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Puppy House Breaking

August 2nd, 2007, 02:29 PM
Hi all! (warning - I am a littler verbose, so this is long!)

My boyfriend became the proud owner of a Japanese Spitz puppy about 9 weeks ago (4 months now). And from that point on our lives changed!!

He had never owned a dog before and really had no clue - even after reading all the books. So we confused the poor little guy, Haru, over housebreaking for the first month until my bf agreed to listen to me :thumbs up We are on the path to success! The only catch is that we are gone for 9 hours every day working and can't find anyone to come in to let him out to go potty - so Haru was paper trained.

Haru has no issues going outside ( after much party and praise to teach) and we are picking up on his warnings that he has to go outside. Although when we miss and catch him in the act, nothing in the world will distract him from finishing The kitchen is his safe room during the day with his crate and doggie bed on one side and paper down on the other side. He hits the paper 90% of the time with his pee and has no problem holding his poo until we get home to take him outside. But since there is no way we can keep in his crate for the 9 hours, how do you train him to hold it so we can eventually take the papers away?

Haru has the papers down - if we miss his signal (~4 times a week) he will run to the papers to go (unless they aren't there - then he hides behind the dining table) but I want the papers gone as soon as reasonably possible :D

Thanks for all the help in advance! He is a smart dog, he is just picking this up really slowly.

Oh...and we live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building.

August 2nd, 2007, 07:23 PM
You just need to be consistant and patient. Do not scold the pup for any messes unless you directly catch him in the act. Four months is still very young and many puppies (especially small dogs) can take months to fully gain bladder control. You might also want to consider using pee pads and placing them close to the door which will help with him indicating he needs to go out.

Good Luck.

August 3rd, 2007, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the advice! :thumbs up He seems to only go once or twice during the day on the paper (we are not using puppy pads because he considers them toys and chews them to peices when left along with them) and can hold it over night right now. But maybe we'll start putting paper down by the door when we are home so he knows to go there!

I guess I'll just give it time.

We are thinking of using the "bell" method to get him to indicate to us he has to go out - anyone had success with that? Any tips?

August 3rd, 2007, 11:52 AM
Nine hours is too long to expect your dog to "hold it" (you try it...:rolleyes: ) and it is cruel to expect your dog to do it. There are many dog walking services in your city, pay the money.

August 3rd, 2007, 04:22 PM
It sounds like you are doing everything right, but just need to be patient for a bit longer. :) At only four months, it's not realistic to try to remove the papers yet.
I'm going through the same process now with my new 9 week old puppy. I've had her for one week now and it's a lot of work! I'm looking forward to about six months from now, LOL! But the general rule of thumb is one hour of bladder hold time for every one month of age. It's not going to be that way for every dog obviously, but it's a good general rule. At four months old, the most your puppy on average can hold it is about 4 hours. Overnight is different as they are sleeping. When you're gone for 9 hours, you have to expect him to go on the papers as it is way too long for him to hold it. Ideally, if you can hire a dog walker to come in mid-way through and let him out, you could crate him and eliminate the papers all together. If that is not an option, then just expect that the papers will need to be around for up to a good year or more until the pup's bladder muscles are fully developed and he can hold it for 9 hours.

August 3rd, 2007, 06:09 PM
We've always left papers down for all of our dogs while we're at work during the day. Sometimes they're feeling off, sometimes you get held up at work longer than expected. Our dogs preferred to go outside but if they had no choice, at least they would go on the papers.


August 3rd, 2007, 06:41 PM
My Winston and your Haru have the same birthday! I have heard of the 1hr/month thumb of rule and this seems to be pretty close to what my Winston can do. I work close to home and can come home during the day to let Winston out of his crate. When he was younger, he could not hold if for 4 hours and I put paper in a corner of his oversized kennel. When he got a little older I could remove the papers totally, reduce the size of his kennel, but still come home at least every 4 hours.

I don't really have any good suggestions except maybe reduce the size of the area his papers are in if that helps you any with having to have the papers there. I can understand you wanting to not have them there but maybe he is too young at the moment to remove them completely.

August 7th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the comments everyone - I have no problems leaving the papers down until he is old enough or is able to hold it, just was wondering if there was some sort of training I should be doing to help him learn!