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Please help- puppy meltdown!

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Raffles32, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Raffles32

    Raffles32 New Member Registered

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    I have a 6 month old springer cross pup. He has always been a bit naughty and I have tried to follow the positive training method of ignoring the bad and rewarding the good. It was working but this week its been a nightmare. He has suddenly gone from pretty well behaved and calm to total mental dog. He never jumped up at me other than a morning or greeting stretch and then he would sit, now he jumps up and nips! He woudl calmly relax in the evening and now he is running around like a lunatic and before he would never ever bark except when excited and now he is starting to bark to get attention or when acting like a crazy dog.

    I'm at my wits end- am I alone!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  2. goldenbear2013

    goldenbear2013 New Member Registered

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    Welcome to dog forum Raffles32 and my god do i know how you feel.

    This is teenage tantrum territory and i'm afraid to say that there is more to come for at last 12 months!

    One minute beautiful charming so cute little puppy dog that loves him mommy soooooooo much and then BANG!!! devil dog!

    Pyschotic, unruly, tearing around like a nutter devil dog!

    The best way to handle this in my experience is to ignore the good and praise the bad.

    He misbehaves then get up, cross your arms and walk into the other room and completely ignore him. Any dog hates being ignored and your puppy will soon catch on that his behavior means no attention.

    If the behaviour stops then praise him!

    Regular training and puppy classes are a brilliant way of getting good tips. Training your dog for 15 minutes a day is a great way to teach them new things as well as them learning who boss.

    Now as your pup is only 6 months your recall may be a sketchy but if you have a nice clean lake near where you live or a short drive, then take him swimming. its not stress on the joints and 15 minutes swimming is like a 5 mile trek! He will be so done in by the time he gets home he want to misbehave!

    He is a springer cross so he has working dog in him. use this to your advantage. a tennis ball is always a good one!

    Now in the really dark times, where you are sitting on your sofa and puppy is driving you insane and you are thinking to yourself "what did i do to deserve this" take comfort in knowing that most of us (myself included) have been there!

    Now here's what I did. I have mine crate trained if you have a crate its a fabulous tool for down time.

    Keep his lead on him in the house, he acts up, dont look at him, touch him or speak to him, just pick up his lead and put him in crate and lock the door. leave him there until he has calmed down, then let him out. repeat this process as many times a neccessary until the behaviour stops altogether.

    The first time I did this with mine, it took over 40 trips to his crate in the space of nearly 2 hours before he got the message, so you must grit your teeth and keep going.

    So in summary consistency, ignore the bad, praise the good and firm training.

    It wont be this bad all the time, so I wish you the best of luck and let us know how you get on!

    There will be others on this site that will also give you some great tips to help you on your way!

    Sophie xx
     
  3. Raffles32

    Raffles32 New Member Registered

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    Hi Sophie

    Thank you soo much. I can't tell you how much I needed to hear that. Frustratingly we have done puppy obedience and he flew through it- workign dog so smart- but hasn't solved this issue- I'm considering putting him into agility classes??

    His recall is still in tact and good, however, he gets car sick so has a phobia of the car and also not keen on water (he is such a little nervy thing!) I have been tryign to get him more involved in water but he is v.scared of it and won't go beyond knee deep if at all- he doesn't swim- but if its great for them it certainly sounds like its worth trying harder.

    Also he isn't crate trained- I got him at 14 weeks and tried the crate but he went ballastic and so dropped it and opted for the baby gate ont he kitchen instead as a time out area.

    I have noticed he now snaps at nothing- like when he is rolling in grass or playing on his own I can hear him snapping - its almost like he has discovered biting for the first time!!
     
  4. goldenbear2013

    goldenbear2013 New Member Registered

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    Ok first of all, if he doesnt like swimming dont force him, just leave it. there are other you can try to help him on his way. He may want to swim eventually but some dogs just dont take to it.

    and i'm sorry to be so blunt but it sounds like you didnt follow through with the crate training. it has to be done very slowly otherwise it wont work. if you want to try the crate again let me know and I will give you some tips on how to bring the crate into his daily routine.

    Its good that you have a time out space for him. just make sure there is nothing in that area that he can play with when you put him there as he needs to have nothing around to tempt him into carrying on being naughty.

    Agility is excellent. I take mine to agility and he loves it so much. He will only be able to jump the baby jumps and he wont be able to weave until he is 12 months old becuase his bones are still growing at the moment and too much strain can cause issues.

    do give it a try, and you can always put some agility aparatus in your garden if its big enough

    if he rolling around snapping at the air just leave him be. he sounds like he is having fun and he isnt annoying or harming anyone so let him have his moment. its when he does this to you that you need to adopt the method or crossing your arms and walking away. sometimes if you just stand there and turn your back they will just keep jumping up! mine did, so i had to physically walk away from him to get him stop. i still do it now he is gets too over excited when we are playing.

    Mine also flew through his obedience classes. was as good as gold in his class, it was like i had brought another dog with me and left my devil dog at home! lol!

    let us know how you get on!

    Sophie x
     
  5. Raffles32

    Raffles32 New Member Registered

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    Thanks so much Sophia. I had the behaviourist in yesterday and she has suggested the following

    • cut down his exercise- she has suggested that hour and a half every day is just making him a super fit pup that is expecting that level of exercise and suggested shorter walks and more mental stimulation
    • don't reprimand just ignore and treat treat treat the good and calm behaviour- she suggested up to 40 tiny bits of treat a day to make him understand the behaviour that is expected
    • if he nips be a tree but as soon as he has all paws on the floor treat
    • to go right back to basics on lead pulling and just stay in the back garden on the leash treating when the leash is loose and then drive him anywhere to take off the leash so he isn't puling to get to the place he knows his leash come off
    • Its goingto eb tough as have 2 dog walkers and my flatmate to learn all this too! but will try
     
  6. goldenbear2013

    goldenbear2013 New Member Registered

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    Sounds like you have a plan in place, though shortening his walks i feel is slightly odd.

    I would of suggested longer walks but twice a day. this will give you a chance to drain his energy and be calmer in the house before he is ready to go again later!

    But hey, I'm no specialist just a dog owner! lol!

    I wish you the best of luck!
     

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