8 week old mini - 1st time owner HELP! - Labradoodle Forums
 

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Old 03-22-2017, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 8 week old mini - 1st time owner HELP!

we brought home our mini Labradoodle last week and she's been with us for 5 days. we love her but
we are all concerned at how timid and fearful she is. In fact, there was absolutely no "tail wagging" when she met the kids. Understandably, it takes time adjusting to a new home but after 5 days her lack of enthusiasm seems out of the ordinary for a typical 8 week old puppy. She is so apprehensive that she will not walk out of the family room to any other area of the house and we have done everything (treats, calm reassuring voice, toys, etc) to gently coax her. She will not walk on concrete and is extremely hesitant to walk on hardwood. When she is awake, often times she will just sit there and observe and when you walk into the room to greet her there is no excitement in her temperament or "happy puppy greeting" Feeding also requires a fair bit of coaxing...introducing kibble with our hand and then leading her to the bowl which she will only eat 1/2 of what's there, the remainder has to be placed on the floor in front of her.
is it time to panic?...we are ccertainly a bit concerned
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
TKH
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Awww poor sweet baby. I have no idea what her experience was before you got her so all I can do is tell you what I've read in the puppy books or experienced with my last pup. (I am expecting a 9-week old puppy in one week and have been reading everything I can get my hands on! . Perhaps she didn't get the socialization a puppy needs to develop normally before she came into your life. She's a lucky girl to have a mommy that wants to help her!!
The 8th week of a puppy's life is when they go through a "fear period". Everything that seemed normal before suddenly becomes scary. Shy puppies tend to remain shy unless you take the time to let them know that they are safe. Talk to her in a matter-of-fact way when she reacts in a fearful/shy way to something obvious. Distraction with a toy or treat helps too. Take her everywhere you can so she becomes used to people, places, and sounds. It's important to have people come by, be very calm around her, position themselves sideways (a non-threatening dog calming sign) without looking into her eyes. Let the puppy explore instead of the person confronting her or picking her up. The person can have a REALLY YUMMY treat (kibble dipped in coconut oil or organic peanut butter) in their hand - arm outreached if they are lying on the floor. If the puppy comes to get the treat, your person should stay laying down with arm extended and let her retreat with the treat. Not too much talking - if any - but definitely in quiet voices. If it is one of your family members that she is especially shy with, have them hand feed her, give her treats, and be calm around her.

Perhaps she doesn't like her food - I know if I feel adverse to a food, I am usually intolerant of one of the ingredients. If an animal/person isn't eating enough/what they need, they are not able to be emotionally sound. I really do think using healthy, natural ingredient dog food and treats is worth the cost - especially when they are puppies.

There are so many great puppy books these days. I like Calming Signals, How to Raise a Puppy you can live with, After You Get Your Puppy... but there are so many great reads these days.

It's important to remember to never let her experience you losing your temper, raising your voice, handling her roughly.. she wants to please you, she just hasn't found the strength yet. She will, with time and patience. If she has had any trauma, it will take extra reassurance, but she will get there with your Love! Don't coddle her, just love her in a normal calming way Good Luck to you and your sweet baby!

P.S. I just reread your post. She may have had a bad experience walking on a solid surface. I don't know where you live, but perhaps she burned her paws walking on a very hot sidewalk, sand, or slipped on ice, or a wet floor. She may be scared to walk anywhere. This means your focus would be on small outings to different surfaces where you gently set her down and then pick her up (give her a treat) and say (the way you would say the word ice cream) "good job puppy (her name)" for short periods of time until she feels comfortable on each one.

Last edited by TKH; 04-20-2017 at 10:41 PM. Reason: added thought
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