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Hello,
Well to start off my wife and I just got a puppy. We have had her for a week now. Olive is a lab mix we got off craigslist. Unfortunately we think she came from a puppy mill but the vet said she was healthy minus the kennel cough, UTI, and crystals in her urine. Supposedly she was born on 9/7 which would approximately make her 12 weeks on Wednesday. This isn’t our first dog but neither of us have had a puppy in a long time. I have been reading the forums and have become more educated but also slightly paranoid about raising her and having issues specifically with SA since we have dealt with an extreme case with another dog. There is an older dog in the home as well.

To start off we have been trying potty training. She is starting to understand the word outside. I have read the forums and I know her bladder takes a while to develop and her to grasp the concept of holding her bladder. There is no warning or signs that she is going to go. We have been keeping her attached to us right now via a leash and will be switching to a wire waist tether for training purposes as well as trust purposes. Both of us work night shift and have people able to go over every 3-4 hrs and using pads between then in her pen. We are going to go to the vet to get her checked again tomorrow because it has not improved just declined. Any other suggestions besides just wait it out? I would just like some opinions on tethering/umbilical training method? From what I read it seems sound and I have seen positive results but never implemented it. I was just going to but a band around my waist with the tether and have her follow me around. Do I have to call her to come when she just stops in the house sits and looks at me or should I just keep moving?

Crating/time outs/Pen

How do you accomplish time outs in a pen or crate without interpreting those as punishments and what is preferred the crate? Our SA dog would hurt herself in the crate so we are very leery about putting the wrong vibes out. She likes her crate and can sleep in her crate voluntarily goes in and out but since with work lately we haven’t been doing quiet time. Would we just give her a Kong and close the door and leave her be for the time being? Or should we use the pen or switch it up?

Walking

We have started going on walks because currently we are in an apartment. She has done fine for the most part but has been doing a lot of sitting. We start to walk and she sits and looks at me. I will call her to come and then praise and treat her. She then sits again and I start walking and she just looks at me and then turns around to go home. Our first ever walk was with out older dog and I don’t know if she is just nervous the she isn’t there. Other times she just looks really scared and timid but happy when I call her.


I think this is all I have for right now. Thank you so much and sorry for such a long post I just wanted to be thorough. I will post pictures when she stops long enough for me to get a few.
Corey
 

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Both of us work night shift and have people able to go over every 3-4 hrs and using pads between then in her pen.
Only time for one comment just now.

I think that having a dog use both pads and go outside is detrimental to potty training and will make it much more difficult for the dog to understand exactly where she's supposed to go.
 

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I understand the dog will have a hard time rationalizing between the too. We have just put pads down so we dont come home to puddles on the floor in the kitchen. I wont put her in the crate because it is just to long at the moment and we arent really ready to do the leaving while being in a crate, we are working steadily on it though. So would you recommend not putting pads down? She is alone from 630p-4a. I have someone let her out at 9p and then I go home on my lunch around 1230a and my wife gets home at 4a. I then get home at 7a and we go for a walk, train, and eat breakfast on days we work. I know you are supposed to leave water with her but considering it technically should be sleepy time would yuou take the water away? Thank you for the help. This site has been an incredible help and resource.
 

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Crating:
I think crating can be a good tool to teach your puppy a sense of independence, and it's helpful for confining her when you need to get things done (things for which tethering might be impractical). Tethering is a great tool, it's a way to keep her in your sight so that you can see when she needs to go out to potty. To balance that, using the crate occassionally will help.
You can start by letting her go in and use the crate with the door open. Then, occasionally, shut the door for a couple minutes. Make sure she has a kong stuffed with something yummy to work on while in the crate. If a couple minutes is no problem, you can gradually increase the time in the crate with the door shut. If a couple minutes seems like a problem, then try 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Do these exercises several times a day so that it becomes normal and not a big deal to her. She may whine at first. Don't let your difficulties with your older dog cloud your crate training of this dog. Some pups take to their crates right away, some take some getting used to, and some (like your older one) never take to a crate.

Walking:
Keep at it! Do you take treats on your walks? Are there any commands she knows, like "sit"? If so, you can stop during the walks and do a bit of training, with treats, and it may boost her confidence, and help her see walks in a more positive way. Does she have a favorite toy? If you make it a couple blocks, maybe you can reward her by stopping for a quick game with her favorite toy!

As for pads, I used them with my first puppy, but I regretted it, and wouldn't use them again. It made him think it was ok to pee on anything remotely pad-like, like throw rugs, door mats, bath mats, etc. In the future, I'd just work on taking him out vigilantly, or maybe getting a patch of sod to use on a balcony or patio..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Doxiemom. She is fine in her crate with the door closed overnight and eating her food. The next few days we will be working on extending the length of time in there and doing the in and out door in her pen. We take plenty of treats on walks and sits when we stop. She just seems to keep refusing to go and would rather go back inside. I know socialization will help her with being timid and improve her confidence as will training. We also do stop during the walks and she gets rewarded for LLW. We will Keep at it. So as far as keeping her in a pen at while were at work would you just confine the space more and put her crate with no pad, assuming she will not go because its her area? I know she sleeps in her kennel most from what I have come home too. Thank you.
 

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Well, the thing is, puppies don't gain full control of their bladders till about 6 months of age, give or take. So, until then, there may still be times when she knows she should hold it, and pee outside, but, she just can't, because that control just isn't physically there. That isn't her fault.

A general rule of thumb (just a general rule, not a strict, steadfast rule, as every pup is different) is that a puppy can hold it 1 hour per month old, + 1. So, if she's 3 months old, she may be able to hold it 4 hours. Maybe. Once again it depends on each pup.

So, when you're working, if someone is able to come let her out every 3 hours, you may not need a pad at all, ONCE she gets into the routine. It may take awhile to get into the routine, though.

I just wouldn't put down pads at all. If you can put the pen in a room with easy clean floors and she did have to pee/poop, you just clean it up. My belief is, putting the pads down give the pup it's OK to go in the house. And, if you don't want that to be your end result, I wouldn't encourage it.
 

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So I read the entire urine crystal thread and I think we are going to go off the prescription food and turn to an all natural and regulate the water times to help with the pee problem. Hopefully that will work thank you for the suggestions. The next problem we are having is she doesnt like her pen but likes her crate. SO I am assuming we just let her bark and keep her entertained with all the chew toys she has. She also is just the right height to put her feet on the coffee table and couch but not climb up. I have just been pushing her down by the chest and then redirecting with a toy or a command then treat. Is this the appropriate response? She almost immediately goes back to the table and puts her feet on it again. we are working on more exercise and more training I just dont want to develop bad habits on her part for my improper training or lack there of. Thanks.
 

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My advice would be NOT to push her off the coffee table and couch. I would teach her the "off" command, and use that instead. After you tell her off, and she does, it's great to ask for other commands, too, as a distraction, so she immediately doesn't put her feet back on the table or couch again.

I'd be careful with limiting water. Young puppies can become dehydrated more easily. Just make sure she is drinking enough.

As for the pen, ignoring is good. You might try some conditioning. Put her in for short periods at a time, just a few minutes, but several times a day. So, lots of short periods of time in the pen, instead of just a few long periods of time. It can make it seem more normal and acceptable to her, without freaking her out. Then, gradually just increase the time....
 
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