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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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Discussion Starter #1
We've been following Dunbar's before and after bringing home your puppy book or whatever it's actually called.

We haven't had many accidents. We had two in thr beginning, but nothing now for a few days. She's only been home for a week. She understands that when we set her in the potty spot, she's supposed to potty.

My problem is the part where I leave her in her play pen so I can do something NOT puppy related. She doesn't seem to care about kongs unless they have high value treats. Even then, she's not super crazy over them like other dogs seem to be. I dont want to give her too many high value treats in a kong because she is tiny! It doesn't take much to fill up a 3 pound puppy, and I want the high value treats saved for outside pottying and other behaviors we super want to reward, like going into her crate. We have some puzzles she likes to do, but will not do in her pen if we are not in there with her. She will happily walk into and play in her pen. She is happy to be confined with a person in the pen. But the second we close the door with her in there alone, she is unhappy.

What else can we do to help her entertain herself in her pen? Her favorite game is fetch. She will play with some stuffies. But when we leave her in there, she doesn't have interest in that because she just wants to be OUT with us and the other dogs. So far I've been scattering food for her to find on the floor and just leaving for short bits, only getting her out when she stops the whining.

She will happily nap next to us outside of her pen. She will lay down near the other dogs. I love a velcro dog and I love a snuggler, but she does need to learn to be apart from us. Any fantastic advice you have for me, PFers?
 

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Fenris (spoo), Sushi (old grumpy cat)
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My 11 week old isn't much into kongs either. If it gets too hard he just abandons them, regardless if there is a high value treat inside. But i found he is in loooove with anything that squeaks. So I have a million squeaky toys and fill his playpen with them. But it seems yours isn't about that either. Did you get her a snuffle mat? You said she may be into hide and seek with treats and it's the ultimate treat hide and seek that would challenge her into finding them.
 

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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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Discussion Starter #3
She has a snuffle mat but I can't leave her with it because then she decides to eat the snuffle mat and not the food...:rolleyes: Although even if I did leave it I don't think she loves it enough to use it and not freak out that I'm leaving.
 

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Fenris (spoo), Sushi (old grumpy cat)
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Oh no! Mine also prefers yak cheese to the kong (and he had no interest to nylabones). Maybe there is a kind of chew that motivates her to occupy herself? Maybe try a variety and see if any hold her attention?
 

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You're in a position to have to try many things to find your "it" toy. This can be kind of fun if you have money to spend, and painful if you are pinching pennies. I highly recommend the Facebook group Canine Enrichment for learning a variety of ways (from free to spendy) to keep dogs occupied. Clearly, not all dog entertainment works for every dog so you have to sort through to find ideas that are likely to work for your scenario.

Try a bully stick for sure. These have been sanity savers for many puppy owners. After vaccination is complete the one-two combo of a sniff walk then an x-pen nap is a proven winner. My dog as a puppy liked climbing on things. She would wrestle her dog bed into an upside down position, then crawl on top on zonk out (I use an x-pen with a cover). The work of turning it over was part of her process. Think about ways your puppy can have a new experience (new training, introduction to something new in the environment) to think about, then follow that with x-pen time. It is usually helpful to have the x-pen in a central area of the home so you can keep an eye on them.

Also, Sophia Yin's method of having puppy on a leash tied to your waist while you attempt to do your normal activities for about 20 minutes can be a middle ground compromise. It helps to socialize the puppy to the human world while keeping the puppy from going behind the couch to relieve themselves and/or eat dust bunnies.

Puppies are a lot of work. I can remember laying on the living room floor, rather tired of my rambunctious puppy. Violet thought that was just great and climbed all over me while I rested between giggles at her silly nose in my ear or a playful tackle of my feet.

Good luck, and have fun!
 

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Try adding a small part of her kibble and some chicken broth into the Kong, wrap it in foil and freeze it. She may find that more interesting and then you are really just feeding her not treating her calorie wise. Alternatively it doesn's have to be a Kong brand item. None of our dogs ever card much for Kong brand, but the love Wet Paws treat dispensers.
 

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Bullysticks work great for us. You may want to try a lickmat too, but will want to make sure that she won't chew on it instead. You can do things like thin out yogurt or peanut butter with fluids (or soaked kibbles to thicken it), spread, and freeze it.

Alternatively it doesn's have to be a Kong brand item. None of our dogs ever card much for Kong brand, but the love Wet Paws treat dispensers.
Yes! Our pup got into the West Paws Toppl much more easily than the Kong. You can layer the Toppl just like you do with a Kong, but it's more accessible. I sometime just smear yogurt/peanut butter/pumpkin puree on the "teeth" or the bottom of the toy and freeze it so that it takes longer for him to finish it. You can also fill it with dry treats/some kibbles as a very easy puzzle toy (there's a hole that the kibbles can fall out of).
 

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When all else fails, feeding dinners by the scatter on the floor method is good as a distraction that uses some brain power. I will help dogs who are struggling out with their Kong's/treat toys to make sure they are getting enough reinforcement to continue.

I also like having two types of kibble, both high quality puppy food, - one is "treats" the other is "dinner", although I do sometimes use some "dinner" kibble as rewardsm Makes it easy to have higher value treats without worrying about knocking the nutrition out of whack. I allowed supervised destruction of cardboard, newspaper, sticks, etc, and yes, had a few bully sticks I gave when she was a puppy.
 

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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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Discussion Starter #9
I'm going to try leashing her to me once I get a harness that fits her. It's been a challenge finding a good fit. I dont want to tie her on a leash where I might accidentally jerk the leash and hurt her neck. Another is coming in the mail this week so hopefully that fits!

So far we have tried:
-Yak chews (no interest)
-Bully sticks (a hit only if I hold it)
-Balls (she loves balls, but there isn't sufficient room and no one to throw it in the pen)
-Kongs with her food and a couple of treats. Kongs with the tiniest bit of dog safe PB. Kongs with my older dog's wet dog food.
-Nylabones (will chew half-heartedly if I hold)
-Paper towel roll with kibble in it and a couple holes punched through, store bought puzzle feeders, rolled up towel with food and a couple treats in it (she loves these games outside the pen. Inside? Nope.)
-squeaky toys (likes them outside but not in)
-Rope toys (boring)
-plush toys (some she really likes, others not. Have no idea why. Lamb chop is the fave.)

I'm thinking maybe I should just sit right next to the pen. Like literally next to it, touching it. And give her some of the things she likes best. Maybe if I gradually sit farther away and then work up to leaving the room? Or maybe if I put one of the other dogs in with her? They would be happy to chew a bully stick in there. The pen is set up inbetween our living room and dining room so there are always people near by. She will quietly be crated during our meals and at night. I think she WILL get there eventually, but in the meantime it's exhausting. Lol

I had already ordered the West paw topl and a couple of other puzzle feeders. They get here sometime this week. Something will eventually work... right? Right?! Please tell me that sometime I will be able to make dinner again without a puppy in my arms or at my feet. 😂

I'm going to try the broth and dog food kong. I've got some plain dog dafe broth for when my senior poodle gets sick. Even if Apple sticks her nose up at it at least Benjamin Franklin can enjoy it!

(Bonus pic of good girl sleeping alone in her crate by choice. Crate is great outside the pen! Inside the pen? Forget it!)
471526
 

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My 12-week old puppy also hates is ex-pen. We have one crate in the pen that we use for nighttime and some of the daytime naps. We feed him in the night crate or pen, and keep his water dish there too. Any kibble leftover from breakfast goes into his Bob-a-lot toy, also in the pen along with several other toys. I keep a Starmark treat ball and a big stuffed hedgehog the breeder sent home with our pup in the crate too. It took him almost two weeks to get used to the crate; now he goes into it on his own for naps. We're working on getting him used to the pen by putting is Lickitmat coated with yogurt in the pen. We show it to him outside the pen and let him get a few licks, then put the mat in the pen and hope the dog will follow. I close the door for a few minutes and walk away. The crying and jumping have subsided a bit, but we still have a ways to go.
 

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We spent a lot of time inside the pen with Peggy, holding something for her to chew until the habit really grew.

She abandoned regular Kongs pretty quickly as a puppy, but the Kong tire held her interest. It's easier, I think. You can tuck some yummy bits of chicken or kibble in there, for easy access, and then just the smallest swipe of peanut butter or plain yogurt to hold her interest.

But if she's anxious, no amount of treats will be more interesting than keeping an eye on you. You've only had her a week? I'd just slow things right down. If you're constantly trying something new, you're missing a key ingredient of puppy training: Consistency.

If you just verrrrry slowly start building duration (can be just a minute in the pen to start) before you know it, she'll be fine in there. But it takes time. Week 1 will always be pretty much 100% puppy. :)
 

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I had already ordered the West paw topl and a couple of other puzzle feeders. They get here sometime this week. Something will eventually work... right? Right?! Please tell me that sometime I will be able to make dinner again without a puppy in my arms or at my feet. 😂
Right, it sounds like you're trying everything to see what sticks. It's normal. It's exhausting. It'll get easier and you will be able to make dinner again without a puppy in your arms or at your feet.

Basil's bread-and-butter toy from 14-22weeks were 2 refridgerated puppy-size kong with shredded insta-pot chicken. These were easy for me to prep everyday. I had 2 kongs in rotation. It can be a little messy as they flop around, but it helped to know it will get better when she's older.

BF's very lucky to have you.
 

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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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Discussion Starter #13
I feel like an idiot for speaking before and saying potty training was going well. Just tonight we had two misses. Right in front of me. I was literally there on the floor with her and she squatted to pee 2 feet in front of me 20 minutes after she was last out. I grabbed her midpee and took her out where she finished peeing. But it's still discouraging.

Our puppy class was also canceled and I am bummed about that and worried about her socialization. Then my poor old man Benjamin Franklin started having a bad night and he collapsed while walking. I'm not handling it well because I am tired from a week of missing sleep. I'm feeling like a failure! Logically I know I'm not. It's not my fault the pandemic is interrupting our class. It's not my fault Benjamin Franklin is getting old and sickly. Sometimes even the best puppy owners will mess up and not catch their puppy's peeing in time, I'm sure. But add that to my little sleep and my regular life stressors and pandemic stressors on top of that and I am feeling pretty overwhelmed!

It's a good thing she's so cute.
 
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