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Thread: Best Way To Potty Train 5 month old Puppy?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2012

    Best Way To Potty Train 5 month old Puppy?

    My boyfriend and I got a puppy about 2 weeks ago. Quinn is a mini Australian Shepard about 12 lbs. He is very gentle and quiet. Seems more motivated by affection than treats. I'm crazy in love with him and want to make sure I'm doing my best as a new dog owner. Tim (boyfriend) already has a dog, Leah, and she is a Border Collie/Aussie mix now 6 years old. They get along great Really hoping Leah's awesome behavior will rub off onto Quinn.

    My question is about potty routines. Tim and I both work during the day and are gone from about 8:30am until 5:30-6pm. Right now I've been getting ready for work, taking Quinn out of his crate he sleeps in (located in our bedroom). From day 1 Quinn has been excellent about going pee and poop outside first thing in the morning
    Then I put him in our gated kitchen, feed them both and make sure he's finished before I leave. The kitchen opens right to the living room where Leah has free roam so they can keep company between the gate. In the kitchen has some newspaper he's good at going on and a couple toys. I used to put the crate with door open in the kitchen but it's awkward to carry every day twice. Instead I've leave a small bed for him.

    Should I be making time to take Quinn out of his crate, walk him, feed him, then walk him again?! I'm thinking maybe I should get up, walk him, lock him in the kitchen with his food, shower and get ready while he eats, then walk him before I leave. He won't always eat though if I don't stand next to him to make sure. And he will whine only when he knows we're in the house. Which at 7am I don't really want him yelping and waking the neighbors.

    Should I be leaving him in his crate during the day instead? To help him learn to hold his bladder while we're at work? I don't really like the idea of him being in that small of a space for so long but I don't want him to be comfortable with continuing to go potty in the kitchen. He's going to grow to maybe 20-25lbs - can I expect he will ever learn to wait while we're at work or is that unreasonable? Should we take newspaper out of the kitchen except during the time we're at work? Unless Quinn should be in his crate without a real potty spot? Does it send a wrong message to leave newspaper in the kitchen when we're home? And if not when do we ween him off the paper inside?

    I also always come home to see he ate his poop...yuck. I'm looking into getting stuff to make it taste bad.

    After I come home I take both dogs out, and once again Quinn will usually pee and poop outside. Come inside and feed them.

    After Quinn goes potty he always starts trying to run around and it's hard to give him a treat to reward him. In fact the last time I tried to give him a treat for potty outside was maybe a week ago he started pulling away from the treat and was so upset at me not letting him run around it wasn't positive anymore. He'll take the treats inside well enough but doesn't seem overly enthusiastic compared to most dogs regarding treats. After he goes outside I say "Good Potty!" and pet him which has seemed to work better but considering trying treat reward again?

    Also Quinn sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night. Only once which is good. He will scratch and whine a bit and Tim or I will bring Quinn to the kitchen to go both pee and poop but no praise. I think we need to start taking Quinn outside in the middle of the night because I don't want to encourage him getting used to going inside anymore. I keep wondering if it would be better to try to make Quinn wait and ignore him. But I'd feel bad if does he go in his crate plus the smell and mess. Quinn is 5 months though and he does go right before bed and right in the morning. Shouldn't he be able to hold it and to take him out would only encourage him getting used to it?

    Sorry this is so long. I've always wanted a dog and I've been around them a lot through friends but never had one myself because my mom was allergic. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything the best I can for Quinn.

    We're also on the third floor of an apartment.
    Last edited by k1.keyla; 12-01-2012 at 03:57 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jmc1985's Avatar
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    Nov 2012

    Re: Best Way To Potty Train 5 month old Puppy?

    Right now he's going to be too young to leave inside a crate all day and be expected to hold his bladder, so your choice of using paper on the floor would definitely be a better choice. One option you can do with him to at least show him that the floor isn't for the bathroom is to litter box train him instead of using the newspapers. Also as far as the nighttime potty goes as much as it sucks (we used to be in a second floor apartment) to help him learn that going outside is the place to potty I would take him out there instead of allowing him to use the kitchen. We have 3 MAS ourselves so good luck - they're very smart so stay consistent and put the hard work into him while he's younger and you'll have a well behaved pup in no time.

  4. #3
    aiw is offline
    Senior Member aiw's Avatar
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    Jun 2012

    Re: Best Way To Potty Train 5 month old Puppy?

    At that age he can't be expected to have full control of his bladder just yet (usually around 6 months). 9.5 hours is too long for him just yet... Putting him in a crate now would force him to pee where he sleeps and sit in it. Essentially it would override the natural impulse dogs have to keep themselves and their area clean, which is the impulse you rely on for housetraining. When he ages a couple more months you could try crate training him. A good indicator is how long he can hold it overnight or on the weekend when you're home. Dogs (like humans) can hold it longer when they're sleeping so subtract a couple of hours from your overnight time.

    The only issue with newspaper is it can mean that for the rest of the dogs life newspaper is fair game to pee on, not ideal if the paper is lying around your house later. I would use Potty Patch (fake grass) or a puppy pad with a big X drawn on it. That way they (usually) associate the visual pattern with an appropriate place to go. You should be fine later unless you have a big rug with an X in the middle. In which case... lookout!
    Last edited by aiw; 12-02-2012 at 01:08 AM. Reason: Didn't read title carefully enough

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  6. #4
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2009
    small town in CA

    Re: Best Way To Potty Train 5 month old Puppy?

    Yes, that's too long to leave him in the crate right now. However, it may be just a couple months before you are able to, you just need him to be able to hold it a bit longer.
    Your plan is ok for now.
    If he needs to go in the middle of the night, take him. But, I would take him outside, NOT the kitchen. If you are actually taking him to the kitchen to pee/poop in the middle of the night you are essentially teaching him that it is OK to pee/poop there. I know, you're on the third floor, but, it's do-able. You can still praise him, but don't go crazy. You can still give a treat. But, other than that, no fuss. Just out to potty, and back in. You still want to reinforce that going potty in the right spot is good.

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