working with a puppy (help!)

November 27th, 2012   |   Life

 

Help!

I have been working with Franklin for the past three weeks and I have gotten 25% of what I normally get done. I thought that since I work from home that I would be perfectly suited to having a little pup by my side.

But the truth is that he chews everything he can find* (thankfully there isn’t much damage, his teeth are too small), he can get nippy when he’s wound up, and he barks when he’s bored/I’m trying to work/I’m not in eyesight.

Though I’m sure he will outgrow these tendencies as he gets older… the meantime is frustrating for us both.

The best thing so far I’ve found is stationing him with his harness and leash to the kitchen table leg where he has some roaming room near me but he can’t chew cables, curtains, or pee on the living room rug. Yet he’s constantly wanting to hang out with me (and eventually bite my hands) or get into trouble chewing something within reach.

I put him down for a nap in the crate in the morning and in the afternoon when I leave the house for a few hours for work. But other than those two crate naps, I am constantly untangling his leash from a chair leg, pulling the pee pad out of his mouth, or listening to him bark.

Also, he just hit the 12 week mark. So eventually it might be nice to send him to puppy day care a few days a week or take him on longer walks (he has a morning and evening walk)… but what do I do until then?

I thought I would be able to handle having him near me during the day stationed like I’ve been doing. But he is too high maintenance in this manner so far to make it effective for me – right now it’s ruining my productivity, patience, and sanity.

Anyone out there have any suggestions on how to survive as work-at-home business owner? What does crate training really look like? Almost all day?

Mr. Lively and I joke that I should be in a reality show called Pup Moms (like Dance Moms) where all I do is cater to the dog all day.

Because so far that’s what it feels like.

 

 

* He likes Bitter Cherry, jalapeno vinegar helps (but fades away), and a squirt bottle has been effective but difficult to time just right.

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  • http://thecapitalbarbie.blogspot.com Kelsey

    Don’t worry, they seem to calm down around the 8 month mark, and I know that seems like a LONG time away! I would suggest crating him in a room where he can’t see or hear you, if he can hear you in the apartment get a white noise machine for the room he’s in. Do it for 3-4 hours increments that way he will learn that day time is work time. My puppy Norm is wild on Sat and Sundays but Monday-Friday between 9-5 he sleeps because that’s what we’ve trained him to do in his crate.
    Good luck!

  • http://www.discoveringmykismet.com Corinne

    I agree with Kelsey – it’s really hard to put them away from you but I think that would be the best way for him to learn to entertain himself for a while and know that he can’t rely on you.
    It’s hard, but good luck! I hated leaving our puppy in the kennel when I started working but it ended up being for the best. She now roams freely around the house without any problems!

  • http://twitter.com/jesshereandnow jesshereandnow

    Funny how things you always thought you wanted can be very different when they are actually in your life. Good luck, the puppy stage is hard, but thankfully they grow out of it, or there wouldn’t be any adult dogs left! ha

  • http://www.luckydogvitamin.com steph

    omg…i so remember these early days with Gracy! I look back on them and I can’t really say when things changed. I guess it was just time. I too worked from home when she was a puppy and had no idea what a challenge would be. I would definitely say you should work on crate training. I didn’t do it, but looking back now I wish I would have. Good luck and Happy Holidays!! :)

  • http://designbright.wordpress.com Kim

    I might also try an X-Pen. It is a super easy to use pen that you can put the pup in to keep him in a confined space. Then you’re not dealing with the tangled leash, but getting similar results. You can put his bed or crate in there, plus food, toys, etc.

    I would also recommend a Kong. You can put treats in it and it takes them a while to figure out how to get them out. Makes for hours of entertainment for the dog. Similarly, you can get “toys” that you put their food in and they have to move it around and play with it in order to get their food out. Both this and the Kong give them something to do and tires them out :)

    Full disclosure: My pup is a little older so I’m not certain about the safety of these things with young puppies, but worth looking in to!

    Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/suzyelsmith suzyelsmith

    It just takes time and patience. My puppy does the same thing and she is 1 1/2 years old. I went to a puppy trainer a month ago and she gave me the following tips:
    1) Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. So, you’re doing the right thing by taking him on walks every day.
    2) Keep multiple toys, but introduce a new toy each day. I bought 4 toys and I rotate them out. Additionally, I add peanut butter to the toy when I first give it to my puppy because it keeps her distracted for an hour or so. Another trick is putting the toy in the freezer the night before.
    3) Keep him in the same room as you. Nothing stresses a puppy out more than being away from their owner. You’re all that they have in their life and they just want to be around you.
    4) Ignore your puppy when it barks and nips at you. These are just attention seeking behaviors and you don’t want to encourage them by responding to them.

    I’m a student, so I’m at home a lot and my puppy use to jump and bark and hop all around me to get my attention. Things have been a lot better for me since I went to the puppy trainer, so I hope these tips help you out!

  • Kendra

    Have you thought about going to live training classes? Places like PetSmart offer them regularly. I know it’s an expense you may not have wanted – but an experienced, firm trainer can make a world of difference. It’s so important to learn the right way to handle your pet – to be taught the consistent, firm, confident style of parenting that’s hard to figure out when you’re frustrated to tears. Not to mention how important it is to curb bad habits now than have an adult pet with horrible behaviour.

    But in all seriousness, having a kitten or a puppy isn’t like having a baby – it’s like having a terrible two with very sharp teeth who pees on things out of spite.

  • http://www.blondeinthiscity.com Rose

    This is a big reason why so many dogs end up in shelters between the ages of 6 months-1 year! People see cute puppies and don’t realize how much work they are. Having had a dog my entire life (there are four in my parents’ house right now) I have faith you can make it through the puppy phase!

    Dogs are considered “puppies” until the are two years of age. They tend to calm down once they are around a year, but it depends on the type of dog (for example, my friends both adopted herding dogs a few years ago; they are both about a year and a half and can still be a little crazy). How old is he now (is he 12 weeks, or have you had him 12 weeks)?

    Another thing, small dogs tend to be “nippier” and bark much more than large dogs. It’s in their nature, and something they likely won’t lost a lot of with age.

    Make sure he gets frequent exercise, both for his excess energy and his health. I suggest two walks a day (more, if you feel like it!). A 15-30 minute walk will help him direct his energy at his new surroundings and he’ll be calmer once he’s home. Invest in a few toys that last, like Kong Balls (it takes our german shepherd/doberman mix two to three months to destroy these), and LARGE chew bones. I don’t recommend pigs ears, etc. as they are easier to choke on.

    You can definitely kennel him. One of my very good friends has her dog crate-trained, and he stays in it or at least shut in a cleaned room while she’s at work or out of the house. They will bark at lot at first, but eventually get used to it. We always put blankets in ours and a few toys for them. You can also just put him the crate when he is “naughty” and this will teach him what behavior is bad.

    Our dogs never spent much time in a kennel as we have a very large backyard and they are all adults now, but they know when they’re bad they get sent to the kennel. We also keep a little spray bottle of water around and you can squirt them once or twice when you want them to stop something, especially barking. It works on all of our dogs but one, he just drinks it! We were taught this in obedience school. The other three will stop barking as soon as we pick it up.

    I hope all this helps!!

    xx
    Rose

  • Kate

    As much as I am sorry that you are dealing with the frustrating puppy phase this post is kinda nice to see! I just got a french bulldog puppy who is now 11 weeks old. I have never had a dog before but my boyfriend assured me “puppies aren’t that hard” so I jumped in and bought one. Oh my goodness, he was so wrong! I am exhausted because the little guy (still) wakes up 2-3 times a night and cries if you don’t pick him up. I have pee all over my house, even though I have tried every recommended potty training trick. AND his new thing is to bark super loud until you pay attention to him. I’ve been spending hours reading training tips and talking to friends with dogs and I feel a little better knowing this is pretty normal for puppies. Tonight is boot camp puppy training day 1 for me and these are the things I was told to focus on:

    1. Take the puppy out every 30-45 minutes to use the restroom (if your home). Reward with treats if they go, don’t do anything if they have a mistake

    2. To get them used to being alone and quiet, put them in a crate with a toy for 1-2 hours tops a few times a day. Take them to go potty immediately after putting them in a crate and give them a treat if they go

    3. At night, keep them in the crate or puppy pen with a bed/blanket. If they wake up crying, wait a second to see if they go back to sleep. If not, take them to the bathroom immediately, but don’t turn on the lights or talk or they will think it’s time to play.

    4. If they cry/whine/bark say “no bark” loudly and firmly until they stop. When they finally do, wait a few minutes then give them a treat. If they don’t, leave the room so they clam down. My boyfriend said he sprayed his dog with water and it worked but everything online says not to do it. I may have to resort to this one so I don’t get kicked out of my apartment :/

    5. If your home and working, put them in a puppy pen (so you don’t have to deal with the leash) and leave the room if they cry. Keep a puppy pad, water, and two toys in there to make it fun. Take them to the bathroom and give them a treat immediately after taking them out.

    6. If they start chewing/biting, immediately give them a chew toy. I have started giving my guy an empty plastic water bottle and he loves it!

    Hopefully this helps! I’ll let you know how it goes for my pup. All my friends who suggested these things said it takes about 2-3 months for puppies to learn and be successfully trained. Good luck!

  • Amber

    Try squirting him right when he starts barking. We have a 10 month old and this curbed her barking with 1-2 tries. Once the barking stops, you can start to ignore him and he’ll figure out how to be on his own…

    Good luck! I know it’s hard! I almost took ours girl back to the shelter but am soooo happy I didn’t! I have a post going up tomorrow all about how I dealt with a new dog and how she’s a huge part of our family now :)

  • http://wordsofwilliams.com kelsey williams

    Sounds like you should have taken 12 weeks maternity leave to spend with your pup!

    (Sorry, I don’t have a dog, so I have zero tips!)

  • Sarah Jane

    I used to have a pen right next to my desk for my little one with her bed/ toys / water / food / kong and would essentially ignore her but she would be able to see me and it calmed her quickly but still contained her. My trainer told me to put her in the other room but she barked non stop – the pen worked well for me ( another bonus was it helped housebreak her much faster as she didn’t want to go in ‘her’ space so would hold till I took her out every hour !!) Good Luck !

  • http://www.dreamstodo.com Ariel

    Hang in there girl! All you can really do is ride the puppy stage out. I got my Billy when he was just 6 weeks old and I had just graduated college and was looking for a job. The little guy drove me crazy during that summer! After a few months he did settle down, though. And now he’s a perfectly lazy 6 year old dog. :-) Now that I have two kids, I can actually say that raising a puppy is more work and stress than dealing with an infant!

  • http://www.rachelqwest.com Rachel

    I agree with trying to crate train or getting some kind of pen that he can stay in with his toys, pillow, etc. in the same room with you while you work. He’ll learn the times he’s in the crate/pen are times he plays by himself or naps. Have you tried nylabones? My dog and my sister’s dog (both small dogs) love those and it keeps them entertained for hours. You may also want to add in another walk in the middle of the day to help tire him out some. Good luck! It does get better!

  • http://beautifulelysium.blogspot.com Juju

    get him a brother or a sister. once we got our first Westie, Toby his brother, Speedz, we didn’t have to play with Toby anymore b/c Speedz wouldn’t leave Toby alone. i know, it’s another puppy but it’s really nice to see two puppies keeping each other accompanied :)

  • http://twitter.com/alaabs1 alaabs1

    My boyfriend and I used “The Perfect Dog Training System” by Don Sullivan and it worked flawlessly. Stopped bad behavior, pulling on the leash, and the DVDs cover pretty much everything.

    Outside of the Don Sullivan stuff, just avoid using treats to reward the dog for things it’s supposed to do. Dog owners often do 1 of 2 things when they get frustrated.

    1. They don’t want to be mean so they don’t take control of the dog enough. They give treats when it does something right.

    2. They give corrections as necessary, but forget to pet and praise the dog when it is finally obedient.

    The combination of firm, clear corrections and equally obvious praise will go a long way!

  • http://exoticdonkeymeat.com Kate

    Crate training is a godsend, and yes, you should do it. My dogs love their crates and use them when they are stressed out/want to hide/hyped up anxious. They go in all by themselves. It’s amazing. I would recommend working on a healthy balance of in-the-room/out-of-the-room with you. If as a puppy all he knows is people with him, there’s probably a chance he could develop separation anxiety for when you leave him at home. Put him in the crate in the room you are not in and walk out. Assuming he’s not barking, walk right back in and treat him in the crate. Do this so he knows you’re gone but coming back immediately, and then work up to being out of the room for 5s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 1 min, etc. It.takes.patience. And practice your love, patience and acceptance of your puppy in this moment.

    The best ‘lifestyle’ way to raise a dog, IMHO, is NILIF – Nothing In Life Is Free. This teaches your dog to respect you. Not to say puppies are perfect, but this gives you a tool to keep them in line. I’ve always loved how this site explains it: http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

    Do read the section on extinction bursts, as it will apply to barking. Ignoring your dog is more than just no eye contact. Dogs & pups sense human energy like babies do. As I type this comment, I am in my ‘work zone’ mode, and my dogs get that and are calm. If I’m anxious about a meeting coming up, they will go bat shit crazy and play in the background and snarl and sometimes even fight if I’m really upset. Truth. So, if you are going to ignore your dog until he calms down (this is a spiritual exercise), you’ll need to develop zen-like calm while you wait. Imagine a wall between you and Franklin. Do not let your resolve down. Imagine quiet. Suddenly, it will be. If you are frustrated, your dog will pick up on that. Honestly, everything comes back to you and your attitude. Cesar Milan is right on the nose with that one. What is Franklin doing when you do your intentions in the morning?

    I agree with other suggestions to make *his* things more chewable – peanut butter is amazing. I feed a raw diet to my dogs and I am a huge advocate of marrow bones as chew toys. Nothing tastes good like blood!

    I would also try an Xpen. I would also add a midday walk.

    The hardest thing for puppies (and dogs in general) to do is use their brain. If your dog is a genius and has already learned 6 tricks, keep.teaching.him.tricks. Teach him to find stuff by scent. Teach him to play dead. Teach him to be a therapy dog. Teach him to fetch. Just keep getting him to use his brain so he is not bored. You can even teach him to be quiet with clicker training :)

    But ultimately, if he’s barking, he’s bored. Puppy daycare will be good for him when you are ready so he can stay socialized, so look forward to that day!

    Also, I used to frequent craigslist petfo – the CL Pet Forum. If you’re up for the adventure, there are a bunch of dog crazy nuts on there who would love to do nothing more than help. https://forums.craigslist.org/?areaID=18&forumID=26

    And you can keep venting here, of course. :-P

  • http://carolynrubenstein.com/blog Carolyn

    It is tough! I spent the first week or so trying every strategy and then decided to nip it in the butt and intentionally dedicate two weeks to being with Lila and getting through this rough patch together. We trained her in a litter box so I decided to set up shop in the bathroom–the place I wanted Lila to get more comfortable with. For two weeks, I did my work from there, rotating with my husband occasionally, but really kind of loved the bonding time. And so from this place of compassion, I was able to ease her into a routine…rewarding the good things and trying hard not to react to the bad things. She wanted my attention so I showed her how to get it. After two weeks, she was a different calmer dog. And we slowly made our way out of the bathroom :). And my productivity suffered but not a lot–it’s surprisingly quiet in the bathroom!

  • Jenny

    Oh I just love that picture of Franklin, Westie puppies are the cutest. Mine is 7 years old now, but it was definitely trying when he was a puppy. The best suggestions I can offer are to be as consistent as possible…. With your routines (and it sounds like you are with the naps) and even using the same words and phrases to encourage or discourage what he is doing. Kong toys are the best, and trader joes makes little charley bear treats that are the perfect size for stuffing into the long toys and are great for training too. We also used baby gates to keep our pup from certain areas (flights of stairs) and not feeling too trapped in… This could also help with house breaking so you’re not worried about him peeing on the rugs! A rotation of toys also helps for sure, but hang in there, it’ll get easier and sorry for the long comment, hope some of this is helpful!!

  • http://sarahkocischeilz.wordpress.com Sarah Koci Scheilz

    JESS! Mr. S. (my husband) and I have been chatting about getting a little Westie forever . . . and I just transitioned to full-time, work-from-home self-employment. I’m terrified about the exact same thing! Getting a business off the ground and getting a puppy trained are both challenges and I’m nervous about tackling them both! Thanks for this post — reminds me that no, it’s not a weird fear.

    Let us know when you learn some good tips and tricks! Sure could use them :)

  • http://www.superstarling.com Starling

    The following suggestions are what I did to calm down my border collie (a notably strung-out breed) mix when he was a puppy:
    1. Walk him. A lot. It’s good for you and it’ll tire him out. Most of the behavior you’re describing is nervous too-much-energy fidgeting.
    2. Take a look at the food he’s eating. Some of the cheaper stuff is mostly filler, which is like giving your kid a piece of cake instead of a sandwich. Same calories, but different nutritional quality. The food might be stringing him out. Ideally the food’s first ingredients should include a meat product, which is high in protein for lasting, slow-breakdown energy.
    3. Crate training is for if he is having a lot of mistakes in the house, you can put him in the crate and let him outside to pee. If he doesn’t pee, put him back into the crate, and let him outside again to pee later. Etc. Eventually he’ll learn that peeing is an outside activity. If you want the crate to not to seem like a punishment (which is pretty important, since he’ll be in it a lot), give him a treat when he goes into it. (We’ve trained our dog that when we say “box,” he’s to go in there, and he’ll get a treat. He runs in there with great enthusiasm. He’s five, and we still give him a little treat every time we put him in there. He curls right up and goes to sleep.)
    Hope that helps!
    xoxo,
    Starling

  • Lv

    Its cool whats happenning here.. You need to relax. This is a good test before a baby comes (which takes way more energy and patience). This is one of those things you dont do with intention… Just chill out and enjoy the cutie. Hell chew everything.
    Also, if you ask me, i found cats much more adaptable to appartments than dogs… Good luck! Lv

  • Caitlin

    Maybe Franklin needs an intention for his day. :) a nice long walk in the morning followed by some play time and attention, but then a bit of time to himself. You could set up an area away from your work area with baby gates and make sure he has plenty of things to keep him busy. We love “Busy Bones” or the baby Kong filled with peanut butter and kibble(keeps them busy for hours). Just make sure to take play and pee breaks at regular times and BE CONSISTENT. Eventually he will adjust to the new schedule and you will be able to get work done again. Good Luck!!

  • http://chaoticdomestic.blogspot.com Laura @ Chaotic Domestic

    I’m sorry it’s been tough. I can’t imagine trying to work from home while still keeping an eye on a puppy. It’s really tough. We crate trained our puppy. So, we staggered our work schedule and our lunches so he wouldn’t have to try to hold it longer than he could. You may have to do something like that, where you keep him crated in another room while you try to get work done and then just go get him on a schedule based on how long he can hold it. If you put something for him to chew on in the crate with him, it should help keep him from getting bored. Kong toys where they have to work to get food out are helpful in that respect too. It’ll get better!

  • http://withindreamswelive.blogspot.co.uk Ally

    You need to set up a routine with him that’s fully consistent. And as someone said above maybe crating him in another room while you need to get work done until he manages to calm down.
    Don’t forget this is all new and fun for him still.
    I have to say though when my Dad had his dog and she was a puppy he would walk at least three times a day and the lunchtime walk would be for a hour or more because she was so full of energy. The morning walk would be anywhere between 20-40 minutes depending on the weather and the evening walk was always 20. Then there would be time during the day that my Dad would set aside and play with her in the garden sometimes while he was gardening and sometimes she would solely have his attention just to play fetch. Then in the evening I would play with her. So she got lots of attention at set different times during the day.
    I know it’s really hard with the chewing and biting and it’s great to see you want to curb it fast. Try as many different things as possible. Have to tried a chew rope? They quite long so your fingers would be safe on one end and it’s also a great toy to play fetch with.
    My Mum used cayenne pepper on the edges of walls, as our dog liked to chew the wallpaper. Mixed with a small amount of water straight onto the surface and it worked really well.
    I wish you the best of luck trying to ‘tame’ Franklin :)

  • Alyssa

    Hi. I’m not sure exactly what you mean when you refer to the “spray bottle,” so I don’t know if this is what you’re doing already or not…When I was absolutely at the end of my rope with the leash biting and nipping, I got a few small clear travel size hair spray bottles and filled them with bitter apple spray (or jalapeno or whatever). I kept bottles with me at all times and would do a little spray directly in the mouth immediately when the nipping behavior starts at the same time as a “no bite” command. The trick is that you don’t want the dog to see the spray bottle (so that he doesn’t create an association that YOU are punishing him). Try to keep the spray bottle hidden in your palm when you use it (that’s why the trial size is so important). Keep the it hidden in your pocket when not in use. I think I made this technique up…but it worked for me, and thought it might be helpful.

  • Sophie

    You need to wear him out. I don’t think that crating him while you are at home is a good idea – the crate is supposed to be a “safe place” for dog and not something scary or a punishment. When our dog was a puppy I would literally run him in circles in our parking lot until he couldn’t run anymore. Then he was all sweet and just wanted to nap. It helped us get through the puppy faze. I also agree with having lots of toys – things like a cong toy (where you put treats in it) keeps them occupied.

    One great tool we had was an air horn. You can get them in pet stores – they don’t blast a horn noise, its more like a really loud gust of air. If he is nipping, chewing, or barking, just blast that thing once and firmly say “no”. It may take a few days for him to get it, but dogs seriously hate that sound and our puppy learned very quickly to stop what he was doing when we used it.

  • Jess

    Thank you so much everyone for all of your awesome suggestions! I can tell from the responses that there are many, many different approaches to dog training and I am excited to explore the different options out there. So far I’ve been using Puppies for Dummies and Victoria Stilwell and though they are good, working from home is still a hard balance.

    Also, we are feeding him Blue Buffalo Gluten Free Puppy food so there is mostly meat in his food (which he loves), he has a baby kong and about a dozen other toys and he loves his rawhide bone the best.

    We are doing a pretty good job I think as a whole, but potty training with the crate is still probably a great option for us now – he knows to go outside and he has pee pads inside (since he goes literally 26 times a day), but he needs to learn to hold it longer than 30 minutes over time. The crate training might help with that.

    Also, we have planned on taking him to puppy training class and now that he just had his 12 week booster shot, we are taking him on Sunday! I can’t wait. He knows about 10 commands and tricks so far, but it’s time we get more dog socialization and our own guidance with a trainer too!

  • http://www.heycaryl.com caryl lyons

    We had two Westies and a Havanese as puppies. You can try putting pennies in a soda can. They don’t like the noise. When he does a behavior that you don’t like, you can shake the can. Eventually, all you will need to do is show the can.

  • Virginia

    I hate to say this, but he needs more exercise, and off-leash time (in a safe park if you are lucky) is imperative. Not sure if your walks are all on-leash, but a high energy dog (which you clearly are ‘blessed’ with :) ) needs more 2 leash walks a day. Of course part of it is just patience as he grows out of the puppy-monster-phase. I work with a dog-rescue & training organization and have seen this so many times – and with more exercise (especially the off-leash kind – it gives the kind of stimulation that leash walks never do) does wonders in 99.9% of the cases. The amount of exercise and off-leash time he needs all depends on the individual dog, but you’ll know when you’ve hit the magic spot! All the training and crates and clickers in the world won’t help much if he has too much extra energy!

  • http://www.milk-shed.com stef

    We got married August 2nd and brought home a German Shepherd puppy just two weeks later, so I’ve long felt like we’re juuuuuust ahead of you guys in our timeline and it took EVERYTHING I had not to rain on your puppy parade with words of warning!! Bottom line – it’s exhausting. And sometimes it totally sucks.

    Our girl is now just past 5 months and we finally feel like we can breathe. Literally, this change only appeared in the past week or so. It’s still not easy, but we don’t resent her anymore (yes, I’m admitting to resenting our puppy at times) I’ve been telling everyone, I don’t feel like raising the puppy (potty training, crate training, commands, obedience) is that hard – it’s the tending that kills us. The CONSTANT pulling things out of her mouth, the accidents in the house, chasing the cat, the whining, the chewing, shredding toys, etc. Gah!

    I think its perfectly ok to crate him more often, provided he’s also getting exercise. Some puppies just won’t stop moving unless they’re given little time outs. Put some peanut butter in a Kong, throw it in the freezer, then pop Franklin in the crate with the Kong for some quiet time. Many trainers through the years have told me, if the pup isn’t in direct eyesight or interacting with you, they should be in the crate.

    We own a small business, so our pup came to work every day and spent her time in a puppy play pen. Its just an expandable crate-like pen with an open top that you can set up. I think it GREATLY helped our potty training and kept her confined, but nearby. She still whined, but it let us walk away without fear that she would swallow something.

    My biggest trick – when our girl is just TOO MUCH energy, I cut up a fat free cheese stick into tiny tiny little bites, then sit down and throw them all the way across the room. She chases after, noses around until she finds it, then I call her back with a “Come” and hand signal. Once she’s back, we run through sit, down, sit, shake, high five, spin, sit, then she gets a treat. Then throw another, call back, repeat. It’s taught her “Come” and gives great practice on other commands. We keep it short, super fun, and keep her moving like crazy – it tires out both her mind and body. It’s a lifesaver.

    I love our 5 month old puppy so so much more than I loved our 12 week old puppy. We can now come home from work without feeling like we’re spending the entire evening babysitting her. She’s still a ton of work, but has become a joy too.

  • http://www.milk-shed.com stef

    oh, and during the potty training phase, we would literally (yes, literally literally) some days take her out, take her out 3 min later, 7 min later, 12 min later, 5 min later, 30 min later. It was the greatest source of argument in our baby marriage and somedays we’d be outside with her 30+ times. But it worked!

    You have our sympathy <3 Good luck

  • Mary

    Good luck – I remember those days well. You have a lot of great suggestions. It all comes down to trial and error with what works for you and cute little Franklin.

    What worked for me was keeping my mini schnauzer in his crate with a small selection of chew toys – unless it was time to go outside. Even when I was home, he was in his crate. This lasted for several months, until he was able to demonstrate he could behave outside of his crate. When we would go outside, after he relieved himself I made sure he had a long walk – 30 min. once a day until he was ~6 months, then we increased to ~ an hour a day. My energetic puppy didn’t calm down until he was almost 5!

    It’s really hard right now because you’re setting an expectation – dogs want to go outside at 6AM out of habit not because they need to. But with a bit of persistence they’re easy to train and are much easier to live with once you have them adjusted to your schedule. Good luck – he’s such a cute little dog! It’s tough but worth it in the end.

  • krissy

    Not sure if someone already mentioned Kongs, but they make a fantastic bunch of toys/feeding implements. If you get a puppy kong (looks like a binky) and fill it with a combination of applesauce or pumpkin and some kibble and then freeze it, that should bide you some time. It will keep the pup busy licking/chewing something interesting and the cool temperatures will soothe those teeth that are paining him (and you)!! We just got to year two with our crazy energetic puppy and while it has been a long journey-we are finally seeing our pup calm down and become a family member that isn’t so needy. Hang in there-they are tough but worth it.

  • http://www.prettyfluffy.com Serena

    Puppy Moms – ha ha

    Your best friends at this stage will be toys for him to chew on and tire him out. Think Kongs filled with treats, Bob-A-Lots, Nina Ottosson etc. They take physical and mental energy which he has in bucket loads right now.

    Also, don’t feel bad to ignore him when he is making noise, biting or exhibiting any behaviour that you don’t wait. Then when he is sitting quietly or being ‘good’ praise him with attention. That way he’ll s-l-o-w-l-y learn that being quiet and allowing you to work gets praise, and anything else does not! Like another comment said you may want to get a play pen so he’s in his own space (where he feels safe but can still be with you).

    The last bit of advice would be for you! Don’t ever feel bad or guilty for ignoring him while you do work. I used to all the time, but I soon realised if I say to my dog I have to “earn the dog food money” I would no longer feel bad. I could focus on work and then when I said so we could play and have fun. Dogs love that sort of structure!

    Good luck lovely – you’ll get there xx

  • http://www.tobeluminous.com Heidi Lyn

    I was working from home with my puppy. Crate training was brutal (for me) at first because I hated little Harry all cooped up during the day. But, it helped so much. There are lots of ways to train and keep the pups calm. Harry would bark if he didn’t see me, so I set up his crate next to my desk where I was in plain view. Then he’d watch me and curl up to sleep until it was time to go out. Some dogs get more aggitated when they can see you and not play with you. It will depend on Franklin’s disposition. Just remember that dogs love warm, safe spaces. Even now (at age 5) when Harry gets scared or just wants a break from his demanding dog life, he slips into his crate and sleeps with his favorite toys and blankets.

  • http://twitter.com/liz_treutel liz_treutel

    I recently adopted a 1 year old American Boxer and am having the same issues. Some things I’ve found to be helpful have been distracting toys… something that he can play with by himself. My dog has three main toys that keep him occupied for a while but the main one is The Kong – a magic toy that you can stuff with treats or peanut butter – that keeps my energetic puppy occupied for about an hour or so and tires him out afterward. Otherwise I would recommend crate training (I often give him the toys in the crate as well) and breaking for play times or walks throughout the day. I have found it to be a great break for both of us. I feel your pain! It’s so hard when they’re looking up at you with those “puppy dog” eyes wanting to cuddle and play.

  • Amy

    Kongs filled with non-fat yogurt and peanut butter and frozen over night work wonders, plus the yogurt helps with their digestion. Also, as others have mentioned, plenty of exercise – both physical and mental. 15 minutes a day of obedience training will go a long way in tiring him out!

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  • http://peonyforyourthought.blogspot.com/ Kate

    I am so glad to hear someone else say it’s hard with a puppy, and I’m cracking up at your “Pup Moms” analogy. We totally cater to our 7 month old puppy even still. He has outgrown the constant nipping, but he still bites when corrected (aka pulled off the couch, since he’s not allowed on furniture, with a stern “off”) It’s so time consuming raising a puppy! Ours also gets two walks a day, about 30 mins each, but can’t be left alone for more than 5 minutes in our fenced backyard or he’s completely covered in mud from digging. When I work from home our pup still has to get lots of crate time, and possibly a new bone to distract him when he’s not in the crate. He’s also 90lbs already, so he can be a big interupption to my workday. I’m checking out all the comments here for tips! Unfortunately I don’t really have any besides new bones/toys for distractions! Good luck with your pup!