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Tips on Crate Training
From: The dog Forums

Oh, puppies.

So Roscoe has been with us for 4 full days, and this is day 5 (11 week old German Shorthaired Pointer pup). So far, he's been making daily progress. First night, up every two hours to potty and attack my toes. Second night, up only once. Last two nights, slept all the way through. Yay!

He's doing great with potty training. He's in a good pattern of being taken out every few hours, after naps, and shortly after eating, and he'll generally go pretty quickly and come right back in. Seems like he's starting to understand the point of going out there. Yesterday, he let himself out the dog door by himself for the first time without encouragement and peed and pooped while he was out there. I can't guarantee that's WHY he went out, but he did it and we celebrated big.

He's doing great in the crate, able to stay in there for 2-3 hours without fussing much, seems pretty content in there.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty cocky. We're getting a nice, comfortable routine going, he's learning new stuff every day, and I'm confident in what he's learned so far.

AND THEN.........

He walks into his crate last night, squats, and pees in it. ??????? After interrupting mid-stream to run him outside to finish it, he comes back in, plays for another half hour, and promptly does it AGAIN.

What the hell?

1.  She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.

2.  This sounds just like what we're going through right now! We just got a 7 week old puppy, and he's great! Today, he started to poop in the kitchen, so I took him right outside, and he continued. He ran to the door, and I thought he was done, but then he took off toward the grass-He wasn't done, and didn't want to go back inside until he finished! I was so proud that it finally clicked at least one time that he's not supposed to go potty in the house!

Good luck with your puppy!!

3. know what...he's still a puppy. At 11 weeks old, he doesn't have the world figured out yet. I've been through this, with my dogs. As pups, they progressed--->regressed---->progressed---regressed. It's what they do. Please, whatever you do, don't sweat it. Do, though quickly pick them up with a shameful (intonation in your voice) "NO", and put them outside. Dogs know, and can quickly pick up the routine. My rule of thumb is: CONSISTENCY + FREQUENCY + PRAISE = WANTED BEHAVIOUR.

Note: I don't subscribe to pure positive training technics all the time, but I do think when dealing with a pup, you need to flood their senses with as much positive reinforcement as you can. Correction comes when, a dog knows and doesn't obey.

By the sounds of your regimen, it appears as though, you are doing right by this pup. My only Q is, why not crate him at night?..through the night? If he soils...don't respond. Set parameters to his crate time. Ex: 10pm - 6am. Dogs don't typically bathroom, where they live/eat....and they hate to be in their own soil. No human bed least not for the next year. Perhaps you have already set those parameters. They will rebel. They will make noise. They will cause you lost sleep. But the trick is, to not buy into their tantrums.

Good luck!...great breed by the way. German Shorthaired Pointers are wonderful dogs. Look for ways to get this dog into something that exercises its brain + body. Research what you can do, to put this dog to work. He will thank you for it, and make a wonderful pet/companion.

4. Patience is the only word I can give you. With puppies it is one step forward and two steps back but one day soon you will get there. Just be consistent and try not to get upset ( really hard to do ). Ever wonder why they were created so darn cute.  Just gotta love em.

5. Agreed. Puddle (our pup) had poo'd and pee'd in his kennel early on once we received him from the breeder.

These were the situations I was hoping for because they really are, learning opportunities for both owner and pet.

Realizing that puppies are new to the world (mere weeks or a few months), be patient, calm and enjoy the learning experience.

Not wanting to get into the theory/ empirics of how dogs learn....
Bottom line is that it really does take time for a canine pup to pick his mental way through the world.

They really are lil gum drops still. It sounds like you're doing a good job thus far.

6.  If you celebrated his going outside more than a few seconds after he did it, he will enjoy the celebration but not understand what it is for.

Praise or treats, during or within a second or two after while the both of you are outside, will be helpful.   

Taken from the Petmate website:

Puppy Basics Ė Training the First Week
September 2, 2010 in for dogs + puppies by Gwen Bohnenkamp
By Gwen Bohnenkamp, Animal Behavior Specialist with Perfect Paws

Start your relationship with your new puppy on the right foot! Know what to expect and what to do as the responsible party for your new friend.

Before your puppy comes home it is important to be prepared. Puppy training basics during the first week the puppy is home is critical. It is obvious that you need certain physical items such as a dog bed or crate, food and water bowls, puppy chow, collar, leash, toys, etc. Equally as important, all family members must decide and agree on routine, responsibility and rules.

The first few days are extremely important. Enthusiasm and emotions are up. Everyone wants to feed the puppy, play with the puppy and hold the puppy. Pre-established rules are easily broken. Everyone agreed that puppy will sleep in her crate but as soon as sheís home, someone melts and insists that puppy will sleep in bed. Everyone previously agreed not to let puppy jump up on them, but in the excitement, no one even notices that puppy is jumping up. No one sleeps the first night. Puppy wins and gets to sleep in bed. The next morning we find puppy has eliminated all over the bed. So the following night puppy is banned to her crate and screams all night. No one sleeps tonight either.

Grouchiness sets in; enthusiasm is down. No one wants to get up at the pre-agreed upon early morning feeding time. How are we going to housetrain puppy? How are we going to sleep with her constant whining?

Your new puppy has just been taken away from her mom and littermates. She is vulnerable and impressionable. What she needs how is security and routine. Set up a small room to be her very own special haven for the next couple of months. Paper the entire floor and put her food/water bowls and bed in one corner. Scatter her toys everywhere.

Play with her quietly and gently. Donít flood her with attention and activity. If she looks like she wants to sleep, leave her alone. Puppies need lots of sleep.

Decide who is responsible for feeding and cleaning up after her. Donít deviate from the schedule. Routine is especially important for your puppy. Donít spend all your time with her. If she is going to be alone during the day or night, she needs to start getting used to it now. If she wakes up from a nap and whines, resist the urge to run in and comfort her.

Since puppies are so impressionable, it is important to begin explaining the rules right away. Donít give her special license to get away with anything just because she is a puppy. If you allow her to have her way about certain things now, she will only be confused later when you decide to change the rules. Puppies learn very quickly with proper instruction.

Never hit your puppy or give harsh reprimands. They donít mean to misbehave Ė they are just doing whatever comes naturally. Instead, show your puppy what kind of behavior you want. Teach her to play with her toys. Make them fun and exciting. Let her know how happy you are and how good she is when she chews them. Then, when you see her chewing your furniture, firmly tell her, ďOff!Ē and immediately show her one of her own toys. Encourage her to play with and chew on it. Praise her profusely when she does so. If you donít catch her in the act, anything you do will confuse her. The only way you can instruct your puppy is to be there. If you canít be there, donít allow her to have access to places where she can get into trouble.

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. Discuss your puppyís vaccination schedule and when she will be allowed outside. Puppies are susceptible to many canine diseases until they are fully vaccinated; so donít take your puppy outside until your veterinarian says it is OK.

Your puppyís emotional and mental health is just as important as her physical health. When your schedule your puppyís first veterinary visit, also schedule her into a puppy socialization class. She may not be able to attend yet, but reserve your place now so you donít miss out. Puppy socialization classes give your puppy an opportunity to meet a variety of people and dogs in a controlled situation. If your puppy is to be a well-adjusted adult dog, she needs to learn how to act properly around other dogs and people. Dogs that are not socialized frequently grow up to be aggressive and excessively fearful.
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