Due to financial reasons, I recently started a F/T job and am concerned about my fairly new tiny chihuahua who isn't housebroken yet and needs to stay in a playpen while I'm away. She's only 2.5 lbs. full grown. I didn't expect to land a job so soon and wonder what other owners do with their very tiny dogs while at work. Do you put them in a crate or playpen all day? Thankfully, my husband is home most of the time this summer and will let her out with our other chihuahua (who is housebroken). Should I try to housebreak her so she also has the run of the house or is it still a good idea to keep tiny dogs confined while at work? I have not tried training her much outdoors since she seems to go potty frequently and is using her pads. I also worry about her being bored in her playpen, even with some toys, but I'm guessing she will probably sleep a lot. If you have any advice for a worried F/T working owner of a very small dog, please share! Thank you very much!
How large is your other Chihuahua, and does it get along with the younger one?
One issue I would consider, other than toilet training the puppy, is if the two can play together safely unsupervised. If one pup is 6 or more pounds, the other one might get hurt.
My situation was a little different since my two puppies weighed 2 pounds at the same time, so they spent the day in their playpen together with their food, toys, beds and training pads.
Once they were fully wee wee pad trained, and a little older (about 6 months old), I let them roam the apartment while I was at work.
Now they are both over 2 years old and about 5 pounds, and spend the day running through the apartment together.
If your puppy is too small to be with the other one, I would get a very large playpen, with a bed, water, food, toys and wee wee pad. You can give the larger Chihuahua a bed near the playpen so it can lay next to the other puppy if it wants to.
Thanks for your response! My older female chi is quite large at a little over 7 lbs. She will tend to play hard or pick on the little one at times (alpha behavior), so I think I will heed your advice to keep them apart when I'm not home. You are fortunate that your chis are about the same size and can play well together. Do your two chis use a puppy pad successfully when you're not home? My tiny chi uses the pad if it's in a confined space like her playpen but doesn't seem to use it when it's just on the floor in the house (has accidents). How large are you talking about for a playpen? I put Callie in a Graco child's playpen, but I wish it were a bit larger because she often wants to get out. I could confine her in the bathroom, if needed. Also, she has been shredding up her puppy pads when I'm gone --- maybe a sign she's bored?!?
LOL, I have thought of doggy day care but my husband said that I'm not going back to work to support that!
Should I try to housebreak her so she also has the run of the house or is it still a good idea to keep tiny dogs confined while at work?
I don't think it's ever a good idea to leave ANY dog out and allow run of the house. My dogs are not tiny, so to speak, but they are always in their crates when I am not home.
This is not only for potty reasons, but for their safety. They can chew on anything from electric cords to furniture.
A neighbor had some items soaking in the bathtub and she thought she shut the door. She left, only to run to the store, and her dog had overturned the wastebasket, climbed on it and fell into the tub and yes, he drowned.
JMO but if I'm not home, they are in their crates.
Best of luck!
Friends will step in when the rest of the world steps out.
I bought 2 puppy playpens and put them together for a total space of about 6 feet by 6 feet- basically it's just a gate that you set up on the floor. There is no floor to it or top.
I never let them out of the playpen unsupervised until they learned how to walk back to their playpen and find their pee pads. They were a little over 6 months at that time. My place was small (studio apartment) so they didn't have far to go to find their pads. They did initially have a couple of accidents, but then outgrew it.
I just moved to a much larger apartment and after one week of a couple of accidents, they both now know where the pee pads are. I don't have the playpens set up here. I have not left them alone yet, but when I go to work, I will gate off some rooms.
I appreciate both of your good advice and will be careful not let Callie have the run of the house while I'm away. Oxfordbostons, that is so tragic about your neighbor's dog. Yeah, safety is a key reason to keep the dogs confined when no one is home. Good to know that crate training works for your dogs; so they're able to "hold it" all day while you're at work?
Rushoverme, thanks for explaining your initial and current set up for the dogs. I did buy a slightly larger dog pen, like you describe, that is a gate with a door but has no top and bottom; have yet to set it up. It might give Callie a bit more room than the Graco playpen. Your dogs sound really smart to find their pads every time now.
One more thing ---- why does she shred up her pee pads? Is she bored or is that something most dogs do while confined? Callie has toys, so I wonder what's going on. I am usually cleaning up a big mess of shredded paper in her playpen when I get home --- ugh!
***Edited By: AJL on 7/24/2009 2:57:48 AM*** Reason: Misspelling
I think all puppies shred pee pads. Occasionally there may be a need for me to put my babies in an x-pen and I put a pee pad in there but my dogs are older and do not do that anymore. Try putting some favorite toys in?
As far as mine holding it all day, well, I have been so truly blessed by The Lord that I do not work outside the home. I raise my dogs and I sell on eBay and my husband works for the Department of Defense, US Army. Both of my kids are teenagers with jobs so they pretty much take care of their clothes, etc. Now, don't get me wrong, mine are crated all night when they sleep but they can hold it until morning.
Consider that I have 12-16 pound Boston Terriers, too. Their bladders and digestive tract are larger than a 2.5 pound Chi, so they can hold it somewhat larger. Did you tell the age of your puppy? Base their need on their age. 2 months can hold it approximately 2 hours, 3 months is 3 hours, 4 months 4 hours and so on. At about 6-8 months is when they can hold it more.
Hope this helps!
Friends will step in when the rest of the world steps out.
my boy puppy was pulling at the pad when he was 2-3 months old but I would catch him doing it, and yell at him until he stopped. I started taping the pad to the floor, then I bought one of those snap-in trays so they can't pull at the pad.
When he was a year and a half, he started doing it again. He would dig at the pad in it's holder until he shredded it up and pulled it out. I started spraying the pads with bitter spray, and he stopped doing it.
Oxfordbostons, my Callie is almost a year old (on August 14th!). If a larger dog like yours has a large bladder and can hold it, my little dog should too if she would drink a lot less for her size; but maybe the bladder is just too small to hold even a small amount of water for too long. You are truly blessed to be at home. I was blessed to be with my boys and dogs at home for the past year and a half.
Rushoverme, I also have the snap tray for the pee pads but Callie seems to be able to rip those pads out and make a mess. But thanks for telling me about the bitter spray, which I have never heard of! That sounds like the solution!!
Loved both of your doggie photos. Thanks for your help and God bless!