I brought home a new puppy
My mom and I live together and have 2 cats and 2 dogs between us. Peanut is a Chihuahua-Terrier mix and Punkin is a Shipoo and they are both turning two this May. Now I've brought home a new puppy.
I brought this one home so she is my responsibility and with that I have certain beliefs when it comes to dogs that my mother doesn't share. She spoils and over-feeds her dogs, Peanut is 12 lbs and Punkin is 16 lbs. I believe dogs should not beg and I'll give each a bite of my food when I am finished and when they are calm and not focused on the food. I believe dogs should always come when you call them and should walk beside you on a leash, never in front. Mom lets them walk wherever they like. My mom treats all the dogs like babies and if one doesn't want to jump up on the sofa she picks them up.
I've watch the Dog Whisperer and I believe in the techniques he uses. When I walked them first thing in the morning I would not talk to them, not get them excited, made them sit and be calm before putting on their leashes, I was always the first one out and they never walked in front of me. I am going to start again first with Sheba (new puppy) then with the other two in a big pack walk.
1) Sheba is about 8 weeks old, is she too young to train to walk on a leash? I took her out today and while she hated the leash (tried an alligator roll on me to get it off) she walked with me up and down the street a bit before wanting to be picked up. I didn't use the leash to try to correct or control her, just let her deal with the feeling of it on her neck. Yes she walks like she's on the deck of a ship but I think she should still be walked daily. Am I right?
2) Sheba is a Shar Pei pit bull mix so she needs a firm leader. Her mother started disciplining her from the day she was born so I think she's not too young to be corrected when she bites, chews on things she isn't supposed to, etc. Mom babies them and lets them do whatever they want to do until they do something really bad, like chew up her glasses, then yells at them for being bad. I want to use treats/affection to reward wanted behaviour and firm correction when she displays unwanted behaviour. She's not too young for this right?
3) Sheba was not weened off her mother's milk and while there was dry food for the puppies they were still suckling off two nursing mothers. She was throwing up a lot yesterday so I've started giving her a little bit of the food she was eating before (mom still doesn't get the concept of slowly transitioning pets to new food) and milk (1%). For the first day she would not drink any water at all (even though she drank at home with her siblings) which is why I started giving milk. We've had her since Thursday night and today is the first time she drank water from the bowl.
4) Peanut and Punkin have growled at her since she first came home. She wasn't as rambunctious as she is now. I believe its part jealousy, part dominance. They can interact but there are still growls now and then. A pack walk would be good to bind them but she's too little to go for a long walk and we got dumped on with 10-15 cms of snow Friday so today was the first nice day. All can go outback and run and chase in the snow, they are safe together but there is still some issues with growling. I think that the dogs should be able to tell Sheba to back off when she's in their face but I want to make sure its not dominance just that the puppy needs some boundaries and they should be able to express this somehow.
5) Excitement. Both my parents encourage excitement because they are so cute when they jump and dance and go crazy. I rather she be calm most of the time, playful but not crazy-excited unless its an activity that we are engaged in. Its like kids, you want them to behave in the car ride and the parking lot but once they are inside Chucky's Cheese they can go knock themselves out.
6) Crate training. I'm a firm believer in this. Our two dogs have never been left home alone. Mom's retired but that doesn't mean they can't learn to be left alone for half an hour while she goes shopping. I want Sheba to grow up to be ok alone in the house and also in a crate for short periods of time. One day I hope to be on my own and Shar Peis I read can do well in an apartment as long as they have lots of exercise. I don't want her to become dependent like these two are. I understand the pack mentality aspect and that its unnatural for dogs to be alone but if trained properly they can adapt to our complicated society.
Sheba is a strong breed/mix so I want her to be better behaved than these two we have. She's shown good sense (when the cat raises her back it means don't come closer and Sheba doesn't) I've read up on her breed and Sheba will grow up to be a strong dog who needs a firm steady leader and at her size and power she needs to be trained and socialized now to be the perfect dog she was meant to be.