New puppy - housetraining problem

Posted by rbeldon
May 4, 2009
Hi, i just brought an 8 week old Shih Tzu puppy (first time puppy parent) and i am having housetraining problems. Since my husband and i work during the day we crate her and she has a fit. Is this a good idea? i have read that i should and i shouldn't. i was told to put her in the laundry room area with her food, bed and potty pads during the day and at night crate her. isn't this going to confuse her? i don't know what to do. what if she doesn't use the potty pads since she hasn't been using them? when we are at home we leave her in a contained area where we can watch her and take her outside to potty every 30-45 minutes.
Posted by KOPsarah
May 5, 2009
Hi and thanks for your question.

Your puppy is probably bored and full of energy after a whole day in a crate and will also not be able to go to the toilet. Puppies have a small bladder and can become distressed if they are locked in crates for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time during the day because they don't like toileting in them. If there is nothing in your laundry room that will be dangerous or easily destroyed by a puppy putting her in there with plenty of toys and puppy pads and food/water should make her happier. Crating during the day can be a good idea for people who have long lunch breaks and can pop home for an hour and let the dog out to the toilet and give them a run around and play with them but is probably not ideal for your puppy if you cannot. You can save the crate for a place to sleep at night or also put it in the laundry with the crate door open during the day for her to nap in. At first you may have problems with accidents if your puppy has not been fully toilet trained yet however if you are unable to come home at any time during the day and there is no way to put the dog in a yard etc then a few accidents is preferable to potential bladder damage and distress.

Playing vigorously with your puppy before you leave for work should also help because your puppy will be worn out and happy when you leave and should be happy to relax for a while. Also try and build up a little collection of puppy toys and rotate them so each day you take one or two away and put one or two in the laundry. If she gets in a routine of being let out of her crate in the morning, being toileted, fed, played with, toileted and put in the laundry with toys for the day she should soon settle down. If you think she may be lonely while your away try giving her a blanket that smells like you and a quiet noise source such as a little radio outside the laundry door to keep her company too. Another option as she gets older is puppy day care if one is available in your area.

Hope this helps and if you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask.