Enzsound Posted February 11, 2021 Report Share Posted February 11, 2021 I've loved this forum for gathering resources leading up to us getting our BC mix puppy, so thanks for all the wisdom! My question is on training and habituating calm time for a puppy. Our pup is a little over 4 months old, happy/ healthy. Crate trained, needs enforced naps with the crate covered as she's very attentive otherwise and won't get proper sleep (as sort of expected). The crates in our front mudroom which has an additional gate, so she has a proper proofed space for hanging out in, when out of the crate, but we are working or busy. We know she is physically and mentally stimulated enough, in fact we were way, way overdoing it the first few weeks. Week over week we back off on the training and exercise more and more, and she still gets tired at the same times, her behaviors improved, and she's sleeping through the night, and no more witching hour for the last month at least. (No repetitive exercise either, no fetch both for her growth, and due to how it wires her up too much afterwards). We also want her to have adequate exercise, but not mistake physical exhaustion for rule following and calm in the house. We are really trying to help her with calm/ settle training and wanted to ask more experienced owners what training methods they have done in the past with their BCs. We have done the Dr. Karen Overall relaxation protocol twice through now in increasing distraction rooms, we 'think' we are seeing some difference (?). We plan to continue that. I have no expectations of a quick result or her to become a couch potato, I just hate to see when she's clearly tired, her pacing and pouting. We enforce crate naps, but also really want to at least try and give her opportunities to calm herself alone in her pen. In her covered crate, after some activity, she's out like a light. More recently we have been putting her in her ex pen, hoping to better instill that outside the crate when she's awake, there's not always something to do. We are seeing mixed success there, she's obviously very visually stimulated so if she starts to drift off or lays calmly and one of us moves around, she's back up, standing and staring. We praise and reward calm behaviors when we see them, and even her overtiredness isn't super terrible or bitey anymore. We ignore bad behaviors like whining and jumping at the door etc, and they are becoming less and less frequent. I wouldn't put her in the hyperactive 'oh my god my puppy is insane' category (yet ), she just needs a little help, or maybe I am expecting too much so early? Even on her most enforced nap days, she's not getting the recommended 18 hrs of sleep. This largely due to our (maybe naive) attempt at making sure everyday she's around us while we are too busy for her for some portion of the day so her life isn't just 'covered crate or activity with us'. This has led to her having large sections of time where she needs to calm or self occupy, and some days she's great, some days she's quite fussy about it. Nagging the back of my brain is that ignoring her to train her also feels like neglecting her, any tips? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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