10th October 2011, 10:54 PM
New Owner Tri Rescue from puppy farm lots of issues
I am a first time dog owner of a rescue CKCS tri puppy. She came via the SSPCA and I am technically her 3rd home in 12 weeks, i.e. puppy farm, sspca, new owner handed her back to SSPCA then I got her. I think I have taken on more than I can handle. Lots of issues but most pressing is the night time screaming/being left on her own. I have had her for 4 weeks and I am exhausted. She is literally drenched in sweat and her paws are starting to crack and bleed with the digging at the cage (which I put her in at night). I feel that this behaviour is more than just attention seeking as she is not just wimpering she is going mental frantic in the cage. I can't put up with it one more night so I am not going to cage her, I have bought a nice cosy basket for her and 2 baby gates so she can sleep in the hallway adjacent to the bedrooms. She is approx 18 weeks old. She is a very sturdy dog with a broad chest and massive paws (which I'm not sure is normal for a CKCS), eats well (too much thats another issue). On a positive note I have taught her to sit, give a paw and when I manage to get her outside on time she will pee/poo. So I guess what I am asking is should I rehome her as I am really inexperienced and feel that maybe a better more experienced person could deal with her or if I persevere, realistically what would be a reasonable timescale for these issues to resolve. I really don't want to give up on her it would break my heart as well as hers but I just feel very inadequate.
11th October 2011, 12:00 AM
It is ultimately your choice whether or not you keep her. I think she just needs a lot of love and TLC. The crate issue is probably a result of being caged up at the puppy mill and the shelter. The baby gate thing sounds like a good plan. It sounds like this pup is going to need a lot of love and extra care. If you can I think you should stick it out seeing as how she's already been through 2 other homes now. But if you really feel like you can't then I guess you have to do what you have to do.
11th October 2011, 12:32 AM
Welcome! I think you are dealing with some common puppy issues, actually (?), perhaps exacerbated by caging in a puppy farm as noted above. On the crate issue: puppies need to be crate *trained* first before they are left alone in crates for long periods -- they can be terrified if locked into a small crate especially totally alone when up til then they'd have been surrounded by mother/littermates/other dogs. Many perfectly normal puppies would be desperate in the same way but this is esp. true for a rescue. have you considered a Snugglepup, a soothing toy for sleeping? Also -- rescue dogs especially from puppy farms are generally more stressed and difficult dogs by definition. They need a lot of gentle and help and time. They may never be like 'normal' dogs but you can help her along by plenty of socialising with friendly dogs, meeting lots of fun people, giving her lots of your time, but not overresponding to demands.
If you haven't, be sure to download After You Get Your Puppy here (it's free! ) as that might help a LOT towards setting up a better night environment for both of you and give ideas of how to start structuring her days.
There are some great books too on working with rescue dogs and their common issues.
If you feel you cannot manage her, please contact CKCSC or ACKCSC breed rescue or Lucky Star rescue for help as they are very familiar with dog issues and cavaliers and can help rehome to a good home, rather than returning her to the SPCA.
Even a 'normal' puppy is extremely challenging and often people find that the picture postcard idea of a puppy or a dog doesn't match the reality and a responsible, caring person recognises when this is too much for them -- t is a sign of courage and kindness not of failure. I agree that only you can make this call but you may find from working with the Dunbar book that actually things are not quite as challenging as they seem. But you may also find this is more than you really wish in your life (and I cannot say it enough -- puppies are HARD; and not everyone really finds they want a puppy as opposed to say, an adult rescue dog). If so: I have club rescue contacts posted in the breed rescue forum.
On feeding -- a puppy shouldn't be able to eat 'too much' -- just give her a set amount three times a day. For most cavalier pups this equates to about 1 cup total over the day. Give her 10 min to eat then lift the food and don;t cajole or give her anything til the next scheduled mealtime. Almost all puppies however will not overeat but that may not be the case with a puppy farm dog jealous of food.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
11th October 2011, 12:53 AM
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
11th October 2011, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the replies. Last night she slept soundly on the couch (so much for the cosy dog basket) (it was me who was up several times checking on her). Only issue was the toilet as she had done two pees and a poo (on the puppy training mats so not all bad). I did take her out last thing so will need to work on that.
Re the food, I am giving her 3 lots of food a day which is equating to ONE tin of puppy food and a handful of mixer biscuits spread between the 3 meals. Is this too much? Also what is the latest I should be giving her eveniing meal? She averages 4 poos a day and it is only in the past week or so she has started passing solid stools. The vet checked her over and said she is fine (she did have Kennel Cough, Bordellia (?) and Guardia (?) along with lice and fleas and worms) before I got her and I have since wormed her.
11th October 2011, 11:00 PM
I am so glad she had a good night! To be honest (and I am one for crate training!!), I just wonder if the crate has too many horrible associations at this point to be put in there all night. She might be better off sleeping and trained in other ways. And to reitterate what Karlin said, the crate training is just that, a really slow introduction to being in the crate with the door closed (i.e. 30 seconds to start, then moving up). It took about a month or two until I felt that Brooklyn was fully trained enough and comfortable with her crate that we built up time in, before I closed the door and now that is her sleeping spot. I would leave the crate around where you hang out, with the door open, maybe some treats and stuff in there...don't shut the door on her at all, just let her wander in and out for a while so she can be around the crate without thinking she will get locked in. Crate training is hard for a lot of puppies, but I would imagine with a rescue, the emotions of a crate are quite high, so I think you are doing the right thing by backing off that a little.
Also, with her potty routine, she seems right on the mark as far as her age. Brooklyn did not hold it through the night until, oh I would say 6 months? Every dog is different though (a good think to do is walk them or get them plenty of exercise in the evenings or before bed, tired puppy is sleeping happy puppy!). When Brooklyn was a puppy (until about 6 months) we had Brooklyn behind a baby gate with her crate (door open) in there and a pee pad. She would sleep kind of half in half out of her crate, but could get up to go to the bathroom (during the day, I encouraged her to go outside so she was not reliant on pee pads). I was happy when she would go on the pads (though sometimes she missed) and eventually she would maybe hold it through the night 1 day a week. Then 2. Then everyday with maybe 1 slip up, etc. So a lot of this is very very normal puppy stuff vs. rescue stuff. And even with mine, the puppy stage drove me mad sometimes! I think I expected too much of Brooklyn when she was small (she was my first ever pet!). Once she hit about 9 months, everything was how I expected or thought it would be when I first got her! Naive me But we kept putting in the work, and now we have a very well trained dog (though puppy hood is hard!!).
As far as what time to do the last feeding...totally up to you. Brooklyn is fed twice a day (around 7 am and then at 5 pm), but some days we flex depending on our schedules. I liked to have Brooky's latest meal around 6-ish when she was eating 3 times a day, as that gave her time to poo before bed When they are eating 3 times a day, it does not have to be perfectly spaced out, just morning, mid-day and evening. And as for how much to feed her, I have no idea. It is different with every food you give (i.e. the food Brooklyn's breeder gave us was about 1 cup a day, but now with her new food it is about 1/2 cup per day). It all depends on the brand and density of the food. What I always found helpful was calling the company and asking. They usually have a program and enter in your dogs age and weight and tell you apx. how much to feed per day (then divide that by 3). Also, just pay attention to how they look...skinny, getting chunky, and adjust
I think that is all my advice! You are doing all the right things!!! And a lot of this is puppyhood, and it is a frustrating time if you are not used to it (Brooklyn was my first dog and I was in panic those first 2 months because everything was different than I expected!). But you will learn your own dogs nuances and what makes them tick, and everything will fall into place. We are here for all the question you need!! Please lean on us, because we have all been there...through the good, hard, bad, and ugly. Even if you just want to vent about not sleeping or any issues, we have all been there so use us as a resource and it will help you get through all of those speed bumps...because even when they are all trained up, they still have slips ups and issues and it is always nice to hear someone say "no, you are not crazy, that is normal". Ha!!
Good luck, I would love to see pictures!! Oh, and Karlins reading recommendations are great. The Ian Dunbar free downloads ('Before you get your puppy' and 'after you get your puppy' are MUST reads. Even the before you get your puppy is a must read even if you already have them home).
Oh, and have you signed her up for puppy school yet?
11th October 2011, 11:24 PM
Thank you I feel a wee bit better now. She was at her first "Puppy Socialisation" class last thursday, I have signed up for the four week course. She seemed to be the leader of the pack it was really good to watch her run in circles with all the puppies. I will read all the literature recommended and keep you up to date with photos etc. Her name is Darcy.
11th October 2011, 11:36 PM
12th October 2011, 03:11 AM
Oh, one more thing I just thought of that Brooklyn loved when she was a puppy and that really helped her settle was a puppy warmer/heater. This is the one I have, but there are a few others out there too. I just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds before I put Brooky to sleep and she would snuggle right up to it. It almost became a sign for "bedtime" and gave her some comfort of warmth when she nodded off. We don't heat it anymore, but she now carried it with her everywhere! When she changed from the outdoor kennel to her inside bed throughout the day...she always brings it with her
There are tons of places online that sell this one.
12th October 2011, 06:08 AM
I used 8 panel pen instead of crate when my dog was a puppy. I put his bed inside the pen and he was doing fine, only cried the first night. You may want to check it out.