Help with new Sheltie, taken from mother at 5 1/2 weeks

Posted by donald-chinnici
Jun 28, 2018
Hi, I can sure use some help here. First puppy for me, though I've done the research including the breed, and everything I could read and see here from Kingdom of Pets. I tried to post this yesterday, but didn't seem to go up. So this may come as a duplicate.

I got this female Sheltie from a reputable breeder on the stroke of 8 weeks. But later found out that the mother had been taken away at 5 1/2 weeks. On my reading, I am not the most pleased with this, But my question largely centers now around, where do I go from here? What things do I need to pay special attention to.

She's now ten weeks, and I'm struggling particularly with the housebreaking. Plus she seems to have a strong spirit. (Yes, I'm devouring everything I can on Alpha, and trying to exercise this -- greeting on my terms, eating crackers from the feed bowl first, and more.) At times, she will sweetly obey, and it seems she's anxious to please. But at times, she'll ignore me. Perhaps fifty percent of the time. Again, as first pup owner, I'm not sure where puppy energy ends, though I suspect right from now, she should begin to become calm and compliant.

I hadn't met the mother, and after I picked up the pup, inquired of her owner as to her personality. She told me (a little too cheerily) "Too smart for her own good. Knows what I'm telling her, waits for me to leave the room, and does it anyway." She thought it was cute. I think it reveals the owner does not have control of this mother. So now, the litter of pups was taken from the mother at 5.5 weeks, and then from each other at 8 weeks. She has far too much nibble for my taste; and I'm working on this.

At times she'll walk next to me, most times if I change direction, she'll follow me; but sometimes, she'll really rebel against the leash, digging her little heels into the ground looking up at me, and/or grabbing her end of the leash in her mouth, taking herself whatever direction she wants. Perhaps a "gentle leader" leash here, though I suspect this is a symptom of a broader thing.

I'm REALLY struggling with housebreaking (and yes, have read this piece here also; and still have some questions.) I've given her a small amount of freedom in a blocked-in area between her crate and my desk, perhaps 2x4. And some of the time, she's content to sit there, and three times now in the past week, she's peed there. I've put food down there trying to get her to see this as an extension of the cage, but yesterday it happened again. Perhaps I'm missing the signals, but this is made tougher as she will spend too much time in the crate whining because she wants freedom. So, how do I look for, or train her to give me a signal? I wrote the breeder who informed me that too much freedom will set back the housebreaking (which I'd found), and then chastised me, telling me that I should keep her in the crate (or my lap, no other possibilities) on a full time basis. "She very mcuh needs to be confined now." was her statement. To me, something seems very much wrong with this 100% crate time. Is she right? Or do I need to give enough freedom to catch her in the act of accident, so that she can make the connection. I am exasperated, two weeks into it. Happy with having her, but I want to have a well-adjusted adult, before this is all over. And this headstrong thing is really hindering it. On the positive side, both mother and father side have a line of championships in obedience, companion dog, as well as strong agility on the father's side. So, I have high homes; more in her breeding, though then my current level of skills. Any thoughts please, particularly related to this soon-loss of mother and siblings? Thanks!

Hopefully this will post without duplicate.
Posted by donald-chinnici
Jul 5, 2018
As it turns out, this is no longer necessary, as I put the pup down yesterday, at ten weeks old. On a routine vet visit for vaccine boost, she was concerned and ran a workup. From this, and a later specialist, she was in full kidney failure, because she had malformed kidneys. If it had been kidney disease, I would have worked with that. But sadly, so no other path forward.