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Hi all. I am just looking for people to talk to. We have a 10 week old puppy. I have a constant knot in my stomach and cry every day. We got her at 8 weeks. We initially taught her to use pads for her toilet needs. She was using them 90% of the time. I have this week off and want to train her to go outside. She takes a minimum of 30 minutes to go and prefers the pads. My issue is that I won’t have the luxury of that sort of time when I’m back at work (from home) and will lose my job if I keep disappearing for 30 min every hour or so! I’m getting extremely stressed and anxious. Combined with lack of sleep and all the other little stresses, I am constantly crying. I need help. Don’t know how I will concentrate at work and it worries me. I am also prone to anxiety and depression so I know I’m affected by that as well.
 

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Hi and welcome.

First, puppy blues is a very real thing so you are not alone in this.

Second, if you want her to toilet outside, the 2 weeks using pads won't have significantly spoiled your chances.

She takes a minimum of 30 minutes to go and prefers the pads
Don't wait out that long. If she doesn't toilet, bring her in. Any significantly a toilet inside, scoop her up and get her out. If she doesn't try to toilet inside, that's fine bit take her out again5 minutes later. Keep yo-yo-ing in and out until she does, then immediately praise and reward. It has to be immediate to be clear that it's for toileting and not for anything else and it has to be generous to make it worth her while to try to hold her toilet.

But - a young pup will have zero control at this stage so I can't offer suggestions about your work apart from hiring a dog sitter or bribing afriendor family member.
 

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Thank you for your reply and advice. My parents have offered to come over 3 days next week when I’m back at work. So I’ll only have 2 days on my own. How long do you think it will take for a puppy to at least get the general idea of going toilet outside? I know it won’t happen overnight or at 100% for a while. I just feel with the pads she is getting confused and will now squat anywhere.
 

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I agree the pads give mixed messages about whether indoor toileting is allowed or not. So I don't recommend them for puppies.

How long - no way to say I'm afraid. Some dogs are really quick, others not so much. And it depends too on how good you are at training her - make sure the reward is immediate and generous, like I said.
 

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Thank you for your reply and advice. My parents have offered to come over 3 days next week when I’m back at work. So I’ll only have 2 days on my own. How long do you think it will take for a puppy to at least get the general idea of going toilet outside? I know it won’t happen overnight or at 100% for a while. I just feel with the pads she is getting confused and will now squat anywhere.
The first thing you need to do is take all of those pads and throw them out. As long as they are on the floor, she will think it is fine to go potty in the house.
How long it takes will depend on too many variables for anyone to say with any certainty. but it is guaranteed that the more dedicated you are to following a careful routine of taking her out enough times in the day so that she doesn't get a chance to go indoors, the more quickly it will be. You need to be 100% consistent.

And, take heart. this is only a baby and before you know it she will be trained and you can start enjoying her and training her in other things. This situation is temporary. Just keep telling yourself that when you get frustrated.
 

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I agree - scrap the potty pads.

You already have great advice here, and I'm not sure if it's helpful, but it absolutely will pass. I have anxiety and depression and when I got my current dog as a puppy I expected to go through puppy blues but I didn't anticipate how bad it would be. He had severe behavioral issues and couldn't be left with anyone else, so it was just me, feeling lost and alone. You can read through my early posts to get a taste. :ROFLMAO:

He's 7 years old now and we've come so far. He's still got issues but not nearly as bad as they used to be, they're more easily managed, and I couldn't imagine life without him. It took time, probably longer for him than it would have for any other dog, but we got there. And sometimes venting helps so feel free to do that too!
 

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Something that might help speed it up is to use a high value treat like a smelly cheese, chicken; something special to her that she only gets for an outside toilet or two other high value behaviors like "drop it". Also--amidst the many things being juggled already-see if you notice a pattern for when she does toilet. For example, she might have a propensity to pee around 10:30 or whatever o'clock rather than on the hour

And as someone also dealing with puppy blues, I'm there with you. Is there a possibility to take a nap at one of those times she's also napping? It can really help when dealing with the sleep loss and those challenges in the early days.
 

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MissMia87, I joined this forum just so I could give you some training advice. I hope it helps. You can teach the behavior to potty outside just as quick as any other behavior. For my dogs that means about 1 to 2 weeks for a behavior I can trust well.

Potty Training:
1. make a plan on paper, one that works for you and your household. I get up early, so I start the plan at 6:30am and I end it at 10:30pm. If I have a very young puppy, I also plan on a middle of the night potty break. I set my alarm at 2:30am and take the puppy out then. The daytime plan should have the puppy going outside to potty about every two hours at first. After a month make it every 3 to 4 hours. So for a very young puppy you would have 6:30am, 8:30am, 10:30am etc.

2. Remember also to contain your puppy in a play yard or crate when you are not doing something with the puppy.

3. Take the puppy to the same area. Say a phrase, I use "go potty" I say go potty over and over. When the puppy goes potty, don't change your voice or treat yet. Just keep saying go potty. As soon as the puppy is done, go crazy with praise and give a treat. If you treat before the puppy is done the puppy might think she is getting treats for just squatting and or hold her pee to go again for more treats. It will confuse the puppy. So treat and praise as soon as she is done.

4. Don't take the puppy for a walk till she goes potty, and then return to the house, the puppy will learn to hold it if the puppy doesn't want the walk to end. Potty in the same area in the yard, then a walk.

5. Times the puppy will need to go potty. After waking from sleep or a nap. After eating. After playing with toys. Before playing with toys. You get the idea, any change in what is going on the puppy needs to potty. That's why if you feed and play with the puppy on a schedule at first, it makes it very easy for you to teach the puppy what you want.

6. Your puppy will learn to go potty on command and also go get down to business fast. Even my older dogs get treats for going potty, not all the time but once in awhile. And I say "go potty" to all my dogs everyday, and give them praise for a job well done. So if you need to have the puppy go potty before you start your work the puppy will. It will become a habit to go when she hears what ever phrase you use. So when she has learned the behavior, it will become easier for you to control the puppies bathroom routine. As the puppy gets older she will need less and less potty breaks.

7. I hesitate to mention this because I have trained a lot of dogs. It will probably take you a little longer. But I normally expect a puppy to be house trained by 11 weeks old, so in two weeks time. The 1st week home feels like you are constantly taking the puppy out and giving her treats when done. But the second week I use 3 or 4 hours between trips. The 4th week I take the puppy out early in the morning and again about an hour or two later. then only once in the afternoon, sometimes none in the afternoon. Keep in mind that if you have to work a regular 8 hour day, try to establish that work routine as soon as possible. So that might mean puppy in a crate in a different part of the house. It will be best if you can take her out on your lunch break though. Then several bathroom breaks in the evening.

8. I don't train for any other behaviors till house training is done. Like sit, down, leave it etc.

9. If the puppy has an accident in the house or crate, don't make a big deal of it. Try not to respond at all about it. Just clean it up super good. And of course no treat for an accident.

Oh also make sure that the treats you use are super great treats. You can use some cooked chicken or some cheese, or purchase some liver training treats. Training treats are very small and soft. If I use training treats I purchase, I give the smallest amount I can like a half of it or a third of it. If I'm using cheese or chicken the same idea - very small amount. The closer you treat the puppy to potty completion the better. And you want the puppy to eat it right away, while the puppy can remember what it's for.

Sorry so long, but I know that this is an issue that people surrender their dogs from. So I want to be as much help as I can.
 

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Some great advice above; just a couple of points though -

The daytime plan should have the puppy going outside to potty about every two hours at first. After a month make it every 3 to 4
I think that might be a little ambitious, I'd suggest hourly trips outside to begin with.

Say a phrase, I use "go potty" I say go potty over and over. When the puppy goes potty, don't change your voice or treat yet. Just keep saying go potty
To get the puppy to understand what you mean, you need to start off saying your cue phrase only while the dog is in the act of toileting. Otherwise it will be just a meaningless noise. The dog first needs to learn to associate the noise with the action. Once you have said it while your pup is toileting a number if times (maybe after a week), use your phrase when you know the dog is on the point of starting, to begin establishing it as a cue. It's only when the dog understands what you mean that you can take her out and use it to tell her now is a good time. I also have different cues for peeing and pooing.

Also, it isn't a good idea to repeat and repeat any cue phrase (whether that's potty, or come, or sit) because all that does is teach the dog that complying first time isn't expected.
 
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