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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So we got our boy (standard, just under 6 months old) and he is amazing. Just the sweetest, mellowest disposition anyone could imagine in a dog. I mean, I'm amazed at how gentle and easy-going he is. And yet, I'm freaking out LOL. This is my first dog ever, and despite all I've read to prep, I'm a bit at a loss.

Like, I got up at 6am this morning to rush him out to potty. We stood out there for half an hour and he was not interested. I would think that he'd be eager to go/ had been holding it, but nothing. In fact, he seemed bored to just be standing there (I read to show him the spot and just hang out in it till he goes and then praise, treat, praise once he actually goes). But, nothing. So brought him inside for food and water. He drank a ton of water, but didn't eat food. After a while, I figured, let's go walking then. We went for a nice long walk and he was very happy to do that (great leash walker!). When we came back, no pee or poop still. He came inside nibbled on a tiny bit of food and that was it. He's pacing around the house and looking at me like "what do I do now?" and I'm like "um, I don't know" LOL. So the kids wanted to see if they could play fetch with him (it's been two hours since he got up - no pee/poop yet) and I figured sure that gives him something fun to do. Take him outside, he just stood there LOL (so not all dogs just play catch/fetch instintively?). I realized he seemed tired. We tried the potty spot again and finally he peed (lots of praise, a treat). Brought him in to crate and he zonked out to sleep. But he still barely ate anything this morning. He's now sleeping. He did have a poop around 6pm yesterday and pee last night around 11pm. And he ate his food (1 cup dry) around 6pm last night.

What should our routine be? What do I do with him? How do I teach him his name? (he doesn't even know his old name LOL). He's doing great at "Come" even though we just started that yesterday when he got here.

We're signing up for puppy kindergarten/ obedience, but that doesn't start for at least a week. I've got treats though and will work with him ... plus he's just so good anyway, not misbehaving at all (other than trying to grab everything up on the counters, which he does reach yikes!).

But I'm not sure what kind of schedule he needs. MY normal routine is awake at 7pm, get kids ready for school on school day or just hang out (or walk) on free days, then we either go out somewhere or just chill around the house and yard. Evenings kids are in bed by 8pm and hubby and I watch t.v. Having a dog is adding some nice walks to our routine, which is great -- but what else do we do?

Oh, also, is a nice family walk on a mountain (45 minutes or so) good enough for a poodle or does he need a vigorous run? We're also happy to run him in the yard ... but he doesn't seem to go after the sticks or ball?

Sorry so long ... I just know I'll get good answers here ... and I'm a bit freaked out (and thrilled) about the new little guy in my house :)

Oh yeah, and as for the cats, we're keeping everyone separate. When doggie's out, cats are locked in a room, when doggie's in crate, cats are out. Cats have seen him in crate. First reaction was cat running to crate and hissing. But doggie just acted sleepy and cat got bored. The cats have been normal this morning, eating and resting in normal spots and one periodically checks the crate to see if the dog's still there; the other's staying away from the crate. Anything else I should be doing to help their inter-species friendship process?

Oh, and some places I read a puppy needs den and lots of safe time in crate, especially with cats and little kids around; other places act like too much crating is bad. How much is "right"? If it weren't for the cats, actually, I'd just leave the door open and let him decide when to hang out in there, but I do have to put him in there when the cats are out - not sure how long is comfortable for him and when it's just too much? So far, he was in there overnight (11pm-6am) and has been in there for about 30 minutes this morning after about 3 hours of yard/walk/walking around the downstairs freely.

Boy, hope someone's patient enough to read through this long ramble. Thank you!
 

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Don't worry about the name. Keep on using it and he will get it pretty soon. As to the crating, if he is staying there all night, then he is obviously happy with going in the crate. I don't know where he was before but if he is housetrained, then I personally don't think he needs to be in the crate at all in the daytime, but perhaps if you are going shopping, it would be a good idea until you are sure he isn't going to chew things up while you aren't watching him.

Cats -- yes cats are like that! Lots of dogs get on with one another right away and would be happy to get along with the cats. Just do what you are doing and pretty soon the cats will get bored with hissing at him and just treat him like part of the family.

My son's Poodle cross had NO idea about retrieving at that age. But he is a year old now and he has been retrieving for a while and will bring the ball back until I get fed up with throwing a slimy spat upon ball!

You sound like you have a pretty darn good puppy there and I would go on doing what you are doing - he sounds like he is fitting into your family routine perfectly!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Purley, thank you. Your post is reassuring.

Yes, the puppy seems to know not to go in the house. He may not go on the spot outside where I take him, but he goes if I let him roam or let him off-leash in the fenced-in yard. So he doesn't need the crate in the day. He does seem to like going in there to get away from the kids when he needs a break, so I let him. The only reason other times I'm making him stay locked in there is because of the cats. Should I let them all roam free and get used to each other that way? That worries me but don't know if I'm being overly cautious. Just don't want anyone traumatized or we'll have a harder transition.

Anyway, he hung out in crate for about an hour while cats roamed and ate and got petted. Now he's been out and has been lounging near us while we check email, etc and the kids play legos and coloring nearby. Cats are in a room with door closed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
oh, question - how many times per day would he poop? He pooped last night and I don't know if he should be going again by now? (he peed this morning and again just now, but no more poop since 6-7pm last night). I want him to have a successful experience, but have no sense of how often they poop LOL.
 

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Congrats on your new puppy! The first thing you need to do is relax. :) Puppies and dogs will basically poop once for ever meal they eat (with sometimes a extra poop thrown in depending on how many treats they had). Taking a nice long walk with them is the easiest way to get them to poop when you want them to. I would do it shortly after he eats. Is he alerting you at all when he needs to go outside? You may have to think about this because it may be very subtle, but if you pay attention to signs, like him sitting by the door or coming to you and looking at you wistfully. If you find yourself saying to him "what do you want, sweetie?", it's probably time to take him outside. That is probably what he wants.

If he does have an accident in the house, don't freak out. In fact, be very nonchalant about it and just clean it up without making a fuss--unless you've caught him in the act, then you can say "No" and take him outside right away. Never rub a dog's nose in his urine or feces because this will only teach him to fear you, and you don't want that. You want your dog to mind you because he respects you, not because he is afraid of you.

I would start working with him on simple obedience commands like sit, down and maybe stay, although that one can take some time.

Be very patient. You have children, so you know how long it can take a very small child to learn how to do something. This is no different, and the pride you feel when he finally gets it will be just as heartwarming as it is with your kids.

Good luck and remember, RELAX! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, Marian. Yes, relaxing is key. He's doing great. The kids are doing great, the husband is doing great, and my male kitty is doing great. At this point, it's mostly me and my female kitty still wound up too tight LOL. And I think it's because I'm so sensitive to her being upset. She's got diarrhea today from the stress. But, even for her, I think she's doing well.

Funny you mention about his signal for poop. Sure enough, half hour ago, I kept saying to him "what do you want?" because he was following me around and then giving me a funny look. We did go outside right after - mostly because I thought he was bored, and he went pee and poop. He's really perfect. It's me that needs the training. But he's working with me.

He's already responding more and more to his name and to "come" He's had LOTS of treat - probably too many as he's barely eating his actual food today and I'll have to be more careful with treats tomorrow. I've just been so eager to work with him and to praise him a ton, but maybe I'm overdoing it if it's ruining his meals. I'll work on verbal praise more without the added treat tomorrow.

He's had no accidents so far and, not to worry, I don't use punitive methods with pets or my kids. I've potty trained two children ad know that they just don't know what they are doing and need time. Any accidents are my fault and my job to clear up and we keep moving forward in a positive way. This doggy is actually the easiest potty training I've done - you should've seen the madness when my 4 year old potty trained last year - I was cleaning pee and poop off the floor for almost two months! He still has about one accident per week. I'm also no squeamish or weird about it ... we had a special needs kitty recently that we had to a lot of poop cleanup for in his last months, no big deal.

My sister is coming up with her dog tomorrow. Any advice on how to introduce and determine if they can be let loose to play in the yard together? My dog is used to a lot of dog company from his previous momma, so I expect good behavior from him. My sister's dog is a bit fearful. He's a small dog and she said he does fine with small dogs, but gets an attitude with bigs one (but backs out once the other dog asserts itself). We'll see how it goes.
 

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One of the recommendations I have heard about is that if you use treats to take it out of the regular food allotment for the day. We have been using her regular kibble. Don't know how you would figure it if you were using other special types of treats.
 

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I would keep the puppy on a leash and don't let him get too excited to meet your sister's dog. If he's low key about it, her dog probably will be fine. If he gets all happy in your face I wanna play puppy-like, he will probably become defensive. Might be a good idea to take the puppy out to play (hard) and tire him out before the visit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, guys. The visit went well. My sister's dog was apprehensive, but my puppy was so friendly and clear that he was benign that the other dog relaxed and, within half-hour, they were playing together nicely. We later took them for a nice long walk together and all went well, despite there being three kids and two dogs in the pack. The dogs did better than the kids for sure! LOL
 
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