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Old 09-22-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default New puppy, need advice (long)

Okay, my boyfriend and I just got an 8 week old black lab and we named her Isis. I have two cats already and I've never had a dog before, let alone a puppy. My boyfriend works out of town, 4 days in and 4 days out and he just left early this morning to go back to work. Thankfully he's only gone 3 days this time because he's the dog person.

Anyway, I'm starting to think maybe *I* need to go to puppy obedience training because I have no clue. Isis sleeps in the bed with one of us at night because she will whine and bark if we lock her in the kitchen (where we currently have a baby gate and lock her when we can't be at home with her). She sleeps well and I only have to get up with her once or twice. The problem I'm having is that she won't go outside by herself, not even during the day. If we open the door, she'll step outside and then sit there and wait for someone to follow her. So I have to put on shoes (we have a patch of gravel down the side of the house where the back door is so the grass doesn't start until the backyard), walk back there with her and wait until I see her pee. Sometimes we can leave her out there but only for a minute or two before she's at the door whining and barking.

This makes it very difficult for me in the mornings when I'm trying to get ready for work. Since I'm alone with her, I have to lock her in the kitchen while I run around getting ready and feeding the cats and stuff. I don't really want to lock her up that early since she'll be locked up all morning and then again all afternoon (I come home at lunch and let her out). I'd rather her bark inside the house than at the door outside where all the neighbors can hear her. But I'd *much* rather be able to just leave her outside for half an hour or even 20 minutes while I get ready without her getting all upset.

Also, she's a biter. I know this is normal for a puppy. She likes to play tug of war with an old dishtowel but sometimes she grabs my sleeve and pulls, growling as if we're playing a game. Sometimes she just starts biting my hands and tries to chew on my hair. I'm trying to be stern with her but I can't figure out why she only does this to me. She almost never bites my boyfriend...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I've only had her for 3 days (not even one full day by myself) and I'm already exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated. Hoping she's not going to be like this for an entire year or something...
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:20 PM   #2
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She's a cutey pie alright! She is probably teething that's why the biting. When she start's this hand her something else to bite on and say ouch real loudly so she will know this is to rough and hurts. You SHOULD go to puppy school so both of you learn how to be good citizens and so she can meet other puppies.
I am sure others who have had puppies will answer too. I have learned all of this while being a member of df! By the way welcome! you can learn a lot here but classes are a must.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:36 PM   #3
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Hm I think I may know you from somewhere! Welcome to the forum!

Dogs are a lot different from cats I think. Dogs are nowhere near as independent, they want to be your buddy and they believe in togetherness. If you don't go outside, Isis won't understand why she should go out there without you. She's just gone from being with her littermates to being the only dog in a home with two primates and two felines, so she'll need some time to adjust.

Trust me, you want to go with her when she goes out to make sure her housetraining is done right. Put the leash on, go out there and when she pees or pooes, give her a "good doggy" in the best happy voice you have (even if it IS early) and maybe even give her a treat. The sooner you can convince her that messing outside makes you happy happy happy the better the chances of you having a housetrained adult dog who will bark or whine (or even ring a bell) to let you know it's potty time.

If she's nipping, well as you said that is normal. It's how they play with each other. If you've ever watched a litter of puppies you wonder why they aren't all bloody. One will be trying to sleep and another will come over and tug at its ear, leg whatever. It's normal for puppies but they need to learn that this is not how humans play. You have several options depending on what you want Isis to be like as an adult. If humans skin is absolutely off-limits, or if you want Isis to be able to gently grab a wrist in order to lead you somewhere, or if your b/f wants to roughouse, ther are different ways of getting through the nipping phase.

Maybe please take a look at our FAQ section as there is some wisdom there that might help you. You'll find we have differing opinions on some things and then it's up to you to figure out what works best in your situation.

Good luck and how about some pictures please!
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
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I have to say - she is too cute! Love those eyes.

Ahh the puppy years. My Chow Chow was so "bad" when he was a pup but is now the sweetest companion a person could ask for! He literally ate a couch one day when he was alone when he was a pup!

I have to defer to the rest of the community for a better answer to your question though

Please keep us informed with your progress! We are all in this together to some extent

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #5
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Know me from somewhere? Really?

Thanks everyone. I feel a little more hopeful now. I'm sure we'll figure it out. I think part of the problem is that my b/f wants to wrestle with her so she might be a bit confused that I don't want to...I'll have to have a chat with him about that

So this puppy stage of housetraining and such isn't going to last the whole first year of her life is it??

We've got some friends with dogs that keep encouraging us to bring Isis over to socialize. Should we wait until she has all her shots? And when is that? She's going for her 2nd boosters on Friday.

Thanks again, I'll definitely check out the FAQ section

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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Skunkstripe, it totally just clicked and I recognized the pictures of your pups! I guess I do know you from somewhere I think this forum will be as helpful with my Isis as the other one has been with my kitties

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:53 PM   #8
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Hello kittiei, welcome! Have you given any thought to crate training Isis? If she is properly introduced to a crate and comes to consider it "her place", she will willingly go to it to give you some alone time to allow you to get dressed and organized in the morning. You might want to have a look at some of these links:

http://www.training-dogs.com/crate-training.html

http://www.peteducation.com/article....2+2114&aid=157

Toilet / Crate Training?

How to: Crate Train
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:58 PM   #9
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There are a lot of cases of b/f wanting to roughouse with the doggy and the g/f wanting no part of it. Most dogs get it believe it or not, although it can take a while. Zircon doesn't even try to play tug with me, since he knows I'll just drop the toy, whereas hubby is always good for agame of tug-'o'war.

One thing that is very easy with dogs as opposed to cats is to teach them things. Especially Labbies are people dogs, which means they care about what you think and want. If you don't want to roughhouse, the ignore technique is likely to work. Puppy will figure out pretty quickly that nipping, jumping etc gets the cold shoulder, but sitting nicely gets fawning and petting. You might want to keep some sturdy things to chew on handy so you can offer that as a substitute and praise lavishly when Isis takes the toy. Puppies have to chew on something, especially when they're teething (it hurts) and as adults they get a lot of pleasure out of chewing.

Since this is a Labby, unless you are a BIG girl my personal advice would be that you not roughhouse since Isis could end up being about 70 lbs. One thing that can be frustrating about Labbies (except to those who love them) are that Labbies can be knuckleheaded goofballs. They are usually good natured, a little kid can smack them in the face and they think its great, but they don't understand why you don't want to play "let's body slam" with them since they think it's such a hoot.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:01 PM   #10
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Hi there and welcome! Ah the joys of puppyhood, eh? You've gotten some good advice and the FAQs will be helpful but I just wanted to jump in and point out that you need to get that boyfriend of your's to stop wrestling with the puppy! Men seem to like to do this and it really only encourages the unwanted behavior of nipping - no wrestling or tug of war games for this little pup! Sharp puppy teeth need to be redirected to an appropriate toy. Also if you do a search for "kong" you will find some great ideas that will keep puppy entertained. Good luck with the sweetie - it's going to be a lot of work and time that both you and your boyfriend will have to invest - but she will certainly be worth it!
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