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Shes 14 weeks and crazy!! ?��? I'm not sure if this is normal for puppies or if she has separation anxiety.

She ALWAYS wants to go outside and will stare out the window whining and staring at me. Sometimes I think she pretends to go potty just to go out and get a treat lol.

When we go for walks it's in the woods and backyard because I have no sidewalks on my street. There is SO much leash pulling because theres so many goodies in the grass, bugs, rolling in the shrubs, eating deer poop and other gross things. I understand it's her natural instinct but our walks are not enjoyable. I started leash training up/down the driveway 10 min a day but sometimes she is too distracted and pulls like crazy to go into the woods again.

Inside, we have intense play sessions where we are running all around the house. But she doesnt play with herself for longer than 5 minutes. She will look at me to entertain more, then look sad and whine if I don't play when I'm trying to do homework. I feel like I ALWAYS have to be playing with her, and I do a lot but feel she needs to learn alone too. She follows me room to room and when my boyfriend leaves for the day she gets alert like he will come back.

I'm only out of the house 3 days a week for 4 hours tops for class. Shes not crate trained, but I lock my bedroom door with her bed/crate, kong, lots of toys. But last night she woke up hyper and was scratching and crying to get out of my room, and I am sad because I worry what she does when I'm gone ? it's not consistent cause it's only 3 days a week and I enjoy spending all my time with her.

Any tips?!

Ps im moving in december so she will have more places to excercise
 

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CRATE TRAIN!


Honestly this is the most important thing you can do to get the crazies under control. Just like human infants need to learn to self soothe along the way so do puppies.

The next thing you can do is install impulse control which will not be accomplished by zoomies and berzerker behavior. Look up games like It's yer choice and do it a few times a day every day. Teach tricks, teach behaviors like settle on a mat or to go to her crate to take a small collect your head time.

This pup is a blank slate, knows nothing and can't realistically be expected to pay attention to much of anything for more than 3 minutes at a time. More separate short sessions a day will be more meaningful in terms of making progress. Be realistic.

I would also take her to a good puppy/beginner class asap.
 

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JEC, first off I may have a long post because she sounds a lot like my SPoo when he was this age. VERY similar!!

When you said she wants to go outside and starts whining and staring at you, are you outside or inside??
If you're outside, she just wants to come play with you outside. If you're inside and shes whining to get out, she just loves to play in the outdoors! I wouldn't hold her back from that personally. My SPoo around that age wanted nothing but to play on the deck outside (with or without me) and we would have it fenced to where he couldn't get off. He loved it but grew out of that and now he must be where I am at all times. He was bored and knew that outside = fun new adventure!! You should let her go out and about (in a confined area) to where she can adventure! This is very stimulating for them and awesome enrichment!

For pulling on walks there are a few tricks you can try. 1. A front lead harness!!!
https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-EWH-HC-S-M-BLK-Harness-Black/dp/B001PO2EO0/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=front+lead&qid=1572357650&sr=8-7

This was a huge life changer for Norman not pulling so much. Learning from his training, she said that dogs have a tendency to pull when they are harness by their back, like horses pulling a cart. It is in their instincts. So the front lead will prevent he from pulling by turning her shoulders - making it difficult to pull.

2. Another trick is when she pulls, just stop walking and let her figure it out. Once she calms down, treat and praise and then continue to walk! Repeat as much as needed, she will learn! Also, she may grow out of this pulling habit! Some dogs do, some need training :)

3. Another trick is letting her know you have a treat in your hand. Talk to her as you walk making it a happy place. Tell her about your grocery list, how much you love her, make it happy and exciting to walk by your side. As long as she is by you and not distracted, give her a treat! This is what Norman's trainer calls "Loose Leash Walking". Train her to know that by your side is a good place for her to be and she can get rewarded. When she pulls, that is a no no and we will no longer walk!

For her following you room to room, this could easily be separation anxiety or her just really loving you! You will know separation anxiety by how she is when you're not around... (crying, torn up room, freaking out, barking, etc) When you come home, does she freak out like you've been missing for years? If you cater to this reaction she may learn that she must freak out or bark to bring you back. Only enter the house/room when she is calm. This is something Norman developed when he was around 4 months old and I had to learn how to help him understand I will come back.

A tip his trainer taught me is "Make you leaving a GOOD thing!! and when you return a boring thing". When you leave, give her something (safe) to do. She will learn eventually that you leaving is great because she gets a treat and toys. If she freaks out when you come home, make it boring. Do not get all excited with her because she will learn that you were lost without her too!! Just put your things down, changing your clothing, etc.. Once she stops jumping, running, and calms down, then greet her!! Calm puppy = attention from mommy.

She needs to learn to play by herself and I think she will eventually learn this on her own. Give her durable chewy sticks that she cannot resist! Rotate the toys she plays with every few days. Give her some space to figure out that new toy or new chewy stick (obviously supervise her still).

She needs to learn that she is going to be ok when she is alone. Crate training her can be highly beneficial for you and her. 1. You know she is safe inside the crate when you're gone. 2. She cannot hurt herself trying to escape the room. 3. You can monitor what she is able to chew/scratch at. If you do crate train, put a blanket in the crate creating a save effect. This can give her some comfort. Making this large room small for her to feel safe. Keep the door way of the crate exposed for air to get in (possibly put a fan on). I would do this for Norman and add either background noise (music) or his favorite was white noise machine. I got one on amazon. I still play this at night and he CLONKS out asleep.
When a puppy is left in a room this can be overwhelming. A Crate will confine her and give her her own space to relax where she cannot see the room adn thigns around her.

You pup is learning. If you give into her neediness, it will feed it and make it grow. I think she needs to be crated when you're gone, in a confined safe space with safe toys for her. This will teach her to be calm and to play on her own.

I know the feeling of heartbreak when she cries when you leave. Norman would scream bloody murder when I left him alone for 1 second. But now he has learned that I will not return to him unless he is calm and settled. He is about to be 8 months old and has come so far. He will watch me leave the house through the windows and be calm and not bark once.

It takes time, but you can do it! I think it a mixture of boredom and potentially separation anxiety. I am not a trainer, but these tips I gave above are from reaching out to other PF members and Norman's trainer.

Good luck and sorry for the long post!!!
 

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Sounds absolutely normal to me - and I agree with Catherine that you need to balance play and exercise with naps and settling down. Lots of games that encourage impulse control in tiny baby steps, praise and reward for calm behaviour and settling down, and don't always be available to entertain her would be my recommendations. A fun game, out for a pee, then settle down with a good chew for half an hour on her bed or in her crate. Of course she would prefer to be dashing madly round the house with you, but that should be the exceptional fun game, not all day every day! A fixed routine will also help, sticking to much the same times for walks, games, meals etc will help her to learn that there is no point mithering constantly - good things come at their appointed time.

It is great that you are the best and most fun thing at home - now you have to work on being even better than the fun things out in the wide world. Most pups her age behave like trains on the leash - I would start by teaching her to walk with you without a leash in your home or secure yard. Lots of encouragement, running away from her, twisting and turning and changing direction to make it into a fun game of follow the leader. It's good training for both of you - we humans tend to be too slow and too parsimonious rewarding loose leash walking, and trying it off leash shows us just how hard we need to work to keep a puppy's attention. Once she begins to understand the game add a cue - "With me!" for example. You are not looking for perfect heeling, just walking or running close to you. Then, when you have her on leash, you have a cue she understands to bring her back to your side, where you can have a treat fest and a party! In the woods, if it is safe, I would use a long line so that she is free to sniff and explore a bit. At this age it is more about pootling gently about sniffing and looking and learning than about formal walks for exercise.
 

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I would work with her on a long line and a harness.

You can use a 20' leash, or make one with curtain cord (marine cord). You go outside, head in one direction, then change directions. The dog will have to follow you. Don't drag her, but either stop if she does not follow you, or gently tug. When she gets to the end of the lead of her own accord and pulls, stop, change directions. You are the leader.

Keep repeating so that she learns to pay attention to where you are. She is also learning how far away from you to be.

I do this with all of my rescues and while they enjoy a nice walk and sniffing, I still have control. They also will be better listeners in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for this. How do I crate train? Just start tomorrow for class? I'm scared it will be too abrupt for her cause she isnt used to it.
 

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I agree with most of the advice that's been given. These are common puppy problems. It will take some tough love. Your puppy is like a 5 year old human that will grow up to be an 18 year old human within the space of her first year. That's a ridiculous amount of physical and mental development she is going through. That's why it's so hard to raise a puppy to be a well adjusted dog. You want her to feel safe and rely on you to keep her safe, but also to learn that she can settle down on her own and that she can trust you to leave her alone. Puppies are naturally anxious when you leave them. It goes against their instincts to stay with their pack. You have to resist the urge to give her attention and affection to settle her down when she gets anxious. If she cries, she gets no attention. I follow this 100% of the time and make sure everybody around knows it too. Your pup will quickly learn that if she wants attention, she needs to sit politely. I only let outside when puppy cries if the crying is very unexpected, because then it may mean diarrhea or that the pup has vomited in crate or something. You should not need the pup to tell you that it's potty time because you should already have a set schedule of frequency for potty breaks. This means you can ignore her cries because you know she is fine.

Crate training should be easy for young puppies. Put her in it when she is super sleepy and ready for a nap. Then you can start putting her in it for bed time. You can slowly move to putting her in it at times when she isn't ready for a nap, and she should be conditioned to know it is time for a nap. You want to teach her how to settle herself down. I also use an x pen. I pen my pup whenever I am not physically watching him. He knows whining will not get him out of the pen. If he wants out he will sit quietly by the door because he knows that is how he is most likely to be let out.

Remember that dogs need boundaries and space and structure. You want to think in terms of her long term psychological development and health.

I'm also still struggling with leash walking! That's a tough one for very exuberant puppies.
 

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Thank you for this. How do I crate train? Just start tomorrow for class? I'm scared it will be too abrupt for her cause she isnt used to it.
Crate training is a process, and sometimes a slow one.

I think you need to pick up a good puppy book and read it cover to cover. I highly recommend Ian Dunbar's "Before & After getting Your Puppy." You can also find much of it (if not all of it) online, but a book that you can bookmark, highlight, and easily refer back to is invaluable.



Your spoo is at such a critical age.
 

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P.S. Everything you've described sounds perfectly normal for a puppy that doesn't quite know what's expected of it yet. As mentioned above, priority #1 is teaching it to self soothe and settle. If Peggy didn't know how to relax, I'd tear my hair out. Even at 22 weeks, she doesn't relax for long on the couch. But in her x-pen or crate, she's perfectly content because I've taught her how to chew on Kongs, etc. until she's able to sleep. And puppies need LOTS of sleep.
 

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This is from a chapter in the book I was writing several years back. But this is how I'd gradually condition your pup to a crate, not that you make his life miserable in association with the crate.

Good recommendations already for learning some self control, some obedience to get his mind busy with more constructive things. Obedience training helps behavior in a global sort of way so get into a puppy class if you can with a good positive (aka progressive) type trainer who knows behavior, not some pack theory, alpha schmalfa nonsense kind of show 'em who's boss type. Get the book, Culture Clash. It will cover a lot in not too big a book.


ACCUSTOMING YOUR PUPPY TO A CRATE (16)

When you get your puppy, have a crate already set up for him with a comfortable bed or blankets, some good chew toys and some water. Crates are pens made of wire or molded plastic. There are a few other types made of cloth or wicker, which I don't recommend for a young puppy with teeth like a barracuda. I personally prefer the molded plastic type. Throw in some treats and leave the door open. Let him come and go as he wishes. When he comes out, toss in a couple more treats. Do something else and come back to that later.

When he seems quite comfortable going in and out of his crate, place a chair next to it and get yourself a magazine or book. Place his meal in the crate and quietly close the door. He may cry because he's not use to being shut in there but you'll be sitting next to him reading your book. Do not react to his protests. Don't speak to or look at him. Don't cave. Stick to your guns. He may go back to eating. After about 5 minutes, you can let him out again. But do not open the door or pay any attention to him if he is crying. Wait for a lull, a few seconds of quiet to open the door. In other words, you do not want him to learn that crying or whining is what gets him his way. Try not to get too emotional about his drama. Dogs are good at "manipulating" us and know how to get us to attend to them. They've had about 15,000 years at least to figure it out. Practice that each time he has a meal and practice letting him go in after a treat or the toss of a toy with the door left open a few other times during the day. Associate it with fun.

Do not force him in if you can avoid that. Coax him in and give a treat with a command word, like "crate,” “kennel up” or "go to bed." This will come in handy later. After he stops showing signs of distress of being closed in the crate, move a little further away but in the same room. Go about your business and let him spend a few minutes in his crate with the door closed. Again, let him out but only when he is quiet. Never ever use a crate as a punishment. Only associate it with a pleasant and rewarding place to be and he'll come to love being in his crate. My dogs will use their crate voluntarily when they just need some quiet time or to get away from any commotion.

A crate is useful for traveling in the car and spending time when he can't be supervised. It is also good to become accustomed to a crate for veterinarian office stays. It must be made to be a comforting and pleasant place for him and not used to excess. Four hours at a time is the maximum I recommend. Any more than that is unfair to an animal. It gets boring and frustrating to a dog.

His crate should be large enough that he can stretch out, turn around and stand up comfortably. It should not be so big as to give so much room that he is apt to use part of it for a bathroom area and part for a sleeping area. A dog will tend not to want to fowl his sleeping area if possible so a crate is an invaluable tool to assist in house-breaking a puppy as well as a safe place when he can't be supervised.
Puppies get into all kinds of trouble, just like human toddlers. When a puppy cannot be supervised, a crate is a safe place for him to be. But it should not be used to excess or as a "baby sitter." Puppies take a lot of involvement, attention and training. Much of your time for your normal activities will instead be used for raising your puppy. A crate is only a tool and no substitute for healthy involvement and interaction with your puppy.

Sleeping at night: I recommend putting your crate or having a second crate next to your bed or somewhere in your bedroom at night. I do not advise letting your puppy sleep in bed with you. Later, when he's well established in your home, you can change that rule. But to start out, it's best to get him accustomed to using his crate and learning a little independence. Dogs, being very social animals do well to be with their human family at night as well as much of the time during the day. So, this is a compromise. He's in your room with you, but in his own place. Dogs just aren't wired to be alone. Having your puppy close to you at night will also enable you to hear him whine if he wakes up and needs to make a potty trip outside.

Getting puppy accustomed to being happy in a crate will take a little time. Don't despair or lose your patience with your puppy if he wails and whines. He'll get use to it in time. Remember not to inadvertently reinforce his protests with attention of any kind unless you think he has to go out to potty or if you think he is ill. There are usually other signs to accompany illness. It is a hard call sometimes. And remember to not associate the crate with punishment or an intolerably boring time.

Happy training!
 

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Is this, by chance, your first puppy?

I'd echo the other suggestions about finding a good trainer and puppy kindergarten, especially if it's your first puppy.

I'd be watching for "overtired puppy" - when a puppy is too tired, they get bitey and chewy and barky and absolutely nuts. It's a great time to insist on a rest in the crate or a rest with you on the couch. If you can get an overtired puppy to settle for a minute, they zonk out pretty quickly. It's like their "off" switch isn't installed yet. And puppy cuddles are wonderful :)

Not to be too overwhelming, but what are you doing for socialization? The first 16 ish weeks of a puppy's life are critical for introducing her to all the different sights and sounds she may encounter in her life. There are dozens of different checklists online (I vaguely followed this one and another one I can't find https://drsophiayin.com/app/uploads/2015/12/Socialization_Checklist.pdf ) but the basic idea is that good experiences with new things at this point will make her far more comfortable if she encounters them in the future. If you're a student - take her on campus. Let her experience the people and atmosphere and busy-ness, and get petted and treated by many different people. (you didn't hear it from me but I would try to) sneak her into a building on campus on the weekend. Take her on stairs and in an elevator. Introduce her to water to play in (man, i wish I'd done this!), and grass, and metal surfaces, and tile, etc. Play a soundtrack of thunder or fireworks. Let her watch you ride a bike or a skateboard. Take her to a pet friendly store if you can. Etc, etc. Try your best - but don't stress it too much, and make sure you both are having fun when you do it - the goal is "positive" experiences, not an overwhelming or scary experience. The world won't end if you miss a couple of things on the list.

I know this sounds like a lot of work - but the bonus is, mental exercise is the only way I've ever found to really tire a puppy out :)

Enjoy her :)
 

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Is this, by chance, your first puppy?

I'd echo the other suggestions about finding a good trainer and puppy kindergarten, especially if it's your first puppy.

I'd be watching for "overtired puppy" - when a puppy is too tired, they get bitey and chewy and barky and absolutely nuts. It's a great time to insist on a rest in the crate or a rest with you on the couch. If you can get an overtired puppy to settle for a minute, they zonk out pretty quickly. It's like their "off" switch isn't installed yet. And puppy cuddles are wonderful :)

Not to be too overwhelming, but what are you doing for socialization? The first 16 ish weeks of a puppy's life are critical for introducing her to all the different sights and sounds she may encounter in her life. There are dozens of different checklists online (I vaguely followed this one and another one I can't find https://drsophiayin.com/app/uploads/2015/12/Socialization_Checklist.pdf ) but the basic idea is that good experiences with new things at this point will make her far more comfortable if she encounters them in the future. If you're a student - take her on campus. Let her experience the people and atmosphere and busy-ness, and get petted and treated by many different people. (you didn't hear it from me but I would try to) sneak her into a building on campus on the weekend. Take her on stairs and in an elevator. Introduce her to water to play in (man, i wish I'd done this!), and grass, and metal surfaces, and tile, etc. Play a soundtrack of thunder or fireworks. Let her watch you ride a bike or a skateboard. Take her to a pet friendly store if you can. Etc, etc. Try your best - but don't stress it too much, and make sure you both are having fun when you do it - the goal is "positive" experiences, not an overwhelming or scary experience. The world won't end if you miss a couple of things on the list.

I know this sounds like a lot of work - but the bonus is, mental exercise is the only way I've ever found to really tire a puppy out :)

Enjoy her :)

For sure, with you on that one. Think about how tired you are after a really great study session. Brain work burns lots of calories.
 

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You’ve had good advice. One thing I would add is don’t feel you have to entertain your puppy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your dog needs to adjust to your lifestyle, not the other way around, or at least not completely.

Your dog needs to learn to play by himself and be okay when not doing anything particular with you. If you don’t start teaching him just that, you’ll be stuck with a very demanding dog who won’t know what to do with himself if you’re not paying attention yo him. This will get tiresome real fast, in fact it probably is a burden right now.

Crating is a good start. Also, while you’re quietly watching tv, or reading, or listening to music or whatever you like to do, simply let your dog settle down. That’s how he’ll get the «*off switch*» all dogs owners are thriving for.
 

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Is this, by chance, your first puppy?

I'd echo the other suggestions about finding a good trainer and puppy kindergarten, especially if it's your first puppy.

I'd be watching for "overtired puppy" - when a puppy is too tired, they get bitey and chewy and barky and absolutely nuts. It's a great time to insist on a rest in the crate or a rest with you on the couch. If you can get an overtired puppy to settle for a minute, they zonk out pretty quickly. It's like their "off" switch isn't installed yet. And puppy cuddles are wonderful :)

Not to be too overwhelming, but what are you doing for socialization? The first 16 ish weeks of a puppy's life are critical for introducing her to all the different sights and sounds she may encounter in her life. There are dozens of different checklists online (I vaguely followed this one and another one I can't find https://drsophiayin.com/app/uploads/2015/12/Socialization_Checklist.pdf ) but the basic idea is that good experiences with new things at this point will make her far more comfortable if she encounters them in the future. If you're a student - take her on campus. Let her experience the people and atmosphere and busy-ness, and get petted and treated by many different people. (you didn't hear it from me but I would try to) sneak her into a building on campus on the weekend. Take her on stairs and in an elevator. Introduce her to water to play in (man, i wish I'd done this!), and grass, and metal surfaces, and tile, etc. Play a soundtrack of thunder or fireworks. Let her watch you ride a bike or a skateboard. Take her to a pet friendly store if you can. Etc, etc. Try your best - but don't stress it too much, and make sure you both are having fun when you do it - the goal is "positive" experiences, not an overwhelming or scary experience. The world won't end if you miss a couple of things on the list.

I know this sounds like a lot of work - but the bonus is, mental exercise is the only way I've ever found to really tire a puppy out :)

Enjoy her :)
That's a great checklist! Looking at it, I was happy to see I managed almost everything with my puppy during the socialization period. I second college campuses as being a really good place for puppy walking! I'm a PhD student and I've been taking my pup to campus for walks since he was little. He shows zero reaction to skateboards, scooters, and bicycles which I'm sure is because he sees so many of them there. And every time we go we stop in front of a "duck area" and he has to settle on the ground next to me and watch the ducks from ~15 feet for 15-20 minutes while people walk by with kids, dogs, skateboards etc. Busy areas like that are great for exposure. If you can't access somewhere like that I would go to an open air mall or a busy park.
 

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CRATE TRAIN!


Honestly this is the most important thing you can do to get the crazies under control. Just like human infants need to learn to self soothe along the way so do puppies.

The next thing you can do is install impulse control which will not be accomplished by zoomies and berzerker behavior. Look up games like It's yer choice and do it a few times a day every day. Teach tricks, teach behaviors like settle on a mat or to go to her crate to take a small collect your head time.

This pup is a blank slate, knows nothing and can't realistically be expected to pay attention to much of anything for more than 3 minutes at a time. More separate short sessions a day will be more meaningful in terms of making progress. Be realistic.

I would also take her to a good puppy/beginner class asap.

Excellent information.
 

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My Poppy was just nuts as a puppy. I have had dogs for 65 yrs so this was not my first rodeo.? The more I exercised her the more nuts she became. She NEVER EVER would nap or rest.....NEVER. I discovered that lots of exercise was a huge adrenaline dump for her.

The game changer for me was an exercise called "Relax on a Mat". It teaches them to self settle and they learn to rest and settle on their own. It is very different than putting a pup on a mat and telling them to stay. Just google "Relax on a Mat". I think you will find it so helpful.

Poppy learned to have an off button and I was no longer perpetually exhausted.

Best of luck....you can do this.
 

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Make sure you do the kind of crate training where your pup joyfully goes there and stays happily. Yes it is work and takes time. Never do forced crate training.

My spoo loves to go to his crate. There are some very good suggestions here.

You are reminding me how much work a new puppy is! Dare I take on another one at age 73?
 
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