Really Confused

Posted by Cashes-Mom
Jan 27, 2010
Hi, My husband and I bought a boxer last Wednesday. The breeder lied to us about several things. The most important lie he told us was that the puppy was almost 7 weeks old, however, we found out he's only 4 weeks old. We know he's too young to understand the entire house training process but we want to get started. We have been doing the crate training but I feel so guilty about it. The first few days we started off wrong. We let him walk the house freely which we are now trying to correct. We are doing the crate training and I let him out about every hour to eliminate in the backyard but he is still peeing in his crate. When I bring him back in I hate to immediately crate him so I let him sniff around for about 5 to 10 minutes. We let him out for about an hour in the evening to allow family time in doors and out doors. yet I still feel as though we are not bonding with him. He loves the pillow I allowed him to sleep on for the first few days in the family room but I dont want to leave it with him to pee on in the crate area. I guess my question what point will he begin to like the crate, he backs away from it whenever I try to encourage him to go in. I can't find one single treat that he enjoys so I am only giving him verbal praise. Am I wrong for taking him to his crate as soon as he comes in? How often should he be allowed out of his crate besides to eliminate? When I allow him to be free in the laundry room while I prepare breakfast or dinner he pees in there even after returning from out side.
One more thing I need to ask......the designated area in wayyyyy in the back yard due to my fear of going back there at night, I have allowed him to eliminate around the patio at night but I take him to the back during the daytime, however, he still finds his way to the patio do I correct this. I know this is a lot but I am already tire and I am about ready to give up. My entire day consist of taking him outside and he doesnt apprears to be catching on at all. Thanks for any advice.
Posted by kjd
Jan 27, 2010
Oh, Cashes Mom,

Your poor puppy should be with his litter mates right now, learning how to be a dog. I suspect the reason he doesn't want to go into that crate is because he misses his mom and siblings. Why did the breeder sell him to you at such a young age? (Maybe you could convince him to "board" the puppy until he is the proper age? And by this I mean put him back in his litter.)

Have you tried wrapping up a warm hot-water bottle and putting it in the crate? I suspect he finds it a rather cold place to sleep when he was used to his mother's body. Be sure to wrap it up so it doesn't get too hot for him.

It has been a long time since I dealt with puppies and I've forgotten most of what I knew! Since you have a boxer, you might try going to [url=] - Welcome to Boxer World - The Ultimate Dog Resource![/url] for information specific to your breed. I'd also try to get a book or two (from the library?) on puppy development. Your puppy is going through all types of stages that are normally handled by the mother. What you do now is going to have a tremendous affect on the temperment of the adult dog.

I hope this is of some help to you. I am sure others will chime in with more information and answers to your specific questions.

Good luck and do let us know how things go,
Posted by kjd
Jan 27, 2010
Boxer World says to be suspicious of a breeder who "Allows, or asks you to take your puppy home before it is at least 7, and preferably 8, weeks old (note that 8 weeks is the legal minimum in many places). "

You might check your own jurisdiction to see if there are restrictions as to how soon a breeder can let a puppy go.

Please go to this web site and read up on boxers and boxer pups. Much of what they say about puppies is true about all breeds, but it is always nice to hear it about "your" breed. Because your puppy is so young, you will have to work extra hard (and extra carefully) to make sure your puppy learns all the doggy things he should learn (to be a dog, bite inhibition, play).

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 27, 2010
Hi Cashes Mom;

kjd is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Your puppy needs to be with her mom and siblings at least a couple more weeks. It is a very critical period for both socialization and development of his self-confidence.

I am not particularily a big fan of Cesar Millan but I am pasting his link so that you can read and learn how critical this stage is.

[url=]Puppy Development: Stage 3 | Cesar Millan[/url]

Toilet training can come a lot later. So, please find a way that your puppy can go back to his mom and sisters/brothers. This will pay off a lot later in his life.
Posted by crazycrayonmom
Jan 28, 2010
Take heart Cashes Mom getting your puppy at 4 weeks can be okay! I've done it twice now. Both times I just couldn't bear to leave the puppy in the conditions they were being subjected too. Our latest, Max is now 4 months old. We got him at 4 weeks.

At 4 weeks he really is too young to be away from his siblings. If you can talk the breeder into letting you bring the puppy back to it's litter for even short play visits it would help. Because your Cash is too young to get his shots you have to be very careful about letting him near other dogs.

After Max was old enough to get his kennel cough shot and worming treatments I was able to bring him to a local doggy daycare so he could play with other puppies. If you don't have the above two options than you get to be his littermate. You get to teach him how to play properly and there will be biting issues. Puppy teeth are annoyingly sharp. What worked for me on the anti-bite fight was to set Max up for a biting session by covering my hands and forearms with hot sauce. Then we played like normal and when I felt teeth I firmly said "no bite" he got a taste of the hot stuff (me ) and stopped. I set him up this way twice and now when I say no bite he stops immediately. For some people they make a "yelp" sound and stop playing with the puppy. Didn't work for me but has worked for others. Get everyone in your family to use the same 'stop biting' command as well. At his age his understanding of what you say is non-existent so you have to keep it simple.

Regarding crate training. I've crate trained all my dogs. Even 4 week old Max and when I got Buster at 4 weeks old. (The first few days I slept on the floor in a sleeping bag in front of the crate so they could see me at night.)

At Cash's young age he needs lots and lots of sleep. In my opinion it was easier training my 2 very young puppies to the crate than the older dogs I adopted. I put an old blanket folded over in the crate for Max to sleep on and gave him a fluffy stuffed dog toy to snuggle with. He did snuggle up to it. I also used a white noise machine in the room I had his crate. It seemed to help settle him. I've never met a dog that actually likes being in their crate at first. But you are the boss so they have to get used to it and they do. I just pick them up and put them in. I've had 6 dogs and all 6 were crate trained the same way. I also put the crate in a room where I can close the door because eventually your pup will decide that barking is what he should do to try and get out of the crate. I just close the door and let them bark. Then when they calm down I go in and reward them for being quiet and let him out for a little potty/play.

You can start potty training your 4 week old pup right away. After 1 week Max was going to the door when he had to poop. Urinating took longer and we still have an occasional lapse. Make sure when you are letting Cash out to pee that you are going out with him to make sure he does his business. My husband would try putting Max outside in the dog yard to potty alone. Max was more concerned about being left outside alone than he was about going potty so he wouldn't go (until he came back inside). Here's what a typical potty training day looked like for Max.

Wake up
potty 10 min. after eating


I bought one of those moveable dog fences/playyard things that I set up next to where I was in the house. If I was just hanging out or cleaning house I would put Max in there to nap so he could still be near me. If I was too busy to watch him at nap time I would put him in his crate. Since I am also potty training a 3 year old I did feel like my days were all about potty time

You asked about putting him right back in the crate after potty time. It would be better for him if you gave him some play time before he goes back in. It'll help you both bond with each other and it can be fun too! Max had a giant mouth and at 5 weeks old could carry a tennis ball in his mouth. It looked sooo funny. Still makes me chuckle thinking about it.

I also have a Spot Bot carpet cleaner ready and waiting for accidents. Makes the clean-up go a lot easier.

Good luck with Cash. Let us know how it progresses! You can do it, it's just a little more work for you.