Be Prepared, Be Very prepared, for the “Puppy Crazies”
Most new puppy owners like John and Mary, don’t get a free pass from the puppy crazies.
They thought they were ready with all the reading and watching videos.
But the reality of bouts of wild, random running, attacking and biting anything and anyone in its path was beyond what they expected.
Puppy crazies can be described as chaos and destruction, like an F5 tornado.
John pulled me in their front door with a strong guided hand shake as Mary said,
“We don’t know what’s wrong with our puppy! Lucy can be so sweet and loving in one moment and suddenly turns into an out-of-control demon.
At least 2-3 times a day, she’s driving us mad! We think we picked a puppy that is mentally unstable.”
They were not mentally prepared to deal with Lucy’s bouts of puppy crazies.
It’s like her off switch is broken. Sound familiar?
I got there just after Lucy ate lunch and saw it first-hand. I told them it looked just like our new puppy, Keeper. I said, “He can be a mad man sometimes!” I assured them that it was normal puppy behavior.
How to Deal With The Relentless Puppy Biting and Attacking
Their big question: Where is Lucy’s off switch?
Before I talk about how to deal with the puppy crazies, it’s as important to know what you want to avoid.
I told John and Mary that the next time Lucy goes into the puppy crazies, remember the following:
- Do not chase her
- Do not laugh at her crazy antics
- Do not stroke her if she jumps on you
All these gestures can be mistaken for praise, which in turn reinforces the puppy behavior you’re trying to stop.
And of course do not physically punish your puppy.
What Works for us When Our 11 Week Old Puppy, Keeper, Gets the Puppy Crazies?
We learned that Keeper’s crazy biting, running and attacking period is predictable.
It usually happens after meal times.
Knowing what’s coming we’ve started feeding Keeper only half of his meal in his bowl. We save the other half.
So after he finishes his meal we:
- Get him outside in the back yard to run out some of his crazy puppy energy and also poop.
- Shortly after that, we crate him with a food dispensing roller ball that has the rest of his meal.
- He’ll work out his puppy crazies on the roller ball and before you know it, he’s fast asleep!
That’s your off switch!
Leila tried gating him in her office with toys, chewies and a cardboard box.
But she remained the primary target of his puppy biting and attacking.
That choice was short lived – trust me on that one!
You must know this puppy crazies phase won’t last forever and will pass.
This is important: How you handle your puppy’s crazy biting and attacking can make a big difference in your relationship with your puppy.
Lessons Learned from Jon and Mary’s Puppy Crazies Solution
I told John and Mary that there is value in this lesson.
Everyone learns, even Lucy.
- Lucy will learn to accept scheduled nap times as part of her daily routine.
- Predictable activities like eating, nap times and training relieve stress and anxiety for Lucy and you.
- Lucy will learn to accept her crate and be confident in her crate. This lets you be there and active in the house getting things done without her whining and barking.
- You will learn routine crate time has other benefits.
- It aids in house training (constant reminder not to potty)
- It keeps your stuff safe when you are busy taking care of other important things and can’t tend to Lucy.
John and Mary learned this important part of scheduling.
They now see how it gives them free time to get things done without Lucy under foot.
As an example, our puppy Keeper is crated at 10:00, 1:00 and 4:00 for an hour or two each time.
This allows Leila time to get many things done in the office. Keeper now willingly goes to his crate for his down time.
Effective, early crate training aids in:
house training and controlling puppy crazies with a lot less stress and anxiety for all concerned!
Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog
You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.
I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock.