New Owner - Am I doing everything wrong??

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New Owner - Am I doing everything wrong??

Postby rinkguy » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:20 pm

Hello all,

I'm a new whippet puppy owner. We got Ozzi at 9 weeks and he's been a great puppy. Averages 2 accidents a day but the last few days, he's been going to the door and/or ringing a bell. (it's amazing how quickly they learn). Every time we take him out, he pees which is great. Unfortunately he also poops up to 10 times a day. The first couple in the morning are solid, but as the day goes on, it gets softer and softer till its simply mud dripping out. I don't know if he's attempting to go too often or if it's his food or what? He eats about 1/2 cup, 3 times a day (leaves some at each meal, dinner being to most he eats). We give him Orijen Puppy food with a table spoon of wet Canada Fresh Chicken plus a bit of water to soften the kibble. He is gaining weight, but only about 1 lbs a week. he was 10 lbs when we got him 2 weeks ago (12.4 lbs today). Every time he's outside, he just eats moss, dry grass, bark etc. It's almost impossible to keep it from him, he's relentless.
Walking is a chore, we refuses to walk, if we do get him out of our townhouse complex sometimes he goes on just fine, but for the first 10 minutes, we are almost pulling him (which I hate to do obviously). He does enjoy going in the back to chase a ball and zoom around, but we are concerned he's not getting enough exercise? We live in the centre of our townhouse complex with an approx. 100m x 15m green space (unfenced). I know people will say this is a bad idea that we let him off leash to potty and play but He runs around and never leaves the grass area and I would like to teach him this area is okay so that if he does get off leash, I would hope he would stop at the edge of a grassy area (wishful thinking I know). We always have him leashed with a martingale when near roads, parks or anywhere new.
At night he sleeps in his crate and sleeps the night away since day 3 which is awesome for us all. Often in the morning we open his crate and he'll just reposition himself with no desire to come out. During the day he plays with his toys and goes out often for potty breaks, but mostly sleeps the day away.
My wife is a teacher and will be going back to work in September, I work daily till 3. We need to start thinking about leaving him crated during the day and not sure what the best approach is? I plan to walk him in the morning (if I can get him to go), My son can come home at lunch to let Ozzi out for potty and a bit of playtime. the kids will be home around 3 so we are hoping that Ozzi will be okay for the time he's in his crate?
When it comes to training, he does okay, but unfortunately he's not food motivated in anyway so it can be difficult to keep his attention for more than a few minutes. He hasn't really mastered anything yet including his name. Should we be taking him to obedience classes to help with simple training?
I would be interested in thoughts on these subjects and what I'm doing right and what we should be doing differently.
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Re: New Owner - Am I doing everything wrong??

Postby Greybeard » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:33 am

Hi Rinkguy,

Congratulations on getting Ozzy. I've two Whippets, Sadie and Dylan (Dylan's still a pup), and I'll try to compare them to Ozzy.

10 poops a day? I think Sadie's record was nine (I've never counted Dylan's). They're puppies, and need to eat plenty to grow, which means plenty poop. The fact that it's getting looser throughout the day is probably due to diet, but I would talk to a vet about that. Probably nothing, but better to be sure.

Mine too ate any rubbish they could find when out on a walk. Twigs, discarded litter, grass cuttings (fresh or composted) being a particular favourite. Dylan just chews it and spits it out, Sadie would swallow it and frequently puke it back on to the carpet. They're so fast aren't they? You don't see the head go down to pick something up, you just hear the jaws crunching something unpleasant. Just do your best to minimise it, and make sure he's insured in case he eats something that has to be surgically removed (it happens).

As for refusing to walk, this is common, and I've had it with a few dogs over the years. If someone put a collar and leash around your neck and dragged you outside you'd fight it too (at least I presume you would). He's not worked out yet that collar & leash means he's going for a walk and that walks are nice. Try putting the leash on in the house or yard, and just follow him when he (eventually) walks around. He'll soon get used to it, and bounce around with excitement when you get his lead.

Don't worry about him not getting enough exercise. As a puppy he'll be getting plenty by just zooming around the place. The danger is giving a puppy too much exercise too soon. The rule of thumb is a maximum walk time of 5 minutes per month of age, twice per day, in addition to the zooming around he does on his own.

If you wish to let Ozzy off the leash on an unfenced green space be sure his recall is perfect (which is a tall order for a Whippet, but is possible). Get a long leash, some good quality treats, and practise recall frequently. Always be aware of a Whippet's high prey drive, and that the desire to chase that squirrel will usually be higher than his desire to come when called. It's the nature of the animal.

It's good that he sleeps through the night, Dylan did that too. And during the day - Whippets like to sleep a lot, and so do puppies. Enjoy the peace while it lasts. However, if he seems listless all the time, get him checked by your vet.

I don't crate my dogs, so I can't comment on that (I'm not against it, I just don't have the space).

And training, don't worry about his attention span. Whippets all have ADHD, didn't you know? When your training session stops being fun, stop doing it and let him play for a while. I limited my sessions to no more than 5 minutes.

I don't think you're doing everything wrong, I think you've got a typical Whippet puppy. They can be a bit of a handful (Sadie was the puppy from Hell).

Welcome to theworld of Whippets. :D
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Re: New Owner - Am I doing everything wrong??

Postby Blanco Suzy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:03 am

The puppy (whippet or otherwise) and the pooping is not uncommon, as are the "loose" stools. If it continues for more than 24 hours you might have him checked for a parasite (giardia, and some others I cannot remember).....I had months of diarrhea with my new puppy but it finally cleared. It helped to have mine on a schedule so I could "predict" when she would need to go.....2 hours after eating usually. I took my puppy out every two hours and she has done well with potty training. I also have two other whippets so I think she got the idea from them. I also leashed her so I knew exacly what she was doing and could watch for the signs and so that I had access to her and could control her. It also got her used to the collar and leash so walks were a little easier. I use a front hook harness (easy trainer I think it is called).

I would be cautious about off leash. Right now you are the most important thing in his world, but that will change in the blink of an eye when he sees a butterfly, a bug, anything moving really.

You might want to consider using his meals as training. I boil chicken breast and use that as "high value" for attention and I use beef for recall....only for recall.

Sticks, bugs, smelly things, paper, plastic bags, cigarette butts, anything and everything (the smellier the better) goes in the mouth whiel they are a puppy. I did not worry too much about how she walked, as long as she did not pull I let her sniff and enjoy herself for the first couple of months...Walks were rather slow and there was alot of re-directing, but she caught on really quick.

If she does not want to come out of the crate (and you have the time) do not try to make her. Keep training short, and try to capture her doing what you want. Puppy classes are great, but I found that I took one of mine too early and she just could not focus because of the other dogs.

keep working on the crate training. If he loves his crate it should not be an issue for a few hours a prepared, however, as he is young and you may come home to a soiled crate and smelly puppy.

It will be a challenge for the first few months, but it is SO worth it. My little gal is now 6 months old and the change is amazing. She is doing that teenager backsliding thing, but it is not as bad as it could be.

Try to just enjoy the puppy at this age and know that they are fast learners.....lots of play.
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Re: New Owner - Am I doing everything wrong??

Postby MACB » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:26 am

Hello and congratulations on your puppy!!

We are a week ahead of you, our girl Blue just turned 10 weeks on Monday and we've had her since she was 8 weeks.

I was the same, wondering if I was doing things right or wrong, regretting my choice to get a puppy in the first few days but now, after a few weeks and lots of kind words on here I am much more relaxed and loving her so much and realising she's a puppy, they are all different, joyful, frustrating, insane, cute, sleepy etc.

She also eats anything in the garden - we just let her go for it for now. She zooms around like a crazy dog for 10 - 15 minutes a few times a day. We let her off leash in our garden but it's completely enclosed so I feel it's safe. And can't comment on the walking as she's not had her vaccines yet so we don't take her out. What I am doing is carrying her around with me whenever I can. She's been to the pub several times, yesterday I took her to an agency that I work with, I invited my friends over who have kids and she's been on the bus and the train. I think this has been really really great in terms of her temperament. She's getting really used to people, sounds, places and other dogs as well. Training on the other hand, similar to you - she has no clue what her name is yet. She knows sit but that's it for now. I think there's plenty of time to get better at that.

When it comes to the crate, we seemed to have an easy ride too - she will sleep through the night in there (6 hours - which is a lot longer than I was expecting - they say 1 hour per month of age) but if we wake up we will pop her outside for the toilet.

I have her crate trained too - and this is our first week where, for two days, we are both at work full time and have hired a puppy playmate for her. She pops in three times during the day for an hour session of wee, poop and play and then Blue is back in her crate. So far, so good, she doesn't mind being left in there at all - as long as she has a frozen kong full of peanut butter.

My technique was to take a few days off work and really concentrate on doing it well. I did the whole put her in the crate with a kong then leave the house and come right back in a few times. So she gets it 'ok, she goes out but she comes back'. Then just increase. Go out the door, time a minute and go back in. Then 5 mins. Then 15 (this is when I was so so nervous about what I might come back to) and then 30, 1 hour, 2 hours. It took about 3 days to work up to 3 hours. Guess it depends on the dog! I think I did up to 10 mins on day one, then 1 hour on day 2 and then 2.5 hours on day 3. And I only did one or two sessions per day so was with her to chill and play for the rest of the time.

I used this guide:

Hope that helps!
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Re: New Owner - Am I doing everything wrong??

Postby Blanco Suzy » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:15 pm

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is doggie daycare. It has really helped my pup calm down a little around my two senior dogs and has helped with socialization that I was not able to provide. The daycare I use is supervised (meaning the dogs are not just turned loose unattended in a space) and they are very caring and kindi folks.

Good luck
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Re: New Owner - Am I doing everything wrong??

Postby GrandmaB » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:14 pm

You seem to be working things out well on behalf of your guy. I would like to second the doggie day care. I know it is expensive, and he doesn't need to go every day. My girl went twice a week, and that was enough to tire her out so that she slept most other days in her crate when I was away at work. A social girl, she was delighted to have lots of friends and looked forward to it. To this day she uses the lessons she learned from other dogs; today on our daily walk with other neighbors and their dogs, a loose exuberant 8-month old shepherd mix boy became too rambunctious, and she snarled in doggy terms for him to cut it out. He did, and she continued her matronly stroll. There are some things we can't teach them, but they understand dog culture really quickly.
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