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Old 12.08.2015, 10:54
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Urgent puppy training

Hi,

I adopted a 9-weeks-old puppy, it's my first dog. Unfortunately, no matter what I do, I can't seem to control his behaviour and he's constantly crying (especially during the night) and when I leave the house. I'm really concerned about him developing anxiety.

Can anyone recommend a dog trainer in Zurich that will be able to help?

Thanks!
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Old 12.08.2015, 11:18
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Re: Urgent puppy training

Sorry to hear about your problems. I have no experience with such issues, so I won't be able to give you any tips, but if you think socializing with another dogs is a good idea, I'd be happy to meet with you (my pup is 7 months old).

For my practical SKN course I got in touch with a trainer close to Affoltern a. A (not very far away, 1 hour by public transport). My first impression after a trial hour was very positive. Here is the address: http://www.fairtrain.ch/

If you need something in the city, I only know Carolina Jaroch from Animal Coach (she lives close to Sihl City): http://animalcoach.ch/de/Zuerich/So-arbeiten-wir . I've done my theoretical course with her and let's just say, not all her ideas fit me. But maybe it is better than nothing.

They both speak English. Good luck.
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Old 12.08.2015, 11:23
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Re: Urgent puppy training

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Sorry to hear about your problems. I have no experience with such issues, so I won't be able to give you any tips, but if you think socializing with another dogs is a good idea, I'd be happy to meet with you (my pup is 7 months old).

For my practical SKN course I got in touch with a trainer close to Affoltern a. A (not very far away, 1 hour by public transport). My first impression after a trial hour was very positive. Here is the address: http://www.fairtrain.ch/

If you need something in the city, I only know Carolina Jaroch from Animal Coach (she lives close to Sihl City): http://animalcoach.ch/de/Zuerich/So-arbeiten-wir . I've done my theoretical course with her and let's just say, not all her ideas fit me. But maybe it is better than nothing.

They both speak English. Good luck.
Thank you so much for the references. I think it could be great if we could meet, I'll send you my details in a PM.
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Old 12.08.2015, 13:25
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Re: Urgent puppy training

Beeley, what breed is your pup?


I strongly recommend Welpenförderung/Welpenspielstunde classes; at 9 weeks your pup is the perfect age. These are designed to get you on the right road towards developing a happy, stable, sociable pup.

That said, not every 'puppy play group' is set up as I would wish to see. Which is why, regardless of your breed, you might look for a trainer who is certified to do the canton Zürich Welpenförderung class for List 1 dogs. Even if your dog is a small breed not required to do Welpenförderung, these trainers (should) have the theoretical background, skills, and continuing education needed to conduct puppy training 'the right way'. A Welpenförderung trainer likely also does regular puppy classes.

The trainers Heksita linked are indeed certified for the Welpenförderung classes so would be a good place to start.


As Heksita mentions it is very important to make sure that the trainer's methods and ideas mesh with yours. Before signing up with a trainer ask if you may attend a class or two to observe. Good trainers will be happy to let you do that.

---

You mention that your pup is distressed when you leave.

How long are you leaving the pup alone, and what sort of set-up do you have for him?

A puppy needs to be trained to be alone, it's a 'human' skill, not one innate to dogs. The classic method is to start by leaving the pup for a short time - and I mean seconds - and gradually build up from there. This takes time, of course, but it is one of those critical life skills where the time you invest now will reward you many fold in the end.

I am always hesitant to offer advice over t'internet as I have not seen your pup. And I am not a trainer or behaviorist. One really needs an immediate eye on the situation to correctly understand what is happening - and thus how best to proceed with training. So you are right to seek help from a trainer.

In the meantime, however, here is a very good article from Emily Larlham, one of the trainers I very much respect. Her advice is sound from a scientific standpoint, and presented with common sense. Read the article, watch her videos, see if some of the problems and remedies she discusses match your situation.

http://dogmantics.com/separation-training-tips/

FYI, Ms Larlham has put together several puppy training videos, all free on her website, that I recommend every new puppy owner watch. Heck, all dog owners, experienced or not, no matter the dog's age, will find the information here of value.

http://dogmantics.com/puppy-training

And you will also find videos linked for general dog training that will be of valpue to you as your puppy grows and matures.

---

A word about seeking training help:

There are many resources available online. Some, like Ms Larlham's site, are pure gold. But there is also much out there that is of dubious value, and even some there that is downright harmful. So as you start to learn about training a puppy, please read Ms Larlham's Manifesto - this is a good start to understand the philosophy of positive, reward-based training.

By the way, all trainers certified to do the ZH cantonal courses should be using only positive reward based techniques.


---

Wishing you and your puppy all the very best.


ETA:

Did you get your pup from a breeder or Tierheim here in Switzerland? If so, have you contacted the breeder or shelter behaviorist for advice? Often this is a good place to start.


ETA 2:

Are you anywhere near Weiningen? Do you speak German?

If so, a trainer I can recommend is Martina Mettler of Compecane:
http://www.compecane.ch

Now - Martina does not do the Welpenförderung classes, but is certified to do the other ZH cantonal classes as well as the federal SKN. I have worked with Martina, she is a skilled and resourceful trainer, she was an invaluable support to us. (She taught me pretty much all I know about working with handicapped dogs.)

So while she does not do puppy classes per se, she does offer individual training sessions. This might be an option to work one-to-one on some of the difficulties you are having, outside of formal group classes. Martina added a new puppy to her own family in the last year, so she's certainly in tune what you are experiencing.


---

FYI, here is the list of the trainers certified to do the ZH cantonal classes. The type of class is noted:

http://www.veta.zh.ch/internet/gesun...phabetisch.pdf
.

Last edited by meloncollie; 17.08.2015 at 13:09.
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Old 12.08.2015, 13:38
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Re: Urgent puppy training

Isnt a 9 weeks old puppy too young to leave his mom? I thought the best age was around 12 weeks
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Old 12.08.2015, 13:57
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Re: Urgent puppy training

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Isnt a 9 weeks old puppy too young to leave his mom? I thought the best age was around 12 weeks
Under the animal welfare law a dog may leave it's mother after 56 days - that is, 8 weeks. Many breeders prefer to wait until 10 weeks, some even as long as 12. There is much discussion about when is best.

Key is that the puppy starts on the road to socialization to the human world. The puppy's mother can teach the puppy how to be a dog, but not necessarily how to live with humans. A good breeder will also have a solid socialization program in place to supplement the education that the pup gets from mom.

A dog left with his mother for 12 weeks without a chance to socialize in the human world could well end up with issues* that a dog who leaves his mother earlier but has had the benefit of being well socialized to the human world will not.

All aspects need to be considered, it's more than just a question of age.

But the legal minimum is 56 days.




* See my many posts about Hooligan.
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Old 12.08.2015, 14:15
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Re: Urgent puppy training

Everything MC has said and here is a little more.
First of all Don't Panic! If you are stressed you will pass this onto your puppy who is already stressed from being removed from it's mother and siblings. This then becomes a visious circle.

Of course it is difficult to control at the moment, it is a puppy and does not know your rules, it will learn. If you haven't already done so sit down as a family and decide what your pup will be allowed to do and not do as an adult, those are the rules from today. Everyone has to agree and everyone must then follow through with the agreement.

Research your breed of pup and if it is a mix, research all breeds known. Find out what they were originally bred to do, this gives you a hint of their character. If it is a pure breed find some online breed clubs, ask questions. As you have already found, most dog owners are happy to give advice. Read the advice, read books, read anything you can about dogs and their behavior and then take from it that which applies to you.

Take it from all of us that have taken a dog into our homes, it is HARD WORK but so rewarding in the end.


Good luck!
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Old 12.08.2015, 14:26
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Re: Urgent puppy training

Where does he sleep at night? Does he have a crate/bed? If in a crate make sure that you cover the top so he feels safe and knows that is his place. Also a ticking clock wrapped up can help and maybe if you still have the blanket that he came with, it will have familiar smells.

This will pass, he is still very young and after leaving his brothers and sisters will be feeling strange. Lots of cuddles and praise will help.
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Old 12.08.2015, 18:05
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Re: Urgent puppy training

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Where does he sleep at night? Does he have a crate/bed? If in a crate make sure that you cover the top so he feels safe and knows that is his place. Also a ticking clock wrapped up can help and maybe if you still have the blanket that he came with, it will have familiar smells.

This will pass, he is still very young and after leaving his brothers and sisters will be feeling strange. Lots of cuddles and praise will help.
What I did and worked perfectly well with my pup was that I put her crate right next to my bed in a way that she could see me during the night. Then, every night, I moved the crate just a couple of inches further away from the bed. After a couple of months the crate ended up 2 rooms away and although I left the crate open she slept there (she still does) without any issues

Good luck and enjoy every moment, they grow up waaay too quickly
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Old 12.08.2015, 18:15
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Re: Urgent puppy training

meloncollie, thank you so much for your detailed answer.
I don't actually 'leave' the puppy yet. I leave him in the crate (puppy play area), and he is crying his lungs out when I close the door. I tried some training methods (with clicker, treats) to show him that the crate is a happy and safe place but nothing works so far. He stays there as long as I'm there, and the minute I walk out he starts to cry, even when he sees that I'm standing right there outside the crate. If I don't close the door, he'll just follow me everywhere.

I'll take a look at the resources by Emily Larlham. I'll also take him to the vet tomorrow, just to eliminate any health issues that may disturb him. I contacted some trainers, hope the one of them will be able to work with me in such a short notice. Some of the puppy courses start a month from now, and I don't want to lose valuable time.

The list you of the certified trainers is extremely helpful, I'll contact the ones closer to my area.
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Old 12.08.2015, 18:56
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Re: Urgent puppy training

It might be worth feeding puppy in the crate, playing games and giving treats in and around the crate. Just sit next to it and every time he goes in sit the door and then immediately open it giving a treat and lots of praise every time he doesn't cry. Increase very slowly the amount of time the door is closed. When that works well then start to move away a few inches and repeat.
If he is already bonded to you it is also worth trying putting an old T shirt that you have worn, and preferably made quite smelly, in the crate as a comfort.
We used to tell clients at the school I helped at that the most important thing to do is praise, even for the smallest thing, and also that the praise should be quite over the top. Over excited and big smiley faced praise. People will think you are slightly mad but if it works use it.
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Old 12.08.2015, 19:38
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Re: Urgent puppy training

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It might be worth feeding puppy in the crate, playing games and giving treats in and around the crate. Just sit next to it and every time he goes in sit the door and then immediately open it giving a treat and lots of praise every time he doesn't cry. Increase very slowly the amount of time the door is closed. When that works well then start to move away a few inches and repeat.
.
This exactly. It takes time, but the first step is to show the puppy that his play area is a fun place to be.

The video in the first Emily Larlham article linked shows how she does this - literally by spending time in the play area herself, with the pup. She suggests not only playing with the pup, introducing toys etc, but also quiet behavior such as reading a book with the pup by her side.

For anything other than overnight sleep or medical rest she uses a play pen rather than a crate as this gives the pup plenty of safe space to play in. The goal is to teach safe self-entertainment, self control - in a larger space the puppy learns to make good choices.

It's tough in those first days - everything is new to the puppy, suddenly his little world has been turned upside down. The first step - teaching the pup that his new world is a wonderful place to be - takes time and patience. But you'll get there.

And if I could be cheeky and ask... any pics of the little one? We love puppy pics here on EF.
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Old 12.08.2015, 20:37
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Re: Urgent puppy training

I think there are so many new things around him now (you, new room, new neighborhood), that you should take it slow. Let him get used to you. IMO if the pup doesn't like the crate, don't force him (yet).

I wanted mine to sleep in a crate as well, it ended up with her in our bed .
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Old 12.08.2015, 21:42
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Re: Urgent puppy training

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I think there are so many new things around him now (you, new room, new neighborhood), that you should take it slow. Let him get used to you. IMO if the pup doesn't like the crate, don't force him (yet).

I wanted mine to sleep in a crate as well, it ended up with her in our bed .
Both our rescue pups needed to be in our bed in the beginning, but now no longer....they are happy to be in their new established happy places outside of the bedroom, but we do let them in for a cuddle now and then...which they love. a treat of sorts
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Old 12.08.2015, 23:13
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Re: Urgent puppy training

Also, just give him time. He's only a baby so don't expect miracles or perfection in week 1
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Old 13.08.2015, 02:42
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Re: Urgent puppy training

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I leave him in the crate (puppy play area), and he is crying his lungs out when I close the door. I tried some training methods (with clicker, treats) to show him that the crate is a happy and safe place but nothing works so far. He stays there as long as I'm there, and the minute I walk out he starts to cry, even when he sees that I'm standing right there outside the crate. If I don't close the door, he'll just follow me everywhere.
Beely, one of the fundamentals of training is to break any task down into small manageable steps, working on the first step and only once that has been consistently mastered move on to the second. If the dog is confused, frustrated, or upset at any point it is often a sign that we have moved too far too fast.

When that happens, we go back to the previous step, reinforcing the behavior until my dog is consistently and happily mastering that interim goal.

This may be what is happening when you close the crate door. Bearing in mind that I can't see exactly what is happening so am only projecting based on my own experience... but if this were one of my mutts I would take crying when the door is closed as a sign that we had not yet mastered the previous step (simply enjoying being in the crate) so it is likely too soon to move on to a closed door.

I know that it is frustrating to go at such a slow pace - especially at 2AM when you, too, need sleep. But in puppy training, as in much of life, slow and steady really does win the race.

Here is Emily Larlham's puppy 'introduction to a crate' video, which is actually the first part to the puppy play pen video mentioned in my earlier post. You'll notice that the crate door is open for the entire training. That's because the pup is still learning what a crate is, and learning to see it as an enjoyable place. Until the pup is comfortable, reliably, voluntarily going in and staying in, until the pup well and truly sees the crate as his 'den', the door should remain open.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUzF...2&spfreload=10

Here's another article, from the ASPCA, that details small steps in crate training:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtu...crate-training

By the way, you mention clicking and treating, which is great - but at this point do you think the pup fully understands what a clicker means? If not, you might take some time to work on the click = reward coupling, and once that concept is fully understood then move on to action = click + reward. Most dogs catch on quickly, but your pup is so very young that he might simply be overloaded. Young pups need many more iterations of the basics because their attention span is very short. Clicker training is, IMO, the way to go - but in order for the clicker to be effective we first need to teach, and reinforce, (and reinforce, and reinforce, and reinforce) what the click represents.

This sounds like an awful lot of work, for you and the pup. But the trick is to make it a game, make training part of the everyday fun for your pup. Work for very short periods - a minute or two, then take a break to play, sleep, go outside, etc. Then another short session. Repeat, repeat, throughout the day.

---

These first days and weeks are all about forging a bond between you and the pup, teaching him that your home - now his home - is a great place to be, that you are the center of his new world. Every step, every interaction should be with that in mind.

If something isn't working right now, ask your self 'Why not? What is making my pup uncomfortable? Then ask yourself 'Do we need to learn this at this time, in this way? Is there another way to acomplish the same goal that would be easier for the pup at this stage?

For instance, what is your goal at this point in using the crate? Could your goal be reached in another way?

---

Just some random 'wee small hours' thoughts. Hope you and your pup are both comfortably fast asleep right now.

Last edited by meloncollie; 17.08.2015 at 13:04.
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Old 13.08.2015, 10:00
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Re: Urgent puppy training

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for the tips and support. You're extremely helpful and I really appreciate it! Yesterday was a very intensive day for me and the puppy. I studied all the resources you provided and tried out some of the tips.
This morning I am much more optimistic regarding the situation. After the intensive training of yesterday the puppy slept almost all night long! Although he didn't sleep in the crate yet, he did not wake me up (the cat did ). When I walked out of my bedroom, he was sitting quietly near the crate.

Here's the pup:
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