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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 .

needastrongone Sun 10-Feb-13 21:30:58

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

needastrongone Sun 10-Feb-13 21:39:14

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.

needastrongone Sun 10-Feb-13 21:40:15

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.

needastrongone Mon 11-Feb-13 09:29:16

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.

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