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  #1  
Old 09-11-2007, 12:02 AM
SweetHomeColorado SweetHomeColorado is offline
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Please help me house-train my puppy!

I just got the best puppy.... a mountain feist. I never heard of them before I saw her, either.

I live in an apartment and I need to house train her. Living on the second floor, I'm assuming that paper training her is a good way to go. I'm new to 'dog-raising'.....

First, do you recommend any better alternatives to house training a puppy other than paper training?
Second, what should I do to train her the proper way? What worked for you?

(she's 8.5 pounds and won't get over 20lbs.)
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2007, 12:13 AM
kinoons kinoons is offline
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you may want to consider litter box training here. I did that with my pug and it's worked great. We did it like this

1) Choose where you want the box to be. we picked a corner in the kitchen that is easy to clean and out of the way, so if he misses the box it's not big deal. My understanding is that dogs link a specific spot with where they go, so once shes trained it may be difficult to move the box

2) I used puppy training pads taped to the floor at first. We had to watch our little guy like a hawk, and any time he looked like he was going to go potty we moved him to the pads. After a few days he began to pick up on it...within about a week he was fairly reliable, within two he was 95% reliable to use the pads.

3) once we got to this point we put a litter box in the spot, and the puppy pads in the box. Again, let this go for a while until the puppy is 95+% reliable to poop and pee in the litter box.

4) change out the puppy pads for litter. My dog seemed to like to eat the litter, so I got two large boxes and just drilled a lot of holes in one, put litter in the other.

My wife and I both work 12 hour shifts, so the puppy may be home alone all day with just a cat to keep him company. The puppy can take himself to the litter box anytime he wants.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2007, 07:49 AM
Hanna Hanna is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Crate train - there's tons of advice on the web and in books on how to do this far better than I could ever explain.

I'm not a fan of paper training or anything like that which teaches dogs that it is OK to go in the house sometimes.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2007, 09:02 AM
auRa auRa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boscibo
I'm not a fan of paper training or anything like that which teaches dogs that it is OK to go in the house sometimes.
Ditto. Also, while I've never owned a dog while living in an apartment, I've been around lots and have watched them raised from puppyhood. Living in an apartment doesn't mean that the dog can't pee outside. It just means you might have to go across the street to keep the dog from peeing in front of the stairwell.

What I've seen recommended most is this: remember that puppies usually need to go to the bathroom after they've eaten and when they've just woken up. Since puppies spend most of their time eating and sleeping, this means quite often. As soon as the puppy has woken up, for example, take her outside to where she's allowed to relieve herself. Wait. This could take a while. As soon as the dog has done her business, shower her with praise, maybe give her a treat, and then take her back inside. Lather, rinse, repeat. I recently puppy-sat a four-month-old and she was very good at signalling when she needed to go out. They learn pretty quickly.
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2007, 12:44 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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I agree with not paper training. Why teach a dog it's okay to go indoors? as the dog grows up, a good walk is good for you and for the pup, and socialization is a must. If you have to take the dog out, you're more likely to visit the park more often.

StG
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2007, 01:49 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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We just this spring condo-trained a rescued pit bull puppy who started out pretty much as a blank slate -- she was found on the street and had few clues as to how to interact with people or dogs.

My technique was based on three primary pillars:

1) All positive. I wanted to stay away from punishment, from nose-rubbing, from "smacking", and even from "NO!" itself.

2) Crate training.

3) Frequent opportunities to go.

These three are all related in a way. The crate isn't punitive -- it serves like a natural den. The puppy is naturally reluctant to soil her (ours is a girl, so I'll use that pronoun) den/sleeping place. As noted above, see numerous sites on crate training. The frequent opportunities not only are necessary because of the tiny puppy bladder, they are frequent chances for the puppy to be good and get reinforcement as a good dog. Also, frequent trips save your household and your nerves.

I know it'll be a pain in the keister -- but reflect that most things done well are done well by dint of effort. We got up all the time, comfortable or not, after supper, before bed, whenever we came home, whenever we noticed "it had been a while." Certainly at least every 2 hours except for overnight slumber, which should probably be in the crate at first. Up and out, up and out, that's your motto.

Whenever the puppy did go in the house, here's what I did. JUMP up, get a paper towel wet in the spot, and rush outside with the puppy (leashed). Set the wet, smelly, urine-soaked paper towel in the grass where I wanted her to pee.

Then PRAISE HER.

No punishment, no hitting, no humiliation. She probably doesn't remember consciously deciding to be bad -- she just had to go, it's natural. But she very quickly picked up on the "hey, I get praised for this, if I go out here!" aspect.

You want her to think inside=my den=no soiling, versus outside grass=relief=praise.

That's really all I did. I also think leashing up at the threshold helped establish more clearly that "this is our den, no peeing."

We brought her into the house April 2. She knew what do do by Easter, which was April 8. She did have accidents after that of course, mostly when we got lax about taking her out aggressively. She had some illness including diarrhea in late April that caused a few house (and one crate) accidents, but she was a sick little girl, I don't blame her. She hasn't had an accident in the house since May, and that was under family stress (the humans were moody) and I don't blame her for that either...and she only had a few little accidents over the whole stressful month of May.

We let her sleep out of the crate overnight (in a doggie bed in our bedroom)...um...I forget when exactly, but she transitioned pretty easily to the doggie bed at night (it may have helped that we have an older dog snuggled happily in the doggie bed right next to hers).

It wasn't long before she was waking me up with a whine or by placing her paws on the edge of our bed, even when she had diarrhea. I can't tell you how proud it made me that she'd wake me up and hold it until we got outside even when she was pretty sick.

So, my experience may be an anomaly -- this is the first time I've ever been fully in charge of housetraining a puppy. But despite many strikes against her, our puppy did a great job, and we kept everything positive.

Think of it this way: you're building a relationship with an innocent, not merely guarding a carpet against a vandal.

Best of luck to you! Now, where are the pictures???

Sailboat
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2007, 01:50 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Unless you want an adult dog that is paper trained (and I wouldn't myself - I used to know people who did that and the house STANK) - don't paper train. Crate train.

This will mean that puppy can hold its bladder for about 2 hours or so for every month - probably you can stretch it a little at night. If you work during the day, you need to find or hire someone to let the dog out or swing through on lunch. It isn't fair (or healthy) to puppy not to be able to pee in the middle of the day. And you'll probably need to get up once in the middle of the night if your dog isn't three or four months old already. Most people say don't leave your dog in a crate more than six hours at a time regardless of age except at night - reality hits here - if you work you may get to a point where the dog needs to be in his crate for eight or nine hours a day - particularly if the pup gets into trouble (usually chewing) if left outside his crate even once house trained. If that is the case, make sure even a small dog gets plenty of exercise and interaction when you are home.

Crate training will mean that the next month or so of your life (depending on the dog and his age) will involve going outside about 2,945 times a day with your dog. (Probably more like 12 to 15). And discovering yourself cooing "nice, good puppy, poop outside, yes!" more than you thought any adult would.
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2007, 01:56 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerosa
If you work during the day, you need to find or hire someone to let the dog out or swing through on lunch. It isn't fair (or healthy) to puppy not to be able to pee in the middle of the day.
Yes, I forgot to mention that my wife works near enough to home that she came home every day for lunch walks, so the puppy never spent more than 3-4 hours alone in the crate, max. If you can't do the same, it's well worth it to hire a reliable dogwalker rather than ruin your house and your relationship with your dog.

Quote:
If that is the case, make sure even a small dog gets plenty of exercise and interaction when you are home.
Yes again! Exercise is absolutely critical to rainsing a happy and well-adjusted dog. I've lost 14 pounds so far.

Quote:
Crate training will mean that the next month or so of your life (depending on the dog and his age) will involve going outside about 2,945 times a day with your dog. (Probably more like 12 to 15). And discovering yourself cooing "nice, good puppy, poop outside, yes!" more than you thought any adult would.
Up and out shall be your motto!

Excellent points.

Sailboat
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