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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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long term consequences of early training

Hi all, I have been reading this forum for a few months in anticipation of our new puppy(Wicket). Happy to say he is now part of our family (just over 9 weeks old), and we are in the throngs of puppydom (for better and worse.....Daytime better/nightime worse. He came home to us a very playful yet easily calmed puppy. As was so often recommended I read Mr. Dunbars before and after books, and felt quite confident bringing Wicket home. He came from a breeder who has already paper trained him, and it seems to me he is quite well socialized and confident. I just dont want to mess things up. Here are my questions:

Are there any thoughts on the difference of personalities of dogs that are kennle/long term confinement trained (will spend a decent amount of the first weeks or months barking/whimpering in confinement, as the books suggest; vs a more "role with the punches" approach where there is little to no continuous barking, and little or no confinment.


How long should you let a dog bark if the confinement route is chosen? This may be a dumb question, but I have heard of puppies barking the entire night. Is is suggested this be ignored if food/water/potty requirements have been met? Wicket did relatively well IMO considering he is in a completely foreign environment.

Are all dogs unique in expressing how they need to go potty? or are there a few tale tale signs?

Thanks in advance for any input. Any other sleep/potty/training advice is very welcome and appreciated.

P.S. I know.......I will post some pictures ASAP
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jdog View Post
Hi all, I have been reading this forum for a few months in anticipation of our new puppy(Wicket). Happy to say he is now part of our family (just over 9 weeks old), and we are in the throngs of puppydom (for better and worse.....Daytime better/nightime worse. He came home to us a very playful yet easily calmed puppy. As was so often recommended I read Mr. Dunbars before and after books, and felt quite confident bringing Wicket home. He came from a breeder who has already paper trained him, and it seems to me he is quite well socialized and confident. I just dont want to mess things up. Here are my questions:

Are there any thoughts on the difference of personalities of dogs that are kennle/long term confinement trained (will spend a decent amount of the first weeks or months barking/whimpering in confinement, as the books suggest; vs a more "role with the punches" approach where there is little to no continuous barking, and little or no confinment.


How long should you let a dog bark if the confinement route is chosen? This may be a dumb question, but I have heard of puppies barking the entire night. Is is suggested this be ignored if food/water/potty requirements have been met? Wicket did relatively well IMO considering he is in a completely foreign environment.

Are all dogs unique in expressing how they need to go potty? or are there a few tale tale signs?

Thanks in advance for any input. Any other sleep/potty/training advice is very welcome and appreciated.

P.S. I know.......I will post some pictures ASAP
I don't think that either of those extremes are good options, nor are the necessary. CERTAINLY the puppy should be confined if you can't keep your eyes ON him. That means paying close attention... not merely being in the same room, doing something else. This is the only way to prevent accidents in the first weeks. I am a strong believer in an indoor potty option for small breed puppies (and dogs), but that's up to you. If you want to ONLY train him to go outdoors, you have to be committed to taking him out hourly (possibly even more often) as well as right after every meal and right after he wakes from a nap for AT LEAST a number of weeks. Sometimes a number of months.

You will have a little more flexibility, and the puppy can earn a little more freedom (like a room with a hard floor, not the entire house!) a little faster if the puppy is confirmed in his understanding of an indoor potty spot.

I can't even imagine not confining a puppy overnight. This sounds like a recipe for accidents to me. If you're lucky, you have a breeder who introduces the puppy to sleeping in a crate before they go to their new home. If not, you will probably have at least a couple of nights of whimpering and crying, but unless you are doing something to inadvertently encourage it, they SHOULDN'T be barking all night long... at least not for long.

I think you received good advice in another thread about putting the crate at a level where he can see you in bed. Put him in there after his last potty trip of the evening, say good night, climb in bed, and DON'T talk to him again. The calmer and more relaxed you stay, the faster he'll settle. Even a young (8-9 week old) puppy shouldn't need to potty more than once or at the MOST twice during your sleep cycle, and by the time they are 11 or 12 weeks old, should be able to sleep through the night.

Another option, if you are SURE they understand the indoor potty is to set them up with their crate inside an ex-pen, (door open) and a litter box, pee pad or whatever in the pen also. Then they can get to the potty and use it independently during the night if needed. But this only works if you KNOW that your puppy will reliably use the potty provided. I have RA, and REALLY need my sleep. Kodi was 11 weeks when we got him, and had been well trained to a litter box. For the first week, either I or my son slept beside him on the couch, just to make sure he wasn't lonely. (there was never a peep out of him) after that, we just set him up in an ex-pen and he did fine. Sometimes he used his litter box, sometimes he waited for us to get up and take him out. But he had the option to use the litter box if he needed it.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thaks for the post. I think you hit on a few of my significant concerns. Between me and my wife and kids we can get him outdoors every hour without too much problem. It is just difficult to tell when he needs to go as he doesn't always eliminate when we take him out. We will need to use the ex-pen option, as my wife will leave for an hour or two at a time where Wicket can't go with her.

Any advice for training with the ex-pen? At this point he is disinterested in his stuffed kongs, he just wants to play with us. I know he needs to be ignored once he is in there, but if he barks for a half hour, an hour, what is too long. And when he finally calms down do I go right in and praise him? Take him out to play and risk a potty accident?

Thanks for the great input.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 07:34 PM
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I think if your wife is only leaving for a couple hours your puppy would do fine in his crate. If you do use an ex pin be careful about where the crate is placed. Mine would climb on top and get out of the x pin. Maddie even climbed out with out anything to jump on. If it longer than 2 hours the x pin is good so he can play and use his potty area.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jdog View Post
Thaks for the post. I think you hit on a few of my significant concerns. Between me and my wife and kids we can get him outdoors every hour without too much problem. It is just difficult to tell when he needs to go as he doesn't always eliminate when we take him out. We will need to use the ex-pen option, as my wife will leave for an hour or two at a time where Wicket can't go with her.

Any advice for training with the ex-pen? At this point he is disinterested in his stuffed kongs, he just wants to play with us. I know he needs to be ignored once he is in there, but if he barks for a half hour, an hour, what is too long. And when he finally calms down do I go right in and praise him? Take him out to play and risk a potty accident?

Thanks for the great input.
You need to start training confinement in very short increments. Start with 2 minutes, then 5, then 10... You can't just put the puppy in there and wait for them to "get over it". They are little babies, in a new frightening world. You can cause real anxiety problems that way.

With Kodi, I found that he was much more likely to settle in his pen or crate if I wasn't in the house or at least not on the same floor. He never really liked being in his pen when I was working nearby. I work from home, so I set up an ex-pen gated off area around my desk, and put a litter box in with us. He played around my feet as I worked. If I needed to go elsewhere in the house, I tethered him to me so I could keep a close eye on him.

Every puppy will give slightly different signals that he needs to go, and you learn them just by watching him closely. The reason for taking him out so often isn't that he'll need to GO that often, necessarily, but because you have a better chance of catching when he does need to go. (pretty sure bets are first thing in the morning, after meals and after naps). You WILL miss from time to time in the beginning, but do your very best to minimize accidents. Make sure that accidents are ebcause you haven't quite learned his signals, NOT because you weren't watching him closely enough.

With most puppies, it's fairly easy to tell if they need to poop. They stat sniffing around, sometimes running around while sniffing the floor (or ground) and then start to circle. Peeing can be harder. Some puppies squat, while others, like my Kodi, just stand still and go! With all that fluff on our Havanese puppies, if they don't squat, it can be hard to see what's going on under there! Still, we learned that Kodi would start sniffing around if he was too far from his litter box and needed to pee.

I won't say he never had an accident, but really not that many. I also am really glad we maintained his use of the litter box. It has made it MUCH easier in nasty weather in the winter time, and for the rare occasion when we have to leave him for longer periods of time. We found that he gravitated to going outdoors witout any real encouragement from us. In fact, he MUCH prefers going outside, so we have to really encourage him to use the litter box in nasty weather. That's your choice, but we hear over and over on the forum from people who wish they had maintained indoor potty training. Once you lose it, it's almost impossible to get back again.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the very helpful encouragement and advice. I recognize you have answered these questions many times. Thank you thank you. A quick question about night time kennels. Any advice for best practices. Currently I have Wicket in his kennel where he can see me. What can I expect moving forward for potty breaks,(I have read one to two), and whining/barking?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 06:39 AM
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It sounds like you are on the right path!! A puppy should absolutely be in a crate at night (in the beginning) until you are sure that they can hold it thru the night. I put the crate (a tiny one) eye level next to my bed. when the puppy whined, I just stuck my fingers in to calm them and it worked. They normally whined about 5 - 5:30 and were taken to the potty pad and then went right back to bed. My 5 week old puppy is doing that now! So at his age- he should be able to hold it most of the night.

Every puppy should learn how to be alone when you leave, without major work to keep them busy. Do it in small increments is a great idea!

I look forward to pictures!!!!

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:02 AM
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Puppies can sleep through the night at that age. You shouldn't have to take him out.
Some of them can, some of them can't. And "sleep through the night" means different things to different people. 11-6 could be "though the night to one person, while 10-7 could be another person's sleep schedule. That makes a big difference to a young puppy. You really need to let the puppy guide you on that one. You certainly don't want to force them to eliminate in the crate.

Also, even if they USUALLY can make it through, there can be times when they just can't for one reason or another.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 08:32 AM
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In his puppy days, I would usually get up around 1am or 2 am to visit the bathroom myself, so I would invite Henry to come with me.
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