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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy New puppy...please help

We just got a new family member Milo last weekend, he is a bit over 4 months old, great temperament, paper trained, and VERY attached to the family. We bought a small traveling crate for him base on the breeder recommendation, but we need to get another long term crate/cage for the house to confine him at night, and during the day when we are at work, we do not want him to roam around the house when nobody at home to supervise him, so he has to be confine somehow, when nobody is around.

I have 3 options...1)get a big crate like 48"x35", set up his bedding and water bowl in one corner, and a potty tray in the other corner, leave him some chew toys. 2)keep him lock down in the small crate, it has enough room for him to turn around and stand up pretty much it, though I feel bad for keeping him being in the small crate for extended period of time but I heard the smaller crate would help him learn to hold longer and he would more likely avoid going potty in it. or 3)set up a play pen in the kitchen and give him a setup similar to option 1. Most of the time he would pee and poop outdoor, but sometime he would just pee in the middle of the living room when we didn't have our eyes on him in the morning while everyone is busy getting ready to work.

Here is our current schedule, we stop feeding him by 7~8pm, usually we put him in the small crate at night around 11pm after he went potty outside, he would bark and cry for anywhere between 10 to 20min before he fell asleep. We took him out to potty at around 5:30am when we woke up, he get to play and run around the house till around 7am. He would spend the rest of the day in the small crate till 3pm when we get home from work and he will be free until 11pm again.

The more I get to know him the more it breaks my heart when he cry at night being confined in the small crate, he is such a sweet, cute, and well manner boy, I'm about to give in and let him sleep on the bed with our daughters at night and only confine him during the day. But in doing so I'm afraid he would not be house/potty train properly and that may end up setting him up to failed. We love him dearly....don't know what to do....
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 01:11 PM
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There is no right or wrong way to potty train. Some people use xpens during the day, others crate. Some crate at night, others don't. If he is used to being crate trained at night from his breeder then I would probably suggest sticking with it, but that is up to you; you just have to understand the consequences of either way (I never crate trained my dog - it made it harder to potty train him by not crate training him, but I knew that). One thing that can make night time easier is some people put the crates on their bedside tables or even on the bed with them so that they can stick their fingers into the crate and talk to the puppy to calm him/her down at night time.

That being said, if you or somebody else can't come home during the day every day to let him out, 8 hours is really too long to keep a small pup in a small crate. He will have to go potty during that time, which will end up working in the exact opposite way that you want with regards to potty training - he will become used to eliminating in his crate/sleeping area. An xpen type of situation IMO would be a much better alternative then, with his crate in the pen but left open so he has a place to sleep, safe toys and water bowl, and a designated potty area.

Good luck!

Last edited by heatherk; 03-07-2012 at 05:22 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 04:45 PM
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Congratulations on your new puppy.
We used an ex-pen when our girls were pups. When we had to leave McKenna as a puppy she was in the expen and so was her crate, with the door open, toys, and water. We had it next to a doggy door with an enclosed pen on the outside so we didn't need potty pads but if we hadn't done that, she would have had potty pads available. Your puppy is too young to hold it all day while you are at work. The expen gives them room to move around, play, and sleep while you are gone. I think a small crate should only be used for sleeping at night or as a refuge from activity during the day. Even after McKenna was house trained she went back into the expen when we brought Sedona home as a puppy. It was the only way she could have access to the one doggy door while still keeping the puppy confined. They both did very well in the time it took to house train Sedona. Today is Sedona's 7th birthday and I cannot believe it's been that long since our girls were tiny (McKenna is 8 next month). Just remember that patience is a huge virtue and puppyhood should be thoroughly enjoyed by you and your puppy even with the frustrations it en because it goes by so quickly.
Enjoy your baby!


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 04:58 PM
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I blocked off my kitchen and let the sisters have more room while I was away. It worked out fine. I started with a x pin but Maddie climbs right over them. Also be careful about a create inside the x pin they jump on top and then jump over.

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 05:00 PM
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I agree. There is no correct way to potty train. It's doing what's best for you and the dog.

Roshi had no problem soiling his crate when he was a puppy. He just never got the idea sleep area does not equal toilet. He's ok with an ex pen, with the pad set on the opposite side of the eat/play area. He sleeps well in his crate now, but I don't dare put him in there when i'm out long. Just in case he will still soil it. I still put him in his pen with a pad.

I'm lucky that Roshi never cried at night in his crate! He was unsure about the crate for 1/2 hour the moment he came home and then he passed out. No problems afterward.

However, during the first few months... I actually set an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to take him out of the crate to potty (he was sooooo unwilling). And about every 2 wks, I extended the time by 1/2 hr. So if slept at 12, I will wake up at 3 to take him out. 2 wks later, I will wake up at 3:30. Oh goodness... those days were long. I had a meltdown... probably cuz of lack of sleep too.


After a two months of frustration, and he got all his shots, I sent him to daycare since I work 8 hr days (i brought him to work before). He followed older dogs outside to potty. At home, he's leashed onto me and wrapped up in a baby diaper.

At 6-7 months, he figured out door = pee/poop time. Yay.

Of course, he was still under strict supervision and has occassional accidents. Eh, it happens.

Again... whatever works best for you and the dog. Tons of praise when s/he gets it right.

Casie and Master Roshi
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 05:55 PM
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IMO, 8 hours a day is too long to leave ANY dog crated, whether it is a puppy or an adult. It's just not fair. I would definitely give him at least the space of an ex-pen with a potty system of some sort, and a small sleeping crate for him to crash in. But I'd also STRONGLY suggest that you get someone to come in at least once a day to take him out for a short walk/play/potty break until he is reliably house trained (that doesn't mean just potty trained, it means that he won't destroy things or get into things that are dangerous for him) ad you can give him more freedom. Eight hours is a long time for a companion breed puppy to be alone each day, especially locked in relative confinement.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 10:02 PM
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I think you should bring him to work till you get in trouble .

I think I'm more attached to my little guy than he is to me. honest. love him to itty bitty pieces, more than any dog I've had.

I will say, my first and only little dog/pup... I've only had big dogs before...
potty training the little guy was one of the hardest things I've ever done. harder than college, harder than breaking up with boyfriends...

8 hours is too long to leave him alone, much less crated.

the key to potty training is consistency and patience. You being consistent. You learning his signs that he needs to go and letting him out.

I did it the easy way , b/c he was paper trained already. used potty pads, 3 different places in the house (I'm a free reign type of gal), then down to one, then moving it closer, each time he pee'd closer to the backyard door... then out to the backyard deck.

I'm not kidding, it's a pain. and I admit I wasn't that consistent. so I don't blame my dog I blame me. In contrast my other pup (6 months younger than the little one), got him a 9 weeks old, had 1 accident in the house and after that has been perfect. never had to 'show' him where to go.

My little guy is still quarky, doesn't like getting wet, so doesn't like to pee outside if it's raining or the sprinklers have been on. He'd rather go in a vacant corner of the house than to get his feet wet (my rationale and interpretation of his actions).
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2012, 10:26 AM
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Potty training I think is the hardest part of a new puppy. With Kobe, I did exactly what your are doing and my schedule is very much the same. 7 - 3:30 is my work schedule. I did the smaller crate until he was 6 months old and now he is in a large one and we have never had an accident in the crate. He is 10 1/2 months old now. When he was in the small crate at night we kept him in our bedroom next to the bed and he didn't cry because he new we were there. When he got his big crate we put it in the family room and he transitioned just fine. No barking at bedtime. Good luck, hang in there. They grow up so fast!! I can hardly beieve he is about to turn 1.
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