Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Puppy Love

I love my new little pup. I really do.

But I believe that this little bundle of fluff is going to fucking kill me.

Here are the 3 things he’s doing that are driving me batshit-crazy. I’ll also add below each item what I’ve tried to do to curb the behavior. If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know before I jump off the Empire State building…..

1) He bites.

Not to hurt, but he’s always putting his mouth on my hand, or worse, pulling at my son’s pants. Yeah, I know he’s only 3 months old, and he’s teething and his teeth hurt, but sometimes, it’s relentless and drives me crazy.

What I’ve done:

I always give him a firm and loud “NO BITE!” when he starts with his chewing. We’ve tried to be consistent with this. I’ve also tried to put peanut butter on the back of my hand, and when he licks it I tell him “Good Boy!”. The idea here is that they get accustomed to licking your hand and getting positive reinforcement from it. The only thing THAT has done for us so far is getting him to drink a lot of water, and me having a really sticky hand. We had a trainer come to the house for one visit (he’s too young to begin training yet) and he suggested getting a can of compressed air and blowing it in his face when he bites. We’ve been doing that and it seems to work, but NOW I can’t go anywhere without this fucking can of air in my pocket. We also try to divert him with the millions of chew toys we have bought him.

2) He poops and pees.

Yeah, I know, that’s a pretty good sign that he’s ALIVE, which is a positive thing. I’d just prefer him not to poop and pee on my carpet. He was actually getting pretty good about going on the wee-wee pads, but this weekend it seemed like he wanted to give us a big SCREW YOU and almost spitefully started giving me presents in the Den again.

What I’ve done:

TONS of positive reinforcement when he goes on the pads, and a big “NO” when he doesn’t, followed by my picking him up in mid-pee or poop and carrying him to the pads. Honestly, except for this weekend’s relapse, he’s been pretty good with this. My BIG concern is when I have to make him unlearn this behavior and start going outside. I’d LOVE to get him started outside NOW but both the vet and pet store said we really shouldn’t do it until he’s had all his shots, and I’d rather not take any chances on an animal that cost more than most South American countries. Am I shooting myself in the foot by teaching him to go in the house?

3) Chasing the cat.

This is the one that literally is keeping me up at night with anxiety. The little bastard wants nothing more than to chase and terrorize the cat. Yeah, I know he just wants to play with the cat, but the cat sure doesn’t know that! The problem is that the cat is the most docile and timid thing in the world, and he will NEVER just swat the pup. He doesn’t have it in him. He just runs for his life.

What I’ve done:

To start we put up some small fences in the house, basically giving the dog one small area, and the cat the rest of the house. I have a fence that cuts across my kitchen and den like the Great Wall of China. I swear, it’s like a fucking maze in my house! Right now my house looks like the Hedge Maze at the Overlook Hotel. Sometimes, late at night when I come down to the kitchen for a drink, I fully expect to find a dead-as-fuck frozen Jack Nicholson sitting in the corner.

Also, I’ve tried to get a small amount of time each night to get the two of them in the same room. I put the pup on a leash, and let them interact. At first, it was chaos, but it HAS been getting better. Sometimes, they will sit in the same room, noticing each other but completely disinterested, for a full 10 minutes or so, before the pup decided to get it into his head to trot over and say hi, and then the chase is on.

This is the one that I HAVE to nip in the bud, because I can’t fucking live like this much longer. EVERY damn website I go to says that this behavior WILL cease if I keep doing this, but I have yet to find a website which tells me how much longer I have before I stuff my head in the microwave and set the timer to “Popcorn”.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at these days. The past 3 weeks have honestly been more work and stress for me than when my son was born, and THAT’s really saying something.

It all came to a head last Saturday when, between an unending barrage of chasing, pooping, and biting, I needed a Calgon moment to Take Me Away and decided we were getting rid of the puppy.

At which point, my son cried for 4 hours and I then floated back to Earth and realized that no matter what, I CAN’T do that to my son.

No, this HAS to work.

I don’t care if I have to buy a second house and put the fucking cat in it, this HAS to work.

Any ideas?


Verdant Earl said...

Is that a can of air in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

Slyde said...


p.s. thanks for all the helpful advice!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Naughty Pup. Two words - spray bottle!

Don't worry about the mail yet, its only been a couple of weeks and our postal service fucking sucks donkey dick!

Slyde said...

ok thanks. Just didnt want whatever it is to have been lost in the mail :)

BB said...

This is why I will never get another "puppy" ever again. Next dog I ever get will be already housebroken and trained. The biting should stop when the baby teeth come out. But keep doing what you're doing. House breaking a dog is the worst. My husband was home with out pups so he did it. Sorry can't help there. And we actually had two cats that we ended up getting rid of for their own safety. It's not easy. Good luck to you.

Unknown said...

I feel your pain.

Grrrr puppies!

Our shit ass puppy (i love her) is being quite the bitch about going in the house - after e chime in from outside time.

meleah rebeccah said...

Puppies are VERY tough to break in. But at least he's SUPER cute!!

Suzi Q said...

It'll just take a little time to get used to and get him trained - the first six months ish are the worst and then it'll get easier I promise. And it'sll be totally worth it when he sits by your side ready to please!

The Accidental Somebody said...

I'm a HUGE fan of the Dog Whisperer (Cesar Milan), and all I can say is, he is a genius. Check out some of his DVDs at the library, Youtube them, anything - just get the gist of what he does.

It's amazing how well a good long walk works in the morning - it helps him get rid of a lot of that puppy energy which may in turn curb his appetite for the cat. It really is fascinating how many things are "cured" with just the walk.

Dog Whisperer
(Cesar Milan)

You're welcome.

And btw if you would have gotten rid of that adorable dog I would have hunted you down. You can do this!!

Chris H said...

Just hang in there mate, it will all sort itself out in a few MONTHS. You just have to be patient!
I should know...!
My house has lots of barriers around too.
All our puppy's have forever homes, the last one we have been holding a bit longer as the new owners want him for their son's birthday present, which will be on Saturday.
THEN we will finally have the house back!

sybil law said...

That's just stupid - I don't give a shit what the vet says - that dog would be going outside, on a leash. Period.
Does he not have a kennel to keep him in when you're gone? No cage?
Besides the stupid pads, I think you're doing everything right! He's gonna be a great dog!

Radioactive Tori said...

It is no joke when I tell you that having twin newborns and a 2 year old while my husband traveled for work 5 days a week was so much easier for me than having my dog for the first few months. It does get better, but I seriously cried myself to sleep sometimes and thought about breaking my kids hearts by giving her away because I just couldn't take it anymore.

My dog uses a litterbox. She is small and doesn't like to go out in the cold so we just did that and now it's the only place she will go. If you train your dog one specific place to go then it is not teaching it to go in the house, just in that specific place. When you can take it outside a suggestion I had from a friend (before I knew my dog was going to turn into a cat with the litterbox instead of going outside) was to put a bell on the door handle and kind of teach the dog to ring the bell when it needs to go out. Much better than having scratches on the door, I know this from experience with our old dog.

Good luck! You will live through this and you will look back on these days and feel so bad for anyone going through it, as I do for you.

The chewing is normal and the only thing that helped for us was time. We were consistent with swapping out a toy for whatever part of us she was trying to bite and eventually it clicked for her and she never bit/chewed any of us again. It took a long time though, I think they need to be at a certain age before they really get it. Good luck!

Marlene said...

It really is best to teach them to go outside right from the get-go, and if you're taking him in your own yard where no other animals crap, the chances of him picking up some disease before he's fully vaccinated are pretty slim. Having said that, though - you CAN train him on the wee wee pads. When it comes time to getting him to go outside, all you do is move the pad closer to the door, a little bit each day - and then finally, eventually, outside. Once the pad is outside, cut it in half....and have him go on that. Next time around, cut it in half again. Eventually, he'll "get" that you want him to go outside, and the wee wee pad won't factor in anymore. I tried to get my dog to go in a dog litter box, but no way, no how.

Anonymous said...

I understand you want the best for your kid, but you should have just stuck with the cat, they're much easier to take care of and deal with. Having a dog is considerably more work. Having BOTH a cat & a dog is... well you know. When your son said he wanted a dog, you should have said we already have a cat and you can't have both. Are we to get rid of the cat to get a dog? Is that what you want? But then the cat would be homeless and go hungry and be awfully sad, is that what you want? :) Good luck sonny! In time hopefully everything will work out and settle down. The reasons why I'd never get a dog are (in no particular order):

1) Having to get used to a poopy-filled backyard.
2) Walking the dog.
3) Picking up poop due to walking the dog.
4) Giving the dog a bath; wet smelly dog is nasty! Cats clean themselves.
5) Having to buy all the doggie "meds" and incessant vet visits. Cats just never have as many problems and tend to live longer.
6) Fancy dogs like yours cost BIG $$$. Cats are often FREE!

Yes, I'm wayyy pro-cat. Good luck with everything I'm sure it will get easier as time goes on.

Mrs. Hall said...

(he’s too young to begin training yet)

so, you wait. and besides, what did your cat have to do anyway? he doesn't have little kitty meetings and carry a little kitty briefcase. so, he's chased. he could lose a little weight anyway.


keep talking to the trainer. seriously.


maybe that'll calm you down.

blondie1 said...

We acquired a puppy at my friends house her son went fishing one day and came home with a STRAY puppy that someone had dumped oin the bushes into a house of 5 cats he licks them nudges them lies by them smooches them BUT does not chase he gets the serious CAT SWIPE hiss and growl BUT outside any other cat other than our 5 ARE fair game.... bite will stop soon, wees and poos will stop soon, 5-10 mins of nice sitting leashed though is all he will be able to handle once the time is up praise him and let the cat out increase time by 1 min per day REMIND your family that for your own sanity THIS IS why you didn't want a puppy!!!!
He is helluva cute though.

MarkD60 said...

Our dawg Sheba was the same way. I actually said "that's it, we're getting rid of her" more than once.
It gets better, you never really notice it, you'll look at this post in a year and realize the pup's improved drastically but it won't ever be like crossing a line that you'd notice.
Sheba is a great dog now. I'd never let her go.
Just hang on to your sanity and keep that head away from the microwave!

Slyde said...

barb: i agree. If i could do it over again, i would habe gotten a 1 year old that was trained already.

anna: out of everything hes doing, going in the house is shown the most improvement.

meleah: cute only takes you so far (i should know!)

Suzi Q: everyone keeps telling me 6 months.... 6 months is going to kill me!

accidental: i know, i know.. he's not going anywhere (but i think I'LL be going to the nuthouse soon!)

chrisH: i swear, girl, i dont know how the hell you did it with all those pups...

sybil: i know, i know. Half my friends are telling me the same thing. But my wife does not want to risk it.

radio: thanks. Honestly the chewing is getting to be the worst thing he does. Sometimes he can be relentless, and i feel that he's biting more than licking now...

marlene: right now, his pads ARE right by the back door, so when the time comes, i'm hoping it will be a easy push out the damn door.

anon: yeah, i hear you. The problem is that the cat has always been MY cat. I'm the only one he wants. He actually pre-dates my son, so the cat isnt much of a pet for my boy. THAT'S why i got the doggie...

Holly: How old do you think he should be before training starts?

blondie: Yeah, 5 mins is about all we can get the 2 of them in the same room right now.

Mark: posts like yours are especially helpfull. It makes me feel better to hear that other people got to the point where they wanted to get rid of the dog. i've just gotta ride this out :(

Unknown said...

Sounds like a puppy! :)
I did learn that the best way to discipline a dog is to "flick" their ear when they are being bad. I know it sounds weird, but here is why: When we flick the ear, their ears instantly go back which automatically sends a signal to their brain that they are being bad or something is wrong. (Just like when you yell at him and his ears go back.) Although it sounds strange, we did that for our dogs and it works, and it 's doesn't hurt them :)

AlleyCat Runs said...

patience grasshopper!!!

super super super cute puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If only one of your friends told you to adopt a 4-8 month old puppy that was already housebroken and trained, from a shelter.

Your friends must all suck, for none of them to have made that suggestion....

Jill said...

:-( I don't have advice but man oh man am I glad we haven't taken the last three dogs people have offered us in as many weeks. More work than a newborn?!? That's a LOT of work!!! :-(

Tamara said...

What's the cat's name? You've never mentioned him before the pup. I feel sorry for the poor thing.

He may surprise you though - I have The World's Most Timid Cat, but she still gave my gran's annoying dachshund a swipe when it got in her way ;-)

Slyde said...

kristina: i may have to try the 'flicking' thing.

alley: thanks!

chrish: The problem here is, i had nothing to do with this particular purchase

jill: you dont know the HALF of it, sister...

Slyde said...

tam: the cat is Simba. He's a complete mush and all mine. He wants nothing to do with anyone else in the house, but follows me around and sits with me constantly. I feel very bad for him right now that he's got less time with me...

Anonymous said...

Andrew, All I can say is:


Cocaine Princess said...

You mentioned “wee-wee pads”-- I recently saw Joan Rivers' Show called "How'd You Get So Rich" It featured Allen J. Simon- creator of the wee wee pads. That dude is a multi-multi millionaire because of his wee-wee pad inventions!


Bruce Johnson said...

It is so good to know that someone else had to go through this and not just me.

First of all, young Padiwon Lerner, you must learn patience. The dog will teach you a lot of patience. The dog has no agenda, he will learn on HIS time line, not yours.

Have you considered crate training the dog. It is usually the best way to do it. Keep him in a cage and only let him out as a reward, and teach him that his crate is HIS safe place. There is a lot more to it than that, so you should read up on it.

Routine is the key thing, and it will take about THREE YEARS, so get used to it. The rewards outweigh the frustration, but you have to wait for the investment to mature.

If all else fails, shock collar, but that isn't going to be applicable until he is at least one year old.

Ow, and watch a lot of Cesar Milan videos, the guy knows his shit.