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Old 09-01-2010, 10:02 AM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Default Leaving puppy at home during the day

Next week I'll be at college and Tucker will need to be home by himself for the 6-7 hours my parents are at work. Mom thinks it's kind of cruel to have the puppy in the crate for 8 hours while we sleep, let him out for 2, and then put him back in for 6 or 7 more. To be honest I don't actually know if he can hold it that long, so far we've only be having him hold it for 5 hours at night, he goes in at 10, I get him out at 3, then ge goes back in until 6.


What she wants is to gate him into the kitchen, puppy proof it really well, and put down puppy pads (though I assume he'll just use the floor, I mean they need to be trained to go on those right?). Then when she comes home pick up the pads and take him out every hour again as usual. They both get weekends off so on those days he will get taken out every hour. Whenever they go out for a couple of hours during thr day, to shop or get a meal or something he'll be crated.

I honestly don't know how I feel about it. On one hand I don't like the idea of 15 hours, nearly straight, in a crate. On the other hand I'm not sure that he'll ever get housebroken when he's allowed to mess in the kitchen during the day.


So I have three major questions.
The first is whther this is just a terrible idea that will sabotage any chance at house breaking him.
The second is whether or not they'll have to use puppy pads while they work for the rest of his life.
The third is how do you keep a puppy from simply tearing up and playing with the puppy pads?

If you think this is a bad idea what do you suggest we do instead?
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:09 AM
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CAn you find a puppy sitter?
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:13 PM
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I don't know if my parents would want to pay for something like that unless they absolutely had to. Doing that for several months would get quite pricey I assume.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:39 PM
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Do you mind me asking how old Tucker is?

One setup that worked well for Duke from 8 weeks until about 5-6 months old was having his crate attached to a 4' tall x-pen area. I think 6-7 hours in a crate might be a little too long for most puppies/ young adult dogs, but that's just my opinion.

The x-pen area crated about a 6 foot by 6 foot play area which I had full of chew friendly toys that were safe to leave with him unsupervised. When he was very young I did use puppy pads which I left in one area of the xpen play pen. Switching him to going outside was not hard but, I was very vigiliant about taking him out every 1/2 hour during active times, and immediatly after eating and drinking so he probably in his entire puppyhood had 3-5 accidents mostly before the age of four months, and always when I failed to take him out in the proper amount of time. I never left the pee pads down at any other time except when he was in his x-pen setup during the day.

I have another friend who used pee pads for her puppy, who is now fully transitioned off them. She lives on the 11th floor of an apartment building and when her pup was younger, using pee pads was the most practical choice. She left the pee pads down 24/7 and her pup for a long time used them without issue, and would routinely stop playing and book it across the room and sqaut on the pads. I was really impressed as I had previously heard many cons to using pee pads 24/7. Her pup eventually grew too big to really aim well on the pee pads and also reached an age where she could hold it long enough to make it down the elevator.

All I can recommend is that if you have a medium/large breed puppy consider purchasing a 6' x-pen for your play pen as Duke around 6 months old began meeting me outside of his x-pen when I got home from school and it didnt take long to figure out he could simply hop/climb out of the 4' tall pen. Also be sure to never leave the collar or harness on when tucker will be unsupervised in the x-pen. Not saying that you would just a good reminder to pass on to your parents as it only takes a matter of miniutes for a pup to get caught, panic and strangle in the ensuing effort to break free.

To answer your 3 questions

1) I think the pee pads won't necessarily sabotage house breaking efforts, as they did not for myself or my friend, but this is the extent of experince I have in that subject area, so perhaps someone more experinced can give you a better answer. Babygating the kitchen works fine as long as Tucker doesn't start chewing the cabinets which could get expensive to replace, possibly hurt Tucker and reinforce a behaviour you'd probably rather avoid. I think that's why Im partial to the whole crate attached the x-pen set up, but I understand sometimes there's just not enough space.

2) In my experince no, I phased out pee pads before 4 months of age and used them purely during the time in Duke's life where I could not be around enough to take him out. In my friend's case she used pee pads up to 4-5 months of age, every single day for 100% of the time, with trips outside for #2 and she has since successfully faded them out in a matter of weeks, with extra trips outside initially and hasn't had a single accident since. Again this is literally the only 2 experinces I've directly had with pee pads.


3) Try the pee pad holders, in combination with tons and tons of safe chew toys and stuffed kongs to hopefully redirect Tuckers interest.


Hope that was helpful
Kayla
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:41 PM
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Tucker is 12, almost 13 weeks old. I was thinking abotu an X-Pen, I think that sounds like a good idea, will keep him away from the kitchen chairs. It might also help in getting him to go on the pad and not just on the floor. He's gonna stay small so I'm not worried about him jumping it. Thanks for sharing your experience, it makes me feel much better about the situation.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
Tucker is 12, almost 13 weeks old.
Just wanted to note that with a dog this young, and especially if he is of a smaller breed that he will take longer to physically gain the ability to hold his bladder for a long period of time.

This means that he may need to go out as often as every 10-15 miniutes, when he is loose during the afternoon/evening time, especially during vigorous play, directly after eating and drinking, especially after a big drink. I think this is where a lot of people have a hard time forming good toliting habits for small dogs.

A few other tips I can think of off hand, to help Tucker's house training go smoothly is to ensure you provide adequate amount of time to let Tucker go to the bathroom. Some dogs really need to sniff and walk around, so to avoid getting inpatient (again not saying you will, just saying in general some people do) just look at your watch and give him a solid 5-10 minutes to walk around to get his bladder and bowels to release.

Like I said before I really don't have much personal experince with pee pads, so there may be others on here that can offer better advice. I do think for a puppy as young as tucker, being in a crate for 7-8 hours a day is too long, and that personally Id rather have an xpen area that his crate can be included in (to allow him to choose to go in for naps) along with toys so that Tucker can still have a range of movement and play during the day.

If Tucker has never used a pee pad before, you could try introducing him to them outside, making an area that you can walk him on briefly before circling back and rewarding him with a piece of a soft extra yummy treat when he does go pee to get him associating the pee pad, combined with the texture under his feet with reliefing himself. As he may not right off the bat use them 100% of the time. In my friend's set up she covered 1/3 of the play pen area with pee pads and left the rest uncovered and her pup had no problem after being rewarded a few times targeting the pee pads.

Last tip, is make sure noone in your house scolds little Tucker for having an accident, it will more then likely happen at least once, and it's not going to single handedly undue his house training. It will on the flip side, make Tucker unsure of why his humans sometimes get mad at him, and can create a sneeky pee'r who finds an area noone is in to pee to avoid being corrected.

A great way to make sure everyone in your house rewards Tucker for going to the bathroom outside is to have a little jar of extra yummy treats near the door out of Tuckers reach so that it's super easy for everyone to grab a few before they take him out to pee/poop.

Kayla
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:50 PM
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I did the same exact thing as Kayla... Fozz went into the x-pen with a puppy pad and his crate and chewies and a stuffed kong. He only used to puppy pad a few times, and he only had ONE accident in his whole life. So it obviously doesn't teach them to go inside, if you're still taking him out frequently and praising every time he potties outside. I wouldn't leave puppy pads out any other time, besides as a last resort in his x-pen. And he treated them as a last resort.

It would be a good idea to get a tall x-pen or a cover for it. Fozzie learned to scale the x-pen when he was 3 months old... I don't know how he did it with those stubby legs?
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:03 AM
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I think each dog/pup is different. My one dog was trained to go outside when I got her at 8 weeks (probably learned from the mother and other littermates). She was in a crate while we were at work because she would destroy the house otherwise.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:15 AM
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He's doing really well going out every hour, the only time he messes up is when we wait to long. He also had an accident both yesterday and the day before after humping his toy duck (we prefer that then him trying to hump us), so no more duck, poor tucker lol.

Actually our biggest problem is that he gets SO distracted outside that he won't poop. He'd rather roll in something, eat a leaf, eat a stick, eat grass, eat dirt, etc. If he's about to poop and someone walks by and catches his attention that's it, 10 more minutes of waiting until he tries to go again. Luckily with poop he gives a fair warning before pooping in the house so you can catch him and he tends to go around the same times every day, it's just fairly annoying that you KNOW he has to go and he decides to do something else outside instead. Same issue arises on walks, you can see he's about to go but then he smells something interesting and decides to hold it. He almost never goes to the bathroom on walks beyond one pee.

I made a point to mae sure my dad doesn't punish him for going to the bathroom in the house, you can tell he really wants to though, it's how he was raised. More than anything he probably just wants to take out his frustratuion. Phoebe (uncle's dog) was "taught" using punishment and she did learn to pee in the place no one would notice, under the couch. By the time anyone realized she was doing it most of the carpet was saturated. She wasn't reliably housebroken until way over a year old.

Everyone is giving him treats for going outside, no problems there.

I feel they expect him to housebreak really fast, they are even worried that he's not getting there already. See Max was housebroken before 4 months old, but he was a Shar Pei mix, so housebroke fast. Plus they didn't housebreak him, the foster mother and previous owner did.

So I'll tell mom to go with this plan to use an X-Pen, we'll have to get one today. How much do they usually cost?
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
I feel they expect him to housebreak really fast, they are even worried that he's not getting there already. See Max was housebroken before 4 months old, but he was a Shar Pei mix, so housebroke fast. Plus they didn't housebreak him, the foster mother and previous owner did.
I think Tucker is lucky to have some one advocating patience and understanding for him, but I feel for you I have had family members take the "well he should know better by now" attitude.

Quote:
So I'll tell mom to go with this plan to use an X-Pen, we'll have to get one today. How much do they usually cost?
Brand new, most models are between $80 (for the 3' tall variety) and $110 (for the 6' tall variety) but those prices are in Canadian dollars, it might be different in your area.

A good alternative tho is CL or other online sites where local people advertise things for sale and Id recommend checking out some of them first as you can get really good deals on stuff like that.

Best of luck and keep us posted
Kayla
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