New puppy blues ! Help please(49 Posts)
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....
- 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.
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 ?
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.
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 .
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.
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....
Hahahahaha - I usually call mine monster puppy on here, he's neither laid back nor easy.
That was me laughing at the idea of mine being laid back btw, not you obviously.
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.
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.
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!
That was obviously meant to say mine wasn't house trained at eight weeks!
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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?
Notcontent....day 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
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?
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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