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Last month I decided I wanted to get a new puppy. I already have a two year old dog and two cats, and I thought, why not? It'll be fun, and I'm willing to put in the work (or so I thought). I did the research, I convinced my mom (I'm seventeen years old), and last weekend, we picked up our new puppy: a 3 month old dachshund/chihuahua mix. He's adorable.

However, it seems I hadn't really thought about the time that goes into house training. I hadn't realized that a puppy, at 3 months old, wouldn't be able to be reliably house trained for another 3 months at least, and I didn't know that small breeds in particular are harder to house train. When we got my other dog, she was already 6 months old and reliably house trained. We had absolutely no issues with her, save for a couple of accidents here and there, but they've all been our fault for not letting her out enough. I've never gone through house training a puppy before.

Now, it isn't that I'm unwilling to put in the time and effort to house train my puppy, it's just that I'm feeling a bit distraught, since I'm the one who agreed to do all of the training for the puppy. That means, I have to be the one watching the puppy whenever he's out of his crate, and I'm the one responsible for getting up each and every morning at 5 am to let the puppy out. I understand that he will eventually be house trained, but that won't be at least for another couple of months until he'll gain full control of his bladder.

Basically, I'm looking for some advice on how to get out of this sort of rut I'm in. I love my new puppy, but I'm just not too keen on the idea of having to get up so early each morning for the next two months until he's six months old and can control his bladder. It sounds petty, and I probably sound like a selfish, impulsive person, but I just want to know if anyone else has dealt with feelings like this, and if so, how they dealt with them. I've been sleep-deprived since we've gotten the puppy, so that's probably not helping, either.

Does anyone have any similar experience/advice?
 

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Puppies are a ton of work. I know my partner and I both felt stressed and sleep deprived and we were working as a team so at least we could take turns. The bright side is it does end eventually. Just try to enjoy all the good parts of puppyhood like that look of wonder in their eyes when they discover something new.

My two pieces of advice is to try to get some help and make some time for yourself. I'm not sure if you have a partner or friend who could help you out but even if you can get someone else to watch your pup for an hour a day it will give you some time to relax. Also don't feel bad if you need to put your pup in a crate or pen for a bit during the day. We all need a break sometimes and you'll be a better puppy parent if you are more relaxed.
 

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Thank you, this actually helped a lot. My mom and sister have been helping me out, though my brother really hasn't stepped up (even though he said he would), so I guess his lack of commitment was irking me. But, I guess I was reluctant to put him in his crate during the day as well, because during the week while I'm at school and my mom is at work, he's in there, so I feel like he shouldn't have to be in his crate if I'm home and I'm watching him. But, you're right: if I put him in his crate with a couple of toys he's perfectly fine.

And, if he's in there, I don't have to worry about him making a mess, and the house training will be easier.

Already, I'm starting to feel better about this. Thank you.
 

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I have a dachshund and also a dachshund -chihuahua mix. Dachshunds can be a challenge to housetrain, but, you can do it! It seems like you already know what to do: watch him super closely, and take him out often.

And, you seem frustrated to be getting up at 5 am; when my dachshund -chihuahua was that age, I still had to get up around 1 am because she couldn't hold it through the night yet. So, if your pup is sleeping through the night without needing to pee, you're lucky!
You can do it!
 

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My doxie mix is my first dog ever, and my husband's first dog ever. I wasn't completely oblivious to taking care of dogs and pups though as I spent 5 yrs in my 20s working in vet hospitals and doing a ton of in-house pet sitting. I'd pet sat for dogs of all ages and sizes, including non-housebroken pups. I had a really good idea of what I was getting into, and it is still REALLY hard. I think it's harder than having cared for other peoples' pets because I have an investment in this dog. If this dog turns out bad, I am the one who has to deal with the repercussions for the next 10-15 years! There are days when he is especially nutty when I feel like I can't handle it and I made a mistake getting a dog, and it definitely helps to have a second person so I could 'tag out' and get a break. They were more frequent in the first few weeks. Now that we're 7 weeks in, I have more time when I enjoy Hamilton, and less time when I want to ring his neck*.

Oddly, for us, the housebreaking hasn't been a big deal. As our vet comments about things he does, "That is NOT his dachshund half." It's easy for us to pop outside with him, when he needs to go he goes immediately and heads back for the house, and he only has a couple accidents a week. I was actually expecting a really long road with the housebreaking because he's half doxie, but the hard part for us has been the biting! Are you sure he needs to go out at 5 am? Have you tested to see if he can hold it longer? Ours goes out between 6:30 and 7 during the work week. Yesterday morning he went out at 7:45, and this morning 7:30 and he was fine both mornings. We also put him to bed later on the weekends so he gets a walk later. I can definitely see it being harder as a teenager though. At 32, I naturally wake up WAYYY earlier than I did as a teen, so it just isn't that big of a deal. I would figure out what time he needs to go out, really, and maybe see if your parents could take him for his early pee one weekend morning a week so you can sleep in. My husband and I each take a day on the weekend so one of us can lay in bed longer.



* I have never and would never hurt my dog. He is obsessively well cared for and loved.
 

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Well, you were impulsive and didn't research enough before making a major decision.... but you are trying to do things right and it is always harder than expected even with good preparation.

I haven't really had to deal with housebreaking, but I have had the pleasure of dealing with and training a whirlwind of a dog (the "tasmanian devil dog", the "love you to death or insanity dog") so I understand about being tired and frustrated and worn out.

Some ideas in general-
Can you do a middle of the night potty break that lets you then sleep later? I find it easier to fall back asleep if I wake up at 1 am than 5 am, I guess because I have the time to get into deep sleep before the alarm at 6:30 if its only 1 am.

Can you make a whole family dog chore chart? If the tasks are spread around, even if you are doing the bulk of the work, then you will know that you have some breaks. Like, even if its only 1-2 days per week that you know someone else will do the early AM potty break, then you can relax on those mornings and have less stress. This might get your brother involved more too.

Chart progress. Write down improvements like the dog learning to sit on command or sleeping longer through the night. When you see things getting better, you will see hope for the future better.

Try an ex-pen with the crate to give him more space to play while you are home and yet still be contained. He's a small dog, so the ex-pen will give a nice amount of room to play with some toys or move around. Check craigslist for child's play pens that are made of the little fence-like panels (not the fabric and mesh playpens with floors) and just wash off with bleach water and let air dry before using.

Remind yourself that even though it feels like forever, a few months is a very short time period in the life of a dog that could easily live 14-15 years and if you train well now, those years will be very enjoyable. A few months is an even shorter part of your life.

Good luck

Oh, and I had to get up at 5 am every single day for high school so I both feel your pain and won't cut you any slack on that complaint :)
 

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The first few weeks we brought Loki home were ...well for lack of a better term... hell. Between being woken 2-3 times a night, to not being able to go to bed until well after 12 and then up at 6 am, made for a very bitter few weeks. But once we settled into a routine, everything has gotten better - My puppy is pretty lazy though. If I wake him before 7:30 I get this stare of "really, this is happening" I had a great friend who just kept reminding me " This too shall pass" haha! chin up and nap when he naps!
 

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Thanks everyone for your replies.

I have a dachshund and also a dachshund -chihuahua mix. Dachshunds can be a challenge to housetrain, but, you can do it! It seems like you already know what to do: watch him super closely, and take him out often.

And, you seem frustrated to be getting up at 5 am; when my dachshund -chihuahua was that age, I still had to get up around 1 am because she couldn't hold it through the night yet. So, if your pup is sleeping through the night without needing to pee, you're lucky!
You can do it!
He hasn't had an accident in three days, though I'm sure that's only because I've been keeping a close eye on him and taking him out every hour or two. He only slept through the night once so far; last night he was sick in his cage, and was up crying half the night, but once I cleaned it up, he was fine. But, thank you for your kind words; I'm already feeling better about this.

My doxie mix is my first dog ever, and my husband's first dog ever. I wasn't completely oblivious to taking care of dogs and pups though as I spent 5 yrs in my 20s working in vet hospitals and doing a ton of in-house pet sitting. I'd pet sat for dogs of all ages and sizes, including non-housebroken pups. I had a really good idea of what I was getting into, and it is still REALLY hard. I think it's harder than having cared for other peoples' pets because I have an investment in this dog. If this dog turns out bad, I am the one who has to deal with the repercussions for the next 10-15 years! There are days when he is especially nutty when I feel like I can't handle it and I made a mistake getting a dog, and it definitely helps to have a second person so I could 'tag out' and get a break. They were more frequent in the first few weeks. Now that we're 7 weeks in, I have more time when I enjoy Hamilton, and less time when I want to ring his neck*.

Oddly, for us, the housebreaking hasn't been a big deal. As our vet comments about things he does, "That is NOT his dachshund half." It's easy for us to pop outside with him, when he needs to go he goes immediately and heads back for the house, and he only has a couple accidents a week. I was actually expecting a really long road with the housebreaking because he's half doxie, but the hard part for us has been the biting! Are you sure he needs to go out at 5 am? Have you tested to see if he can hold it longer? Ours goes out between 6:30 and 7 during the work week. Yesterday morning he went out at 7:45, and this morning 7:30 and he was fine both mornings. We also put him to bed later on the weekends so he gets a walk later. I can definitely see it being harder as a teenager though. At 32, I naturally wake up WAYYY earlier than I did as a teen, so it just isn't that big of a deal. I would figure out what time he needs to go out, really, and maybe see if your parents could take him for his early pee one weekend morning a week so you can sleep in. My husband and I each take a day on the weekend so one of us can lay in bed longer.



* I have never and would never hurt my dog. He is obsessively well cared for and loved.
You're lucky--I've already had a bit of trouble with my puppy not wanting to go out in the rain/cold/etc., but he hasn't been too bad so far. Sometimes it'll take a couple of tries to get him to poop, but with peeing, he goes nearly every time. And he goes out at 5 am because that's what time I get up for school anyway; well, I used to wake up at 5:30, but with the new puppy, I don't have enough time to take care of both him and myself if I don't get up at 5. And I thought that, from 10pm-5am being 7 hours, even on the weekends I don't think, being 15 weeks old, he'd be able to make it much longer. My mom, unfortunately, really isn't willing to get up with the puppy; she said that, because I said I'd do all the training, I'm the one that needs to get up each morning with him. I'm just hoping that by the time he's 6 months old, he'll have full control of his bladder and will be able to make it longer than 7 hours at night in his crate.

Well, you were impulsive and didn't research enough before making a major decision.... but you are trying to do things right and it is always harder than expected even with good preparation.

I haven't really had to deal with housebreaking, but I have had the pleasure of dealing with and training a whirlwind of a dog (the "tasmanian devil dog", the "love you to death or insanity dog") so I understand about being tired and frustrated and worn out.

Some ideas in general-
Can you do a middle of the night potty break that lets you then sleep later? I find it easier to fall back asleep if I wake up at 1 am than 5 am, I guess because I have the time to get into deep sleep before the alarm at 6:30 if its only 1 am.

Can you make a whole family dog chore chart? If the tasks are spread around, even if you are doing the bulk of the work, then you will know that you have some breaks. Like, even if its only 1-2 days per week that you know someone else will do the early AM potty break, then you can relax on those mornings and have less stress. This might get your brother involved more too.

Chart progress. Write down improvements like the dog learning to sit on command or sleeping longer through the night. When you see things getting better, you will see hope for the future better.

Try an ex-pen with the crate to give him more space to play while you are home and yet still be contained. He's a small dog, so the ex-pen will give a nice amount of room to play with some toys or move around. Check craigslist for child's play pens that are made of the little fence-like panels (not the fabric and mesh playpens with floors) and just wash off with bleach water and let air dry before using.

Remind yourself that even though it feels like forever, a few months is a very short time period in the life of a dog that could easily live 14-15 years and if you train well now, those years will be very enjoyable. A few months is an even shorter part of your life.

Good luck

Oh, and I had to get up at 5 am every single day for high school so I both feel your pain and won't cut you any slack on that complaint
I was impulsive--I thought I did the proper research, and I did, but it turns out that I was really only looking at the cons, as well as denying the fact that I would care about not getting as much sleep as I used to, etc.--I thought, "oh, it'll be fun getting up early with the puppy". Yeah, right. It's not as fun as I thought when I need to have my eyes on his 24/7 when he's not in his crate. I'm worried about using an ex-crate, because still, if I leave him unsupervised he could go to the bathroom inside the house, which is what I don't want. At least the crate works to prevent that. And no one else in my family is willing to do much, save for taking the dog out a few times during the day. But, I'm usually the only one home on the weekends; my mom takes care of the puppy in the morning between the time I go to school and she goes to work, and then he's alone for a few hours until I return from school, so at least that works out. But you're right; a couple of months isn't all that long, and that's when he'll gain full control of his bladder, so I'm hoping that by the summer I'll be able to start sleeping in again, and hopefully (even though he's a dachshund mix) he'll be house trained by then as well.

The first few weeks we brought Loki home were ...well for lack of a better term... hell. Between being woken 2-3 times a night, to not being able to go to bed until well after 12 and then up at 6 am, made for a very bitter few weeks. But once we settled into a routine, everything has gotten better - My puppy is pretty lazy though. If I wake him before 7:30 I get this stare of "really, this is happening" I had a great friend who just kept reminding me " This too shall pass" haha! chin up and nap when he naps!
I'm hoping that you're right. Already after a week, I'm feeling better, though the whole house training thing is still stressing me out. I'm just worried that he'll never learn. But, I'll keep thinking of your words, that it will eventually get better. Thank you!
 
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