Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Excuse me in advance for what might be disorganized rambling. It's been 15 years since I've had a puppy. :)

About the puppy: Coco is a rescue Papillon-mix (looks like some Chihuahua in there), 4-5 months old, just over 4 pounds. We don't know much about her history in terms of when she was taken away from her litter mates. She arrived at the rescue and was put into a playpen pretty young, with 3 very young, tiny chihuahua puppies. They became her siblings; she was physically bigger than them, when they'd play bite/nip at her she could literally bat them away with her paw. The rescue was a kennel/boarding facility, so she saw a ton of dogs and people coming and going, and at night she stayed with the rescue organizer's family, who had dogs and young children. So in a way her socialization started early. She's due to have her last round of shots this upcoming week. After that, she'll go to dog training classes and doggy day care at a "small and medium dog ranch" 1-2x a week so she has playtime and makes friends and gets socialized and all of that. So far, she's met many of my friends without dogs present, and isn't shy at all, but has been super high energy.

Me: I'm single and live alone. I work a fairly standard 9-5, M-F. I own my home with a fenced yard (although I am concerned about some places she could sneak out, so she's always closely supervised when out there), and live 3 houses away from a large park, and fairly close (8 minute drive) to a dog park that separates large and small dogs. I spend an hour with her in the morning before work playing and hanging out, I come home every day at lunch to let her out to pee and get some exercise for about an hour, and then spend about 2 hours after work off-and-on playing and exercising her. On weekends (like this one), I'm home practically the entire time, playing with her, letting her out, etc. But in-and-out of the pen she goes, for various reasons.

The exercise/playpen setup: At present, I put her in her exercise/playpen (8 panel Midwest, set up in the living room) when I get on the treadmill, get in the shower/am getting ready for work, leave for work, have to use the restroom, or need to focus on something for a few minutes and cannot have eyes on her. Otherwise, I try to keep her out of the pen and have my eyes on her - but it is hard! I get her to go in there by saying, "Go in your room" and throwing some treats in there. Sometimes she goes on cue, sometimes she requires the treats. On one side is her crate, another little bed, her chew toys, Kong, and water bowl. On the other side is a litter box that is lined with wee wee pads.

Those pads are there as a "just in case". If/when she uses them (99.99% of her potty inside the house has been in there so far), she gets no praise. She gets a ton of praise when she potties outside, she's coming to expect it and comes running over after she's finished, she's so proud of herself! She's starting to potty on cue outside. I can tell she's starting to really hold it and wait to be let outside, as when I come home at lunch (4-5 hours after I left her), often times there's no pee on the pads yet, and she'll pee three times outside. But by the time I get home the second time (another 4-5 hours later), she's pee'd twice on the pads. She's getting there, but not quite. She's only pooped a couple times on the pads, early on when she came home; it's obvious to me she much prefers the grass and will hold it. When out of the pen, she's starting to alert me that she needs to go by running over to the glass door. But still, there have been some mid-play time accidents where she just drops a squat and pees on the rug, even though she's only like 8 feet from the door. She's only had a handful of pee accidents in the house in 3 weeks; no poops.

Problem is, after work when I'm home, she's peeing a lot. I'm assuming this is because there's more activity and she's playing a lot so her bladder is activated? She pees a LOT. I'm taking her out every 25-30 minutes. She'll be playing a bit with a toy, then she'll start sniffing... so I immediately ask, "Outside?" and she hops up all excited and runs to the door, I take her out, she pees. This could happen 10 times in 3 hours. But if I'm just watching her sniff, thinking she's just exploring for 3-4 seconds (because how could she possibly need to pee again, she just pee'd 10 minutes ago?!), she'll pee on the rug.

So here's my quandry... Will continuing to use the pen and coming home to take her out work? For potty training purposes, I know I should probably be crate training, but I just can't quite feel okay with leaving her in a crate alone for 4-5 hours until I can get home (and there might be days where it's longer than that, and the dog walkers I've spoken with need to know at least 24 hours in advance, which kinda doesn't serve the purpose, I'd have to use them every single day, which I cannot afford). She sleeps in her crate for 8 hours no problem, but she's next to my bed in it and knows I'm there. Not so when I leave the house. This is why I chose the exercise/playpen. I felt it would give her more room to move around, play, and relieve herself if necessary, she wouldn't be all cooped up. I can also stick her in there if I need to do something and not be able to keep a watchful eye on her, but she can still play and see me (I have an open concept floor plan).

But I get that having her use pads "just in case" is probably going to delay housebreaking, as she's going to get the idea that peeing in the house is okay. But if it'll work, just take longer, I can deal with that.

My other issue is this: In her pen or in her crate, she's calm and relaxed. Outside of it... WILD CHILD. Holy cow. Running all over, bouncing off the walls and the couch, zooming everywhere around the house and the yard, chasing her tail. I realize she's kinda cooped up for a good chunk of the day, and that maybe that's the cause, so I really am giving her a good amount of exercise when I'm home. But it's like she has ENDLESS energy outside the pen.

People do have dogs and jobs... Is this just puppy energy??

Some good things so far though:
  • She's very smart. In the first couple days, she very quickly picked up sit, lay down, stay, shake, and high-five. She's very treat motivated. I think she's easily trainable, just need to know how.
  • She likes other people, is very friendly.
  • From the other dogs she's met/been around at the rescue, she gets along with them well. She's not bothered at all by the sound of my neighbor's dog barking on the other side of the fence. Has a sort of, "Hmm, what's over there?" attitude.
  • She's very comfy in her crate; she falls asleep in there within 2 minutes.
  • She sleeps through the night in her crate.

Any thoughts, advice, input, etc., are greatly appreciated!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Hi and welcome!

Sounds like you're doing a fantastic job with the pup so far.

In terms of your concerns, here's my opinion - I did a lot of stuff very similarly to you so my response is a bit long as I've added in some of my experience with what we did;

Playpen setup -- think it's totally fine, I had pretty much the exact same setup with my pup, including the pee pads. I left them in there until he went 2 days in a row without using them and took them out for good. My guy did the same thing though would go a morning or afternoon without using them then use them the next day. Did this for a few weeks before he finally went a couple days in a row. He ended up using the pen until he was about 6 months old and now he's graduated to getting freedom of the bedroom for about 5 hours at most, and is in his pen if he's going to be left longer than that. Next week I'm going to try bedroom freedom for full work day. I haven't seen any behavior to indicate that using the pee pads set him back any. He doesn't pee on the rug (although he did a few times when he was very young), or on any similar material to the pee pads. I leave dirty clothes/towels on the floor, he doesn't go near them. (unless their are socks in the pile as those are his favorite "toy")

The frequent peeing when you're home is most likely from the increased activity and her probably drinking more water because of it as well. Keep taking her out at every sign that she's got to go. Sometimes it will be every 15 mins sometimes every hour or two. At 4-5 months her bladder control isn't quite developed yet. While she might want to hold till her next potty break at this point, she physically just isn't able to yet. Frequent bathroom trips are normal at this stage. Keep it up and be diligent, even if it's just you think maybe she has to pee, regardless of when she was last out, take her out again. For a point of reference my pup is 7 months old (actually maybe closer to 8 months now) and I would say he's about 95% trustworthy in the house, mostly because he's started marking stuff now, and there are some places in the house he seems to want to "claim"

I also crated my pup at night, although he's been sleeping in the bed since he was about 5 months old. I continued to crate him in the car or if we were at a friends or something I would have his crate on hand. Stopped using it pretty much altogether last week... I do plan on making sure to keep it around the house and periodically get him to go in there and toss treats in there in case he does need it again for boarding or traveling or whatever.

The excess energy out of the crate I think you've nailed. Just puppy excitement. My pup is just now starting to learn that a little relaxing is a good thing, for the longest time he only had 2 modes, play and sleep.

Again sounds like you're doing great so far, keep it up. Oh and post pics :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I think your doing great, my pup is 4 months old and we have a similar setup and just recently in the last few weeks got rid of the pads since he was eating them even with a pad tray so he does do ok with not peeing in his playpen but has had a few accidents when he's barked and we didn't get to him quick enough. I will say the most I've left him in the playpen or crate is 3 hrs not sure how he would be longer then that at this point without a pad but I also don't leave free access to water. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the support, guys!

She's gone 36 hours so far without using her wee wee pads, almost 2 full days... maybe we'll make it that far today! I'm not ready to take them away yet (and she's probably peeing on them as I type this from work, haha!), but I am so pleased with her progress! So proud of my baby girl!

She's also seeming to settle and calm down better now in her pen, too. She hops right in there to be fed and to get her Kong when I leave in the morning.

I'll post pictures later from home. :)

So glad I found this forum! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Glad it's going so well, we got rid of the pads since we've been home and not out for more then 2 hrs at a stretch but my husband is traveling this week and I'm nervous about leaving Chili in the playpen without a pad for 3 hrs even though I think he'll be ok. I tested out taping it in the holder the other night and he was unable to get it out so I think I'll put it down just incase I hate for him to go on the floor and it sit for so long but I feel like were in the same spot. I have a walker still coming twice a day. Chili is 17 weeks and a Maltipoo but he's big and already 10 lbs!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top