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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone

I am new to the forum and would like if someone looked over my potty training and give advice

We have an 10 week old cavachon (have him for about a week). He stays in a medium sized crate with his bed in there and this is surrounded by a pen. This is temporary confinement until he is trustworthy and can then use the full downstairs

Currently we are both off work so we take him out during the day and have little or no accidents when we are around, he goes well outside most of the time At night we put him in the pen with a puppy pad and he usually poos on the pad but might pee on the vinyl.

Firstly, is this good progress in 1 week ?

Secondly i would like to plan for when we go back to work in 10 days time. He will be in his crate and pen for 8 hours once we leave the house with chew toys and water. We fully expect accidents during this time until he can hold it longer. We would let him out before we leave and the second we land home .

I would expect after 5 -6 months that we would begin to move the move the puppy pads towards the door and then remove it altogether and maybe crate him for a few nights in a row just to make sure all is good. Would it be fair to assume we shouldn't see any more poo / pee at night and very little during the 8 hours that we would be gone for work. Does this sound reasonable ?


Please dont reply stating that we should employ a dog walker or a puppy sitter or shouldnt have bought a puppy. I am just looking for constructive help and advice to make the process as painless as possible for all involved

Thanks for any help

Sorry forgot to mention that we currently feed him royal canine morning and evening. It seems to take 7 hours or more for him to poop after eating so tonight i am going to feed him later to see if it changes anything
 

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First, his crate should only be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down. When he is fully potty trained, you can of course remove the divider or get him a larger crate, but until then you want his crate to be small enough so that he can't potty on one side and lay down on the other. Your post wasn't really clear if that was the case, so I just wanted to mention that. When I think medium sized crate I think of a crate for a 40 pound dog, haha.

Is there a reason you can't take him out in the middle of the night so he doesn't have to potty in his pen? Most people give their baby puppies at least one break in the middle of the night. It really helps speed up potty training, and it only lasts a month or so. Set an alarm for about halfway through the night, take him out for a quick break, praise and reward for a job well done, then straight back to the crate. I wouldn't let him have the pen at night if you give him a midnight break. It also helps teach them to hold it until they get a break outside.

Most puppies can't hold it for a full work day until they are 6 months old. Ideally, the pup would get a break halfway through the day, so if you or someone else could let the pup out for a quick potty break at lunch or something, that would be great. Again, that inconvenience is not forever. Many people do the crate/pen setup with the pen being the potty area and the crate being potty-free zone, though, so that's fine, too. I think it probably slows down potty training slightly, but many dogs still learn fine. Just make sure you're working really hard on potty training and preventing accidents when you are home to really ingrain the idea that outside is the place to go.

I wouldn't even worry about moving the pads slowly to the door. When the dog can hold it a full day, just remove the pads and crate him. Many dogs just stop peeing on the pad altogether during the day, too, if you've done a good job of rewarding going outside, which makes your job easier.

I've also found that being tired helps. My adult dog can sleep for 12 hours with no potty breaks if he's tired enough, and that's his own choice, not enforced by a crate. He can go out whenever he wants. A quick morning stroll or play session is enough (less for a baby puppy like yours, think 10 minutes haha). Sleeping slows down the metabolism, which increases the amount of time they can hold it. Just like a human can hold it 8 hours overnight (typically) when sleeping, but has to go every couple of hours when up and active.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the helpful reply

Last night was good. He went Poo outside at 10PM, my mum came down at 4AM and there was just a tiny bit of pee there. She came back down again at 7.20 and there was nothing extra there so that was very good. In theory if i had taken him out at 2 AM then he would have made it through the night. Of course my mum fed him and gave him water and then he peed on the floor :)

So we are improving for sure.

Are you saying so if i crated him tonight at 10PM, got up at 2AM and put him out and crated him again then we should have a clean night ? What if he didnt go before 10PM and then went in the crate, that would be a disaster
 

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Yes, part of proper housetraining is understanding that a young puppy cannot physically hold its bladder all night long and setting an alarm to take it out halfway through the night. Like Lillith said, no excitement, no playtime, just a very matter of fact picking up of puppy, taking it outside, praising it when it does its business, then putting it back in the crate to sleep. You won't have to do the middle-of-the-night wakeup for too long. It wasn't even a full month for my last puppy, more like a couple weeks.

I used Ian Dunbar's protocol and it worked great for my guy -- VERY few pee accidents, and all my fault for not taking him out quickly enough. I think we had two poop accidents ever. https://www.dogstardaily.com/training/errorless-housetraining
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ok thanks. I will put him to bed tonight at 10 , crate him and get up at 2AM, bring him out and crate him again or is that too early? What if he doesnt want to go at 2AM

How will i know when he doesn't require it anymore ? should i set the getting up time back 30 mins every few nights until its my normal get up time ?

I am just worried that when i crate him tonight for 4 hours that he would soil it . I would hate that
 

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Thanks for the helpful reply

Last night was good. He went Poo outside at 10PM, my mum came down at 4AM and there was just a tiny bit of pee there. She came back down again at 7.20 and there was nothing extra there so that was very good. In theory if i had taken him out at 2 AM then he would have made it through the night. Of course my mum fed him and gave him water and then he peed on the floor :)

So we are improving for sure.

Are you saying so if i crated him tonight at 10PM, got up at 2AM and put him out and crated him again then we should have a clean night ? What if he didnt go before 10PM and then went in the crate, that would be a disaster
Yes, I would say he would probably have an accident free night if you took him out at 2am. Some pups do need a second break, so if you still notice pee after he has been taken out for one break, add a second break for a week or so and then go back to one break. Make sure you take him out on a leash so he can't run around and play, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

When you say "if you notice pee" - he will be locked in his crate and his bed takes up his whole crate so if he pees then it will be in his bed. If there is no pee at 2AM and he doesnt go when i take him out , should i leave him access to his pen then as he would likely need to go later in the night ?

I have also decided to hire someone to come in at 12.30 during the day when we are back to work for a few months until he is trained and able to hold it for the day but i have one question on this. Today he went for a poo at 9.45 AM. we wont be around at this time when we are back to work and the dog minder wont be in until 12.30 - should i crate him during this time ?
 

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Thanks

When you say "if you notice pee" - he will be locked in his crate and his bed takes up his whole crate so if he pees then it will be in his bed. If there is no pee at 2AM and he doesnt go when i take him out , should i leave him access to his pen then as he would likely need to go later in the night ?

I have also decided to hire someone to come in at 12.30 during the day when we are back to work for a few months until he is trained and able to hold it for the day but i have one question on this. Today he went for a poo at 9.45 AM. we wont be around at this time when we are back to work and the dog minder wont be in until 12.30 - should i crate him during this time ?
No, I wouldn't give him access to his pen at night. One mistake won't set you back much, but most dogs will make a bit of noise before going potty in their crate provided it is the right size, so if the pup sleeps in your bedroom you should hear him get up and become restless before he has an accident, or you can get him a baby monitor if he doesn't sleep in your bedroom so somebody will hear him. Four hours is a pretty good starting point, but if you're nervous about it you can set up two breaks during the night and see how that goes. If at any point he is waking up and whining or having an accident, just make a note to set up the break a bit earlier or add another break. It is a bit of trial and error, but both you and the dog will learn. Also, try putting fleece blankets in the crate instead of a dog bed. They're easier to wash if an accident occurs, and also make sure to clean the bottom of the crate, too, to eliminate the smell of the accident.

Yes, crate him while you're at work. If he's sleeping and not active, he can probably hold it until the dog sitter arrives. How long between his last potty break with you and the dog sitter's arrival? If it is 4 hours or less, I would say that is fine, especially since he will be a bit older by then.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When back at work i could put him out at 8.15AM and then i will ask the sitter to call at midday, my wife would then be home at 4PM. I cant guarantee he would go at 8.15 though as maybe he would have gone earlier after his meal . But if we can get him to stop eliminating during the night then i wouldnt mind him having the pen during the day for a while until he is older and able to hold it longer.

I dont think i want the crate in the room to be honest as i am a light sleeper and even his breathing would probably keep me awake :)

Im afraid we dont have a baby monitor at the moment so for tonight it will just have to be bed at 10 and up at 2 and hope for the best.

if i remove the bed and put in fleece blankets then he might struggle tonight as it would be a change for him and its probably not the best idea to upset him too much tonight ?
 

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When back at work i could put him out at 8.15AM and then i will ask the sitter to call at midday, my wife would then be home at 4PM. I cant guarantee he would go at 8.15 though as maybe he would have gone earlier after his meal . But if we can get him to stop eliminating during the night then i wouldnt mind him having the pen during the day for a while until he is older and able to hold it longer.

I dont think i want the crate in the room to be honest as i am a light sleeper and even his breathing would probably keep me awake :)

Im afraid we dont have a baby monitor at the moment so for tonight it will just have to be bed at 10 and up at 2 and hope for the best.

if i remove the bed and put in fleece blankets then he might struggle tonight as it would be a change for him and its probably not the best idea to upset him too much tonight ?
When you say "put him out" are you just opening the door and letting him out in the yard, or are you actually going out with him, with the pup on leash, and making sure he goes potty?

I doubt putting fleece blankets in his crate instead of a bed will phase him much. He's a dog, not a fragile vase, haha. I mean, you don't have to put fleece blankets in there, it was just a suggestion that I found helpful. Blankets are easier to wash than a big bulky bed. Additionally, if the pup decided to chew on the bed, you've ruined an expensive bed whereas a cheap fleece throw is like $2. Fleece is also less likely to get tangled in their intestines and cause a blockage, whereas the thick fabric and stuffing of a bed can cause some pretty expensive problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ok so a neighbour has agreed to call in on the pup while we are at work so thats good news.

Is the dog being crated at night and during the day while we are at work not a bit too much ? I know its all only temporary until he is fully trained but is that an ok thing to do ?
 

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Yeah, that's fine. Most people with dogs work for eight hours, and dogs sleep for most of the day anyway. Just make sure the dog's outside-the-crate time is good!
 

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ok so a neighbour has agreed to call in on the pup while we are at work so thats good news.

Is the dog being crated at night and during the day while we are at work not a bit too much ? I know its all only temporary until he is fully trained but is that an ok thing to do ?
Ok, I was just wondering.

No, most dogs are perfectly fine being crated for that long. Many, many people crate their dogs for 8-9 hours a day while they are at work. When my dog was a pup, he was crated at least 16-17 hours, at night and while we were at work. Now, he is free to do as he pleases at night, but we can't quite trust him when we are gone at work. Puppies sleep like 22 hours a day, and adults sleep somewhere between 16-20. They're not like humans at all in that respect!

As long as you dedicate an ample amount of time to training/playing/exercising your pup, it is fine to crate them and let them learn to chill. For example, I probably dedicate 1.5 to 2 hours a day (not all together, broken up) to training, playing, and walking my Aussie/Collie, and the rest of the time he is expected to chill out. And right now he's getting way less than that because it's currently -12 here with a -30+ windchill, so frostbite is a real concern!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
ok i just said id provide an update after all the helpful replies i have gotten .

Last night he went poo outside at 10PM and i left him in pen for the night, i didnt crate him as i wasnt sure if i was getting up in the night time or not. Anyway, i didnt get get up and there was just a tiny bit of urine on the pad this morning so it was a great night.

Then i fed him and gave him water, took him out and he went pee

Then 30 mins later he was playing with my son and started sniffing a lot and dragging his ass on the floor so i took him out again and he went poo - this was brilliant as i caught him starting and he didnt lose control of it while i took him out . It was also his first morning poo so hopefully now we can get this morning and night

Then we decided to do a trial run for when we go back to work so we crated him at 8AM and went out and didnt return until 11 (this was 4 hours since last pee) and he was happy out in the crate. I took him out and he went pee again.

Then i crated him again and we all went out again for 3 more hours and came back , took him out and went pee again . We went out playing then

So no accidents today, he had a great night and was able to do the required time in the crate without any issues for when we are back to work next week and a sitter comes in to let him out after 4 hours

This pup is only 10 and a half weeks old but i think we are doing very well :)
 

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That's great! Sounds like you're doing well.

Just one bit of advice, try taking him out before he even starts acting like he needs to go. So you said he was starting act like he needed to go potty after 30 minutes of play/activity, so try to take him out every 25 minutes of activity. That time will increase of course as the pup gets older, but then you can make sure there are no accidents and the pup gets plenty of breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks. He did the exact same thing this morning and i caught him in time again so got him outside. Definitely a pattern of going poo within 20 mins of the breakfast :)

He is very fond of his crate though, he spends a LOT of time in there . We copied our work day routing again today and left at 8.30 for a few hours, came back and went away again and left the crate door open this time. Neither time had he soiled so he is doing really really well.

I bought a small radio for his room and put it on today . He seems really happy in his own company

Is this too good to be true ? Or am i just doing a good job crate training him....
 

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Sounds like you're doing a good job! Potty training is all about setting a fair routine and gradually extending time.

To gradually extend how long he holds it, I would add one hour each month. A good general rule (every dog is different) is # months in age plus 1. For example, I would expect a 3 month old puppy to be able to hold it for 3-4 hours during the day when resting, a 6 month old to hold it for 7 hours, etc. That is for day time. For super young puppies and night time, in an 8-10 hour evening I started with 2 midnight potty breaks (which it sounds like you don't need) and added 30 minutes each week until the pup could hold it overnight. Again, dogs are individuals so there can be wide variations.

Also remember that activity affects their ability to hold it. So even if a puppy can hold it for 4 hours normally, I would still let the puppy out EVERY TIME after it plays, after a training session, after a meal, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Last two nights have been totally clean. I take him out at 10.30 PM now and he is clean at 6.30AM.

I feel so happy :). I am a bit of a clean freak and very worried about the mess that a dog would bring to my house (even one as small as a cavachon) When i was on another forum i got slated for not being at home constantly with the puppy and not getting up every 2 hours at night but people on this forum were much nicer

I took him out this morning and he had pee and a poo and he actually walked to the door with me for the first time , the evenings are especially nice after he has eliminated after dinner and we all relax for the night with no pee worries :)

Only challenge remaining is for Monday when we go back to work that the sitter calls at the right time and he is able to hold it. I am undecided as to whether to restrict water and crate him for those few hours (sitter would give water when she arrives) as i would really like to start as i mean to go on. I cant put the water in his crate , it would have to be in the pen. Any opinions on this ? I suppose i could leave crate open and just a small bit of water, to be honest he drinks very little anyway

All i need now is for this horrible Irish weather to clear up so i can take him for walks :)

Thanks again to everyone
 

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All I will say to that is I restricted water for my puppy and he got a UTI, which does make house training much harder.
It is not certain that he got a UTI because I restricted water, but certainly it wouldn't have helped.
 
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