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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We just got an [3½ month old] Italian Greyhound puppy last Thursday, and I just had a few questions....
  1. Potty training.... are they any ways that I can encourage her to go potty when we're outside?? I am home all day, and try to take her out every hour to hour-and-a-half.... but all she does is play (or shiver LoL). Then we come in, and after a bit she goes to the bathroom on the floor. The *few* times she has gone outside, we made sure to make a big deal out of it, praising here, and giving her treats.... but the next time, she just turns around and goes in the house again.:( I know she is just a puppy, and doesn't understand... and I know these things take time.... but are there any tricks out there, that I may be missing? BTW, we haven't tried to use potty pads yet.... how do they work? Do you all recommend them?
  2. We are getting ready to go up to my mother's in KY for Thanksgiving, and plan on taking Sicily (our puppy) with us. My hubby is concerned, as the warmest it's supposed to get while we are up there is like 51°.... and Sicily shivers pretty badly, in our 55° [first thing in the morning] weather..... What do you all suggest? He has mentioned getting her a puppy sweater. Do you think they are really worth the investment? i.e. will they really keep her any warmer? I know she has a fur coat, and will survive, but I need something to ease my hubby's mind. Thanx! ;)
 

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One thing I tried that worked pretty well was to take a urine soaked paper towel and toss it on the grass. Usually the scent is enough for nature to call...so that may be worth a try. But I think what you described is certainly typical. As for the sweater, if she can tolerate it, it will provide some warmth, but it don't be surprised if she still shivers or acts cold. Tiny dogs are prone to shivering as you may know.
 

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yes, unfortunately winter's coming and you have an IG to housetrain. It is harder at this time of year with any puppy, much less the IG who does feel the cold. The urine soaked paper towel is good, also if you decide to use pee pads they can also be taken out to the grass, slightly used, and it helps make the transition easier.

I recommend when you are out, be very quiet until she goes. Just stand there, the only things you should be saying, is " go pee " or whatever you are going to get her used to. Walk directly to the grassy area you want her to use, so she will get it easier, then be quiet and still. If you are messing around, chatting to her, moving about, she will be distracted.

Timing is so important, you have to really be aware of her timing, but personally I was never comfortable having young, un-housetrained puppies having much free time in the house. I used exercise pens to confine them, and I used paper down so that they seldom had a chance to go on my carpets or floors, I did not want to start bad habits. At least if you have mistakes, they are confined either to the paper in the pen, or the pee pad in the pen. That's what worked for me. I would consistently take them outside during the process, and how many times I've shivered along with them, but there's just no easy answer. If I took a puppy out and she did not go, back into the ex pen she went, I just never was comfortable with puppies peeing where I did not want them to. Her free house time came more and more, as she matured, and was understanding the housetraining. If she had just gone and I was okay about the timing, then and only then could a puppy have some free house time, maybe a half hour to an hour depending on where she was at in the process.

The sweater, with an IG you will likely want to have a few. When I was in Toy Manchesters, I found in spring and fall they were only wanting the lightest weight, t-shirt types in the house. Going out, they needed the heavier sweaters, but incidentally I have yet to know personally, a tiny dog that likes to potty while the sweater is on. I was continually taking their tops off and on for pottying. This may have just been my dogs however.

Years ago I had a friend who bred IGs. She had lots of those little lightweight flannel baby blankets around her place, on the couch and chairs. The IGs would hop onto the end of the couch and PULL the little blankies up over themselves ! So cute. These little refined dogs do shake a lot regardless, but they do indeed feel any little draft we may not be bothered by, so I think tshirts and sweaters can be used whenever you want to.
 

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I recommend when you are out, be very quiet until she goes. Just stand there, the only things you should be saying, is " go pee " or whatever you are going to get her used to. Walk directly to the grassy area you want her to use, so she will get it easier, then be quiet and still. If you are messing around, chatting to her, moving about, she will be distracted.
I use a retractable leash... should I lock it, so she can't just roam anywhere?
 

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I don't know the layout of your yard, but its okay to let her roam, as long as she is staying on the grassy area, that way she can find her best spot. I also forgot to mention, I never made eye contact with my puppies when we were outside during this time. I just felt it was better to keep a muted, quiet way with them so other than saying my words I kept my gaze averted so they could not " get started " into play mode.
 

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more thoughts

Just also wanted to say, after re-reading the first part of your post, you likely already know this, but in cold weather her best reward for pottying outside in the cold may in fact, be getting back inside. If you are playing after, or whatever, you may want to give a quick treat, plenty of gushy praise, then get back inside quickly. If she is cold, that's likely the reward she most wants just then. My Toymans would pee and poop so fast, in the cold weather then go hell bent for election to the door to come back in ! No time for praise ! Get me warm !
 

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blackgavotte has made some keen observations. I can confirm that Elsa needs a little privacy too. In my case, Elsa will not eliminate unless she can roam and find the right spot. So I do unlock her retractable leash to give her that freedom.
 

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When we got our lab (she was 14 months old - rescue) we took her on leash for about a week and took her to a certain area for potty. We would wait and keep telling her to "go potty" or "go potty quick". She stayed on leash till she went (more/less) on command and THEN she got to be off leash and play.

Try confining her to an area on leash (short) until she goes. Then its play time - you should not be doing anything else but to command the pup to go. They will catch on quickly. Be consistant.

As far as a sweater - YES you will need one as their coats are too short to keep them warm. I think you measure from the neck to the tail for proper fit.
 

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I will teach you how to completely housetrain your dog and stop it from urinating and defecating in your house right this second, once and for all. Keep in mind there is no half-way point in the house training. Either your dog is house trained or he is not. There's no such thing as an almost housebroken dog. When a dog is housebroken he NEVER goes to the bathroom in the house.
The problem starts when new dog owners take their new dog outside and just leave it there for a few minutes thinking they will run on auto-pilot, and figure it out for them selves Many people do not understand why their dog does not know what to do when taken outside. Just turning a dog out in the back yard by himself a few times a day is not the way to house train a dog.
Just letting the dog roam around for a bit and maybe urinating on a bush or something does not send the right message to the dog. Remember he wants to make you happy, but you have to tell him in a clear way, what it is that you want him to do. Here is where we start to see how important proper communication is.
With the introduction of housetraining to your dog, we as trainers (and that is you too, since you have a dog, it makes you a trainer!) learn that we set our dogs up for one of two things in life, success or failure. As dog owners we must eliminate the possibility of our dogs making a mistake. If we don’t want a child to put a fork in the light socket, what do we have to do? Cover all sockets, lock up all the forks, AND NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF THE CHILD. So it goes with your dog. We must find a way of preventing your dog from ever soiling the house. We also have to teach the dog to communicate with you about going when told to go and about letting you know when he has to go outside.
Dogs thrive on regularity and they know exactly what they were doing the second something good happens in their life. When we teach a dog with consistent, positive reinforcement that they are pleasing us, they will strive to that thing over and over again. When we do this he learns that the only place to relieve himself is outside.
As luck would have it, dogs instinctively want to keep their immediate living areas clean, especially where they have to sleep. Since we determine what they use as a sleeping area we can use this desire to aid our mission of house training the dog. Since dogs are naturally den dwellers we introduce an artificial den in the form of a crate. When your dog is in the crate, he cannot leave unless you allow it. At first your pup will protest quit loudly and for long periods of time. We don’t recommend that at this point you use any corrections as your dog will not respond. If it gets too much try some ear plugs, turn on the radio, or maybe the television. Remember, he will yell his little puppy head off! Not because he doesn’t like the crate, he would just rather be out with you.
If you have ever watched a nature special on wolves or coyotes you have probably seen that they will dig a den under ground and live there. They do this because it means safety for their pack. In it they know that no predator can jump on them in the middle of the night. Dogs are and always have been den and pack animals. If you have had a dog in the past you have probably found him either under a table or maybe in the closet when things got a little loud at your house or when he was really tired.

Some people have said to me that they don’t want to put their dog in a “cage”. If you are appalled by the idea of confining him to a cage, let me dispel any idea of cruelty. You are actually catering to a very natural desire on the part of the dog. In his wild state, where does a dog bed down for the night? Does he lie down in the middle of an open field where other animals can pounce on him? No! He finds a cave or trunk of a tree where he has a feeling of security - a sense of protection. The correct use of a crate merely satisfies the dog's basic need to feel safe, protected, snug and secure.
It will take some pups a couple of weeks to get comfy in the crate. In the meantime, some will scream their furry little heads off. But think about this The question you need to answer is "would I rather crate train my pup, or live in a house that my dog uses as a toilet?
Your pup will eventually realize that all the screaming in the world will not get them out of the crate. As long as you don’t take them out! Wait for them to be quiet for a minute or so before you take him out. Pups do get over the fact that screaming gets them no where - as long as you ignore it and DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT OF THE CRATE WHEN THEY ARE SCREAMING. I like to put a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter in there with them when they are really young.
Since small pups sleep up to 18 hours a day it shouldn’t be too hard to get them in a good crate / sleeping routine. Before you know it, going into the crate will mean naptime!
As I mentioned earlier in the beginning I might throw a Kong stuffed with peanut butter in the crate with the pup. Another idea is to toss a few treats in the crate and give a verbal crate command. Doing this will keep the crate process a positive one. You will be surprised at how fast he will learn to hustle right on in. Remember keep it positive!
As your training progresses your dog will go into the crate simply based on a verbal command. When this happens switch to giving the command first, wait for him to go in then give the treat as a reward. At this point you will be able to use your crate for another reason. If you have a pup, or a juvenile dog and the idea of new people entering your house may make him very excited. Use your crate to contain your dog. Don’t wait till your guests arrive to put him in otherwise he may associate guests with getting stuck in the crate. Get him settled a minute or two before your guests arrive.
When picking out the proper size for you dogs crate it should be just big enough for him to stand up turn around and lay back down. We don’t want him playing racketball in there. If the crate is too big it will encourage him to use the back corner as a bathroom. If your dog is a large breed and you don’t feel like shelling out 80.00 dollars every time he out grows his crate every month then buy a size that will fit him as a full grown dog, and while he is still small put a box in there to block off the back of it. As the dog grows, adjust the box accordingly.
IN order to make sure that your puppy only goes to the bathroom out doors you may put the crate in the bedroom of the person who will be either getting up in the middle of the night, or early mornings. If you even think your puppy may go to the bathroom on the way outdoors either put him on a leash, or maybe even pick him up in your arms. If you allow your pup to have an accident in the house, you will have to go back to square one in your housetraining. Bummer. I’m really not in favor of letting your dog sleep in the bedroom for too long because that tends to lead to dominance problems. I know I can sound like a wet blanket, but why take the chance of letting a problem develop when you don’t have to?
Your pups crate should never be used as place for punishment. As I mentioned earlier a Kong in the crate goes a long way for peace in the house. You can try other toys as well. In fact, you should have a few “in the crate toys”. When the pup is out of the crate pick up the toys and put them away. This way the toys stay new and exciting to your pup. Make sure any toy you put in there doesn’t have a small little squeeker part in it. If your pup injests that squeeker it can get stuck in your pups digestive tract and you will be lucky if all you get is a HUGE Vet bill. All too often this can be fatal.
When you first start the training put the pup or dog in the crate only for a minute or two with you right there in the room. As he sits in there quietly make sure you praise him and toss in a treat or two to let him know that he is making you happy. WHEN HE IS SILENT, PRAISE HIM AND LET HIM OUT. As he gets used to the idea of being in there for a few minutes start leaving the room for a few seconds, working up to a few minutes. As you do this, your dog will get used to you entering and leaving the room. When you leave, just leave, don’t make a big production out of it. And when you return, just show up. No biggie.
Over a period of time you can gradually increase your absences to a few hours at a time. A good rule of thumb is only 1 hour in the crate for every month of age for your pup. The exception to this would be at night while the pup is sleeping or naptimes.
Don’t be surprised to see your dog start to go into the crate on his own for naps and rest times. Soon he will feel that his crate is his castle. Make sure you NEVER let a small child enter the crate. You have worked hard over the months to teach your dog that that crate is his. Lets not create a problem where there is none. email me to get the rest of the info [email protected]
 

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crates and potty training

I have read CanineTutors post for the second time now and am ready to respond. I am not opposed to crate training for puppies, I am however opposed to crate training too much, or too early. I wish the post had been arranged just a bit differently, since the timing of how long a puppy would be in a crate is down at the end of a very long post.

I believe we are doing it wrong in most cases. The Monks of New Skete put out a book many years ago, that as I remember, was the first time people started thinking of " dens " seriously. This idea was then adopted and adapted, especially in North America, to mean, crates. Most often plastic, enclosed crates. There is a huge difference in a crate and a den. A den does not have a locked door on it, and puppies are not locked in for many hours at a time, screaming to get out, and being ignored because that might give the wrong message to the pup. I have my biggest problem with crates when people are working all day, and then the pup is also confined at night too.

Think of what we are doing. Its unnatural and borders on cruelty when it is done wrong. I insist that especially when people are not available to let their puppies out often during the day that an exercise pen or enclosure with papers, pee pads or whatever, should be the intermediate step, especially with the smaller breeds since they seem to have to go more often, and I am not talking lifelong, but in the puppy stage of housetraining. I have never found that there was a problem with them learning to go outside also, especially when they were taken outside often during this first stage. I found that around 4 months of age, most puppies were holding naturally overnight in their ex pens, and that's when I was comfortable with crating them for the night. I never had dirty adult dogs nor did I have dogs who would pee on any tiny bit of paper left down in the house, and I guarantee you I have raised and owned many dogs in different breeds and sizes over a life spent as a professional, and a show breeder.

No one seems to address the issue of the confinement issues either. I have found that many dogs are surprisingly more claustrophobic than people think of, which is also why the issue of a small crate, plastic usually, and with just enough room for a pup to get up and turn around in, is also a concern for me. Its true that one doesn't want to use a German Shepherd adult sized crate for a pom, but a more liberal view on the sizes of crates would please me more than what is currently the belief system. Crate training, yes, but only in the right amount, for the right purposes, and at the right time, please !
 

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Crate training, yes, but only in the right amount, for the right purposes, and at the right time, please !
Applause! One thing that people often overlook is that our homes are kennels too...they are for the most part closed off to the outside world, and people think that if their dog has free roam of the house indoors, a dog's life is good. Not so fast. Only when Elsa and I walked regularly, twice a day, for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, did I ever see Elsa choose the crate as a place of rest. So to everyone, take your dog for a walk today!
 
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