Crazy mornings - please help with routine
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Thread: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    I must be doing something wrong because by the time I get to work I am mentally and physically exhausted. I wake up at 5:45 and have two kids to get out of bed, make breakfast and lunch for, feed, dress and get out of the door. My son's bus is at 7:15. Daughter has to be dropped off at school at 7:55. I have to be at work at 8. The two hours between 5:45 and 7:45 are hell.

    Puppy is 12 weeks old and has had multiple issues since we got him - UTI, worms, giardia, you name it. We are in between giardia treatments and I am in constant cleaning/disenfecting mode. He also pees whenever he pleases every 20-30 minutes.

    My morning starts with cleaning up poop which he manages to do sometime during the night and of course gets all over himself, his bedding and toys. So, off to wash they go and then I have to disinfect everything, wash the dog, etc. I try to take him out a few times and then keep him on a leash in the kitchen with me while I run around making breakfast and lunch and he always manages to pee several times on the kitchen floor. I run around like a lunatic trying to watch him and get the kids up at the same time. I feel bad just locking him up, he spends the night from 10 pm till 6 am in his doggy pen and needs interaction. But, I can't really supervise him.

    I feel like I need to get up even earlier, around 5, to get through the morning cleaning and spend some time with him. I don't know, I'm at a loss, stressed and exhausted. When reading through everyone else's morning routines, I see exercise time, play time, walks, etc. How do you manage it? Does anyone have kids to get out of the door in the morning and what do you do in that case? Will it ever get easier?

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    Senior Member Hiraeth's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Sorry to hear you're having some difficulties. Not to chastise, but just to be honest, this is why most of us on the forum recommend not getting a puppy until your kids are a bit older. Adding a puppy is basically like adding another child to the family, except it's a child who doesn't wear diapers and will just pee on the floor if the need arises. It's tough to raise a puppy even with no children in the picture, so I'm not surprised that having a puppy and two kids is getting overwhelming. I don't think you're really doing too much 'wrong', it's just inevitably going to be a stressful and exhausting situation for a while.

    A few pointers, though. If he's pooping during the night, you should be setting at least one alarm in the night to get up and take him outside. If he continues to poop in the crate and then lay in it, he's going to become habituated to laying in his own waste and he's going to start eliminating in his crate as a regular behavior. At that point, potty training becomes incredibly difficult. Just like you have to wake up to take care of a young child during the night, you have to wake up to care for a young puppy during the night, as well.

    As far as the accidents in the morning - accidents mean he's not being taken outside often enough. Peeing every 20 minutes at that age is actually pretty normal when the puppy is awake and active. Set a timer and take him outside every 20 minutes and make that work with your routine. OR you can start waking up much earlier in order to give your puppy the interaction he needs. I woke up an hour earlier than my regular time when I first brought my puppy home in order to work in potty breaks, play, training, meal times, etc. Now that has become my routine, and I wake up early enough that I can exercise and train both of my young dogs in the morning.

    In your situation, you could wake up at 5:00 am, not have to clean up poop because you got up in the middle of the night to take him outside at least once, and then feed, play with him and work on a few basic commands, and then crate him with a stuffed Kong or chew toy while you get your kids up and ready to go? Then take him out for one last potty break before you leave for school drop off and work.

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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Thank you, you are absolutely right - I was all prepared to get up during the night but he did not bark or cry, just stayed quietly in his doggy pen all night so I stopped worrying about it. He is not in a crate, he sleeps in play pen with his bed, toys and pee pad. He will get up a few times a night to pee and I am ok with that, since I leave him in his play pen for 4-5 hours at a time (I come home for lunch) and he must use the pee pad then. I am not ok with his pooping on the pad though, because then I have to basically clean and disinfect the whole pen to be sure he didn't get it all over. I will start setting an alarm and pinpoint the time he has to go. I will also try to get up earlier and spend time with him and then put him in his pen while I do everything else.

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    Member FirstTimeDoggie's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Have you ever tried crating him at night? When my puppy was young I found that he was very likely to poo in the playpen but never once did it in the crate. In the pen they can do it and then avoid it but they're much less likely to poo in the crate because they know they'd be stuck in there with it. Dogs instinctively try to avoid soiling their sleeping areas. For us, I found that crate training and potty training went hand in hand. If you used a crate and he stopped pooing at night that would save you time and clean-up in the morning.

    At 12 weeks though I suppose it's not realistic to assume he can make it through the night reliably. But, even if he's not perfect in there either it'll still help him contemplate the idea of 'holding it'. I think in a puppy pen where it's easy to poo and then ignore it, it can take them a lot longer to grasp the concept of potty training.
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    Senior Member Hiraeth's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstTimeDoggie View Post
    Have you ever tried crating him at night? When my puppy was young I found that he was very likely to poo in the playpen but never once did it in the crate. In the pen they can do it and then avoid it but they're much less likely to poo in the crate because they know they'd be stuck in there with it. Dogs instinctively try to avoid soiling their sleeping areas. For us, I found that crate training and potty training went hand in hand. If you used a crate and he stopped pooing at night that would save you time and clean-up in the morning.

    At 12 weeks though I suppose it's not realistic to assume he can make it through the night reliably. But, even if he's not perfect in there either it'll still help him contemplate the idea of 'holding it'. I think in a puppy pen where it's easy to poo and then ignore it, it can take them a lot longer to grasp the concept of potty training.
    Agreed with everything here.

    The pen at night allows him to eliminate and avoid it, which is going to set back your potty training because you're making it permissible for him to eliminate in your house. I think you should crate during the night and set an alarm once or twice to take him outside instead, and that would help you avoid having to clean up messes in the morning.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Agreed on crating and a middle of the night potty break. Keep slippers or clogs handy and a robe to throw on and have his collar+leash next to the crate (or use a slip lead, even quicker) to make the potty break as short and simple as possible. A flashlight helps if you don't have a nightlight there so you aren't turning on bright room lights and waking yourself up too much.

    One thing to consider isn't so much about the dog but about your morning routine in general. I don't know how old the kids are, but consider having them pick out their school clothes at night and putting everything down to the underwear and socks (tucked into shoes) in the same place, ready to go.

    Check out options for make-ahead breakfasts and lunches. You can prep a good 90% of the meals for a lot of recipes the night before, especially if the kids are old enough to put together a few simple ingredients at lunchtime (such as, you make sandwiches with the non-soggy ingredients like meat and cheese and then they add mayo and tomatos or whatever). Slow cooker oatmeal and porridge that can go in the cooker the nigh before and be ready to serve up in the morning with no prep. Stuff like that.

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    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    How old are your children? Could you possibly get them to help you in some way? Maybe one measures out the puppy's food and feeds him? Then they play with him for 15 minutes with a ball or something? If they are old enough, they can work on teaching the dog tricks while you make their breakfast and pack their lunch. Have them pick out their clothes the night before and dress themselves, as suggested by Shell.

    I would crate the pup at night and take him out in the middle of the night if he is having accidents. That will eliminate the poop-cleaning in the morning.

    Instead of having him on a leash with you in the kitchen, can you put him in his playpen in the kitchen? That way he is out of your way, but still gets to watch. If he is peeing every 20-30 minutes, take him out every 15 minutes. That's pretty normal for a puppy that young. If your children are old enough to put the pup on a leash and take him out, have them help.

    Remember that this phase is not forever. You may have to confine your pup for more time than you like, but it is necessary to ensure a well-trained adult in the future. It will make potty training easier, and it will lift a weight off your shoulders. If you have to wake up earlier to get it done, then that's what you have to do.

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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Thank you everyone - these are all good suggestions. My kids are 12 and 5. 12 year old can help but has very limited time in the morning, 5 year old can't do anything.
    I will try to take pup out in the middle of the night and hope to catch the poop. As far as crating he has both peed and pooped in the crate during car trips, immediately after being taken outside to potty. So its not reliable in teaching him to hold it. He always pees and poops on the wee wee pad when in the puppy pen, but with giardia I need to pick up the poop and clean him right away and I can't do that if he does it in the middle of the night and it adds to the cleaning in the morning.

    The play pen in not movable and is located in the dining room. I will look into getting another, smaller version, for the kitchen, for when I am cooking dinner.

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    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Quote Originally Posted by snorkie123 View Post
    Thank you everyone - these are all good suggestions. My kids are 12 and 5. 12 year old can help but has very limited time in the morning, 5 year old can't do anything.
    I will try to take pup out in the middle of the night and hope to catch the poop. As far as crating he has both peed and pooped in the crate during car trips, immediately after being taken outside to potty. So its not reliable in teaching him to hold it. He always pees and poops on the wee wee pad when in the puppy pen, but with giardia I need to pick up the poop and clean him right away and I can't do that if he does it in the middle of the night and it adds to the cleaning in the morning.

    The play pen in not movable and is located in the dining room. I will look into getting another, smaller version, for the kitchen, for when I am cooking dinner.
    Is your crate the correct size? He should only have enough room to stand up, turn around, and lay down. Have you been rewarding him heavily for going potty outside? Have a little party and give him lots of treats for doing the right thing!

    How long is he in the crate during the night vs. when you are away at work? Does he have accidents while you are at work?

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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Yes, crate is very small and so is the dog. I always give him boiled chicken which he loves, he knows and expects the reward. He pees/poops within 2 seconds of coming outside and looks at me expectantly, so I know he understand what is going on. But, he still goes in the house.
    He is not in the crate at all, we use it only for car trips. He stays in his play pen.

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    If you haven't tried using the crate in the house, and ONLY tried it for car trips, you may not be getting a true picture of how he'd behave overnight (with a middle of the night leashed potty break). Moving vehicles and the stress/excitement of a trip may mean an accident when being quiet at night in a dark room with no excitement may mean no accidents.

    Since your 12 year old can help out but has no time in the morning, consider asking him/her to help out for say, 30-45 minutes each evening instead. Giving the dog interaction while giving you time to prep lunch for the next day and set out your 5 year old's clothing and such.

    You could watch YouTube training videos together and let the 12 year old work on the training trick or game of his/her choice (check out KikoPup and Zac George to start with)

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    Senior Member Life With Atlas's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Everyone has been very helpful with their advice! I have a couple thoughts that I figured I could toss out.

    I second Zak George's YouTube videos. He is slightly annoying, but what he teaches in the videos is easy to follow and I had good success with it. (Taught Atlas to shake a paw reliably in under 10 minutes, and everyone thought he was a genius puppy, haha).

    I agree with a middle of the night potty break. I did that for the first couple months with Atlas and never had an accident overnight. (I will admit he was easy to potty train, which was a big help.) Because you have a crate could you possibly put it in or near your bedroom? If puppy is sleeping right beside you, you may hear him and be able to get him outside before any messes happen. I did that with Atlas and I think it helped. Once he started sleeping through the night more I moved the crate into the next bedroom, so I could still hear him but he wasn't keeping me awake as often.

    Also, another thought for the crate is that if your puppy was like Atlas, the litter was often kept contained in an x-pen or something similar with pee pads everywhere. By using the crate it is unlike the pen and the pup is able to differentiate where and where not messes are acceptable (ties in with the not pottying where you sleep).

    While Atlas is likely bigger than your pup, I can't recall him pooping in the middle of the night potty breaks. Peeing, yep, but nothing else. I wonder if you could change his feeding time so he might go before bed and have an easier time making it until morning? Or have a vigorous play session in the evening which might encourage him to go before bed - Atlas will run around playing outside and will often have to stop and potty after a few minutes. Something to consider anyway.

    Good luck and it does get easier, I promise.
    Last edited by Life With Atlas; 01-06-2017 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Forgot a word, oops!

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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    Thank you! My son already started watching the videos and working on tricks, he is definitely enjoying spending the time with the puppy more. He also started to wake up 10 minutes earlier in the morning and play while I am able to finish up what I am doing. Waking up 15 minutes earlier for me also helped tremendously. I figured out that the overnight pooping happens soon after waking, if I catch him just waking up, which happens at 5:45, he doesn't have a chance to.
    I definitely think he will not go in the middle of the night if I take him out, he is too sleepy and it takes him a while to get going.

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    Senior Member elrohwen's Avatar
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    Re: Crazy mornings - please help with routine

    That's kind of how mornings go with puppies, unfortunately :-( And I'm sure it's 10x worse because of the health issues he's had. Trying to do what you're doing without any other adult help is just going to be really really hard, but you'll get through!

    Do you take him out during the night? If he's pooping consistently it sounds like he needs a midnight potty trip. ETA: I agree that he should be crated in the house at night. It will help potty training immensely.

    Is there anything you can do to make your morning routine easier while he's growing up? Like, make lunches the night before, and everybody eats cereal or something super basic for breakfast. Then set a timer for every 15min or however long he can hold it and take him out when it goes off so you don't get caught up in doing other stuff and forget to take him out.
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