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Old 06-21-2007, 11:13 AM   #1
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Default A few new puppy questions - help please!

Hi everyone, I already introduced myself in the intro section but just for those who haven't read it I acquired a terrier puppy 2 days ago from a rather nasty place and I feel a little in over my head.

This poor little chap can't bear to be away from anyone, probably because of where he was kept (tiny cage on his own, no food or water). He doesn't even like it if he can see you but not get to you e.g. behind a puppy gate. He constantly wants to either play with you or sleep on you (he will just about go to sleep on the comfy chair in the kitchen next to you but as soon as you get up to leave he follows you). At night he's not so bad, he whines and yaps for about 5 minutes but then settles - I think because he is really tired. He may wake up once or twice in the night and yap for another 5 or so minutes but then he settles again.

I'm going to crate train him but I can't find anywhere in this dratted city which sells dog crates so I'll have to order one of the internet (which could take a couple of weeks). In the meantime, what on earth should I do?! I feel so awful about this little chap, he's asleep on my lap as I type this. Poor little thing has had zero affection but I know mollycoddling him is bad - I'm totally stuck!

Please can anyone help? The only advice I can find on the internet seems to be crate training, but as I've already said it may be a while before I can do that.


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Old 06-21-2007, 11:56 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome. There are some things you can do to, over time, build confidence. One thing I can think of is to try not to react to him when he whines and yaps. Just ignore. (as hard as that is) You be the one to instigate the affection and attention and play. When you come and go, don't make a big fuss over him. Keep greetings and leaving very low key. Don't say "good-bye." Just leave. When you come in after an absence, even if it's from another room, just go about your business and basically ignore him for a few minutes.

Teach him some basic obedience and make it a fun game. Teach him to sit by luring him with a treat over his head....not too high and push back. When he sits, immediately praise and give him the treat. Teach him a release word. In other words, he doesn't get up from the sit until he hears the release word. You have to sneak it in there quick before he gets up. Gradually, add a few more seconds that he sits before you release him. There are lots of little things you can teach him and as he learns and gets rewarded, he will become a little more confident. He can also be asked then, to sit before he gets some of the things he likes, like treats, dinner, affection. It makes you a good leader to control his resources and that gives him confidence to have a sense of having someone take care of him.

You can practice leaving him, going into another room and closing the door and immediately coming right back out. Don't come out if he's whining. Try to come right back before he starts. Gradually, you'll add seconds onto that absense. See if you can get him to enjoy some interactive type toys. Look online to see what you can find.

Tug of war is a good game to build confidence, but there must be rules in place first. "Give" He must learn to give you the tug toy when asked. You trade him for a treat so he's willing to give.

He must not snap at your hands to try and get the toy. If his teeth snag you, game over. Then you can try again in a few minutes. No scolding needed. Just end the fun for a few minutes. He'll learn how to play by the rules.

You are the one to invite him to take the other end of the toy and play.

Another game is hide and seek. If there's someone else living with you, they can hold him and you hide. Have a treat with you. Then call him and let him find you. Give him the treat and praise. This also helps teach him to come.

When you get a crate, introduce him to it gradually. Leave the door open and feed him in there. Let him come and go as he wishes for a while. Then short periods with the door closed...just a minute or two and open the door, gradually increasing the time. And gradually increasing your seperation from him. (distance and duration) He may always have some seperation anxiety. But you can help him if it's not too severe. Wait and see if he gets over this. He is very new to you. If it proves to be severe, there are some other things to do.

Do you work away from home? If so, you'll need to find a safe place for him...a small room which is puppy proofed. Hope everything works out for you and your pup.

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Old 06-21-2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Hello and welcome to the forum. Great to have you with us & congratulations on your new family member.

Great advice from Dobiecarrie! Good luck.
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