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Hello,

First of all, thanks to everyone who posts on here. As a lurker for the few months before our puppy came home, I learned so much that is helping ease her transition into our family. I still have a few questions, and I'd like to share the advice that really has helped us so far. Pretty much everything we are doing are things I learned here on this forum and from the recommended reading on the forum. We got Gypsy last week, and she's 10 weeks old now.

Crate training is going really well for us, partly because the breeder started her on it before we brought her home. She goes in at night without crying much, especially if she is tired. Her crate is by our bed. During the day is a little tougher--she doesn't like to miss the action, even if I put a towel over her kennel. I work from home in the summer, but will work about 4 hours a day on campus during the academic year. She is extremely attached to me (too much, I'm afraid), and we want to slowly get her used to being on her own for an hour so at a time right now. (I don't even have to use the leash on my belt b/c she's my constant shadow--lol). Should I start by just crating her in a separate room for a half hour at a time and build that up over the next few weeks? She will go in, but she cries for about ten to twenty minutes. I know that isn't terribly long, but I don't want her to view the crate negatively. I put her in calmly, only take her out when she's quiet, and don't make a big deal of her going in or out. Am I on the right track? Is it true that she just has to "cry it out" for a bit until she gets used to it? We give her toys in her crate, and sometimes a treat (she gets limited treats as her tummy is very sensitive). I'd like to give her some PB in a kong, but it seems everything but her dog food leads very quickly to loose stools. She also eats in her crate 3 times a day. I've put one of my tshirts in there, which I think helps.

Potty training--also going pretty good. Just two pee accidents so far, and they were definitely our fault for not watching closely enough/not taking her out soon enough. We go out about every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night. Sometimes I have to wake her up to go out on the 3 hour mark. Is that the best way to do it? I was stretching it to 4.5 hours at most, but one day, I found she'd peed on the towel in her kennel and I'm not positive if it was at night or one day when my daycare baby was dropped off (I think it was at night, because it was quite a bit--not just a leak). I feel just awful--like I "made" her have an accident in her kennel since she never does. I'm not sure how I missed it, even though I know accidents happen. How do I know when to go to a slightly longer schedule at night? During the day, when she's napping, she can go 3.5 hours or so without a potty trip outside.

Her poo schedule is strange, as we feed her at 7, 12, and 5, but she mostly has to poo in the middle of the night and very early morning. Any way to adjust this? She generally ends up going when I get up to take her out , but one night she's whined to wake me up and then she's had to go. It actually takes her about 4-5 hours after eating to go #2. This seems strange, but she has a clean bill of health--just her schedule? When we give her even just a few treats a day, she has loose stools, so we've switched to kibble for potty rewards. I'm keeping track of everything on a timetable and have been hoping it would adjust in a few days.

Doggy Daycare or a One-on-One Petsitter when I'm gone? I travel about 4 times a year for work and things, usually a week at a time. The first time I have to leave Gypsy will be in Aug when she's about 4 months. My husband can care for her at night, but he works 10 hour shifts, so, during the day she either has to go to Doggy Daycare or I'll have a petsitter come in. The doggy daycare has a great reputation and I can find someone I trust to hire in for her. Any ideas on what is better for a dog that young and still in training? She's pretty social with people who come over, and we haven't worked too much on other dogs yet until this weekend when she's safe on her vaccines. I had no idea it would be so hard to leave her--I'm already worried about it (Yes, I probably have more separation anxiety than the dog and I'm working very hard not to transfer it to her--lol). I just don't want to set her back bigtime on her housetraining and having her feel safe "on her own."

The toybox is a great idea--it's saving our home and everything in it :) Gypsy is a bigtime chewer, and she's learning quickly that she has to use the things in her toybox. She found it before I even showed it to her.

Thanks in advance for some suggestions and answers to my questions. Our puppy is very hard work, but a great joy--these first several months take a lot of moral support, I think :) I keep thinking I just want her to grow up to be secure, healthy, social, and happy. Man, I don't have any kids yet, so if this is a preview to that being much harder, I am in trouble! :eek:
 

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It sounds like you're off to a really good start!

I just wanted to share with you one thing i've done with all of my dogs to make their kennel a happy, safe place. We play a game called "go get in your cage". I give the command, "go get in your cage!" and the dogs run like crazy to their cage. Then, they wait there patiently (or impatiently as the case may be) for me to bring them a treat (you could just use a piece of dog food since she has a sensitive stomach). I'm not sure why they think it's so fun, but i think my own attitude has a lot to do with it. I pretend like it's the funnest game in the world, and they buy into that.

I also use their kennel as a "time out" when they've been naughty. I think this helps establish the kennel as a safe zone. If they know they're in trouble with me, they spend some time in their kennel and when they come out, they aren't in trouble any more. I'm sure other people could find arguments against this technique, but it has worked for me and my dogs.

Also, whenever my chihuahua rides in the car with me, he is in his kennel. Since he likes going places, this is another positive association with his kennel, and has really helped when i've had to take him on long plane rides.

One other thing. I bet the timing of the bathroom breaks will get better as she matures. The more successes she has with going outside, the better potty trained she is going to be, so i applaud you for getting up in the night and taking her out as often as you do. An accident in the kennel is not good, but accidents do happen.
 

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Welcome to our forum!

Should I start by just crating her in a separate room for a half hour at a time and build that up over the next few weeks? She will go in, but she cries for about ten to twenty minutes. I know that isn't terribly long, but I don't want her to view the crate negatively. I put her in calmly, only take her out when she's quiet, and don't make a big deal of her going in or out. Am I on the right track? Is it true that she just has to "cry it out" for a bit until she gets used to it? We give her toys in her crate, and sometimes a treat (she gets limited treats as her tummy is very sensitive). I'd like to give her some PB in a kong, but it seems everything but her dog food leads very quickly to loose stools. She also eats in her crate 3 times a day. I've put one of my tshirts in there, which I think helps.
You're doing splendidly. Remember that she is very young and it's her instinct to cry when she's alone. As she gets older and builds more confidence, the crying will diminish. Leaving her in her crate for short periods of time and then gradually working upwards is a good start.

Potty training--also going pretty good. Just two pee accidents so far, and they were definitely our fault for not watching closely enough/not taking her out soon enough. We go out about every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night. Sometimes I have to wake her up to go out on the 3 hour mark. Is that the best way to do it?
I think that should be fine. I'm not sure if you should be waiting for her to wake up and cry, so wait on some of the other posters for a response on this. I've never potty-trained with a crate before.

How do I know when to go to a slightly longer schedule at night? During the day, when she's napping, she can go 3.5 hours or so without a potty trip outside.
Trial and error, mostly. It sounds like 3.5 hours is a good interval. You can slowly increase it as she gets older.

Doggy Daycare or a One-on-One Petsitter when I'm gone? I travel about 4 times a year for work and things, usually a week at a time. The first time I have to leave Gypsy will be in Aug when she's about 4 months. My husband can care for her at night, but he works 10 hour shifts, so, during the day she either has to go to Doggy Daycare or I'll have a petsitter come in. The doggy daycare has a great reputation and I can find someone I trust to hire in for her. Any ideas on what is better for a dog that young and still in training?
Depends a lot on the daycare. For a pup going to daycare you want them to be VERY controlled about what kind of dogs are allowed in and their health restrictions. Puppies are very impressionable -- one squabble with a nasty dog can set you on the track for months and months of rehabilitation. They're also more susceptible to infectious diseases, so even if an adult dog at daycare is up to date on its shots, you want to make sure it doesn't have a cough or something.
 

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Thanks for the feedback, Melissa and Natalie! I'm working on more crate training games since I posted. Also, that's a really good point about the dog daycare and potential problems with socialization and her being so young. It's one of my biggest concerns. Maybe it would be best to get someone to come in that week. The next time I'd have to leave her is in Dec. and she'll be staying with family then.

Housetraining took a step backward right after I made my post--it had to just because I said it was going so well :) I waited just a little too long to take her out and she peed. Next night, I missed the cue, which I've finally figured out is her jumping in our faces (we need to change that eventually), and she soiled our blanket. I had been misinterpreting that cue for playing and kept trying to correct it. Now I know, but I still want to change it. Any ideas? I'm learning the hard way that if I'm at all distracted, she really needs to be in her crate to prevent accidents. Trial and error, I guess.
 
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