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First off I want to give a little background information on my situation. I haven't picked my dachshund up yet and I am doing all my research before hand. My husband and I both work full time but different dayparts. Some days there will be a 4 to 6 hour gap where neither of us will be home. And some days there will always be a parent home. You Upon bringing my dachshund home, I have already prepared to take a week off from work to give him constant attention. We do not want to use a crate and this is not negotiable to us - a small pen is something we can work with.

So, from my research I fully understand when to take out our dachshund when I am home. What I am not fully grasping is what exactly to do when we are away from home. Do I leave water in the pen? Is it just wee wee pads lining the floor until a designated spot is created? Or should there be a bed or blanket in there?

My goal is to eventually have our dog be able to enjoy the entire apartment (with limitations to some rooms of course) without coming home to messes, without keeping him confined. Will I always have to have a wee wee pad down when we are away for those periods of time once they are trained or will they eventually be able to hold it (something I read said a puppy can hold its bladder 1 hour for every month of age. 2 months = 2 hours).

To anyone who answers, sorry this is lengthy and I've never posted on a site like this so anything really helps. I want to have a successful potty regime and I am prepared to do the leg work.

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I know you don't want to confine your dog to a crate but it's VERY important that you do, for the beginning at least.

Crate training will facilitate your potty training, the crate should be big enough to stand up, lie down, sit down and turn around. There should be no space for him/her to pee in one corner and sleep in another.

Crate training is good for the following reasons:

  1. Crate allows the pet to have a safe space - NEVER use a crate for punishment.
  2. When boarding or going to the groomers, doggy daycare, veterinary hospital etc. your pet will not have high anxiety when kenneled. This happens A LOT and the anxiety can end up being 8+ hours of continuous barking, clawing at the kennel ripping off toe nails or chewing at the kennel breaking/wearing down teeth. I feel very sad for these dogs as it's easily prevented with proper training.
  3. Prevent your new puppy from soiling/damaging your property as well as preventing him from hurting himself.
  4. When going to bed place your puppy in the crate, it will help teach independence - the more you humanize your dog the more behavioral problems you'll get (i.e separation anxiety and aggression).

The first week may be tough, he will cry and bark - DO NOT give in, if you do he will keep doing it - you are rewarding the behavior thus re-enforcing it. He will get use to it in time and end up enjoying the crate because he will consider it his safe space.

Puppies should not be left home alone all day, if you cannot be there to let him outside then hire someone to do this, bring to doggy daycare or come home for lunch. 3-4 hours MAX. 15 minutes after a meal take your pup outside as they will need to go. Always give treats and lots of praise for behaviors you want, I would read up on clicker training.

If you want him to be potty trained like a cat then use pee pads inside a litter box to start then after you may add doggy litter, preferably paper based. Using pee pads to train a dog to pee outside prolongs the potty training process as you're teaching him to soil INSIDE.

Good luck with your new puppy, the first one is definitely a learning curve!

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  • Did you find that article on ultrasonic dental?
    – M.Mat
    Mar 12 '17 at 3:31
  • 1
    I couldn't find the article but I have found a good educational video, thanks for reminding me! youtube.com/watch?v=ZCse3th9N58 Mar 12 '17 at 4:22
  • For 7 weeks old puppy should I take him out in the middle of the night or just very late in the evening and very early in the morning?
    – zzz777
    Nov 29 '21 at 15:41
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I agree 100% with the other answers regarding crate training: It is not punishment, or cruel, or any other bad impressions you may have. If you reward your pup with a small treat EVERY time you put him in his crate, he will quickly go into it on command: Just say "Crate!" in a cheerful voice as you put him in, and then give him a reward after you have closed the door.

I have had dogs that used their crate for their entire lives: It was their safe spot to chill out. I would not close the door after they didn't need it, but they still voluntarily went in every day. Other dogs would quit going in on their own, and I would put the crate away when they had matured into trustworthy dogs. Remember that a puppy will need to chew on things as he grows and is teething. A crate can help to ensure he is chewing on toys instead of your shoes or furniture when you are not around to watch him.

I strongly discourage you from using puppy pads: I believe they are confusing. Your mission for house training is to teach the dogs that it is NEVER acceptable to eliminate indoors. When you put out puppy pads, you are giving them permission, even encouragement, to go inside. House training is tedious, and you must commit to be very vigilant. But if you put the effort in for a couple of months, you will end up with a reliable, well trained, friend for the next 10-15 years or more. If you short-cut the training, you will be cleaning up messes for the life of your pet. The only time that my dogs have accidents is when they are sick and cannot hold it (diarrhea, unirary tract infections, etc).

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I agree with Rebecca on much and cannot stress this section of her answer enough:

Puppies should not be left home alone all day, if you cannot be there to let him outside then hire someone to do this, bring to doggy daycare or come home for lunch. 3-4 hours MAX. 15 minutes after a meal take your pup outside as they will need to go. Always gives treats and lots of praise for behaviors you want, I would read up on clicker training.

I would add that I think having a dog sitter in is preferable to doggy daycare for the first few months. You want to establish your home as your new puppy's home as well, so imprinting and acclimating to the home where your dachshund lives is important.

You state,

"We do not want to use a crate and this is not negotiable to us - a small pen is something we can work with."

"Crate Training" is not crate-living. Everyone wants and appreciates a well-trained, courteous pet. Crate training your puppy now will alleviate many future problems. Consider this: Your puppy is an "infant" and a crate is analogous to a crib; an enclosure, a playpen. You put an infant child to bed in a crib. During waking hours, when not engaged with your child, they go in a playpen with toys, a pacifier, a bottle of water, blanket, etc. You would never let them lie on the ground unattended or in a room alone with so many potential hazards. Same rules of thumb apply to very young animals.

Given they are separated from their mother and littermates much earlier than happens in nature, and the fact you and your spouse will not be available for some hours during the day, it's crucial that someone be there to care for your companion youngster. Your puppy needs human attention/interaction during waking hours.

There are many pet-sitting services and sitters. Check your local area and find a situation that works best for you. I have used this service, this daycare and been very satisfied. Best of luck and please check back in so we know how it's going with you and the pup.

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I've always believed crate training was critical to raising a happy healthy pup. This can be an enclosed crate or a metal pen. I've used both and my only comment on it is the metal pen makes a lot more noise. It gives them a place of security when you're not at home, it keeps them from developing bad habits that will take you ten times longer to undo, especially if you're not there regularly, and it will help with potty training as they will not want to soil their "home". Our pups have always slept in their crate with the door closed and been crated when we weren't home until they were old enough to have learned appropriate house behavior. We've always had big dogs (Goldens and Collies) and they mature slowly so it's not uncommon for them to have been crated until they were 2. Once they know the rules and are mature enough to follow them the doors can come off the crates and it just becomes their safe place. At any age, when you are home with them they need to be out of the crate and learning to socialize with the family.

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