Training a puppy

Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
So, I've gotten a dog for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, I've gotten a lot of conflicting information on how to raise the little guy. Heres some questions:

1. Should I kennel/crate train? If so, how? Some people say leave him in overnight while others say during the day. I'm WFH at the moment in case it matters.

2. Potty training - we've been keeping him up on furniture as he won't go if we're near him. I take him out every 30 minutes to an hour. However, I feel bad "trapping" him on the furniture, but, if he runs free he just goes everywhere. Should I just let him run and hope to get him right as he needs to go? He's doing this thing where I'll take him outside for a while and he won't go and then immediately goes when back in. I've been using treats to encourage outside pottying but I'm not sure if it's sticking yet.

If anyone else has any suggestions, let me know. I know these things take a while and he's about 9 weeks old so it may be (way?) too soon to expect results.

Also, expected photo:

j2a1dzcmpuhj.jpg

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  • DemonStaceyDemonStacey TTODewback's Daughter In love with the TaySwayRegistered User regular
    edited June 24
    It's all suggestions but what has worked well for my dogs:

    I used a crate at night only. Many dogs will not want to go to the bathroom in there which makes the potty training a lot easier through the night. Also just prevents the little bugger from getting into things because hey, it's a puppy that you don't have your eyes on.

    Heads up, the first night or three can be a nightmare. They may cry. A LOT. Get some comfy headphones and prepare for a rocky nights sleep. It will get better but you really have to just tough it out those first nights.

    As for the potty training, you being home is exactly what you want so that's great (I would usually take a a good week off of work to make the starting phase easier).

    But if you can at the very least just put up some gates to keep the dog very near you so you don't have to keep it just on the furniture that should be good enough. But like you said you basically have to just have your eyes on it at all times during this phase. Look for the signs they might have before they go to the bathroom and at the very start of anything that MIGHT be one of those just scoop them up and take them outside. This may just be starting to sniff at the ground or starting to walk a little bit different like a bit waddly. Better to be safe and quick about scooping them up and overly cautious to really get them used to only going outside. The better the success rate of getting outside the faster the dog will be learning. So just watch that little bugger like a hawk and they'll be learning in no time.

    And that is one cute dang pupper!

    DemonStacey on
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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    Leaving him overnight -

    Some people say make it small enough he can't move around much and others say they haven't. Also, I tried it one night and he did potty, but it wasn't a constricted size.

    I also assume I don't put food or water in it during this time.

    Edit: Forgot to mention the kennel is not in our room as there is no space to fit it.

    Magus` on
  • DemonStaceyDemonStacey TTODewback's Daughter In love with the TaySwayRegistered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Leaving him overnight -

    Some people say make it small enough he can't move around much and others say they haven't. Also, I tried it one night and he did potty, but it wasn't a constricted size.

    I also assume I don't put food or water in it during this time.

    Edit: Forgot to mention the kennel is not in our room as there is no space to fit it.

    Yea the kennel doesn't need to be in your room. Especially not if you want the dog to get used to sleeping without you.

    As for being small enough I didn't have a crate with an adjustable wall which may have helped. Also correct on the not leaving food and water in there. The pupper just needs to be sleeping and that will just cause them to probably make a mess and almost certainly go to the bathroom in there.

    But also make sure to maybe set an alarm extra early in the beginning to make sure they don't need to be holding it for so long? And make sure they go to the bathroom right before going in the crate.

    desc wrote: »
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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    Yeah, getting him to go can be pretty hard but I'll try.

    Is 7ish hours too much? He's been sleeping in our bed with no accidents.

  • DemonStaceyDemonStacey TTODewback's Daughter In love with the TaySwayRegistered User regular
    Well that parts up to you!

    If the dog is going to be sleeping in your bed anyway and has been more successful at no accidents there then the crate part may be less important to you (but be aware there's still going to be a risk of a bedroom accident). Just make sure you are fine with the dog always sleeping in your bed if that's how you are doing the training. It's much harder to start keeping the dog out if it's spent all it's puppy nights in your bed.

    I'm just very much a no dogs in the bedroom kinda person so the crate was more important to get through that period.

    But if you did want to try to crate thing and the 7 hours has led to accidents then certainly try a slightly shorter time and just know that as more time passes they will get better at making it through the night.

    desc wrote: »
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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    the crate is a safe space.
    the reason people say not to give them too much space is that too much space gives them a spot to move away from their bed to pee/poop

    i think the idea with the crate is to put them in for short times and work up to longer and longer. never use it as punishment area etc.

    our first dog hated the crate. it stressed her out so when we left we gated her off in a safe room. at the time it was our kitchen which meant we could put in a doggy door.

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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited June 24
    Yeah, I've read about doing it bit by bit.

    He screams if he's locked in, though. I'm trying to have him go in for treats.

    I don't want to stress him out unnecessarily but I don't want to make him think that crying automatically gets results.

    This is hard.

    Edit: Should I put his food/water in there if it's not overnight?

    Magus` on
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    We just got a second dog (8 mos) and we now feed both dogs in their crates. When the dogs eat, we shut the doors to the crates but don't lock them. Since we deal with 2, we put up any uneaten food when they stop eating.

    We keep water in bowls in the kitchen as easily accessible.

    The second dog gets crated downstairs at night and while she whined at first, she enjoys it now. She'll often go in on her own to lay down.

    90% of treats are given in the crates. When we get back from walks, both dogs know to go to their crates for treats.

    We try to let the new dog go about 7-8 hrs even on weekends. Wife and I go to bed between 10 and 11, and at least one of us is up by 6. We tried stretching a bit and she ended up wetting her crate.

    We are lucky because the crate for the older dog had a divider, so I was able to install it in the new crate. The new dog has a little bit more room than she needs to turn around.

    There are guidelines but a lot of early training is subjective. Try different options and focus on what the pup gravitates to. Also don't be afraid to join a local dog group or take a training class. You're learning just as much as the dog is.

  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    I'm crating him during the day, bit by bit. Letting him sleep in our room (not on the bed) since we needed sleep. I'll do the feeding thing, though.

    I've currently got him in a small animal carrier which is a pretty good fit for him.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Please continue advising people this is stuff I wish I’d know with our last dog when trying to crate train him.

  • leongeorgeleongeorge Registered User new member
    Magus` wrote: »
    So, I've gotten a dog for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, I've gotten a lot of conflicting information on how to raise the little guy. Heres some questions:

    1. Should I kennel/crate train? If so, how? Some people say leave him in overnight while others say during the day. I'm WFH at the moment in case it matters.

    2. Potty training - we've been keeping him up on furniture as he won't go if we're near him. I take him out every 30 minutes to an hour. However, I feel bad "trapping" him on the furniture, but, if he runs free he just goes everywhere. Should I just let him run and hope to get him right as he needs to go? He's doing this thing where I'll take him outside for a while and he won't go and then immediately goes when back in. I've been using treats to encourage outside pottying but I'm not sure if it's sticking yet.

    If anyone else has any suggestions, let me know. I know these things take a while and he's about 9 weeks old so it may be (way?) too soon to expect results.

    Also, expected photo:

    j2a1dzcmpuhj.jpg

    What a nice boy! ) Wish you find your ways of training him right with all the advice and tips. My grandpa had a dog for a long time, but when he's dead, he took a small puppy. This new little dog is silly. Granpa lives at the coutry. So the dog is outside. He cries at night and killed the neighbour's chickens. So we don't know what to do, they want to give it to someone else.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    what

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    dispatch.oTychoCelchuuuCello
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Yea feeding in the crate as mentioned is good. Helps associate the place with good stuff and they are distracted. I wouldnt leave them for a while with food but dinner etc.

    Another thing you can do is stuff a kong and give that to them in the crate. Distraction + tasty association

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  • CelloCello Registered User regular
    Our recommended process for crate training is not to lock them in until they are comfortable with it and consider it to be a den

    Line it with (washable) pillows and blankets, cover it overtop as well with blankets so it's nice and warm, maybe have crate specific toys and treats which will excite them. Use the divider to only allow a little extra space, enough that they can get up and turn around. Too much space and they basically consider it a one bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, and you're gonna do a lot of cleanup.

    Start with feeding them their meals at the front of the crate, and then move the food farther and farther in until they're willing to eat it at the back. At that point they should be comfortable enough to start closing the door - bonus points if they go in on their own time!

    Then start practicing for 5 minutes with you by the door, then 10, 15, etc., and start leaving the room as well. Only re-enter once they stop whining or they'll assume they summoned you back with guilt, hahaha. Eventually you should be able to work up to a few hours, but be cautious not to leave them in there longer than they can hold their bladder, or it won't be fun for either of you.

    Most importantly, the crate can never be a punishment, or else they will hate it. Operate on sanctuary rules here - if your dog is in trouble and runs into the crate to get away, you have to stop yelling and leave them be. It's their little safe space, gotta treat it as such.

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  • CelloCello Registered User regular
    edited June 28
    Oh and for the peeing inside, that'll happen! Don't feel bad! Every half hour is a good starting mark. Eventually you might notice a tell for when they have to go - e.g. my most recent puppy would put her nose to the ground and start sniffing, which would give us about ten seconds to rush to pick her up and throw her out the door, hahah.

    In the meantime, if you can buy puppy pads, they usually have a scent on them that will attract the dog to at least be a little more tempted to go on them. You can place these over places the dog has gone before, and it might ease cleanup a bit.

    This is also gross, but when they go inside, collect some of the stool/urine on a cloth and put it on the pads as you move them closer and closer to the door. Leave some outside where you intend for them to go in the future. Sometimes just having their scent there is enough to clue them in to what they're supposed to do. And every time they go outside, use your command word (e.g. 'go for a pee' or whatever) even when they're doing it unbidden, and give lots of praise. It'll help associate the action with the words, even if they have extreme baby brain right now.

    Oh also one last thing, since you're at 9 weeks - I highly recommend searching for a puppy socialization checklist and doing everything you can without risk in the whole pandemic thing we've got going on. Our family dog training business is expecting a *lot* of social anxiety calls in the next few months as folks have been unable to socialize their pups as easily as they can in normal times, especially once they hit the teens (six months and up depending on breed).

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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited June 29
    One of the bigger issues I've run into is we have other animals so it's hard to leave things in a kennel for him to go to as the others will eat it. Because they suck.

    I've been using a small pet carrier at the moment since the kennel is pretty wide, even with the divider. I'll try switch to the actual kennel and use the steps you mentioned, though.

    Edit: Also, our puppy has super bladder because when he's been in our bed overnight, he doesn't pee. It's been as much as 8-9 hours. He doesn't seem particularly bothered by it, oddly.

    Note: We aren't forcing him. He sleeps throughout the night.

    Edit 2: He's now ten weeks. Time sure flies!

    Picture of the kennel (now much shorter with the divider but still wide):

    va2lg1meibnd.jpg

    I didn't know you shouldn't use a pad in there. Makes sense, though.

    Magus` on
    Cello
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    edited June 29
    Also: He's a grazer so feeding him at set times is a crap shoot as he often just grabs a bite, eats it elsewhere, then repeats. Doesn't always clear his bowl.

    Edit: Kennel now:

    vgwuukao1nzj.jpg

    Magus` on
    CelloMugsleyInfidel
  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    Think you're getting on with the crate fine, keep it up. Ideally it's just a cozy clean place but the food situations are always tricky depending on the household at large.

    If you're still working on it (or anyone else is...) a good way to keep a dog from going in the house is to tether them to you. Put a leash on em and around your ankle, it keeps them from peeing usually like having them on the couch with you but way less attention / energy needed, and it actually builds a bond beyond the literal one.

    ALWAYS PRAISE THE HELL OUT OF THEM once they go outside. Lots of patience, but reward after so that it is clear what it is that they're rewarded for. If you have a stubborn pup that is shy to go outside and then pees immediately upon coming inside, obviously they're holding it and that makes it hard to praise/reward. SO, you boil a chicken and take some broth and add to a water bowl, let them slurp that shit up. They'll love it, and drink way too much liquid. Then you grab your phone or a book and a folding chair and camp out on your lawn with the pup tethered.

    They'll not be able to hold it, even if it takes a couple hours, PATIENCE. Then once they go it's PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE throw a party. Go inside.

    Has not failed us and others on getting hard cases housetrained, they'll still have accidents but it seems the be the only reliable way to get them comfortable with going outside if they're the type to hold it.

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  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    Neko is currently sleeping in the kennel. He whined for a bit but not super long.

    I don't know if he sees it as a den yet or not. He has no trouble going in to it to get food and water, though.

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