New puppy blues ! Help please

(49 Posts)
Notcontent Sun 10-Feb-13 20:39:13

I am looking for some hand holding and reassurance.
I got a puppy about four weeks ago. This was a very much thought-out decision and I was fully prepared for the commitment and the work involved. Except that it has turned out much harder and I am not sure if I am doing something wrong....

Issues are:
- sleeping: he sleeps downstairs as I really don't want him in our bedrooms upstairs. Sometimes he sleeps through until 7 or so, but other times he wakes in the night and is hard to settle. I can't function on very little sleep!

- I don't seem to have much success with house training... He is nearly 3 months old. Crating is not going to work, by the way, because there are days when he has to be alone for 4.5 hours.

- he is confined in the kitchen/dining area for the moment, as I don't want wee and poo in other parts of the house, so I feel confined to those areas even when I would like to relax in my living room or upstairs! And muddy paw marks everywhere, although that's the least of my problems...

Does it get better? Feeling rather stressed.

Floralnomad Sun 10-Feb-13 20:43:06

What are you actually doing from a house training POV ? And the muddy paws are only going to get bigger , so get a good door mat and keep a towel by it .overnight I'd ignore him ,is he clean overnight? Also 4.5 hours is a very long time to leave a puppy , especially if he's not clean because it will be hard to get him clean IYSWIM

flowery Sun 10-Feb-13 20:47:09

It does get better, but yes I was pretty much confined to a couple of rooms for a while, that's the way it goes until you are certain he's housetrained and wo't wee on the foor, and 4.5 hours is waaaay longer than I'd leave a 12 week old puppy tbh.

Notcontent Sun 10-Feb-13 20:56:56

Unfortunately I work part time so can't be there the whole time!! I already pay for someone to come in but can't pay for full time care!!

Have tried lots of praise and treats when he does his business outside. Byt sometimes he just doesn't do it outside and sometimes will poo in the middle of the night...

tabulahrasa Sun 10-Feb-13 21:07:23

My puppy wasn't reliably housetrained till more like 4 months and that was with me in all day and him being crated when I did have to leave him.

To be honest, I think you're expecting a bit much from him, he's only a baby still.

Notcontent Sun 10-Feb-13 21:11:10

Thanks for the comments.
I know he is a baby and I am doing my best sad
I just worry that if I am up every second night I will not be able to continue like this for six months...

flowery Sun 10-Feb-13 21:13:33

Agree it is going to take much much longer to house train if he's being left on his own for several hours regularly.

I was home full time with our puppy and watching him constantly, any signs of needing toilet, every half hour taking him outside etc. He was then house trained quite quickly because we were able to absolutely minimise mistakes.

I appreciate not everyone can be at home full time and not have anything else to worry about, but I think a young puppy needs someone there most of the time so if you can't be there then for a few months you need to pay for someone else to be at least most of the time. He'll settle and house train quicker then IMO.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 10-Feb-13 21:16:24

The first night we had our puppy home I slept with earplugs. blush I don't know if he whined or not but he didn't the second night.

He did get his own back however by taking three months to house train. We were clearing up wee and poo for three months.

He's nearly ten now and seems alright. grin

Notcontent Sun 10-Feb-13 21:20:41

Flowery, if you are right, then I will have to rehome him, because it's just not financially possible for me to hire a puppy nanny - if there is such a thing. sad

So are dogs only for those who don't work?

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 10-Feb-13 21:21:48

Oh, just reread the posts about not leaving him too long. I was also working part time when we got him, that might explain it....


flowery Sun 10-Feb-13 21:24:10

Dog walker, many come and spend time with a puppy. It wouldn't be for long in the scheme of things. How many days a week are you currently leaving him 4.5 hours? You could have someone come an hour after you go, stay with him for a couple of hours then he'd have an hour and a half til you get back.

You'll be able to increase the time he's alone quite quickly so it's not as if it will be forever. But I just think 12 weeks is very young to be left that long.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 10-Feb-13 21:24:44

Oh Notcontent of course not, it might just take you a bit longer like it did with us. Like I say I was working part time, for about three years, after we got him and he's absolutely fine now. Please don't rehome him! Bloody hell he won't melt!

Floralnomad Sun 10-Feb-13 21:25:03

No one is saying only people who don't work can have pets but in hindsight it may have been better for your circumstances to have taken on an older dog that was already house trained . Could you look into daycare as sometimes its not that expensive ,it depends where you live .

Hi. We have a 16 week old springer puppy. He's been fab overall but is still hard work so I so understand. He is also only allowed in the kitchen at the minute, although it is a large one with a family area, settee etc so not too restrictive I guess. I used to get frustrated but try to see the positive if you can. For us, less telly and all together at night playing with the puppy. He can earn his freedom as he gets older.

Our puppy got the toilet training within a week but the crate was a massive factor here I think. Do you not use one at all? Ours is pretty large as we have a friends so there's room for a bed and a bit extra, water bowl and few toys. He gets left for about 3 hours max two or three times a week while I work but he goes there by himself to sleep during the day anyway and if I pop out or go upstairs to do serious cleaning I will close it. I always make sure we gave had a nice long walk, play, training, toilet and food so I know he doesn't want of need anything.

Can't say I love the mud and do struggle with it sometimes as it feels like I am always mopping the bloody floor, no answers other than we have trained him to sit and wait at the door and keeping a stash of towels in the utility. When he's older he's getting hosed outside!

Being tired makes it difficult to have perspective. Do you pop him out for a wee in the night then back in without fuss? Again the crate might help here?

We also prepared carefully and I live him to bits but nothing can really prepare you for the reality.

Try some training and playing to bond. Also when they can walk properly it gets easier. We have two good walks a day over the fields and local woods. I meet friends or just bump into people and it helps lots.

Good luck hang in there!!!

AandAmom Sun 10-Feb-13 21:35:23

My five year old working cocker - a breed that needs lots of exercise/attention - was left on his own three times a week for about 6 hours a day from the day we got him at 8 weeks. We ignored the constant crying the first night and he has been fine ever since. We did crate him but had him in a fairly big crate which we divided off with a cushion to sleep on, an area with a paper or mess and an area for water and food. For everyone who will shout me down for leaving him, carry on, he is walked by me every morning for an hour and the same when we gt home from work. His tale never stops wagging and is currently snuggled up on the sofa snoring after his Sunday dinner. Good luck with your puppy and remember he needs to fit in with your lifestyle, enjoy x x x

Ps. Typos due to phone.

I think if I left him longer than 3 hours max he would be fine tbh as I do kind of make sure he's had all his needs met fully before leave, I have a number of friends who have, indeed the dogs trust puppy manual they give out stipulates 4 hours I recall.

Not sure again if this isn't the crate though too, it's his calm sleepy place.

X post, agree!!!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Sun 10-Feb-13 21:52:04

AandAmom my boy is a working cocker! smile

Lovely aren't they? Yours sounds a bit like mine.

Notcontent Sun 10-Feb-13 22:16:41

Thanks for the words of encouragement! AandMom and needasteongone - I do have a play pen type thing for him with his bed and a bit of space but what started happening is that he would poo in the extra space and if no one was there he would get distressed and tread in it and well, you can imagine the mess...
Anyway, I am sure it will get better. I will try to hang in there, as they say.

AandAmom Sun 10-Feb-13 22:48:55

Definitely worth persevering, my boy makes us laugh ever day and can brighten up even the saddest day smile

flowery Mon 11-Feb-13 07:26:50

The problem is he's going to take much longer for house training because he's not sure where he's supposed to go. During the day because he's being left for longer than his bladder can cope with at this age, he's having to go indoors. When you're home, you're obviously encouraging him to go outdoors. If you can for the first couple of months only leave him as long as his bladder will hold, he'll get it much quicker, and it will be much easier on all of you.

The hard work stage does get much better but if you put in the time and effort with him now, it will pay off.

I do agree there, it will take longer to toilet train him if he is left for 4.5 hours. It pays dividends if you can get him outside almost every half and hour initially until it clicks for them. At 16 weeks, our puppy can hold for a good long while even during the day but we were goings outside on an alarmingly frequent basis for a week or so!

digerd Mon 11-Feb-13 09:42:51

I bred puppies and the first thing I asked was if they worked. Even part time was a NO NO for me. One lady worked 2 hours per day, and her husband did shift work. It worked out fine, luckily. They had him for 15 years and he was of a laid back nature < for a Westie>.

digerd Mon 11-Feb-13 09:45:32

And they had experience of owning a pup/dog.

Notcontent Mon 11-Feb-13 22:46:43

I thought that in would just take a peek at MN before going to sleep, but I shouldn't have... I was looking for moral support but the majority of you seem to think it's not possible to have a puppy and work. I don't have anyone to support me financially so i have to work. I guess I will have to rehome him. sad
Feeling really upset.

Floralnomad Mon 11-Feb-13 22:50:00

No you don't , it will just take longer to house train him . Have you not got any family or neighbours that could come in for an hour in the morning ?

Notcontent Mon 11-Feb-13 22:58:39

Thanks floral. No family nearby and neighbours all work. I could get a dog walker when he is ready for longer walks although I can't really afford it... I guess I will see how it goes.

Sulawesi Mon 11-Feb-13 22:59:50

Don't rehome him! Do you have a friend who could pop in? I actually think he will get the hang of it as he gets older. I have a year old pup now and he learnt fairly quickly although I was with him all the time. Nearly killed me the stress it has to be said but all good now.

As he gets older he will be able to hold his bladder for longer. You will be fine smile.

Sulawesi Mon 11-Feb-13 23:00:21

Sorry x posts. Still think it will be ok.

Sulawesi Mon 11-Feb-13 23:00:44

What breed is he btw?

tabulahrasa Mon 11-Feb-13 23:03:49

It's not that you should rehome him... A 4.5 hour work day isn't that long for a dog, it's maybe not quite ideal, but its do-able, it's just that he's not a dog yet.

It's that it will take longer to housetrain him because while you're at work he is going to need the toilet and will get used to going while you're out.

I'm not understanding why you can't use a crate though? Crates are for using when you're not there - they help with housetraining because they naturally dislike going to the toilet in their beds.

With or without a crate if you could get someone to come and let him out for 6 weeks it would help you loads - it might not even take as long as that before he can hold for that long easily.

If you absolutely can't, he'll still get there it's just that it will take a bit longer.

Notcontent Mon 11-Feb-13 23:05:56

He is a terrier - don't want to provide too many identifying details!

I keep reading about all these really laid back, easy puppies who are house trained at 8 weeks and just lie around relaxing....

tabulahrasa Mon 11-Feb-13 23:08:50

Hahahahaha - I usually call mine monster puppy on here, he's neither laid back nor easy.

tabulahrasa Mon 11-Feb-13 23:09:47

That was me laughing at the idea of mine being laid back btw, not you obviously.

Sulawesi Mon 11-Feb-13 23:15:57

As I say one of mine is a year old and whilst he's very laid back he needs a lot of attention, love and exercise but worth every minute. I really struggled with it for the first few weeks, it's bloody hard work those first few months. Worth it in the long run.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 11-Feb-13 23:17:39

Well mine wasn't. Like I said it took three months and that may well be because I was out for about five hours four days a week. But we did get there eventually and you will too. Please don't give up because a few holier than thous say it's impossible. My boy was absolutely fine and still is absolutely fine. If you can persevere please do. He won't wee in the house for long, all dogs grow out of it eventually. You don't hear of people complaining that their dogs pee in the house forever! Please don't let this knock your confidence. I wouldn't be without my boy now and god forbid anyonee had tried to put me off.

greyvix Mon 11-Feb-13 23:18:39

OP, don't be downhearted.
I occasionally left my puppy for longer than 4 and a half hours, as I work. We got her when my daughter was at home unemployed after uni. While she was at home most days, she did do temping so the puppy was sometimes alone. She was fine- we used a crate. You would expect a puppy, even a young one, to last longer than that at night, so why not during the day?
We were lucky, as she was house trained very quickly. I do put a lot of that down to crate training, as the previous dog (who was perfect in every other way) took months!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 11-Feb-13 23:19:21

That was obviously meant to say mine wasn't house trained at eight weeks!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 11-Feb-13 23:20:04

Epic cross post.

Anomaly Mon 11-Feb-13 23:23:07

I've never heard of a puppy being reliably toilet trained at 8 weeks! Where have you been reading about them? And the words easy and puppy really don't go together. Puppies are hard work, some are really really hard work.

I think you'll have to accept that as you're not there all the time then toilet training will take longer. It's still a work in progress here because I get distracted by the kids. The broken nights sleep though well I'd just ignore him. Mine did a bit of whining and barking for the first few nights but after that they slept through.

flowery Tue 12-Feb-13 06:45:25

You don't have to only use a dog walker for when he can go for longer walks, you can use one to spend time with him on the days you are out 4.5 hours, for a couple of months til he's toilet trained and can hold his bladder long enough to leave him that long.

Don't give up on him for the sake of a couple of months hard work and extra expense, you've made a commitment to him and this hard work bit is very short in the scheme of things compared to years of fun and companionship.

If you've been hearing about easy toilet trained puppies from 8 weeks I imagine the reality is a bit of a shock to your system though.

He's a baby, you wouldn't expect a baby to be toilet trained and able to sit quietly for hours on end would you, so why a puppy?

If you want him house trained quickly, you need to take him out every 45 mins, and use over the top praise every time he goes. I also teach pups a prompt word (say 'toilet'), so that they know what I want them to do. The risk otherwise is they spend hours playing and then pee the second they come indoors. If you can't take him out this often he isn't going to be able to hold on and will have to mess indoors. This isn't him being naughty, it's biology, he just can't hold on.

My advice is to really focus on training when you are home, and try to find a friendly local pensioner or SAHM who will pop in and out regularly when you are at work.

I'm a bit surprised that anyone would get a puppy and then be shocked that leaving him for hours on end causes problems. As for house trained from 8 weeks, whoever told you that was having a laugh. Some pups get the concept quicker than others, but one of mine took 9 months (and that was with someone at home all day every day). He came from a farm and was neglected before we got him, so had other issues holding him back.

Floralnomad Tue 12-Feb-13 07:26:23

TBH you would probably be better off paying someone to come in for an hour for the next few weeks rather than when he can go for walks . Once he's in a good routine you won't need a dog walker if he's only left for 4.5 hours . Mine doesn't get walked every 2/3 hours and can easily be left for 4.5 hours. Good luck ,its very early days and if people tell you that 8 week old puppies are house trained I think that's probably more luck than judgement.

higgle Tue 12-Feb-13 10:05:20

My first dog was not reliable at nights until she was 9 months old, I lived in a flat and would take her out last thing and then at about 7am once she was trained, but before that she wouldn't always let me know she wanted to go out. The bigger picuture is that we had her for 17 years, she grew into a wonderful dog and becuse of our work patterns she did have to spend a fair bit of time on her own. It might take a while, but the difficult stage will pass

PurpleFrog Tue 12-Feb-13 10:29:21

Our dog was fully house trained between 6-7 months of age. He was crate trained and never soiled or wet his crate. But, this meant that he barked to go out at 4.30-6.00am every morning until he was about 9 months old. He just couldn't last any longer. I ended up going to bed at 9.30pm for a while so that I could catch up on sleep, and DP popped him out at 11.00pm or so before putting him in his crate for the night. He is great now, and sleeps right through until I get up (7.00ish weekdays, 8.00ish weekends). He only barks to go out if he has an upset tummy, and I would much rather take him out to the garden at 5.00am than clean up diarrhoea from crate and dog!

It is hard while it lasts, but they grow quickly and it will be so much better in a few months time.

What support do you have at home? Are you doing this mostly on your own? Puppies are hard and it's good to share the load!

Where are these chilled out and toilet trained puppies that you speak of? smile

It really is overwhelming to start with, the walks have helped me immensely, I have met so many different people and just getting out of the ouse helps tons.

How you feeling today? smile

AandAmom Tue 12-Feb-13 18:34:57 off today, spring cleaned the house top to bottom....nipped to shops for an hour, came home to find the 5 yr old spaniel had done a big turd in the kitchen and the 10 yr old cat had done one in the bathroom !! They all have their moments, enjoy your puppy in the the knowledge that your house smells much better than mine today smile

TeaOneSugar Tue 12-Feb-13 20:57:44

You can work and have a dog it just takes more planning.

Is there any chance of taking some annual leave? Or getting someone to take him out at lunchtime?

Piffle Tue 12-Feb-13 22:36:01

I puppy sit for someone in our village as I have dogs already and I can walk to hers, I charge only bare cost to help her young dog...
It is worth asking around 6th formers? Uni returners anything for a few bob

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