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Please help me to keep my sanity...

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by jeannie, May 24, 2010.


  1. jeannie

    jeannie PetForums Newbie

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    Last week, two six week old Jack Russell x Border Terrier pups joined my family, a boy and a girl from the same litter. It seemed a good idea at the time to have two, as they would be good company for each other and surely it wouldn't be any more difficult to house train two pups than it would be for just the one? Well, it's over sixteen years since I last had a puppy, so maybe I'd forgotten what hard work they can be and I'm definitely not as sprightly as I was then, so one week later, I'm absolutely worn out to a frazzle and thinking it must be the daftest idea I've ever had.

    At night, with the aid of a sheet of hardboard, I am able to confine them to part of the dining room and they toilet on the newspaper I put down for them. They can't be confined in this way during the day, so they have the run of the dining and living room, as only an archway divides them. I take them outside frequently, after sleeping, meals, playing and so on and they do what they're supposed to do in their toilet area but we are also having lots of accidents indoors. Considering their young age and that we've only had them for a week, I think they are doing really well. It isn't their fault, it's mine, but how are they ever going to learn that they can't just toilet wherever they are, if I'm not quick enough to get them outside before they actually do their little pile or puddle.

    I didn't like the idea of using a cage but the more I read about them, the more I'm inclined to think this will be the best way for us, so I've decided to give it a try. What I need to know is, what size cage should I buy? Should I get a small one that is just large enough to hold their bed, or would a larger one with a divider be better, so that I can partition their bed off to confine them for the shorter periods and then open up so they have more room with a toilet area for the longer periods when I'm not around such as night time or out shopping? They should only grow to be small dogs so what size would you recommend to hold both of them when they are fully grown?

    Thanks for reading this and for any advice and suggestions you can give.
     
  2. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    Hi there,sorry you are having a bit of a hard time.Hang in there it will get better eventually.
    The pups are very tiny and in the real world probably wouldnt have left their mom for another couple of weeks,so this is going to make things a bit harder for you.
    I get the impression from reading between the lines,that you would prefer having one crate with the two pups in together.From a training point of view it would be easier to have two small seperate crates.But being so tiny i expect they look to each other for company.So,if you want to just get one crate,just make sure theres only enough room for them to sleep (not to toilet as well).if you get a larger crate,seperate an area off and make it larger as they grow.Have a look through some of the crate training threads,its important that they are never treated as a punishment,especially being so young.Ignore any accidents but praise the pups lots when they toilet outside.
    Consider a playpen or baby dan room divider,so that pups can have an area to play without getting under your feet or going to the toilet around the house.These are also useful for putting just outside the back door,so you can leave the door open and let them come and go to the toilet when they need to.
    Try and avoid puppy pads and newspaper,just keep putting the pups out as often as you can,as they grow they will hold it longer.
    At night you will need to put them out too,being so tiny they may need two trips.Just pop them out without fuss or play,then bring them back in and back to bed.
    You can do things like have a two-dog lead and have them with you in the house,this way you will learn their signs for the toilet.
    Ask as many questions as you like,we will all help if we can.In a few weeks' time ,they will be much better :)
     
  3. kaisa624

    kaisa624 PetForums VIP

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    A JRT when fully grown will fit in a 24" crate. Some of the larger crates come with dividers, so if you wanted one for both of them, you could get say a 30" crate (maybe bigger), and put the divider in the middle, and they can both fit up one end, then when they get older, one goes in each side if you get me.

    We have a 24" and 30" crate for our cavalier, and the 24" is the right size, but she's put in the 30" one if we go out for a while, so she has a little more space.

    Also, 6 weeks old, is a tad early to be getting the pups. You can buy baby/puppy play pens on ebay for as little as £10 if you get in there early enough :D
     
  4. ArwenLune

    ArwenLune PetForums Senior

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    They won't for at least another 5 weeks - they simply don't have the muscle control to hold it at this age. Housetraining seems to go in two stages; first the owner trains him/herself, then the pup is trained!

    1) Owner-house-training: Owner learns to make sure that the pup is outside whenever it needs to go and heavily rewards going outside. A crate will not help at this age unless you still make sure you take them out every hour, after food, drinking or play, and if you're sure they're 'empty' about twice through the night.
    2) Pup-house-training: From 12 weeks onward, pup actually start to learn to hold it until they are brought outside
     
    #4 ArwenLune, May 24, 2010
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  5. jeannie

    jeannie PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your replies. I hadn't considered having two crates but having thought about it, that probably will be best. At the moment they are together every minute of the day so I think it might be good for them to be separated sometimes, especially as Buddy sleeps a lot more than Rosie and she tends to wake him to come and play.

    I know they are still very young and don't expect them to be house trained for a good while yet. I do take them outside frequently, they can both have a wee and a poo then almost immediately after coming back inside, one or both of them are doing something on the rug or floor. I do see the sniffing/circling signs but I'm no longer a spring chicken and have arthritis so by the time I've got to them, I'm too late to whip them outside again. I try distracting them by calling their name and squeaking a toy but so far that hasn't worked yet. (most likely because they haven't learnt their names yet.)

    What time would you suggest I give them their last meal of the day? (They have four.) I've been feeding them around 9pm but I'm wondering if it would be better if I gave it to them earlier? They are going to their bed of their own accord, to settle down for the night, between 10:00 -10:30 and I wake them up to take them outside before I go to bed around 1am. If they are crated overnight with nowhere to toilet, how long should they be able to last without needing to go outside, at this age?
     
    #5 jeannie, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  6. kaisa624

    kaisa624 PetForums VIP

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    Well, when we fed Holly 4 meals, she had them at 9am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 7pm, then when we reduced it to 3 meals, she had 9am, 2pm, 7pm. And now 2 meals, 9am, 7pm.
     
  7. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    Hi Jeanie.I used to feed my pups at about 7-8am,12,4 and 8pm when they were on 4 meals a day.If you are putting them out at about 1am,you could set your alarm for about 4 or 5am,pop them out ,then back to bed until you get up.This shouldnt last too long,if you go to bed late anyway,theyll be dry in no time(hopefully!)
    I would consider seperating an area off too,if i were you,just for a few weeks or so,until theyre abit more housetrained,its less area to mess in and easier for you to monitor when they need to go out.
     
  8. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    Hi,just wondered how things are going?
     
  9. jeannie

    jeannie PetForums Newbie

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    Things are going much better now, thanks.:) To begin with, I started giving them their last meal earlier to give them more time to empty themselves before bedtime and I've been setting my alarm for 4am to take them outside. This seems to be working because so far, there's been no more little piles or puddles for me to face first thing in the morning. They were on Bakers when they came to me so I've been changing them over to Chudleys and already their poo has changed from sloppy and yellowy to firm and brown. We are still having some accidents indoors but nowhere near as many, as they do seem to be catching on that they should go outside and will sometimes run and sit at the door.:thumbup:
     
  10. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    Thats brilliant news,keep doing what you are doing and hopefully soon it will all come together.:)
     
  11. Matrix/Logan

    Matrix/Logan PetForums VIP

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    Just a thought, the food you are feeding is cereal based and therefore they will naturally produce more poop as they don't digest cereal, you could try feeding a premium meat based complete food which will then produce less waste therefore meaning less times needed to poop!! Hope that makes sense! :D Try Royal canin or something which has meat listed as it's main ingredient.

    Would love to see photos of you little pupsters they sound very cute! X X
     
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