Six-month-old rescue pug, Frankie, is starting her third day with me. The first day went pretty well, but temps were above freezing that day. Now it is absolutely frigid out, and we've gotten new snow the past two days. I couldn't have possibly picked a worse time of year to bring home a new baby. All things considered, she is doing fairly well, and of course I knew this would be hard when I went into it. I am still trying to get her to potty outside, but since it is so cold out, and her winter jacket hasn't arrived yet, these are VERY brief trips outside, and if she doesn't potty right away, we go inside and try again when she warms up. She is doing better with pee than poop -- she has only pooped outside once, and last night she pooped in her crate! Ugh.
I need advice in lots of areas (crate-training: she is from a puppy mill and hates her crate; dealing with a "humping" senior pug brother, who I am told is trying to assert his dominance; where to put her when I have to leave the house, etc.), but in this thread, I am seeking advice on how to handle house-breaking a 6 1/2-month old puppy during the dead of an Upper Midwest winter.
I know that consistency is key, but should I seriously be taking her outside in the middle of the night in sub-zero temps? I don't wanna go outside in that, and you know she doesn't want to go out there either. The first night she slept through the night in a crate in my bedroom. Last night was a disaster. I think it's mostly my fault for trying to go to bed too early -- I know I need to try to keep on a strict schedule. She woke up at 5 am, squealing and whining. I probably should have just gotten up then and taken her outside, but I hadn't slept much and I REALLY was hoping for a couple more hours of sleep. (I know. I need to accept the fact that I have a baby and that I will be sleep-deprived for awhile.) I took her out of her crate and got her to pee on a pee pad in my bathroom. Then I put her back in her crate, hoping she would go back to sleep. She started whining hysterically, and then she pooped in her crate. I cleaned up the mess, and I put her back in her crate. Her whining didn't subside, and I know this was probably a HUGE mistake, but I took her into my bed and snuggled her until we all went to sleep (Frankie on one side, Stew on the other side, and me in the middle.)
This morning she peed outside and then pooped inside -- right after I had taken her out for an unsuccessful attempt. Since the weater is so dreadful, I am "upping" the quality of my reward treats from normal puppy treats to cheese. I also have a pack of hotdogs, which we haven't opened yet.
I have a "pug run" shoveled in my backyard, and that is her designated potty area.
I wonder if I should get her some kind of warm, protective boots for her tiny little pug feet. Unlike Stewart, she doesn't mind me touching her paws. Any recommendations on boots that I can order over the internet?
Frankie is a very smart, sassy, funny alpha female, and we fell in love with her the moment we met. But I am relying on your experience and wisdom to help us through this journey. And be forewarned, as I mentioned earlier, this will be the first of many threads seeking advice! Thank you, Pug Village friends!
Beth, mom to Stewie (as well as kitties Moe and Georgie)
I feel your pain. We have similar problems here in Michigan when it's mid-winter and bitterly cold. Shoveling a path through the yard seemed to help our pugs. You could try putting down some straw or wood chips (like the pine chips used for animal bedding) so she isn't standing right on the cold snow. That can be a bit of a mess to clean up in the spring, but it does seem to help during the winter. Booties might be an option, but it may take time for her to learn to wear them and walk in them. If you have an outside porch or covered area you could try a piece of fake grass or even a potty pad so she is going outside, but not into the cold snow. One year it got so cold that we had the pugs going potty in the garage on a potty pad!
I hope you find a solution that works well for Frankie.
Mom to Miss Jelly Bean "Beanie" Licorice Pug
Forever in our hearts: Miss Nilla Sassafras Pug August 17, 2002 to April 19, 2018
And my Heart-Dog... Wonka the Dancing Pug, CGC, W-FD, W-TFD.
Februrary 11, 2005 to May 10, 2020. Miss you, sweet boy!
You do have to get up when they give you a signal that they have to go out! I used to go to bed between 12 and 1...and up at 6 to potty. I'd feed too and then go back to sleep for a bit later!
For now, give her an area near the door with a wee wee pad. Put her there when she looks like she's gotta go....and praise her when she does. Use a phrase......Mine go on command usually! Can also give a treat! When it gets a little warmer or on warmer days, put a soiled wee wee pad outside (not too far away so she won't get that cold) outside and tell her to go potty! She'll learn to go outside! I got Kelev at 8 wks old for Valentine's day. Only had a week home with him before I had to go back to work. He was much younger than Frankie.....but he was a male (harder to housebreak) ....Once it warmed up outside...He lived to 14 and NEVER had an accident in the house once trained!
Member of PDCA Rescue Committee
Me and my husband have been talking a lot about pug winter solutions for when we eventually move to WY. We have been using a Porchpotty forever. I believe it is almost 18 years old. The boys will go on very rainy or snowy days out front under the porch to the Porchpotty . Henry donít care he runs around even in cold weather (we just went on a trip and it was so cold he donít care my little wolf pup) . So one of our solutions is a Porchpotty for a spot in the Garage with a dog door going into the Garage. We use a Dogdoor and our boys are used to go only outside . If you used pads before I would take a few (can be a little soiled for smell) and line an area right at the door you take Frankie out. I am not a big fan for pads inside the home. Of course teaching a phrase helps and treats . She is so new to you and eventually she will set in a routine and you will too. I would make one plan and stick to it. Many owners keep trying new things every few days saying this does not work or that does not work . While in fact consistency and time is what works which ever methode you choose.
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I brought all my pups into bed with me right away snd when they stirred at night I took them out to potty. (Where ever you pick) also feeding in the morning may settle her down to go back to sleep, how ever I do not feed upon waking , I usually wait an hour if possibly just so they do not expect to eat right away and do not wake me to eat. Although she may be an early riser.
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Susan, mom to Bo, Lucy and Finn
Honoring Sruffy, Maggie Mae, Jenny, Trooper, Kaja,Muff, and Pepper