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Hi there all!

I just wanted to say that I'm glad this forum exists. What a great resource!

Background
I'm a proud owner of a 8 week old Chihuahua (just got her this weekend). I took her to the vet on Tuesday and she checked out healthy and she officially weighs in at a 'whopping' 13.2 oz.
Before everyone jumps on my back about getting a pup this small, I got her from a FRIEND. I also did do my research about health risks for small dogs, they are fragile, blah blah I still decided to take on the responsibility. I did a ton of research, and even looked at weight charts and the estimated adult weight is 2.5 lbs which is extremely tiny. Don't worry, she will be spayed and will NOT be bred!! My friend is a responsible pet owner and has socialized her and handled her extremely well so far! That being said...on to my questions!

Crate and Potty Training
The first few days I brought her home, I bought a play pen to crate train because I didn't like putting her in something small and cramped. She whined all night for the first two nights. I admit it was quite large compared to her, I didn't anticipate her to be THAT tiny when I got her. Finally I put her in her small kennel and she sleeps just fine! Through the entire night! The first night I took her out several times to potty on the pad (since she's too little to go outside yet and only had her first shots so far) but each time I had to wake her. She went on the pad fine and I put her back to sleep. The other night I left her in the travel kennel by my bedside so I can hear her whine if she needed to potty instead. She didn't even make a peep. In the morning, I took her to the living room where the pad is located and she peed a LOT and also pooped on the pad. Remember she's only about 8 1/2 weeks almost 9 weeks now...and was able to sleep through the whole night (8 hours) without whining OR pooping and peeing in her crate. My question is: is this safe to do this? Or will she get a bladder infection? Should I keep waking her up in the middle of the night to take her out? Did I just get extremely lucky? Well, I AM lucky to have her regardless. =P

I still have to place her on the pad each time and she goes, but she has trouble finding it on her own. It's located a few feet away from her food (she definitely pees a lot closer). Any advice on how to get a pup to find it on her own? This isn't terribly important as I am planning to take her out to potty as soon as she gets her shots. Just praying that it won't be too hard to re-train her!


Climbing vs. Jumping

I have googled questions about climbing and I saw a lot of advice on jumping. My little Apple, does not jump but instead likes to climb on to your lap since she's so small. I read that this is not good, a show of dominance, etc. so I gently place her back down on the floor and say "OFF" but she keeps doing it. I keep doing it until she stops, rests her little head on my lap and I say good! And praise her or put her on my lap. Is this the best approach for this? I don't want her to think she has free reign over me or the house or others. It's a bit hard to ignore her when I'm sitting down on the floor, cross-legged, I'd have to turn my whole body. When I'm standing she doesn't jump. She just sorta nips at my toes, which I tell her not to do as well and give her her chew toy.

Sorry for the long post! I just wanted to give as much detail as possible and give an accurate explanation of the situation. Thanks in advance for the help!!
 

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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new tiny bundle of joy. Personally, I have never woken a dog up to take them out to potty. They've all pretty much let me know when it was time to go out and do their business. As far as the lap/dominance thing goes, I'm the wrong one to offer suggestions on that. My dogs all weigh between 72-80 pounds each and they all get on my lap (not at the same time thankfully!). I don't take it as a dominance thing as much as that they just want to be close to me and cradle them like babies. Yep, they are on their back and I cradle them and look in their eyes and tell them how beautiful and wonder they are, it makes me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Now if I was having behavioral issues with them, I wouldn't let them up unless I invited them.
 

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Congratulations on your new addition!
Sounds like you're doing great with everything so far. I would suggest that you try to find some vaccinated dogs in the area to socialize with if you're not comfortable with risking taking her out walking yet.
On the lap and couch...I only allow it on invitation. My dogs/ puppy will sit and look at me if they want up and I will tell them yes or no depending (usually) on their state of cleanliness.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks again for quick replies. =) I know pretty much all the members here are very sensitive to health issues so if it's ok for a puppy to hold it for a long time (on her own free will), then I guess I'm just lucky!
 

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I might be wrong, but IMO you should wake her up to go out- it definitely wont hurt anything, and it'll probably help prevent her from getting a UTI (which isn't serious, but still good to prevent). Also, I would be concerned about her getting hypoglycemic if she's going that long without food. Maybe you could at least leave some food in the crate? I wouldn't want a puppy that small going 8 hours without eating.
 

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We adopted our doxie mix Hamilton from a shelter at 8 wks old. We got a pen to confine him, and in the pen he has a crate, and in the crate he has a bed. He's got a piddle pad on the floor in the pen too. We learned pretty quick that if you get up to take him out at night, he gets all riled up and then you get to listen to him bark for a long time. If you just put him to bed at night and leave him all night he's good 'til we get up in the morning. The vet said JUST to crate him, but we wanted him to have the option to go to the bathroom if he needed to, without getting him worked up in the middle of the night. He reliably uses the piddle pad overnight, though from about 10 weeks old, he's been able to hold it for 8-9 hours overnight (yes, he actually lets me sleep in since he doesn't start barking 'til he hears us get up!) and then just go a bunch when we first take him out. He doesn't hold it every night though, some nights he'll pee on the pad, which is fine with me. So, I don't know if crate/bed/pen/pad is an approved method of housing your pup overnight, but it works well for us!

Hammie also is a lap snuggler. He was a little under 4 lbs when we got him; he's 13 wks and 7 lbs now and is sleeping on my lap as I type. He does NOT get picked up for a snuggle if he's trying to climb up our legs or making noise at us. He has to sit quietly and wait to be picked up, and if he is getting grabby about it, we ask him to "sit" and give paw, or lay down, just do a few commands to get him quiet and then we'll pick him up. My husband and I both enjoy cuddling with him, he's warm and really snuggles nice, but we make sure it's on our terms, not his. (Any biting and he's right back down on the floor and ignored until he settles and is sitting quietly again)
 

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You seem to be doing fine! Every dog is different, some can hold it through the night at a young age, some need a middle of the night bathroom trip. If she isn't waking you up, or having accidents in the crate during the night, she's probably ok. My first mini dachshund was holding it all night at about 9 1/2 weeks.

The dominance thing is bunk. Do a search on the forum for dominance theory stuff. The dominance philosophy is outdated and has been disproved. If you don't want her on furniture, fine, that's a personal preference, but she doesn't get up furniture to dominant you. She's a new puppy and dogs are social. She likely just wants to be near you.

We have small dogs, they are allowed on our furniture pretty much whenever they want, and they definitely aren't dominant personalities. There are occasions, like if we have company, or if the dogs start to play roughly on the couch, where we use the "off" command, and they have to get down. But, otherwise, they are free to jump on up!
 
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