You're not so much worried about damage to the house (although hubs isn't quite as forgiving) so much that he'll chew and swallow something he shouldn't. Indeed you are right to worry because swallowing small objects is a sure fire way for the pup to end up in doggie ER awaiting surgery to remove a foreign body stuck in the gut.
A friend suggested crate training the pup, so that when you can't be there to supervise, you can at least know he's not eating carpet or house plants. It seems a good idea, and something you are keen to know more about.
Of course, there's a right and a wrong way to crate train a dog. The wrong way is to force the dog inside and shut him in against his will. This will serve to make him resentful of the crate and feel stressed when inside.
The right way to crate train is to have the pup discover the crate as a great place to be (hidden treats help a lot) and then praise him for spending calm time inside the crate.
I have had my pups for a week. They spend nites in their crate, time outside in a small wire fenced area and I also hold them multiple times during the day. They potty mostly outside and on a puppy pad at the back of the crate with occasional urine on the bed/blanket. I repeat this cycle of outside/holding/crate throughout the day. Would the next step be to let them out of the crate in a room with a few pup pads down to see if they will potty on them? I’m just not sure what the next step in training is...help!
Hello Debbie, First, set up an exercise pen and purchase a real grass pad and put it on one side of the exercise pen, set up a crate attached to the exercise pen on the opposite end of the pen. Take the puppies to the grass pad regularly and encourage them to sniff around on the grass. You can use an attractant spray if needed to help them associate the grass pad with pottying. When they go potty on the pad, praise and give a treat. You don't want them pottying in the crate anymore, that will teach them to go potty in a crate and make potty training and travel incredibly hard for pet parents later. If they continue pottying in the crate at night even after changing the exercise pen pottying setup, then remove the crate and have them sleep just in the exercise pen with the grass pad on the far end... hopefully they will forget about pottying in the crate in the past and pet parents can reintroduce and use a crate later still. Once they are regularly being rewarded for pottying on the grass pad, they can sleep in the crate at night - that's attached to the exercise pen, if it didn't have to be removed, and potty on the grass pad on the other end of the exercise pen when they need to at night. If you purchase an beds for them, use a cot type bed or something like www.primopads.com so it's not absorbent - otherwise they will just pee on the beds. To socialize them better, bring them out of the exercise pen in the house right after they have peed on the grass pad, for 30-45 minutes. After 30-45 minutes being free in the house but supervised, return them to the exercise pen until they have gone potty in there - since they may need to pee again when it's been an hour. You want them to associate freedom in the house with no peeing and the best way to do that is to only give them freedom when their bladders are likely to be empty. Expect puppies to need to poop within 15-45 minutes of eating and after running around a bunch also. I strongly suggest no longer using the crate or pee pads for potty training since they will grow up to be big enough that most pet parents will want to train them to potty outside. Puppies that are trained to pee on fabric pee pads for too long, then switched to pottying outside can have issues with peeing on rugs and carpet later. If you need somewhere for them to pee on while they are young inside, use a real grass pad. Check out the article linked below for more details on teaching puppies to potty somewhere inside - real grass pads are best for puppies who will eventually be going potty outside most of the time though. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Check out this article for teaching puppies to go potty somewhere outside. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Real grass pad brands - also found on amazon. It's important to use the real grass ones and not astroturf. These cost more than puppy pads but each one can be used for much longer before being thrown away. www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com - this one is a lot more expensive and only worth getting if you plan to use one for yourself long term or are going to recommend to future pet parents who want to do indoor potty training long term. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We are struggling to potty train our boy. We are feeding him at set times and taking him out around 30 minutes afterwards for up to 45 minutes at a time. He does nothing outdoors and the minute we enter the house he urinates on the floor. We can generally tell when he is ready to open his bowels and he is taken outside and given treats and praise, however he can’t master the urination and today alone I have cleared his mess up - I kid you not - at least 25 times. The worrying thing is that he hasn’t even drank very much and sometimes it’s not even 2 mins in between. He won’t go to the toilet on training pads - he prefers to eat them. He goes to bed in his crate with no accidents so we know he can hold it but why is he not doing the toilet outside? Help
Hello Lyndsey, If he is going potty more often then every 30-45 minutes I would have him checked out by your vet to make sure there isn't a medical issue possibly causing urinary incontinence, such as a urinary tract infection. (I am not a vet though). If pup's health is good, he is probably confused and because of how many accidents he has had inside, he thinks that's where he is supposed to pee. Check out the crate training method from the article linked below and follow that method strictly right now. The only time he should be free in the home is the 45 minutes AFTER he pees outside. If he doesn't go potty when you take him out, put him back into the crate and try again in 30 minutes. Repeat the trips outside every thirty minutes and crating in between if he doesn't go, until he finally pees outside. I also suggest carrying him to and from the crate at first since it sounds like he might squat and go potty even on the way to the crate. Also, when you take him outside, take him on a leash! And walk him around slowly on the leash. You may already be doing this, but if not he is probably getting distracted so that is part of why he isn't going potty. Crate Training method - the method says poop outside, but it should work just as well for pee: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside The goal right now is to only give him one clean option for peeing - outside. He will be in the crate any time his bladder isn't empty right now. As he pees more and more outside and the accidents inside stop because of the crate and stricter schedule, he should gradually reverse where he is wanting to go potty and where he keeps things clean. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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