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We have had Pippin at home for 3 weeks (he's 11 weeks old) and he's well behaved 99% of the time. The 1% of the time, he gets tired and sleepy but goes completely nuts and needs to be crated with someone to sitting next to him for until he'll fall asleep. He mostly falls asleep within a minute after we put him in the crate when he's tired. We figured he'll grow out of it as he got older, but so far it's only gotten worse. He is crate trained to the extent that he sleeps only in his crate and will sleep 1-2 hours at a time during the day and between 5-6 hours at night.

The worst behavior he'll exhibit is against our poor couch - if he's on the floor, he'll dig against the bottom and if he's on the couch, he'll frantically dig the cushions. Recently, he's also picked up the habit of jumping up and nipping at our clothes if we're outside. He never exhibits any of these when he's calm and will play very nicely (in the yard or indoors) or is quietly chewing on something on the floor or on his mat.

If we crate him before he's exhibiting these behaviors, he'll remain calm, but never falls asleep. After a while, he'll start whining in the crate if he's not falling asleep. Any recommendations on teaching him that he's tired and needs to settle down?

Puppy tax!

sitting.jpg funny_sit.jpg
 

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Crate him and let him whine. Don’t lay next to him
Right now he is training you. He whines and you react. I’d let him whine and ignore him. Your the alpha. You train him

at your dogs age I would play with him for 1 hour. Then cage for 2. If he whined I ignored him until the 2 hours was up
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We need a training system to teach him to chill on the couch and watch TV with us :)

To be honest, we're more concerned with the scratching and nipping when he's tired than the whining itself. We've let him whine for several minutes, we'll let him out once (no play, no interaction) he'll usually go potty one more time and then go to sleep.

We'll try a more regimented day with him and see if it helps.
 

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Puppy’s nip. Ours was horrible. We held his mouth shut and said no. It seemed to help some but never fixed it 100%. All the sudden 1 day around 5 months old he suddenly stopped nipping.
 

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By this age he should already be well on his way with his leash training and basic commands. If you've been using a training table start to do more short sessions per day with him on the table.
Start giving him things to do, and think about. He's able to process more information, and more complex information at this stage, but lacks the physical and mental maturity just yet. "Play time" is "training time". Always! The hundreds, upon hundreds, of commands given to "fetch", drop, "out", and "here", during playtime is training. Yes, he should have time to quietly chew on toys, but you should be structuring the playtime to incorporate training.
There should be objectives and goals being set. He won't meet them, but it's something to work towards.
You won't "teach him to settle" when he's tired. That just kind of has to occur naturally. Get his mind and body more engaged, and he'll begin to settle himself.
The crate is the crate. As long as you absolutely know he doesn't need to go to the bathroom, let him "whine it out" if need be. He doesn't go in just to sleep, sometimes you need to do chores, or run errands, and it's back in the crate. He's got to understand this. I've always covered the front gate of the crate to make it less stimulating for them. If They can't see out, they seem to settle in and just go to sleep.
The couch and the jumping up are normal behaviors, which are excellent opportunities to train the leave it", and "down" command. I know some folks like their dogs to jump up them and greet them, I once did also, but it is a bad behavior for a dog. Use the jumping up and nipping at clothes to enforce the "down" command.
The couch is presenting the opportunity to training and enforce "leave it". It's never acceptable to chew on furniture, or dig at it. He's big enough and smart enough to understand "NO! and "Leave it!"
He will have to just grow out of some of the behaviors, but instilling the lessons now will pay big, big dividends in 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you both for you advice - we've been re-thinking how we've been using the crate. We seriously misunderstood crate as a 'place to sleep' rather than a 'place to live' for the puppy. We've been crating him even when he's awake and letting him howl it out for a few mins while he watches around the house.

He has started his obedience classes and walking on the leash is getting better. Each day he gets 4-5 sessions of play and obedience mixed in. We'll play fetch or he'll be exploring our yard and randomly we go into 5-10 mins of training. Each hour of play does have 30 mins of training.

He has also been "working for his food" - we have a "bobalot" and food dispensing puzzle from which he gets his meals.
 

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I've never seen a Bobalot. They look interesting.
It doesn't always take a class to begin "Obedience" work. A tremendous amount of development can occur in the living room, basement, or hallway.
One "game" to incorporate that encompasses a lot of training fundamentals, is the retrieve.
A long hallway is perfect, if one is not available, make a "chute" out of anything you can. Move a couch away from a wall and block off one end, etc. Anything can work, all you're trying to do is create a physical environment that you can control and he's more or less forced to adapt to.
At 11 weeks old, the length of the toss, isn't important. 6'-10' is more than enough. It works something like this;
Attach a short check cord to his collar, and attach another short cord to a small retrieving dummy. A knotted up pair of old, unwashed, socks works excellent for a dummy, or "bumper".
Toss the dummy out and let him retrieve it.
If he goes for it, but does not want to bring it back, give the "here" command, and GENTLY apply pressure to both the check cord on his collar, and the dummy. You do not pull him to you, just apply pressure.
The moment he yields to the pressure, let off, and call him to you in the happiest voice you can. Lots of animation on your part.
If he does not give you the dummy at the end, gently play with him by petting him and rubbing him, while commanding "Out" in a nice playful voice. Do not try to snatch the dummy from him. As your rubbing and petting him, repeating "Out" gently position one hand under his muzzle and remove the dummy while maintaining all of the belly rubs and pets.
As the game progresses, you can hold him, or "Stay" him for a second or two, then release him to go after the dummy
Repeat.
This is a very simple exercise that incorporates the following fundamentals;
Response to the check cord. You establishing your ability to enforce a command.
The "Out" command.
The "Here" command.
The beginnings of the "Stay" command. Probably the second most important command ever given to a dog. "Here" is first. "Stay" and "Here", literally have the ability to save your dog's life someday.
The beginning of the "Whoa" command.
The start of the "Fetch". and the beginning of "retrieve to hand".
"Playtime is training time". ;)
 
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