Hello everyone. I have frequently visited here as a guest in preparation for the arrival of my new Cocker puppy, Shelly, but decided to join in this great forum for some specific advice for her needs.
I've received her last Saturday when she became 8 weeks and since then, she couldn't be more of a bundle of joy to have. She is unusually bold and doesn't seem to fear much. Her housetraining is improving every day with having her go potty in the kitchen with puppy pads and then eventually moving outside when her immunization is finished (I live in an apartment complex where exposure wouldn't be smart at this time).
But of course, she does have her share of mischief as all puppies would get into and Shelly has a few quirks that makes it difficult to improve her behavior. All week, I've been giving her the benefit of the doubt that she is only a puppy and while that may be the sole reason, any advice on getting her on the right track as she gets older would be very much appreciated from veteran Cocker owners.
Firstly, her biting habits. Yes, I realize that this is probably the most common complaint for new puppies and that they will have to bite & chew a lot to satisfy their teething, but Shelly seems to take this habit above and beyond. She will, on almost any circumstance, attempt to bite our hands, feet, clothes, or sometimes even the face if she has a clear path to them and when there is movement. At times, she gets pretty overzealous and will start biting WAY too hard where blood is almost drawn, obviously an enormous no-no which I've been trying to discourage with a loud, clear "NO!" to her face every time she does, but she is completely unfazed by this no matter what the volume of my voice is and attempts to bite again right after. I've also tried to do the "ignore her when she bites" tactic but no improvement seems to be evident from it either.
She has plenty of chew toys and most of the time, she will go after them when I coax her into chewing them to keep her busy when we need to get up and walk away, but it's not long until she loses interest and goes after our feet again. I wonder if she even learned not to bite so hard with her Mom/littermates but it looks like she either completely skipped that phase or Shelly & her littermates fully tolerated the rough-housing. So I wonder if there are any better methods I could use to help with breaking this pesky habit of hers or if I should just continue to be consistent with what I'm doing now that will be more effective over time.
Next, as stated before, she is very bold for a puppy, but one of the few things she isn't tolerant of is being inside her crate. She cries for what seems like an eternity when she is put in for an hour to help her get used to it for the last three days and it really tears my heart strings to have to listen to how upset she gets. I've tried to stay with her to help calm her down, gave a couple treats and left a couple toys in there with her, but she still cries non-stop. Any tips would be very helpful and appreciated in helping her get more comfortable in her crate.
Oh yes, and here are a few pics of my little bundle of joy.
Second day arriving to her new home.
Here you can see her white markings. She gets them from her proud grandfather as told by her breeder.
Hahaha, an adorable moment captured during a play-shuffle session.