Potty training a puppy
My family and I have decided we will be getting GSD and will be bringing him home in March. We have previously owned one but rescued him later in life, he came trained and house broken, and has since passed away. My husband and I have never potty trained a puppy but understand it will require a lot of work. My husband works a typical 8am-6pm job, Monday-Friday and does not have the option of coming home for lunch. I work 3 days a week, Tuesday-Thursday from 9am-5pm without the option of coming home for lunch. I take our son to daycare before work so we both leave around 7:30am and return home around 6:30pm. I know that this is will be too long for a puppy to be able to hold going to the bathroom so I have been thinking about crating him in a large cageish crate with a separate area for a potty box with puppy pads and another area for him to move around and eat/drink in. I was thinking then at night and for the remained of our waking hours that I am not at work (the remaining 4 days) I could move the potty box out near the kitchen door close to our backyard to have him go there and eventually bring the box outside. I'm hoping that once he can hold it long enough, he will know to go outside and have the box as a just in case so we do not have to crate him. I live in Southern California and 1/4 mile from a lake with lots of hills to hike and am a runner so I do not expect regular exercise to be an issue. I would just prefer to not have to crate him every week while I am at work. Am I on the right track in how to do this? Can anyone give me any pointers?
You have a dilemma many of us are in but I wouldn't so much have a potty box setup.
I DO like your idea of the larger cage with the pee pads in it so there is easy cleanup. But not really to TEACH the puppy to go in the house. So, at night, I'd see if I could borrow a much smaller crate to keep beside the bed, set the alarm for 2 am to take the puppy out, then sleep the rest of the night. With a smaller crate and NO pee pad then the puppy will start to learn to 'hold it'.
Then during the day when you have to be gone 8 hours or so, I'd use the much larger crate. That way, if there is an accident, the pads will absorb it for cleanup but so would any other towel you'd stick in. There will be room for the puppy to stay dry on the other side of this larger crate.
When you are home there is NO NEED FOR ANY BOX. You don't want to 'teach' him to go in the house anywhere. Instead, when you are home you take him out about every hour or so to do the housebreaking where you WANT him to 'go' outside in the yard. Get those babygates up and close the doors to the rooms you don't want him to go into. And then you need to pay attention because any 'accident's are then YOUR fault and all punishment must be put on YOUR head not the puppy!
Good luck! Large crate with pee pads in part of it for when you have to be gone for a long time. Otherwise the tiny crate to help teach the housebreaking (at night or when you are gone for a few hours) and then NO crate when you are home.
Take advantage of all the topics in ---> Welcome to the GSD/FAQ's for the first time owner - German Shepherd Dog Forums there is great information
Thank you so much @maggieroselee! We already have a small and large crate that will work perfect for what you suggested. I really appreciate your advise :)
For the first two to three weeks that I have a pup, I find a way to come home at lunch. That or I take some time off. Another option would be to hire a pet sitter to come in mid day. I'd try to stick to that crate/not crate schedule on the days I was home, too. Less confusing for the pup. Don't know if that will work for you or not.
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