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My first puppy ever

1252 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Elana55
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All of my cats are rescues, but I went to a store for the puppy because I wanted a small breed with known breed history (because of the cats).
Maltese/Poodle mixes have a breeding history that makes them companionable with cats?

He still goes potty in the house and gives no indication that he needs to go out, but he does go when we're outside and as soon as he goes he bolts for the back door to go in and get his treat, so I consider that a good sign that we're heading down the right track and just need some more time for it to all come together.
I would keep a jar with a secure lid outside containing his treats, or bring the treats with you when you go out. That way you can reward him immediately for eliminating. He’ll be quicker to make the association if you reward immediately. Do you cue “go potty”?

I've managed to make him abhor his crate, though.
Many pet store puppies abhor crates because they are crated during the important formative weeks. One reason not to buy from a pet store…the pup does not receive the important socialization he could have obtained while under the care of a responsible breeder.

Obviously he associates the crate with me going away since I'm always the one who puts him in and then leaves. I'm trying to work with him in the evenings to get him to associate the crate with positive things but it's to the point now that even approaching it makes him start to tremble and whimper. When he's in the crate he cries and drools. Sometimes he goes to the bathroom in the crate, but usually not. I feel absolutely horrible even putting him in it now, but I have to in order to go to work. What can I do?
Find an extremely valuable food reward; something novel, stinky as all heck, and give it to him only when he’s using his crate, in a Kong. Practice leaving for short terms and offering his this high valued reward.

It would also be prudent to look into hiring a dog walker to relieve the pup more frequently, maybe doggie daycare is an option for you, or possibly his open crate within an exercise pen would give him less of a sense of restriction.

I feel like a bad doggy mommy. When I come home for lunch he's in a panic to snuggle all over me like he thought I'd never come back.
It would be appropriate to greet your pup (a reward) for calm behavior. If you can resist feeling like you’re the bad person and be conscious of this, 1) you’ll be more open to waiting for calm behavior and 2) you may get more calm behavior when you come home. So, grab a book and sit to read and wait for a moment of silence before letting your dog out. It won’t be perfect, and it may get worse before it gets better, but you have to try to get calm behavior and waiting for it is one way to do that.
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Can we refrain from all of the judgment regarding him being a pet store puppy?
I don't believe any one DID judge you, so asking for such is needless.

I only mentioned it because it may be relevant when talking about behavior.
So too are the problems common with pet store puppies relevant when talking about behavior.

He actually was not crated at the pet store...the store puts them with their litter mates in, basically, lidless aquariums with bedding (looked like hamster/guinea pig bedding maybe?).
My bad. I should have said, "Many pet store puppies abhor aquariums [and other small enclosures] because they are kept too long in them during the *important* formative weeks." But if you'd rather I intimate that you are completely to blame, no problem.

I have three cats, all rescues. One is blind in one eye, one has behavioral/nerve problems due to abuse, and a third was declawed and left outside to his own devices. I am not unaware of the issues with backyard breeders and pet stores. I didn't go to a pet store looking for a show breed or looking to start up my own breeding. I was looking for a small breed dog, preferably non shedding or short hair (3 cats shedding is enough to keep up with), and preferably young enough that I felt confident in socializing him with my cats. There were breeds I was trying to avoid, which is what I meant by known breed history.
What does this have to do with the crate/housetraining issue you caused?

Odo does not have socialization issues.
Oh, I thought you were looking for advise on how to better socialize your dog to his crate for his housetraining needs. I guess feeling abhorrent towards the crate is acceptable.

I'm not taking him back to the pet store, so can we stop discussing the cons of pet store dogs now?
I don't see this being discussed at all. If this is all you read, you're missing out on some useful advise.
Socializing implies other beings, be they cat, dog, or human...you can't socialize with/to a crate.
Socialization is much more than that. Socialization means the process of learning one’s culture (values). Crates can be invaluable to humans…so too with dogs. A hard lesson I had to learn, my dog also needed to be socialized to big semi trucks if I wanted to travel with my dog. Who knew?

It had nothing to do with the breed he is, but more with the breeds he isn't and his age and size.
If the animal is a dog he has some inclination to be a predator (genetics). Differentiating between cats and mice is learned (socialization). Breed type does not predict the dog’s genetics influence on learning (temperament). Good breeding practices and good rearing practices do (in most cases, genetics and training is not yet a perfect science).

I had enough restrictions in what I was looking for that I did not feel confident in getting a dog from a shelter. Since I do not know any breeders, I went to a pet store that has a good reputation here locally.
I understand why you made a pet store purchase…many well meaning people buy from pet stores. This doesn’t excuse the practice, however - more could have been done to help transition your pup into your home. Crate training and housetraining are both breeder responsibilities IMO. There’s no reason a dog should be sold without being crate trained and housetrained. People may balk at that, but there are breeders who do just that. Heck, there are shelters that do exactly that.

Are they rare, yes. Do you have some part in continuing your pup’s education, of course. Does it mean your dog can’t be loved and should be returned, no. Absolutely not. But who knows, you may want to buy a pup again, and who knows, you may be able to find a breeder who wants to do more for you than your local pet store.

Is your dog’s living environment ideal? If you work away from home we could easily argue this dog’s living environment is not ideal. That’s not the point. People have raised wonderful dogs in similar situations (raises hand), and what may help keep this dog in your home is what’s important to what will be your wonderful dog.
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