We just brought home an 8 week old golden retriever. I am currently not employed, won't be going to grad school until the fall so I have ample time to properly train her. Currently I am crate training and housebreaking according to some system my mom found and used on her puppy last year. It (and the rest of the internet sources I've found) says that most young puppies should a. go soon after eating, b. go every hour or so, and c. need to go out once, maybe twice during the night.
This puppy is totally not following any expected behavior. She goes out as soon as we wake up, sometimes she'll go and sometimes not. Pee or poop. Then she eats, food is taken away after 15 minutes. I have been trying to take her out every 20 minutes after that...today she didn't go either one on waking up, and I waited an hour and 20 minutes after her meal and she still hadn't gone (and she did eat and drink). Now she's taking a nap.
At night, I set an alarm for about 3 hours after she goes to bed, as well as getting up by listening to her. If I know she doesn't need to go (or at least I don't think she does) I either don't get up or go rap on the crate and she quiets down. If I think she might have to go, I take her out. We've had her for a week and not once has she gone at night on one of our trips outside...so everytime I wake up I'm either too early (won't go) or too late (i.e. peeing in the crate).
I've written all of this down (times and whether she went or not) to try to figure out her "schedule" but it's just not happening. I don't mind taking her out too many times, but I don't want that to "enable" her (like, she will have so many chances to pee that she doesn't need to learn bladder control) and obviously I want to get the night thing down so I'm not making all of these cold nighttime trips outside for nothing.
Any suggestions anyone has would be great, or tips on how to encourage her to go to the bathroom. She knows where we go (a gravel area on the side of the house), and I give her the command ("go potty") incessantly it seems. Only rarely does she go within the first couple of minutes, I have waited 15 minutes for her to go before.
Any help or advice would be great...I just want to make sure I'm doing this great, and I hate for her to go in her crate (which only happens at night, not during the day...even if she's in there for 3-4 hours). Thanks!
Is she contained some way when you let her out or where she can't get to you? When I am working with a litter of puppies I put them in a play pen on the grass (or gravel in your case) and eventually they instantly go potty as soon as I set them in it. If I were to just have them on a leash or loose, I become an object of interest and only want to play with me instead of thinking about going potty.
In the play pen, I set them down and walk a few yards away and wait for them to loose interest in me since they can't get to me. They then will play for a few moments and then think "hey, while I'm trying to entertain my self, I think I will go potty". This starts becoming almost instant once they get the idea. Once they go potty, I act all excited and pick them up and play with them.