Week Two – He’s out of his shell!
Rocket is now settled. He’s feeling more comfortable and at home with us. His bubbly personality is now coming through, along with the typical naughty puppy behaviours!
A Little Land Shark!
Those teeth! We have ourselves a little land shark, a snappy alligator! He just loves to explore the world with his teeth and now his favourite toy is my ankle or hand! Puppy teeth are needle sharp so when they get you it really hurts, sometimes drawing blood.
Mouthing / Biting – Giving the Puppy something they CAN chew on
Rocket is a young puppy and he will be mouthing and chewing everything in sight, even when he seems fairly calm. Because he needs plenty of things to chew. I always have something to hand to divert his attention to like a toy, rope, or chew instead of telling him no, I want to show him what he is allowed to chew. Chewing is an absolute must for puppies and even adult dogs so I don’t want to discourage it however I need to give him appropriate chew items. This also means that I have put away anything that I don’t want him chewing for example bags, shoes, even kitchen roll needs to be put out of reach.
Puppy is growling whilst tugging – Is This Aggression?
When Rocket gets hold of my sleeves or trousers, he sometimes starts growling. It may seem like aggression however this is normal puppy behaviour. It likely means they are over aroused and need some more calming activities. I try to prevent Rocket from getting to that point by keeping playtime short and finishing with a kong or licki mat. There are still times when he escalates in an instant so then it’s time to employ the chew, kong or licki mat and into the pen to calm down.
How Can We Stop The Mouthing and Biting?
It is an unfortunately but inevitable part of puppyhood that they will nip and bite. Boundary games, Middle and Two Paws On are great calming games to help with mental exercise and enrichment. They are getting little Rocket thinking, which will in turn make him mentally tired so he can have lots of regular naps and sleep.
Sometimes a covered crate is the best way to help him sleep without distractions all around.
Don’t be afraid to use gates, pens and crates, especially if you have children and other pets. We are using Rocket’s daily food to add value and scatter feed a few pieces in there.
Toilet Training – No Quick Fix
We have our living room and kitchen upstairs so toilet training was becoming tricky having to carry Rocket downstairs every 20 mins when he was awake. He had started getting very wriggly in our arms so we decided to find a better solution and set up base in the room downstairs with direct access to garden.
Unfortunately it is carpet, accidents will happen and will be tricky to clean, not only that he seems enjoy pulling up and shredding the carpet! We are #SolutionSeekers and went on to discover a plastic floor cover to keep carpet protected.
Do I Tell the Puppy NO!?
He has had a few accidents in his crate as well as on the floor but that’s ok, he is still a baby and cannot hold on too long. He also doesn’t fully understand where his toilet area is yet or even that a specific toilet area exists! When he has an accident we just stay calm and carry him outside, luckily that is not too far now we are downstairs. When accidents happen, which of course they will, we just stay calm and take him outside in case he needs to go again as sometimes they are not completely empty the first time.
What to do when toilet accidents happen?
- Stay calm, no shouting, no stuffing their noses into the mess.
- Take your puppy outside where they can finish their business. Try a little encourage for them to go again, in case they are not completely empty the first time.
- Put puppy in a separate room, pen or crate – so you can clean up the mess. Make sure to use special wee cleaning product.
So When Should I say NO??
Unfortunately if we tell them no or get angry when they have accidents they are more likely to toilet else where when you are not watching as they have paired toileting in front of people as a bad thing.
This is why I must always stay calm with Rocket when he has accidents and keep showing him where I do want him to toilet, so I go out there with him, even in the rain to check he has done it and give him lots and lots of praise!
At this point I am adding a cue just before he toilets. I take him outside and say “hurry up” in a calm voice and wait for him to finish, then lots and lots of praise and treats (Or in Rocket’s case, his daily food as he loves it). I have my pot of food ready to reward good behaviour. Keeping some in my pockets too for easy access. Old hoodies come in handy here so not to ruin any nice clothes.