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Alot of questions from a new puppy owner. can anyone help please?

(11 Posts)
SunshineDaisiesButterMellow Sat 13-Sep-14 08:41:08

We have a cocker spaniel pup who is nearly 10 weeks old. We got her this week.
She was a bit sick with some strain of kennel cough and is on antibiotics.

She was fed by the breeder when we got her, we saw her eating with her brother and she was going at it. The breeder gave us the same bag of food but she won't eat it. It's dry kibble.
Anyway because she's not very well the breeder and vet said to give her some chicken. So I've been giving her chicken and rice mixed in veg & dry kibble.
She eats this no problem. But leaves some of the kibble.
* should I try a different dog food? Maybe can food? Which would you recommend?

Second question.

I have been taking her out every hour or sooner if I see her sniffing round but she doesn't really do one outside. Wee or poo. She sniffs all round the garden takes ages but does nothing then when back inside after 5 minutes or so will go.
Am I doing it wrong? She does go outside sometimes but more often than not she doesn't.


Do you think crate training would be better way to go? And if so what size should I get? Do I need one for a puppy size or one for an adult cocker spaniel to grow into?

That was longer than I thought thanks if you got through it.

tabulahrasa Sat 13-Sep-14 08:57:25

Food...dogs will leave dry food if they think there's better food available. I'd get her better first then sort out the eating. Try soaking the food and just give her it, give her 10 minutes and take it away again and repeat at the next mealtime, but not while she's ill obviously.

Toileting, take her out after feeding, sleeping, playing and about every 20 minutes she's awake in between those, stay out there until she's been to the toilet. Basically you need to accidentally catch her going outside so you can give her loads of praise.

Crate training helps a bit as they prefer not to go to the toilet in there, but, it won't magically help her realise that outside is where she's supposed to be going.

WeAllHaveWings Sat 13-Sep-14 11:45:16

we did what tabula recommends, stay outside until she does go, no matter how long it takes, you really really need to catch her doing it outside and then massive fuss/treats after.

If she does go inside, ignore/gently put in crate while you clean up with proper dog cleaning solution and let out after, again with no fuss.

Very time consuming for a few weeks, but worth it in the long run (just be glad the weather is good just now).

SunshineDaisiesButterMellow Sat 13-Sep-14 12:57:26

Thanks for the advice. We have caught her doing a wee this morning outside and gave a massive fuss. An hour later took her outside was there ages she was just pottering about so went back in and 5 minutes later she went in the hall..
So frustrating. We will crack it soon she says optimistically

insanityscratching Sat 13-Sep-14 13:43:15

This advice posted by Lilcamper and followed to the letter meant that Eric was reliably house trained in less than a fortnight and I think we had just a couple of accidents where I wasn't watching him enough

TOILET TRAINING is all about creating good habits. Young pups have very small bladders and very little BLADDER CONTROL so they need to be in the right place when nature calls.

To toilet train successfully in as short a time as possible you must take your puppy to the garden:

When they wake

After eating

After taking a drink

Before, during and after a period of activity

When you come in

Before you go out

Before bedtime

During the adverts

And every twenty to thirty minutes in between unless they are asleep. During periods of activity change that to every ten to twenty minutes.

Stay outside with your pup. Do not nag or distract him just mooch about and he will do the same and eventually eliminate. Quiet praise is sufficient. Once pup has eliminated you can either stay out and play or go back indoors. If you stay out for a game then he will often need to go again before you go back indoors so stop the game and stay out for a while longer to give him a chance to go again.

If you have to take him back in and he hasn’t eliminated outside then either confine him to his crate, sit him on your lap or tuck him under your arm (small breeds only) as you go about your chores and try again in five minutes.

It is imperative that you do this, especially if you have started off with newspaper down or puppy pads because your puppy may prefer to pee indoors and he could simply be waiting to be taken back in. Give him zero opportunity to go wrong.

If your puppy toilets in the house it is because you haven’t toilet trained him yet and didn’t take him outside when he needed to go. When this happens take a rolled up newspaper and hit yourself over the head whilst repeating the words “I forgot to watch my puppy. I forgot to watch my puppy” If your puppy laughs at you when you do this – praise him.

Common mistakes during TOILET TRAINING.

Using newspaper or PUPPY TRAINING pads. Whilst it may aid the clearing up process it can be very confusing for the pup that is taught or permitted to toilet in the house to make the transition to going outside and will often result in a pup that when playing in the garden will simply hold on until they are back indoors because that is where the toilet is.

Leaving the door open. This does nothing to teach the pup to toilet outside only.

Reprimands for toileting in the house will result in a dog that believes you disapprove of what he did not where he did it and is damaging to your relationship with your pup.

Giving treats for toileting in the garden, again the dog is being rewarded for what he did not where he did it. Whilst this is not going to be as big a problem as the reprimand, the clever dog will learn to do lots of little wees and never fully empty their bladder. The insecure dog may wee indoors to appease you if you get cross about something else because they know that this is something that pleases you and gets rewarded. NB using both reprimands and rewards is very confusing for your pup.

Expecting your pup to tell you when he needs to go out. Once a pup understands that outside is where the toilet is then he may start to let you know he needs out. However if you are not there to ask or you fail to notice him asking then the housetraining will break down. Far better to have a dog go out to the toilet on your schedule once they are house trained.

Giving your pup an ensuite in his crate. Do not encourage your pup to toilet in his crate by putting puppy pads in there. If you have to leave puppy for a while and he is going to need to go then best to have the crate inside a larger pen or blocked off area and leave the crate door open so that he can get away from his bed to toilet.

N.B. Areas indoors where pup has had an accident are best cleaned with a dilute of biological washing powder. Avoid using disinfectant as this contains ammonia and can encourage pup to pee there again.


Young pups will need to go to the toilet once or twice in the night for anything from a few days to a few weeks.

If your pup is sleeping in a crate in the bedroom with you then they will wake and should let you know they need to go out. Carry pup to the garden to eliminate and then straight back to bed again. A few nights of this and it will take you longer to find your slippers because of sleep deprivation and consequently pup is learning to hold on and will soon be sleeping all night.

If you choose to leave puppy in the kitchen or utility room to sleep then do not shut them in a crate and simply clean up in the morning without comment.

Why punishment does not work for house training.

A typical morning in the life of an 8 week old pup.

7:00am Puppy pees in the garden – Owner present. Gets praised

7.30am Puppy pees in the kitchen – Owner present. Gets a reprimand

8:15am Puppy pees in the lounge – Owner not present. Nothing happens except relief

9:00am Puppy pees in the lounge – Owner present. Gets a reprimand

9:30 am Puppy pees in the kitchen – Owner not present. Nothing, just relief

11:00am Puppy pees in the garden – Owner doesn’t notice Just relief again

11:30am Puppy pees under the DINING ROOM TABLE – Owner not present. Nothing happens

12:15pm Puppy pees in the garden – Owner present – gets praise

What we think we are teaching puppy is that it is good to pee in the garden and wrong to pee in the house but what the pup is actually learning is that sometimes it is rewarding to pee when the owner is present and sometimes it is dangerous. However it is always safe to go when the owner is not present and that so far the safest place is under the DINING ROOM TABLE.

NOTE. - Never deny your dog water in the mistaken belief that this will aid toilet training. It won't. It will make the urine stronger, it may impact on your dog's health, i.e. cause kidney problems or urniary tract infections.if the dog drinks greedily and excessively when it is available knowing it will be taken away.Dogs must have clean fresh water available all of the time.

tabulahrasa Sat 13-Sep-14 13:49:35

was too lazy to search for Lilcamper's post lol

In basic terms, you just make going to the toilet outside so rewarding that to start with they're a bit confused as to why you're giving them all this attention and then it clicks and they do it on purpose and then it becomes a habit.

A crate is useful if for instance you have to leave for an hour or so as it will encourage them to hold on until you get back and then you get to take them straight out and praise...but it doesn't do anything for housetraining that taking them out regularly and hanging about won't achieve better and faster.

My dog is crate trained btw, so it's not that I'm against crates, I just don't think they're hugely useful for housetraining when you're actually present.

Toooldtobearsed Sat 13-Sep-14 16:14:30

Insanity's post is excellent and just waht I would have wanted to say!

You will feel as though it is NEVER going to happen, then it just does. It is like magic, it suddenly occurs to you that you have not mopped up today.

'Tis a wonderful day, and it does come, so bear with it. Please do not use the crate as a toilet training device. It should be a place of comfort and refuge.

Luxaroma Sat 13-Sep-14 17:52:01

I have read many pups don't eat in their first few days at their new home. Mine wouldn't eat kibble either, it just prompted me to change to raw sooner than I'd planned. If you'd planned to move away from kibble, maybe make the change now, my pup enjoyed wet food, cooked meat - anything but kibble. Thankfully with raw the poos firm up making the clean up a lot easier.

Lilcamper Sat 13-Sep-14 18:44:01

Credit where credit is due, I didn't write that advice. It was written by a lady called Sally Bradbury and she is a wealth of force free info. She is happy for her files to be passed on and I am glad it is helping people smile

SunshineDaisiesButterMellow Sun 14-Sep-14 09:12:06

Thanks for all the advice.
That post was brilliant. Love the step by step just what I needed.

So I tried to follow it to the tee and it seems to be going well. She went outside for a wee this morning before breakfast and a poo after. I was ridiculously pleased. But she did a small wee inside while I was having my breakfast but managed to stop her mid wee and put her outside.

At night should I Elsevier up and take her outside ? Because at about 5 she did a wee in the bedroom before I could wake up fully and take her out.

I'm mainly buying a crate so she has somewhere to go to in peace as I have two kids and I can explain to them if she's in there not to disturb her.

jahm123 Mon 15-Sep-14 14:06:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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