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exercise pens and housetraining puppy

crazyforcats
January 21st, 2007, 06:17 PM
Ugh! I feel completely deflated this weekend. New puppies a little more work than I was prepared for...

Our new 11.5 week old Shih Tzu cross puppy, Roxy, has peed on the floor a few times today. I have no doubt that it is my fault, but all the puppy housetraining info I'm finding is overwhelming! I don't feel I'm being consistant, and I feel a little confused, which Roxy is probably picking up on.

Yesterday I bought an exercise pen for Roxy - 8 panels, 24" x 24" each. I have placed her water, toys and crate in it. It is in our dinning room, so she is no more than 10 feet away from us while we are in the living room. She can see us at all times. One end of the exercie pen reaches the patio door - this is my attempt to get her to "let me know" when she needs me to let her outside (no success with that yet, but I'm not expecting miracles either!).

In this situation, how much time is too much to spend in her exercise pen? When she is not confined we have to watch her like a hawk or she'll pee or poo on the floor - sometimes even right after she has been let outside (one time she peed outside, came in and 2 minutes later pooped on the floor). She has not made a mess in her exercise pen yet (other than scooping all the water from her bowl onto the floor :confused: ). We let her out to play every couple hours - after she's peed - but it doesn't take long for her to get too worked up, and all she does is nip and bite us, so we have to confine her again to settle down.

Please, someone give me some real guidelines for containing a puppy in an excercise pen. Thank you!

Angie J
January 22nd, 2007, 09:04 AM
Your pup is just a wee guy...pun intended..lol. It may be quite some time before Roxy gets the routine of pottying outside down. She's been pottying in a confined area wherever she was born. Confining her and watching like a hawk is part of the puppy thing. Whenever you can't watch her you should keep her confined, at this age.

When she pees, try soaking it up with a paper and placing that in the area you want her to go, so the scent is there.

The nipping is normal too. Try to encourage her to nip at her toys when she is desiring to grab at you. This way she'll learn 'flesh' isn't an acceptable play thing. It's part of learning how to be part of the human family...She'' get it!

Angie J

jessi76
January 22nd, 2007, 09:24 AM
One end of the exercie pen reaches the patio door - this is my attempt to get her to "let me know" when she needs me to let her outside (no success with that yet, but I'm not expecting miracles either!).

it may be a little while yet before she starts telling you she needs to go out. When training my own dog, I was sure to use the SAME door each and every time. and the same AREA outside. this way when he was ready to tell me, he went to THAT door. it just sort of "clicked" one day and he went to the door, whined for a second, and got about a million "good boy!"'s for it.

In this situation, how much time is too much to spend in her exercise pen? When she is not confined we have to watch her like a hawk or she'll pee or poo on the floor - sometimes even right after she has been let outside (one time she peed outside, came in and 2 minutes later pooped on the floor). She has not made a mess in her exercise pen yet (other than scooping all the water from her bowl onto the floor :confused: ). We let her out to play every couple hours - after she's peed - but it doesn't take long for her to get too worked up, and all she does is nip and bite us, so we have to confine her again to settle down.

whenever you can't watch her, she should be in the pen. it's for her own safety really. again, when I was training my own dog, I'd wait for him to do BOTH before going back inside. especially after any meals.

as for the water dish - lol... sorry to laugh, but my dog did this too (and sometimes still does!). I opted to use a doggy water bottle in his crate instead of a water bowl. this solved the problem. I did have a water bowl for him, but it was for when he was out of his crate, and being supervised. (and sometimes, I just put a big ol' beach towel under it to help absorb when he got the urge to "swim" in his dish!) needless to say, my kitchen floor was fairly clean from all the water being splashed aound.

housebreaking takes TIME, consistancy, routine, and lots of patience. all pups have accidents, and each has their own time-frame for learning. some pick it up quick (my mom's dog was 100% at 12 wks!), some take longer (my dog had an accident at 5mths). it varies greatly.

crazyforcats
January 22nd, 2007, 09:51 AM
Angie J and Jessi76 - Thank you for your replies. Yesterday was a bad day all around, so puppy training mishaps were just the icing on the cake.

I work at home (I run a dayhome) so I'm always here. All week I had Roxy on a pretty consistent routine, but of course things changed for the weekend. Maybe the change mixed Roxy up. But I can't possibly keep up the exact same routine during the weekend as I do during the week! Even the place where she is kept in the house changes - during the week she's confined down the hall (by the back door) from my dayhome playroom and I take her outside into the backyard to relieve herself. During the evenings and weekends she'll be upstairs in the dinning room and I take her outside onto the patio to relieve herself on puppy-pads (which she uses there most of the time).

Are these inconsistancies going to cause a major setback in housetraining?

4thedogs
January 22nd, 2007, 10:06 AM
It will just take a little longer for her to figure it out. You could teach her to give you a signal you can hear such as a bell that she rings.

Something I did when housebreaking was the 1st couple of weeks we closed off the area around the door that we wanted to use. This was our living room and we wanted to use the sliding glass doors. The family spent most of the time in this room during the training so that we could constantly take him out every time he needed to go and we could see when he went close to the door or gave any signals that it was a washroom time. After two weeks we moved him to the tv room and did the same thing. This time he would have to be directed up a set of stairs, down a hall and to the door. We placed a gate at the bottom of the stairs so every time he went to that area we would rush him up. After this he knew what to do and where to go. The only accidents he ever had were our fault for not paying attention. When we couldn't watch him or needed to be in another room he was crated.

jessi76
January 22nd, 2007, 10:37 AM
But I can't possibly keep up the exact same routine during the weekend as I do during the week! Even the place where she is kept in the house changes - during the week she's confined down the hall (by the back door) from my dayhome playroom and I take her outside into the backyard to relieve herself. During the evenings and weekends she'll be upstairs in the dinning room and I take her outside onto the patio to relieve herself on puppy-pads (which she uses there most of the time).

Are these inconsistancies going to cause a major setback in housetraining?

If I were you, I'd really try to be consistant ALL THE TIME. have one place for her crate/x-pen to be, one door to use, one area outside to use, etc... it really helps to be consistant, I can't stress that enough.

Angie J
January 22nd, 2007, 11:17 AM
I like to try to keep a detailed log for at least 5 days (perhaps the weekend would be best for you) of what time the pup is pottying. It is a but tedious but it gives you an estimated time of how long your pup can 'hold it'; That will give you a good idea of when to take her out.
Good luck... it will bet better :)

angie J

crazyforcats
January 22nd, 2007, 11:42 AM
If I were you, I'd really try to be consistant ALL THE TIME. have one place for her crate/x-pen to be, one door to use, one area outside to use, etc... it really helps to be consistant, I can't stress that enough.

It would be impossible to have her in the same place. Our basement is furnished for my dayhome only - with a bathroom, bedroom (for dayhome kids to nap), storage room and playroom - this is where I am all day with 6 children. Our regular family living areas are upstairs - kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms, etc. I can not interchange the two. When I started the dayhome I briefly had the children eat snacks and meals upstairs in our dinning room, but it didn't work out for a number of reasons, so they eat down here now too. So, I do not want to leave Roxy alone upstairs by herself during the day, as well as I don't want to leave her downstairs by herself in the evening and on weekends. In both areas she close to the door she's let outside to relieve herself, and in both areas she either gated off or in an exercise pen with her crate inside. She can see me and I can respond immediately to her in both locations. My options here are limited. Am I doomed??

crazyforcats
January 22nd, 2007, 11:46 AM
I like to try to keep a detailed log for at least 5 days (perhaps the weekend would be best for you) of what time the pup is pottying. It is a but tedious but it gives you an estimated time of how long your pup can 'hold it'; That will give you a good idea of when to take her out.
Good luck... it will bet better :)

I have been keeping a log of every pee and poo since she came to our home 8 days ago. I'm only just starting to see some routine in the last few days with the pooping. The peeing is all over the place (excuse the pun). Sometimes her pees are 15 minutes apart, sometimes they are 3 hours apart. And she makes it through the night just perfectly now (in a crate beside our bed).

crazyforcats
January 22nd, 2007, 11:48 AM
jessi76 - I should add that only the place changes. I still keep to the times in the schedule.

Okay - after some pondering, would it be a good idea to keep her upstairs even while I'm downstairs with the kids during the day? I could possibly put a baby monitor near her so I could hear her when she starts to fuss.