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In desperate need of Shiba inu help
  • Hello shiba lovers,

    I know there's a puppy first day topic but I am completely out of ideas for my shiba and could really use some help. I am nearly in tears and don't know what to do.

    I just got my shiba yesterday. Yesterday she drank and ate some food but always pottied on my carpet. I didn't scold her and I cleaned it right up.

    Today she again went on my carpet and I so desperately tried to get her to pee on a pad by interrupting and putting her urine on it but she just won't go.

    Then she drank water but didn't eat. She vomited on my carpet and I decided to take her to the vet as the breeder was also worried. The vet says that she's acting like a completely normal puppy and it's okay that she's not eating. He said she's really nervous and really scared and she'll eat when she wants to. I asked him for tips to help and he said to just leave her be and occasionally pet her when she thinks it's okay. The vet says to give her a week and don't take her anywhere. Just let her adjust.

    I come back and noticed she hasn't peed since the morning. I take her outside for 25 minutes. She poos and then lays down for the next 10 minutes so I think she's done. I take her back inside and immediately she goes to my carpet and pees.

    I don't know what to do here. I'm so frustrated and sad that I'm crying. I almost want to just take her to a place with people just so they can help me.
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    I'm glad you took her to the vet and he said she was fine, that's a huge relief. Have you started crate training her? It really does cut down on potty training time. Or if you don't want to crate her, you can set up an exercise pen in the kitchen or something so accidents are easier to clean. Puppies shouldn't have full run of the house, they will never be potty trained that way.

    @moxyfruvous made a good suggestion in the other thread--maybe try some canned food and/or boiled chicken?

    Don't worry too much that she doesn't like you yet, she's only known you for a day and is in an entirely new environment. She will get used to you and start trusting you with time.
  • Do you have a kennel for her? With mine, when they were puppies and I was not interacting with them, they would be in their kennels. I would take them out once a hour to go potty and then play for a few minutes. Crate training really helped with the potty issues. She may need to have a "safe space" or den to sleep and eat in to start with until she gets used to her new home.
  • I have her in an exercise pen in the kitchen with a bed and pee pad and some food. She whines to be taken out when she's awake and never goes into the pen by herself. I can't seem to make her like it because she's not interested in the treats or toys. She just likes to sleep in there and that's it.

    If I leave her in the exercise pen, she will not potty. She can seriously hold her bladder for a puppy. I'm talking a full 8 hours here. What do you guys think of me lining her pen with puppy pads and letting her stay there until she goes before she can come out?
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    I think crate training is also a great idea. The first week or so is definitely the hardest, but once you start to get a schedule down, it will get easier. If your layout allows it, you could also try a baby gate in the kitchen where the floor is easier to clean. She definitely shouldn't have free roam though, it could be quite overwhelming and a challenge for you having to monitor her at all times. An exercise pen or baby gate or crate will give you a lot more freedom. :) I'm also in an apartment and bought a cheap like $15 rug to go under the exercise pen I got for my puppy so I don't have to worry about him damaging the carpet.

    When I got my boy at 8 weeks, I took him out just about every 20 minutes for a while haha. He also really loves spending time outdoors, so it was a great way to expend some energy and provide an opportunity to potty. He picked up on "go potty" as a command really quickly, which helped a lot. I would take him to the same spot in the yard that he liked to pee at and started saying "go potty" while he was going, and treating right when he finished. I'd take him out literally every time there was like an activity change haha. Wake up - outside. After a meal - outside. After playing for a bit - outside. The suggestion about trying some canned food could be a good thing to try too.

    It will get better though. Just remember that she's inevitebly growing up, and she will get better control of her bladder and won't always be so much of a hassle. Settling into a schedule really does help. I've had my puppy for a month and I completely adore him. He's my life. But even his first week here, I was so stressed and trying to figure things out as much as he was. I felt so restricted, because his only activities were like eat, sleep, pee, or play with toys. It felt monotonous and yet was so much work to constantly be redirecting and trying to find the balance between letting him explore his environment without giving him enough freedom to fail haha. I literally lost 10 pounds because I was more caught up in trying to do everything right for my new puppy and forgot about my own needs haha. After having a puppy, I can't imagine how stressful having a newborn child must be. But it will be worth it, and she will grow to be a part of your heart, I'm sure of it. None of this is helpful, I know, but I don't want you to feel too discouraged. Stay persistent, you're doing a great job with not scolding her and providing her the opportunities to succeed.

    Edit - she probably doesn't want to go to the bathroom in the exercise pen because she associates it as her domain. She may not associate the rest of the house as hers, so she sees nothing wrong with going to the bathroom on your carpet. I think having a puppy pad / place to potty indoors isn't all that helpful. I would keep her in the pen, play with her in the pen, and return her there if she didn't go to the bathroom outside. It's important to spend time with her, but also important for her to learn good behavior, like she won't be let out of her ex pen unless she's calm. If you take her outside and she does pee / poop, I would play with her in other areas of the house to help her see them as part of her home. But if she doesn't go, or like if she poops and you know she hasn't peed in a long time, I would return to the ex pen and play with her there, and take her out again in 20 minutes or so. Does she have things to chew on? My boy loves fish skins. I know a lot of Shibas like bully sticks, though mine isn't that into them. He also likes Himalayan chews and hooves and cow bones, but he likes to chew on stuff that I'm holding or in my lap. She may not be interested in toys and treats because what she wants most is your company. Hopefully once she warms up to you more, she'll enjoy her toys and treats with you.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2016-02-13 21:27:18
  • HazelHazel
    Posts: 28
    I understand how stressful that must be. Is this your first puppy?

    First of all, I would like to reassure you and say that a lot of the behavior you mentioned is completely normal in a new puppy! Indoor accidents happen especially during the first 1-2 weeks home.

    Dogs have an instinct to not dirty their personal area. Like @moxyfruvous and @pylea said, a crate is really helpful. I also used an expen outside the crate to create a small area for my dog. You can make it comfortable with towels, toys, and items rubbed with your scent. Once she knows this is her area she will give you signs that she needs to go potty. Whining, sniffing the perimeter of her ex-pen, fast pacing, and frantic movements are all signs she needs to go out.

    If she messes in the pen, it's ok! Clean it up with a spray designed to remove pet odors. That way she is less likely to smell her own pee/poop and go in the same place. She'll catch on soon!

    I'm so glad the vet said she's okay! Did he recommend a bland diet? What did he say about her sleeping when you took her out? That seems a bit odd. I know some puppies can have a glucose deficiency (low blood sugar) between meals and you can give them a small amount of a glucose syrup with a dropper if that's the case.

    You will be okay! Keep us posted.
  • HazelHazel
    Posts: 28
    Also, wee wee pads are ok at first but don't make them a crutch. Better to take your Shiba outside. They love to explore, it's helps with densensitization/socialization, and plus the activity and interaction with people and other dogs helps them go to the bathroom! :D
  • She doesn't like it when I hold her and sometimes that makes me think she doesn't like being around me. The vet said to continue feeding normally but to also mix a little canned food if necessary.

    Yeah this is my first puppy so I'm really grateful for all the advice. I'm really frustrated for that reason haha.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3453
    Make sure you clean the carpet throughly with enzymes and maybe even vinegar.

    I would say ditch the pee pad. Not surprised if your dog thinks pee pad and carpet are one in the same. My non-Shiba puppy always got the two confused. Once I got rid of the pee pads she never peed on the carpet. ;)

    Good luck.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    I think being held is kind of something you should train too. Before I even got my pup, his breeder would get him used to being held, being brushed, having all parts of him used to being touched (like paws and tail). So he came very accepting to our touch, but it's good to keep that up as they grow and just get them used to contact. Like if you pick her up and she isn't wanting to be held / is struggling, I would only let her down once she's calm. Shiba's especially are more interested in getting what they want than what you want. Of course I'm not saying like lock her in a death grip or something, and praise when she does what you want. Training when she isn't excited about treats or toys can be challenging, hopefully she'll warm up to those as she warms up to you being someone whom she can enjoy those with. My puppy was pretty picky about treats in the beginning, but he really likes string cheese, so I used that until I found some actual treats that he likes hah.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1233
    First of all, a puppy that age can't physically control their bodily functions no matter how much they want to, regardless of crates or play pens or what. When they have to go they need to go right now. So if you haven't learned the signals your puppy makes to tell you this, you just have to take her out, like others have said pretty much all the time and stay outside until she has done her business.
    Puppies are time consuming. Especially the first few weeks, don't expect to do much more than watching over that little one.
    Juni was a very independent little puppy, not at all interested in cuddles or being carried. But now she loves to be carried around, a bit too much actually.... As soon as she is bored or lazy or doesn't like the weather or something she prefers if we carry her, it's pretty embarrassing actually. Our neighbourhood probably think she is paralyzed...
    But like @lillikoi wrote, teach your pup that to be put down on the floor again she will have to be calm first so she can't squirm her way down. Then slowly show your pup the advantages with being held, like look out through the window together or open up the fridge or some cupboards and let her smell or even sample some contents that she otherwise wouldn't reach.
  • I find that most shibas hate and won't do their business on potty pads. My shiba had never once used the potty pads and would pee right beside it when I didn't catch her signals of wanting to go outside fast enough.

    My shiba has never liked being picked up since the first day (8 weeks) she isn't the cuddly kind but she will always follow me to the same room where she can see me but I just can't reach her. XD I used to carry treats in my pocket at all time to train her to come when called her name and just to be near/close to me. it taught her that being around me is a good thing. Try different treats if she isn't interested what mine normally can't resist are peanut butter, cheese, milky stick and ham.

    It will take time for your pup to get use to you and the new environment. Be patient she will grow up and you will also get use to her signals and understand her more. :D
  • She now does her shiba scream when she wants to come out. The problem is that I can't tell if she needs to potty, come out and play, or just wants some company. Should I ignore it still in the first week?

    She finally pottied outside!!! I praised her like crazy and scratched her leg since she seemed to like that.
  • Especially if your puppy is 2 months old, take her out every 2 hours to go potty. I did that for my shiba when I got him. And he only had about 3 accidents inside, and it was only because he was sick.

    From what I understand you have your puppy in the playpen to get her used to it. But make sure that you are spending tons of time with her.

    If your shiba is crying/whining/screaming to get out of the playpen when it isn't potty time. Always take her out to potty. Do not play with her or do anything else. Take her straight to her potty area. If she doesn't potty, it is back to the pen. Again, no play time. They will learn pretty quick that screaming only means that they need to go potty. But you should make sure that you are being consistent that there is never any play time unless she has gone potty already. (This will also prevent accidents where she pees because she is too excited).
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    Congrats on a successful potty trip outside!! :)

    I agree with what @Justifiedgaines said about the screaming. It can be kind of embarrassing living in an apartment with a screaming puppy lol. So you definitely don't want to teach her that screaming will get her what she wants. If you think she might need to go out, take her out, and then right back to the pen if she doesn't go. If she keeps screaming, ignore her and do something else nearby for a bit. Like, my boyfriends idea of ignoring our puppy was to turn his back on him and stand right next to him lol. That's just trying to communicate that you're deliberately ignoring them but your focus is still on them, like a little kid plugging their ears and yelling "lalala" or something, it just encouraged our pup to stay loud because he could tell that my boyfriend's attention was on him. It's better to just act like you don't even have a puppy. Make yourself a snack, clean something up, get on the computer for a bit... If I absolutely needed to take my pup out while he was confined and being loud, I would do something to get him to be quiet. Even just for a second. Like knock on the wall, so he would be started and quiet for a second, and I would say good and take him outside to potty and right back to crate of he didn't go. Or if I just wanted to let him out and he was being loud, I wouldn't let him out until he was quiet. Then he gets praise and freedom. He completely understands that being noisy will never get him what he wants now. Even negative attention (like continuously telling them to be quiet) is attention, and it's much more effective to just ignore it.
  • Thanks everyone for the advice! :) she's doing much better today. I found that she's whining because she really just wants me to be next to her. I've been taking her downstairs and let her do her business. So far she hasn't pooed so I've been sticking her back in the pen when I bring her back.

    She also ate some food today!! What do you guys do with the hours in between potty time? Do you play with her if she didn't go potty and just leave her in her pen until you decide to take her out and try again?

    She's been amazing with her play pen. She doesn't mind being in there at all and only really wants me to be in there with her sometimes haha.

    I have her on a leash but she isn't trained yet. I need to find some food that motivates her so I can start rewarding in another way other than verbally. I'm going to take her to pet smart to see if they have just cheese, or peanut butter, or ham treats since that seems to be most popular with shibas in general.

    When she doesn't cry, should I go in there and play with her just to reward her for not crying although she hasn't pottied?
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    Glad today is going much better and that you are taking her outside! Because she is so small still, she could really spend most of her indoor time in the ex pen. If I were you I would hang out in the pen with her a bunch, she should learn that it's a nice fun place.

    It takes a long while to leash train a puppy, so definitely start now. She's just a baby so she will suck at walking on leash for a while, but you can start teaching her not to pull. Also having the leash on her at home will help get her used to it.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1233
    I don't understand why you keep your pupoy in a playpen or a crate when you are there yourself? Sorry, it is not directed to you directly @jessawong, I just get frustrated from time to time with all this crate talk. Just know that in many parts of the world crates and playpens are never used. And we get perfectly normal dogs.
    The natural thing for a puppy is to be with her family. She has just been separated from mum and siblings, she needs to bond with you now.
    Draw a paralleĺl to babies. When they cry, do you ignore them too?
    The only thing you teach them is that you don't care about their discomfort. You will get a quiet puppy I'm sure, but is it a happy puppy? So what if she cries for other reasons than potty call? She cries because she wants something and if you show you care you get a better relationship, because she knows you listen to her and she can come to you for comfort.
  • Instead of keeping her in a playpen, you should instead tether her to yourself so she is with you at all times where you can keep an eye in her. It will increase your bond with her and also keeps her out of trouble. You can also work on recalls, leash walking, and heels.
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  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    @Juni: she's only had her puppy for a day or two, I think it would be dangerous to have an 8 week old baby running around the house freely. For the first week I had my pup, I kept her gated in the foyer--essentially a pen--when indoors (but she went outside every 30 mins on a leash) and just hung out with her there all the time. I had my lap top and did my work while sitting on the floor inside the gated area. I think it's important to keep the baby safe at first and let her acclimate to her new environment before giving her full run of the house. After they are more adjusted, it makes sense to increase the amount of space she has inside. Now my pup is only in her crate 2-3 hours a day (during nap time) and about 8 hours each night (she sleeps the whole time). The rest of the time she is my little shadow. :)

    To me, this is similar to getting a kitten. I have two cats and when I first got them at 12 weeks and 14 weeks, I spent an entire weekend in a small closed room with them so that we could bond and they could be safe.
  • @Juni I actually tried letting her roam around the first couple nights and she always peed and pooped on my carpet. I kept following her and watching her and when I see her squat, I run toward and stop her but it's too late. She already pooped or peed there and is just confused as to why I stopped her. Also, I noticed that she also would only go when I'm busy cleaning up her mess. Ex: she peed and I'm cleaning it up while she runs away and poops somewhere else or vice versa. I put her in a pen because at least now, she understands that she either goes outside or she has to go near where she sleeps. Once she understands that she cannot potty on my carpet and can tell me she needs to go, I'll let her roam free.
  • As soon as your dog has an accident, the first thing you need to do is take your dog outside to finish. If you interrupt them when they have an accident, they still have to go. Take her outside and let her finish. Cleaning up can wait.

    A puppy should never get to roam freely unsupervised, but a puppy full of pee and poop should definitely not get to roam around. Reward your puppy's good behaviour (pottying outside and not inside) with play time and exploration time inside. This works well because your puppy gets to explore the house with an empty bladder, so no accidents.

    When Ham was a puppy, I would take him outside after every nap he took (he took his naps in his crate). If he pottied when I took him outside, he would get some yummy treats and then we would have a playtime then obedience training for about 30mins to an hour. If he didn't go, he would go back to his crate for five minutes, then I would take him outside again to potty. I would also take him outside about 5 minutes after he drank a lot of water too. I would make him do tricks for all of his kibble, and use kibble throughout the day to reward his good behavior, so if he had good house manners, he would get rewarded. Then when he got sleepy, I'd see if he had to potty, then, I'd have him go to his crate to sleep. Rinse and repeat.

    At this point I was taking him outside every 2 hours to potty, at 3 months it was every 3 hours, when he was four months, I took him out every four hours and so on. Even if it was in the middle of the night. I would recommend clearing out your schedule as much as possible to spend time with your puppy and don't keep her in the pen all day long.

    I personally find crate training helpful and an ex pen was a great help when I shared an apartment and had to restrict Ham's access. But even while crate training, if I was at home, Ham was with me, not in his crate or in his pen. The only times he went inside was if it was his nap time or if I had to leave the house. Especially since you've only had your puppy for a few days, you need to make sure you are spending as much time as possible with her and interacting with her.

    I'm a student so I had the liberty of picking up my puppy at the beginning of a winter break. So I had a whole month where I had very little responsibility to work and school. I spent all day every day with Ham (not including times where I was training him for when I left the house).

    Regardless of if you want to crate train or not, your puppy always needs supervision. Letting your dog roam around is fine, but you need to be there with her. Tethering your puppy to you works well for this. This is good because it gives you ample opportunity to teach and re-inforce house rules (no chewing furniture, not peeing on the carpet and so on). Crating and using an ex pen controls the area you pup has access to in times where you cannot supervise, but you should not have your puppy in there more than 2 hours without a significant time outside for potty and play. Never leave your tethered puppy unsupervised

    I understand that @Juni and others don't use crates at all, but depending on your living situation it may be necessary to crate train your dog. For me, I live in an apartment, and if maintenance needs to come by to fix something or perform an inspection, my dog has to be crated--I'm not even allowed to place him in a separate room with the door closed. Sadly, since my apartment has 500+ units, I cannot choose the time that they come by. If there's a possibility of living in an apartment or renting, crate training can be valuable.

    However, crating/expen-ing is not a substitute for house training (appropriate behaviour); it doesn't magically house break your puppy and it doesn't help your dog get to know you better.

    I really want to recommend Sofia Yin's book to you, it's called 'Perfect puppy in 7 days'. It has a lot of good information on setting a schedule. Also Ian Dunbar's books 'before you get your puppy' and 'after you get your puppy' are two good resources (they are also free online or were about a year ago).

    @Juni, I don't know if your comment was in response to mine about screaming in the crate but I wanted to clarify. I was thinking of a situation in the middle of the night where puppy wants to play instead of sleep so puppy is screaming. If puppy is in discomfort (hunger, loneliness, full bladder) definitely address it. I wasn't trying to convey the message to ignore puppy while in the pen. I was thinking more so along the lines of setting and re-enforcing a schedule and not rewarding an undesirable behavior (screaming to get what she wants).
  • @Justifiedgaines thanks for the tips! I'm reading through the book right now and I noticed it said that my puppy really shouldn't be sniffing other dogs urine and feces. This is a problem since I live in an apartment complex and the garden I take her to potty is the only place all the other dogs go to potty as well. I can't take her to potty anywhere else without driving out of my apartment. I don't think there's a remedy for this and honestly I think I have to just let her go in the garden. Do you have any other suggestions?
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    Sophia Yin is a great resource. She also has a lot of super helpful videos. Very sad that she's no longer living. :/ I also totally recommend the book Puppy Primer by Patricia B. McConnell. That and Sophia Yin have been my main resources.

    I think there's a balance to crating / allowing access. I really don't think a new puppy should be allowed free roam to the house from day one. But I think it's important to slowly introduce new areas and new rooms by spending playtime there for example. Crating is useful in the very beginning, but you also don't want her to think the crate is her home, and the rest of the apartment doesn't belong to her, making it a safe area to potty in. I see why people could think that crates and pens are restrictive or like a caged animal at a zoo or something. But they definitely have their value in my opinion, and can be very helpful to teaching appropriate behavior. I think it's most important to do what works for you and your pup, whether that be tethering her to you or staying in a secluded room or having her in her pen when necessary.

    My daily routine when I got my pup was pretty similar to @JustifiedGaines. I didn't have my ex pen the first week or so that I had my puppy, so we spent a lot of time just in my room. He also napped in his crate. If he didn't go to the bathroom outside, we would stay in my room for a bit and as soon as I saw him sniffing or if he lost interest in a toy, we'd go outside again. When he got tired, I'd lead him into his crate with a toy or treat and he'd go right to sleep. I'd take him out as soon as he woke up.

    For leash training, while we were at my breeder's picking up our puppy, she put on his collar and leash to help him get used to them. He has a safe rubber leash that is really durable and has so far survived chewing, although he really doesn't chew on it now. But while he was at the breeders, he played with his siblings while he was in it and they all enjoyed playing with the leash hah. We had a long drive home, so it was important to get him comfortable with the leash as the first step. When we took him out on our way home, we would let him lead the way. No trying to pull him in a direction or anything, just holding onto the leash, keeping it relaxed, and following him. I would do this inside too. I also started leading him around with treats or a little bit peanut butter spread onto a bone so I could walk pretty normally and just lead him with my arm and the bone extended to him, always keeping a loose leash. But for a solid week or so, I mostly just followed him around on his leash. When we finally started practicing actual walking on a leash, I taught him "let's go" as a command, which I would say when leading him with the peanut butter or having him follow me for a treat. First with no leash, than with the leash loose. He understood "let's go" super easily and incorporated it into our walking etiquette well. He's so good on leash, it completely shocks me. The only time he pulls is when he sees a person that he wants to greet haha, but he's gotten a lot better about that in the last couple of days.

    A couple of other things we did for leash practice was kind of playing "chase" while out in the yard or other places. I would dash around in random directions, calling him over to me, and he would eagerly chase me. It really taught him to focus on my while on his leash, and to follow my lead. We would stop and start sporadically, change directions, walk in a circle... Keeping it fun. Sophia Yin has several good videos on that technique on YouTube. I'm also super stubborn when it comes to pulling lol. When on a walk, any time he would pull ahead, I stop in my tracks. If needed, I'll turn around and walk in the opposite direction for a bit. I'll stop constantly if I have too. As stubborn as he is, as much as he doesn't want to give up trying to get what he wants, I'm even more stubborn lol. Eventually I started using "wait" as a cue. And I would give greats and rewards when he walked nicely on the leash. My puppy is also a lot more interested in a toy on a walk than treats. When he's distracted and fixated on something on something, treats mean nothing to him. But we have a couple of "pocket toys" that we can keep handy in our pocket when needed. He adores these toys haha, they're pretty exclusive and he doesn't see them often, and he really loves to just carry them around haha. I keep it on my all the time to offer as redirection when he's trying to chew on something he's not allowed to chew on, or on walks when a stranger is approaching and he wants to jump on them. He'll eagerly wait and sit for his pocket toy and will carry it all the way home haha. All puppies are different, so your girl may not be as toy motivated, but having a small, easily accessible pocket toy with me has been a great tool.

    Anyway... If she doesn't go potty outside and you return her to the pen, I think it's fine to hang out with her there and play with her. Putting her into the pen isn't with the intend to translate as a punishment for not pottying outside, it's so that you can monitor her and keep her contained until you take her out again. So playing with her in the pen isn't rewarding her for not going to the bathroom outside in my mind. It's just spending time and bonding with her. Once she has gone to the bathroom outside, you can play with her in other areas and slowly introduce more freedom without overwhelming her. As the days go on, you'll become more familiar with her schedule, too, like what times she usually poops or when she's most "metabolically active" (for most puppies, it's more active in the morning and evening), and it will be a lot easier for you to know what to expect and at what times introducing more freedom will have a higher success.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1233
    @pylea there is a lot of things in between a cage and complete free roaming, for example keeping the puppy in the same room as you are in, puppy proofing the rooms and fencing off areas you don't want the puppy in.
    Accidents will happen, things will be chewed on, it is part of having a puppy.
    What I don't understand is all the talk of leaving your puppy in a cage and letting it cry. The first few weeks at home are crucial for socialization as we all know. You, your family, your house and close surroundings are all part of that. Leaving the puppy alone for hours on time, what does it learn from that?
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    I guess I don't really see a difference between gating off an area, using an ex pen, and using a puppy-proofed room. I was suggesting that during this adjustment period, the OP can spend most of her time inside the pen with her puppy, and to take her puppy outside every hour. This doesn't seem neglectful to me at all.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    I don't think anyone in this topic brought up crates or pens to suggest as prisons to just leave your puppy alone in for hours and allow them to cry. Or at least that was never intended. But I feel like I should also mention that by recommending not letting a puppy out when they're crying, I definitely don't mean just leave the room and ignore them. Especially the first few days, whining can just mean they're very confused and unsure about what's going on, and they need reassurance via your presence. They shouldn't just be left to cry in a cage, and you should definitely spend time in there with them, as well as spending time outside of the pen with your complete supervision and attention. Accidents happen, but it's a lot easier to teach good habits than it is to break bad habits. Providing opportunities for success and preventing potential failures has proven to be so effective and helpful for me. At times, I think it is better for a pup to be in a safe, manageable area, especially when you're really stressed out and need a moment to breathe and remember your priorities. The pup may not be thrilled that they're limited for a short time, but it's better than letting chaos take over and having your spirit be broken or making a bad decision because of stress.

    I think it's important that it is clear that no one is suggesting that a puppy be left alone in a cage for hours, so thanks for bringing that up, because I definitely wasn't exactly clear with what to avoid. I just kind of assumed that it would be taken a certain way. :P I'm the rambliest person ever but I still leave important details out lol.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2016-02-15 01:40:23
  • niki82niki82
    Posts: 434
    Hi there. I'm sorry you're feeling so frustrated. Try to breathe and stay calm and remember that your special little pup has only just left behind all they knew,siblings,mum,smells etc.your pup must be very confused and in need of comfort and gentle guidance. Just spend time being with her and getting to know each other.learn what she likes through experimenting with different treats and toys and coax her with love.just take her outside every hour (if possible) and let her find a favorite toilet spot by sniffing and wandering a bit.eventually you will learn to to understand her toilet body language.crating is a personal choice.my pup just will not tolerate a crate so she has a safe room for when I do chores or need to leave the house and can't take her.is your pup timid? Crating can sometimes be hard for a confident pup to learn so if your pup is scared and timid mabey crating (if you choose this)can be taught later.just focus on the basics and enjoy your pup.your doing your best that's obvious by how worried you are. Sorry I don't have heaps of advice as I too am a new puppy mum but I felt l had to say something as you seemed so down.
  • Thanks everyone for the advice :)

    I haven't crated her but I have her in an expen with some bed and toys. She's a shiba so she very quickly loses interest in the toys and doesn't touch them unless i go in there and try to have her play with them. She LOVES biting me. I try to react or redirect her with another toy and sometimes it'll work but she'll mostly continue biting me hard and everywhere. That's when I leave the pen and let her stay in there.

    She's kind of bratty haha. I'm trying to switch her off the breeders brand of food by mixing brands and adding water but she'll ONLY pick out the breeders brand. I'm also trying to work on her recall on her leash outside by calling "cmon Rey" and she recognizes it. However she will stop and turn when she hears that, and will not come unless I show her the treat first.

    I think I'm just going to buy the breeders food brand as I can't really force her to eat just my brand by itself or she'll have some digestive problems. :/

    She will shiba cry like crazy when she knows I'm near and wants to play. I ignore her and only go by if she's quiet. She shiba cries again when she sees I'm about to open the door so I'll leave to train her to understand that it's not okay for her to do that.

    On the bright side, after a while of crying she's fine just lying in her expen and doesn't make any noise.

    She hasn't pood yesterday and this morning after waking up, she didn't go potty either when I took her outside for 20 minutes. She's still eating and drinking water so I guess that's a good sign?

    I'm sure she'll grow up to be a great dog but right now I'm still frustrated as nothing that I'm doing really seems to be helping.

    I need to go out and buy some groceries and run a couple of errands. Do you guys think it would be okay for me to leave her in her pen for 2 hours maybe or is she too young for me to do that?
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    I wouldn't say that nothing your doing is helping, it sounds like things are going a better. :)

    Shiba puppies can be sooo mouthy haha. Persistence is totally key. My pup has just recently improved so much on his play biting, and he's 13 weeks. We started with the loud "ouch" method to help him learn to modulate his biting strength. But that got him kind of excited, like we were a squeaky toy and he unlocked the sound, so he would get really playful and want to bite us more lol. We still redirect constantly, and he generally will go for toys instead of furniture or people now. We also leave / end playtime for a short time when he's biting us. We'll resume and try to play again in like 30 seconds or so, but get up and leave "in a huff" if he isn't playing nicely haha. Keep it up, and don't worry too much about it being a sign of aggression that you need to put a stop to or something. Puppies are a walking mouth haha, and I've felt like shibas especially want to feel absolutely everything with their mouth. Just keep redirecting and repeating a method that works for you. Persistence pays off, I'm just now starting to see that.

    For now, I think all she wants is you. Not toys or things to chew on. Just you. So spending time with her will really help you guys bond and will help her feel more comfortable in her new environment. Sounds like it's going better, and I hope it continues to go well.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    Oh! About leaving to get groceries while she's so little... For the first couple of weeks, I wasn't away from my puppy at all. But I understand that isn't always possible. So if I did have to leave a young pup for an hour or 2, I would make sure that it's during nap time and that they're somewhere safe (like her pen) and would be as quick as I could about being gone. I have an app on my phone and iPad called Presence so I can set up my iPad as a surveillance camera and check on my pup via my phone while I'm out. Like a baby monitor hah.
  • @Jessawong

    May I ask which breeder you purchased your pup from? I'm also from the Bay Area and know a few in the area so I'm curious. Generally, not implying that you did, pups acquired from less than reputable breeders might have more trouble with potty training. I find it surprising your breeder said she was trained yet she is giving you so much trouble now. As others have stated, ditch the pads and take her out. One accident inside is a step back to square one so you need to be diligent and consistent with keeping an eye on her or properly crating her.

    It's only been a couple days of very normal puppy behavior. There will be times where you will want to cry, pull your hair out, or might even contemplate whether you made the right decision in getting a Shiba puppy. She will test you, judge you, and battle you out because that's what puppies do, Shiba puppies especially. But you took on all the responsibility once you brought her into your home therefore you must stay strong and work extra hard in properly training her, even if it means taking the elevator down every hour or waking up multiple times throughout the night to ensure she doesn't have accidents. All she has now is you and it's up to you to be a good leader and set her up for success. When you're stressed and frustrated, she will pick up on that and it will only make training more difficult and put more strain on your newly formed relationship.

    Leaving her for 2 hours should be fine in a crate and best case would be after a walk or potty break. As stated, Shiba pups are mouthy and it's something that will take a lot of patience. Redirection is a good method with toys/chews. My method was yelping loudly and stopping play for a few seconds, paired with command work like sits and downs when they got too excited with mouthing.

    What kind of food did the breeder feed and what food are you switching her to? Are you free feeding or on a fixed schedule? Shibas can be pretty darn picky but will not starve themselves. If she doesn't eat the new food in a few minutes, take the food away and try again a little later. One of the things you must teach her is that food isn't always available and it will help in her in being less choosy. You can even make things fun for her by making a game out of meal time, throw a piece and have her chase it one by one. It will also teach her that food comes from you and you only which increases your bond. Shibas are self regulating and my girl has skipped whole meals when she was at her picky stage.

    Take a lot of time to go through the puppy woes section of this forums. All of the frustrations that you are currently having is normal and has been experienced by many many new owners. This is just the beginning of the Shiba battle of the wits and will only increase when she grows out of her puppy stage and into a full fledged teen. Continue to be patient and understanding that she is a just a puppy and everything she is learning is through you. The most important thing right now is that she gets as much exposure and socialization to new things as she possibly can. It is extremely essential at this stage. Sign up for puppy classes, work on training outside of your apartment, expose her to new sights and sounds everyday, even take her out on errands with you in a little carrier.

    image
    Post edited by Nikkitine at 2016-02-15 14:02:32
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    2 hours may be a bit long for a baby puppy, unless like @lilikoi said it would be during her normal nap time. It would be best if you could take her with you, though. I carry my pup everywhere I can because it's great for socialization and I was especially worried about her being alone for the first 2 weeks I had her. (I remember seeing Star Wars on the 10th day I had her and BB-8 reminded me of her--so loyal and innocent and round--and I felt sooo guilty for leaving her at home.)

    If you don't have anyone to help you carry groceries/other stuff, maybe you could buy a baby sling as your first errand today. :-D
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1233
    I apologize for pushing the subject a bit too much. It's nice to know I have misunderstood some comments. And I think it's good to clarify for new puppy owners.

    It is just such a foreign subject to me. Before I joined this forum I didn't even know crates are used so extensively in the States. As I can't resist pointing out every now and then, it is illegal in my country to keep dogs in crates. So I guess I just want to make you guys think a little bit outside the box I guess, since puppies crying in their crates seems like a very common problem here.
    Post edited by Juni at 2016-02-15 14:55:26
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    @pylea - are dogs allowed in grocery stores where you are?? I'm so jealous if so. I spent a few months in Germany where dogs were allowed everywhere. But here in my smaller town, there are only a few dog friendly stores. I'm excited for the summer when the farmers market opens back up and we can go to that with Ozzy ha.

    @Juni - that's so interesting that using crates is illegal there! is that like even for car rides or for a dog to sleep in at night?? I'm just curious haha. When it's late and Ozzy is tired, he will huff at me and lead me to his crate so he can go to bed sometimes. But he's only ever in his crate when he's sleeping now, and if he wakes up he usually yawns loudly to let me know he's ready to come out lol. I guess in the states we kind of use them like cribs and play pens for babies when we can't be monitoring them. Or at least that's how most people use them, but I know there are still terrible people out there who misuse them and just keep their dogs confined constantly...

    Haha, so sorry, I don't mean to derail the thread. I'm just so curious about how other people and places do things and wanted to inquire...

    Also about play biting, we put a little bit of peanut butter on our hands and taught Ozzy "soft" as he was licking it off. I've read mixed opinions about using store bought peanut butter, so we get ours from a place where you freshly grind it yourself and pay by the pound. No extra salt or other additives / chemicals.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2016-02-15 15:05:04
  • pyleapylea
    Posts: 235
    @Juni: don't apologize! Crates can definitely be misused and/or used as a crutch, but I do think they are great tools when used correctly. For example, my BF's 5 year-old rescue dog has been having territorial issues lately because the new puppy is now bigger than him, and has been marking the bed (so gross). We got him a crate and filled it with comfy blankets and pillows, draped a towel over it, and he goes in there ALL the time to nap even though we keep the door open and he is free to leave. He is a LOT happier now having his own space. It's crazy how he immediately took to the crate, because he's never been in one before. Actually both the dogs are fast asleep in their crates right now, we never keep them in there when they are awake.

    Just took these:

    imageimage
    (Py doesn't like anything draped over hers, but my BF's dog does.)

    @Lilikoi: Switzerland (I think @Juni is from there) has the best animal welfare laws. For example, it's illegal to keep social animals as lone pets, including goldfish! And there is language in their statutes requiring that we must preserve the dignity of animals, which is pretty incredible. Tons of other stuff the U.S. should really follow suit with.

    And no, dogs aren't technically allowed in grocery stores, but no one seems to mind. The grocery store employees love Pylea and one produce guy even stopped me once and asked, "shiba?" and I said, "yes," and he proceeded to show me pics of his black and tan shiba boy. Hahaha.
  • @Nikkitine I didn't get her from a breeder in the Bay area mainly because the ones I contacted never responded. I got her from a breeder in Oregon instead. I think her accidents were probably my fault. I thought I could get her to pee on the pads from day 1 and could "trick" her by putting the pee pad out on my patio. I took her out on the patio once and she didn't like it. After that, she remained continuously scared by it and refused to even go near the door of it. Then I decided to have her pee on the pad indoors so I didn't take her out and let her roam around my apartment. Bad idea, I know :( But she's been doing really well now that I stopped the pee pad and hasn't had an accident in her expen yet. I have her on a set feeding schedule. I don't leave food out for her and sometimes I use it to stuff toys so that she'll love the expen. The breeder fed her Diamond puppy formula and I wanted to switch her to Natural Balance puppy formula. I mixed the two so that her stomach won't be upset but she won't touch the new formula and just picks it out. I know she won't starve but I think she'll always eat the portion that's Diamond, which is enough to keep her satisfied. I also can't decrease the amount of Diamond until she actually starts eating the new food which is the challenge -_- When I told that problem to the people at Pet Food Express in Santa Clara, they loaned me some other puppy food that's similar to Diamond (but better) and some goat milk to help with the switching! Sooo nice and generous.
    Every phase that you described I would go through has happened and is happening right now haha. It feels so good to talk about it with other people because it helps reassures me that I'm doing fine and that things will get better, I just have to push through it. I signed her up for puppy classes and will start this Saturday so hopefully that will help with my anxiety over this. I went through the puppy woes forum before getting her but reading about it is SO different from actually experiencing it yourself.

    @pylea and @Lilikoi So I live in the Santa Clara county of the Bay Area and for some reason, there's a rule saying that no dogs are allowed within 200 ft of unpackaged food :( I wanted to take her to the farmers market as I thought it would be a really good socialization area! I took her with me in the little carrier today and kind of just snucked her into Safeway. Luckily, they either ignored it or didn't say anything. She was really good at the Safeway but was shiba screaming at the pet stores for some reason haha.

    Thank you guys so much for helping me through this haha. I was really doubting myself and was on the edge of giving up.
  • @Jessawong -

    Pet food express is one of my favorite pet stores, they've always had wonderful staff and service there. Not to mention the unbeatable buy 3 get 1 free deals for food. I'm from San Jose myself so I think I know which one you're talking about.

    It's possible your pup could have come from either a byb or mill if you purchased her online. You can always post their info in the Shiba Breeder Discussion thread if you are unsure. It could explain more of the potty training troubles and more reserved personality. Another reason why getting her out there sooner than later is that much more important. Anything she is scared of, the patio, for example, you can desensitize her to by giving her high value treats and praising her when she so much as sniffs the door. Take things slow and be sure not to overwhelm her if she seems too scared. But definitely reward her for showing interest and taking even that one step toward that scary object. Make everything extremely positive and fun for her!

    Not sure if you are aware, but there are quite a few upcoming Shiba related events in the area that would be a great experience for you and little Rey. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in April has a public education booth every year hosted by the SFNC where you can speak to breeders and handlers from around the area. You'll likely see a lot of Shibas there since there is also a parade where the Shibas get to walk! The event might be bit too loud and busy for your young pup so don't bring her if you feel like it might be too much for her to handle.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1745062855725696/

    One event I highly recommend is the Annual Shiba Party on June 4th. Hundreds of Shibas packed into one day of fun so it's definitely a great experience.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/581660471992944/

    image
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1233
    I am Swedish, but yes Switzerland has even stricter or better animal protection laws than us. The crating regulations are very strict here, you can only use for transportation and in shows or competitions. At home if you want a crate you have to remove the door so the dog can choose to go in and out of their own choice.
    It is also illegal to leave your adult dog alone for six hours or more.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 956
    Ah that's very interesting. The U.S. would totally be wise to learn from laws like that. So many dogs in the U.S. are just abandoned and neglected. Plenty of people where I live think domesticated dogs are fine to be kept confined outdoors all the time with almost no human contact, kept like livestock... And they literally don't see the bad in it. I know soooo many people who have dogs that just live in their garage and are left alone except for maybe 5 minutes a day where they're let outside. So, to me, having a designated puppy proof room kind of makes me think of that. I'd rather have my young pup in an ex pen where even if I'm getting something done like making food or cleaning up, at least I'm still with him in the same space where he can see me. Though I know that many people who have designated dog rooms / areas don't use them as places to confine their dogs indefinitely, and spend time with their pups in and out of those rooms. So I guess a pen, to me, is used in the same way. And it's a nice, safe space for him when my boyfriend and I do leave the apartment together, without worrying us that he could get into something potentially dangerous or destroy something in our apartment hah. Off topic ftw.

    My pup was a bit anxious in pet stores for a bit. It's always pretty noisy and I'm sure overwelming with other dog smells hah. It helps a lot if he is able to walk, but I always carried him because of vaccines he hadn't had and being cautious. I always brought some treats or a toy for him to carry in his mouth, and practicing commands even when he was in my boyfriend's arms distracted him really well and made him more comfortable. Really the only commands he could do while being held were like shake and off (which is also a helpful command to learn for play biting by the way) hahah. But he was surprisingly willing and eager for treats. Also just acting normal and businesslike is very helpful for him. If we're always looking at him and trying to make him feel comfortable, he's pretty anxious. But if we just shop like normal and do what we came to do, practicing a shake every once in a while and giving a treat, he's totally fine. Or having something to chew on like a Himalayan chew also keeps him calm.
  • @Jessawong - I have a condo with a deck as well, and I tried to get my pup Ponyo to go on a box of grass, but she preferred to just run around and squat on the outdoor carpet instead. Eventually I gave up and took her all the way down to the grass and sidewalk, and it was a breeze to potty train her after that.

    Also, for the first couple of nights it was a nightmare, but it got way better pretty quickly and now i just look back at my diary fondly.

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