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New dog owner...am I doing it right?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by dscofeld, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. dscofeld

    dscofeld New Member Registered

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    Hi guys,

    I got a shih tzu on Sunday at 8 weeks old. I am crate training. I also have so many questions.

    I have a few concerns. Dennis is doing well at making sure his number 2s are outside and quite a few number 1s and I am expecting this but it seems to be 1step forward 2steps back!

    It has only been 4/5 days since I got him so m not expecting miracles but all the tell tail signs that seem to be online of him wanting a wee are not there. I make sure he goes outside after food and a nap and he generally performs but every so often (when he seems to get more excited when playing) he will just have a wee! I have taken a week off work to try and build up time in the crate. Are there any other tips? I'm not too bothered about other training at the moment just the toilet so he doesn't have to sit in his wee when I am at work. I will be leaving him from 8.30 to 12.15 and then 13.45 - 17.45 so he will have a break in the day and a bit of play time. I'm also getting up at 5.30 so he gets some play time before I go out.

    Other little things - he doesn't seem to drink much water at all. I have occasionally given him some milk and he will drink that, just not water. He is on wet food at the moment so I know he is getting moisture but from next week I will be weaning him off it - will he start to drink more?

    Also what can I give other than food treats when looking to train? I read that treats should be no more than 10% of his food intake but all training requires treats as a reward it seems.

    Finally (for the moment!) I have cleaned my house today with Dennis in his crate. I have vacuumed before but he was held and was fine but today in the crate he was whimpering quite a lot. Is it better to leave him out when cleaning. It obviously makes it difficult to keep an eye on him. I am on my own for a week, there will be 2 of us looking after him from Tuesday so it may become easier.

    Thanks for any advice in advance.
     
  2. chelynnah

    chelynnah Whippet Servant Registered

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    For going outside I use the general rule of 'if the feet hits the floor the pup goes out'. This means waking, after eating, if playing and stops, etc. For a pup that young it happens fast, so best out every hour or two and change in activity. To reinforce where you want him to go have some treats with you. When he does his business outside use lots of high pitch praise and be right there with the treat the second he's done (or even during). Use a wor while he's doing it that you want him to learn as his command to go and say 'good boy xxxx'. We use 'go potty'.

    If caught doing it inside do not get angry. You can say 'no' and pick him up, take him outside and give command.

    For training treats I use small cubes of cheese or hot dog. Something really tasty. Or treats that can be broken down quite small. It doesn't have to be huge, just tasty and rewarding. I don't use their food for training, as it needs to be something more enticing.

    Re vacuuming, don't make a fuss. Perhaps put him in his crate with something yummy to chew and just get on with it. If you fuss a pup or dog too much when they are worried it actually teaches them that they should be worried. The less fuss you make the better he will adjust and get over it.

    With my one dog who was truly terrified of the vacuum I did a lot of desensitising training with her. I put the vacuum in the room and put treats near it. As she got brave enough to take them I then put the treats on it. We did lots of sessions like this, then turned it on with treats for her. Eventually someone feeding treats while it was moving. She was never entirely happy with it, but she stopped being terrified. The rest of my dogs don't like it much, but as long as they can get past it to the opposite side of the room they are ok.

    Hope some of this helps
     
  3. eingana

    eingana Do my ears look big in this? Registered

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    Hi dscofeld, and welcome to DogForum :)

    I'm with chelynnah on the going out front. At 8 weeks your little one is still very young so you still need to be making the decision for him. I'd be taking him out at least once every waking hour and after play, feeding, sleep or cuddles. It will mean that you're constantly opening and closing the door, but he needs to get the message and that doesn't just happen automatically. Lots of praise when he does go, a game when he doesn't and he'll get there really quickly. You do need to know that the smaller breeds generally take longer to house train without accidents than larger breeds, so keep at it and keep your patience with him :)

    I'm all for whatever works with treats, and with a really small puppy you can get away with tiny little morsels of treat, just a taste on his lips of a lovely thing. A tiny bit of chopped up chicken, boiled egg, cheese, sausage or liver cake should work wonders, or if he likes it, a single grain of cooked rice could work.

    With regard to drinking, start putting water in his milk and gradually reduce the amount of milk in his milk. Over the course of a couple of weeks you can reduce this until it's so weak that there's just a spot of milk in his water, then drop it out altogether when you know that he's happy with it. It's also worth giving him the word for 'drink' and giving him a treat when he comes for a drink when you call him to drink, because a dog that drinks on command is helpful when you're out where you know that water is not available all of the time. When we tell Molly to drink she will drink from anything, whether that's an upturned frisbee or a carrier bag turned into a bowl.

    And yes, when he's in his crate and you're vacuuming, just give him something yummy to chew (maybe a puppy Kong smeared with pâté or peanut butter) and then make a big fuss when he's calm afterwards.

    Good luck :)
     
  4. dscofeld

    dscofeld New Member Registered

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    Cheers guys, thanks a lot for your help and advice. Was just a bit anxious because, having never had a puppy. He seems fine with his crate now, there's a few issues with him thinking if he wees he gets food because he has either just finished sleeping/playing before I feed him so now he seems to run to his bowl and wee. I've caught up with it now though so I should be able to sort it out!
     
  5. chelynnah

    chelynnah Whippet Servant Registered

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    I would take him out right before you feed and then again right afterwards. That should stop the weeing at the food bowl.
     
  6. eingana

    eingana Do my ears look big in this? Registered

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    Yep, I'm with Chelynnah on that one. If he's got no opportunity to associate wee with eating at his bowl (and especially if the treat he gets when he does a wee outside is so extra special that he wants to get them) then you'll be there in no time :)
     
  7. londonpuppysitter

    londonpuppysitter New Member Registered

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    Hi,

    Hows it all going with your pup? I thought I'd get in touch to let you know that if you ever need support, I offer a variety of flexible puppy sitting services that include basic tricks and commands training. Find out more about me, my experience and my services here - http://londonpuppysitter.com

    Toilet training can be a nightmare - patience, persistence, and constant supervision! I wouldn't feed your pup milk as it can upset the stomach. Don't worry too much about water, they will drink when they need to! You can use your pups main food to use as training treats to make sure you aren't overfeeding. keep each food reward very tiny so it goes further! Tiny bits of cheese or carrot work well too. Introduce new things gradually though or you will upset the stools :/

    Good luck with everything! Please keep me in mind if you need a sitter.

    Regards,

    Zara
     
  8. poppy2714

    poppy2714 New Member Registered

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    There are some fantastic tips here! I am just trying to get my pup used to her crate :) and getting her to toilet outside.... a few issues she seems to think its a game when we go out for a wee any ideas how to stop that?!

    And is it right that I am taking her out for a wee before food, because at the moment she is wee-ing in her crate at night so I dont think she needs to go when I take her out first thing....I am very confused!!

    Any help would be great!
     
  9. chelynnah

    chelynnah Whippet Servant Registered

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    I would take her out both before and after food. And definitely first thing in the morning even if she has gone in her crate. If she learns to expect that you will take her out straight away on waking up it will help her hold it better. Also you ideally don't want her to be weeing in her crate, so it might help,to get up once through the night and take her out, making it slightly later each time until you have her clean through the night. If the crate habit is allowed to continue the housebreaking will continue to be that much harder
     
  10. Hagrid

    Hagrid New Member Registered

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    There is alot of advice about crate training and food assication. I always feed Theo in his crate and then straight out so that he knew that was the time to go. I found routine helps with everything.
     

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