Are we a good fit for a new puppy? Feedback appreciated!

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Are we a good fit for a new puppy? Feedback appreciated!

This is a discussion on Are we a good fit for a new puppy? Feedback appreciated! within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hi everyone, (First post!) My husband and I are thinking about getting a dog, specifically a miniature dachshund since I grew up with them and ...

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:09 PM
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Are we a good fit for a new puppy? Feedback appreciated!

Hi everyone,

(First post!) My husband and I are thinking about getting a dog, specifically a miniature dachshund since I grew up with them and know the breed fairly well. We are not planning on having kids, so ideally we'd really like to start from puppy-age and have that experience (though no worries, I do totally realize a puppy is not a human child). I've been reading various threads, books, Internet articles, etc. about raising a puppy, and the information is overwhelming, as I'm sure you all know. I'm trying to cover all my bases and really ensure that our set-up is appropriate for a puppy. My concerns are:

1.) We don't have a fenced yard. We live in a townhouse with a small front and side yard, and I know for a fact that other dogs do their business in our yard. The proof is in the piles. There are either loose dogs in the neighborhood, or owners who do not clean up after their dogs. So I don't have an outside place for a puppy to potty train until after his/her shots are fully completed. Right? Is this a deal-breaker? We are willing to paper/pee-pad train, but I've never done that with a doxie, who I know are sometimes a little more of a challenge to housebreak.

2.) I know dogs thrive on routine. I will be the one who is with the dog the most, and my 9-5 job schedule is static, though it varies day-to-day. Three days a week I work from home, and two days a week I go into an office (8 hours or even less, and I can come home at lunch). Weekends we are typically home or doing activities in which a dog could be included. Is this too erratic for a dog? I mean, I know he doesn't know if it's a Tuesday or a Saturday, but we just don't have the same routine everyday.

3.) Our townhouse layout is a little weird, and I think the only area that would work well for a confinement area would be a small bathroom on the main level which we would puppy-proof, of course (for crate + pee pad, etc.). Will this work? And then I'm thinking of either using the tethered method or a dog playpen while I'm working, which is usually in our office or in the living room. We do also have a fairly small galley kitchen which would be a bit more centralized, but I think a crate in there would be awkward. Plus, I am remembering my family doxie having a fondness for chewing wood (no one in my family really knew much about dog training back then), and while I will try my absolute best to teach good chewing habits, I know things happen. I'd rather replace one bathroom cabinet than a row of kitchen cabinets! But is the kitchen generally better for any reason?

So those are my concerns, but I also think we'd be really good dog-parents. We are happily married 30-somethings, no kids. We do both work but we have flexible jobs. My work at home will easily allow me to take potty-training breaks and playtime breaks. We do travel up to 2-3 times a year but have an awesome in-home pet-sitting service that we'd use. We have a great vet lined up. We both love dogs and grew up with dogs. And as sort of a bonus, we both have psychology degrees and understand the power of positive reinforcement.

Any thoughts? Please feel free to be totally honest! If there's more info I can provide, let me know. And THANK YOU in advance! I am a classic over-thinker/planner/researcher, so it's possible that I'm just reading too much into what I'm reading, but since I'm dealing with another living being here, I want to be absolutely sure we are a good fit.

Thanks again,
Susan
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:43 AM
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Susan,
Here are my thoughts based on my experience. My background is in raising working dogs, of which I currently have a nine week old puppy ....all very large breed and high energy.

1. my yard is currently unfenced since we recently purchased this house. I raised my seven month old pup here as well. Someone in my very nice neighborhood has a cat hoarding issue or just really wants to feed strays, and they appear to enjoy the run down doghouse in the yard that I haven't yet destroyed. Therefore I am sure there's been catpoop in my yard on numerous occasions from non vaccinated cats. We made sure to check the yard and clean it up daily, and potty trained outside with proper vaccination schedule. And if you do see stray doggie poo, just make your pup keep away. Small yards are fine for young pups, and if they need more exercise after proper vaccinations, long walks work fine. Potty pads or litter boxes are always secondary options.

2. Does housebreaking become harder without routine? Probably. However if you're willing to deal with a bit more challenge I haven't found it to be much of an issue. I work 8 hour night shifts, and my fiancee is home. We cut off all food and water at eight pm. Ten pm pup goes on.crate until about 5am. Occasionally some nights he wakes up to go potty outside. Gets up at five to pre, get water, play for an hour before being recrated as my fiancee heads into.work @6 til I get home @730. He then gets breakfast, drinks, plays, and usually falls asleep on me so I can catch a nap. Have we had several accidents in the crate with puppy? Yes. But we never once had an accident with my female, and my male knows he's supposed to potty outside, so the training is working. Oh, and I occasionally get stuck on double shifts, which is the only time I go home and set up a pen. Pens seem to hinder my housetraining more than help it in my opinion.

3. I strongly recommend crate training while you're at work. I use a slightly too large crate for my pups and the first two nights they are in it, I put the crate on my king bed. The third night I put it on the floor nearby, and so on. It seems to be a happy place for them for the most part, and especially if you don't work long hours I don't see much of a need to use a pup pen.

Again, this is just my personal experience, so no one bash me for my thoughts please. Everyonedoes things a little different, and all I know is that I have three very healthy, very happy dogs. Hope this helps
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:22 AM
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The only thing that I can comment on is the routine, I have two 7 month old puppies they have a utility room to themselves whilst we are out at work they have around 2 hours during our lunch breaks and them mostly with them all evening however things happen and sometimes my boyfriends mum will collect them for the afternoon, this doesn't seem to have phased them at all, as long as they have something to chew and destroy they don't seem to mind as long as they aren't left too long. We are now having to crate them because they have taken to chewing holes in the wall.. As for the house training, it has taken a lot of time with us not being around all the time but they are slowly getting there, they will go all through the night but haven't made the link to hold it until we get home so we used the pads which they go on 80% of the time. Although it is not the best situation to be in, as long as you are committed and put in the time and effort when you are with them they can have a very happy life still
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:39 PM
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Its good that your doing your research into getting a puppy
your situation sounds good for a dog,
house training, I personally have never used pee pads but the owner of my border collies mum did with the litter , we had no problems getting her used to going outside, I have house trained all my dogs whilst living in an appartment,
routines especially helpfull with a young pup, but dogs are also very adaptable creatures, the main thing is that you take the puppy out regualarly to pee, every hr and a half to 2 hrs for a 2 or 3 mth pup, which can get longer as the pup gets older.
My dogs routine changes depending on the season ( I live in a tourist area so work when its tourist seasons,) the dogs have no problems adapting to the new routine.
Definately crate train, crates are great (if used properly) I'm guessing that the pup will stay in the bathroom only when your out?
Realistically your dog is only going to be left for 3 - 4 hrs if you go home for lunch? I personaly would crate for that time and while your home over lunch take out for potty, and play, you will most likely find that he will sleep.
While your working from home maybe keep him in the office with you? lokk for signs like snuffing the floor or circling as these often signals that the pup needs to go out.
Good luck
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