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Old 01-29-2010, 03:44 PM   #1
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Default We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

Hey all.

My wife and I wanted to buy a puppy for our 3yr old son and since we didn't want to deal with "shedding", we wanted to get some sort of a poodle hybrid.

After looking around, we couldn't find any breed that was guaranteed not to shed and considering the cost of a mixed breed compared to a purebred, we decided to buy a standard poodle. He will get to be around 70lbs or so.

Anyway, seeing as he is still a puppy, we wanted to house break him as soon as possible so we bought a cage. He sleeps in the cage at night and when we go out during the day.

My wife knows people who, at the beginning until house broken, leave their dog int he cage for long periods of time. We don't like doing that so when we're home, the dog is basically free to roam the room he is in. We have gates up to keep him in the room of choice.

Well, when he romps around the room playing he has "accidents" from all the running around. We literally take him out and he does his business and within 20 mins of playing he ends up going inside the house.

My wife was told that you need to keep him on a schedule, at least until he is housebroken, and use the cage "a lot" while they are in training.

My question is this. What is the normal "schedule" or amount of hours typically that a dog is kept in the cage? When we are there we hate to have him in the cage but if we turn our back, we end up with a mess to clean up.

We have a large backyard and during the warmer months we can just let him run around outside but now, even in NC, it is a bit too cold to do that.

Any puppy training ideas would be greatly appreciated. Apparently poodles are extremely intelligent and are easily trainable but they are also very sensitive in regards to methods used.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

From what I'm hearing you say, it sounds like the puppy is very excitable. Being a puppy in general, the breed you have and because you have a small child are all things that could be compounding an issue that can be difficult in itself...

Just realize the puppy is going to mirror behavoirs. If people are in an excited state with body language and intensified voice inflections, the puppy thinks that's how he should be, then he/she gets excited. The "accidents" may be just a result of that state. Just like some people when they laugh or cry too hard.

House training can be tough, but I think if everyone can maintain a certain amout of calmness, it may help with the accidents and get you to the training part easier.

As far as the crate (cage sounds too institutionalized ), I know many dogs that still like the security of staying in it. Especially when it's time for bed. It can be a helpful tool, but don't rely on it for "time outs".
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

call the dog whisperer

Seriously, it all depends on the animal. Just like children they don't all respond to the same thing. A few years ago we got a puppy from the shelter and during the night and when we were out of the house he was caged. When we got home (or woke up) we would let him out of the cage and immediately outside.

We had minimal accidents (similar to yours), and eventually (I think about 3-4 months) he was able to stay out of the cage permanently.

Good luck with the training.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

First call it a crate. teach through command get or go into crate us a treat. once they get used to you saying crate they go to it. second i always use a bell on a string on the back door (my lab/collie mix still goes to the dopor and uses her nose to hit the knob). teach them to hit the bell when they have to go out again a treat works well at first.. the bell alerts you to get off you butt doggy has to out. Crating them during the day or when your gone, but if you are home let them out for sure. so during the week 8 or9 hrs is normal. You will be amazed how fast they learn the crate and bell.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

It's been a long time since I've had a puppy, but I did use a crate when she was a pup...but not when I was home. Only at night to begin with and when I was gone. I would make sure though that myself, family member or dog sitter could come by at least every 3 or 4 hours to let her out.

I watch a lot of It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet, and Victoria Stillwell always has good tips for puppy training. She is very against extensive crating though (as am I) for the reason that it doesn't really solve the problem or train the dog not to go in the house. Also, imagine being penned up in a cage that you can only stand and turn around in for 3/4 of a day! Many of the episodes can be found on youtube if you have to time to watch some of them.

Here's some good sites I found though with puppy training tips.

http://www.barkbytes.com/training/house.htm
http://life.familyeducation.com/dogs/pets/45660.html
http://www.dogchatforum.com/toilet-training-puppy.htm

Best of luck to you! I know it's a tough phase to get through with puppies, but if you're committed and stick to a schedule and program, things will work out fine. I thought this video was cool too of a guy who trained his dog to ring a bell by the door when it had to go out.

[YOUTUBE][/YOUTUBE]
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

We have lots of dogs (10, yes, Ten) so I have some experience...

First, get a dog training book...there are tons of them out there, and they are a good resource (especially for first-time dog owners. Are you a first-time owner?)
The Standard Poodle is a good choice---they are VERY intelligent and very easy to train.

Second---and you're already doing this----the crate is the way to go....It will become the dog's "sanctuary" when he/she wants to be alone and it will give you a place to put the dog when you are not at home or when you want some "down time". NEVER use the crate when you are punishing the dog---it can become associated with negative behaviors and you want the crate to be associated with positives for the dog---you want it to enjoy being in its crate

As far as the urinating goes----the first thing to remember is to BE PATIENT. You have to remember that it is just a puppy and, like a newborn infant, it does not yet have bladder control. It takes 6 months to a year before the puppy will have total bladder control. It's frustrating, but you will get though it!

I agree that setting a schedule helps immensely
Take him out in the morning when you wake up; and before you go to bed
(I'm guessing that you're already doing this)
Take him out as soon as he wakes up from a nap
If he is urinating after vigorous play, take him out immediately afterwards (or, even in the middle of it)
Take him out hourly during the time he's not in his crate as well

Prior to taking him out, say, "outside" or "do you want to go outside?", then take him to the door, make him sit (we'll get to that) and say it again---eventually he will associate having to go out with going to the door and sitting---he will eventually do it on his own, alerting you that he has to go out. It takes a while, but BE PATIENT!
Praise him (pets/hugs) every time he goes out and goes to the bathroom---again, positive reinforcement of a desired behavior.


Next, start teaching him sit, stay, come, down....every dog should know these basics. It's in the book you're gonna buy!

Next---what are you feeding him? Please, please, please don't tell me it's Old Roy (worst thing you can feed a dog).
Look at the ingredients on the bag of dog food---if you want to do the best for the health of your dog, the very first ingredient should be a protein (beef, chicken, fish) NOT corn meal or some kind of by-products...get him good dog food.

I'm not sure where you live, but be sure you give him heartworm prevention----I live in the south, so my dogs get it monthly year round. Sometimes, based on climate, it's only necessary to give it 6 months a year...ask your vet.

Try to find a local dog club---and get the dog into formal puppy/dog obedience classes. They are great for teaching you and your dog how to be a good canine citizen and owner---and they're fun

It's a big responsibility---be a responsible dog owner (which, by the way, means that if you are not planning on making him a show dog, GET HIM NEUTERED! There are tons of health reasons why a dog should be neutered and a bitch (in the real sense of the word---female dog) should be spayed if they are not going to be a show dog---which must be kept intact)


Lots more to say, but I'm late for a meeting
The internet is full of info
And I would talk to some breeders---REAL ones, not the "backyard" breeders!
Generally, reputable dog breeders who breed and show their dogs have websites---Google "Poodle Breeder" and you should find some

PM me if you have questions


EDIT:

And post some photos of him!
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

There really isn't any schedule for house breaking.

How old is the puppy? If its 6 - 12 weeks, accidents are something your just going to have to put up with for now. What I did with our dogs is try to prevent accidents and that's one way they learn not to go in the house, easier said than done. Take them outside often. Depending on how old it is that could be every :45 to 2 hrs and especially after feeding. Let them walk around or follow you around the yard until they do their business and give them a good dog pat when done. When it's in the house keep a good eye on the pup and watch them, most of the time they'll start looking for a place to go and if you can catch it before it does go, get it outside and walk around with it till it does. The younger the pup, the harder it is to tell because they can't control they're bladder all that well yet and they just go where they stand. If it does have an accident, like pee, rub it's nose in it and start the "bad dog" routine and take it outside. If they poop in the house, don't rub it's nose in it, just act like you are, then back outside you go.

The secret is trying to prevent it in the first place and depending on how smart the dog is the faster you'll get it house broken. Just remember to make it a habit for them going outside to do their business and keep watching for it to start looking like it's gotta go and get it outside before it does.

Usually if you keep them in a box at night, just like a baby, it doesn't hurt to get up a couple times and take them out. They do try not to defecate where they sleep and that extra time outside helps drive the point home.

Just stay consistent and sooner or later it'll be house broken.

Our big lab only had three accidents and he learned what outside was for. But he's about the brainiest dog I've ever seen. Just a few examples. I have to use the deadbolt on the backdoor to keep him outside when he's out. Since he was tall enough to reach the doorknob he's learned how to open the door and let himself in. Don't leave the handles on the water spigots or you'll come home to a flooded yard and a dog out in the middle wallering around in it. Put locks on the gates, he can open them too. Always, always put the cover back on the bbq when done cooking, he'll get the hinged lid open and steal the grates so he can lick them clean for me. After it cools down of course. It's not always the easiest thing to do, trying to find your grates on two and a half acres.


Good luck!
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

Quote:
Second---and you're already doing this----the crate is the way to go....It will become the dog's "sanctuary" when he/she wants to be alone and it will give you a place to put the dog when you are not at home or when you want some "down time". NEVER use the crate when you are punishing the dog---it can become associated with negative behaviors and you want the crate to be associated with positives for the dog---you want it to enjoy being in its crate

Exactly right.

The crate will become your best friend if used right. It'll make it easier to transport the dog and if you keep the dog in the house at night, it'll become the dogs bed if you keep the crate in the house for the dog.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indo View Post
We have lots of dogs (10, yes, Ten) so I have some experience...

First, get a dog training book...there are tons of them out there, and they are a good resource (especially for first-time dog owners. Are you a first-time owner?)
The Standard Poodle is a good choice---they are VERY intelligent and very easy to train.

Second---and you're already doing this----the crate is the way to go....It will become the dog's "sanctuary" when he/she wants to be alone and it will give you a place to put the dog when you are not at home or when you want some "down time". NEVER use the crate when you are punishing the dog---it can become associated with negative behaviors and you want the crate to be associated with positives for the dog---you want it to enjoy being in its crate

As far as the urinating goes----the first thing to remember is to BE PATIENT. You have to remember that it is just a puppy and, like a newborn infant, it does not yet have bladder control. It takes 6 months to a year before the puppy will have total bladder control. It's frustrating, but you will get though it!

I agree that setting a schedule helps immensely
Take him out in the morning when you wake up; and before you go to bed
(I'm guessing that you're already doing this)
Take him out as soon as he wakes up from a nap
If he is urinating after vigorous play, take him out immediately afterwards (or, even in the middle of it)
Take him out hourly during the time he's not in his crate as well

Prior to taking him out, say, "outside" or "do you want to go outside?", then take him to the door, make him sit (we'll get to that) and say it again---eventually he will associate having to go out with going to the door and sitting---he will eventually do it on his own, alerting you that he has to go out. It takes a while, but BE PATIENT!
Praise him (pets/hugs) every time he goes out and goes to the bathroom---again, positive reinforcement of a desired behavior.


Next, start teaching him sit, stay, come, down....every dog should know these basics. It's in the book you're gonna buy!

Next---what are you feeding him? Please, please, please don't tell me it's Old Roy (worst thing you can feed a dog).
Look at the ingredients on the bag of dog food---if you want to do the best for the health of your dog, the very first ingredient should be a protein (beef, chicken, fish) NOT corn meal or some kind of by-products...get him good dog food.

I'm not sure where you live, but be sure you give him heartworm prevention----I live in the south, so my dogs get it monthly year round. Sometimes, based on climate, it's only necessary to give it 6 months a year...ask your vet.

Try to find a local dog club---and get the dog into formal puppy/dog obedience classes. They are great for teaching you and your dog how to be a good canine citizen and owner---and they're fun

It's a big responsibility---be a responsible dog owner (which, by the way, means that if you are not planning on making him a show dog, GET HIM NEUTERED! There are tons of health reasons why a dog should be neutered and a bitch (in the real sense of the word---female dog) should be spayed if they are not going to be a show dog---which must be kept intact)


Lots more to say, but I'm late for a meeting
The internet is full of info
And I would talk to some breeders---REAL ones, not the "backyard" breeders!
Generally, reputable dog breeders who breed and show their dogs have websites---Google "Poodle Breeder" and you should find some

PM me if you have questions


EDIT:

And post some photos of him!
Thanks for the tips.

We feed him Nutro - Natural Choice for large breed puppies, lamb and rice formula.

We decided before we bought him that if we do this, we wanted to make sure we could afford to do it "right". There are lesser brands that are good too but no way would we feed him garbage food. If that is all we could afford then we wouldn't have bought the dog.

He is actually coming along nicely. The weather is improving and instead of "walking" him in our yard we just let him out now. At first he was too tentative to go up and down the stairs to our deck but now he is big enough to go up and down easily so he is on his own.

Our goal is to get him to do his business in the back portion of our yard - if we can do that we'll be golden.

Again, thx for the tips. I'll let you know how goes it in a few months.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: We just bought a puppy and I have a question...

We live in NC and we give him the appropriate monthly "meds". Also, we bought the dog from a breeder because we wanted a purebred standard poodle, not some mix of this or that.
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