Some of you will already be aware that we have at last bought Gorgeous home - we've had him for one week tomorrow.
He's an angel during the day, I've used the 'treat' method to encourage him to eliminate outdoors and heis pretty much clean. He only has accidents when I'm not paying attention.
I have a couple of questions. 1. What should I do when I see him doing it in the house allbeit by accident? I've tried making a loud Ahhhhhhh and then take him outside, but once he's started he can't stop....
2. How to get him to go on paper at night - he goes everywhere but, we've tried the 'puppy pads' - utterly useless other than for chewing!!!! LOL
3. I know you are going to advise shutting him in his crate - this doesn't work, he gets very distressed and pees and poos in there and howls like a banshee!! We've also tried leaving the door of the crate open and fencing off an area of the kitchen and covering it with paper - he still howls (for hours and hours). He hates being confined, if we let him have the run of the kitchen he goes thorugh the night and I just have to do some cleaning up ASAP in the morning. He is only a 11 week old lab and I know he won't have control of his bladder for a few weeks and I can't shut him in the crate to pee on himself it just isn't right.
Am I doing the right thing by letting him have the run of the kitchen at night? we are gradually reintroducing the crate by throwing treats in and he will cleep in there as long as the door is open - is this gentle approach right?
Many dogs need to adjust to the crate, and yes that means accidents and screaming for hours. I've had dogs scream all night for a week and then simply stop one night becuase it got them no where.
You see, part of this issue is trust. The dog does not know you to trust you. As far as they know, they may still go home one day. A week is not a long time and he is not fully adjudsted to your home.
Learning is not always easy, not is adjustment, and sometims you just have to work through it. He needs to learn to be confined and to deal with it. He needs to accept what situations you put him in gracefully, and it can be very hard, but its part of learning how to learn.
Some times we have to ask dogs to deal with situations that are not the most plesant, but they accept and deal and come out sound and healthy becuase we have given them a good relationship to start out with. They trust us, they know we will come back at the end of the day, that we will feed them, and that we will keep them safe.
I do not belive that you can give in at any point in the beganing. I've gone sleepless weeks wrestling with new dogs and the changes. But they are all relaxed animals with any new situation today becuase I earned their courge.
I also suggest never being "sad" when you leave or "happy" when you come home, becuase those will only teach associated behaviors as well. Its fun to have a happy dog when you leave, but if they come to anticipate the sadness of your leaving or the thrill of your arrival you have some bad habits, such as jumping or seperation anxiety that can develop from that situation.
To your first question, I think you are doing it the right way. Yes, he can't stop once he's started, but just RUN his little peeing or pooing butt outside, set him down on the grass, and when he finishes his business out there (even though it's because you ran him out there) praise him so that he understands that you are happy when he elimantes outside.
I would not use papers or pee pads at all. The thing about a crate is that if it's small enough, dogs tend to deliberately NOT pee or poo in there, because out of instinct they don't want to lie in it. HOWEVER, with a really young puppy this means getting up every 2 hours or so since their little bodies can only hold it for so long. I can understand not wanting to crate if you are unable to get up every few hours as it would be unfair to expect a tiny baby to hold it for so long.
I sympathize with your problem. When I got Angel (yorkie/maltese mix and VERY tiny), I decided I would crate her at night right next to my bed. Well, the whining wouldn't stop until I threw my arm over the side of the bed and held my hand next to the cage. She knew I was there and that's all she wanted. She was actually only confined to her closed crate 3 nights, then I would leave the door open. I mean...she was confined to my bedroom with wall to wall diapers on the floor, but her crate door was always open and she would go in there to sleep. As far as training her to pee pads (we call them her "diapers"), I literally covered the bedroom floor with them at first - then each morning I would notice which pads she was using more than others and slowly remove one a day until the one she used most was left on the floor. This worked like a charm - she is two now and I can honestly say she has NEVER had one accident in the house. I also have one diaper in each room of the house - she knows where they are and she always uses them. Since Angel was so tiny, I chose not to train her to go outside. And once she got some size on her (hahah 2 pounds) she was allowed anywhere in the house with her sisters and brother (Cocker Spaniel, Cairne Terrier, Yorkie). I know you said your dog was chewing the pads....this is a puppy thing and she will get over it - make sure she has plenty of chew toys in her area and she should leave the pads alone.
Confineing him to the kitchen is fine, paper the entire floor, so He won't miss. Keep this up for a week with the paper. After that start removeing a sheet every few days. He should still go on the papers. The funny thing about the crate thing is people often say, well its like a den to the dog, so he'll like it. Well Dens don't have doors on them, so its only natural for the dog to go into panick mode. In the beginning, the crate should be available all the time with the door open. He should be encouraged to enter the crate for treats and rewarded for going in. When the puppy walks into the crate, put treats through the back of the crate, so he gets rewarded when he reaches the back. If he lays down, give him a treat. Give him a good bone to chew for in the crate. You have to make an association of good things and the crate. You can't always just throw the dog in and shut the door and hope for the best. When the puppy falls asleep anywhere, pick him up and quickly put him in the crate, shut the door, wait for the dog to wake up and let him see the door and then open it. Leave the crate with a blanket in it, in the kitchen when hes blocked off in there. Make it desirable to the puppy with treats hiden in the blankets for him to look for and a tasty bone he can chew on.(Plan this ahead of time they love the search, evryday game) Labs are a mouthy breed, so they think of eating, chewing all the time. Set up a little toy box with chew toys (Good Variety and safe ones) so he can go his box and pick the bone of his choice. But he has to be taught how to chew, everyday should be a bone day. Fill up hollow bones with yummy stuff like frozen yogurt. This will be enjoyable to chew for long periods of time. Its also a good way to teach independance. Over time the dog will go looking for stuff to chew if hes bored, instead of running shoes. Increase exercise time and find mental stimulating games or activities. OMG, sorry I got a little carried away........
***Edited By: sue on 8/1/2005 9:27:01 AM*** Reason: fdhj
Here's what I'd do. Start feeding him in the crate and watering him in the crate. So he *has* to go into the crate to eat or drink. Even if you just have the food or water in the entrance way, it'll help him associate the crate with good things. With our dogs, initially we only fed them if they were in the crate, with how food oriented labs are, I am wiling to bet that he starts running in there to get his food at times. (riddick will just sit in his crate when he's hungry, as if that'll help us to bring the food faster). How big is his crate? It shoudl be just big enough for him to stand up turn around and lay down, but not so big that he can lay in one end and pee in the other. And how long are you leaving him in the crate? Some dogs just can't hold it that long.
Not only that, if you feed/water him in his crate, it will help him learn that the crate is not an appropriate place to poop and pee, as dogs don't like to soil where they have their food. Take the food and water out when you do put him in the crate, don't leave it in there with him if your'e going to be leaving him to go to the store or at bedtime at night. NEVER open the crate when the dog is crying and screaming for you to do so. Because when you do, you teach the dog that if he makes a big enough fuss, you will break down and let him out. Thus, the more noisy he will be. You just have to buck up and ignore it. Get ear plugs, whatever. I'd compare it to a screaming child throwing a tantrum> If you give a screaming child a lollypop every time he throws a tantrum, I bet he throws a lot more tantrums to get more lollypops.
Regarding putting him in the crate and him throwing a fit. If he's chewing on stuff and paper because you are leaving him out, I don't see that you have a lot of choice. He could easily chew on the leg of chairs, tables, cabinets, get a piece of wood stuck in his throat and die. If you think he's a bad chewer at 11 weeks, wait till his teeth start coming in at 4 months and you will learn what it means to have a chewing dog. I have an 8 month old lab puppy, believe me I know what I'm talking about.
Regarding paper training and puppy pads? IMHO theyre a total waste of time. You train the dog to go to the potty twice, once on the paper, and again when you train him to go outside, and many dogs can find this confusing. Just skip all the paper/pads, limit his acess to areas of the house by closing doors and using child gates. If you can't keep an eye on him, put him in the crate. If he starts to go potty in the house, pick him up *immediately* and take him outside, even if he is still going potty. Keep him outside until he goes, then give tons of praise. Catching him in the act and moving him to the appropriate location you want him to go potty in is absolutely key to housetraining IMHO, and will make it go *wayyy* faster. Keep him on a leash when he is in the house, so he is less likely to 'sneak off' and go potty. If you catch him sniffing around, take him out.
Take him out after meals, naps and playtimes. These are times when he is most likely to want to go. Again, take him out on a leash and keep him on the leash until he goes potty, then praise and give a lot of play time. When he goes, while he is peeing/pooping say a key phrase like "Hurry up" or "Go potty here". He wil learn to assocaite the word with the deed, and will start to go potty on command for you.
At 11 weeks old (especially if you've only had him for a week) your pupy is still just a baby, and many dogs aren't housetrained until they're 5 or 6 months old. Consistency is the key.
Im so glad you posted this Tilly b/Ive got a very similiar situation...if you dont mind I will post my questions here, maybe we can both gather info on what to do with our little ones :) My furr baby is 10 weeks old (pomeranian). During the day I have been putting her in the kitchen with a baby gate...she basically has the entire kitchen for herself. We do use puppy pads because we both work and we feel that at least its training her to go somewhere other than just anywhere...she does seem to get it most of the time but other times she also goes into a shredding spree with them. At night we tried leaving her in the kitchen but she cries too much and she actually climbs over the gate (NO JOKE!!)..so we started using a big crate...its big enough to put her bed on one side and a pee pee pad on the other and toys and water etc. 1. Im not sure I should have food in her crate. 2. I know what you all will say about the peepee pad in the crate BUT I she cant hold it all night yet so I thought it would work and it does. 3. THE MAIN QUESTION here...since we only use the crate at night, she seems to not be getting useto it. She screams and cries and shreeks all night. I do not go take her out b/I know that that would encourrage her yelling...but its been 2 weeks and shes still screaming. So do you guys think Im doing the wrong thing. Its hard teaching potty training and working all day. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Maybe I missed this, and I apologize if I did, but I'm wondering how big the crate is. If it's too big, then he will pee and poop in it unfortunately. Again, I'm sorry if I missed this somewhere. Maybe it's in a different post. I'll look around and see if I can find it and I'm going to and read this one again as well.
Simple answer to a complicated question.....a crate should be used as a comfort zone for any puppy - keeping the door OPEN. He should be allowed to go in and out as he pleases. Keep his food and water outside the crate. Keep puppy pads in the room where you keep the crate. Reduce the number of pads daily. Your puppy will learn to use the pads when he's in the house, and when you take him outside for play or whatever, instinct will let him know he can pee outside too! You don't have to teach him to do that. Unless you're willing to get up every two hours at night to take your puppy outside, then train him to use pee pads. Puppies CANNOT hold it for any longer than that and they should not be scolded for accidents. Angel was trained like this and I have never in two years had one accident. She knows where her pads are and she uses them.
Oh boy I can relate to your problem too. I've had my puppy about 4 weeks now and I was beside myself with the potty training the 1st 10 days. I have a 5 pound pup and she didn't like the crate at all at 1st. But I had to use it in order to keep my sanity. She doesn't mind it at all now. She took to it about 3 days after I started using it. The only thing I learned about the potty training is I LOG EVERYTHING like a diary. When she pees, poops, when I feed her, & WHEN SHE DRINKS WATER! That way I can just about guess to the "T" when she has to go potty. Even in the middle of the night. If she makes a mistake, it's my fault, and I could just kick myself. I find that when we lay down to go to sleep at night we let her sleep with us for a few hours, then I take her to her crate later on. I'm sure that's not the best method, but it works for us.
all this advise is good, i used the advise when we got our puppy, he is now 14 weeks and loves his crate. We got up with him every 2 - 3 hours in the beginning and would put him back in the crate. in the early stages he would cry, i would lay next to him for a few minutes then go to bed, then after a few nights of that, we would just reassure him that we are there, (Just saying his name and its ok) .
Now Hampden who is only 6pounds can sleep from 11:30-6:30, we let him out and then back to his crate until we get up.(sometimes in our bed)
It is such a good feeling to see your puppy finally enjoy his crate. He goes in it on his own to nap. (we have one crate upstairs and one in our family room)
Thanks Icy Hound - I thought that was about right, don't worry I wouldn't dream of withholding water - he drinks like a fish - and what goes in......
The main problem is the confinement. We have a huge kitchen and Gorgeous wees and poos everywhere during the night. Everytime we try and fence off an area, by morning he's found a way through - he's pretty damned determined!!! LOL. I figure we should just carry on reinforcing the 'reward' training, he's more or less clean during the day anyway. Trouble is now he's developed the runs......It's hard work owning a puppy, harder than I had anticipated, but the rewards are worth it! I guess its soggy rice and chicken for Gorgeous then..............and I'll try not to think about what I might find in the morning!!!!!!