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#1 echopup

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:41 PM

Hello,

 

I've been reading this forum for some time while preparing to welcome a Great Dane into our home, and I'm really excited to have her in my life.

She's now 10 weeks old and after just two weeks is doing really well with most things, but being a natural worrier, I was hoping to get some advice sooner rather than later.

 

1. She was very nippy the first week, and she learnt quickly that it's not okay, but she doesn't understand that biting also isn't okay. She did it to me only once and doesn't even try anymore, but she's grabbed my partner by the nose or cheek and held. She is going to puppy socialisation classes from this week (following her jabs) and I have her signed up for puppy school and 121 lessons from March (I'd happily get in there earlier than that), but I just want to nip this in the bud. My partner is worried that this is her jealous behaviour, but I don't think so, yet. Any techniques that work well with this sort of play biting? Nipping/teething was solved with toy distraction, but this is different. Plus, if it's me always solving the issue, she could just end up misbehaving only when I'm out, which is not much better.

 

2. She loves our 5 year old dog (CKCS), and he tolerates her just fine, but I think he gets anxious and stressed when she's in her crazy mood, and I want to make sure he's happy. I'd like to help them with their relationship, so any tips would be fantastic.

 

3. Most nights she'll sleep in her crate without an issue, but if I lock the crate during the day she has a complete meltdown (and I really don't mean just crying). She starts doing the same if I hold her down when she's in her crazy mood (I don't just grab her and hold her down for no reason, I'm talking vet, examination, or stopping her from hurting herself). She did alright at the vet so far, but worried it won't stop before she gets bigger. She starts doing the same when we go to a different building, but calms down pretty quickly. I've tried the ignoring method, but if anyone has experience with this, it'd be great to her what works best. Would one of those calming plug-in things work?

I'm home most of the time, so the crate is just for the rest of us to have a quiet dinner and then she's out again. Our CKCS loves his crate, but he hated it as a puppy, especially at night, so she's doing better than him!

 

She's not my first dog, nor my first crazy dog. She's just special :D  It all sounds worse than it is. She's too smart for her own good, loves to play, walks well on a lead, no jumping up, happily plays with her kong, and does 90% of her business outside, which I think is fantastic for a 10wk old puppy. I just read this post from 2015, so just making sure it never gets to that  :)

 

Thanks in advance!



#2 Hazel

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 11:57 AM

From your description of the behaviour, I'd say she is just a typical puppy.

 

1.  Nipping and biting is a phase all puppies go through; you need to use it to teach bite inhibition.  All puppies do this to their siblings.  If it is painful, you might see the other puppy yelp and move away (ie, ignore the unwanted behaviour) or snarl at the offender, depending on the severity of the nip or bite.  You should try to imitate that in the first instance - try yelping, moving the affected part out of reach, and then moving away and ignoring the puppy.  If your pup continues, then divert her with a soft toy or whatever will distract her.  It is not "jealous behaviour"; she just hasn't learnt that she shouldn't do it.  Your partner needs to work with your puppy as well; they can't generalise, so they don't realise that when you yourself stop a behaviour like this they should also stop it with all people.  Your window for stopping this behaviour will close at around four month old.

 

The same goes with general training.  She might walk perfectly well on the lead for you, but she also needs to practise with anyone who will be walking her.

 

2.  When she is in crazy mode, put her out in the garden to run it off and leave your other dog inside.  You can also divert with training exercises (she is not too young to start).  You can do this before you go to the vet or wherever to take the sting out of her.  Your pup can have as much free exercise as she can take: a tired puppy is a good puppy.  If she is over the top in the house and pesters your other dog, give her a brief timeout in her crate (this is also useful for crate training).  

 

3.  You have to train a pup to be left in the crate; acceptance of confinement is not automatic.  It is different at night because it is quiet and dark and she is probably tired and has been fed, but everything is more exciting in the day.  You need to start by leaving her for a very short time and gradually increasing the duration.  Tire her out beforehand and use that Kong - stuff it with her food or some goodies to keep her occupied while she is in there.  DAP diffusers work for some dogs but not for all, and you need sufficient of them plugged in for the size of room and its ventilation.

 

Danes are very intelligent but, having originally been a hunting breed, they can think for themselves and it is up to us to channel that and teach them appropriate behaviours.  Your pup is still very young; be patient, keep working with her, and she will get there.

 

Hazel



#3 echopup

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 11:38 AM

You're a star! Thanks so much for this. We just needed a bit of reassurance, and thanks for taking the time to reply.

 

I've shared the information with my partner, because tbh I'm not the main worrier. Although we've had Felix (CKCS) since he was a puppy, the experience was different, not just because of the size difference. She has a lot of toys and we play with her all the time, but I think the toys we originally got were just no fun for her. I got her a buffalo horn yesterday and a couple of other toys that look like rubbish but she loves them! She was happily sitting in her crate during dinner time chewing on the horn. When she finished she was too tired to cry and just waited for me to open the crate.

 

I'm proud to say that she's also able to shake hand now after about 5 minute training exercise. She's smarter than me it seems!  :D

 

Thanks again, I'm bookmarking this (along with a lot of other threads on here!).

 

Thought I'd share a pic of the pups too  :wub:

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