Good evening all - I'm Denise and I'm the new mom to 9 week old Router, a standard schnauzer whom we brought home yesterday from Boise - we live in Salt Lake City. I found these forums after reading My Smart Puppy in preparation for Router's arrival and have reviewed them as extensively as a sleep-deprived new puppy owner and mom to 2.5 year old little boy can review! My prior dog experience was with a yellow labrador who I brought home at 8 weeks and lost August 5th after 12 wonderful years. I was young and single then with a small home and not much else to do other than dote on Digger who was really the first love of my life. My situation now is also wonderful but much more busy with a full time job, husband, toddler and step-son every other weekend.
To help makes Router's transition into our family easier I have taken the next week off from work to spend time with him and begin his training and I have a couple of questions going forward.
1. This puppy is a spitfire to say the least. He is mouthing a ridiculous amount and loves to try to nibble on our toddler constantly much to the toddler's dismay. I have set up an ex pen to keep then separate without crating for moments when I'm cooking, etc. and I ask the toddler to sit up on the couch when the puppy is mouthing. However, the puppy tries to leap up on the couch like a little missile ready to pounce. It won't be long until he can just jump up there. I would love any advice on how to nip the projectile mouthing puppy in the bud both on the jumping and the mouthing. I have reviewed the forums for the mouthing discussions which are helpful but this little guy mouths so much I am having a hard time rewarding when he doesn't do it and ignoring him doesn't seem to be working all that well yet. Any additional suggestions or techniques would be greatly appreciated. Right now the toddler and the pup aren't spending much time together which is a bit challenging. The pup really doesn't stop or slow at all during his free time unless he's outside which is fine but 30 degrees is a little chilly for his entire free time. . . lol. At first I thought he needed more time out of his crate because I thought he was not exercised enough but that made him even more crazy yesterday. Setting the schedule outlined below has helped some but he's still a little puppy missle.
2. I would also ask for a brief review of the schedule I have set up for the next week to see if it meets with the standards shown on this forum (which is very impressive to say the least!) I'm like many new puppy owners who feel like he spends an awful lot of time in his crate, but after implementing this schedule today, things went much better than yesterday when I am pretty sure I created a very overtired little guy. Here's the rough breakdown.
6:00 to 7:30- Awake, potty, food and free time with me or if making breakfast, etc. in the ex pen in the same room as me.
7:30 to 9:30 - Crate for nap
9:30 to 11:00 - Awake, potty, drink and free time as above.
11:00 to 1:00 - Crate for nap.
Rinse, repeat alternating 90 minutes out of crate for food, water and free time and 2 hours of crate time until 9:30 or 10 pm for bedtime.
Once I return to work next week, the schedule will change to the following:
6:00 to 7:00 Awake, potty, free time.
7:00 to 7:30 Crate or ex pen for food while I get ready for work.
7:30 to 8:00 Free time before I have to leave.
8:00 to 11:00ish (depends on the day) Crate while I'm at work
11:00ish to 1:00 Awake, potty, food, free time.
1:00 to 5:30: Crate until I get home from work with toddler.
5:30 to 7:00: Awake, food, free time.
7:00 to 8:30: Crate
8:30 to 9:30: Awake, free time, final potty break at end of out time.
9:30 or 10:00: Crate for night.
Do both of the above schedules seem reasonable under the listed circumstances?
*Note: At 16 weeks (after proper vaccination) puppy will begin dog daycare 3 days per week to have more happy, happy fun times while mom and dad are at work and lessen his time spent alone.
3. Finally, given that I will have more time this week than in the future with full-time work, is there anything specific you all might recommend to really devote our time to while I have the hours to devote and the toddler is at daycare? I just want to make the most of this time at home to help his adjustment to our family go as smoothly as any toddler/puppy combo can go!
Thanks very much in advance. I apologize for the length of the post but if you're willing to answer, I want you to have all the information possible up front. Additionally, it appears the "fee" for assistance on this board is a puppy pic! :0) So without further adieu, here's Router the Schnauzer!
UPDATE: Good morning all. I've just had a good/bad/ugly morning with the pup (as I'm on the puppy maternity leave) and would like some additional feedback.
THE GOOD: We had been very frustrated with Router's peeing in his ex pen almost immediately if we placed him in there for any reason. My inexperienced thought was that the breeder had kept the puppies confined in that way and he was used to eliminating there. In any event, took a puppy pad outside and he used it out there immediately! WOOT! A step in the right direction. Very happy with that.
THE BAD: Decided to work on Calm = Release this morning. First few times went pretty well but as I continued to practice with him, Router started growling at me when I was holding his collar and kept ramping himself up until he flipped himself over onto the ground and I was almost holding him like an alpha roll which I know isn't good - I hadn't released him before that as I missed a time or two and wanted to release at the proper time. Newbie mistake admittedly. Also please note newbie mistake number two which is that I was practicing this near the end of his free time so he was getting a little mouthy/rambunctious which seems to escalate as he tires. I recognized after the fact that I should have been doing this when he was more calm. My thought was that it was a perfect time to practice because he was being a bit wild. Duh . . . . He was asleep in his pen 10 minutes after putting him back. Yes, I'm an idiot and pushed too hard.
THE UGLY: I came here to check the forum and just found a lengthy set of exchanges about a "snarling puppy" where the owner actually ended up returning the puppy so I'm freaking out! That set of posts had the video removed so I couldn't compare Router but I really freaked out when most all of the posts in that exchange indicate that her puppy wasn't a puppy for a home with small kids and as noted above, I have a 2.5 year old son. Obviously, I need to breathe and regroup first. Second, I re-read this section in MSP and it referenced a "temper tantrum" with this exercise. I don't know what qualifies as a temper tantrum and what qualifies as a problem. I do know he likes to jump and bite as described above, and play. He doesn't like his collar and doesn't like my hand in it which obviously needs work. He has NEVER turned back on me in an aggressive stance as described in the other post. He just goes back to mouthing or walks away. I'm also able to toss his squeaky toy to distract him but the growling is loud, disconcerting, and he's clearly trying to make a point that he doesn't like this activity. Final note: Even when growling at me and "taking it up a notch" which is what I felt he was doing to try to get me to let go, I was able to hold him to a count of 3 quietly if I picked him up as opposed to his feet being on the ground but it took some work to do it (holding his shoulders very firmly to slow, calm, and avoid being bit). But I am certain I held him much more firmly than is contemplated in MSP and may have only gotten my way inappropriately which is not the goal. I'm fine to do plenty of work with my puppy but obviously this is of concern. I hope I did this completely wrong and I'm overreacting here. However, this little guy needs to be able to be sweet with our toddler even if toddler isn't perfect.
Fee enclosed: Pic from yesterday outside playing and chewing on my son. lol