Apartment / Flat pad and Outdoor Training puppy

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Lauralouandernietoo
Posts: 3
Joined: 21 Dec 2019, 06:31
First Name: LauraJane

Apartment / Flat pad and Outdoor Training puppy

Post by Lauralouandernietoo » 27 Dec 2019, 08:45

Hi all!

New member here! We collected our 8 week (almost 9) mini pepper and salt, Ernie, almost a week ago now and we love him so much. I did actually write up w long question but I don’t think it posted so having to re-write!

We live on the second floor in an apartment / flat and from day one we have puppy pad trained him and except for a few accidents which is to be expected he has been very good and often takes himself to the pads but still sometimes needs encouragement. We do eventually want to introduce him to outdoor toilet training as well and try and integrate the both (so he can use pads and outside) and was wondering if anyone who lives in a flat / apartment has done the same or generally has any advice please for toilet training when living in an apartment / flat?

I did buy a dog potty but he doesn’t seem to like it and just likes pads on the floor.

Might be worth mentioning as well we have not crate trained him. We were advised against it. He currently has the kitchen which is gated off and he has a little set up of his pads, bed, toys, food, water etc and he sleeps there at night and gates shut for when he has ‘quiet time’.

I know he’s still young and training takes time. Problem is I can’t really start the outdoor training at the mo because he hasn’t had his full vaccines and there are other dogs in the building and we have a lot of foxes in the area so don’t want to put Ernie at any risk.

Another issue he has just started up tonight (hence why I’m posting this 2am) is he started crying in the night now. He cried the first night which is to be expected as he probably missed his mum and sisters, but after that he stopped and I thought I was lucky but he’s started again. Is this normal and is there anything I can do to stop it being a habit?

I’m becoming a bit of a worrier just because I want the best for little Ernie.

Thank you for your help in advance. xx

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zeta1454
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Re: Apartment / Flat pad and Outdoor Training puppy

Post by zeta1454 » 27 Dec 2019, 12:47

Hi Laura Jane - both your posts are on the Forum and I am sure you will get some replies hopefully from other members who live in an apartment / flat but I will offer some advice generally regarding puppy training. I have owned miniature schnauzers since 1997 and have experience with 15 dogs over the past years including breeding 9 litters of pups in that time.

Much will depend on a puppy's early experience at the breeder's home regarding toilet training, crate training and separation anxiety among other issues. As Ernie's breeder is not in favour of using a crate, you are facing difficulties on at least two levels as both toilet training and separation anxiety can often be resolved effectively by using a crate from the early weeks. A crate provides a safe den in which a puppy can rest at night and at set times through the day, it can be vital for use on vet visits, car travel or staying away from home in a new environment. Although it is possible that a puppy may trap his/her paw between the bars, this is not common and there are hundreds of "possible" hazards facing any young creature when they start out in the world which are never going to be all eliminated whatever you do to try and prevent them.

When we have bred puppies, we have had them in a playpen (with bars) during the day when they cannot be supervised in outside play sessions from 3-4 weeks of age and by 7 weeks each puppy will have its own crate at night to sleep in preparation for going to their new home (or staying with us :-)) First thing in the morning, they are taken outside into the garden to toilet- even at this age some will be holding on at night so as not to wet/dirty their crate. Although we do not necessarily expect them to be fully trained by 8/ 9 weeks many will be if the routine is continued in their new home. Using the crate to sleep at night provides security too, especially in the early weeks when the puppy has lost the comfort of his /her mother and siblings. Being alone in the large space of a room or even a playpen can be quite scary for a young puppy.

When we got our very first puppy in January 1997, the weather was terrible (winter puppies are always more likely to struggle with toilet training as it is hard to encourage them outside). We set up a paper "toilet area" by the door to the garden for the worst days but in fact our little one was very determined to go outside and we soon abandoned the paper. The problem with using pads indoors for training (unless you are going to continue this long term) is that you are then expecting a young creature to make a critical judgement as to when it's OK to pee/poo indoors and when not to which may prove awkward in other places you take him to in the future.

When you say that Ernie has not had his "full" vaccines, does this mean he has had some? There is a belief that puppies are far more vulnerable to infection than is actually the case, if they are well bred, healthy and not exposed to areas which unhealthy or sick animals frequent. If you want to toilet train Ernie to go outside and while you are socialising him, it is vital that he has the experience of going into the wider world. Our vet advised that while we should be careful not to allow a puppy near stagnant water or confined areas frequented by many different dogs of unknown health status, it was important for them to enjoy the outside as soon as possible. We do have a large garden so not affected as you are in our home environment but, living in the country as we do, we know that many little wild creatures, birds, mice, rats, hedgehogs do come into the garden and, having eleven dogs of our own, any puppy of ours will be exposed from an early age to these and none have ever become unwell. We take puppies out in our arms or in a pet buggy to the city, shopping centres, stately home gardens etc. before they have their vaccines (DHP) - one set of jabs at 11 weeks plus (we don't vaccinate before that age). It is important in busy areas to protect the pups from exposure on the ground but really vital that they do get out to see, hear and smell the outside world before they reach 16 weeks old.

Routines are important whatever you decide to do going forward so, if you don't want to use a crate but want to keep Ernie in the kitchen at night long term, I would try to set up a more permanent, smaller area where he has toys, bed, pad etc. (maybe use a cardboard box or something similar within this so he can have a "den" ?) and so that this area is his throughout the day as well whenever you cannot be supervising or interacting with him. He needs a "safe space" to settle for regular rest periods especially at this early age. If you are going to only use pads for fear of infection in the outside just now, you would be best to set up a specific toilet area (if you are not already doing this) so that he learns to use that place only until he can go outside. I think I would be inclined to try and make a toilet area with soil or sand or pellets rather than using a pad so that he begins to understand that pads / mats or other flat items on the floor indoors are not for peeing/ pooing on in the future. You should take him to the toilet area every hour and/or when he gets up, before eating, after eating, before play, after play, before training, after training, before bed and any other time when he circles, sniffs or gives a sign he needs to go. It is time consuming in the early days but will be worth it in the long run and the more accurate you can be at preventing accidents, the quicker Ernie will learn. If you just leave random pads around the house and/or Ernie is not confined to his play area when you cannot watch him, the process will take longer and be less reliable.

I do understand your anxiety to do the best you can for Ernie and it can be overwhelming trying to "get everything right" with the first puppy. Once you have had a few dogs, things can be less daunting :)

There are a few useful links here for you too:

https://www.dogstardaily.com/training/p ... -8-9-weeks

http://www.thepuppyplan.com

https://shoppuppyculture.com/pages/puppy-owners

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/pupp ... aylist.pdf

https://www.dogstardaily.com/training/c ... sing-puppy
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Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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Lauralouandernietoo
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Joined: 21 Dec 2019, 06:31
First Name: LauraJane

Re: Apartment / Flat pad and Outdoor Training puppy

Post by Lauralouandernietoo » 28 Dec 2019, 03:00

Hi there

Yes sorry I might not have been clear. In his kitchen area set up he has a snuggly dog bed which has a snuggle elephant and also a donut style dog bed he can snuggle as well - he loves his donut. He also has his specific play area toys (different textures and types - he also has other toys to play with Us for in the living room (tugging toys, soft ball to play fetch). He has a specific area in the corner of his penned kitchen where his pads are (we have 2 but eventually want to reduce it to 1 pad) and that is where he is going, even if he needs to go in the night always wake up to see he has done his business there, apart from an odd accident next to the pad and he always goes in that area.

So do you think even though he has this set up he should still be crated?

We have been taking him out to socialise just not put him on the floor outside (even the vet said not to). He’s been to the shops and we popped to a dog and family friendly pub and he loved meeting lots of new people, and he loved our friends children. He’s also been fine in the car and with the radio on. For a tiny little guy he’s very confident when it comes to socialising. I’m also planning to take him to puppy classes.

He is also very good with day to day noises - he doesn’t get upset by the gun fire noises from my husbands video game or the hoover - the only noise he’s not a fan of is the nutri bullet - but I don’t blame him cause it is loud and an annoying noise even for me.

So would you suggest I do take him in the communal garden? And yes he has had his first set of vaccinations and has had his worming treatment. He goes back for his last set of shots on the 4th January and that’s when he will be fully protected.

Thank you so much for you reply and the links. X

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zeta1454
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Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Apartment / Flat pad and Outdoor Training puppy

Post by zeta1454 » 28 Dec 2019, 13:45

It sounds as though you are doing fine with socialising Ernie and the kitchen set-up. (Sometimes it is difficult to tell from a written post all the details so I wasn't quite sure how it was organised :) )

I don't necessarily want to say that a crate will automatically solve the issue of Ernie waking in the night but having a crate has worked very well with all our dogs and puppies over the years and proved very useful when taking them to stay at holiday cottages etc. A crate can also be covered for warmth and darkness which has advantages summer and winter - providing extra warmth in the colder months and shielding the light in the bright early mornings in summer. If Ernie has never been used to a crate or similar set-up, however, he may not take to one now so it is hard to advise you to get a crate, with certainty. The main reasons why puppies ( or even older dogs) may wake and cry at night include being cold, needing to toilet or being disturbed by an unusual sound. Ernie is still very young and as you have his special place set up in the kitchen, it may just be a question of time before he settles through the night without any specific changes made to his routine.

As regards using the communal garden, it really has to be a decision you are confident about especially as it is only a week until the vaccination shots are completed. If you would prefer to wait until then, it will keep your mind at rest that Ernie is not in contact with anything that could make him unwell. It only takes a single set of vaccine shots to immunise a puppy but the reason for giving a series is because not all puppies will respond to the vaccines at the same age. Maternal antibodies (passive immunity) can interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine up to as late as 16 weeks in some pups but usually have disappeared by about 10-12 weeks. If the maternal antibodies have gone by 8 weeks of age, a puppy vaccinated at that age will be protected by the one set of shots and would not need any more but they are repeated by vets in case the first ones did not immunise. However, once you can take Ernie outside safely, I would try to wean him into using the garden rather than the pads, following a routine as I suggested above of very regular trips outside to toilet. It may be useful to keep the pads available for him at night for a while but long term you really don't want him thinking it is OK at any time to toilet indoors as it will limit where you can take him without worrying he might pee or poo in a friend's house, a holiday cottage, shop, hotel etc. as well as in time leaving a smell in your apartment. I have also known puppies to start ripping up pee pads once they get a bit older and that can be very messy :(

I am sure it will all work out fine given time and do let us know how Ernie gets on as he grows and at the puppy classes :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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