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ok, so we have an almost 12wk old pug mix puppy who iss 5 lbs. He is pretty good at housetraining and we use a crate as that is how his foster mom had him. I know puppies nip and we have two young girls so we've been working on distracting him with his chew toys and this usually works. My question is, what do i do when i just can't distract him? When i'm making dinner or helping the girls with something, i can't distract him, it only works when i can play with the toy with him. The past two days, it's gotten so bad, i had to crate him just to make dinner! But i know this is wrong. The crate shouldn't be used for punishment. In this situation, what other choice do i have? He is too young for rabies vaccine, so i can't take him to daycare...i'm feeling helpless and clueless. Please help me!
 

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I wouldn't leave the puppy alone with the girls unattended. It's okay if you need to crate him to make dinner but don't treat it as punishment. Give him a frozen kong filled with peanut butter or another goody to keep him busy in there. You should start by reading "The Bite Stops Here" Sticky. It's going to take a while for him to learn bite inhibition but he will get. The most important thing is to stay consistent, your girls will have to follow through as well if they are interacting with him but you can help remind them.
 

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Well stop feeling helpless, put him in crate when you're busy. Now you're not clueless. As long as he has quality time out of crate not a problem. Only big problem is nobody can change what you are feeling except you.
 

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We used the crate for anytime we couldn't actively supervise: cooking, doing laundry, sleeping, whatever took our eyes off the puppy. That way, you don't have to worry about what the puppy is up to (peeing, biting, tearing up a slipper accidentally left out).
It's not punishment. If you're worried about that, you could give him a frozen, stuffed kong when you need to crate him in these kinds of situations. If he's busy licking the frozen peanut butter out of a kong, he's not feeling like he's being punished! :)

And, I second the recommendation to use "The Bite Stops Here".
 

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If you don't want to crate him, just separate him from your girls by using an ex pen, baby gates, or just putting him in a puppy proofed room.

Really, there's another issue besides the dog here. Yes, you need to child proof the dog by teaching bite inhibition, but you also need to dog proof your children by teaching them to leave the dog alone when you're not right there to supervise. Both are equally important. Children who are not taught proper manners around dogs end up getting bitten, for real, not little puppy nips and the vast majority of those bites are totally preventable.
 

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I agree with everyone else. The purpose of using a crate (aside from the potty training benefits) is to keep your pup out of mischief until he knows the rules of the house, and to keep him (and your kids) safe when you can't supervise. It's only punishment if you make it punishment. Sending him in with toys and treats is not punishment. He should come to view the crate as not only his nighttime place to sleep, but as a safe quiet place he can use any time.

My puppy is still crated every night so he won't destroy the house. But our 2 older dogs, if given the choice, sometimes choose to sleep on the floor, but will often be found curled up inside their crates (doors open) of their own choosing. They're not punishing themselves - they like having an enclosure to nap in :D
 
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