Gumdrop is a 10 week old Chihuahua pup. We brought her home 2 weeks ago. She has been accepted by our large older dog Daisy and is doing very well in her new home.
It regards to her crate training, I am having difficulty finding any straight answers. I've read books and so many blogs and articles ... and I can't get the answers I need.
1) At 10 weeks of age, how long can she be put in her crate for at a time? I have read that she needs to go pee every 30 minutes, so I can only assume that 30 minutes is the maximum. I've also read that she can stay in one hour for every month she is old, which would mean she can stay in for 2 hours (3 hours when she reaches 12 weeks. I haven't left the house in two weeks and need to go grocery shopping soon!! I'm desperate for some straight answers. How long can my puppy - after having peed and pooped - be left alone in her crate?
2) I have been putting her in her crate - after having peed and pooped - every day at 11AM for between 15 and 30 minutes to get her used to being alone for small amounts of time sometimes, and also as a part of her potty training. She whines and cries just like all pups do and I'm fine with that - I'm able to ignore it. I know that if I take her out when she cries, I am reinforcing that behavior - that crying gets her the results she wants. The problem is, she persists with the crying and again, I panic about leaving her in too long. I know I need to wait until she stops before taking her out and rewarding her - but what if she just won't stop some days? I've tried taking her out at 30 minutes, taking her out quietly to pee, and then putting her back, but I'm afraid that by that act alone, I reinforced the crying. HELP!!!
3) How long does my little girl need to be quiet before I take her out? I've read 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes ... I need a good solid answer. I have given in at 1 minute lately - is that sufficient or am I screwing up?
Please please, anyone that can help. I really want this little pup to learn these basic things so I can have a tiny bit of freedom to leave the house to shop (I live 30 minutes from the nearest town, so I need to have her able to stay in the crate safely for about 2 to 2.5 hours).