Ravioli is finally home, but I have some concerns

let me first preface this by saying that this post will be long, but i ask that you please read because i really need some support from the community. please!!!

Ravioli came home saturday evening, and he seemed pretty ok with us (my boyfriend and i). we brought him back to the apartment and he explored a lot. the breeder said he hadn't used the bathroom all day (which was from before 9am to 630pm when we got him). we took him out a couple times that night and he still never went to the bathroom. he got tired pretty early and fell asleep on the floor. when i was ready to go to the bed i picked him up and transferred him to his crate. he never made a peep. i woke up at 7 to let him out because i heard he was awake (he didn't whine at all that night) and after walking around outside FOREVER he finally went to the bathroom (poo and pee). he also hates his leash, but i'll get to that in a minute. i brought him back inside and he went to his crate and fell asleep.. i kind of had a mini internal freak out because i was coming to the realization that my sleep schedule wouldn't be normal for a little while (we went to bed early because he fell asleep early and woke up early). after a little while i decided i wanted to go to sleep again and i wanted to make sure he was safe so i shut the door to his crate (when he was already inside) he started doing the high pitched bark (he hadn't barked once since i got him). so not feeling like dealing with it at that moment (i just wanted sleep!) i opened the door and barricaded a section of my room for him to be safe in while i slept. i know that it is bad that i let him out when he barked but everyone else was still asleep and i didn't feel like dealing with people being angry at me and let me explain that.. i'm having a bit of an internal crisis. i realized that when i wanted to sleep he wanted to be awake, and when i wanted to be awake he wanted to sleep. on top of that, he has been so depressed. he just lays around giving me these horribly sad looks. his depression is really rubbing off on me and has been making me feel really depressed. i felt really lonely all day yesterday and almost felt like crying a few times because he just lays on the ground and looks up at me with these sad, sad eyes. and on top of that, he wouldn't eat at all. he would drink, but wouldn't eat. and i took him out 800 times yesterday for 20-30 minutes each and he WOULD NOT GO TO THE BATHROOM! he still has not gone to the bathroom since yesterday at 7am. he hasn't gone inside which is good, but still! so that's also upsetting me. i mean i was prepared to handle potty training him and dealing with him going inside, but i was not prepared to handle him not going at all! i just don't know what to do! i obviously can't MAKE him go. so this is making me feel upset too. i keep taking him out with hopes he'll use the bathroom and then just get terribly upset and concerned when he doesn't, and then he just goes straight back to laying lifelessly on the ground. my boyfriend keeps telling me that he's just still trying to get used to being away from his brothers and sisters and he'll eventually come around, but i can't help feeling this way. i really wish he would at least stop with the depressing looks! i can get him to get up and play with me for a little while, but it only lasts about 5 minutes before he goes back to laying down.. then last night he went to sleep early-ish (like 9 or 10) well actually i don't know if he was fully sleeping or just being mopey because he  would open his eyes every few minutes when a sound was made. anyway, we took him out around 1130 and STILL nothing. he came back inside and laid down again. a little after 12 we decided to go to bed and moved to the bedroom and he followed us in there, then my boyfriend decided that now would be a good time to start playing with him.. he played with him until close to 1 and then we decided to go to bed. so i put him in the crate in our room and he started yelping and howling. my boyfriend was not pleased with me (because he doesn't see why he NEEDS to be crate trained) and i'm sure his roommate wasn't too happy either.. so we decided to move his crate into the kitchen so he couldn't see us and so if he stopped barking, he wouldn't start up again if he heard us shuffle in the bed. after about 10-15 minutes he finally shut up and we went to sleep. well lucky for us, his roommate decided that 2am was a good time to go to the drugstore and woke ravioli up and he started yelping again. i'm sure our neighbors really love us (the walls are thin at the apartment). then after a while he shut up again and didn't make any noise through the night. my boyfriend woke up around 6am to work on a paper and didn't let ravioli out until 7 and said that he heard ravioli moving around in the crate but he didn't make any noise. he took him outside and still no bathroom... i woke up around 8 because i was worried about him and went into the living room and he was just laying on the floor next to the couch where my boyfriend was sitting and sleeping. so i went back to bed but was so worried about him that i couldn't go back to sleep. i reemerged at 930 and sat on the opposite couch for a little while. my boyfriend finally got him to eat by sitting on the ground with him and putting some food in his hand and then leading him to the bowl, where ravioli proceeded to lick it clean. if he was so hungry, why wouldn't he eat before?! =P but he still has yet to go to the bathroom. is it normal for a 4 month old puppy to be able to hold it that long? obviously since he wasn't eating much, there probably wasn't much to excrete but he was at least drinking water and theoretically should have had to pee.. i don't know, i'm just very concerned. 

and let's talk now about his leash... he HATES IT!! he is fine with his collar, and hasn't tried to get it off, but absolutely hates his leash. when i take him out on the leash he will humor me for a little while and sniff along behind me, but then after a while he will just turn into a stone and refuse to move. sometimes he'll just plop down in the grass and refuse to move. then he'll roll around and try to get the leash off. i've been trying not to tug on him, but i'll go in front of him and make sure there's no give on the leash and just stand with my back towards him without making any noise or looking back at him. he'll eventually start slowly moving forward and i start making excited noises and patting my leg to encourage him to move and he will for a little while, until he decides he doesn't like it again.. it's very frustrating! i would like to take him on a walk but he won't walk! he'll just slowly sniff around behind me and then become a stone. if i let him outside without the leash he will follow me around slowly sniffing behind me and won't stop, but with the leash he just.. i don't know! and it's also frustrating and concerning that he won't use the bathroom! he'll sniff around a lot and even sniff other dog's poo but won't go himself. after a while he just lays down in the grass and rolls around. 

i just don't know what to do because i feel so worried/frustrated/depressed/upset that he won't go to the bathroom and that all he does is mope around and sleep or give me depressing looks! did anyone else feel this way? some supportive words would really help right now, i just feel so overwhelmed with all these unexplainable emotions. 

and what's the best thing i can do about the crate thing? i'm sure it was not a good idea that we played with him before putting him to bed, because i'm sure he wanted to play more. i usually go to bed late (between 12-2am). would it be better to crate him in another room earlier on when he starts falling asleep and then retreating to my room until i decide i want to sleep? at least this way he won't yelp in the middle of the night waking up all of the neighbors.. and how long does it usually take for him to get used to his crate? how many nights will he yelp like this? i know i'm not supposed to let him out and i don't plan on it, but it also doesn't help knowing that everyone who can hear him probably hates me. i'm fine with going to sleep with the yelping, but others aren't. 

what's really throwing me off is how his depression is rubbing off on me. all i do is worry about him! 

what do you guys think?

here's a picture of him looking depressed

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Comment by Ella and Lily on April 24, 2012 at 5:10am

My lily was the same way for a little while after we got her. It does get better. She is 15 weeks now and is just barely starting to really be interested in us within the last 2 week. A few suggestions that might help you out are:

1. Relax. Puppies pick up on how you feel. It will get better so be cheerful about training your new little one. :)

2. Crate training sucks. Its very hard not to give in when they whine. We put a blanket over Lily's kennel when she goes to bed. It helped a lot.

3. Collar and leash. We got lucky here since my older corgi Ella leads the way, but lily HATED her leash and collar. Ella was the the same way. Make sure you keep the collar on at all times unless you are putting him in the kennel for awhile. in a couple days he'll get used to it. At that point get a cheap leash or use an old leash and cut it so it is about 8" to 12" long. Attach that to the collar and leave it on in the house following the same rules as the collar. In a few days he won't even notice it anymore. After he is used to that try the full leash for walks.

4. Not eating or drinking. Get some velveta or some cheese slices and put a little bit in his food. I haven't seen a corgi yet that will refuse velveta. Lily had a few parasites when we took her in for her initial check up and one of the medications required was a nasty powder we had to mix with her food. She hated her food bowl and refused to go anywhere near it. As soon as we started adding a little velveta she completely forgot about it. 

I've also used it to entice ella to eat when she was a puppy and didn't want anything. 

I think everyone else covered the rest of it. :) 

Comment by Tori on April 23, 2012 at 8:51pm

Just a little tip about the crating and the noise at night. The first week or so, Winston would cry and yelp and whine forever at night. I mean forever - until his barks were screechy whispers because he had tired his throat out...! Then there would be a break in the noise and we would hear him lap up water like a madman.

I decided to try something that worked for me as a child when I had a pet bird. I decided to throw an old towel over the crate. I knew that the darkness for birds helps them sleep and thought I would give it a shot. I put the towel over Winston's crate and it had no effect for about ten minutes or so. But then, even thought Winston could hear my significant other and myself moving about and stuff, he couldn't see it and within a few more minutes, he was silent. When I checked on him in twenty or so more minutes, he was fast asleep.

For about two weeks, I blanketed the crate every night and Winston would be quiet as soon as the towel was draped there. Then, I tried crating him for the night without the towel and it worked like a charm.

As for the depression, Melissa is right! Dogs are super sensitive to emotions so try to be upbeat and cheerful around Ravioli. Say things in an excited, goofy voice. Try doing "baby games" kind of things to perk his interest, like "disappearing hands" like scuttling a hand across the floor and then hiding it under a pillow or something. When he interacts with you, reward him with praise and pets.

He'll come around, he's just a little nervous - his whole world just dramatically changed and his brothers and sisters are all gone too! But don't feel too bad, he will come around and he'll love you like only a corgi can!

Comment by Ludi on April 23, 2012 at 8:39pm

Okay, I hope you read this post because: I was in your EXACT. SAME. SHOES. back in September of 2011. Like, exactly. My puppy also came to me at 16 weeks, and went through the same song and dance you're doing RIGHT NOW. So I will tell you my most important piece of strategy...

R-e-l-a-x. You are getting really worked up and I know that it's a very trying time for you, with the stress building up on top of itself thanks to the sudden changes to your life. But I was in your same situation and I pulled through and now I have a dog whom I consider the best thing to happen to me (after my husband).

Ace was very mopey and unresponsive for the first two weeks I had him. Yeah! TWO WEEKS I had to deal with a reticent blue merle potato lying on my floor, doing nothing. He responded to none of the toys or playful gestures from me nor my husband, he barely ate, he barely drank, he barely went to the bathroom. Ace just lay there, either sleeping or staring off into space. He got used to his crate after two nights of woo-wooing because I didn't relent at ALL, but when he was still getting into it he did the most mournful barking ever. It was heartbreaking.

Tips I can give you on particular aspects: he will eat, so don't feel tempted to let the food down and allow free-feeding. You want to track his food and water intake like a hawk because eventually, he's going to start chowing down and drinking and you want to be able to predict when he's going to need to go potty.

About going to the bathroom: yes, Ace had this issue too. He didn't pee at ALL on a 16 hour plane ride from Minnesota to Paris, and then for another 90 minutes once we had him in the car. He finally peed at a rest stop after sniffing the recent piddle of another dog in the area. If it hadn't been for that, he probably wouldn't have gone until later that evening. With increased food and water intake (when he's not busy moping and feeling sorry for himself), that will normalize.

As for leash-walking, well, that's just something that will come with time. Ace also did the plop down, become a motionless stone routine. And it got really old, really fast. But our pups need their outside exercise and stimulation. Do you have access to a friend or neighbor with a dog of their own? It can really help to keep your dog in motion if there is a "friend" around to motivate him. What he needs right now, as I discovered with Ace, is a doggie friend speaking his language right now. Us humans can show him all the love and support we have for his arrival in a new environment, but ultimately if he can have a dog friend, it will REALLY make a difference.

Ace was like night and day when he got to play with another dog after arriving here. It was like a switch went on, and he realized "It's not so bad, here!". He really came into his own after being tucked away in a shell for so long.

Comment by Napolean (Joan and Gabby) on April 23, 2012 at 6:53pm

I think the depressed part is the fact that he has been separated from littermates and he's "mourning". Living 4 months is pretty long with his littermates and he probably grew attached. We got Napolean at 8 weeks and he cried A LOT the first week. The fact that he doesn't want food, maybe you could try different types and to encourage him you need to find out what he likes (toys, treats, bones, etc.). For now all you have to do is wait him out and he'll eventually settle in. Imagine being him: a whole new world to explore with odd people he doesn't even know :P! To train him with the leash I think you have to find out what motivates him and use that to get him moving. Once he's up and walking (even a little) you have to reward him with the "lure". You have to remember to have patience throughout this WHOLE process and even when he's an adult your still going to be training him :3

Comment by Chris, Kadi & Brodie on April 23, 2012 at 5:30pm

Another suggestion is that when Ravioli does go potty, be very consistent with what word you use. Whether it's 'pee' or 'wee' or whatever, for urine, always be sure to vocalize "That was a GOOD wee, Ravioli!" Same with poop. If you are consistent, he will understand what those words mean and he'll do it on command. Kadi totally knows what I mean when I tell her to go 'wee' or 'poo'. And she will do her business right away because she knows what's expected on that trip outside. It has taken some time with Brodie, because he's an adult, but I've said the same words over and over when he goes and now he's to the point he'll go on command too. It really helps if you're in a pinch for time!

Comment by Yuki & Ellie on April 23, 2012 at 4:26pm

I agree that a visit to the Vet is in order.  I'm a bit surprised that your Vet's office didn't want him in sooner than Thursday, but I guess each office is different.  The office that I use insists that all new pets come in for a check-up within 48 hours (preferably within 24 hours), from puppies and kittens on up to adult animals.  This is not only to check the pet's health, but also to present you with information on pet care and to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.  It also establishes the puppy as a patient and gets his information into their system.  If it's possible, you may want to consider having his appointment moved to an earlier date.

As for the whining/barking in the crate, you and your boyfriend and the room mate are all going to have to accept that it will take time to crate train a puppy.  Ravioli is in a new environment with people he doesn't know and is being left alone in a crate.  It will take time for him to adjust to this and there will be plenty of barking and whining while that is going on.  There's no set amount of time that this behavior will carry on, so just hang in there and don't give in to those whines!  :(

I'm glad to hear he was a little more playful after that recent potty break!  You'll see him open up a little more each day as he explores his new home and gets to know his new family.  Try to spend as much time as you can with him, especially encouraging him to play and interact with you when he's not napping.  A tired puppy will sleep a lot better for you at night!

Comment by Bev Levy on April 23, 2012 at 3:56pm

I always schedule a vet appointment for a new puppy immediately whether due for shot or not. A check up and clean bill of health is a good starting point. As this is probably his forst time away from home he is confused and lonely. Think of being in a foreign country where you do not know the language or customs. You can help by being very patient, fun and comforting to him. Try to get him to walk outside by chirping in a fun and playful manner, activity loosens the bowls! Hopefully the food you are using is the same as he is used to. If not you may want to soften it a little. As for the crate, it is very difficult for a puppy used to sleeping with his warm mom and siblings to get used to. With mine I kept it by my bed so I could put my hand down and pet him when he cries but sometimes if they are persistent you just have to say "cry it out" Babies are difficult at first! He will get the hang of it soon. As for leashes, I have always let the puppy lead me around or chase me and gradually started to guide them where I wanted. Good luck, this stage doesnt last for long.

Comment by Cindi & Twinkie on April 23, 2012 at 3:44pm

Both of my corgis pups seemed as though they were drugged when we first brought them home.  After a day or two they were the crazy puppies we were expecting.  Follow all of this good advice and you will be golden.  

PS-I will say to stick with a leash and collar.  I feel like a harness gives the dog all of the control and the collar gives it to you. Stick to your guns.  You can't have a puppy telling you the way it is after all. 

Comment by Jennifer Markley on April 23, 2012 at 2:27pm

Welcome to the joys of owning a puppy.  It is like having a baby to take care of, and since I like my sleep a whole lot, I try to get older dogs.  First let me ask if you have taken him to your vet yet to have him checked out?  That would be the first thing I'd recommend.  He may be sick.  If the vet finds him OK, then he's probably just a sensitive dog, and is missing his family and trying to get used to his new surroundings.  Sensitive dogs won't eat/drink well in new surroundings.  Give him time, introduce new things slowly.  The leash behavior is typical.  Just go little distances, and make it fun.  Run, give praise and treats.  The kennel behavior is normal also.  He will do everything possible to get you to take him out so he can be with you.  It is a fight over who's will is the strongest.  The dog usually wins.  At least in my house....

Are you sure he's not pottying when you aren't looking?  At four months, the spot won't be very big at all.  I've always heard the dog can hold their pee according to the month age they are...so 4 months=4 hours.  But check with your vet...

Comment by Alison Prasavath on April 23, 2012 at 2:16pm

Noodles likes to lick the floor, his stuffed animals and of course humans. I agree with Jane, definitely carry treats outside with you so you can give that to him once he does his business. Glad to know he seems to be more playful. On a funny note, Noodles will turn 7 in June and still he comes running over to me after he does his business for me to praise him. It cracks me up!

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