Need Puppy Advice

  1. Hello everyone. I wasn't sure where to put this so I just started here, but moderators feel free to move this thread to a more appropriate location if necessary. So, I just got a 10 week old cockalier puppy a few days ago who I absolutely love to pieces. She's adorable and very attached to me already, and I'm very attached to her. I live by myself, but have family nearby. I also work the night shift, three 12s per week. It breaks my heart when I have to leave her to go to work. The first night she was awesome, I left her in her crate overnight, in the morning no accidents and she went to the bathroom outside with no problem. The next night I was scheduled to work, so I went in at 7 pm. My family stopped by my place that night to spend time with her while I was gone and let her outside a few times. (A few minor accidents here and there throughout the days, but as to be expected as she is a baby). I hurried home in the morning to see her, and was greeted by my puppy crying in a poopy mess in her crate! (I couldn't help but burst into tears when I saw this). My brother had let her out in the early morning hours before he left for the night. We're just hoping that we just fed her too many treats that day. Once I cleaned everything up she was better. Throughout the course of the day it seemed that she has peeing outside down pretty well with very few peeing accidents, but I've only been able to get her to have a bowel movement outside once, and the rest have been on the kitchen floor. Sorry for all the rambling, it's just been a very tiring and frustrating few days. I just want to get her trained and I want her to be happy. I've been assured by several people that all these accidents are a normal part of puppyhood, but I just want to do everything I can to make this easier for her. If anyone has any puppy training advice I would really appreciate it. To those of you that work 12-hour shifts how did you format your day to spend enough time with your puppy and get her trained? Please tell me this gets easier quickly!?!? Thanks in advance.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Brian
    moved to break room.
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    It is hard and initially you will get accidents but I promise they do get used to you working. I have had a few dogs over the years and always worked full time even when single which here in the UK was 7 nights (worked permanent nights initially) My latest dog is a German Shepherd and we got her at 9 weeks old and I worked 4 days a week, initially we left her in the kitchen and would always come home to a mess gradually introduced her to a cage and she did well, took a while for toilet training but by 5 months she was fully house trained even to the extent she would let herself out if we ignored her. Even now she is 2 years old she will go into her cage if she wants some down time from us and our other 2 dogs, we leave the door open all the time and she goes in and out, the only time we lock it is when we go out as she feels more secure.

    Sometimes we feel guilty when the dogs aren't even bothered. They do get used to a routine.

    Good luck and hope this helps
  5. by   loricatus
    Try putting newspaper down in the kitchen and get her to go on the paper. When she finally goes on the paper, take it immediately outside (soiled paper and puppy) placing it where you eventually want her to go. Remember that you have got to praise her the moment she goes on the paper and continue all the way till the paper is outside-puppies have limited attention spans and very short memories, they remember things better through scents. Once you got the paper thing down, take her outside and place the clean newspaper on the outside spot near her usual urinating spots, encouraging her to use it. It's all basically about the conditioning response. Good Luck with your new baby!
  6. by   DDRN4me
    loraticus made some excellent recommendations. have you tried crate training?
    It may have been the number of treats that she had... my Phantom will have accidents if he has too many.
    some friends use a very large cage and put a litter box inside.
    or they make "pee pee pads" that you can train the dog to go where you want. check out your local pet stores they often will have training classes as well. good luck with your little bundle!! mary
  7. by   HM2VikingRN
    10 weeks is pretty young. I seem to remember that the general rule of thumb for ability to hold their bladder is 1 hour per month of age. So at almost 3 months she should be about 3 hours on average. I would make it a point to take her out every couple hours when you are home. Praise her for going outside. You could also try a phrase like "find a spot" to try and cue her to get on with the business of emptying her bladder and bowels when she is outside.

    I would also get her in a puppy kindergarten class. This really helps them to become socialized to people and other dogs. Best of luck with your pup. (Remember that she is a dog and not a little person)
  8. by   Jolie
    I would suggest going to the library or book store and picking up a copy of a book written by the Monks of New Skete. They are a religious order that supports their works by raising and training German Shepherds. When we got our dog 5 years ago, the breeder required us to read this book and pass a test on it before we could take our puppy home. (I often wished we could do the same in OB It is a wonderful book about animal behavior, development, and human interaction, and I highly suggest it to every potential puppy parent.

    Good luck to you and your wee one. (OK that was a bad pun!)
  9. by   zooz
    Another book recommendation: How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days.

    No, your puppy will not (unfortunately) be housebroken in seven days, but you both will be on a playing, eating, drinking, crating, and potty schedule that will limit the number of accidents down considerably. The author tackles the housebreaking issue from a behavioral aspect as well (the "clean den" instinct), something most puppies pick up on after a few days.

    It's a pretty short read and very easy to implement. I used it for my puppy and it worked wonderfully!

    Highly, highly recommended.
  10. by   Megsd
    I got a puppy the week after I graduated (since I have about 2 months off prior to starting work) with the hope that she will be pretty much housetrained by the time I start working. I can't speak for leaving for 12 hours as I haven't had to do it yet, but while home, try to anticipate that the puppy will need to go outside.. 1) when it wakes up, 2) after eating or drinking, 3) after anything exciting like playing or training happens, and 4) every 2-3 hours.

    I tell my puppy "let's go outside" and take her out into the yard, then while she's going, say "go potty" so she links the action with the words. Now after a month I can say "go potty" and she squats on command (if only patients were that way!). The only accidents she has now are when I'm not paying attention and don't let her out in time. And some of her accidents have actually been right by the back door, while waiting for me to show up and let her outside.

    It's great that you have family to spend time with her while you're at work. I would try to teach them the same routine and code words you use when you're home so the puppy has some consistency, and try to make sure no one feeds the puppy right before it gets crated since they tend to need to go after they eat. The book I primarily used was the "for dummies" series. I have a Lab, so I used that breed's, but I've also read "dogs for dummies" and it has some good info as well. Good luck and welcome to puppy parenthood!
  11. by   Jessy_RN
    I am confused. If this was moved to the breakroom and it is a premium forum-how can the OP reply or add to the thread?
  12. by   jnette
    Quote from Jessy_RN
    I am confused. If this was moved to the breakroom and it is a premium forum-how can the OP reply or add to the thread?
    She will still be able to read the responses. It really needed to be in the breakroom, as it quite simply was not nursing related. I'm sure she appreciates all the many responses, regardless.

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