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just want to address a few things first

1st. the Definition of a Breed is, a bloodline of dogs that has offspring that all meet a "standard of appearance and behavior" for at least 4 to 6 generations.

2nd. Over half of the dogs I have met that came from pet stores have developed some sort of health problem so I hope yours one of the lucky ones that got a healthy puppy for life. There are MUCH better and more caring places to get a puppy from in the future.



But Now on to your main points.

Puppies typically take a few months before they will actively show a behavior as a request to go outside (weather it be whining, pacing, scratching at the door, ect.) I would give it some time
I have crate trained all of my dogs, they LOVE their crates now. Dogs are den animals and they like to sleep in small spaces since it makes them feel more secure. Crate training also eliminates the chance of the puppy pottying in the house at night and you not being awake to catch it. As you know EVERY time a puppy pees in the house and it is not caught right away that is a set back in your potty training.


Whoops sorry I didn't read your second paragraph before witting my last paragraph so I see you are having crate problems now.

Does your puppy like food? There is a toy called a Kong, if you puppy likes food I highly suggest getting a kong shoving a bunch of peanut butter in it and putting it in the crate for your puppy while your home, but IF the puppy trys to take he Kong out of the crate you say "no" and put the toy back in the crate. He learns that Yummy stuff is only allowed when he is in the crate.

The same can be said when you feed him. only feed him with the door open with his dog bowl at the back of the crate.
 

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All of my cats are rescues, but I went to a store for the puppy because I wanted a small breed with known breed history (because of the cats).
Maltese/Poodle mixes have a breeding history that makes them companionable with cats?

He still goes potty in the house and gives no indication that he needs to go out, but he does go when we're outside and as soon as he goes he bolts for the back door to go in and get his treat, so I consider that a good sign that we're heading down the right track and just need some more time for it to all come together.
I would keep a jar with a secure lid outside containing his treats, or bring the treats with you when you go out. That way you can reward him immediately for eliminating. He’ll be quicker to make the association if you reward immediately. Do you cue “go potty”?

I've managed to make him abhor his crate, though.
Many pet store puppies abhor crates because they are crated during the important formative weeks. One reason not to buy from a pet store…the pup does not receive the important socialization he could have obtained while under the care of a responsible breeder.

Obviously he associates the crate with me going away since I'm always the one who puts him in and then leaves. I'm trying to work with him in the evenings to get him to associate the crate with positive things but it's to the point now that even approaching it makes him start to tremble and whimper. When he's in the crate he cries and drools. Sometimes he goes to the bathroom in the crate, but usually not. I feel absolutely horrible even putting him in it now, but I have to in order to go to work. What can I do?
Find an extremely valuable food reward; something novel, stinky as all heck, and give it to him only when he’s using his crate, in a Kong. Practice leaving for short terms and offering his this high valued reward.

It would also be prudent to look into hiring a dog walker to relieve the pup more frequently, maybe doggie daycare is an option for you, or possibly his open crate within an exercise pen would give him less of a sense of restriction.

I feel like a bad doggy mommy. When I come home for lunch he's in a panic to snuggle all over me like he thought I'd never come back.
It would be appropriate to greet your pup (a reward) for calm behavior. If you can resist feeling like you’re the bad person and be conscious of this, 1) you’ll be more open to waiting for calm behavior and 2) you may get more calm behavior when you come home. So, grab a book and sit to read and wait for a moment of silence before letting your dog out. It won’t be perfect, and it may get worse before it gets better, but you have to try to get calm behavior and waiting for it is one way to do that.
 

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Can we refrain from all of the judgment regarding him being a pet store puppy?
I don't believe any one DID judge you, so asking for such is needless.

I only mentioned it because it may be relevant when talking about behavior.
So too are the problems common with pet store puppies relevant when talking about behavior.

He actually was not crated at the pet store...the store puts them with their litter mates in, basically, lidless aquariums with bedding (looked like hamster/guinea pig bedding maybe?).
My bad. I should have said, "Many pet store puppies abhor aquariums [and other small enclosures] because they are kept too long in them during the *important* formative weeks." But if you'd rather I intimate that you are completely to blame, no problem.

I have three cats, all rescues. One is blind in one eye, one has behavioral/nerve problems due to abuse, and a third was declawed and left outside to his own devices. I am not unaware of the issues with backyard breeders and pet stores. I didn't go to a pet store looking for a show breed or looking to start up my own breeding. I was looking for a small breed dog, preferably non shedding or short hair (3 cats shedding is enough to keep up with), and preferably young enough that I felt confident in socializing him with my cats. There were breeds I was trying to avoid, which is what I meant by known breed history.
What does this have to do with the crate/housetraining issue you caused?

Odo does not have socialization issues.
Oh, I thought you were looking for advise on how to better socialize your dog to his crate for his housetraining needs. I guess feeling abhorrent towards the crate is acceptable.

I'm not taking him back to the pet store, so can we stop discussing the cons of pet store dogs now?
I don't see this being discussed at all. If this is all you read, you're missing out on some useful advise.
 

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I wonder how much the dog is feeding off of you?

It would be appropriate to greet your pup (a reward) for calm behavior. If you can resist feeling like you’re the bad person and be conscious of this, 1) you’ll be more open to waiting for calm behavior and 2) you may get more calm behavior when you come home. So, grab a book and sit to read and wait for a moment of silence before letting your dog out. It won’t be perfect, and it may get worse before it gets better, but you have to try to get calm behavior and waiting for it is one way to do that.
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This is excellent advice and works well. I ignore all my dogs when I first come home until they are calm. The older ones will walk to the door to greet me, only sign of excitement is tails wagging, no jumping or hyper behavior. I will pat them on the head and move on.

Kongs are wonderful, they keep the pup busy and like it was said before, gives a positive reason for being crated. Personally, I keep my pups crated when we are home unless they are leashed to me. This way I can observe the pup at all times when they are out. Helps with walking on the leash too! "Free time" is a reward for going potty outside. My dogs (when pups) could not have free time unless they went potty outside, then it was play time! Then back outside because pups pee after they play.

There are alot of great books on puppies. And remember emotions travel down the leash!

Your pup is young yet, there will be accidents and its a long road. Just about the time you say to yourself "Wow, by george I think I have finally got the dog potty trained" the dog will have an accident because your guard is let down.

Make yourself a chart and put it by the door. Write down what time you feed/water your dog and what times you take it outside and what it does (pee/poop/nothing). If you have done alot of research you will know when a pup usually has to go. Then after a week or two you will be able to look back and see the pup goes x amount of minutes after food and x amount of minutes after water etc. Schedules are important for potty training!

Hope this helps and good luck with your dog.
 

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As you said, the fact that she's a pet store puppy is indeed very relevant to the discussion. If the pups are puppy mill products, chances are the pups were effectively taught to eliminate indoors. Breaking that habit becomes that much harder to do, since pooping inside is the only thing they have ever known. We're harping on this not to give you a hard time, but because it directly relates to how much time you need to spend watching over the pup.

That the store only buys from local breeders really doesn't mean anything unless you actually visited the breeders yourself to confirm the conditions; no pet store will ever admit that they buy from a puppy mill. A local breeder can mean anything, and a small-breed specialist really just means more dogs per square foot. If the store is constantly turning over its "inventory" (meaning there are always puppys available for display in the store, rather putting clients on a waiting with the actual breeders), then chances are the breeders are indeed puppy mills.

Anyway, at 10 weeks, the pup is not giving any indication that she needs to go out because she has no idea herself. At that age, their bladder & rectal muscles are too weak to really hold anything back; they go when they go. Your best bet is to adhere to a very strict feeding/walk schedule. The general rule of thumb for how often a pup should be taken out is the age in months + 1 hours. At 10 weeks old, that's 2.5 months + 1 = every 3.5 hours. Obviously, this is a general guideline, and will vary from dog to dog; you'll need to chart her meal times and eliminations to get a better idea of when you need take her out for walks.
 

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The biggest mistake new puppy owners make is giving too much freedom to soon, the second one being teaching that the crate means you are leaving.
And no, socialization does not mean only to other 'creatures'. Puppy socialization includes people, dogs, cats AND traffic, types of flooring/strata, noises, places, smells, the vet, handling, the crate etc etc.

For the crate issue, feeding your dog in the crate and using it for the times when you cannot be actively supervising the pup, including at night (put the crate next to your bed) will help for him to understand it is not a signal that they are to be left alone for the next several hours. Always make sure he has a chewy or kong (like suggested before) and leaving the crate open at other times so he can come and go..playing crate games is helpful as well. Teaching him to go in on cue (not forcing) by initially luring him in with goodies and then having him come back to you..eventually just doing it on cue, rewarding him and gradually working up to closing the door etc. His crate should be a good place to go..special treats ONLY happen in the crate!

This will also help with the housetraining. If you cannot be actively watching him he should be in his crate. If you want him out, he should be in a small, dogproofed area like gated in the kitchen for supervised play. You can also tie his leash to your waist so he's always close by and you can anticipate his need to go out (this also helps teach him leash manners..BONUS!). Keep a chart (as suggested before) so you can learn how his "body schedule" relates to his feeding and play/training schedule. When in doubt take him out (not LET HIM OUT), take him out...on leash. Wait until he is in "mid stream" or full squat and use your potty cue. Reward him then and there. For a reward to be useful it must be given within 1-2 seconds of the behaviour you are rewarding. Timing is everything.

And yes, six hours at his age is far too long. He needs to go out/urinate every couple of hours. He is physically incapable of this and it will set you back in training. Maybe a neighbour coming in to let him out? a Dogwalker (many do puppy quick visits) or going home at lunch time to let him out? If not, then an xpen with a puppy pad (as much as I personally don't use or recommend them) is the best bet...it is extremely stressful for a puppy to be trying to learn to be housebroken (especially if he knows he may be scolded) that simply CANNOT hold it that long. It's setting him up to fail, when you want to be able to set him up to succeed.

If you ever catch him in the act..do NOT scold him. Scoop him up and take him outside, then crate him for a minute with a goodie while you clean up the mess with a good enzymatic cleaner and then move on. It's not his mistake, it's the owner's.

Start puppy classes asap. Find a good positive training class. Pick up some good books:
Dr. Ian Dunbar's "Before and AFter Getting your Puppy"
Paul Owens' "The Puppy Whisperer"

If you get started on the right foot and are prepared for the normal behaviours of puppies (chewing, jumping, barking, etc) until they are at least a year old you are both going to succeed, have less stress and have a great adult dog.
 

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One thing that helped with our dog and her crate was crating her, with a kong, while we were home and doing things like watching TV, reading, surfing the internet, cooking dinner, eating -- you know, normal at-home activites. We started crate training late in the game, and it worked by starting this way a moving up to crating her when we went out for a bit.

This let her make the crate a happy place that she liked going to, and did not just associate it with us leaving.
 

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Socializing implies other beings, be they cat, dog, or human...you can't socialize with/to a crate.
Socialization is much more than that. Socialization means the process of learning one’s culture (values). Crates can be invaluable to humans…so too with dogs. A hard lesson I had to learn, my dog also needed to be socialized to big semi trucks if I wanted to travel with my dog. Who knew?

It had nothing to do with the breed he is, but more with the breeds he isn't and his age and size.
If the animal is a dog he has some inclination to be a predator (genetics). Differentiating between cats and mice is learned (socialization). Breed type does not predict the dog’s genetics influence on learning (temperament). Good breeding practices and good rearing practices do (in most cases, genetics and training is not yet a perfect science).

I had enough restrictions in what I was looking for that I did not feel confident in getting a dog from a shelter. Since I do not know any breeders, I went to a pet store that has a good reputation here locally.
I understand why you made a pet store purchase…many well meaning people buy from pet stores. This doesn’t excuse the practice, however - more could have been done to help transition your pup into your home. Crate training and housetraining are both breeder responsibilities IMO. There’s no reason a dog should be sold without being crate trained and housetrained. People may balk at that, but there are breeders who do just that. Heck, there are shelters that do exactly that.

Are they rare, yes. Do you have some part in continuing your pup’s education, of course. Does it mean your dog can’t be loved and should be returned, no. Absolutely not. But who knows, you may want to buy a pup again, and who knows, you may be able to find a breeder who wants to do more for you than your local pet store.

Is your dog’s living environment ideal? If you work away from home we could easily argue this dog’s living environment is not ideal. That’s not the point. People have raised wonderful dogs in similar situations (raises hand), and what may help keep this dog in your home is what’s important to what will be your wonderful dog.
 

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I could care less where you got your dog. You love your dog very much, you picked it out, and now you're caring for it.

As for the crate issue - sounds like your dog has a bit of seperation anxiety, and is thinking negative things with the crate.

So - Honestly, it may take some time...but if you build up on it, it will be better. Wear a T-shirt to bed for a couple days, and put the t-shirt in the crate. Your smells will be a calming effect for your pup. Put a soft toy, or a nice kong filled up with easily breakable treats/paste (to avoid choking hazard). Puppy kong filled with Puppy kong treats (easily breakable too). A special toy only for being in the crate helps.

After a while, your puppy will get used to positive things associated with the crate.

Also, is the crate isolated from the rest of the house? Perhaps allow your cats to roam around the crate, turn on the TV (I always leave it on Nick....my dog seem to like Spongebob Squarepants), so there's some noise going on and keeping them company, etc.

Other than that, I have no experience whatsoever with much younger pups. So, I think their needs are much more in demand than a 4 month old pup (like mine when I got her).

Wish you best of luck with your new pup! You're lucky that your dog gets along with your cats....my dog...chases the heck out of my two cats and barks at them if they don't do anything...sheesh!
 

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If you ever catch him in the act..do NOT scold him. Scoop him up and take him outside, then crate him for a minute with a goodie while you clean up the mess with a good enzymatic cleaner and then move on. It's not his mistake, it's the owner's.
I would like to ask a question about this statement. And please don't take offense to this as I am trying to think how to word this. I was taught (many many moons ago) from a behaviorist that if you catch the dog in the act to mark the behavior with a No and go outside right that second. Would this be considered scolding? I was taught differently but am always open to new ways of training and would like for you to explain a little further if you could. Thanks for your time.

Christina
 

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No offense taken. I can handle it..lol.
To answer your question..a quick no or Ack or whatever is not meant to be a scolding, it is meant to startle the pup/dog..which can cause the sphincter muscles to "seize" and stop the "output"..making it less likely that the dog will continue to pee on you while you scoop her up and take her outside.
A scolding is continuous and punitive..like yelling, or spanking or pushing doggy's nose in the mess etc.
Reasonable "correction" is not a bad thing, but a lot depends on the dog. If you have a soft or sensitive pup even a firm no can be stressful enough to exacerbate problems rather than help them.
Using a firm and quick no, meaning YOU ARE CALM, is fine.
Hope that helps clear that up.
 

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It does! Thank you so much. I was thinking to myself, "oh crap, have I been doing something wrong all these years...lol" As I am sure you know there are many different trainers and many different beliefs about dog training, I try to do what is best for my dogs or the dogs I help train. I am always trying to find better ways to handle situations. Thanks for your time

Christina
 

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You have made good progress with the crate. You can get a DVD "Crate Games" from www.dogwise.com that makes the whole crate idea FUN for the dog. The fact that he chose to sleep in the crate is huge progress.

I will suggest something else on potty training. When he goes outside and goes potty, be with him and the instant he poops or pees, say the word Pee or Poop and give him a treat.. the best way to reinforce a behavior is within 1/2 second of the behavior happening.. so praise and treats (a Puppy Party) for going outside and you right there with him. By the time her returns to the house it is too late to reinforce pooping or peeing.. What you have reinforced is his coming in the house.

By saying the words every time he goes outside eventually he will do both those things on command. This can be useful if you take him on a car trip and stop for the dog rest area.

DO take him places and that puppy class once he has had shots is a really good idea. It is fun too because you are there with other ppl who own puppies and you all learn together.
 
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