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Hello everyone! My name is Cameron, and my fiancee and I just adopted a new puppy (gratuitous photo below). Her name is Calaveras (Cali for short). We've only had her for about a week and half, and she is about 3.5 months old now. Everyone's best guess seems to be that she's some kind of retriever/shepherd mix (it's hard to tell in the photo, but she's got brown and white mixed in with the black). She was at the vet yesterday, and weighed in at 19 pounds (up from 16 pounds exactly 1 week before).

I've been browsing this forum a lot to get help how to handle our new puppy, and all of the information has been terrific. But, there is a question I have that I've been having trouble finding a clear answer for: When should we give her water?

When I was growing up, we always just gave our dogs huge bowls of water that were always filled, so they could drink as much as they wanted, whenever they wanted. But, we're crate training Cali, and a lot of the advice seems to revolve around feeding and water schedules. For example, we give her 1 cup of food 3 times a day right now. But I'm not sure how much water to give her and when.

Should we just give her as much water and she wants whenever she wants? Should it just be at feeding times to avoid her peeing unpredictably to minimize accidents inside? If so, how much water she we give her at those times?

I obviously don't want to dehydrate her, but at the same time I want to set her up for success in house training. Any advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated!

Cali.jpg
 

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Always have water available. Puppies are way more susceptible to dehydration than adult dogs. If you want to limit water, the only time I'd advise doing that is at night. We usually pick up the water about 2 hours before bedtime.

As for potty training, the best way to do that is to watch her like a hawk. Seriously. Don't let her out of your sight, even for a few seconds. It's similar to a toddler who's learning to crawl, you just follow her around. That way, you PREVENT accidents.

Anytime you can't watch her that closely, you can crate her. But, the quickest way to potty train, IMO, is to try anything to PREVENT accidents in the first place, and take her out to potty way more than you think you should.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice! That was kind of how I felt about it, I want to make sure she gets as much water as she needs.

The problem comes when I don't even realize she's peeing. There have been a few times when I'm looking right at her, and it just looks like she's sitting or even standing, but when she moves away, there is a wet spot. I swear, she's like a ninja. But I guess that is something I'll just have to deal with.

But that actually reminds me of another question: how much time is too much her crate? She spends the night in there (about 8 hours), and then gets a hour or so of outside time in the morning before my fiancee leaves for work. Then, depending on the day (my fiancee's schedule varies, and we often have friends stop by to let her out), she's in there for another 4-8 hours. So, I feel bad putting her in her crate when we are home, because it seems like she's already spent so much time in there. But, on the other hand, I can't always spend every second watching. For instance, if we're watching a movie or TV or something. It seems like if we avert our eyes for just a second, she'll pee.
 

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Always have water available. Puppies are way more susceptible to dehydration than adult dogs. If you want to limit water, the only time I'd advise doing that is at night. We usually pick up the water about 2 hours before bedtime.

As for potty training, the best way to do that is to watch her like a hawk. Seriously. Don't let her out of your sight, even for a few seconds. It's similar to a toddler who's learning to crawl, you just follow her around. That way, you PREVENT accidents.

Anytime you can't watch her that closely, you can crate her. But, the quickest way to potty train, IMO, is to try anything to PREVENT accidents in the first place, and take her out to potty way more than you think you should.
+1. Watch her like crazy, and leave her water out unless she's having accidents at night, in which case you can pick up her water an hour or two before bedtime. Adorable puppy!
 

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Thanks for the advice! That was kind of how I felt about it, I want to make sure she gets as much water as she needs.

The problem comes when I don't even realize she's peeing. There have been a few times when I'm looking right at her, and it just looks like she's sitting or even standing, but when she moves away, there is a wet spot. I swear, she's like a ninja. But I guess that is something I'll just have to deal with.

But that actually reminds me of another question: how much time is too much her crate? She spends the night in there (about 8 hours), and then gets a hour or so of outside time in the morning before my fiancee leaves for work. Then, depending on the day (my fiancee's schedule varies, and we often have friends stop by to let her out), she's in there for another 4-8 hours. So, I feel bad putting her in her crate when we are home, because it seems like she's already spent so much time in there. But, on the other hand, I can't always spend every second watching. For instance, if we're watching a movie or TV or something. It seems like if we avert our eyes for just a second, she'll pee.
If you're watching a movie you can just tether her to you. Like, literally tie her leash to your belt loop. That way she can't get out of your sight. If she's sitting right in front of you and you can't tell she's peeing, I'm not sure what to say about that. Hopefully someone else will chime in with some ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks!

And great idea about the tethering! We had tried barricading the room, so she had to stay in the living room, but she manages to get around or over it usually, and we end up just chasing her a lot. I think keeping her on the leash will help a lot.
 

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You're welcome. I kept Hobbes on a leash for at least 2 months when we first brought him home. He had a terrible habit of chasing the cats which we had to break him of before we could trust him to roam. Management works wonders!
 

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How were you able to break that habit? Cali chases our cats too, although the bigger cat has taken to chasing her now and swatting at her. Mostly I'm concerned about our smaller female cat, who was already kind of timid because she was bullied by the bigger male cat.
 

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How were you able to break that habit? Cali chases our cats too, although the bigger cat has taken to chasing her now and swatting at her. Mostly I'm concerned about our smaller female cat, who was already kind of timid because she was bullied by the bigger male cat.
When we first got Hobbes, the cats hid in the bedroom and didn't come out unless he was crated for about 3 weeks. During this time, we would bring Hobbes into the bedroom, on leash, and put him in a down in the corner. Then we'd lure the cats out from under the bed with yummy treats. As long as Hobbes was calm and not staring or otherwise paying too much attention to a cat, he also got treats. We did this for a few minutes maybe every other day. It didn't really seem to have that much of an effect.

But, once the cats started to come out of the bedroom (they eventually started to trust that we had control of him, since he was always on leash and couldn't get away with chasing them even tho he really wanted to), we started to play "leave it" with Hobbes. At first, he would stare and stare, go on high alert, and constantly want to go after a cat if there was one in the room. So we started slow, by giving him a really yummy treat EVERY TIME he looked away from the cat. This took ALOT of patience, and 2 people to pull it off. My husband would bring a cat into the living room, and I would sit with Hobbes with some smelly treats at the ready. (or vice versa). The key is to treat the dog EVERY SINGLE TIME he looks away from the cat at first. This way he gets the idea that you are way more interesting than the cat. We did this constantly, every night, for a few minutes. We could only really do it for 5-10 minutes at a time because it really freaked the cats out to be in the room, and eventually Hobbes would reach a point where he had worn out his self-control.

Eventually you can put "leave it" on cue and tell the dog "leave it," and when she looks away from the cat you treat her. But don't expect too much at first, especially if she has a high prey drive. It takes a lot of time. I cried and cried and worried myself sick that we were going to have to let Hobbes go back to rescue until we got this problem taken care of, which took months.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for the advice! It sounds like you actually had it a lot worse than we do. Cali likes to run up to the cats, but doesn't show any indication of wanting to hurt them or anything, she just wants to play. The bigger cat will lay right next to her, or go and sit in her crate, or even chase her. The smaller cat generally just tries to avoid her.

The only trouble we get is when Cali gets too excited and chases them, which doesn't happen constantly, just some of the time. We're in the process of teaching her "leave it" and it seems to be going well enough so far. Usually we have to stop after only 10 minutes or so though, because she loses interest in the treats.
 

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My own philosophy is to have the puppy out and about with you, as long as you are home and are able to watch her. Now, that can get tedious, keeping your eyes on a puppy all the time, but, it's well worth it to wind up with a potty trained puppy!

We have a miniature dachshund, and they are super low to the ground. It was SO hard to tell when he was peeing when he was a puppy. He never lifted a leg or anything, just kind of lowered himself an inch or so and let it go! You will start to know her body language really well!

You could also pick up an inexpensive baby gate to block the doorways so you can keep her in one area, and tethering her to you with the leash is great!
 

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Yeah, it really is hard to tell. She only had one accident yesterday, but did it right in front of our faces and we didn't realize she was doing it until she was pretty much done.

Tethering the leash to our coffee table was really helpful, and let us keep her in our sight. I think we're going to get a longer leash though for that, so she has a little more room to move around (her current leash is only like 5 or 6 feet).
 

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It really depends on the type and size of dog. By the looks of yours probably 2-3 times a day. Some people even leave a bowl of water out 24/7. I would not recommend doing this until it is fully potty trained and trust it completley.
 

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It really depends on the type and size of dog. By the looks of yours probably 2-3 times a day. Some people even leave a bowl of water out 24/7. I would not recommend doing this until it is fully potty trained and trust it completley.
No it doesn't. Water should always be left out regardless of size. You shouldn't take away a dog's water so it won't pee. It is okay to take away before bedtime but not okay during the day. You can't possibly expect a dog to get his daily requirement of water in just 2-3 water breaks. MOST people leave water out 24/7, not some. Only giving water to a dog 2-3 times a day will dehydrate them and could really hurt them.
 

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We have found it best to limit the amount of roaming space so we use gates. The puppies are limited to 3 rooms of accessand we have wee pads and paper down I like the wee pads for the small babies and the smaller access they have the easier it is for them to pick up where to pee& poo. When we catch eliminating in the proper place we give them a treat or show them a treat over wee pad to encourage better aim. I believe they understand us and telling the pee poo on pad if you wanna a treat. Seems to work for us. And good girl or boy pee pee on pad. Nutro blueberries treats are great and u can snap them in half so they last. Limiting the space really has helped us wee pad and paper train quickly. good luck and if you can afford training classes could help speed things along. Also may look into "Pet Apartment" heard that helped some out. Oh yes puppies need unlimited access to water except at night. Good luck
 

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No one ever said you shouldn't. But you shouldn't keep water away so you will have less to clean. It is up to you as an owner to keep an eye on your pup 24/7 so ensure he doesn't have an accident and praise him when he goes where he should, whether it be a wee wee pad or outdoors.

I understand you are getting a toy puppy, please make sure he always has water available to him. It such a tiny dog things can go downhill extremely quickly.
 

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Okayyyy well you SHOULD potty train it before or else it will be peeing all over your floor
Ok, really? She's right, you should NOT just give a puppy a few chances to drink water a day. You SHOULD leave it out. Puppies become dehydrated very easily, much more easily than adult dogs. And, dehydrated puppies can DIE. They can DIE.

Potty training, well, if you are letting your puppy roam around the house freely, of course they will pee all over your floor. If you keep them where you can see them, and watch them super closely, and take them outside more often than you think you need to, you can PREVENT accidents, and then you won't have pee on your floor.

Potty training is about what YOU do, not what the puppy does. A young puppy has little to no control over their bladders. That is just a physical thing. So, it's up to you to help them do the right thing til they have the muscles to do it on their own.
 

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I understand the OPs frustration, Kodi never squatted to pee when he was a puppy, in fact, I'm not sure he even knew he was peeing when he was. I never cleaned puddles of pee, more like streams leading from room to room. We DID limit his water and no, he didn't die, never even got dehydrated. Another reason we limited water is because if we had a bowl of water out he would drink it all in one standing as soon as it was down and then go vomit it up. He could have water when he went outside to have his potty breaks. We still don't have any water in the house for the dogs, only outside.
 

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I think puppies should always have access to water with the possible exception of at night, but I even give mine water in her crate at night, all night long.

Housetraining is about showing them WHERE to go, not controlling HOW MUCH they go.

There are always weird situations, but if I had a pup that would drink til he/she vomitted, I think I would give that puppy free access all the time to help the pup learn that he doesn't need to gulp it all up just in case he can't find any for a while. Or ask my vet if there's a health issue.
 
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