Small puppies and house-breaking

sweetchastityJuly 28, 2010

I'm wondering if anyone who's owned a small dog can give some input regarding house-breaking their puppy? We can get our puppies to go outside sometimes, like early morning, but they are still going in the house and I'm not sure if its just that they are so small they can't hold much or they just don't get what we are trying to tell them. We tried paper in the kitchen, I put some grass peed on by my brother's dog under the top one, but they just didn't seem to know what to do there. Then they'd walk away and 10 seconds later pee/poo on the carpet. The male also has peed on one chair twice. The female likes to poo on this pet bed that Dustin sleeps on (he now takes naps in the basement, lol) and it looks to me like they seem to like those spots. Is there any rhyme or reason to where they pick to go? We praise them and give them treats when they do go outside or on the paper (which we've now abandoned) but I'm not sure if they are connecting the two together. We go out in the back and sit on small hill with the puppies and wait... and wait... and wait... then wait some more. They are so interested in playing and chewing grass and sniffing that we end up giving up and going inside (we wait 30-60 mins, we enjoy being out with them) then they immediately go on the carpet. We sectioned off a small area of our deck and put a strip of carpet there and put them there so we can move off a bit to give them privacy but they want out (bit spoiled going where they want in the house I think).

My brother has Punkin's little brother and they've had maybe two accidents since Saturday but then they have a 1+ year old Beagle and so he might be following and copying him.

I read that puppies' bathroom habits are like clockwork, they eat and in 5-30 minutes after they should be taken outside to do their business. Peanut will pee outside then come in and fifteen minutes later pees on the carpet.

Is house-breaking harder for small dogs? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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You have very young puppies so don't expect them to be totally housebroken for awhile. By awhile, I mean weeks to months. You're going to need to keep them in a collapsible pen or a crate whenever you can't keep your eye on them and they should be taken straight from the crate/pen to the outdoors and not brought back in until they've done their business. If they don't go, then they go back in the crate/pen for another 15-30 min.

Sitting with them outside is not good. You need to put them on a leash, or harness, and walk around with them. They'll poo/pee much faster when they're moving independently ......not playing with you or the other pup.

Don't train them to go on the deck unless you're willing for them to go there from now on. If you want them to go in the grass in the back yard, they need to be taken there every time.

The key is to set a routine and stick with, otherwise it's going to always be a battle.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:04PM
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I figured it would take a while for them to be fully house-trained. We were walking Peanut when we had only her but with three it was too much but now we are starting again walking both, one with mom and one with me. Walking would be our prefered method since that is what Misty would do when walking with mom but Peanut seems to want to go back home. The vet said to walk them for 15 minutes but we walked Peanut longer than that. She did notice that Peanut's right knee, well I don't know exactly what she was getting at (she's new at our vet's office), but she said the leg could lock up. Anyway is it possible to over-walk her? I'd like to walk them for 30 minutes two or three times a day.

Even if they can't be house-trained to go outside is it possible to train them to go on a wee-wee pad or newspaper in the kitchen? The kitchen and mom's bedroom are the only rooms that have carpet and we let them have free-reign in the living/dining room open to the kitchen. So now they resist my attempts to have them in a confined space. And mom's not always on the same page as me when it comes to raising them so I can't force her.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:36PM
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I've never been a fan of pee pee pads. Since I've never used them maybe I'm all wet, but seems to me that once you train them to that, you may as well face twenty years of cleaning up urine from your house. It would be like having a perpetual baby in nappies. Then when you finally think they should be old enough to go outside, you have to train them again.

Baby doggies have tiny, active bladders. I promise you they'll need to pee more than two or three times a day. More like two to three times an hour. The reason they aren't 'getting it' is that like a human baby when it pees where you want it to for the first time, it IS an accident and it takes a lot of repetitions with positive reinforcement for it to sink in. You talked about how anxious you were to train the pups, we'll this is step one. It's worth the effort. And no.............little dogs can be very successfully potty trained. I think my mother's chihuahua and her tiny bichon mix almost trained themselves, they were so eager to please.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 10:14PM
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Thanks Calliope! I'm not really anxious about the puppies house-training, more of worried we might not be doing the right thing. My parents house-broke two German Sheppard puppies but not all dogs are alike and so we need to remind ourselves that they will accomplish this in time with our perseverance. We have carpet but we hate it and don't get angry with the puppies when they have an accident. We just weren't sure if we were doing the right things. If they need to go out alone with no distractions or if we just need to go and and wait as long as it takes. I didn't want to use the wee-wee pads but last night mom and I both stepped in something smelly (barefoot no less) but I have to say it was the first time so I consider ourselves lucky. Thanks for posting! I keep telling mom we need to be patient but wasn't sure if we were screwing up.

I told mom we should feed them at regular intervals, not leave a bowl of dry food out all day long. Is this a good idea? I think it will help with establishing a routine. Our vet initially told us a heaping teaspoon of canned food every two hours but now we agree we should feed them 4 times a day. We were a bit worried they didn't seem to drink much but that was when they only got canned food. With kibble they drank more. We've always left a bowl of fresh water out for all our dogs to let them drink when they are thirsty and the cats drink from their bowls so I'm going to set up the kitty fountain in the kitchen where they can all help themselves.

The vet said we should never yell at them or rub their noses in their waste to curb house-training and both my mom and I were emphatic that we would never do such a thing. We will just be persistent and try to get a good routine going. We blocked off the only part of our backyard that was not fenced off but I'd like to close off the rest of our deck since there are window wells under it and I don't feel comfortable with them going under there.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:29PM
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IMHO, the only way to housebreak puppies by the time they are 12 weeks old is to be very consistent in taking them outside at least 8 times a day and more if necessary. Then, they should be crated at night. Even small puppies can make it through the night for 8 hours. If you stick with this regimen you will be rewarded.

The longer you let your pup have 'accidents' the harder it will all become.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 8:57AM
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Thanks carmen_grower_2007! We have completely fenced off the backyard and the sides of the deck so I feel much more secure with them there (we never leave them alone but puppies can be surprisingly quick and notice things we never would). They are going outside more and sleeping most of the night with maybe one trip outside to pee. Peanut has absolutely no problem sleeping in her crate. When she's sleepy she'll walk right in herself and if she doesn't we can put her in and she settles down in a minute or two.

Punkin is a different matter. I think he's displaying signs of anxiety. I initially thought his gravitating to us was sign of affection but if he's on the sofa and I go into another room for something he'll start whining. We can't put him in the crate we brought him home in because he whines and it escalates and he wakes up the other puppies. If his brother, Skipper, was tired he'd just plop down where he was and nap but Punkin will move closer and sleep near our feet if he's on the floor. In my computer room here I have a single bed not more than four feet away and he doesn't like to sleep on it. He'll whine to go down and then sleep near my feet or around the table/desk.

I brought up the larger cat carrier and I'm going to put a nice cushy pet bed in there and condition him to like being in it. The crate he came home in was a cage where it was open (visibly) on all sides and the carrier is plastic with only a gate/cage door and small openings on the side to see out of. I figure I'll have better luck since its not like the first one and he won't have previous bad experiences with it to get around. First for like five minutes then longer periods using treats, toys and affection to make the crate a pleasant place to be. I'll be patient but I think its important so when we take them to a place like the vet's where there might be chaos/commotions they will feel safer in the crate they are familiar with than in our arms.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 6:20PM
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I am going to be getting a beagle puppy in a few more days and I am really wondering how to go about potty training. I know we are going to have some accidents, but I want to really keep them to a bare minimum. Are programs like dog potty training (link listed below) my best bet to get it right, or do I keep looking?

I'm also considering Cat Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul as food for the little guy. What are your thoughts? I eat the best and I want my new buddy to do the same, so I'm open for suggestions.

Here is a link that might be useful: dog potty training

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 3:20PM
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I've read a few things and the best way I've heard to potty train is to have a regular schedule. We are still having accidents but we are also having lots of success. First thing in the morning my mom puts the pups out on the deck and brings their food out there. They eat then poop and pee outside. We try to take them out frequently but with the weather being so humid and them not liking being out alone (we are just inside the patio door and they are right in front) we've had accidents but much less of them.

I'd keep the puppy in a room with an easy to clean floor when you first bring it home then introduce them to new areas of the house a room at a time. My mother doesn't agree with that so they've had free reign of most of the main floor of our house. So now when we try to restrict their access, like today we were ripping up the carpet (for laminate!!) and had a baby gate keeping them out, they whined on the other side even though they could see us. If we put them in a room so we can go out to the store they whine. Well the male whines but gets the female upset so she'll start. For house-training a breeder in the book I'm reading said if you never give them the opportunity to make a mistake then they'll never even know what peeing on the carpet is. Also clean up any accidents thoroughly. If the scent remains its like an open invitation to pee/poo again.

Take note of when you feed your pup and when she/he goes potty. I've read it can be like clockwork. Between 5-45 minutes after they eat puppies will relieve themselves. Also take her/him out after long naps and long play sessions. Most of all praise him/her when they do go outside! Have a treat handy and give them lots of petting and praise (doesn't have to be loud just a lot of it). Positive reinforcement is a big help as puppies and dogs want to please us. In our case we have two and they distract each other, lol. But we are getting new floors installed and we are going to walk them more as the humid summer days taper off.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 6:10PM
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