I got a 3-3 1/2 month old GSD puppy from the shelter on Monday, and since then he has made a lot of progress. Like I said, I am a new dog owner, and a dog is a pet I've wanted for over 20 years. I am having some issues and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.
1. Housebreaking: I am trying to housebreak my puppy, which is going well overall, but he still has accidents in the house (which I expect, he's a puppy). It seems like he doesn't empty his bladder completely when I take him out, which is around every 4 hours at night, unless he's running around playing, and then its maybe every 2. How long should I stay outside with him? Right now I stay out between 5-10 minutes, usually just 5 when I take him out overnight. Like I said, I'm new to this and I'm getting advice from all directions. I know he won't be completely housebroken at this age, but I want to make sure I'm giving him enough time to really finish, because he always seems done, and then he will pee again after about 15 minutes inside, though its not a consistent pattern.
2.Crate Training: I just moved into a new home, but my master is not a huge master, and I'm literally not able to fit his crate in my room. I only have a bed and small dresser (and even that's not permanent, its just being stored for my niece). I hate to hear my pup cry at night, though it is getting less and less. I have discovered that he seems to calm quickly with the sound of the tv, so I use the sleep timer and turn it on for him when I need to go into my room to sleep. I know he wants to sleep in my room too, but I just don't trust him to wake me if he has a need to potty. I thought about buying one of those fold-away crates, but I'm scared he'll get too attached to that and not use his real crate. Any advice for getting him to calm down and understand that I'm not leaving him.
3.Doggy Daycare: I have a vet who also has a doggy daycare facility, and I was curious if anyone had any experience with doggy daycare? I want to take him at least twice a month, if possible (I'm single and therefore the finances may not allow for more than that, it will just depend largely on the cost). I have two days during the week off, I work retail, and while I'd like to spend the time with my dog, I also have [online] school and think it would be good for him to go and socialize with other dogs (at least once a week), and this would give me the time to study without him being neglected (though this week I took him for a lengthy walk in the morning, so he slept while I did my work). I do spend the time I'm at home with him, so he'd still get a good bit of attention, but I also want him to be able socialize and play with other dogs, especially since he is a GSD.
Any help would be appreciated. I just feel like I'm doing things wrong, and while I know we are going to have good times and bad times, I want my pup, August, to be happy in my home.