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This past Friday, my husband and I picked up 5 month old Odie. He is a French bulldog. :) Absolutely adorable as can be!

Anyway, the breeder told us he had been using the doggie door but I dont really believe her to us he seems like an 8 week old puppy in his poop and pee habits. Oh well, thats not a big deal to us we expected even if he was doing good on potty training with her, it would be a huge set back to move somewhere new and learn the area, the door to go to, the backyard...etc. My main question is this, we are crate training, the first day there were a few accidents then I started doing a lot more research that afternoon (hadnt had a new puppy in over 5 years so we were a bit rusty!) and doing this more the right way. Our routine turned into wake up in the morning (he is sleeping in crate right next to bed) right away say "Outside?" in a super high toned voice (haha!) because we want him to learn that word in relation to going to the door which he is learning quite well. Then we come in and give him his first meal for the day followed by the crate until its time to potty again (Ive read online everywhere that "puppies" will need to go outside again after a meal within 10-15 mins, but no one accounts for crate training an "older pup" how long should we wait after first meal?) then we let him out, if he does potty he gets to play for a bit, then outside again to potty after play then crate for a couple of hours. Outside again, meal again, crate again, potty break, play if he goes potty, potty break, crate until dinner time, dinner, crate, potty break, then he gets to be out for awhile to play before bed time and before that last potty break for the night.

The issue is this, for 3 days we did that over the weekend then it was back to work. We knew he wouldnt be able to hold it for the 8-9 hours we are at work (and we both work 30-45 mins from home so going home on lunch isnt possible) so we bought a playpen to put in the foyer (tiled area) knowing he was going to have an accident or two. Is having those "accidents" during the work day going to set him back on potty training? There is just no way we can get around it. I only put him in the big pen when I know we are going to be gone for longer than 6 hours (from what ive read he is 5 months old, so his age in months +1 -on average- is how long he should be able to hold it) when we are only going to be gone 5 hours or less I put him in his crate knowing he shouldnt have an accident in there since he should be able to hold that long, right? If he hasnt had a meal or drink right before we left of course.

Another question, since he is 5 months shouldnt he be able to hold it longer than a brand new 8 week old puppy? I feel like I let him out SO much and he only pees/poops half of the times I let him out but still isnt ever peeing or pooping in his cage so he must needs to go less than I am thinking?

He did GREAT last night/this morning. Peeing and pooping when we let him out and no cries in the crate at bed time for the first time (this was his 5th night with us). He does still cry when I leave in the morning, when I go out to the garage and get in my car I can hear him barking/crying...normal right?

Im sorry its so many questions...all of my research still doesnt answer a couple of my specific questions, and its kind of hard when all of the crate training articles always talk about training a brand new puppy.

Thanks so much!
 

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It sounds like your doing the right stuff so far. I would try to make its crate more "comfortable" sorta speak. Make him want to go to his crate by hiding treats in there. He will whine naturally because he is not happy but that will cease with time. You don't have to crate him all the time though, especially when you are at home. Just like a puppy, always have him where you can directly see him or are able to get to him in case he does have an accident.
He should be able to hold his it much longer than a much younger puppy but still won't be able to hold for too long long until about 9-12 months so making him stay in his crate for over 4 or so hours wouldn't be ok.
Keeping him in his crate at night is a great idea btw.
When you take your dog outside and he does go to the bathroom praise him like he just won a gold medal. It will help him associate going outside as a positive thing, making it more rewarding for him to go outside.
Keep with it, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. :)
 

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9 hours seems like way too long to leave a puppy home alone, in a crate or pen. Is there any way you could hire a dog walker to come during the middle of the day. You could find a student that might like the extra $. You could also consider doggy day care. I think if the dog gets used to going in the pen it will set him back. There was a girl in my puppy class with a 9 mo old boxer mix, she left it in a laundry room for 8+ hours a day. On the weekends when the dog had to go it would defecate in the laundry room even though she was home to take it out.
 
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