Skip to comments.How to housebreak and calm down a puppy--advice please!
Posted on 07/13/2013 11:34:45 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
Hi, everyone. :)
We just bought a black lab who is about six weeks old; a female. I just brought her outside; she had napped next to me and was sound asleep on the couch as I dozed off. I then brought her out and put her in her crate, because she pees and poos all over the house.
How do I train this puppy--and how can I get her to stop crying at night. The last couple of nights, I could not stand the crying, so I brought her up to my husband and my bed.
Even now, she is crying and whimpering, trying to get out of the crate. We slept together just fine on the couch, just now, for a while, but now she wants the attention since I put her in the crate. I did that because our house has apparently become a puppy toilet. :( It is disgusting and I cannot stand it.
Do I bring her upstairs to stop the crying, or do I let her cry it out (which is painful).
I am falling asleep at the computer, however, listening to her cry, I"ll probably get very little sleep.
I will try to answer everyone, but we are all tired and I am at my wits end.
She is a cutie, though. :) She has massive paws--she will be a big girl. :)
Thanks, and I will respond as soon as I can,
good luck is all I can say
You want to take her outside at least once an hour when she is out of the crate. As soon as she goes to the bathroom take her outside and leave her there for 5-10 minutes. It is also important to get the enzyme cleaner and clean up every area she has used in the house. As for the crying that is up to you. If you want a bed companion for the next 15 years then give in to the crying.
The last little Lab Puppy I had was so sweet that you had to just love her. My parents always put an old alarm clock in the box with a puppy who had just been taken from his Mother.
The ticking seemed to soothe them. I have never kept one in the house so can’t help you there. I will say they just naturally leave the yard to do their business, so it must be ingrained in them a bit to not use the bathroom inside.
When they are real little, Momma licks the urine and feces off them. That is the only was she can keep them clean and a dog’s digestive system can handle it with no problem.
Cage train. It’s humane for all involved and learns em real quick.
They won’t mess in their own chance and have to earn more space.
Pure bred Lab? Good luck. Be patient. (ALL dogs are a gift from above.)
Try a wind-up clock if you have one, in it’s sleeping place. Pure bred Labs are a handful. My sister has one and I think she’ll get a “mutt” next time.
Good luck and don’t set any bad precedents!
Read your post after the headline.
Bring the baby into your room, next to the bed and get up every few hours to let the poor thing do its business.
You’re taking care of a baby and it takes love and time to get everyone on the same page.
You have a project but if you work at it the reward is great. Get a copy of the Purina dog training book for starters. Dogs learn by condition, the same as you learn the first time you stub your toe really hard on something. Your toe never hits that something again. Don’t train your dog to do bad habits like jump up on you. Always reinforce it is not to put its paws on your legs. Each time it jumps up lightly step on it back feet. About the puppy poop...that’s what puppy’s do. Keep it in the garage until you have that problem solved.
Black labs are great dogs.
good luck is all I can say
No kidding... :) I even put my headphones and am listening to a Heart song, and I can still her cry. I hate that puppy stage. Well, I dont, but it is like having a baby. Which it is. She seems quiet now.
Sorry, all, for the formal language and lack of apostrophes; my kids, who go to French schools, have made this into a French keyboard, and I can not seem to figure out how to do that.
It is also important to get the enzyme cleaner and clean up every area she has used in the house. As for the crying that is up to you. If you want a bed companion for the next 15 years then give in to the crying.
That is what I told my husband—we can wash the floor with all the detergent we want, but they can still smell it, and we need to buy that special chemical that erases the smell for them and wash the floor—with a clean mop head—with that.
Thanks for the advice! :)
I love Labs...great dogs. But don’t expect peace in your life for at least 2-3 years. It’s not that they aren’t smart (they are) they are just exuberant.
If you want to crate train, turn off your hearing and be sure to take her out OFTEN.
Of course she wants to sleep with you..all dogs do. But unless she is under control, I wouldn’t suggest it. She can always sleep with you later.
As already suggested..a ticking alarm clock works well for a pup.
She is whining due to separation anxiety. First off, at six weeks of age she is far too young to be away from her mother and litter mates. You will have problems with her, as she will socialize with people and never understand what it means to be a dog. You’re setting yourself up for some real problems later.
That said, do you know anyone who has a nice older dog, one that would befriend a puppy, and that can live with you for the next five weeks until she is nearer to 12 weeks old? It will make a world of difference later on.
Housebreaking a gun dog breed like a Lab isn’t that difficult. If you have a spare bathroom where you can put down ‘pee pads’ at night, (absorbent pads that have an odor that attracts young dogs so they pee and poo on the pads instead of your floors) they can get used to going in one place. Be sure and have a soft, large enough bed for her to sleep in also in the bathroom. At some time they will be able to sleep through the night and a crate will be sufficient.
Note: we withhold water after 9PM and since we arise in the morning about 5:30, we escort the dogs outside and give them water at that time. Then we feed them.
If you have any questions, please ask me. We’ve had gun dog breeds for the past 43 years.
Do what I did with all my dogs.
Well, you could do what I routinely do. Give up! Let ‘em sleep on the bed or at least in the bedroom. My lab - he could come up on the bed to visit - briefly! but slept on the floor - and was content with that.
Paper train them and be sure there is no paper substitute like a small carpet around. Dogs will naturally look for a spot like that to pee/poop on.
I know this won’t work for everybody - just saying I gave up and it didn’t work out so bad.
The dog has a second cage or sleeping area in the kitchen or near the kitchen so he can see you making food. As long as you have cages in these two spots you will be OK.
Remember your husband (if he is bigger than you) is the alpha dog. It does not matter who takes care of the dog, who feeds him, or spends time with him, he is the Alpha. The dog assumes the largest creature is alpha.
You are the alpha bitch. Outside of bad marketing, the alpha bitch is like the COO of the pack. The dog is subservient to the alpha bitch until the alpha shows up.
You may not like this. But this is the way dogs are. And you and the dog will be happy as long as you understand the laws of the pack.
Remember as alpha bitch you never cede control to your dog. You are in charge. Acts of kindness are often misunderstood as acts of weakness. Be sure and be strong.
My parents always put an old alarm clock in the box with a puppy who had just been taken from his Mother.
The ticking seemed to soothe them.
I had forgotten about that trick—great advice! The sound of Mamas heartbeat.
Again, apologize for the lack of apostrophes. :)
There are some really good books on the subject, but I’ll give you what I’ve learned:
Water takes a specific and predictable amount of time to get from one end of your dog to the other. Same with solid food.
As such, do not leave a dish of water and/or food down at all times. Put the water and food down at specific times of the day (water more often than food), and then pick the bowls up off of the floor. Then time how long it takes for the dog to then pee and poop and from then on you will know how much soon after to take your dog out to pee (if fed water) or poop (if fed food).
If you learn your dog pees 10 minutes after drinking water, be outside with your dog sooner than 10 minutes after you give your dog water. And when your dog goes outside, make an embarassingly big positive deal about it.
(ALL dogs are a gift from above.)
That is so true. The Father created these precious gifts, in all their forms. (getting tired, and had a Touched by an Angel marathon today. :) ) Thanks, Julie
She is too young to have been taken from her litter mates yet.
Who sold you a 6 week old pup?
Without another dog to teach her proper ‘dog language/behavior’ she’s going to be emotionally adrift.
You’re going to have to ‘make up for’ the lack of her siblings/mother.
I would not stick her in a crate at all myself.
She has to be beyond terrified.
FWIW, 6 weeks and 6 months are two key periods of psychological development in dogs.
Whatever they learn during those two phases will be with them forever.
If they learn fear, anxiety, separation issues, they will be nearly impossible to ‘fix’ later.
First of all, she shouldn’t be separated from her littermates at six weeks. That is at least two weeks too early. She is a scared and lonely baby.
You’d cry too if you were locked in a cage. I have never put a dog in a crate and never would. I’ve had dogs my whole life and never saw any reason to.
Babies have to be old enough to know how to use a toilet. Puppies have to be old enough to go outside. Take her outside every hour or so and praiser he when she poos outside. Give her a stern No if she poos inside and immediately take her outside. Don’t go all angry because that’ll just scare her so that she’s not in a learning mindset.
Kennel the dog in the kitchen at night let her out before bed and first thing in the morning. You happy, dog happy.
Thank you all for your advice. She was calm on our bed; we have a purchased bed for her, and she slept there last night. She has now started whimpering again, so I am bringing her up. Perhaps the owners let us purchase her when she was too young to be away from her Mom. I will take her out again, then bring her up.
As for everyone else, I will respond a.s.a.p.; I am sorry but I have to try to get some sleep. I have certainly got great advice on this thread.
Even my 14 year-old daughter, who wanted the puppy, is upset because she keeps her awake with her crying.
Thanks, everyone. You can always count on Freepers for great advice.
I am guessing that probably what's done is done. If I were in the situation, I would try to help her learn some of the things she would have learned with her mother for those last couple of weeks.
I'm not an expert, but based on what I know, I would make sure she gets lots of attention and handling. You are also probably going to have to work harder to teach her not to bite.
Puppies start out in litters with littermates, and learn their first skills at playing when they are with their siblings. When they bite too hard, the other puppy will give a high-pitched yip or yelp. Puppies are hard-wired to be taken aback by their sibling yelping, and that helps them learn not to bite too hard. This is something you can mimic to some degree. At some point this stops being as effective, but at this age I would think it should work. I wouldn't overdo it, I would gauge it to the puppy's response.
Your puppy is not a person and does not think exactly like one. I think it's important to start to learn some puppy psychology, and how to train her.
On the potty training, you will need to take her outside very frequently at this age. I don't know the schedule but maybe every 45 minutes or so? Not sure at that age.
Take her after she eats and after she wakes up from a nap. When she goes, praise her.
You can't teach a puppy much by taking her back to the scene of an accident and rubbing her nose in it, except that sometimes Mommy is mean to her. She won't understand why.
There are some good books on training and caring for puppies at Amazon.
At this point, she does not understand that your entire home is the family "den." Dogs don't tend to potty in their dens, but by nature that den is very small. Gradually she will get the idea that outdoors is the place she goes potty, and the whole house is her big luxury den. But that will take time, and there will certainly be accidents. She is just a little baby at this point.
I am certainly not an expert, but if I had a puppy that was that young I think I would be tempted to let her sleep right next to me (in some safe configuration) for the next couple of weeks, just to help her feel secure. Of course, then you would have to break her of that. You could put her in a box right next to your bed, and pat her and assure her everything is okay. Of course she is likely to cry some. But at that point maybe a big ticking clock might be comforting. Or you could try the ticking clock to start with, if you can find one these days.
If not, you could possibly rig up a computer speaker somehow with a ticking clock sound effect. Here's one that lasts all night.
You are going to have interrupted sleep for a while. She will wake up in the middle of the night, and she's going to need to go potty in the middle of the night. She has a tiny little bladder, and can't hold it very long.
Hope some of that helps. I wish you well with your new pup!
Labs are great dogs... she will be worth all this trouble.
A great companion animal... I just love dogs :-)
I have a Border Collie.... she absolutely will not go in the house. Never trained her, it seems to be an instinct.
If someone IS home all day, then there is no reason why she can't be housebroken, using the "crate method." there are several detailed descriptions, just google housebreaking puppies, crate method.
With the smallest dogs, this method works so well than, in a big enough crate, once they are housebroken, the will eagerly retire to that mean crate to get away from the cats, LOL.
As for sleeping, regardless of the size of the dog, they can be trained to sleep in the bedroom, but in their own bed. Does she have her own bed? Where is it located?
I also agree with the person who advised you to find a way to allow her to socialize with another dog(s) for the next month or two if possible.
Six weeks is so young. If you can, put the crate in your room at night, but if she is too loud, maybe a laundry room or a kitchen. We have our (older) puppy with an open kennel in a pen with layers of newspaper. She does not have free reign of the house yet. Our goal is to minimize the accidents she has in there (only a couple a week now) but give her an alternative to floor accidents. She gets taken out frequently and rewarded when she goes (either a treat or lot of love and praise). We do have an old lab to help show her the ropes, but the puppy is not a lab. She has a blanket, an old t-shirt (smells like us), and toys in her kennel. When I was afraid she would be stressed, I left soft music on for her. Yes, clean the accidents with an enzyme cleaner, but do not give free range of the house. Six weeks is way too young to be potty trained- don’t let bad habits start in. I have never paper trained before this puppy but better than my floors.
Just to clarify, when I said I would be tempted to let her sleep right next to me for the next couple of weeks because she’s so young, I wasn’t talking about her being in the box at that point.
Again, though, I’m not an expert. Maybe someone who has experience with puppies this young can comment.
"..???...do the crates have wheels?
You put her outside every 30 minutes. She should learn fast. Put a ticking clock in the crate with her along with maybe blanket to snuggle up too. Associates with Mom. She’s pretty young to be away from Mom. She’s probably lonely and scared. Takes time. If all else fails, and sometimes it does, bring her to bed with you.
Also, praise, praise and praise when she does it right.
Also, praise, praise and praise when she does it right.
There’s a reason to not let puppies separate from Moms to early. Mom is still teaching them. 8 weeks to 12 weeks is acceptable.
Hey, Julie. I hope you are asleep as I write this. ;-). Just wanted to say that especially a female dog is very unlikely to pee all over the house as she gets older.
If she is still doing that once she has acclimatized to the surroundings, do some research on kidney/bladder infections.
Choke her out... kidding...
>> six weeks old
Hi! I can’t write a long response but you need to go to Peaceable Paw’s website and read Pat Miller’s articles on this subject. I used her techniques with my Siberian Husky and it works.
She has an excellent training book but I don’t recall the name offhand. I’m sure its in her store and in Amazon.
It takes several days of constant attention and training.
In the end, you will have a dog to be proud of.
6 weeks is too young to separate the puppy from her mother. She should be with the mother for 8 to 12 as the mother teaches toilet training. Now you will have to and that is waking up early to take the puppy out for toilrt, and doing the same before and after every meal. Also, do not let her on your bed or on the couch as you are setting yourself up for future problems. The dog should know that a dogs place is on the floor, not on sofas or couches. For the nights, put her on some mat next to your bed and lay your hand on her to calm her. Since she is only 6weeks old she needs a mommy and that is you. Buy enzyme floor wash and use it. And be patient. It can takes up to a year to toilet train, dependingonthe dog. I know some use crates, but i believe that should be the utter last resort.
On the subject of apostrophes: if changing keyboards to French gets rid of them then more people ought to do that until they understand the proper use of the apostrophe. Every “s” at the end of a word does not require the use of an apostrophe unless there is a contraction or to indicate possession of the following object.
Main topic of puppy training: consistency and constancy should be your watch words. Also, the dog should not be allowed to relieve itself in the house for ANY reason. The advice about using pee pads is poor advice, IMO. You’re (contraction) the alpha, be the leader.
Six weeks old and never been away from her litter mates? Of course she's crying.
Dufarge gave in to our female black Lab puppie's squalling and let the pup (Gina) up onto the bed to stop it. Fine when she was an eight pound puppy, not so much when Gina was an eighty-five pound adult, just waiting for one of us to open an eye. Then, kaboom, onto the bed, wiggle around enough so she had the lion's share. What a dope!
God, I miss that dog...
When I saw the title “How to housebreak and calm down a puppy—advice please!”, my initial reaction was, “What!!! Someone wants advice how to break into a house and how to keep the householder’s puppy calm (so as not to raise the alarm)???”
I’m sorry, but that’s how it is. Maybe I’ve been reading too much about Trayvon Martin.
Pee & poo........good luck. You just might have to use some tough love.
Of course....few people own a ticking clock anymore. Garage sale, Goodwill, VOA maybe
1. Too young to take from mom, unfortunately so...
2. Crate train. Crate train. Crate train.
3. Leave a leash on it at all times while in the house- so you can grab it and go outside quickly
4. Be wary of too much freedom. And by that I mean, leash training, eye contact (the foundation of all training) and recall need to start ASAP. Otherwise, the pup do what it thinks is best. And for, that usually is all wrong.
5. Practice operant/positive training techniques (google it).
6. Crate train. Crate train. Crate train.
7. Seek out a puppy socialization class immediately.
8. Get him out in public to meet people. Try to have him meet 100 people before he’s 16 weeks old.
9. Crate train. Crate train. Crate train.
I got my first real puppy (a Border Collie) in 15 years in April. He was 7.5 weeks old when I got him, and has been a dream, mainly because I’ve learned so much on training and now train others as well as rescue dogs. He loves his crate, loves people and other dogs, and has already mastered the basics as well as several tricks.
Trust me. You will get out of your puppy what you pup into him. There will be challenges, particularly the usual puppy stuff (chewing). But it will be worth it!
Congratulations on gaining a new member of the family. We currently have black Labs number seven and eight, Gunner II and Liberty Belle. Please don’t be cowed by the “oh noes, a Lab!” Naysayers. Just sort through the good advice offered above. And remember two things: patience and consistency. After housebreaking, which will come easily if you’re consistent, will come chewing phase, which may last a couple of years. Labs are especially attracted to chewing things that you have held and retain your scent. My truck steering wheel cover attest to Liberty’s anxiety at being left in the truck for a half hour her first winter. Be patient and enjoy the profound friendship and loyalty of your wonderful new dog.
Take her outside after each feeding, nap and play time or when she starts circling. If she drinks water, she’ll need to go outside in about 15 minutes tops (do not just let her out, you need to be sure she accomplishes your goal). Extremely important, do not come back in until she does something, and then praise her afterwards. As she grows, the time range will expand, so be patient, it will get better soon!
Be ever vigilant as to her indications, once you figure out what they are. One of our dogs would just wait by the door patiently, another would come to our chairs. She will get the drift if you and everyone in the house is consistent.
If she makes a mistake, make her watch you clean it up (slight scold is okay, but no nose-rubbing or yelling), and then place her bed and food dish in that area and sit with her for a while there. Read a book while she naps a bit, give her a treat, play with her, something fun. Then take her outside from there.
She has to recognize that every part of your home is her “bed” or den. Prevention would be to spend time with her and her bed in each room so that she learns how to get to the magic door from there. I did this with an adult dog and she never made the same mistake twice. She had chosen a room that we didn’t use much, so she thought it was okay.
As to the crying, you will have to let her cry until she figures out that nothing bad happens if you don’t come (but you will have to get up to let her out a couple of times a night). A ticking clock is fine, as long as the alarm doesn’t go off, or perhaps a radio with calming music or calm talk radio hosts.
I know it’s hard to ignore whimpers, but you are the alpha dog; dogs get their confidence from knowing who’s in charge and what the daily routine is, which also includes when it’s time to sleep.
Have fun with your new bundle of love!
You have lots of good advice, and some not so good advice. Reputable breeders don’t let puppies go at 6 weeks. Crate train. Crate by your bed, get up when she whimpers, take her out, take her to the pee area on leash, stand there til she pees, say “go pee” or something consistently as she pees, no playing, back in crate. Maybe twice a night, then hopefully to once a night soon. She is too young to hold it very long.
Then during the day she should be contained to a small area — I like ex-pens to make a spot maybe 8 x 10 ft or so. Take her out to pee often, using leash, same spot, same words. By 12 weeks or so give her a bigger area, but always put her back in the small area when you can’t keep an eagle eye on her.
Also, lots of play time with ball, tug toy, clicker training to respond to name, sit, etc. This will give her mental and physical exercise.
Puppies are a big job and require dedication and management and a plan to train. Go online and watch some videos — Google Emily Larlham, dogmantics.com, great place to start.