April 6th, 2006, 09:31 AM
I usually ask questions about my Pomeranian, Nicky, but I have a different question today and it may be dumb but I'd like to ask it anyway. I like to think of myself as a responsible pet owner and not a selfish one. So, is it possible to raise a puppy working an 8-5 job? I ask this question because, as some of you know, I recently lost my pug Suki in a housefire and I'm dying to get another pug. However, I was off work for 2 months when I got Suki so I was able to be up with her all night long and take care of her 24/7. It was and still is very important to me that I or my partner are home with a new puppy for an extened period of time while it's still a baby. I can't imagine bringing home an 8 week old puppy and just leaving it in a crate or a room to fend for itself but I know people do it.
Nicky is between 4-5 years old. He gets walked at the crack of dawn before we go to work, he is in his crate for a few hours, I come home for lunch and let him eat and play and go potty and then he's back in the crate for a few hours until we come home. Nicky sleeps with us so he's free for the rest of the night. I would love to be able to let Nicky roam free during the day but we can't trust him because he will pee. We're still trying to teach him to not pee in his crate so leaving him out is not going to work.
Anyway, Nicky is old enough to handle himself on his own, but I don't see how a puppy could. So, my question is for all of you puppy owners out there who do work. How do you make sure your puppy is ok throughout the day and is it possible to own a new baby with an 8-5 job and coming home on a lunch break midday. Is it enough? Thanks.
April 6th, 2006, 09:50 AM
I can't imagine bringing home an 8 week old puppy and just leaving it in a crate or a room to fend for itself but I know people do it.
Yes, people do it all the time, but I never would. I feel it's inhumane and that there may be problems (socializing, training, housetraining) arising from highly social pack animals who suffer by spending so much time in solitary confinement with no stimulation or companionship.
Since the dog you already have is not housetrained at 5 years old, I personally would not bring a puppy into the home. You would likely have two dogs peeing on the floor.
I would not even leave an 8 week old kitten alone all day, even though they are much more self-sufficient. It's just too long and too lonely.
April 6th, 2006, 10:02 AM
Thanks for your advice Lucky, I appreciate it.
April 6th, 2006, 10:10 AM
I agree with everything Lucky said.... I think you should get Nicky well under control (housebroken) before getting a new pup. Also, I don't think 1 midday break is enough for a puppy.
just to give you an idea of how I managed with my pup... we got him at 8wks, but an 8wk old pup can only be crated for 2 hrs max. So I crated our pup at 8am, my bf arranged to come home at 9:30-10am (morning break) then recrated our pup at 10:30am... then he came home again at noon, played w/ the pup for a good hour, then recrated at 1pm, then I left work at 2pm to be home for 3pm. Thankfully both of us have flexible jobs, and both our bosses had NO problems with it.
We did this for at least 2 months. Then, once our pup could hold it longer, my bf came home at noon, and I arranged for a family member to come by in the afternoon so I didn't have to leave work early anymore.
Now our dog is a year old and spends 3-4hrs crated in the morning, and spends the afternoons at work w/ my bf.
If we couldn't of rearranged our schedules like we did, I would of opted for doggy daycare. In fact, I do use daycare occassionally, for those very busy days when our schedules are not flexible.
I'm not saying you should do things as I did things, just giving you an idea of how we managed our full time jobs and a puppy at the same time.
April 6th, 2006, 10:16 AM
While I have your attention, Lucky, I'd like to ask you something else. You have given me much advice on Nicky since he is a rescue dog and all. We'd like to give Nicky some more room during the day so we bought a baby gate. We currently have a large crate in our small laundry room for him but we really can't stand putting him in it, although he seems to be content. So, we took the crate out, papered the small room, and put up the baby gate we bought one evening while we went out for an hour or two. We came back and he went potty all over the laundry room (on the paper), which is quite small, and he was sitting at the front door when we opened it. So, he clearly jumped the gate..lol Doesn't he know that we're trying to give him more freedom? lol , just kidding. We were going to give him a little more and a little more room and hopefully one day he could have the whole apartment. So far it hasn't worked but as you know I've gone through a lot with Nicky and am willing to continue. My question to you is, how do we get him to stop going potty in his crate or in the area we give him?
I have been feeding him in the kitchen but recently I decided to start putting his food and water in his crate, with the door open, so that he can go in and eat and drink, but I'm trying to get him to learn that pottying in his crate is not the place. Will having him eat/drink in the crate help him to stop going potty in it? When we're outside I throw little mini parties when he goes potty but it still hasn't gotten through that going in his crate is bad.
We've had Nicky for about 3 months, I've worked hard with him and he's come a long way. I just need to get over this one hurdle so that he does not have to be in his crate while we're gone. Thanks for your help, in advance.
April 6th, 2006, 10:23 AM
Thanks so much for the information. I totally feel the same way. My partner keeps pushing me to get a puppy but I keep trying to explain to her that a new puppy needs somebody there with it all the time. For atleast the first few weeks. She and I were not together when I got Suki so she has no idea how you're awakened every hour through the night and all the attention the sweet baby needs or what I went through with her. Having a new puppy is just like having a new baby and I just can't get a puppy and leave it. I refuse to get a new baby until I know that one of us will be off work for a descent amount of time. I'd also like to get Nicky under control as well because he seems to have special needs. We look at his odd behavior every day and wonder what the people did to him who had him before us. So thanks again for confirming what I already felt.
April 6th, 2006, 10:26 AM
Since your dog is mature, I don't really think the peeing has anything to do with him not being able to hold it. I assume he's in good health? No urinary tract or bladder problems..stones etc?
It sounds psychological and caused by anxiety at being left alone. He may have spent his life caged, who knows? Dogs who are crated to this extent often learn to lie in their own messes. Very unnatural, but very hard to get them to be clean after this.
Does he only do this when left alone? Does he just pee, or do both?
I just want to add that you are wonderful to take on a dog with these issues. Most people would have dumped him nearly immediately.:thumbs up
April 6th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Awe, thanks Lucky. He's a good boy, he just has issues that I'm sure are no fault of his own. God only knows what his previous owners did to him and we are doing everything we can to turn him around. And with your help and the help of others on this board, I have been able to bring him a long way.
As for your questions, he does everything in his crate and we thought that maybe he's doing it because he can't hold it since he doesn't always go potty when we take him out. He will always pee or mark 100 times but he won't always poop so sometimes we come home to a mess but it's getting more and more rare which is nice. He is in good health and does not have any urinary issues or anything like that. My gut instinct is that he was not kept in a crate by his previous owners just because of the training I've had to do to help him get used to it. He used to cry and bark like crazy when we first introduced him to it. Now he actually goes in on his own and doesn't make a peep! Nicky does not go potty in the house while we are there, atleast not that we know of. In the beginning he marked but he has stopped that. And one time, just last week while the vacuum cleaner was running, he decided to poop in the living room for some reason. He gets very excited when he hears the vacuum cleaner running and barks and growls at it and actually tries to attack it, so I figured he pooped because he had some strange reaction to the vacuum cleaner, I'm not sure. I pointed at it, told him no, and it was straight to the crate for an hour. But all in all, he will not go in the house. We have him on a pretty solid schedule. He gets walked every morning where he does everything outside, he eats/drinks, and goes happily into his crate until I come home at lunch. I let him out for over an hour, he goes potty (but not poop), he plays and sometimes eats. Then it's back into the crate for a few hours and we come home. Sometimes we come home to messes, sometimes we don't. We have no idea why he goes sometimes and doesn't others. Nicky is out of his crate and with us for the rest of the day and night. We take him out about every 4 hours so we don't really give him time to go in the house. He does however give us little cues which we always pick up on. We take him out even if we aren't sure about the cue. He seems to only go potty when we aren't there, which gives us great stress about giving him more room. As I said earlier, he jumped the baby gate but before he did that, he went potty in the gated area, all over the place and he peed and pooped even though he did all that outside before we left. It's almost like he did it out of spite..lol...like he wasn't quite sure to what to think of his new little area or something, I don't know. It was the same room, same area, same amount of space, just without the crate. What do you think? lol
April 6th, 2006, 02:37 PM
I pointed at it, told him no, and it was straight to the crate for an hour.
Did you use the crate as punishment? I'm trying not to assume anything, but in the event you did, it may affect how he sees the crate. I crate trained my dog too, and ONLY use the crate as a positive thing - IF I put my dog in for a "time out", I do NOT say a word to him or act angry - just calmly place him in, and when he comes out it's always on a super-happy note. Also for a "time out" - it's never an hour, only about 5 min is ever needed.
It's almost like he did it out of spite..lol...like he wasn't quite sure to what to think of his new little area or something, I don't know. It was the same room, same area, same amount of space, just without the crate. What do you think? lol
I can understand your frustration, but I doubt it's "spite". Personally, I think it's because he's very anxious without you, and his questionable history. One question, did you leave the crate in the room, with the door open, so Nicky had the option of using it? If not, I would do that. You want him to have the option of using it, it's his "room" or his "den" and should be available to him.
I also think you're absolutely wonderful for dealing w/ all this, and continuing to work with Nicky - he is indeed one very lucky dog!
April 6th, 2006, 02:42 PM
A 5 year old dog could hold it for 24 hours if necessary, so it's not that your dog cannot hold it. It's something else.
He gets very excited when he hears the vacuum cleaner running and barks and growls at it and actually tries to attack it, so I figured he pooped because he had some strange reaction to the vacuum cleaner, I'm not sure. I pointed at it, told him no, and it was straight to the crate for an hour.
The pooping sounds like a fear or anxiety reaction to the vacuum. Dogs who are frightened or nervous will sometimes defecate or urinate to surround themselves with their own scent, as they find that reassuring.
NEVER use the crate to punish a dog. You are giving him bad associations with it by doing this, increasing his anxiety and making his soiling problem worse.
As I said earlier, he jumped the baby gate but before he did that, he went potty in the gated area, all over the place and he peed and pooped even though he did all that outside before we left. It's almost like he did it out of spite..
I'm wondering if it's the confinement itself causing the problem, since you say he is good when you are home, and messed in gated area, but not outside of it. It's possible being confined in any way puts awful stress on him.
If you want to experiment, you could try leaving him loose in the house on a day when you have lots of time. Leave for two minutes, come back and walk out the back door. In and out, staying out for a few minutes longer each time and just see what he does.
No greeting him or even talking to him. Just come and go. I have no idea if this will work, but since he's messing anyway, nothing to lose by trying!
April 6th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Wow, you're right, I'm probably giving him mixed signals by putting him in his cage for punishment. I will stop that immediately. I just don't know what to do when we come home and he's messed in his crate? Usually we just say, "Bad boy" in a firm voice and point to the mess. Then we take him straight outside. The one day he pooped in the house I guess I should've taken him outside at that very moment too, instead of putting him in his crate.
Lucky, I thought that an adult dog should be able to hold it for a good 24 hours which is why I'm so disappointed when Nicky does this. I know that he shouldn't be doing it but it's so hard trying to figure out why he does it. That's a good idea about walking out of the house and back in. We'll get started on that right away. He shadows my partner so it will be interesting to see how he reacts as both of us walk in and out..lol..my neighbors will think we've lost it! We should both be walking in and out together, correct? I guess if one of us stayed inside to see his reaction, it would be defeating the purpose.
Jessi, the laundry room is literally big enough for a dryer on the left, the washer on the right and a space in between to stand. We literally have to tape newspaper to both the washer and dryer and the back wall since he lifts his leg to pee. Nicky has a pretty descent size crate so it fits in there nicely with a little more room to go as well, but I would not have been able to keep the crate inside the space and leave him out at the same time. It's like the space took the place of his crate, you know what I mean? The space was just a little bigger than his crate so I thought it would be a good space to start with. I guess what we'll try next time is to leave the crate in the laundry room, and bring the baby gate out into the kitchen, giving him a little bit of space at a time until he can have the whole kitchen. It's just that we have to not only cover the ground with newspaper, but tape it to the cabinets, refrigerator, and laundry room door as well since he lifts his leg. Anyway, we'll give it a shot and I'll let you two know how it goes. Thanks again!
April 6th, 2006, 03:26 PM
Can I still answer the first question? What about an older dog? They're less trouble...
April 6th, 2006, 03:41 PM
It's like the space took the place of his crate, you know what I mean? The space was just a little bigger than his crate so I thought it would be a good space to start with. I guess what we'll try next time is to leave the crate in the laundry room, and bring the baby gate out into the kitchen, giving him a little bit of space at a time until he can have the whole kitchen. It's just that we have to not only cover the ground with newspaper, but tape it to the cabinets, refrigerator, and laundry room door as well since he lifts his leg. Anyway, we'll give it a shot and I'll let you two know how it goes. Thanks again!
just a suggestion (as always, take it or leave it).... have you tried the crate in the kitchen? This way, you can have the crate in there, with door open, and still baby-gate him in. He gets more room, is confined, and still has access to his crate. Basically my point is you're crate training him, you introduced him to the crate, and although not 100% comfortable in it, he has accepted it. his room, his space, his own private retreat... then you took it away.
Granted, you had good intentions, to give him more space, but he may need the security you created with the crate.
I keep a crate in my kitchen, I should put a pic up one day, but I put a piece of wood ontop, and it's now basically a kitchen table. My cats eat on top of it, a fruit bowl is there, we drop mail there, etc... but it's really my dog's crate. I figured if he liked it there, it was going to be "functional".
April 6th, 2006, 10:02 PM
You should have him seen by a behaviourist (as was recommended previously) since he seems to have so much baggage that you are having problems comprehending and coping with and unless you specifically know what temprement issues you're trying to deal and rectify (whether its dominance/aggression or what) how can he be re-trained without confusing him more? It is nearly impossible to evaluate a dog's behaviour without actually viewing him and some of your interpretations are confusing. I understand your fear of him as I can his of you. With the proper instruction and diligence most dogs can be re-habilitated. He doesn't seem to know whats expected of him and that just adds to his confusion and mistakes. As for adopting a pup, she/he will pick-up alot of Nicky's bad habits and you'll have 2 acting out instead of just one.
April 7th, 2006, 09:04 AM
Hello again T! I appreciate your advice now as I have in the past. I know that the ultimate goal here is to have Nicky seen by a behaviorist and to get him to a training class, but until I can afford to pay for that I'd like to be trying some things out at home. I had him enrolled in a training class but we hit some financial situations and I had to pull him out of it. This is why I come here to this board to get some good training tips and wonderful insight by people like you who know what they are talking about and who may have gone through the same experiences.
I am not going to get a puppy until I am off of work for an extended period of time. I also need to get Nicky situated first, which is my intention. I don't even know if he can handle another pet in the house. Nicky is my four-legged everything and has mine and my partner's full attention. Everything we do, we do for him. We are constantly trying to come up with ways to better enrich his life and sometimes I need to come here for some ideas.
I constantly work with him on the Alpha situation, which you have helped me with and that's going well. He does not mark in the house anymore, which was a struggle at the beginning but I've worked very hard with him on that, as well as getting him comfortable with his crate and the excessive barking. All we have to do is point at the crate and he hops right in happily. That is a huge accomplishment compared to how he was when we first rescued him. I just needed some advice on how to get him over the hurdle of soiling in his crate and helping him to accept more room to move around during the day. We do not want him to be in his crate while we're at work, even if it's only for a few hours at a time. We both hate putting him in the crate, it breaks our hearts and we're constantly trying to come up with ways to not have to do that anymore but he just cannot be trusted yet. Right now we have to figure out how to rig this babygate that we bought so that he can't jump it anymore. We are anxious to give him more room in the kitchen, even though we have to tape newspaper to every inch of it. I am bound and determined to get this little boy adjusted and to give him free reign of the apartment. I love Nicky very much so however I can help him, I will. Thanks again for your advice and everyone else's.
April 7th, 2006, 09:48 AM
This is sounding more and more like a separation anxiety issue than a housebreaking one.
You might want to look at this article and see if it's helpful for your situation.
April 7th, 2006, 10:09 AM
Thanks Lucky, I'll get right on it!
April 10th, 2006, 07:43 PM
So much going on....
Some Poms are notoriously tough to house train so leaving him in the freedom of the house can be ambitious at best. They are VERY smart little guys and the second they relieve themselves in the house they feel instantly rewarded for it because it feels good and if you are not there to catch them in the act then they are highly likely to repeat the offense.
Things to consider...
How often do you feed him? He should get 1-2 meals a day (down for 10 minutes) not be free fed. 2 meals in ensures 2 poops out. 20 mini meals in all day long (free feeding) ensures 20 mini poops out. You need to regulate his meals and learn his patterns for pottying. Treat him like a little puppy because thats how he is acting.
How many times do you take him out? Does he need to actually poo 2x's to get the job done? Some dogs aren't done after the first attempt - so lets make sure we are giving him every opportunity to finish.
How long after you leave does he soil?
If this is stress related then you need to desensitize him to your coming and going. He needs to learn that you will always come back.
Take all blankets and towels out of his crate. He needs to be uncomfortable in the mess. Towels just soak it up and make it easier to live with.
Is he making noise when you are gone? Howling? crying? indicators of stress (SA) and more telling of whats really going on. Leave a tape recorder on when you leave to find out.
Feeding him in the crate isn't likely to change the stress levels - though it does help to make the crate a happy place.
It would be good to have him in the crate for 1 hour a day when you are home on the weekends. This helps you to monitor his crate behavior and teaches him that the crate does not mean you are leaving.
I would not encourage you to get a puppy now. Get this dog good and then think about a second dog. Often times getting the 2nd dog will cause the first to regress (just like kids), so make sure his training is well established before you sign up for another.
You might want to consider training him to pee pads. Then you could leave him in the kitchen with pee pads and just be happy that he successfully uses them and not worry about the floor covered in papers and messes in the crate. One of our clients has a tiny Maltese and the person is physically not capable of taking him outside - so she set up an ex-pen with a bed, water and pee-pads for him. He uses them 100% of the time and her life is easier for it. He also uses his crate, but knows that the second she lets him out the pad is ready for him.
April 11th, 2006, 08:10 AM
Thank you so much Tenderfoot, I'll get right on it.