View Full Version : Help needed for desperate neighbour

28th November 2007, 10:10 AM
Hi everyone,

Didn't know where to post this or even if anyone can offer any advice, not really cavvie related but cocker?

My neighbour has a cocker spaniel puppy, she got him on saturday he's nearly 12wks old and she's at her wits end!!
He constantly barks and whines whenever she's not in the room, keeps trashing his crate, pooing everywhere and then trampling in it all which is obviously distressing him even more!

Since sat she's been really determined to just let him get on with it, making sure he's clean, fed, watered etc, but last night she gave in and went down to him at midnight to find him caked in poo!! She gave him a stern telling off and then bathed him but ended up sleeping on the couch.

We've tried everything recommended, tv left on, radio, piece of clothing with scent on, kong toy but he's a stubborn little bugger!!

She has to work from 9-1 but I go in and check he's ok.

Like I said I know this isn't cavvie related but was hoping someone could offer any advice before the whole street moves out!!!!!

Thanks in advance

28th November 2007, 11:27 AM
I'm NO expert here...this is just my opinion....but I think she should get him a smaller crate. With Molly, we started with the smallest doggie crate, then got one bigger with an adjustable 'area' and kept the crate just big enough for her to turn around in comfortably....no extra room to roam. As she got bigger, so did the area. This is what we did & it worked.

Hope this helped!

28th November 2007, 11:33 AM
Thanks Lynn,

That's interesting? we were thinking that maybe he needed more room! His bed takes up most of the crate, so when he does wee/poo he hasn't much room to manouvre (sp) so ends up with it all over him!

He's barking/whining as i'm typing, it's just constant, not just when he's initially left.

I can cope with it but it's the neighbours the other side, they're in all day!!!! She has already apologised and told them that it shouldn't go on for too long but we're all amazed at how stubborn he's being!

28th November 2007, 11:51 AM
its not normal for a puppy to mess their bed , how often is he being put outside for the toilet

Cathy Moon
28th November 2007, 12:15 PM
I'm thinking he may be developing separation anxiety. If it were me in her shoes, I would find an APDT certified dog trainer who only uses positive, reward-based training methods. The dog trainer would provide a detailed plan for the puppy and owner to train away from this.

Also, maybe a vet visit is in order to rule out diarrhea, etc.

Perhaps she is feeding the puppy too much food. That could cause excessive pooing and discomfort.

He should probably be taken outside very often so his chances of pottying outside are higher.

28th November 2007, 12:19 PM
I can imagine this is frustrating but a lot sounds very wrong with this picture at the moment. First, is he soiling the crate only or everywhere? If the crate, where was he got from? Is he from a puppy farm? Such puppies are reared in cages that are typically covered in feces and the puppy will have NO idea how to remain clean. It is harder to train such puppies but will happen with dedication and time. If not, and this is a puppy from a good breeder, then your neighbour should be talking to the breeder. Good breeders are there to help the owner for the life of the dog and will be more than happy to give wise advice on puppies.

But I am a bit concerned at this description -- as AT notes it is never normal for a puppy to be 'caked in feces'. I would get this puppy to a vet first, to make sure there are not medical problems causing or contributing before trying anything else. Also are they pottying him before bedtime? Feeding after 6pm and giving treats (they shouldn't be)? There are a hundred things they may be doing that is causing this. Puppies shouldn't have to go to the toilet constantly through the night like this. re they getting up during the night to take him out? At his age he may need to be taken out by them in the middle of the night -- say 3am -- for the first while.

Also if he is 'pooing everywhere and trampling in it' -- I am afraid this is what puppies do, if someone isn't right there, working to housetrain, if this is happening in the daytime. This pup is way too young to be expected to be housetrained! She needs to be there following a careful training programme -- even being gone four hours at his age is stretching it for a small puppy in the morning and she should therefore EXPECT him to soil his crate at this age. She needs to get Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining immediately, which will help with structure and guidance in this always-challenging area. :thmbsup:

How is he 'trashing his crate'? Puppies shouldn't be able to do a lot of harm. Do you mean defecating in it or chewing or what? Most important: Has she actually *crate trained* or is she just sticking him in the crate -- VERY DISTRESSING to a pup or adult do do this -- she needs to crate train FIRST not expect a puppy to adapt automatically. Crate training takes TIME.

Also, a lot of puppies take a long time to settle on their own. From a puppy's point of view it has gone from the safe warm comforting environment of its mother and siblings to being left entirely alone. This can create serious anxiety and the way a puppy tries to save its own life when it feels abandoned is to cry out. The behaviour is normal but without knowing all the things leading up to how the puppy is left at night, how they respond to the crying, what the crate arrangement is like and so forth, it is hard to know what might exactly be going on. But in 99% of cases, unless there is a medical reason or the pup is from a very bad beginning (puppy farm or backyard breeder) the issue is the owner and the approach to training, NOT THE PUPPY. So she needs to get the right advice and take the right approach. :thmbsup:

If they are really frustrated they need to get an experienced trainer in for advice. I would have them go to the www.apdt.com website and find a trainer in the UK on the trainer list. But the first two things to do are to get that puppy in to a vet, and to get a very good puppy manual and reference book (a LEAST one!). I suggest she immediately get the Kalstone book and one of Dr Ian Dunbar's books on raising a puppy -- they can be got from Amazon.co.uk and will give her an excellent start on working with her new pup.

There are also very good articles on puppies in the training section of www.diamondsintheruff.com

Finally it is always worth remembering that puppies are definitely not the right choice for everyone -- they are very hard work for the first 6 months in particular and for the first year will be quite demanding. An older dog often is a better match for people. If a puppy is just too challenging they should talk to Dog's Trust who I am sure can happily rehome the pup at this young age, and help them find a good adult match for their household. The whining etc is really very normal behaviour for a puppy she has only had for three short days!! The little guy is going to be very anxious right now and it might take a week or two for this behaviour to settle. If that is really hard for her already, I'd definitely recommend placing the puppy and opting for an older dog -- it sounds like she is kind of expecting the behaviour of an adult from a puppy, which isn't a good match on either side.