QUESTION: We have a half pomeranian puppy about 2 and half months old. We got him from a previous owner who has had him since birth. He sleeps most of the day and stays up most of the night unless he sleeps with us.He was taught to go potty on training pad at her place and he used them but for some reason he refuses to use them at our place. He knows he needs to use them because he will go potty on them and around them but sometimes will just go on the carpet anyways. He peed on the couch, towels and carpet. We have been using the words"Go potty" when we put him on the pad but he will just stand or lay down on the pad. He has never been outside but we took him outside once to see if he would go but he just sat down,looked around and stated shaking. He has been at our house now for about a week. We are confused on how to punish him for gong on the carpet because he knows better but will still do it. The question is Why is it that he won't go potty on the pads unless we put him there? Should we just start taking him outside to go potty instead of using the pads?
ANSWER: Hi Erin. Why does the pup sleep all day? Be sure he's getting enough physical exercise and mental stimulation during the day so that he's tired enough to sleep at night.
If you don't already have a crate, you should get one. It's the easiest way to housetrain a dog and keep your carpets safe at the same time. Don't allow him to roam around the house and continue to make mistakes. Each time he does, it will make your job harder.
Please don't punish your new baby for going on the carpet (anymore than you would punish a human baby for wetting his diaper). He truly doesn't know better. You have to teach him where to go and prevent accidents from happening.
Decide where you want the dog to eliminate and start training it. If you want the dog to potty outside, stop using the pads. To make the transition between pads and grass, take a soiled one outside and put it on the ground where you want the dog to go. Take him out every half hour when he's awake to his spot (on leash if necessary). Give him 3 minutes to eliminate. If he does, allow him supervised freedom in the room you're in. If he doesn't go, he needs to go back in his crate.
Please get this dog out into the world and socialized before it's too late. You only have a short window of time to expose the dog to new sights, sounds, and smells so that he'll be able to cope with the outside world as an adult.
Read this article and download the checklist offered at the bottom of the page: http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/puppy-socialization-stop-fear-before-it-starts
I'm also going to direct you to an online puppy raising textbook with great information on everything you need to know for your pup: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/ch-2-raising-puppy
Let me know if you need clarification on anything I've recommended or if you have questions after reading the online references. Good luck!
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QUESTION: I think he sleeps so much because he is going through separation anxiety. He was always with his mom and dad so I think the adjustment is hard on him but I am not sure. He is getting better with going on the pads but he doesn't want to go potty in front of us. He always goes potty when we are not home or when we are not looking. I want to get him to go potty outside but I don't know if right now is the right time because its getting colder outside or if I should continue the potty training inside for a few more weeks before taking him outside? He won't go on the potty pads himself I feel like he is expecting us to take him there every time because he rather potty on the carpet than go to the pad. What should I do?
ANSWER: Usually dogs will not potty in front of you because they've been scolded or punished for doing so in the past. When he first wakes up in the morning, take him outside on leash with the potty pad, put it on the grass and wait for him to pee. Don't interact with him in any way until he wets, then give him a small treat. If you want him to eventually potty outside, you've got to train it now. The longer he continues to use the pads, the harder the habit will be to break.
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QUESTION: I know if I get him a puppy crate he will just sit in it and whine for hours. We put him in the kitchen during times we are not home because it linoleum and we use a gate and he will just whine. So if he whines should I just ignore it or what? Is the crate used as a tool where if he doesn't go potty he has to stay in there til the next time we take him out to go potty? I will start taking him to go potty outside this weekend? I don't have a fenced backyard so I have to take him on the leash, does that make training more difficult? How long does it usually take to get them fully potty trained?
I like a combination of crate and exercise pen (as shown in the online training textbook I mentioned earlier). He should be confined whenever you can't monitor him 100% of the time. If you take him out and he doesn't potty, put him back in the crate. Try again in 15 minutes. Ignore whining and crying. The leash is to keep him from getting distracted by other stuff in the yard. It shouldn't make it more difficult.
The time it takes to potty train is directly related to ratio of successes to accidents. If you have more accidents than successes, then housetraining will take much longer. That's why it's critical to set the dog up to succeed, and not to continue to wet in the house.