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Still struggling….

1172 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Aly2015
Hi, I’ve posted here a lot over the past 6.5 months that we’ve had our puppy. She’s 8.5 months old now and hasn’t improved much in her behavior or training. We’ve been trying so hard to keep up with her training, exercise, ect…when do you know enough is enough? How do you know when another family is maybe a better fit?

Part of the problem is our other golden, she bothers him incessantly. We separate them, but the older dog whines to be with me and the puppy can’t be alone without someone watching her as she still eats everything. She has started to want to chew metal and will actually swallow anything she finds. She also wakes up at 4:30 everyday no matter what time she falls asleep…. I know that this is probably adolescence but she’s been this way since she was 8 weeks old! I just don’t know how how much more we can take but the thought of giving her back to the breeder makes me so sad.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You've made it this far, you can't quit now. Suppose you tell us what you mean when you say "We've been trying so hard to keep up with her training, exercise etc." I suspect you are still doing the same thing and haven't consistently (every day for two or three weeks) made real changes in your management routine or you'd seem more changes. She is still a puppy and it's going to take another year to make her the dog she can be. Do you attend training classes every single week?

My first reaction is that you most likely are not really doing as much as you think you are. What is the schedule like? Is you puppy sleeping in her crate while you have to work and do chores, what is the structure like for managing the puppy?

Why is the older dog whining to be with you? The puppy should either be on a leash and tethered to your waist or purchase a wire ex pen and pen the puppy in a corner of the main living area so the dog has freedom (which he's earned) and the puppy is still with the family but is safe. We currently have an 19 month old Pointer who I use this method with because he's not allowed to torture my older dogs and is still into mischief if bored and un monitored. We keep the stairs gated off so he can't sneak upstairs to have fun getting into things.

If she wakes up at 4:30, ignore her, use foam earplugs and a noise machine and ignore her. I would cover her crate with a sheet so she can't see you. (she sleeps in a crate at night in your room, right?)

If you are being honest with yourself, is she honestly getting an hour of games and training and an hour of aerobic exercise every day? 6 days of the week is what she needs minimum. Put her in the car and take her places she's never been before and train nice leash walking, use her dinner and her treats. Get her out of the house. Mental work is great. Take the older dog too. This kind of thing will wear her out.

We did attend training classes but they are over now. Nothing is starting until after the holidays. Her schedule is - wake up 4:30 am from her crate in the bedroom (we tried to cover her crate with a sheet and she pulls it through the crate and rips it) and we snuggle and the she goes potty. She eats around 5:15 am and then chews on a bully stick or bone while I take a shower and get ready for work. She plays with me and the older dog (supervised of course) until around 6:15 am. She looks out the window and explores the living room until we go out again for a walk before she goes in her crate for the day at 7:15 am. Due to our work schedules she’s crated all day and gets a potty break or goes to daycare 1-3 times a week. We get home at 4:00 pm and she goes out, plays in the yard with a ball, and then plays with the other dog. We also use this time for training sessions. She eats dinner at 5:00 pm and we walk for about 30 mins. She comes in and is gated in the kitchen as I cook dinner, she’s usually watching me or playing with her toys. While we eat she gets a Kong or lickymat. At 6:45 pm have we go into the yard for fetch, or and/or plays with the other dog or us until 9:00 pm, we also do training during this time.

She is on a leash in the house most of the time unless they are playing. We did have an ex-pen that we used but she is too big for it now. The other dog just wants to be next to me.

We take her in the car at least 3 days a week and she has gone to several stores and outside places with us. We take her and the other dog to my parents house and that doesn’t tire her either. We could excersode her more but we don’t have a fenced in yard and I don’t trust her off leash in a park or on a trail.

Thank you for the reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with everything Kristy just recommended. It also sounds like at this point you might need an objective third party to weigh in… specifically a dog trainer who can come to your home, hear your dog’s history, see his behavior and see how you deal/interact with him. If you haven’t already, you might also reach out to your breeder to get her advice. If she’s a reputable breeder, she knows her dogs and her lines, and has likely raised her share of dogs and puppies. With either person, be as honest as you can about what you’re doing and what you’ve tried. Spend a few days documenting what you’re REALLY doing in terms of exercise, training, and time in a crate. Don’t claim that you’ve “tried” something if you did it once or twice and then gave up. Put aside your ego and accept that there are things you might have done more or better… the trainer will be most able to help you if they have a clear and honest picture.

Hopefully the trainer can give you some good advice and a training, management and exercise plan that at least gives you enough hope to keep working on it. You also need to be honest with yourself about what you are willing and able to do. Raising a puppy is HARD (I’m in the middle of raising my fifth puppy and I am soooo tired, and a bit apprehensive about what challenges might lie ahead). You have a minimum of a year to a year and a half before your pup makes it through adolescence and starts to become the (hopefully) calmer, well trained dog you hope for.

I will also say that if you reach a point where you feel you have to admit defeat, and especially if you feel you just can’t meet your dog’s needs, then sometimes rehoming them is the most loving thing you can do…

Thank you for the reply, we have had a trainer come to our house and he said that they play well together and that she’ll grow out of bothering the other dog so much.

I speak to the breeder a lot and she recommends things we are already doing. She agrees that puppies are hard. She kept one of the litter mates and sees the same things as we do. I’ll keep a list of what we are trying and her time in the crate but that can’t change as our work schedules are not flexible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think part of your issue is her being in the crate all day. Maybe she can go to daycare every day?
That could definitely be the problem but no, the daycare she goes to is expensive and we can’t afford that. We considered a dog walker but they are also expensive and we have two dogs. We live in the Chicagoland area and prices are pretty steep. Thank you for the reply.
 
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