I would really appreciate some feedback & guidance around house training our puppy.
1. Our puppy is called Lola and 3.5months old, we have had her for one month.
2. My husband and I both work but come home to feed her at lunchtime (she is never alone for more than 3.5-4 hours).
3. When she is at home she is in a large crate – this has her bed and food on one side, and newspaper down the other side (it is approx. 1.5x1.5m square so there is enough room for her to play in there while we are gone).
4. 90% of the time she goes to the toilet on the newspaper down one side but occasionally close to her water bowl.
5. She goes to the toilet during the night on the newspaper (we sleep upstairs and so don’t hear her to take her outside)
6. At least one day a week she goes to my mums house for the day and plays with her schnauzer (so this breaks her routine)
7. We have just started walking her and she won’t go to the bathroom on a walk but will do as soon as we are home (anywhere!)
8. In the weekend when we are home she has lots of great moments where she goes on the paper, and lots of accidents where she goes anywhere!
9. We have not been good owners from the start at taking her outside on the deck at scheduled times, and when we do she won’t go out there (its winter and wet – we have a huge deck but only a small portion is covered).
10. There is a cat flap that leads from the kitchen to the covered area and we are trying to teach her to use that (with no success yet).
11. I am ordering a ‘dog toilet’ online which is a 55cm x 55cm square of imitation grass on a tray – once it arrives I’d like to teach her to go through the flap and eliminate on this.
My biggest fear is that we have not engrained good habits from the start – are we destined to have accidents forever? I don’t know what to do. The vet suggested we make her crate much smaller and only big enough for her bed and food and start taking her out 20mins when waking after breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bed. But if we make her crate smaller I fear she will go in the night on her bed, and also that she won’t have much room to play when we are not there (unless I leave her crate door open and leave her to roam the kitchen and potentially use the cat flap to go outside to eliminate) – but isn’t this asking too much of her. I feel very anxious, please don’t judge us, and please do give me the best advice? Is it too late?
you should definitely get smaller crate as the vet suggested as dog does not like to pee and poo on her own sleeping area. and also when you're not at home you can invest on playpen and put her potty pad/toilet inside the playpen not crate.
though you should tell/train her where you want her to go potty i.e. the potty pad/toilet. dog would not understand where they should or should not go, unless you tell them. just putting the toilet inside the playpen would not automatically tell her this where she should go. you have to make her go there.
schedule based is definitely the best in my opinion.
but im also still strugling since my rescue have had the bad habit in the first year of his life.
so do expect accident. hope it helps!
She is still young and not too late to start over. Set a schedule and stick to it as far as taking her out. When she goes outside praise her lavishly and treat immediately with something used only for training that is really yummy. Get a smaller crate and use an Xpen during the day for more safe movement for her. Take the papers up or move them to the deck outside.
Jackie,Mom to Robbie & Stacy my human children and Tinker my furkid.
Schedule, schedule, schedule!!!!! Wasabi is almost 6 months. We were very lucky in that the breeder had him paper trained when we got him at 8 weeks; he NEVER messed in his crate. But keep in mind he had a small crate; no room to play. We slowly introduced him to the freedom of one room, then slowly introduced the rest of the space. Having said that......when mom is home (me) there are no accidents. When the rest of the family is around, things get a little chaotic. I am rigid about a schedule, my kids and husband are not, so there are accidents. I advocate a much smaller crate, and be really regular about the walking. I am as stubborn as my pug. Even if it is raining, he does not get to go back in until he produces some pee/poo! LOL
Thank you so much for your advice I really appreciate it.
You are both advising that her crate is small enough just for her bed and to be fed – big enough for her to turn around in. We will do this – but how will I stop her from going to the toilet in there during the night?
If we put in a gate to section off the kitchen – can we leave her in there as her ‘pen’ while we are at work? Eventually we could teach her to use the cat flap and go to the toilet outside, but until she gets the hang of that will I leave newspaper by the door so that she can go on that if she needs to?
I guess what you are saying is that she shouldn’t be eliminating in the same crate that she sleeps and eats in – so making that smaller is the first thing to do?
By the way the cat flap goes to the deck and it is fully puppy proof - we are penning off a small section just outside the cat flap that we hope will become her 'toilet area'.
i dont think a 3.5months puppy can hold the whole night. if you dont want her to pee in her crate, you should take her potty before bed time and also once in the middle of the night.
and it's not she shouldnt pee and poo in the crate, but dog doesnt like to lie and sleep with their own pee and poo. so you should take efforts in ensuring she doesnt do this, because if it becomes a habit, it will be harder to rectify.
when i first got my rescue, he poo pee in his crate.
takes me few weeks of taking him out in the middle of the night to ensure he doesnt do it inside there. but accident happens, when he cant hold it anymore. no biggie. just make sure you clean it with proper solution so it doesnt leave any pee residue.
he's coming a long way now, only couple of accident inside crate and home
thank you for your advice. I think you are right - first I need to take lola out after meals and then will need to start getting up in the night - she definitely can't hold on and if I make her crate small for just her bed and food I don't want her to eliminate in her bed!
How long did you have to stand outside for until she went? and how old is your puppy? - she sounds so good an Im glad she is getting the hang of it! - well done to both of you.
I tried to take Lola outside today after feeding but she will hold on until we get back inside and then go! I have to keep trying and taking the treats with me. Lola circles and sniffs when she needs to go so it is a tell tail sign - I will have to take her out as soon as I see that, but today I wasn't quick enough!
What do you use to clean the pee away when your puppy makes an accident inside?
I use the urine off brand, you can buy them on petshop not to sure if NZ have city farmers and the like? i swears by it, because even if he have accident it seems like it sporadic, not on the same spot everytime. if she always pee on the same spot means that there's lingering smell that human can smell but dog can.
he is 1 year old when i rescue him, but now 13 months. it's been a long 3 months. haha
he sort of get the hang of it, but unfortunately for me, he doesnt want to go on my backyard (it's all concrete with no grass). he only wants to go on grass. and i dont have front yard with fences. means that everytime i have to put him on harness and waited with him outside to do his business.
and now it's winter.......... no matter what i try he just wouldnt go, not even on fake grass. lol
Now Homer is using a bigger crate, from very small crate like explained before. so he has more room to play when we're not home. he hasnt had accident yet in 2 days. i think if he is good for 2 weeks, i can start giving access to areas instead of just being in crate. wish us luck.