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 First Time Puppy Owner Advice

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Blair&Zeus
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PostSubject: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:22 pm




Hi everyone! Smile

My name is Blair and I've been reading posts on this site for a while now.  I recently acquired my new friend, Zeus and there's been some highs and definitely some lows.  Since this is my first puppy, I just wanted some advice on what to look out for, as well as some training tips.  I've been trying to play with him, but he doesn't really like playing for more than 5 minutes and will usually take his toy and go play alone.  It's just me and him, so I'm guessing he's having separation anxiety and doesn't really feel too comfortable with me yet.  I've only had him for 5 days.  Also, I live in an apartment and he's really scared to walk on a leash or even be taken outside.  I carry him down, and when I try to walk, he puts his head down and won't move no matter what.  If I give him a treat, he'll eat it and then put his head back down.  Does all husky puppies not like their owners at first?  He does follow me around the house all the time, but I think he just doesn't want to be alone.  Also, if you have any success stories on how you trained your husky pup, I would love to know! My attempts aren't going so well, so I would love to hear what worked for you Smile


Last edited by Blair&Zeus on Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Demon&Dakota
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:44 pm

Hello and welcome! Zeus is adorable. Smile

How old is your puppy?
Puppies are like babies and tire out quickly...play, nap, play, nap, etc. A collar and a leash are brand new things that he's not used to so it will take a little while for him to get accustomed to them. My two would scream bloody murder when I hooked the leash to the collar and tried to walk them, so we started them out on harnesses.

Did you see the conditions he was living in before he came to you? Has he ever seen grass/pavement before? He needs to acclimate to all these new things, sounds, experiences. Smile

He could very well be experiencing separation anxiety from his littermates and mama.

Set your pup up to succeed. Spend just a couple minutes a few times a day working with him on the basics. As a baby, his attention span is minimal but about 5 to 10 minutes of training will tire him out quickly. Don't expect too much too soon.

We concentrated on potty training first, then worked on basics like sit, down, shake. Stay took a while and Wait took even longer.

Good luck and can't wait to watch him grow.
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Blair&Zeus
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:06 pm

I just added a PitaPata Signature, so that shows his exact age. He's around 8 weeks though. He is very much a baby, and all the crying reminds me of it. Smile

The breeder kept them housed outside in a big backyard so they got plenty of playtime with the other huskies outdoors. There's no doubt that he's never seen pavement before though.

He sits on command, but I feel like it's more because he looks up to hear my voice and instinctively sits down while looking up. I'll continue to work hard at it Smile I have noticed that he does sleep A LOT, but not in his crate. He goes completely NUTS while in the crate and will never stop. I usually get up and keep letting him out every 30 minutes, but that's getting tiresome. The vet told me to set my alarm to 2am to take him out to pee, and outside of that, just let him cry and whine. Any suggestions on that?
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:10 pm

If you look in the husky 101 section, there are a lot of really helpful posts on potty and crate training. Smile Welcome! And Zeus is really cute. Smile
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djannitto
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:52 pm

Bringing home a new puppy isn't easy. Our puppy was the same way with us when he came home. He would play with us for a little while, but then liked to be on his own. He is more or less a very aloof dog and has been since the 2nd day we owned him. He shows us affeciton on his terms. Don't get discouraged though....you'll get through this period just like the rest of us. Lots of ups and downs along the way, but the end result is so worth it! By the way, Blair is adorable!!!
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Blair&Zeus
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:16 pm

@djannitto wrote:
Bringing home a new puppy isn't easy.  Our puppy was the same way with us when he came home.   He would play with us for a little while, but then liked to be on his own.  He is more or less a very aloof dog and has been since the 2nd day we owned him.  He shows us affeciton on his terms.  Don't get discouraged though....you'll get through this period just like the rest of us.  Lots of ups and downs along the way, but the end result is so worth it!  By the way, Blair is adorable!!!


Thanks for the encouraging words! That's kind of what I was looking to hear.  I didn't want my puppy to be acting uncommon in any way.  Since this is my first puppy, everything he does is a new experience for me.  Oh and I'm Blair, my puppy is Zeus! :DSorry I had the names in the wrong spot on my profile!
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djannitto
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:39 pm

The name mixup is my mistake! Sorry about that! Zeus is adorable!!! Q is our first puppy too, so it has all been new to us as well. Everyone's experience with their pups differs somewhat, however you will find from reading threads on this site, that most of us can relate to the things you are and will go through. I am no expert on anything Husky....Q is my first, and my first puppy too...and my husband and I have stumbled all along the way. He is currently 17 months old and we are more or less settled now. Best of luck to you both!
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NovasHuman
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:44 pm

Welcome, you have a very cute pup! The only thing i would suggest is working with him inside with the leash too, if he's comfortable in the apartment it might help if you just randomly put the leash on him for couple of minutes so he can get use to being on it.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:51 am

Ah, yes, the it gets better puppy support group! I can tell you, that yes, I promise, it really does get better if you stay patient and keep at it. Especially since you've only had your little guy for 5 days. After the first few days, I too wondered if I just got a puppy that doesn't like people very much. Then he seemed to love everybody we met on walks except me! I thought, "my puppy hates me!" As my hubby put it once, "well all those people are potential suckers" LOL! He was also a major biter, he bit when excited, frustrated, when he had to go out, when he wanted to play, when he was happy to see me, when he wanted something, when I tried to put the leash on, when he didn't want something, you get the picture. That and talking used to be his go to way of expressing himself. I've had him home for 7 weeks now, and have seen a huge difference. At stressful times, he will regress in the biting and I will see some of those old behaviors, but he really has made such an improvement. A turning point for me, was when I brought him to work with me about 2-3 weeks ago. He was so good and just hung out and played with his toys behind me while I worked. When I would have to get up to do something, he wouldn't take his eyes off me, even if he was sound asleep I would turn back to look at him and he'd be on his feet giving me that intense husky stare, and if I went into a nearby office, he HAD to follow me. It made me realize that he really was bonded to me. It felt so good to have him showing an attachment. He isn't super cuddly, but he is also starting to show affection, so hopefully it will be something that develops over time. This morning, we walked to the park, then just played and hung out in a grassy area for about a half hour. Once I fed him, he just wanted to follow me around and cuddle, it was such a good feeling to get that from him. Just keep at it, and when he does show that attachment and love, you'll know there is a depth to it and that he doesn't give it to just anybody like a golden would. THAT is a truly amazing feeling when it happens, and why I will always have huskies. Smile
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Blair&Zeus
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:41 am

@NovasHuman wrote:
Welcome, you have a very cute pup! The only thing i would suggest is working with him inside with the leash too, if he's comfortable in the apartment it might help if you just randomly put the leash on him for couple of minutes so he can get use to being on it.

Thanks! He usually just attacks his leash and bites it until I take it off him. I'll try just leaving it on him longer and longer each day until he doesn't want to chew on it anymore. Lol it seems like he wants to chew on anything I touch right now! Even my iphone!
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Blair&Zeus
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:44 am

@wpskier222 wrote:
Ah, yes, the it gets better puppy support group! I can tell you, that yes, I promise, it really does get better if you stay patient and keep at it... Smile

That's the kind of stuff I like to hear! I just needed some reassurance that it will get better over time. I'm starting to wish he was an adult so he can be more calm lol! He follows me everywhere in the house, but I can't wait to feel the love from him one day Smile Thanks so much for your encouraging words!
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seanbrunett
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:15 am

@wpskier222 wrote:
Ah, yes, the it gets better puppy support group! I can tell you, that yes, I promise, it really does get better if you stay patient and keep at it. Especially since you've only had your little guy for 5 days. After the first few days, I too wondered if I just got a puppy that doesn't like people very much. Then he seemed to love everybody we met on walks except me! I thought, "my puppy hates me!" As my hubby put it once, "well all those people are potential suckers" LOL!  He was also a major biter, he bit when excited, frustrated, when he had to go out, when he wanted to play, when he was happy to see me, when he wanted something, when I tried to put the leash on, when he didn't want something, you get the picture. That and talking used to be his go to way of expressing himself. I've had him home for 7 weeks now, and have seen a huge difference. At stressful times, he will regress in the biting and I will see some of those old behaviors, but he really has made such an improvement. A turning point for me, was when I brought him to work with me about 2-3 weeks ago. He was so good and just hung out and played with his toys behind me while I worked. When I would have to get up to do something, he wouldn't take his eyes off me, even if he was sound asleep I would turn back to look at him and he'd be on his feet giving me that intense husky stare, and if I went into a nearby office, he HAD to follow me. It made me realize that he really was bonded to me. It felt so good to have him showing an attachment. He isn't super cuddly, but he is also starting to show affection, so hopefully it will be something that develops over time. This morning, we walked to the park, then just played and hung out in a grassy area for about a half hour. Once I fed him, he just wanted to follow me around and cuddle, it was such a good feeling to get that from him. Just keep at it, and when he does show that attachment and love, you'll know there is a depth to it and that he doesn't give it to just anybody like a golden would. THAT is a truly amazing feeling when it happens, and why I will always have huskies. Smile

Thanks for sharing, what was the most effective method you found for curbing his biting? We've had our pup for 3 weeks now and she's doing great, her biting being the only behavior that's difficult to deal with. It's understandably a puppy trait so I know she'll somewhat grow out of it, but we've been trying various methods to show her it's not ok to chew skin! Any tips would be appreciated, thanks!
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cinnamonbits
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:23 am

The best thing that worked for me was either pushing a toy in Karli's mouth when she got mouthy (which usually happened during tug of war) and saying "OW" really loud at her. She'd stop and look at me. Hiding my hands and saying no helped too. Now the only time she mouths is when we get her really riled up during rough play. But stopping her is easy, I make a kissy noise and she kisses me, and totally forgets what she was doing lol.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:40 am

I copied this from another post because I'm too lazy to type it all up again, but this was my approach with Dizzy:

Here's what I'm doing with my little monster.

1. I say ah ah. When he stops what he's doing, he gets praise and a treat. I believe that you have to teach them what no means, before you can expect them to respond to it. He is getting better and better with this.

2. Take him outside for some exercise. Sometimes he starts biting my arms when he has to go out to potty and I don't catch on to his other signals. It also helps redirect some energy. I do short little sprints with Dizzy, very short sprints, 10-15 feet, and get him to play chase with me. At first I thought this would make the biting worse, but it just helps him to let him release some energy.

3. Give him something to think about. When he gets bored, he starts wandering around chewing on random stuff, especially furniture, or me. So, I do some little training exercises with him, working on basic commands, and try to teach him something new. He even sometimes bites while he's thinking (insert jeopardy theme music here), but I'll say 'off' and the second he releases, he gets a treat. This also includes puzzle toys, or stuffed kongs, or anything to chew on that they like. Dizzy has an antler that I'll wave under his nose that he loves. I also sometimes hide his chew toys and let him sniff them out.

4. Sometimes, he bites my feet, pant legs, or dresses when walking. He LOVES dresses, they flutter around oh so nicely. I think he's trying to initiate a chase play game, so when he does this I stop walking and step towards him, basically the opposite of what he wants. He wants me to run so he can chase and pounce. The first time I did this it led to a 5-10 minute battle of the wills (he was growl talking, running toward me and trying to nip, and jumping around) in the middle of the sidewalk, that was about a week ago. Each time he tried it I would do the same thing it would take less and less time for him to give up, and now, unless he's really wound up or annoyed about something else, I just give the ah ah, and he stops.

5. He also does it when he gets really excited, so if he or someone else winds him up. He goes in his crate with his antler for 10 min. This will chill him out and isn't a punishment, because I give him something yummy.

6. End play or interaction when he gets too rough. Simple get up and walk away, if he followed and continued, then he went for the crate time.

Now, he tends to only bite when I first take him out of his crate in the morning or after work, but its a gentle 'love' bite. More like a greeting than anything else, and when I say ah ah, he stops. Or, when he gets riled up, which is usually my fault, so he goes back in the crate to wind down. Smile
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:44 am

One other thing I did that some may not agree with, but worked for Dizzy along with all the stuff I mentioned above, was if he was really obnoxious or persistent with the biting, I would grab his snout and fold his lips under his teeth. Never hard, never made him yelp, but just press his lips into his teeth. I'm sure it wasn't comfortable, but it never made a mark or made him yelp. I think all of the above things mentioned combined to help plus he is growing out of it as well I think.
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NovasHuman
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PostSubject: Re: First Time Puppy Owner Advice   Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:45 pm

Blair&Zeus wrote:

@NovasHuman wrote:
Welcome, you have a very cute pup! The only thing i would suggest is working with him inside with the leash too, if he's comfortable in the apartment it might help if you just randomly put the leash on him for couple of minutes so he can get use to being on it.


Thanks! He usually just attacks his leash and bites it until I take it off him.  I'll try just leaving it on him longer and longer each day until he doesn't want to chew on it anymore.  Lol it seems like he wants to chew on anything I touch right now! Even my iphone!
Good luck! Keep us updated on how he's doing Smile
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