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Hi all,
I am struggling abit with working from home with my 10 week old lab, he seems to have totally changed in the space of a couple of days he has become so boisterous and just wants to get into mischief he is constantly hiding under my side unit where I am unable to reach him. He goes in his crate at different times of the day but I don't want him to feel like he is been shut away from me. Would it be a good idea to get a playpen where he can play during the day whilst I am working in the same room?. Having a bad day feel like I am failing him some way he has also become very bitey and even growled last night. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Every think you say points to one thing. You have now had him for long enough that he has got his paws under the table! He's happy, confident and fancies playing. I have a sofa in the bay window and at that age Chloe found that if she pushed in between the arm and the wall she could get behind it. I remember piling heavy things in the space so she could not get in there!

But puppies are so like children, they can get over tired and fractious. I always put my pups in the crate for an hour after lunch for a sleep, and again at around 7pm. This enforced rest helps them, but also allows me to recharge my batteries. Puppies can be VERY hard work! I personally have never used a puppy pen, but a friend always does for her puppies. But then, I've never worked from home, but she does. Certainly no reason why you should not get one.

As to biting and growling, thats perfectly normal. This is a little piece I wrote a while back. I've posted it here before, but it stands repeating.

I think it’s important that you understand whats happening. What you describe is so normal for Labrador puppies! Part of the problem is that they are so much a social breed, they love everybody and want to be with them. They want to play, and they want to involve their “human” in their game. And of course dogs cant play cards or computer games. Puppies are pre-programmed at birth to play “War Games.” This is equipping them for their future in the wild, catching their food and defending themselves and their pack. Puppies, and many other creatures in the wild will practise and hone their skills on each other. I’m so lucky in that I have a private wood that I can walk in and often in spring I’ve stood and watched Fox cubs playing these war games. They have no intention of hurting each other, just have a lovely game.

But then onto domestic dogs, and thats where things all go wrong. We take our puppy out of the nest and away from his siblings at around 8 weeks old, just about the time when the pups are beginning to get active, starting to think about things other than eating and sleeping. So his natural actions now would be to play his war games, but he has no siblings to play those games with! So effectively you are the surrogate sibling! In the wild this is where he would start to learn bite inhibition. As a baby he would have no idea that biting hurts! How could he? So he nips his sibling a bit hard, brother says, “Oye! Pack it in! If you are going to play rough I’m off!” In other words he walks off and leaves his brother. Brother soon works out that biting too hard hurts and finishes the game. Particularly if it’s him that gets bitten too hard! So the pups start to learn to control their biting.

Why do they single out one particular person? Because they think that person is nice, so they want to play, and play in the only way they know. So really, much as you dont want it, it's really a compliment! Your puppy feels happy and confident with you.

This is where the theory of “Time out” came from. It’s us trying to replicate what would happen with puppies naturally in the wild. “That hurt! I’m not playing anymore!” So you stand up, turn your back on the pup, get your hands up high so there is nothing for the pup to take hold of. But you have probably noticed that things are worse in the evening. Just like children, they can lose a certain amount of self control when they get tired. All day you are busy so they spend a large part of the time sleeping, but in the evening, when you want to sit quiet, resting from the day they want to play. And as they get tired so the play gets rougher. I have always made a point of popping my pups into their crate at about 7pm for an hour, so they get use to having an hours sleep in the evening, and I get a chance to recharge my batteries. Interestingly this has built a habit which has continued for all of my dogs lives. Every evening they put themselves to bed and we all have a rest.

I know puppies are hard work, and the alligators can make your hands really sore, but believe me, it does get better. Yes my dogs still love to involve me in their games, but it’s now lovely. Amy takes hold of my wrist so gently and leads me to where she wants to go, or Chloe will take hold of one finger to involve me in her war games, but oh so gently. Somehow you never notice things getting better because it is a slow change in pressure. But one day you realise your hands are no longer sore and you cant remember the last time you told him to pack it in. Given time they become the most wonderful of creatures.
 

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Hi all,
I am struggling abit with working from home with my 10 week old lab, he seems to have totally changed in the space of a couple of days he has become so boisterous and just wants to get into mischief he is constantly hiding under my side unit where I am unable to reach him. He goes in his crate at different times of the day but I don't want him to feel like he is been shut away from me. Would it be a good idea to get a playpen where he can play during the day whilst I am working in the same room?. Having a bad day feel like I am failing him some way he has also become very bitey and even growled last night. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi Scarlett, firstly I know you will have been reassured by John's wise words.
Since we got our Jas, now 11 weeks I think I've experienced every emotion known to humankind, good bad and everything in between! Be assured that if your boy is loved, fed, kept warm and trained/played with he will grow from a lovely/naughty puppy into your loyal companion.
Everyone's circumstances are different, we are now retired so do use a crate but don't need a pen. You are working, a pen in the same room could be ideal. My feeling is you will need to be organised. Each day with Jas, I make a rough plan for our day, jot it down if it helps and tick things off - meals, trips outside for loo/fresh air , playtimes, which don't have to be lengthy, and the all important naps. Heavy duty toys in the pen wil be useful for chewing. We keep Jas's toys in a strong washing up bowl and she loves to tip them all out and chew the bowl! Just remember to inspect the toys regularly and bin damaged stuff. Some toys don't have to cost money, there are loads of great ideas on this site for tough toys. We also use a Kong, probably twice a day, again, on this site there are imaginative and useful tips for Kong filling, and it's true, the labs seem to love them even more frozen, perhaps it helps with the teething 😀 In your circumstances perhaps the Kong could be used in the puppy play pen, you can keep back kibble from a meal allowance to stuff the Kong with, slightly moistened that way your little chap won't get too fat!
I'm guessing you will be trying to get your work done mainly when the pup is sleeping, then give him bite size (sorry about the pun!) attention whenever you are able.
I'm droning on a bit, but will just add reference the biting and growling, if you are anything like me this side of such a young pups development has come as a bit of a shock. Remember John's advice: Stay calm, remember that you are in charge and enjoy your puppy. They don't stay babies for long, they have these mad moments to learn , it's not a personal attack, just a puppy game.
By the way, Jas loves to go round the back of the recessed woodburner in our living room, luckily not when lit! We are waiting for the day she gets stuck round there! We've also had to put cushions round the back of the sofa to stop her tunnelling behind there and chewing the skirting board......puppies eh?
 

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Hi all,
I am struggling abit with working from home with my 10 week old lab, he seems to have totally changed in the space of a couple of days he has become so boisterous and just wants to get into mischief he is constantly hiding under my side unit where I am unable to reach him. He goes in his crate at different times of the day but I don't want him to feel like he is been shut away from me. Would it be a good idea to get a playpen where he can play during the day whilst I am working in the same room?. Having a bad day feel like I am failing him some way he has also become very bitey and even growled last night. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi Scarlett, firstly I know you will have been reassured by John's wise words.
Since we got our Jas, now 11 weeks I think I've experienced every emotion known to humankind, good bad and everything in between! Be assured that if your boy is loved, fed, kept warm and trained/played with he will grow from a lovely/naughty puppy into your loyal companion.
Everyone's circumstances are different, we are now retired so do use a crate but don't need a pen. You are working, a pen in the same room could be ideal. My feeling is you will need to be organised. Each day with Jas, I make a rough plan for our day, jot it down if it helps and tick things off - meals, trips outside for loo/fresh air , playtimes, which don't have to be lengthy, and the all important naps. Heavy duty toys in the pen wil be useful for chewing. We keep Jas's toys in a strong washing up bowl and she loves to tip them all out and chew the bowl! Just remember to inspect the toys regularly and bin damaged stuff. Some toys don't have to cost money, there are loads of great ideas on this site for tough toys. We also use a Kong, probably twice a day, again, on this site there are imaginative and useful tips for Kong filling, and it's true, the labs seem to love them even more frozen, perhaps it helps with the teething 😀 In your circumstances perhaps the Kong could be used in the puppy play pen, you can keep back kibble from a meal allowance to stuff the Kong with, slightly moistened that way your little chap won't get too fat!
I'm guessing you will be trying to get your work done mainly when the pup is sleeping, then give him bite size (sorry about the pun!) attention whenever you are able.
I'm droning on a bit, but will just add reference the biting and growling, if you are anything like me this side of such a young pups development has come as a bit of a shock. Remember John's advice: Stay calm, remember that you are in charge and enjoy your puppy. They don't stay babies for long, they have these mad moments to learn , it's not a personal attack, just a puppy game.
By the way, Jas loves to go round the back of the recessed woodburner in our living room, luckily not when lit! We are waiting for the day she gets stuck round there! We've also had to put cushions round the back of the sofa to stop her tunnelling behind there and chewing the skirting board......puppies eh?
 
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