First Day, First Time Owner Potty Questions

crabcake

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Hi, this is the first time I have owned a puppy, or really anyone of my friends or family. I am extremely excited, and a little nervous. I have followed my puppy before he was even born and have done a ton of research and have bugged my breeder on a ton of different issues. One thing she has not really provided is a great gameplan for how to potty train him. I do work from home, but ideally I would like to set up a steady routine where I take him outside in the morning and then the late afternoon/early night. If he needs to go during that time and I happen to be working I have set up a litter box in his crate.

Is this too ambitious of a plan considering I am sort of giving him mixed signals? He has been litter box trained at his home, and since he was living in Kansas City during peak winter periods he has spent almost no time outside, nor has he ever worn a collar. Additionally, I live on the third floor of an apartment building and I would guess he is far too small to use the steps. If you were in my position, would you start with just letting him use the litter box? Or should I the first day put a collar on him and introduce him to potty outside? Also he is being transported by a puppy ground transportation system, so I would imagine he will be needing to go potty immediately upon meeting him.

Thanks for your help, this has sort of been the question that has given me the most stress
 

helsonwheels

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Nyala was trained on newspaper in her little pigpen at her breeder's. She was 3 months old when I took her much easier. I bought the big kennel that you can shorten with a divider. I removed the divider n put her newspaper there in the back. Slowly I moved the paper out in the day near the door n back in the kennel at night and eventually just the door. They do sell puppy traning pads you can use instead of the newspaper. No excuse, winter or not, if you want to own a dog is to train it outside. Yes start with a harness and leave a little collar on so he gets used to having something around the neck. But that small of a pup, a little harness.
 

MFrey2012

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Congrats on your new baby!! - at that age they do have tiny bladders, and will need to potty frequently, Helene has given some good advice, but to add to hers, with Ellie we gave her lots of treats as soon as she was done pottying outside, and Praise, and we also named the action when outside, some use "go potty" "go pee" and such!!

Treats definitely helped alot with Ellie as she is food driven little ball of fun.
 

ddnene

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I know we have several members that trained their dogs on the litter pans for living in apartment (I believe it's called a pee patch), and I agree that you should train him/her using BOTH methods inside and out. I completely understand that some living arrangements make it difficult to take puppies outside every hour or so.
 

cefe13

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Dogs are very different and owners raise their dogs in different ways depending on living and working circumstances. This is how we puppy trained Castor - and this may or may not fit your lifestyle. We then lived on the third floor in flat and we took Castor out once an hour the first week or so, then every second hour, etc. When he woke up, after he had eaten and after play, down we went and he peed and we played a bit outdoors before going back in. We have never praised him for peeing or pooping, nor given him treats. Just out, waiting for him to do his business. It did take a lot of time, but he was housetrained quickly.

We got him in June and I was able to work from home and then summer vacation came so we didn't leave him alone until August or so. When he was a pup we took him on lots of outings and we walked him on leash from day one. We live midtown and he didn't always want to walk so we carried him quite a lot too! By August, when schools and work resumed, the little guy was more or less housetrained and he knew the neighbourhood and all dogs around here. I continued to work from home as much as I could so he still went out every three or four hours or so, and until Christmas, I believe, I took him out once a night too.

Now, as you work from home, I think you should consider to go with Crabcake's rhythm for a few months. You will not want him to go inside when grown up, so if at all possible, try to train him to pee outdoors from the start. Taking a pup out to pee once an hour takes five minutes, and he will need lots of attention anyway so you might as well use the time you spend with him to train him things for life, so to speak.

We rolled up all carpets and puppyproofed the house the first months but have never used a crate. We did block off the couch and we closed bedroom doors the first year or so but Castor has basically had free access to the whole house since he was a pup. Being able to spend time on him during the first months has helped us a lot.

I think the fact that you work from home is a benefit but you will of course also need to make sure that you train Crabcake to play when it's playtime and then not to disturb you when you need to work. I think that is something both dog and owner might need to learn (it's tempting to play with the dog and it's also stressful with a pup who wants to play when you need to work!). I still work a lot from home and Castor knows when I work - then I'm very boring so he will just look at me and then go to his bed!

Good luck!
 

NewEnglandBully

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"Additionally, I live on the third floor of an apartment building and I would guess he is far too small to use the steps. If you were in my position, would you start with just letting him use the litter box? Or should I the first day put a collar on him and introduce him to potty outside? Also he is being transported by a puppy ground transportation system, so I would imagine he will be needing to go potty immediately upon meeting him."

If I were in your position, I would carry him down the stairs every couple of hours to potty outside to get him used to "going" outdoors…never too young to install the schedule...Unless you want to train him to pee and poop indoors on a puppy pad (not ideal for this breed, but an option). They do make crates now that offer a potty training system in one part of the crate and their "den" in the other part (I have only read about them, I have no idea on feedback)…but you may want to look into that if you are considering potty training indoors as well as out...keep in mind that this may be confusing for a new puppy trying to learn the ropes…
Direct from the AKC site…
"
A good guide is that dogs can control their bladders for the number of hours corresponding to their age in months up to about nine months to a year. (Remember, though, that 10 to 12 hours is a long time for anyone to hold it! If you doubt that, try it yourself sometime.) A 6-month-old pup can reasonably be expected to hold it for about 6 hours. Never forget that all puppies are individuals and the timing will differ for each."

…He will most definitely need to go potty after a long trip, but also every two hours after that…If you are not up to carrying him up and down the stairs every two hours - consider picking him up and taking him over to a potty pad near the front door…when he goes, reward reward reward...You will have to wake up at night too, to ensure potty breaks as he is so young. Out of curiosity, do you have an elevator or just stairs? Hip problems can be an issue later on for this breed and stairs could be a problem - Potty training indoors may not be a bad idea if there is no elevator available...
 

sisters3

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All GREAT tips here, [MENTION=10681]NewEnglandBully[/MENTION] mentioned and I would agree with the outside training from the first minute, it will absolutely pay off in the long run and you won't be giving mixed signals. [MENTION=9875]cefe13[/MENTION] sounds like Castor was in the same situation. AND one of the members here lives in DC and might have some advice [MENTION=7373]g8erjackie[/MENTION]

I have the pleasure of working from home when I am not on the road, take FULL advantage of that for right now while Crabcake is a puppy and you are setting future habits. I am sure that the 3 flights up will at first be a challenge but try associating the trip down and out with something special, words etc. Make it a ritual that over time become habit. You and Crabcake WILL be just fine. It was not that long ago that I was in your situation, scared and with an 8 week old puppy of a breed I had never had. You will get all the answers you need right here, I survived Joey's early months because of the advice that I received here. Keep us posted please!
 
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crabcake

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Thank you so much for all of the comments and suggestions. My breeder seems to think with the steps, and him never wearing a collar, the best idea is to start with his litter box that I have set up for him in his crate. She was also quite concerned about three levels of steps for him, so I think my current plan is the first few days to at least get him used to wearing a collar for a short period of time, use the litter box and then when he is comfortable with the collar start going outside. I also have a staircase in my apartment, so I think the best idea is to get him used to walking up and down on the carpet before I think about letting him try to walk the steps with me. I have read this is probably several months away.

Obviously my biggest concern is not right now when he is only 13 lbs, but having to worry about a litter box for a 60 lb big bulldog is a much bigger problem.

Hope I am coming to the correct consensus on this, this is my first time owning a puppy, or really spending much time around them and this has been my biggest concern going into it. I'm sure there are a number of issues that will come up but have done my best the last 4-6 months to read as much as possible. He gets here in 9 hours!
 

sisters3

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[MENTION=16802]crabcake[/MENTION] Since he is so small can you carry him down the stairs for now to at least BEGIN the idea of potty outside? This is so exciting, so many things to think about, one small step at a time, but seriously consider beginning trips outside. You will be picking him up anyway, like if he begins to have an accident in the house (since you will be watching him constantly for months) you will need to tell him no....pick him up and out the door. Is that possible? Carrying him down the stairs? As for collar here is what I had waiting for Joey when she came home (comes in different colors) and started on leash immediately

precision-fit-nylon-dog-harness-hot-pink-1.jpg
 

2BullyMama

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Wow.... great info and advice form the team! best of luck
 

cefe13

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So exciting that he is arriving soon! I think it's admirable the way you are preparing and wish you all luck with little Crabcake! I must say however that I do think [MENTION=14995]sisters3[/MENTION] is right in suggesting you start taking him out right away. You will need to carry him in the beginning if there is no lift, but that will be ok for many months - he will hopefully be housetrained long before he gets too heavy to carry down the stairs! Young puppies shouldn't walk stairs on a regular basis so it might be a good idea to block off your indoor stairs (like you would with a small child) intil he is able to master the stairs.

Re the collar/harness, I don't think that needs to be a problem. Just put on the collar (or harness) and leash when you go out (I wouldn't use indoors but use as a 'let's go out' signal if you only put it on when you actually go out). We had a collar the first months but then got a harness and I think for adult bulldogs harnesses are definitely better as they don't harm their airways. No need for a very expensive collar/harness from start as he will grow out of it quickly!
 
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crabcake

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Well I guess the first day was a success in what not to do. For a puppy that was litter trained, he really did not make much use of the litter box. Towards the end I was getting better at noticing his number 2 signals but my percentage was not very good. I'd try to scoop him up immediately into the litter box after his accidents but I'm not sure he understands the concept. Later in the day I started trying to put a collar on him but he truly hates it. It was the only time he barked when I tried to tighten it, and it seemed like afterwards he sort of tried to punish me because he stopped sleeping right next to me and went in his crate first and then started sleeping in a corner. I guess tomorrow I am going to try taking him out and going from there.
 

sisters3

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[MENTION=16802]crabcake[/MENTION] Do NOT worry.....the first week, I believe, is all about getting use to a new place and his new family.....YOU :) It can be stressful but try not to let it be. Hang in there! Keep doing, keep trying. Put the collar on inside so he gets used to it BUT NEVER when he is in the crate or when you are not watching him. Make that first lesson, get used to collar or harness. It WILL all come together.

Sue
 

NewEnglandBully

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You have received lots of advice...I want to put your worry at ease by saying what ever method you end up using (all trial and error) stick w/the one that works best for you! It can be difficult to remember what worked and what didn't during those first few puppy training, sleep deprived months! Advice I strongly suggest…WRITE IT ALL DOWN. Even the smallest thing that you think may be insignificant, may be of much help later on (for you and/or for others dealing w/a similar situation). Best wishes and looking so forward to watching crabcake grow up!!
 
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crabcake

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Just had a really great start to the day. When I inspected his crate this morning his bed was dry. He then used his litter box, was super well behaved on his way to vet and at the vet (more importantly he was healthy), and then while I had to clean up pee, he later went to litter box all by himself number 2. Really was the first sign I was doing anything right with him and that made me feel good
 

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