Pete is a 19-week-old Sprocker.

He’s a very good little puppy and the two problems that they do have have are both due to bad advice.

He jumps and bites the lady’s leg or stomach when walked on lead, upsetting the lady so much that she’s in tears.

Pete cries much of the night and all the time when they are out.

Outdated bad advice

A trainer advised them to cover Pete’s crate and leave him to cry. In this hot weather!

The same trainer advised on walks to ‘hold him tight to make him heel’.

Pete is only a baby. He’s is learning about his new world away from the constant company of his siblings. His experiences should be kind and positive.

Happy walks

The lady read one of my case stories yesterday before booking our online consultation. She gave Pete more space on lead. She says the walking was so much better that this was the first time she hadn’t cried.

They walk him four times a day – short walks around the roads. What he needs is plenty of mooching and sniffing – exploring on a long loose lead attached to a harness. Not all along roads. No ‘making’ him walk to heel.

Pete can also carry something which should occupy his mouth while he learns.

The ongoing fight with the poor little dog who only wants to explore the new world is frustrating and upsetting for all. No wonder he leaps and bites.

At nineteen weeks old a route-march around the roads to heel is something he doesn’t need.

Crying when left alone

The seeds have been sown by leaving him to cry it out at night at the trainer’s instruction. The trainer who said ‘cover the crate’.

It’s a logical conclusion that the more we leave a puppy to cry in panic, the the worse he will feel about being left. He won’t get used to it. He may give up in helplessness.

Does anyone want that?

Pete is a baby and putting this right will be time consuming.

The puppy sleeps in crate in living room. The trainer said cover the crate and he now resists going into the crate. My first tip: cover off – it’s hot, it’s summer!

Where to start?

They start where Pete is happy to be left and work from there. If he cries for company at night, he should have it.

The trainer said ‘stop cuddling him’. Denying a child the love it wants would make it become more needy, wouldn’t it? If puppy wants a cuddle for god’s sake cuddle him.

They will start off doing whatever it is to keep him happy at night. Then bit by bit stretch it.

Leaving him alone to go out will also be done gradually.

Firstly Pete needs to be somewhere he likes to be and where he feels safe. This is probably not in the crate.

The sofa is his favourite place and as he doesn’t chew things, why not?

They will follow a careful plan and get a camera to make sure they come back before he is distressed.

Three days later:
“It’s only been a couple of days but I wanted to say that we can already see a positive change in Pete. We got a training lead and have been walking with it clipped to his chest and back and he has calmed down a lot. He now always walks with a stick or toy so when he gets worked up he can have it in his mouth and this has been calming him down instantly. Walks are so much more enjoyable and I actually took him out by myself today- something I was too nervous to do before- and he was a star.
We have cut out his morning walk as this was when he was most badly behaved- stressed- and replaced it with garden walking and a bit of training which sets us up positively for the rest of the day. We have also done a couple of scatter feeds in the garden which he loves and really makes him use his brain.
The isolation anxiety is still there but we managed a full 2 minutes outside the door today without whining, which was immense progress.
We know we still have a long way to go but I wanted to say thank you for giving us the tools to help Freddie and ourselves and I look forward to seeing how it continues to progress.
NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete report. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog, you can do more harm than good. Click here for help