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Discussion Starter #1
Backstory - Breeder told me the puppies were 8 weeks old, turns out they are 6 weeks old based on the birth date on the AKC paperwork. I wouldn't have gotten a 6 week old puppy otherwise, but I have it. It's better off with me that back there, the entire litter is gone. This guy puts on a good show, but apparently is just flipping puppies as fast as possible for profit.

Knowing the dog hasn't developed the ability to "hold it" we are taking him out once an hour during the day. Only one daytime accident, and that was due to me doing homework and not watching for the signs that she had to go.

At night we set the alarm to take it out every two hours, and had an accident in the crate the first and second night. Since the dog can't hold it 2 hours, and we can't wake up every hour we needed a new solution.

After doing some reading on here I set it up with a 4 foot by 8 foot area in a laundry room. Crate at one end, pee pad at the other. In the morning it looks like she had peed in her crate, on the pad, and pooped in the play area in the middle. She was also sleeping on the now torn up used pee pad.

Where do I go from here? I always understood that crate training works because dogs don't go where they eat and sleep, but this one seems to want to sleep in it's own pee which could make this difficult. My plan had been to use the pads until she is 8 weeks and take up crate training again.

I know this dog is missing out on social development due to it's age, what special steps should I take in that area? I plan on socializing her with some vaccinated adult dogs and enrolling her in a puppy kindergarten as soon as she is old enough.

Also, how do I teach her not to chew on my kids? Currently I am trying to redirect her chewing to a tow, or ignore her if she gets mouthy on me. This is working OK for me, but my kids get excited and try to scream and run away which excites the puppy to chase and bite. I know I should tell my kids not to run, but that is easier said than done.
 

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Wow, this will be a challenge.
As for the potty training, during the day I would take her out every 30 minutes, not every hour. It may be working ok right now, but that could very well be due to the change in environment and routine (because that can throw her schedule off.) But, at 6 weeks, every 30 minutes is better, primarily because, at that age, she doesn't always KNOW herself when she needs to pee. Very young puppies don't get the signals from their body telling them they need to go, it sometimes seems to come from out of nowhere. So, the more often you give her the opportunity to go, the better.

As for nighttime, I would crate her, and I would put the crate in your bedroom. That way, you may be able to hear when she is waking up to pee/poop. Personally, I would take shifts with a spouse (if you have one) and take her out as often as she needs it during the night. Otherwise, you're just giving her the idea that it's ok to go inside.

We used pads with one of our puppies because we were in an apartment and quite far from an outdoor potty area. I would never use them again. It gave my puppy the idea it was ok to go on anything even slightly similar to a pad, like door mats, throw rugs, bath mats, etc.

Socialization: she's way to young too take for walks, in my opinion, due to possible exposure to germs, but you CAN carry her places, like stores that allow dogs, or just on a walk, as long as her feet don't touch the ground. That will help her become accustomed to new sights and sounds, and people.

As for biting, have you read the sticky "The Bite Stops Here"? It has great info on teaching bite inhibition.
 

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The crate with the pad isn't going to work at this age. It's not that she likes sitting in pee, it's that she's not really aware of it. She is the equivalent of a human infant. Human infants will cheerfully lay in, or play with, their own urine or feces. Infant dogs are the same. At this point, you're stuck just taking her out as often as possible until she gets old enough to hold it at all, which will be a while.

The Bite Stops Here is great and very necessary in your situation. She should have been learning bite inhibition from her littermates, but she's not, so she needs to learn it from you. Unfortunately, you are going to have to tell your kids not to shriek and run away. If they can't do that, they can't play with the puppy. It seems harsh, but if she doesn't learn bite inhibition now, you're going to have a serious problem in the future.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reading The Bite Stops Here now.

I agree with everything in there, but I am working on how to incorporate my kids. I can tell if the dog is just mouthing me or biting down, but the kids can't. Should I just stop play and leave any time she chews on the kids, and let her go through the stages of bite inhibition with me, or will that just confuse her.
 

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YES, you need to follow the steps whenever she bites or nips on ANYONE in the family. Part of the reason training with puppies can seem to "not work" or "take too long" (common complaints :) ) is because puppies need consistency and repetition. You can't have different rules for nipping/biting you vs your kids.

The thing is, anytime she bites/nips you should be doing the yelp and leaving. EVENTUALLY she may start softly mouthing (kind of like an experiment - to see if you still yelp). [Think of a toddler who you are trying to teach not to hit. Sometimes, after you tell them not to hit, they may try again, but softly, you know what I mean?]
If she does that, just simply mouthing, then that would be ok. But, really, that's probably pretty far down the road for a 6 week old puppy.

Both of my dogs never really got into mouthing as opposed to nipping. They just aren't "mouthy" breeds/dogs. So, I taught them not to bite/nip as puppies, and now, if we're playing with toys, and they accidentally catch my hand with their mouthes, they are VERY good at stopping immediately, but, they wouldn't just choose to mouth as play.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
YES, you need to follow the steps whenever she bites or nips on ANYONE in the family. Part of the reason training with puppies can seem to "not work" or "take too long" (common complaints :) ) is because puppies need consistency and repetition. You can't have different rules for nipping/biting you vs your kids.

The thing is, anytime she bites/nips you should be doing the yelp and leaving. EVENTUALLY she may start softly mouthing (kind of like an experiment - to see if you still yelp). [Think of a toddler who you are trying to teach not to hit. Sometimes, after you tell them not to hit, they may try again, but softly, you know what I mean?]
If she does that, just simply mouthing, then that would be ok. But, really, that's probably pretty far down the road for a 6 week old puppy.

Both of my dogs never really got into mouthing as opposed to nipping. They just aren't "mouthy" breeds/dogs. So, I taught them not to bite/nip as puppies, and now, if we're playing with toys, and they accidentally catch my hand with their mouthes, they are VERY good at stopping immediately, but, they wouldn't just choose to mouth as play.
Yes, my concern is being inconsistent with her between members of the family.

The article says it is key that she learn bite inhibition before biting is eliminated all together. Stage 1 and Stage 2 seem to involve allowing her to mouth and nibble on your hand, and then letting her know when she bites hard. I can do this, but I can't tell is she is just mouthing or starting to bear down on the kids.

I am concerned that having a no mouth/bite/anything policy with the kids but allowing her to mouth on me but not bite down will confuse her. Right now I am just keeping the kids away from here while I work on the bite inhibition stage.
 

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I've heard of people locating training clubs or breeders in the area for their pups to play with their litters/puppies to learn bite inhibition. I don't know if that is possible for you BUT if you do try and do that be extra careful about parvo and make sure the breeder understands its risks and has steps to mitigate them.

Can you have her on leash and tell the kids, "play with her but if she bites you and it hurts I want you get up and walk to the living room"? That way the kid is getting up and leaving if it hurts and she is on leash and therefore can't follow. Biting hard = no interaction. I guess it's easier said that done though...how young are the kids if you don't mind me asking?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A 4 year old and a 21 month old (who thinks he's 4).

Our plan with the 21 month old is to let him pet the dog when she is calm and in our lap, but the 4 year old really wants to be able to play with her. We have had more success yesterday by letting them interact in the small laundry room, the 4 year old didn't have room to get excited and run which makes the dog chase and nip him.
 

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I would have a no bite/mouth policy at all, in your case. As you said, you can't really tell if she's biting or just mouthing your children. And, really, even if she was just mouthing, if your children react by screaming or getting excited, it may cause the puppy to get excited, and in turn, to actually bite. So, really, it's better to teach her, since you have young children, not to put her mouth on people at all.
And, really, as I said, most puppies don't really understand the "mouthing" vs "biting/nipping" at this point. Because their need to bite/chew is important at this developmental stage it's likely that it's almost always a bite/nip as opposed to mouthing. Not on purpose to hurt you or your children, but just because biting is how puppies play.
So, I would simplify "The Bite Stops Here" in this way:
- puppy bites/nips/puts her mouth on anyone, they make the noise (yelp/ouch).
- puppy will probably look to see what the noise was about, and then bite again. It's what they do. :)
- make the noise again, and leave the room for 20-30 seconds. Any longer than that and she'll find something else to do and forget why you left.
[Here I should clarify, you're leaving the room so she understands human contact ends when she bites/nips. So, it might help, with young children, for you to put the puppy in a puppy safe "time out" area, rather than trying to take yourself and the children out of the room. Just make sure the time out area isn't her crate, as you don't want the pup to associate the crate with punishment.]

Repeat this process: 1. noise alone; 2. noise and leave, over and over as needed. It will take awhile...
 

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A 4 year old and a 21 month old (who thinks he's 4).

Our plan with the 21 month old is to let him pet the dog when she is calm and in our lap, but the 4 year old really wants to be able to play with her. We have had more success yesterday by letting them interact in the small laundry room, the 4 year old didn't have room to get excited and run which makes the dog chase and nip him.
Management, brilliant! The life of a dog owner, and a parent, is a lot of this sort of thing.
 

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HLR, as tough as it is, I think you should really limit the interactions between the child and the puppy for a few weeks. You can have supervised low-key interactions when the puppy is tired, but no playing. I don't have much experience with children, but maybe you could have like a "library-behavior" rule, where you teach the child to move slowly and speak softly during those limited interactions just to keep things mellow.

We used pads with one of our puppies because we were in an apartment and quite far from an outdoor potty area. I would never use them again. It gave my puppy the idea it was ok to go on anything even slightly similar to a pad, like door mats, throw rugs, bath mats, etc.
I wish that I had been able to go straight to outside-only with Roosevelt. I always wonder when people say this, how did you do it? Did you just spend the first two months never leaving your puppy alone for more than an hour or two? What about work?

If I ever have a puppy again, I'm going to be using an XL litter box with real turf in it.

I would have a no bite/mouth policy at all, in your case. As you said, you can't really tell if she's biting or just mouthing your children. And, really, even if she was just mouthing, if your children react by screaming or getting excited, it may cause the puppy to get excited, and in turn, to actually bite. So, really, it's better to teach her, since you have young children, not to put her mouth on people at all.
I think HLR wants to make sure the dog learns a soft mouth at this important developmental stage, which can't be learned if they jump straight to no mouthing at all.
 

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I think HLR wants to make sure the dog learns a soft mouth at this important developmental stage, which can't be learned if they jump straight to no mouthing at all.
I understood that, begemot. I was just suggesting that it can be difficult to be consistent, if the OP can't tell if the puppy is biting/nipping or just mouthing the children. In that case, it might be best to either keep the puppy and children separated, as you said, or have a no mouth on policy.
In the end, if the OP's children are going to react to even being mouthed by the dog then wouldn't you want to limit that, as well? I mean, especially with the 21 month old, may end up feeling "hurt" by a puppy simply mouthing. In that case, better to just not have the puppy allowed to have his mouth on the children at all. And, if the puppy can't have his mouth on the children, better to be consistent and not have it's mouth on the adults either.
 

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For the housebreaking, if the crate really isn't working and she's going in the crate anyway, then use the crate and a potty area - not a pee pad though. With Kilt, I used a large flat container like a big litterbox, with wood pellets in it. For a while she had her crate, one foot, then the litterbox, then graduated to four feet square when we left her and she was pretty good about using the box. She's now doing fine with being in the crate and not going, so I'm guessing it was a maturity thing on her part, happens with some puppies.

Some puppies also if they're not raised in perfectly clean conditions will not care as much, they can be started on housebreaking by the breeder but it's a bit of work to do - usually 3 days worth of doing nothing but sitting and picking up/moving puppies to the potty every single time they start to go.

For the kids, like others have said do a 'no mouth on' rule, it's easier for kids to get that. Teach them how to help with some of the puppy chores like feeding (one scoop at a time they can feed her, teaches puppy that kids aren't a bad thing at meal time), walking (use two leashes, you'll have to wait on that one but still, put two leashes on so you have control of the dog and let the kids take turns with the other leash), grooming (soft brush or even a cloth to 'wash' puppy when she's tired) and so on. Play for kids that age and a pup with kids that age shouldn't be anything rough and tumble! Even if your pup grows up being gentle, all it takes is someone else's kid coming over and a scratch and you're in trouble. My kids are a bit older but we still don't do much of that, Kilt has chased the kids when playing but nobody is too intent on it being the major game....
 

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In the end, if the OP's children are going to react to even being mouthed by the dog then wouldn't you want to limit that, as well? I mean, especially with the 21 month old, may end up feeling "hurt" by a puppy simply mouthing. In that case, better to just not have the puppy allowed to have his mouth on the children at all.
Oh, I see your point.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update. The Dog is 7 weeks old today.

She is starting to get the "outside" thing. We take her out once an hour and right after she eats and she seems to understand we want her to go out there.

Right now we are leaving the crate open and putting a pad in the laundry room with her. Not the best solution, but next week we will go to having her in the crate and letting her out a couple of times a night.

I've been working with her on the chewing. I only let the kids play with her when she is calm, and if she starts chewing on them I tell her no and we stop playing. She also gets a no for nipping our clothes.

I let her mouth my hand or wrist and give her a loud ouch if she puts pressure down, and the next time I stop playing with her. Hopefully if I am consistent with this she will learn bite inhibition. She already does a good job of barely putting her mouth on my hand if she is calm.

I may have to break out a squirt gun to get her to stop chewing on my laptop power cord when I sit in the kitchen with her, shaking a can of pennies didn't phase her at all.
 

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I may have to break out a squirt gun to get her to stop chewing on my laptop power cord when I sit in the kitchen with her, shaking a can of pennies didn't phase her at all.
Squirt guns are not a good tool, IMO. A better strategy is to coat the cord with Bitter Apple or something else that tastes bad, then when you see her chewing or about to chew, quickly interrupt and supply an appropriate chew toy. What kinds of chew toys do you have right now?

When you are not able to pay close attention, all cords should be out of reach.

You don't want to just frighten her. You want to teach her an appropriate outlet for chewing, which has tons of benefits in the long haul.
 

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I agree that neither the spray gun or the can of pennies is good. Those are "aversives", and really, with puppies that young, I don't believe aversives have a place in training.
There are "sleeves" you can buy for electric cords to keep them from being dangerous. You might look into that. Also, you can usually tape down cords, as well. However, I know laptop power cords are something we tend to plug in and unplug pretty regularly.

My bottom line is, if you are in the same room with her (which you would be if you were squirting her) you could just as easily redirect her, when you see her going for the power cord, just interrupt her with a sound, and then give her a toy. Next time she heads toward it, same thing. Just watch her so closely that she doesn't ever make it there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Squirt guns are not a good tool, IMO. A better strategy is to coat the cord with Bitter Apple or something else that tastes bad, then when you see her chewing or about to chew, quickly interrupt and supply an appropriate chew toy. What kinds of chew toys do you have right now?

When you are not able to pay close attention, all cords should be out of reach.

You don't want to just frighten her. You want to teach her an appropriate outlet for chewing, which has tons of benefits in the long haul.
She has :
3 Nyla Bone dura chew bones
1 Nyla Bone Puppy Bone
1 Small Kong
1 rubber chew shaped like a star with arms coming out she can chew on
1 Nyla Bone Puppy Stix (looks like two bones stuck together, you can put it in the freezer)

She isn't co much chewing on the cord as trying to pull it out of the wall and shaking her head the way an adult dog would with a rope toy. It's difficult to direct her attention away from it without opening her mouth to get the cord out.

I haven't bought her a rope toy since I don't want her to learn to chew of fabric, and many people think tug of war encourages aggression.
 

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Buy a rope toy. She doesn't have to "learn" to chew fabric... she just will, the first time she gets her mouth on some and decides she likes it. You'll have to teach her what is appropriate to chew and what isn't, regardless. It's a good idea to have as many textures available to her as possible, especially for when she starts teething and cutting her adult teeth. Rubber chews are good, but sometimes pups want something more pliable, and a knotted rope toy is more durable than a plush. It's your choice whether you decide to play tug with it or not.
 

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She isn't co much chewing on the cord as trying to pull it out of the wall and shaking her head the way an adult dog would with a rope toy. It's difficult to direct her attention away from it without opening her mouth to get the cord out.

It shouldn't be difficult. You actually should be distracting or interrupting her BEFORE she gets the cord. That, really, is much better than trying to deal with it after the fact. If you interrupt her before she gets to it each time, she will stop seeing that as an option of something to do when she wants to play.That way, you're just limiting what she's allowed to do.

I haven't bought her a rope toy since I don't want her to learn to chew of fabric, and many people think tug of war encourages aggression.
Rope toys and tug games don't encourage aggression. They encourage play. You are in charge, if she gets too wild playing tug, you stop the game. You don't need to ban it altogether. I have a mini dachshund, and tug is his favorite game. He is also the most docile, cuddle bug dog at home.
 
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