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I need puppy potty training help!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey all,
One of my friends just got a puppy, and I'm trying to help her figure out the best way to toilet train her puppy.

The situation: Sometimes, both her and her boyfriend are scheduled to work at the same time and thus can't be home to let the puppy outside, so it stays in its crate for eight hours at a time, which means it has to hold it for eight hours or soil itself.

I, for one, don't think that's healthy. They live in an apartment, so they can't put a dog door to the outside.

This is what I'm suggesting she do: Set up one of those fenced enclosures (the metal ones or whatever) out of the way and put the puppy's crate in that. Then, teach the puppy to use a puppy pad outside its crate so it doesn't have to hold it for ever; only put down the pad when they'll be gone for extended periods of time so that it knows when they're there, it has to go OUTSIDE.

1) Is this a plausible idea?
and
2) How do you train a twelve week old puppy to use the pad? Same way as outside, with praise when they go on it and negative response when you catch them in the act on the carpet?

Thanks! She's a first time dog owner and I'm trying to help her best I can. ^_^;
post #2 of 9
That's so nice that you're tying to help her!

I agree that leaving a little puppy in a crate for 8 hrs is a bad idea. What they are doing is teaching the puppy to mess in the crate. No puppy can hold it that long. The rule of thumb is take the age in months, add one, and that is about the number of hours they can hold it. So if it were me I'd have someone come by to take the puppy outside during the day, at least once.

I am not a big fan of puppy pads. Most of the time they cause problems with housetraining because the dog learns that it is ok to mess indoors. What dogs do not understand is that we think it's ok for them to go on the pads, but not on a throw rug, welcome mat, pillow etc. It's much easier for the dog if you teach them "outside = ok, inside = not ok." That they can handle. But dogs trained to go on pads often end up going all over the place in the house and that is really hard to correct.

And never give them a negative response when you catch them in the act. All that you are doing is teaching them that if you see them peeing or pooing they will get scolded, so they get good at doing it when or where you can't see it, like behind the couch or in the middle of the night.

Really to train them you have to give them the opportunity to do the right thing by taking them outdoors a lot and praising them when they do.

That's my opinion, others may well see it differently. Good luck.
post #3 of 9
I disagree, that at this age of 3 months, that an everyonce in a while, 8 hours in the crate during the day should be fine; My pup, who is the same age, is fine at night, and he waits 8 hours, sometimes he doesn't even bother to wake up for me to take him out after that time period!!!

If he is already holding it that long, please, don't confuse him by trying to inadvertantly go inside (which is what papers, or pads do). The main thing they have to do to continue encouraging the right behavior is to make sure they don't leave tons of food or water in his crate. Give him plenty of activity toys and some chewy items so he doesn't get bored.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by faith's_mom View Post
I disagree, that at this age of 3 months, that an everyonce in a while, 8 hours in the crate during the day should be fine; My pup, who is the same age, is fine at night, and he waits 8 hours, sometimes he doesn't even bother to wake up for me to take him out after that time period!!!

If he's a small dog I highly doubt he can hold is bladder that long, especially as a puppy. I've got a little Chihuahua, which are hard to potty train in the frist place, and it took him 6 months to hold his bladder even 3-4 hours. He was in a large breed kennel with a puppy pad near the door, because I knew he couldn't hold it that long.

I wouldn't expect any dog to have full control over their bladder under the age of six months. We don't expect human babies to do that!

I really don't have any suggestions for a large breed dog, if it's small I might suggest what I did with Thor. Buy a large breed kennel and put a puppy pad in there. Good luck to your friend. It's really hard to get a puppy when you don't have a lot of time. Lucky for me my SO gets an hour lunch every day and can let Thor out then.
post #5 of 9
My pup is a miniature poodle, so yes, small dogs can control their bladders at 3 mos. he's not the first small breed dog I have raised either, and I have always crate trained, and they have gained bladder control fairly quickly. Do I force them to wait 8 hours right away? No, but they do catch on, especially if you are consistant when you are home.

he's also in a small kennel, so he doesn't WANT to potty on his bed...
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by faith's_mom View Post
My pup is a miniature poodle, so yes, small dogs can control their bladders at 3 mos. he's not the first small breed dog I have raised either, and I have always crate trained, and they have gained bladder control fairly quickly. Do I force them to wait 8 hours right away? No, but they do catch on, especially if you are consistant when you are home.

he's also in a small kennel, so he doesn't WANT to potty on his bed...
Oh my god I wish I could have dogs that caught on that quick! If I ever get another Chihuahua I'm sending him your way first
post #7 of 9
General rule of thumb ... 1 hour in crate per month of age ...
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by faith's_mom View Post
I disagree, that at this age of 3 months, that an everyonce in a while, 8 hours in the crate during the day should be fine; My pup, who is the same age, is fine at night, and he waits 8 hours, sometimes he doesn't even bother to wake up for me to take him out after that time period!!!
OK I'll take back what I said about no puppy being able to hold it that long. But I honestly think you were lucky - I've seen countless people who've left their puppies in crates for 8 hrs while they were at work thinking the crate has some magical powers to prevent a puppy from needing to go and then wondering why the pup had turned the crate into the potty area. Personally I think leaving a puppy that age unsupervised for that long is asking for housetraining problems later on. What happens is they end up messing in the crate because they have no choice, and once it becomes habit, the crate training has gone down the tubes.

I think the most reliable way to housetrain is to give the pup opportunity to do the right thing and that means take it outside at least once every 4 hrs during the day and praise like it won the lottery when it is done peeing or pooing, even give a treat. Some dogs figure it out quickly, others take longer.
post #9 of 9
Gosh, take this with a grain of salt, since I've always adopted adult dogs. But it seems to me that it would be well worth hiring a dog walker or someone to come by and take the puppy out while they're gone.

I'm a stay at home mom, and I know if one of my neighbors wanted me to stop in and take a puppy out during the day for it's first few months, I'd be completely okay with that.
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