walks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Her molars only came in this week. Three days after I got her, she went to the vet for a check-up and he said she was 4 weeks, almost 5, not 6. So, if she's 8 weeks now, I can expect teething in about a month? If she swallows her teeth, should I be worried about it?

I don't work well with YT videos though, mostly because the videos feature dogs and puppies that already know what to do and the behaviors the narrator is explaining aren't really happening.
I just looked over the two books and they have all of the information I've already read, lol! Unfortunately, I don't know 100 people, but after her eye injury clears up, I will start taking her to meet family friends without dogs.

"The Bite Stops Here" is an article in the puppy packet the vet gave me a few weeks ago.

Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh that sounds great! Placing treats down the driveway sounds good!

She pees on the leash (well, not ON it) but won't poop unless it's an emergency. She likes to sniff and walk around beforehand.
 

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Wow, that Silky leash video was probably the best loose leash tutorial I've ever seen. Thanks for suggesting it!
 

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Dogs lose their teeth ~4 mos, swallowing their teeth is harmless. If she's still nipping let us know. Her personality may change when her eye heals. She won't be as uncomfortable, may be more curious, and a lot more energetic. This is usually a good thing, until you have to deal with exercising her and keeping her out of trouble :)

If you can find people who are good with dogs and their dogs are fully vaccinated, then you might ask them to come over to play with your little pup. You can also take your pup for drives and when you go to PetsMart or Home Depot, just don't let her on the floor - hold her or leave her in the shopping cart. She may get car sick at this age... not a big deal... except you have to clean it up. It won't bother her much, and she'll get over it in a few weeks... but the new environment... even in a car is enriching...
 

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Her molars only came in this week. Three days after I got her, she went to the vet for a check-up and he said she was 4 weeks, almost 5, not 6. So, if she's 8 weeks now, I can expect teething in about a month? If she swallows her teeth, should I be worried about it?

I don't work well with YT videos though, mostly because the videos feature dogs and puppies that already know what to do and the behaviors the narrator is explaining aren't really happening.
I just looked over the two books and they have all of the information I've already read, lol! Unfortunately, I don't know 100 people, but after her eye injury clears up, I will start taking her to meet family friends without dogs.

"The Bite Stops Here" is an article in the puppy packet the vet gave me a few weeks ago.

Thanks :)

I know exactly what you mean about youtube videos! And so many trainers are using Border COllies. Ugh. BUT....this video is different! The dog messes up a bunch and the narration is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks! some days are good about biting and other days she's ravenous for denim and toes. slowly but surely.

the puppy now has a UTI! the vet said her vagina has excess skin and the vagina folds into itself. he also said she'll most likely grow into the excess skin. if not, it will be fixed when she's spayed. the vet also examined her eye and he said it's healing fine but there will (most likely) be a permanent scar. it shouldn't affect her vision though. the cat scratch was just left of the pupil, which is good - much better than right on the pupil.

she's also getting better on the leash. she's at least willing to walk where SHE wants to rather than plopping down no matter what. I keep the leash short so she walks next to me so she'll at least sorta know to walk next to me? once she plops down, a little liver treat sure does get her to walk to me. oops, it seems a lot of treats fell on the ground... we have to sniff and eat all of them all the way to the end of the deck now! she's smart :)
 

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Sorry to hear about her UTI. Poor little thing.

I'm glad everything is working out with the walking! She will be begging you for walks in no time!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
hey, just wanted to update!

We went to the park today and she walked so well on the leash! We haven't successfully walked on the leash past our large patio, so today was a huge accomplishment! But I do feel like today's walking was more nervousness and looking for an escape? But she followed beside me the entire time, until she got so tired she wouldn't walk anymore and I had to carry her back to the car. 15 lbs of dead weight gets heavy after a while. Does her willingly following me means she trusts me? *blush* I feel so silly asking that... but if she's in a 100% new place, and she willingly follows me and looks to me for guidance, surely that means she will trust me more?

she also hasn't stopped play biting. she also will not eat her kibble unless it's in a game (me flicking it around on the floor and her chasing it), or where she has to work for it (if only sticks were food!). but she will gladly eat cat food and beg for table scraps (we don't let her have either). I think it's also because she is filling up on carrots (we use them for her to chew on) so she will no longer get rawhide (gets possessive with those; I've learned to do a trade-off of sorts with her. give peanut butter so I can get the rawhide) or carrots or other chew treats until she starts eating her kibble. this has only been happening for the past few days, by the way!
BUT she is learning "drop it"! only if we're making eye contact though. practice makes permanent, though!

does anyone recommend toys/games where she can "work" for her kibble? I've heard Kong toys were good, but at PetCo they seemed too tough for her. buying the puppy size seems like a waste if she'll be able to eat IT when she's full grown, but I don't want to buy something she can't enjoy.
could I just make a gravy to make her kibble more tantalizing?
we're feeding her Iams Healthy Naturals (for puppy).

she also met dogs for the FIRST time two days ago since we've had her! it will be 6 weeks this Saturday, which will make her 10 weeks old :)
poor puppy was NOT impressed with the dogs and stayed behind me or in my lap the entire time. she also growled when one dog came up to sniff her nose. she snapped at him once, too. he backed off immediately. the dog wouldn't have bit her (he's very timid/gentle). I do feel worried, but I know I shouldn't, since this was the first time. with more experience, she should at least be able to tolerate other dogs. I don't mind if she doesn't want lots of wags with other dogs (because I don't know dogs/plan to get another), but she does need to tolerate them sniffing her rear, nose, and being in her personal space (we will be hiking often when she gets big).

also - sorry, last question - for hikes, what are some good snacks to bring for her to replenish electrolytes? Would an apple core or two (seeds removed), a couple Lance brand cheese and peanut butter crackers, and plenty of water be good for her? I could also add in a few bites of Nature Valley honey oat crunchy granola bars.
 

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You can buy a Buster Cube as a toy for food, as well as a smaller Kong to chew on.... if it lasts 2 - 3 mos, then it's worth it.
Rather than gravy (which is OK), warm one cup of water, stir in about a tablespoon of ketchup, then put a couple of teaspoons of the watery liquid over the food. (Cheap, tomato sauce :) )

Typically, dogs get 3 sets of shots before they interact with other dogs. After she is up to date on all shots, you can socialize her with many different friendly dogs. Then, expose her to other dogs.

Don't worry about electrolytes, just give her plenty of water. Dogs don't sweat like we do, so they don't lose electrolytes that way. And, I would recommend liver treats or kibble rather than high carb snacks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
our vet said she was okay to meet other vaccinated dogs right now. this week we'll be going for her 2nd set of shots. we've been to the park and other dogs have come to sniff her but she growls and they back off. I don't let her sniff the ground or other doggy hot spots, like benches and the disc golf goals. she growls at strangers through the car window when we initially park and are ready to get out to go for a walk. I've started letting people give her little liver treats so she equates people with good food. I don't know if it's the right thing to do but it's all I've got lol. she usually growls when people approach her and try to pet but doesn't mind if they're off minding their own business.
she is interested in kids. she likes to watch them scream and run around. they probably smell like ice cream and ketchup too.
if only I could speak dog and let her know that dogs just want to play.
 

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Distract her from the leash with treats. As for the play biting, my dog did alot of play biting right up until she got her adult teeth. I still made sure to stop playing with her if she bit me or would make sure biting was unacceptable, but its tough with dogs when their mouth is on fire, to not want to bite to soothe it. The trick is to give them alternatives and make sure they know biting is bad. As for eating, stop the table scraps completely, and you need to make eating more urgent. I'm guessing you leave the food out for long periods. You should keep the food out for shorter periods, calling her to eat and putting the food down. If she doesn't eat, take it back up, and refrain from table scraps or anything else. Repeat this until she realizes that eating time is important. As for socializing,the few dogs I've had didn't openly like other dogs. I my lab I have now to a pet store that allows pets inside once a week, and that was great socialization for her.
 

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I agree re. snacks - don't worry about electrolytes, just make sure she has plenty of water. My favorite treat for loose leash walking is a piece of nonfat string cheese. You can break off tiny pieces so it will last for a decent distance, but it's high value (at least for my dog) and pretty healthy. Convenient to carry around, too. Kibble is also good (if she likes her kibble), or I like the Zuke's mini training treats.
 
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