Well, its been almost 2 weeks since we brought our new pup home and things have settled down and slowly we are figuring out our new lifestyle with the little guy. I am starting to have moments of "when will my life get back to some sort of normal."
He's doing well with housebreaking, we are working on basic commands, enrolled in puppy class, and he has lots of time playing outdoors and getting familiar with our barn and horses. He's "ok" with our cat; I'm working on distractions and getting his attention to keep him from chasing her.
And he's getting along well (I think) with our older resident dog. They do play rough at times, tails are always wagging, and he is relentless with the older dog. She's a rescue/abuse, and never learned to play, had a couple litters before being rescued, and its great seeing her play with him. But, I have to interrupt them a lot. For me. It just gets to me. They are always tail wagging, and there's little to no yelping, growling, etc. But he is relentless with her. She'll pin, roll, nibble at him, and he is non stop. So I break them up after more than 10, 15 minutes. Inevitabley, they always go right back to it til he gets that wild/crazy running non stop thing going, then I break them up. I'll hold him, and he'll crash in my arms. I then put him in his crate or bed.
Tonight, there was a big yelp, and he was holding his leg up funny. I put the older dog out, and he was quickly walking fine. I feel bad putting the older girl outside all the time to separate them, but I have no options. Even if I gate them, the older dog just sits on the other side. I fear the pup won't let up and it will turn ugly eventually.
He's had the kitchen and living room area, and we bring the crate into our bedroom at night. I bought a nylon playpen I intended to have him graduate to once he's a little bigger, but, now I'm wondering if I've made a mistake letting him have the large living area (supervised) the majority of the day. I have a smaller pen I feed him in so he is separate from our other dog. When he is in the smaller pen to be fed, he wants out IMMEDIATELY. I tried the larger pen once with a filled kong, but as soon as he saw that he was confined, he wanted out.
Have I blown it for utilizing a larger pen for an amount of time more than I'd have him in his crate?
I was intending to put his crate in the pen when I want to go do work on the property or for a trail ride and will be gone for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time, so that he has more room to move around and can keep water in there.
I crate him about 3 times a day anywhere between 1/2 hour to 2 or 3 hours, depending on what my needs are. He's never in the crate for more than 4 - 6 hours a day. I am able to utilize the crate on a regular basis. But, how long can I crate him for on a daily basis total hours? A lot is not getting done, and I need to get caught up with property and barn chores.
Also, I'd like to be able to have him in other rooms so I can start getting things done during the day and so I am not obligated to be in the one large living area all day long with him.
How do I acclimate him to the other rooms? He knows the door to go "out" and pee/poop, and has run to it to "ask" to go out. With the other rooms in the house, should I just carry him to the door every half hour or so? Do I need to be concerned that the housebreaking starts over in new rooms?
Right now I have a loose schedule sort of going, adjusting it a little day by day. I don't want to feel like I'm on a slippery slope. Things seem to be going okay, but I'm waiting for it all to fall apart.
Thanks for all your input and help. The first couple/few days I was quite overwhelmed, and questioning why and what I did bringing home a pup. We are now crazy about him, and can't imagine life without him. But, I realize we are needing to put a new routine in place, and doing my best to work that out, with help!