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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How ridiculous is it to be crying because your dog misbehaves so much?

That's what I'm doing now - crying, even as I write this.

My boyfriend surprised me with a puppy on October 16th. I was very happy. Toby (as we've named him) was precious and still is very much so. And I love him so much; that's why I'm so hurt to feel like maybe I need to give him up.

Toby is a terrier, so he's very active. My boyfriend and I work full-time jobs and are tired after work. But we have changed our lifestyle as much as we can; we take him to the park every other day, we play with him even when we're dead tired, I buy him a new toy, or a few new toys, with every measly paycheck I get (approximately $340 a week) to try and keep him entertained. He's easily bored, so I try to keep up with him and make him happy. And we even make sure that

The first week or so, he would "go" on the carpet. Fine. And for like three weeks now, he hasn't done this. Tonight, just a few minutes ago, he did go on the carpet.

I know that a puppy (he'll be six months old the day after tomorrow) will have regression. I am fully aware of the ... can't think of the word ... but I mean, I know that owning a puppy is not all butterflies and giggles all the time, and since my boyfriend surprised me, I wanted to do my very best with him.

The problem is this: he constantly - and I do mean nonstop - jumps and hides in every dark and prohibited area of the house that he can find. There's, let's see, maybe two spots in the house he constantly tries to get to. Bitter apple spray has not worked, saying "no" firmly has not worked.... well, he just did it again as I write this. He slipped into a space between a chair and loveseat. We've pushed them closely together, but there's a gap at the top, and he's a skinny dog. So our attempt at keeping him from getting there (blocking the entrance to behind the furniture by stuffing the sides of them with books and big boxes). Both sides are blocked, but there's a gap between the two pieces of furniture from the top. ... and he just did it again.

I know that he's a puppy, and I understand that they misbehave. But this is just ... ridiculous. I cry because I try to be such a good mommy. Is he not happy? Am I not making him happy? Is he bored with us? Boyfriend is right now try to get him out, but he's standing there barking at him.

Maybe we are not the best couple for him? I want only what's best for him. And I also cry because I think we are hurting him by keeping him here when he is unhappy. But if he doesn't sound unhappy, and just sounds like he's being a puppy, then I just want to know what I need to do.

What do you think I am doing wrong? How can you tell when it's being a puppy or having a behavioral problem that is due to something other than being a puppy.

Okay, third time he just went behind the sofa. I mention this each time he does it to make it clear that it's not an every now-and-then behavior. It's just nonstop, no matter how much we say "no."

Please help.

I'm so sorry for this rambling, annoyingly long post. I'm kinda just "pouring" whatever I feel right now (I'm so sorry once again; I just wanted to try to draw a picture of how bad this is).

Thank you so much.

EDIT: I forgot to add that I have (second time during this post that he's "gone" on the carpet) had pets all my life. Even now, I have five dogs in my hometown that I raised from puppies and who are now 8-12 years old now. However, those dogs were never disobedient. So I'm kinda a first-time owner of THIS kind of dog.
 

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If you haven't already, I suggest you get him a Kong toy. There are tons of Kong recipes on this forum, so just search "kong" and they should pop up. Kongs are usually really good at keeping dogs entertained.

Do you have a crate for him? If not, get one and start training him to use it. It really sounds like your frustrated with him. Puppies can be overwhelming, so it's good if you have a place to keep them where they can't get in any trouble and it gives you some peace and quiet for a little bit. Crates can also help with house training.

How much time are you spending training him? Like basic commands (sit, lay down, come, etc.). It can be pretty frustrating working with a young exuberant puppy like Toby, but the more you work with him the easier it will be.

To keep him from getting into small spaces you can keep a leash on him within arms reach so you can stop him from going places you don;t want to. A lot of people suggest tethering pups to yourself. I think that may be a good idea in this situation... you'll be able to prevent him from going where you don't want him to, and you'll be able to watch him so he doesn't "go" on the carpet.

Look into puppy classes. They can be quite expensive, but I know our humane society here offers a puppy class for pretty cheap, so you may want to see if there are any similar programs where you live.
 

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You are not alone in feeling overwelmed by your puppy. I myself have a love and hate of puppies....sooo much work. Just remember he will not be long growing up and things will get easier then. Pups just have sooo much energy. What kind of pup do you have?
 

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Unhappy? I think it's more likely that the "Hey guys, try to get me out from between the chair and love seat!!!" game makes him very, very happy because of all the attention and drama that it brings him. As already suggested, I would try keeping him on a leash or dragline in the house , tied to your belt or waistband if you need to, to just keep him from even reaching the places you don't want him to go. Spend short periods of time throughout the day practicing some basic obedience commands. If you can't afford an obedience class, search for "kikopup" on YouTube for a bunch of free training videos. There are a lot of good stickied threads in the training subforum here, too.

And no, you're not alone in crying. I found puppyhood mentally exhausting myself, so all-encompassing. But (and even though everyone said I would feel this way and I didn't believe them) I kind of miss it and it went too fast. Hang in there.
 

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Puppies are a PITA. They only survive to adulthood because they're cute.
Take a deep breath, and relax. Going behind somewhere, is a game to him, as mentioned by another poster. I'd either tether him to me, or let him go behind something, and I'd go lay on he floor and call him, and play with a squeaky toy by myself, ignoring him, until he comes out. Make going behind there, boring. (as long as there isn't anything dangerous that he can get to, like electrical cords. Terriers (some breeds) were bred to go into dens/holes to get rodents/prey. So small spaces are inherently attractive to them. They can't help it. Can you make a maze out of boxes? Make a tent using some chairs. Use his inquisitiveness/desire to go into small spaces to teach him some agility stuff.
Give yourself 6 months to get adjusted to him. They do get much better.
 

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You've gotten good advice so I've only got a little to add-

He doesn't need new toys all the time. Really. You can rotate the toys so that he only has one or two at a time and then the next week, he gets another exciting toy. He'll kinda forget about the previous week's toy so that a few weeks later, it will seem new again. I think letting him have a Kong all the time + one other toy could be helpful.

And you mention that you take him to the park every other day... that's great but are you also walking him and doing some training etc on the other days? Until my dog was about 3 years old, we HAD to do at least 1 hour walking each evening or 30 minutes walking and 30 minutes of some type of play in the yard. After about 18 months (at physical maturity, to protect growing joints), you can run with them or bike with them which helps a ton.
A terrier is high energy, so less than a morning walk and a serious evening walk/fetch/train session is just setting yourself up for failure.

As for the peeing- leash, crate, ex-pen etc, anything that does not allow him access to the areas you don't want him to be in.
Anyplace that he has peed inside should be steam cleaned (carpet, furniture) and cleaned with an enzyme cleaner or white vinegar.
 

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Others have mentioned the couch and loveseat issue, but I don't think anyone has mentioned specifically....DON'T punish for doing this! You pup could possibly get the idea that whenever he comes out from this area you get mad, which will make him find this dark little area to be a happy place where you can't get mad at him. One other thought...if you use the drag leash idea you could always let him go towards the spot but restrain gently with the leash, when he turns away and stops trying to get in there YAY!! Give a treat, throw a party, click if you're using a clicker. Its the same theory as Teaching Leave It Without Intimidation just applied to a location, and you might not even need to add a cue for it. Its a Kikopup video, someone else already recommended her stuff, and I'll second that! You should try watching as many as you can before you get started or you might find yourself saying "OH I should have taught THAT first", but that's just my suggestion. She also has a new set of youtube vids on "invisible barriers" I haven't watched them yet but they will likely apply in some way to this issue.
Oh, and you are absolutely not the only one that spent time crying because of puppy frustration, I was there on MANY occasions. It will get better. Don't stress too much, it all takes time. Make sure to enjoy the puppyhood as much as you can! Good luck!
 

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I third that pups are a PITA (pain in the a$$) you are not alone in "hating" your pup, it's a normal thing, I alsO think that umbilical training (tying the dog to you with a leash) hang in there, I have had dogs for 20 yrs & I STILL find pups overwhelming sometimes.
 

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Everyone has been spot on. I'm repeating part of what they said

- Rotate toys. A toy is "new again" if the dog hasn't seen it in a while (a week as an example)
- The leash always attached.
- Stuff a blanket in the space so there is no longer a space to get into
- Remember pups (especially high energy pups like terriers) don't know what we want innately. They have no idea what "leave it" means until we teach them. You can say "no" until you are blue in the face and if it doesn't mean anything to the pup it will cause no change in behavior.
- We went with a sharp "eh-eh" noise instead of "no" here. We decided "no" was used too much in day to day conversation (example: You want something to eat? No, I'm good thanks.) We did it to avoid confusion.

You are not alone. Most people have "buyer's remorse" at some point (or multiple points) through their pups' puppyhood. You can do it.
 

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If he gets behind the couch or into some dark corner, get up and leave the room! Go and have a party in the kitchen. Your pup will feel bored and left out and will follow. Ignore him when he darts under stuff. This will make it un-fun and the behavior will stop.

This follows the concept that you can't own a dog that runs away from you if you never, ever, chase it!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks everyone for your ideas! I'm sorry it's been so long since this reply; I forgot my password!

It seems that he's going to the prohibited area when he needs to go potty. So whenever we see him sniffing around or going to the areas in the back of the house, we grab the leash and take him for a walk. He still tries to get back there occasionally, but it's nothing like when I made the OP.

I've wanted to ignore him, as some of you have suggested, but there are electrical cords under the sofa and chairs, so I can't sit on my lazy bum and just yell "no." LOL. I shouldn't call myself lazy, but after work, I'm dead tired. Ha, I wish I could just say no or just ignore him, but I usually have to get up and pull him away from the spot. We stuffed the spaces with boxes, but with him being a smart terrier, he's learned how to push the box with his nose (that doesn't help since the box is just big enough to cover the space no matter how far he pushes it).

It seems we have problems that may be more worrying. He has this tendency to, for no reason (or for no reason that we know of), "flip out." He'll start running around in circles like a crazed maniac and then he snaps at our hands as we try to calm him down. We can't figure out what triggers it. We'll be walking with him at the park, and he'll start biting the leash for no reason. We've figured that maybe he's tired by the time we've done most of the mile. Also, we'll signal that we will take him outside to walk and he'll start flipping out. Does he want to play? Or is it a sign of a serious behavioral issue? It only lasts for maybe a minute or two. And then we'll eventually get him to calm down... as if nothing ever happened.

Again, I really really appreciate all of your feedback. I needed it! The more time I spend with him, the more reluctant I am to even CONSIDER giving him up. So I really want this to work.
 

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the racing around are "Zoomies". It's a dog/pup that is feeling good, and going "YEEHAW!!!!, and zipping all around due to excess energy, mental or physical. Almost all dogs will do it at times. Mine do every night, after their walks.
 

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The running around like crazy, I call it zoomies! Totally normal. Most dogs get them. Don't worry about it. For pups, could just be a burst of energy they just want to get out or it could be them getting tired and trying to fight it off. All depends.

One thing that I like to live by is instead of telling the pup what not to do, teach them what you want them to do. So, instead of saying "no" to everything (which tends to be ineffective anyway since this usually isn't taught and dog's obviously don't understand English), teach the pup a leave it command. Here's a video of how to do it.

So, for other things like, if you don't want the pup on the furniture, teach them to get off the furniture with an off cue and reward them for being where you want, on the floor, rather than yelling "no". So, anytime you run into a road block with unwanted behaviors, stop and think, "Ok, what do I want him to do instead."

So, don't chew on the cords becomes I want you to leave the cords alone. (leave it cue).

I also wanted to comment on the cords thing. One thing you should REALLY do is puppy proof the home. That means getting on your hands and knees at puppy eye level and picking up things or moving things out of reach that the pup might get into. Even if the pup is being supervised, they'll find trouble!

Oh, and, for the hiding in dark spaces thing...if you get a crate, you can cover it with a blanket to make it dark and cozy. That way, if the pup finds comfort in those spots, they have a designated dark, cozy spot to go to. Reinforce going into the crate, making sure to leave the door open.
 

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Zoomies are fun once you know what they are all about. If Ginny has one and tires she will quit, but then when she sees us doubled over laughing, she does it again. Silly dog gets really excited if someone laughs at her. So glad you are becoming more attached to your pup...it makes the bad times easier to take. Enjoy...the better times are just around the cornner for you.
 

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My puppy is an amazing, smart, well behaved dog, and he has made me cry from frustration and just feeling overwhelmed, it's not ridiculous, puppy raising is hard, incredibly time consuming stuff. I wanted a dog for years, but at least once a day for the first few weeks I thought, "Good God, what have I done? I can't keep this up forever!" but you won't have to. Keep teaching, and learning how to better teach, and things will be better. Sounds like you are already figuring out some solutions. Also, tired dogs are well behaved, when mine "flips put" and runs around like crazy I'm grateful for the energy he released.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks again everyone!

I'm home early from work, and although my fiance asked me to "stand strong" and not let him out (since he knows the routine that both our full-time jobs create). I'm here because I'm not feeling too well, but what d'ya know, I'm a pushover. I let him out. How could I say no? I wish I had because he is bugging the crap out of me right now. He tends to want to be right under me whenever I sit on this couch. It's endearing because I think he just wants to be near me. On the other hand, if I have the LAPtop on my LAP, he tends to not care; he'll place his bone or Kong on my lap and bite on it, coming between me and the laptop. LOL.

I wanted to ask; should I get a new bed for him? He's destroyed the bed that we put in the crate. He'll tear any new one up as well, won't he?

Also, we bought him a ball that is motorized. But when it starts moving around, Toby gets aggressive with it. It graduates from being "playful" to being "aggressive." Are there any toys beside his Kong that will allow him to play without encouraging aggression? He loves his Kong, but I'd say at THIS point, he can pull out any treat we put inside of it in (I just timed it) three minutes. I've heard of puzzle toys, but when I've gone inside Pet Supplies Plus, they just have Kongs. :(

Thank you all! You've all been so helpful and patient. And you all have been right; I'm glad you have suggested that it won't always be so bad. When he's sleep or just tired, I swear my heart just sinks. He's so sweet and cute and peaceful. And it makes the biting and other annoying qualities about him so worth it. Almost. :p

Thank you all in advance!
 

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You could try (supervised) the Tug-A-Jug to feed his breakfast and dinner in. It is NOT a chew toy though like the Kong is so it shouldn't just be left in his crate with him.
 
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