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Escaping pup

November 2nd, 2005, 11:51 AM
I having a little problem with my 9 week old heeler Zeus. I have been trying to use a "pen" for him while I'm at work. When I put him in there he freaks out starts whining destroying everything in it with him, throws his food everywhere(I've since stopped giving it to him in there) and recently he managed to figured out he can climb it and get out. He even freaks out if I'm at home and I put him in there when I cant watch him fully. I cant have him running free in the house(yet) while I'm not home because he's not housebroken yet. Please help.

November 2nd, 2005, 12:22 PM
First, how long is he left alone while you're at work?

Have you considered using a crate instead of a pen? it may be a better option for you & your pup.

November 2nd, 2005, 07:51 PM
Unfortunately hes left alone for 8 hours thats why the pen not a crate. He is just starting to be crate trained now and does have his crate in the pen with him.

jesse's mommy
November 2nd, 2005, 08:53 PM
I'm a little confused, can you explain a little better? You have the crate in the pen? Don't you put Zeus in the crate and shut the door on the crate?

November 3rd, 2005, 03:09 AM
I dont want to put him in the crate for 8 hours as I dont believe he'd be able to hold his bladder for that long. From what I've read 3-4 hours max for a crate on a pup as young as he is but as this is my first time crate training a pup I may be wrong.

November 3rd, 2005, 06:58 AM
A 9 week old pup being left for 8 hours at a time will most likely not get housetrained for a very long time. If I have it correctly, you have an xpen, a crate, some newspaper/pads, food and water all with him. You come home after 8 hours, things are a mess and he's running loose. At about 8 months plus of age, he will be able to be crated for that length of time, if he can learn to keep his crate clean prior to that by short intervals of crating and potty breaks. A blue heeler is an extremely active pup/dog who will most likely spend the first two years chewing it's way through the house. Do you have someone who can babysit him during the day or come in once or twice to feed him, give him water and let him out? Otherwise, I'm afraid this process is going to be very discouraging for you.

November 3rd, 2005, 11:55 AM
Unfortunately I don't have anyone that can come over and help me out with feeding letting out etc while I'm at work. I work nights so nobody I know really wants to come over to my place at 3am to look after my pup.
I am open to any suggestions anyone has on how I may make it a bit easier on both him and myself through this process.

November 3rd, 2005, 06:44 PM
The x-pen with a doorless crate in it can work if there are papers available. I was able to come home at lunch for the first while, but if the puppy needed to go before I got home, he used the paper (put plastic down first then dcut tape the paper to it to prevent destruction). When I'd get home, I'd take him out straight away and treats would be had if he had to pee (I use the command 'do your business'). My boyfriend has a puppy as well and he doesn't use a command and is having much less success.

As for the going crazy when you leave part. Look up seperation anxiety... Don't panic, its not impossible to work around. Sign up for some obedience classes, or find a personal trainer as your pup might be too young yet.

Mix your routine up before leaving and don't get all mushy (its hard, I know, but its better). I say Cheerio to Charley in the morning before I leave then just walk out the door, coffee in hand. I leave a radio on a talk station for background noise. Also, practice leaving and coming back and all the other stuff they say to do for SA.

Be patient, you'll get there, it'll just take longer then it would for the average dog.

November 3rd, 2005, 06:45 PM
Oh ya, I'm sure you knew this, but make sure the papers are at one end of the x-pen and the crate at the other. A good hard play session before you leave might also help... A tired puppy is a clean and quiet one!

November 3rd, 2005, 08:42 PM
Well the xpen in general isn't going to work, to confine the dog.. potty training is a whole seperate issue. If the dog can escape you need a different plan.

Is it the 4ft tall metal pen, or the cheaper one?

I have an escaper, and I returned my 4ft pen to petsmart since she got out in faster and faster time. You can try to put a lid on it, but depending upon how crafty the dog is/ how much effort you want to invest it may not help.

Might have to be plywood to confine the dog.. There are tarps with gromets made for xpens, but its liek another 100 bucks, and might get eaten...

But this only fixes the staying the pen issue, not the pottying.

November 3rd, 2005, 11:25 PM
There's not really much advice anyone can give you to help. This puppy is being left far too long for his age, it's simple as that. You might try to do things differently but bottom line his needs cannot be met if he's being left 8 hours at 9 weeks of age. He shouldn't be left longer than 2 hours at a time at this age. He shouldn't be left this long until he's a good 6 months MINIMUM but ideally 8 months of age.

Not to mention this dog is a heeler, one of the most active breeds out there, and one requiring MORE training and care than most breeds if you want to raise one that will interact well with other animals and people and not be completely out of control.

This is really a disaster in the making. I can see this puppy in 6 months being a totally out-of-control "problem child". This is a textbook case of how dogs end up in rescue needing behavior modification (or more likely, euthanized at under 2 years of age in a shelter because there was no room in rescue).

This dog is probably not well-bred either, so you are very likely looking at a dog that may have physical or temperament weaknesses anyway, making it that much more important that everything is done right in how he's raised. A reputable breeder would not have placed a puppy in this situation. Saying you can't get someone to come in at 3am just isn't going to cut it. I'm not trying to be critical, just honest. I can't see how you can possibly avoid raising an adolescent heeler with major behavior problems down the road unless you realize that his needs are not going to change, it's going to have to come from your end, or you are severely handicapping his chances of becoming a well-adjusted adult dog one day. These puppy times are so critical, these mistakes are going to go a long long way. Pay a friend to puppysit if you have to, til he's old enough to be left this long. A puppy that's behaving this way ain't learning anything, and his reaction to being put in his pen should tell you what this is doing to this puppy. There really is only one answer to your problem and it'll be a real shame if it this doesn't happen, soon.