||[Mon, December 7th, 2009]
Hello pom moms (and dads)!
My name is Marie-Claude, I'm 30, and I'm in Ottawa, Canada. I grew up around poodles and rottweilers but since I've been living in apartments for the past decade, I had decided to limit my zoo to cats only, since I didn't think I had enough time/space to devote to a dog.
When my partner and I got an apartment downtown together shortly after our one-year anniversary, we decided to adopt a puppy from an apartment-friendly breed, since there were two sets of hands now, plus a third with our eager new roommate.
Enter Bandit, who we got in October at the age of 10 weeks. He is 16 weeks old today, and all of 4.5 lbs.
( Pictures!Collapse )
I'm looking for advice concerning some pom behaviour. We're new to the breed, so any input would be appreciated. My partner and I are used to large breeds so we've been staunch with the discipline, but as it seems to be the case with a lot of poms, our best efforts seem to be working against us.
Since we live downtown in a big city and walk everywhere, we try to take him walking with us whenever we go on errands. There is a dog park down the block we go to as much as we can. We also try to take him for a walk right before he is crated at night. I'll admit that these things don't always happen as religiously or as extensively as we'd like them to, but mostly we do all right. He is never crated for more than a 2-3 hours at a time. We do try to give him a routine so he knows what to expect.
Here are the things he does well, to give credit where credit is due:
- Sleeps in his crate at night, in our bedroom, and only barks/whines when he has to pee/poo.
- Pees/poos on his puppy pads. We will soon be transitioning to outside.
- Walks really well on a short leash, heels.
- Sits on command (most of the time) and sits at intersections when being walked (we live downtown in a big city).
- Plays well with other dogs, and wishes the cats would play with him.
- Sticks closeby when off leash at the dog park, but will venture out a little to play with other dogs/people.
- Doesn't bark when someone knocks on the door, or comes in.
- Has stopped idle puppy nipping for the most part.
Now, with the bad. None of which are new to poms owners, I venture:
- Will randomly bark his fool head off at us for no reason, and also (especially?) when reprimanded.
- Ditto with the cats, which has resulted in my older cat smacking him in the face, damaging one of his eyes.
- Is ripping the carpet out in our rental apartment and eating the bottom of the kitchen cupboards (AAAARGH).
- Has no recall to speak of if there's something more interesting around.
- Will bark and jump and paw almost violently whenever we (or the cats) eat. We had to put the cats' food on a table so he wouldn't bark and them whenever they ate. We usually crate him when we eat, to avoid the aggression.
- A spray bottle of water with or without lemon juice has no effect on him. I think he even likes it!
- Using positive reinforcement to stop the barking (show treat, praise and give treat after 3 seconds of silence, repeat for longer silences, etc.) has worked somewhat, but as soon as treat time is over, the lesson is forgotten.
- Recently he has started being aggressive whenever we try to give him his eye medication or if we try to put the leash on his collar. Growling, malicious biting, etc. This is rather discouraging, as he is a sweetheart otherwise.
Now, I'm reeeeally hoping that this is all mostly teenage rebellion, him testing us, trying to be the boss. And that a lot of these behaviours (especially ripping, digging, chewing) will lessen once he's neutered in a few weeks. Is this true, in your experience? In the meantime, any advice on how to help these pom problems (pom-blems?) would be hugely welcome!
Edit: After asking the same questions on Yahoo Answers (what was I thinking?) and being practically lynched, I need to ask: are my expectations unreasonable? Am I asking too much of a 4 month old puppy? In my experience you can never start training too early, but. You tell me. :)