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Old 11-05-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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Default New Puppy, Housebreaking, and TORN!!!

We brought little Reagan home last week. We're doing well establishing a schedule. She is doing great going "potty" outside!!! She is getting used to a coat (it's really been cold here), the collar and leash.....I never pull her....I always entice her to follow me. If she stops...I stop.

Just read the How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days. Now I'm torn up. Over the weekend, she was in my arms when not down eating or playing. She just loves to curl up on my shoulder (just next to my neck) or in the bend of my arm (she's sooo small) and sleep. When I was out doing some chores outside, my DW said Reagan would look for me in my spot on the sofa. She would jump up on her back legs to peer over the edge of the sofa cushion to see if I was there.

We do have the "baby fenced area" setup as "her den" but she only goes in there to eat.

Am I setting myself up for failure in terms of housebreaking by not keeping her in her "den" for hours at a time? Do we need to more aggressively "confine" her to the "baby pen" and limit her free time????

I'm a guy here....and I have to tell you I've really gotten attached to the little thing. Not being able to have her sleep/cuddle on me is going to be very hard to do. If it's what needed, I'll do it of course. She needs to eventually be housebroken of course.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
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I don't know if i'm any help, I held Joel non stop almost the whole first week he came home, lol
But I had to teach him to have alone time in his playpen also. He's already potty trained so I guess it didn't mess him up.
I don't know about the book but I don't think it would matter if she sleeps on you, as long as your still working on the potty training
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Well I think you have to ask yourself- is she having accidents in the house? Has she figured out how to notify you that she needs to go out? Can she sleep though the night and not have any potty accidents?
I dont' see you setting yourself up for failure at all! Yes you should teach her how to be alone for short amounts of time but I dont' see the need to keep her penned up if she is doing well about going outside.
When I first brought Blazer home we kept him "confined" to the living room and kitchen/dining areas because that is where we usually are. He could roam free around there, though. He figured out very quickly that if he needed to go out that he could go to the door and either bark or scratch at it and I'd bring him out. I did train him to be in his kennel when we leave the house. I'd put him in there for short periods of time every day and each time was for longer than the last. He does fine in there and now I'm trying to figure out a way to give him a little more freedom when I need to leave the house. I don't entirely trust him to be left out yet.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejoel View Post
I don't know if i'm any help, I held Joel non stop almost the whole first week he came home, lol
But I had to teach him to have alone time in his playpen also. He's already potty trained so I guess it didn't mess him up.
I don't know about the book but I don't think it would matter if she sleeps on you, as long as your still working on the potty training
I held Max the entire first week too.

In terms of potty training, the important thing is supervision. If you are right there, your little girl doesn't need to be in a pen. Confine her to a smaller area only when you can't supervise.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:32 AM   #5
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I fretted a lot about Ben's potty training - but ultimately because he was paper trained he knew better than me - we didn't have to keep him crated. He used his crate mostly when we were away and had to keep him out of harm. Maybe we were lucky but he knew from his breeder that newspaper was where he peed, he moved to the puppy pads easily enough. For at least the first month he is going to wee in the house a lot!

I worked on sit/stay/come/down/leave it/off/in your bed quite early on and he got the idea that he could get treats by working behaviours quite quickly. I think this helped him learn that taking a wee or a poo is also a behaviour. He started to do a poo and then run for the reward (a bit of a nuisance when he was still mid jobby) - we rewarded enthusiastically when he used the right place and ignored the wrong places. Now we don't bother so much with the reward - just reinforcing the command word and the intermittent treat.

We make a few mistakes - not watching him closely enough so he's telling us he needs to go and can't get to the place - if we miss this then we really have to kick ourselves. This probably sets back his training but we reward the toilet in the right place and ignore the wrong place accidents. He did seem to learn that a wee on the floor brings the mop out (and he loves to chase it) so we had to tone down any fussing and clean up out of his site. Also we mopped at other times to break the link between wee and the mop. We were cleaning his poo up quickly because he wanted to eat it he started to go for it and run. We had to use leave it to get out of that problem. Now he can have a sniff but he's not obsessed with it.

He was initially very frightened of the cold and dark outdoors but now he's not fussed by it. He just had to learn that dark/cold were not life threatening. (we have to be careful with the dark - he'll take twigs and stones if we let him).

He's learnt the command words for wee and poo and that saves a lot of time for both Ben and us ; fussing about in the freezing garden. Because puppies wee a lot he got the command word quickly. Poo took a few weeks longer. Often he looks at us as if we're crazy - "but why? I don't need a wee!". Sometime we try hard to empty him before bedtime and he won't go. Even so, he can hold it until we get up. We started getting up at 5am to make sure we beat him to it. Now he's not so keen on the early starts and he can wait longer - so we have been able to back off. I'm having to wake him up at about 7am now.

He's just started to bark to get our attention to open the door if we are not watching him closely enough.

He gets plenty of garden time so he doesn't see wee/poo as an opportunity to get more garden time. The cold weather probably helps here - he enjoys being in as much as out.

We have had a small number of "No! not there, come Ben, weewee" events where we have to stop him and then lead him to the pad and get him to go again. Usually he's lost the moment when we stop him but it seemed that the very specific immediate correction and explanation helped him learn the significance of the puppy pad.

I think allowing him to roam parts of the house with us taught him that it's his den too - and that's part of the reason he doesn't wee/poo inside. I'm probably making that up.

I like to let him sit on me but I always make sure he knows he's invited. He hasn't got this concept yet and he will whine to come up - I don't give into that. If he's near me and I want him up then I'll ask him to come up. Then he lets me lift him up. He has learnt to jump onto me, or to run up my legs - I just calmly place him back on the floor if he does that.

So, my advice would be relax a bit - the dog is not a computer but it's also not stupid, it will want to please and join in with the rules of the house if you treat it fairly.

I can see the crate having to be used if the dog has no good habits - e.g. you have no idea when it needs to pee - so keep it crated so that you wait until it needs to pee and then lead it to the correct place.
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