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Sorry so long...I tried to bold the relevant parts.

After many months of researching, I decided to purchase a puppy. This is my first dog. When I decided to get a puppy, I wanted it to be a certain size, not need a bunch of exercise, be a certain breed, and be a certain age. In other words, a smaller sized shih Tzu that was at least 12 or 16 weeks.

I contacted a hobby seller who said he was getting out of the business and texted me the dogs he had left. I chose one. I asked the age. He said he was a 12 week old mix and that his demeanor was calm and he would be a smaller dog. I told the man I would pick up him on the weekend. He said he would bring him by that day or the deal was off the table.

I arrived home and the man brought me the puppy. I paid extra for the puppy because he was supposedly specially trained by the man since he is a specialist in training puppies. Immediately, I noticed that when I held the puppy that he didn't seem to like me that much. Also, the man gave me a NEW toy for the puppy that he claimed was an old toy for the puppy. The toy had been doused in female perfume.

I told the man that I didn't think the puppy liked me. He touched the puppy and then said "look at that tail; he likes you." I got the puppy and the man left.

I thought the puppy was 12 weeks old and fully trained so I placed him on the floor to run around my house. He immediately pooped on my carpet (well tried to at least) and he started barking uncontrollably. I slept near the dog that night and he seemed to do fine.

For the next couple of weeks, he barked all the time, would not answer to me and just did not seem that fond of me. I googled and read posts on this forum and youtube and started to train him informally. He stopped barking all the time, but then I noticed he seemed to be spoiled. He wanted to be held all the time. I looked at his birth records and he was really 9 weeks old which seemed to explain a lot.

As time progressed though, my feelings would get hurt every day because he NEVER ran to me or wagged his tail to me but he did it to every person we met on the street, in stores, in the neighborhood, etc. Even to this day, I can't seem to stop him from running to strangers demanded to be held and petted by them.

I have invested a lot emotionally and medically in the puppy. I just don't know how to handle the fact that he seems to like everyone better than me. Because I give him his food and comfort, he looks forward to seeing me everyday and when I pick him up from the sitter but the elation is just not there. I feel used. For instance, while waiting to hand him off to the sitter, his tail was smacking me in the face at 15 miles an hour. He had never been that way with me.

Now, I have a neighbor asking can she keep him. When she held him, he scratched me and got angry at me when I told him he had to turn her loose. She realized this and now comes to my house all the time wanting to play with him. I have no doubt that, if she plays with him, he will want to move in with her.

I have been thinking of re=homing him but not to a lady that lives 2 doors down from me.

Any thoughts from puppy experts as to whether I should continue to invest my time and energy in the puppy when he feels so lukewarm to me.

Steps I have taken:
1. Puppy classes
2. Puppy play groups (2 different sets)
3. Dog park
4. Daily walks
5. Training sessions

The DOG DNA test indicates what the breeder failed to disclose that he is a mixture of a poodle, shih Tzu, yorkie, Pomeranian, and pekingenese. The puppy runs 100 miles an hour every day; he is not a low energy dog at all and needs constant exercise and play sessions. In addition to that, the poodle and pom in him demands my attention all day every day. I am mentally exhausted around him. When he wakes up he wants his stomach rubbed for 10 minutes, I have to get on the floor and play with him for 10 minutes I have to take him outside and play with him with a ball for 10 minutes. I have to then walk him and then hold him and rub his belly some more. Then, when we are in the house, he looks at me 24-7 and I can't leave the room without him. The internet says this means love but when other people are around or we are out and about he acts like he doesn't even know me; as previously stated, it is embarrassing.


Because he goes to puppy daycare, he no longer has separation anxiety; he just likes to see me whenever in the house. Outside the house and other people are around, he could care less if I am there.


So, what is my question or what do I need help with?


1. Will he ever get to the point where he does not have to be exercised so much?

2. Will he ever get to the point when he doesn't have to see me when in the house?


3. Will he ever get to the point where he does not prefer other people over me?


In all honesty, he seems like a puppy that needs to be owned by a rich person; I say that but then he runs up to strangers or other people and they have no issue with him obeying, sitting calm, or just being content.


Basic information:
5 month
Descendent of a Shih Tzu/Pom/Pekingenese and and Miniature poodle
Now 5 pounds
No health issues
Runs really fast and likes to run often
Sweet personality and temperament
Previous owner claimed he was a hobby seller but, at any one time, he has 20 different puppies at his home for sale of different breeds. The previous owner is puppy breeder, which seems to matter only in that he wasn't really sure what type of puppy he was selling me and didn't know his temperament and energy level because he has so many puppies.

Do I like the puppy? Yes
Do I think he likes me? No; I think he is dependent on me and, as a result, engages in behavior to keep me interested in him making sure he is safe and protected. Such as...looking at me constantly, whining and crying, etc
 

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Sounds like a totally normal puppy to me. I recommend finding a positive reinforcement based trainer (CCPDT.org is a great place to start) and getting some training for you and for your pup. I don't mean obedience like sit, stay, down, etc... I mean, it sounds like you would benefit from learning basic training theory and why dogs behave the way they do. And a good trainer can help you find a routine and use training in a fun way to develop a great relationship with your pup.

But in a nutshell, this is totally normal behavior from any dog. Of course he is more interested in other people... they are novel and often associated with the best things (ex. daycare staff).
 

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Most likely, the dog finds other people novel and interesting and new. The pup finds that exciting. It's not that he doesn't like you, its that he finds new people intensely exciting in that moment in time. Also, he's a puppy. Puppies are excited about everything, but as they age they develop a stronger bond with their owners. You are there every single day. You're not novel or new. Just because his reactions to you aren't quite as intense as when he meets a new person for the first time, or sees someone he hasn't seen in a while, he will understandably be very excited. His behavior is completely normal, and none of it indicates the dog does not like you.

It sounds like the pup came from a puppy mill, honestly. Whatever the previous owner told you was probably complete crap. A puppy specially trained at 12 weeks old? Utter crap. The puppy's adult energy levels are completely up in the air. Most young puppies are super energetic, but they tend to mellow as they get older. What you're pup will be like, I have no idea considering the wide mix of breeds. You're really lucky to have a pup that enjoys people and doesn't have other behavioral issues. ANY puppy of ANY breed is likely to mentally exhaust you, so it's not this dog in particular.

What you want to do now is completely up to you. Your dog is normal, he likes you, he's exhibiting very normal puppy behaviors and requires the normal insane amount of attention all puppies do. He may not grow up to be the mellow dog you want, however.

If you decide to rehome and try again with a different dog, I think you should choose an adult, because no puppy is going to be mellow and completely trained. None. Anyone who tells you that is full of it and is going to take you for another ride. You can find adult rehomes from REPUTABLE breeders sometimes, or from a shelter. Small companion animals seems to be plentiful in them.

But if you DO decide your want to try a puppy again, you need to carefully research your breeder. A good, reputable breeder will only produce one breed. They will not have 20+ dogs at a time. They typically only have one litter on the ground at a time. They will have their puppies go through a 'puppy socialization program' type of thing, but they will never claim their puppies are specially trained or fully trained and charge more money for them. Good breeders will typically let you meet at least the mother of your pup (sometimes the sire is not on site), and they will choose a puppy for you based on your needs. Good breeders do SOMETHING with their dogs to prove they are quality breeding stock, such as obedience, agility, or conformation. Good breeders will have you sign a contract, and if at any point in time you can't keep the dog, they will take it back. They also health test (not just a vet check) for genetic diseases, and check things like hips and elbows for health. It so, so very important that you research the person you're buying your dog from.

Good luck in whatever you choose.
 

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Oof. That's a tough situation. It certainly sounds as if you got taken in by a puppy broker - people who sell puppies from mills or similar high-volume enterprises. They often have a large number of puppies available of various breeds and mixes (or are able to get ahold of them) and are chock full of reasons why you need to buy this puppy right now so you don't have time to properly think over the decision. I'm betting the "going out of business" line was a ruse, sorry to say. These people (and the breeders they get their 'wares' from) don't care about the puppies' health or wellness, or whether they're going to a home that will be a good fit, they just want to offload as many dogs as quickly as possible to maximize profits. Unfortunately, they can be very charming and deceptive and difficult to spot for the average puppy buyer.

I do think you're ascribing a little too much intent to your pup's behavior. Despite their cuteness, puppies are actually notoriously difficult to bond with. They're needy and time-consuming and create massive upheaval to anyone's routine. They're still developing, so it can feel like they're unpredictable and that their temperament, focus, ability to remember commands, etc. changes daily. They're also really, really into novel things, which I think is the main issue you're facing with him fawning over strangers in public. Most dogs do grow out of this to an extent - adult dogs as a whole are not going to be as intensely excited by strangers as puppies, even ones who are generally friendly with everyone. This, combined with the fact that your pup may not have been outside of a cage until he came to live with you (common in these situations) may well explain why you struggle to connect with him. Bonding does get easier with time, so if you decide to stick it out, you'll likely find it's worth it!

Puppies are generally high-octane, whatever the breed. If you're not tiring him out physically, I'd increase your mental stimulation. Try some simple puzzle toys (the Buster Cube is a hit at our house), play scentwork games (hide treats so he has to sniff them out to find them), or practice training commands or silly tricks every day. These kind of exercises often lead to a more mentally tired pup who's more content and chill. Wanting to be close to you is also a very puppy thing, and I'm sure his early weeks at whatever breeding facility didn't help. Have you tried any kind of pen or crate training? What does he do when he can't find or reach you?
 

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You could try some bond-based training exercises :

1. Sit on the ground and hand feed her kibble to her.
2. Get some small cubes of cheese, take a bite of a cube, then give her the rest. Continue this for about 5 min. every day. Do this as a 'training' exercise, and don't do this while cooking or while you are eating meals, b/c you don't want to encourage begging.
3. And, start training her the basic commands - Sit, Down, Come, etc.
 
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