The Most Dog Friendly Community Online
Join and Discover the Best Things to do with your Dog

Welcome to Our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

I Gave My Puppy Too Much Freedom

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by David John Scully, May 10, 2020.

  1. David John Scully

    David John Scully New Member Registered

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi,

    I’m looking for some advise to course correct my mistake of giving my puppy too much freedom (I think).

    So me and Roni (Pepperoni) have been together for a week now. She’s a 9 week old miniature Dachshund. I made the naive mistake of letting her roam freely around the two downstairs rooms. I also made the mistake of letting her do this when I was working. I’m beating myself up because it was such an obvious bad decision.

    For the first few days it seemed okay. She was playful, would chase me during play time and we seemed to be getting on really well. The bad stuff is she seemed to start biting cushions, furniture feet and blankets. I originally started to course correct during play time by trying to entice her to play with another toy when she was going it - but it’s pretty constant. After a few day’s I could tell she was getting pretty frustrated. I think she almost didn’t want to play but was getting wound up because she wasn’t getting her angst out during play.

    So, I’ve now set up a segregated area for her with her crate, one or two toys (I’ve held a few back for play time), her bed and water bowl. I’ve started feeding her in there too. I’m also trying to take her out during play time into one room. And take her to go to the toilet in the other room.

    Problem I think is that she got use to her kingdom and so she does whine and try to get out of her new area. I try and give her treats when the whining stops. When she goes back in after play I leave a few treats lying around. Her crate is also part of the ‘barrier wall’ - I let her out of her area, show her me putting treats inside her crate inside her area and then she wants to get in. After a few moments I then put her back in her area and she goes into her crate for the food.

    So I guess my question is am I doing the right thing? I’m sure it would have been easier if I had done this from the get go. Is the reinforcement of not whining right? Basically just pleading for some advise on how to fix my mistake

    Thanks everyone! Hope you are all keeping safe.
    David
     
  2. Store
  3. Ragsysmum

    Ragsysmum Member Registered

    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Why isn't she toileting outside? Teaching her it's OK to go in any room in the house is only going to create more problems later.
     
    excuseme likes this.
  4. David John Scully

    David John Scully New Member Registered

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi,

    Thanks for your comments. I understand that going outside would be the best option. We’re using pads temporarily. At the minute toilet training isn’t really an issue. There’s the odd accident but in general she’s going well. I’m using pads for 2 reasons. Firstly I’ve just moved into a new build house and the lawn is only being laid next week. Secondly, she hasn’t had her second vaccination yet and the breeder advised not to let her out just yet. Also, her second worming tablet was only given yesterday.

    The pad is at the back door to try and make the future transition a little easier.
     
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

    Messages:
    4,195
    Likes Received:
    5,716
    Trophy Points:
    113
    She is an absolute baby still. Are you saying that it's the biting that is a problem, and you think that confining her to one area will reduce biting? Puppy biting, even when it seems to be full of angst and relentless, is absolutely normal and nothing to do with her being given the run of the house.

    To deal with the biting you have to be 100% consistent (along with anyone else in the household). Redirect her, as you've been trying to do, onto a toy. If that's not working, each time she puts her teeth on you, don't 'correct' her verbally (it will mean nothing to her but may get her more worked up) and calmly either leaving the room, shutting a stairgate or similar barrier behind you, or pop her out of the room/into her crate area. You literally only need to leave her in 'timeout' for 5-10 seconds before letting her out, them resume what you were doing. When she puts her teeth on you again (which will probably be after 2 milliseconds, put her in timeout again. Rinse and repeat, even if it means you're doing nothing but putting her in timeout for the best part of an hour. Eventually she will realise that biting means the fun and the attention stops, and it will decrease.

    As I've said though, she is a baby so this will take time - you wouldn't expect perfect behaviour from a human baby or toddler.

    If she chews cushions, then either move the cushions out of her reach, or don't give her access to rooms with cushions. However you achieve it, though, you do want to be able to supervise her most of the time or she'll find something else to entertain herself - and you'll miss the signs that she needs to toilet, such as circling or sniffing. She doesn't know the difference between cushions and her toys - rather than teaching her the distinction, it is better to remove all non-toys she might play with out of her reach and have a good range of toys of her, so playing with her toys becomes a habit, and chewing cushions doesn't.

    I'm not a fan of ignoring whining, unless it's brief and the dog soon settles. A whine is a communication that she's not happy, and you are ignoring her communication. (Learning to let your dog communicate with you is as important as you being able to communicate your requests to her in my opinion.) So you want her to come to see her crate as a safe, relaxing area and never somewhere where the fun stops - others may have more advice on crate training.
     
    merlina likes this.
  6. David John Scully

    David John Scully New Member Registered

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for the reply! That was useful. I think the main issue was whether I was doing the right thing in ignoring the whining to get out of her area. There’s so many conflicting opinions as to whether you answer their whines, like you said, so she’s not distressed and communicates that successfully. Or whether you ignore it because it reinforces that whining gets her attention. I was stuck what to do and was hoping for other people’s experience.

    I may try and answer the whines and get in there to comfort her / play. Thanks for taking the time to respond!
     
  7. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    1,045
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Good advice here. Don't be anxious. It sounds as if you've got a lovely normal puppy so don't let anxiety stop you enjoying her. (To be honest the only thing I'd do differently is let the new lawn go hang and start toilet training outside. It's natural for a dog and can lead to confusion and even stress in the long term.) I don't think you can 'spoil' a puppy the way some people fear. They really are the best thing to spoil anyway. ;)
     
    Biker John likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.