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Hi! We brought our new Havanese (Luke) home yesterday. He's 12 weeks old. He's adorable and very very good so far. We've only had a couple of accidents so far and have been able to make it outside. The breeder kept him inside and had him sleep in a crate already so he was already used to one (thank goodness). He slept all night last night (I was surprised b/c I thought we'd be up several times) but when he woke up, I noticed that the bottoms of his paws and his penis area were wet. But everywhere in his crate (including his blanket) was dry and had no scent at all. I'm perplexed. He slept from about 11:30 until around 7:00 when I got him out and immediately picked him up to bring him outside and he did go to the bathroom. So how could he have wet paws/penis if nothing in his crate was wet? He only has enough room in his crate to lay and turn around. I have a small crate and have it divided right now while he's small.

Also, I keep reading that to help housebreaking/training to set food out for 20 minutes, am and pm then pick up what he won't eat. But he's not eating much at all...just a piece here and there. So I've left it out and he just picks out a few pieces here and there. But other than the treats we give him or when he goes potty outside (Vitakraft Peanut Butter Drops or Yogurt Drops...he didn't like liver treats!!), he hasn't really eaten much at all.

When we woke up this morning, I ate my breakfast then put his food down. He ate about 5 small pieces and that was it. So I've left the food out because I know it's important that he eat. She had him on Pro Plan. What am I supposed to do about this?

My problem is that I have to work tomorrow and can come home a couple of times to take him out but I'm going to need him to eat before work. How will this work with food and water? If I leave a water bowl in his crate, will that make his crate messy/wet?

Sorry for all the questions? I thought I'd done all my research and now he's actually HERE and I feel like I'm lost all over again!

 

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As long as you "free-feed" you're dog will feel no urgency to eat and will continue to pick all day. That works for some folks, but it complicates housetraining because it's one more variable (a big one) in the schedule. Also, it's very difficult to estimate how much the dog actually is eating.

A healthy dog knows instinctively that he has to eat and, eventually, he will.

I don't think a 12-week puppy should go through the night without a potty break. Even if he doesn't whine, you should get up at least once and take him out - preferably at the same time each night. You don't want a dog who finds it acceptable to soil his own crate and a puppy that age may not have enough control to give you any warning when he has to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your quick reply! So tomorrow morning, even if (before I leave for work) he only eats like 2 bites, just pick it up and don't feed him again until dinner? And just continue with that? Same with the water?

It just struck me as strange that there was no soiling in the crate! That's what surprised me. It was totally clean. I wonder if the wet paws, etc. were from licking? I will set an alarm to take him out. Is 3 1/2 or 4 hours a good amount of time to give him to sleep before getting him up?

Thank you again.
 

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He may have "cleaned up" his crate before you got up... I agree with Ron. You get up and take him out at night, even if he doesn't ask. At 12 weeks, he should be able to hold his bladder for four hours, so once a night should be good.

If you pick up his food, he will learn fairly quickly to eat it while it's out. :) I wouldn't leave water or food in his crate, but offer him some water when you come home for potty breaks.

In my experience, it's common to feel lost in the middle of it all. It will pass. :) Your puppy is ADORABLE!
 

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I like my dogs to have access to water all the time, though some people will restrict water in the evening if the dog has "accidents" during the night. But it won't hurt him if he misses a few meals.

We took in an adult lab a while back. The previous owner was feeding him very bad food and adding canned to encourage him to eat. The dog was getting no exercise at all and was obese. We got rid of the crap kibble (we're talkin' 50 pounds for under $10,) ditched the canned food, started walking six miles/day and feeding according to the process you described. He held out for a couple of days and then started eating like a lab.

Your dog won't ever eat (re: inhale) like a lab, but he won't starve himself.

And, yeh, getting him out half-way through the night is a good plan. You should go with him (great fun in a freezing rain) so you can see what he's doing and reward him extravagantly when he does. It's potty time, not play time.

As a father of two, who shared night-time duties with my wife, I had no trouble falling back asleep after these night-time forays and, before I knew it (way too soon, in fact) my pup was a big girl and we weren't getting up during the night at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The breeder we got him from has him current on all shots. His next ones are due when he is 16 weeks I believe? I have to bring his vaccination records to our vet appt. on Monday morning. I also have to give him is last two doses of the dewormer today and tomorrow. Thanks for the info though!
 

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For what it's worth, babs, I think you have a pretty good handle on things.

You never stop learning (well, I stopped for a couple days a few weeks ago, but then I felt better) but don't get discouraged. Take everything you read here, and on the Internet in general, with a grain of salt, develop a working relationship with a good vet (and keep the phone and location of the nearest emergency vet on the fridge) and post some more photos of your pup.
 

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I hope this gets read because I have some new questions! He's still doing great in his crate at night. During the day he whines when we leave but he will go in with no problem. It's not until we leave (it doesn't matter what toys, kongs, etc. I've put in there with him for distraction...he always notices) that he whines for a long while. But at night, he goes in and lays down with no problem because he knows he'll be next to my bed.

It's really OK to leave them in there for 3ish hours at a time with no more room?

My REAL question. I KNOW he can hold it for 2-3 hours because he's done it and because of his age and the 3months + 1 hour rule and he's done it in his crate. So WHY can he only go 40-60 minutes once I take him out of his crate? And it seems like he's picked certain areas (but not specific spots in those areas) to use. Like he's pooped twice in the dining room so I've blocked access to that room from one side but haven't found a wide enough gate for the other side. And in the living room when I'm right there, he'll just squat along this one length of our rug. or in an area in front of a spot by the curtains. I've used Nature's Miracle and he's not going in the exact same spots. But those are the general areas he uses.

I pick him up mid-accident, hook his leash on while he's in my arms and take him outside while saying "Outside" and we go. I praise him to pieces immediately after he goes and give him treats. But it's not registering AT ALL. I know it's only been a week and he's only 13 weeks. I'm just wondering at what point will he realize what he needs to do or to go to the door to let me know?

My DH has even suggested to get pee pads to keep by the back door so at least he'd be going inside in ONE spot instead of all over creation. But that would set back the outside training IMO.

Thoughts? Encouragement? I'm not really sure what I'm looking for here. Is this the norm? When will it click for him??
 

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Don't let him wander around the house without you. The more he is given the opportunity to use the house as a bathroom, the more he will use it, and the further back your housetraining will be set. Tether him to you using his leash so that he is in your direct line of sight at every moment. If you can't tether him, put him in his crate.

Additionally, don't wait for him to go to the bathroom in the house. You've said he can only go 40 minutes without relieving himself, so take him out every 35 minutes whether he's indicating that he needs to go or not.

Potty training is really intensive work, especially at first, but the payoffs are (obviously) huge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We do block off rooms so he is always in our sight and in a room with us. If I'm taking a shower, he's in the bathroom with me. He doesn't wander off to go, he'll just stop and squat right in front of us in the same room.

Today and yesterday I've been taking him out every 40 minutes. It's been working well. But sometimes he hasn't needed to go because it's too early so we'll end up outside again 20 minutes later because he'll be ready then.

At what point will we realize he can go longer than 40 minutes? I guess that's another question I have. If we constantly take him every 40 minutes, which is fine, how will we know when he is capable of going longer and how to go about that? This is a bit more complicated than I thought it would be! I just don't want to screw him up! LOL!

Thanks again so very much.
 

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I really can't answer your potty training questions, as I've never successfully FULLY housebroken a puppy. But I do want to see how he is eating now? And if you aren't doing it already, exercise him BEFORE feeding him, it'll work up his appetite a bit.:)
 

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The breeder had him on Pro Plan and I'm just not sure if he loves it. He just kind of picks at it. She gave us a small bag to bring home. We're about 3/4 finished with it so I picked up a bag of Wellness Just for Puppies to start transitioning him to. I did his first bowl tonight and it's the first evening bowl he's finished within 20 minutes! I only added a small bit. So I'm hoping that means he likes it and I hope it'll agree with his belly.
 

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Sounds awesome. Most commercial foods are crap. Wellness is one I really like. Just look at those first 5 ingredients, and you'll see what I mean.:)
 

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I have a 14 week puppy, and I can say I fully feel the extent of frustration, worry that you Are doing it wrong, And that they will never be house trained. We have had her for just over A month and we have made some progress. Half the time she will whine/ bark at the door, and the other half she randomly pops squats. Everybody says to pick them up and put them outside- however we learned VERY fast thAt kali will keep going even if she's picked up and carried! Resulting in pee on anything that comes within a one- two foot radius on the way outside. No longer is she picked up, just a Loud NO and immediately after she is put in the dog run. Good luck with your pup! Any tips you want to share I'd be happy to hear them!!
 
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