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Before we brought our boy home I reviewed threads on this forum, read books and other information online, and spoke to current dog owners about their experiences. I felt like my husband and I were completely prepared. Then, on Saturday, we picked our boy up and everything I thought I knew was out the window. Now, in the last couple days I've started a couple threads with questions but the questions seem to be never ending. And the really terrifing part is I don't know if what we are doing is right, if he's happy, or if he's getting what he needs. And clearly he can't tell us, in a way we understand anyway, how he's feeling. Today is the first day I feel really sad and upset and wonder if my husband and I made the right decision in getting a puppy. :( I'm hoping I can get some answers to a few questions and maybe ease my mind or correct things we are going wrong. Sorry this post is so long -- I guess I'm also kind of venting.

1. Crate -

He is basically OK with his crate at night. He hasn't has any accidents in there and he will settle down relatively quickly. I am somewhat confused about the best way to approach the overnight crating though, and it seems like the members of this forum have two different schools of thought: either put the pup in the crate and let him cry it out, ignoring his whining and howling, or, put the pup in the crate and stay near him, reassuring him that he isn't alone. These seems like completely different ideas, so I don't know how to reconcile them. The first couple nights I tried the tough love and then last night I put him in but stayed with him till he was settled. If, after I left, he started crying I would let him got for a bit and then, if he didn't settle himself I would go back in the kitchen (thats where we have his crate) at a moment when he was silent and sit next to the crate and just put my hand on him if it was possible. He seemed to cry less last night, but I don't know if I'm sending mixed messages and I don't want him to think he's the alfa dog.

During the day is when I'm really unsure. I work from home, so I am able to be here to take him out, etc., but I do need to WORK, so I can't just play with him and train him all day. Basically, the way it's worked is he gets up in the morning, goes out, gets fed, goes out, we play with him for a bit and then, eventually, he has to go in his crate. It's probably about 1 1/2 - 2 hours before he is in the crate in the morning. He will not willingly go into his crate so I have to put him in and then he cries and whines and jumps all over the crate walls and bites at the wire and the bedding. When he settles down I say good boy and give him some kibble. This process happens a few times before I just let him settle, not give him a treat, and he will fall asleep. He wakes up, I take him out, play a bit, do some sit/lay/go to your crate training with kibble and then he has to go into his crate to stay. We again go through his episode, my rewarding his settling down and then him eventually falling asleep. This pattern remains until about 5 (or whenever near to then he wakes up from a nap) and then we play in the kitchen until 6, when he has dinner, and bed time is at 10. From 5-10 I don't force him into the crate, though we do feed him in there. Sometimes he'll go in, sometimes he won't. I actually seemed like a couple days ago he was getting more comfortable in there, he would just take a toy and lay down, or just lay down for a rest, and then last night he didn't want to go near it. I'm concerned that putting him in the crate during the day is making him not like it, but I have no real other option. He can't be trusted just roaming around, and I have to do work. When we are playing and "go to crate" training I close the door and then let him out, so it's not as if every time he goes in he stays in, though that is what happens the majority of times. Am I teaching him to not like his crate? Also, I just ordered a crate cover because I read it might help at night -- should it stay on all day too?

Food -

We are using the same food our breeder used - Diamond Naturals large breed puppy. Saturday - Wednesday he was eating fine (though much less than the 2 1/2 -3 1/2 cups suggested on the packaging). Breakfast and dinner are served in his crate, lunch the bowl is just put on the kitchen floor because his crate has been moved into my office. Then, last night, he refused to eat. We put the bowl in the crate like normal, he went over, smelled it and walked away. After a while of him not eating we took some food out of the bowl and laid it on the bedding in the crate and he would eat it that way. We put the food in another bowl and he ate some, but not much. I had recently done some training exercises with him so I thought maybe he just wasn't that hungry and wasn't concerned. I washed his bowl, in case there was a smell or something he didn't like, threw away the leftover food for the same reason, and figured he'd eat this am. Well, he didn't. He was jumping at the plastic container the food is stored in while I was getting his breakfast but then when I put the bowl into his crate, same thing, he sniffed it and walked away. After a while I put a handful of food on the floor and he ate that. He hasn't had loose stools or anything, so I don't think he's ill, but he just isn't eating. Is this something I should be concerned about? He did have a relatively large (maybe about 6-8 inches long and very thin) bully stick on Tuesday afternoon. At least I think that probably pretty big for his 8 weeks, 12 lb self. Is it possible the large amount of protein contained in it still has him full? He also gets freeze dried liver treats when he goes potty outside. He eats those happily. He is drinking water like normal.

Eating grass -

He does it all the time! I always thought this was a sign of upset stomach in dogs? Is that true? Should I be concerned? My husband and I try to stop him from doing it when he's outside -- is that correct or should we just let him eat it? He also likes to get wood chips. We try to keep him away from those and remove them from his mouth when he does get one.

Is my puppy sad?

Finally, last night he just seemed kinda sad. He wasn't really playing with toys, he would come sit with us for a while then walk away and lay down by himself. I thought maybe he was just tired because we have been trying to keep him awake from dinner until bedtime so he'll sleep better at night. He generally snoozes for about an hour between 6:30 and 9:30, but I think he probably would prefer to sleep more. Then, this morning he was totally out of control. He was biting us (mouthing, really, but he couldn't be redirected to a chew toy), our shoes, our clothes and when I brought him into my office he was running around like crazy. I tired to do some training, which he did, but then he just went bonkers again. He ended up peeing on the carpet which he hasn't done since Saturday night. He was biting at the towel I have over his crate, so I took it away and then he started biting at the bed in the crate. Took that away too. After trying to get him to calm down (and this was after probably an 1 1/2 hour play/out of crate time this morning), I finally put him in his crate. He went crazy again scratching/trying to bite the plastic floor, climbing the walls, etc. I ignored it until he calmed, I gave him a some kibble and he went crazy again. So, I just ignored him and finally, after probably 20 minutes, he calmed down and has been sleeping for the last hour or so. I'm not sure why he's had this sudden change in behavior. He was really good Tuesday night, and since then it seems like maybe he's testing us? I don't know. But I do know that I'm frustrated and discouraged.

I know this post was very long, if you made it here, thank you for taking the time to read it. I'm hoping I can get some advice because right now I feel like we are doing everything wrong and getting a puppy was a big mistake. I hope the rest of today goes better than this morning...
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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I know you wrote a long post, mine will be maybe a little bit shorter. :D

First, I think you're doing a lot right. But puppies are not calm. Puppies are not controlled. Puppies go crazy. Puppies do things that are frustrating and confounding. Keep doing what you're doing. Maybe a little more stimulation, more exercise, more companionship. But you're doing a good job.

1. Crate. Your puppy wants to be with you. Needs to be with you. I'm sure you can think of solutions. Put the crate near you, keep him on a leash tied to you, etc. But hey, with an 8-week old INFANT you might not get much work done for a while. That's the reality of having an infant. He might be MUCH happier if you attach an x-pen to the crate, so he has some room to play. Not too big, such that it invites peeing and pooping (and with this setup you have to be vigilant and proactive), but enough that he has some play space and isn't living in a crate all the time. The door of the crate opens into the x-pen, and you can leave the door open so he can go in and out for exercise and stimulation, and you can close it when you want him crated. Here's what we did with Gibbs. I worked from home. This photo was taken from my desk, so I was right next to the puppy all day.



And he might be happier at night if you put the crate next to your bed. We used two crates: one for daytime and one for bedtime.

2. Food. I dunno. Maybe he doesn't like his food. Maybe it's not as good as all the treats you give him. Maybe it's giving him some upset. Maybe he's just a picky or emotional eater. But my guess is you're feeding him too much, and giving him treats that he likes a lot more than his kibble. Try a more high value food or fewer treats. A whole bully stick for an 8-week old puppy is too much, and might have caused some upset.

He might need a fresh new bag of dog food. You might have a bad bag. Diamond has had some problems in that area. We've had that happen a few times. And stop with the liver treats for pooping. Give him his kibble as a reward. I'd stop with the bully stick too. You might just be giving him treats that are way better than his food, and giving him too much. Plus, what they recommend on the bag is WAY too much food for a puppy. It will make him fat if he eats all that, especially since he is crated so much. Puppies should be lean, not plump. There are threads here with good information on that. 2.5-3.5 cups per day is far too much for an 8-week old puppy.

3. Easting Grass. Completely normal. Yes, dogs eat grass when their tummies are upset. Your pup's tummy might be upset from the bully stick. But dogs eat grass just cuz it's good and tasty. So don't worry about that. However, though eating grass is not a problem, eating chemicals on the grass could be. Fertilizers, pesticides and the other things people put on lawns create a chemical holocaust that isn't good for your puppy. We never use any chemicals on our lawn just for that reason. So, grass = good, chemicals = bad. It's good that you're taking the wood chips away. Again, chemicals, and also wood in the tummy can be problematic. But it's totally natural for them to eat wood chips. Very attractive to puppies.

4. Sad Puppy. First of all, your puppy isn't "testing" you. 8-week old infant puppies don't test people. 8-week old infant puppies learn about their world. It's normal for them to get the zoomies and to go crazy once in a while. He might miss his littermates and his mother and the only other environment he has ever known. He might be lonely. He might want to be near you more. He might need more exercise and stimulation. And it's normal for puppies to go through all sorts of periods, try all sorts of behaviors, and go through all sorts of feelings. You have an infant, and he feels infant things. I think he's too young to be depressed. But from what you say, it sounds like he doesn't get enough exercise/stimulation or get to be with you nearly as much as he needs to. Puppies don't live in crates. The reality of bringing an infant into your home is that for the next two months you're going to have to sacrifice a lot of your routine in order to raise a healthy child-dog. Puppies are not plug and play. They don't know anything, they have been in the world only a few weeks. They don't test you. They just live, learn, sleep, eat, poop, and bond with their family. What would you do if you had a new baby?

So here's a little tough love for you: Lighten up! :D You're doing a lot of things right. Puppies simply don't act like you want them to. Your puppy will survive, and so will you. You've got a non-human infant that you have brought into a human environment, and you're frustrated because he's not acting like he would in a TV show or dog food commercial. Having a puppy will make you tear your hair out. But cherish this time, because it is gone way too quickly. Some puppies are perfect, some are demons from hell. That's just the way it goes. We had the puppy from hell in our Ziva. We wanted to give her back to the breeder. We lost clothing, furniture and walls, and could not contain her. At 12 months old she is just starting to settle down. But right now, she's lying at my spouse's feet, cuddling with her, and we cannot imagine our lives without her.

Puppies are chaos. You can't be controlling, you can't expect to have order, you can't expect your days to be peaceful. You just have to get comfortable with alternately having your puppy melt your heart, and make you want to microwave him. :D Their cuteness is their only survival quality. Hang in there, you're doing fine. Just try to understand the world from your puppy's viewpoint, and not human expectations. Plus, I think you're probably feeding him too much and giving treats that are way better than his food, and he needs more space for stimulation and to be near you more.
 

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Remember that his whole world and everything he knew for his first 8 weeks has been flipped upside down. He's away from his mom and littermates. It can take a while to adjust.

I didn't really crate train Ella, so I'm the wrong one to offer advice on this. We only crated her when no one was home.

For the food, try soaking the kibble in a little bit of warm water. That has a tendency to help. I changed Ella's food right away because I didn't like what her breeder had her on. I used a small bag of the food that she had been on to transition her to a new food.

Eating grass is normal.

As for him being sad, if I were you I would just try to spend more time with him. When your working take breaks to play with him for maybe 10 or 15 minutes at time. Use an x-pen to give him more space and keep him in the room your working. When I first got Ella, the first couple of weeks everyone in the house worked during the day so Ella was on her own for quite a while, but once I was home I was constantly doing stuff with her until she was worn out and ready for a nap. Just remember that he has gone through a lot in a short amount of time. It gets better. I thought the first few weeks were the hardest.
 

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Dana and Ktkins7 gave you great advice. Setting up the x-pen is a good idea. Give your puppy more room. BTW, what is your pup's name? He is a baby. I agree, no bully sticks--our Max has never had one and he is doing fine. We have never used a crate so no advice on that. Be Patient! This is only the beginning, but it will get better.
 

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PattyU,

I don't have a ton of experience like some others here, my Casey is only a couple months older than your pup, but I'll offer what advice I can.

First, don't feel at all guilty for feeling frustrated about your pup. It's difficult to raise a pup, they all have their own personalities and there's a lot of conflicting information and advice out there. You just have to do your best to pick and choose what to try and when to move on to something else. I work from home 3 days a week to watch our pup (my wife is home the other days). It can be trying to take care of Casey's needs while juggling work, conference calls, etc. I have struggled at times to not over-react to the frustration of it all. It's tough, but I know the bond we're building between Casey and our family will be worth the efforts.

As for the crate, we have Casey's crate in our bedroom. She cried the first week or two and my wife or I would lie next to her on the floor for 10-20 minutes until she fell asleep. Since then, she's been fine and sleeps at night with no whining at all. She still doesn't go voluntarily into the crate during the day, but I just physically put her in and she is fine once she's in.

Food - You'll go crazy if you go down the path of trying to pick the perfect food. I finally decided to pick a brand that generally gets good reviews (Wellness ) and am feeding that and watching her. She likes it, would probably overeat if I allowed it, and she seams to be thriving. She's thinning out now that she is getting bigger, but the vet says she looks great. Some days she eats less some days she wants a bit more after dinner. I don't see a problem with adjusting her amount from day to day as long as she is healthy and active.

Good luck. Do your best. Don't be afraid that you're ruining your pup if you don't follow everyone's advice or get immediate results. As long as the pup is getting nutrition and exercise, is loved, and gets a chance to explore the world safely, then it will most likely all turn out OK.
 

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I, like you, had also done countless hours to research and reading to prepare for bringing my puppy home. I thought I knew it all. But everything was different when we brought Kaia home. I thought I had made the world's biggest mistake. I had many sleepless nights, wondering if maybe I just wasn't a suitable puppy momma. It all seemed so simple and manageable when I had read about how to raise a puppy. But the truth of the matter is that things change and each puppy is unique. You'll find what works for you over time. I do have a few things that worked well for me that you might consider trying.

CRATE
I know you said you keep your puppy's crate in the kitchen (which I'm assuming isn't where you and your husband sleep. Haha.). And that's okay. I remember people kept telling me to keep my puppy's crate in my bedroom at night so that she would feel close to me and perhaps that would stop the whining. But to be entirely honest (and maybe I was a little selfish), I am the world's lightest sleeper and if she moved around in her crate at night, I would DEFINITELY hear it and it would wake me. SO.....Kaia's crate has never been in my room. We keep her crate out in the living room and that's where she sleeps at night. The first couple nights with her, she would cry and bark once the lights went out. We thought maybe she was afraid of the dark so we tried a nightlight. Still no luck. On the third night, we took an old bedsheet and covered her crate with it, leaving only one side open to see out her crate. She slept a full 8 hours that night and she has never ever made another peep since then. Some dogs just don't like feeling like they're "trapped" in a metal prison. By throwing a bedsheet over the crate, the metal prison becomes more like a den or cave. It also blocks out a lot of visual stimulus, which will help your puppy settle down. It becomes a place to calm down, sleep, and relax rather than a place where they're locked up while the world around them continues to move. Puppies just don't want to miss out on the world! The bedsheet stays on the crate all day and the door stays open until it's bedtime. Kaia can go in her crate whenever she wants to and she can leave whenever she wants to. Sometimes when things are getting crazy in the house, she'll go in her crate by herself to get some peace and quiet or maybe just to take a nap.

FOOD
Kaia also used to do this. It was frustrating because there would be a full bowl of food sitting there for her but she wouldn't eat it unless we threw it out the ground. We even used to laugh about it because we would make a little trail of kibble and she would follow the trail of kibble as she ate it. Try not to reinforce this behaviour or she'll learn to not eat out of her bowl. If she seems uninterested in her food, then take up the bowl after 20 minutes. Give her a fresh bowl of food at the next meal and if she still seems uninterested, take up the bowl after 20 minutes ago. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Puppies will get hungry and she'll eat at some point. It might be hard to see her go without a meal or two but the hungrier she gets, the more likely she'll eat out of her bowl.

EATING GRASS
We played with Kaia a lot outside in those first couple weeks we had her because she was still potty-training and we wanted to avoid accidents inside the house as much as possible. We used to lay in the grass with her and watch cars and people go by. But she would be pulling out grass and eating it the whole time. I also used to think that dogs only did this when they had an upset stomach but puppies just do it because it's fun and it gives them something to do. Puppies don't have hands like we do so they have to explore the world with their mouths! I don't think it's anything to worry about unless your puppy has eaten half your lawn!

FEELING SAD?
Maybe. Your puppy used to have siblings to play with and now it's just your puppy and some new human friends. It'll take some time for your puppy to adjust. Be patient. Be loving. Your puppy will have sad days just like your puppy will have happy days. Our goal as puppy mommas are to ensure there are WAYYYY more happy days than there are sad days! And Lord knows, we try our best! Hang in there!

I hope this helped. Feel free to message me if you have any more questions for me! :)
 

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Thanks, everyone. It has been a hard couple days and the lack of sleep doesn't help, I'm sure!

Just to clarify, the crate is in my office while I work. I would love to just have Bodie on a leash and near my while I work but he digs and tries to eat the carpet. I'd be spending the whole time trying to get him to chew on a chew toy, which he seems to have little interest in right now. But, our clothes, shoes, hands, arms, cabinets, furniture, refrigerator, oven, dishwasher (shall I continue?) now Those are Bodie's types of toys!


An e-pen is being delivered today, so I do hope that helps. It will at least give him a safe space to play with nothing but the hardwood floor at risk of being eaten.

I'm going to start using kibble as a reward for potty and maybe just use the liver as a kong stuffer.

To be honest, I think a lot of my husbands and my worry is because we read the "before you get your puppy" and "after you get your puppy" pamphlets by Ian Dunbar and it made everything seems so simple and matter of fact. But, if you don't do exactly what he says how he says it you are doing something wrong and your puppy is going to be ruined. Before you get your pup you think, ok, I can follow directions. Then, your 8week old baby has no interest in chew toys and everything is out the window and anxiety begins to set in. I'm sure we'll be fine, these last couple days have just been trying and we just don't want Bodie to be unhappy because we aren't giving him something he needs.
 

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You'll get so many different answers but I'll take a stab quick at what worked for me:

1) crate - spend some time each teaching him to go in the crate on his own and try to make it a "good" place - throw some treats in there and say "good!" when he goes in - it only takes a minute, do a couple-few times a day, say "kennel" or whatever command you want to use; you can probably find some crate games online, put some treats in an interactive toy, make the crate fun and good. we always made our puppies sleep in a crate at night for their own safety b/c we can't supervise them when we're asleep; if their age is significantly less in months than the number of hours I'm sleeping, I expect them to wake me up at night to go potty. There's a transition time when it's hard to tell if they just want to get up and play vs. really need to go, so there's no fooling around in the middle of the night, it's up, out, potty, back to bed. We always keep the crate in the bedroom overnight and per your previous post, crate in your workspace sounds perfect.

2) food - we never leave food out for grazing. put the bowl down, if not hungry after 5-10 minutes, pick it up and toss it. he'll probably be hungry again next meal. don't worry, they won't starve to death by missing one meal.

3) eating a little grass is ok but not too much -> causes barfing, also don't let him get in the habit of eating wood chips, rocks, worms, etc. and monitor the outdoor grazing - 2 puppies in our puppy class ended up with obstruction surgery from eating rocks and wood - preventiion is better! and don't let it get to be a habit

4) sad - maybe he's tired, sounds like he gets cranky? what always worked for me for myself and happy puppy is put them in a schedule. Our dog skool teecher suggested an hour in then an hour out of the crate, one in, one out, etc. It saves our sanity because we can be at ease and get stuff done on our hour off puppy duty, and they get a nap, just like babies. They love schedules and consistency, and it solved so much of the cranky crazy stuff and pee accidents. Don't forget to potty before going in and immediately coming out of the crate.

I think what you're going through is completely normal first time puppy parents, we've all been there, enjoy the ride.
 

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I hated Zelda from 8 weeks until 16ish weeks. Yep, you read that right - she was a terror puppy. She bit, she jumped, she couldn't be calmed. She never slept outside her crate. Mandatory naps were in our schedule. Some days, she was crated more than I liked. Between school, work, and homework, some days she just had to be crated more. I tried to make up for it on the days I had more time.

My family raised many dogs, but Z was my first on my own. So I had some knowledge. But raising puppies is like raising children: everyone will give you advice, but it's up to YOU to figure out what works for you and your puppy. Everyone who's ever raised a dog, seen a dog, watched a dog on TV will think they know what to do. Trust your instincts. Now in my experience, here's some advice:

Do cover the crate. It decreases stimuli. Z's crate is covered on the front & sides and open on the back. As a baby, it was the only way she'd settle. Even at 9 months, if the crate isn't covered she whines. She's still crated when I leave the house, but she's now able to be out all the time when I'm home and at night. She doesn't usually go in the crate by herself during the day, but sometimes at night she'll sleep in it if we're driving her nuts.

As for food, I'm not much help. Z will eat anything. I feed her Taste of the Wild because other food upset her stomach. But she'll eat anything.

Just keep doing what you're doing. The first few weeks take a while to get into a rhythm, then the first few months take a while for your puppy to become tolerable. Puppies range from the mellow to the crazy spectrum. Zelda fell more on the crazy side, but she's grown into a very calm and sweet girl. Stick with it! And BREATHE!
 

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Lisa
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You've already gotten a lot of advice and encouragement, so I just wanted to add one thing that helped me during that period with Bailey. A friend of mine with the nicest, most gentle dog I've ever met told me that she didn't like her dog for the first year she had her. She would sit on her kitchen floor and burst into tears and think, "what have I done?" Her dog is four now. Somehow, it gave me permission to feel like not everything would be sunshine and lollipop s and Hallmark moments. At times, I did not like my dog. But now I am completely in love with him, even though he still has some extreme teenage moments. So just know that you're in the hardest part, mistakes are inevitable, and your puppy will love you anyway. It isn't easy to see it at first, but as they grow, it's clear that the time you put in pays off.

Sorry this post is goofed up - it's auto correcting and not scrolling up. Grrr technology!



Knowing that
 

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To be honest, I think a lot of my husbands and my worry is because we read the "before you get your puppy" and "after you get your puppy" pamphlets by Ian Dunbar and it made everything seems so simple and matter of fact. But, if you don't do exactly what he says how he says it you are doing something wrong and your puppy is going to be ruined. Before you get your pup you think, ok, I can follow directions. Then, your 8week old baby has no interest in chew toys and everything is out the window and anxiety begins to set in.
It's unfortunate that Bodie didn't read the Ian Dunbar pamphlets. That would have helped a lot. ;)

FWIW, you sound like a really good puppy mom. Hang in there. As you are hearing, and will continue to hear, lots of us have gone through exactly what you are going through now. Welcome to the club. ;) Just try to relax, and as maddening as this time is, try to really enjoy this time with Bodie. If a few short weeks it will be better, and in a few short months his "puppiness" will slip away, never to return. And you will miss these times. So cherish them while you can, and be confident that you're doing really well, and Bodie will adjust. :)
 
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Phew, that was a lot of reading...

Sounds like me when I got Ben, I over-prepared. Which I think was more harmful then anything else.

Eating Grass: yes mine did and still does along with everything else. They will eat everything they can... don't stress too much about that. Ben has eaten socks, dishcloths, beer bottle lids, stones, bees, sticks, almost everything in my vegi patch etc etc.

Over feeding was my main problem. Ben had the runs for the first few weeks, turns out I was overfeeding him. Since the adjustment, no problems

As everyone says... It gets better... It does, even though it sounds patronising at the time.
 

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Definitely add some warm water to kibble.

Our Millie, 23 weeks, still takes over a week to eat a bully stick so I'd probably wait till your puppy is older before reintroducing them to its diet.

Grass eating is normal *sigh*
 

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Same boat as you

hi Patty-
Duncan is only 10 weeks so we're right there with ya. I will tell you that what helped me significantly was moving the big kennel into my room next to my bed. No more whining, he's happy to sleep there, and although the first Night I was waking up EVERY TIME his nails scraped the floor of the kennel, now i am used to it. That was a major decision that I had not intended to make, because or last golden always slept in the kitchen until he was older, but what works for one pup doesn't necessarily work for another!

The other suggestion is that while I work and he is in the medium-sized kennel right next to my desk, I am playing Christmas Music thru my computer. I love it, and I think it helps him settle down... also when I want him to go into the kennel I give him an ice cube and he walks in there on his own, I try to never put him in there myself. He will whimper if he wants out but then he'll play with his toys for 5-10 mins and the next time I look over he is asleep.

Hope something of that helps you... but yes it's ALOT OF WORK and I just tell my teens that his is his 'baby stage' and we'll get thru it and in a month we'll look back and it'll be easier than it is now. BUt right now we have to put the time in with him as best we can. (I think this puppy has been a good 'birth control lesson'! My teens were llike 'is THIS what a baby is like?' and I said 'OH NO A BABY IS MUCH HARDER and for MUCH LONGER than a puppy!" LOL!!)

;)
Muddypaws23
 

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my puppy is almost 4 months and I still have days when I think I made a big mistake. she has ripped my hands, arms, clothes, couch, she jumps, barks and drives me nuts at times. then she'll turn around and be really sweet. when she was about 8-9 weeks she wasn't eating her dry food and adding a little warm water solved the problem. she eats wellness large breed and now she wolfs it down dry. (she stopped eating it moist, so it was her choice). she had a bully stick but the smell was so horrendous it went in the trash. she eats grass, dirt, leaves, mulch and anything else she can get in her mouth. she doesn't like to be in her crate either but I put her in it for naps and when she's just getting too crazy and hyper. I use a baby gate for the kitchen so I can confine her in there, instead of an x-pen. your puppy problems sound perfectly normal and I don't think you are doing anything wrong. people talk about how much they love puppyhood--I can't wait for it to be OVER!:no:
 

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Same here!

Hi,

It's really helpful for us new pet parents to have a place to share what we're going through.. When I read your post, everything sounded exactly my situation as well..

I'm in the same situation.. I have our Misty for 9 days and exactly right.. I wasn't sure what we're doing, is it right or wrong.. We "prepared" so much.. Read books, DVDs, read through posts, etc and seems that when the puppy comes.. I don't know what it do!

My breeder has been great with helping us have the right perspective.. I talked to other pet parents.. And it's helps get through each "challenge"

My experience with crate is the same as yours, after a couple of nights adjusting n taking her out (just in case she needed to potty), we stuck with lifting water by 8 and last potty tine around 11 and bedtime.. She fought it the first time and it was around an hour.. We endured it, and 2nd night it was just whimpering then she goes to bed.. Tonight, she settled in less than a minute when i took her in.

I'm also still figuring out the best schedule for daytime.. She's ok n will settle if she doesn't see us, but if we're around, at times, she just needs to be in the pen if we can't watch her.. She still protests and whines for a but before settling..
Right now, she won't willingly go in there n even when I throw in her toys, she will go in just enough to grab the toy and take it back out!

Misty loves grass too and basically anything she would try to eat! :doh:
Just tonight, she got the crazies, she growled at my daughter n tried to nip/mouth her and she had an accident in the house.. I really thought "did I make the right decision??" People had warned us that raising puppies is a LOT of work and I didn't listen... I can't imagine how the next few weeks n months would be like :(

But reading other people's encouragement and support here really helps!!
It doesn't feel like we're alone in this and seems most of the stuff our puppies do are normal too!:bowl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I thought I would give a quick update.

This weekend was better. I think we will quickly get into a good groove for weekends, and it helps that he doesn't have to be confined to a crate/pen for much of the day since we can be with him and focused just on him. The week will still take some figuring. He seems to be happier in the pen, though he still doesn't really like to just play with his toys. He will play if you're playing with him, but he doesnt really just chew. He's finally starting to "get" the kong, so that should help. Right now I can't do anything more difficult than wet kibble or he gets frustrated and bored, I guess, and will just stop playing with it.

I want to thank everyone for your encouragement, advice, and reality checks. I am very grateful for the candor of those who admitted that they didn't actually like their dogs for a period of time. I'm not there yet, but we are only 9 days in.:p: Just knowing that there are people who went through that and came out with a good dog who they love is comforting.

Thanks again!
 

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One question about the pens. If potty training outside, how do you keep them from using the bathroom in the larger area of the pen? Won't they pick a spot and not want to go outside because they think they can have an accident in their larger pen? These are the things that haunt me. i would love to get a larger pen but are scared of taking them outside, bringing them back in and they use the corner of the pen to potty, again.
 
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