Crate/Toilet Tranning Schedule

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Nathan UK's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-08

Hi Guys,
I am new to the forum and am from the UK, we have had our boy Max for 3 weeks now and he is 11 weeks old. I am trying to devise a good schedule to start getting him to eliminate outside as when we first got him the breeder recommended puppy pads which we have been using up until now.
Is the schedule below realistic for an 11 week old ? He has gone outside the last couple of days so to get him used to it but we would like to make it the only place he goes now:

5:00 - Outside then back in Crate
7:00 - Outside then Kitchen Only
8:00 - Breakfast then Outside and back in Crate
11:00 - 11:30 - Outside then in Kitchen Only
12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch then Outside and back in Crate
16:30 - 17:30 - Dinner then outside and back in Crate
19:30 - Outside then play until final trip outside before Bed about 21:30.

What do you guys think ??

Thanks

Nathan

Lady Kate's picture
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Hi Nathan
It seems to be a lot of crate time.. when do you cuddle and spend "you and me" time with your pup?
Sofia was three when we rescued her seven months ago, and was completely trained. Never did use a crate with her, and I have my own personal opinion on them.. Don't' like them, but I know some dogs really do enjoy their "cave time" Not Sofia.. She has free roam of the house and likes to be where ever we are. Do you stay with Max outside? Do you spend all your time in the kitchen as well? How does he behave when you go to the other rooms in the house?

Nathan UK's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-08

Hi,
Thanks for your response, I found the schedule in another thread on this forum on crate/toilet training and moulded it around the times we have Breakfast lunch and dinner.

What would you recommend ?

His crate is in our lounge as that is where we spend most of our time, the kitchen only part was to let him out of the crate but not so we have to watch him 24/7 whilst he is out as we have a stair gate there, I also read it is not good to let them have free run of the horse until they are reliable in eliminating outside.

We would also let him out when we have the spare time to give him 100% of our attention for play and cuddles but obviously that is not something you can schedule in advance.

Please let me know your thoughts.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Ok. I am one who thinks the crates are the greatest thing since sliced bread. My rule from the day I got Princess, my 16 month old red female, is that every time she comes out of the crate, she goes outside. Now since I have two Dobies, she actually goes to get "Uncle" Red, my 7 year old red male. As a mature dog he is mostly trustworthy. Mostly because no male can ever be completely trusted in the house, marking is too much in their nature. He is probably the best I have ever had, but I have caught him marking one of the Schnauzer crates (I also have three of them). As you can see, with 5 dogs (three of whom really don't get along with the other two) without crates I would have bedlam.

When I first brought Princess home, she was on a two hour schedule when we were awake. In that, I mean every two hours, out she went. Every time she came out of the crate, out she went. I have found that females are easier to house train than males. Ironically, the easiest dog I ever house trained was one that was an outside dog until he was about two. He was my only dog at the time and absolutely refused to go in the house, to him it was natural to go on the grass.

New puppies have been accustomed to going when and where they pleased. Initially, momma cleaned up, then the breeder cleaned up. I have never used newpaper or puppy pads as in my opinion they are only crutches and never get you where you want to go. There is no better way than to put them on a frequent schedule if they are loose, and keep an eagle eye on them. There will be accidents, but do not attempt to discipline your boy until he is much, much older, as he will just not understand at this age. Dobies are far easier to train than most as they are ingrained to please.

It took me two years or more to get my female Schnauzer house trained. They are as hard headed as Dobies, but far more independent. When I let them back in, they come to me for a few minutes, and then they are off doing their own thing. When the Dobies come back in, unless it's late and they want to go to sleep, they are either bugging me for pets, or laying at my feet. This makes them far easier to train.

But, you have to keep up with them. Max will start sending you signals when he is older, but you will have to figure out what they want. One thing I did, was every time mine go out, I use the word "outside". It won't take long for Max to understand that, and if you say that word and start to the door, he will eventually lead you to the door. Princess' signal that she wants something is to lay her head in my lap. I have three choices - 1) she's hungry (check the food cup in her crate or if she's eaten recently, that's not it) 2) she wants water because she and Red have drained the 5 quart bowl in the WC again, or 3) she needs to go out. If I say the word outside, her ears go up and she starts to the door and looks back at me. Yep, that's it.

Now, Red, just sits there and bores holes through you with his eyes. If he's drooling so badly it's soaking the carpet, he's probably hungry. Otherwise, the magic word "outside" and he goes bounding to the door. Now, when one goes out, the other does as well. I kid Princess when she goes into the office to get "Uncle" Red, she wants him to watch her go. But if the weather is good they are usually outside (fenced yard) for an hour or so rough housing. While they are out, I check the water bowl and fill it.

When they are ready to come back in, Red scratches on the door, Princess barks. They immediately go to the water bowl and half drain it, then come to me for some TLC. Then they lay on the floor near me, depending on what I am doing.

There is no magic bean or book, and the schedule does not make any difference to Max. If you keep working with him, he will get it before long. In the mean time, 5 minutes after eating - outside. If he has not been outside in the last two hours - outside. If you go beyond the 5 minutes too far, he will present you with Mt. Doberman. If you go beyond the two hours too far, you will have a puddle to clean up. Fact of life. While in flight training in the Navy, I had a Marine Corps officer use the s*** word in a presentation. He saw the facial reaction of the students and remarked, "when you are married and have two kids under the age of two, it's not a bad word, just a fact of life".

Red is 7 and it has probably been at least 6 years since he has messed in the house. Princess still has problems when it's raining and she doesn't want to get rained on. If she can't hold it, she will usually deposit in the bathroom door, and since it on hard surface and easy to clean, I do not criticize her, as it is not an every day occurrence.

Hold Max in your lap as much as you can while you can. At 11 weeks, he's probably about 15 pounds, when he's 80 pounds you won't want him in your lap. Watch for the stiff legged nose to the floor walk. When you see it - outside. Just pick him up and take him out. He is about to go, but when you are holding him, he can't.

Lady Kate's picture
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Mt. Doberman.. I don't care who you are.. That's funny!!

Prince10's picture
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Hi Nathan,
Welcome to the forum. I have a 15 week old male dobie and this forum has been a HUGE help with some of the questions and concerns I've had about Prince. Here is the schedule that I follow with Prince. I don't proclaim it to be the best method, it's simply what works best for me:

7am- outside, eat, then immediately back outside
7:30am-8am- playtime
8am-9am crate
9am-10am outside for potty/playtime
10am-2:30pm crate (I am at school)
2:30pm-3:15pm outside, eat, immediately outside (only after Prince does his business do I allow my other dog to come outside for some rough housing)
3:15pm-4:45pm-lounge/nap time (depending on what I'm doing and how much of an eye I can keep on him, this takes place either in his crate or at my feet)
4:45-5pm- outside
5-6:30pm- dog park or walk
7pm-7:15 eat, immediately outside
7:15-8:30pm- crate while I make/eat dinner
8:30pm-11:30pm- outside then free time (he goes out to potty approx. every 2 hours, sooner if I get suspicious of his sniffing. My motto is that if you're unsure, take him out.)
11:30pm-7am- bedtime in crate

Again, this isn't some magic formula for potty training but he has not had any accidents since the first week we got him. We never used potty pads at all because I believe that it simply encourages him to eliminate in the house, and I want him to understand that ALL areas of the house are off-limits. Hope this helps!

Nathan UK's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-08

Thanks everyone for your replies they are very helpfull, Last night was Max's first locked in his crate and a I am pleased to report he went from 10-5 with no accidents !!!

Both myself and my wife have been saying "outside" whenever we take him out and he seems to be doing really well, there were a couple of accidents yesterday but they were our fault for not recognising the signs !!

I also took him for his first walk yesterday only 5-10 Min's but that went really well to so a good day all in all.

Just to note the original schedule does look like he is crated a lot of the time but like I have said there are play times as well and he was out from 7:30pm yesterday until bed at 10:00pm and i walked him after his dinner and toilet so he is not in there all the time as it may look.

Nathan UK's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-08

Also do you leave the water bowl in the crate overnight ???

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Nathan and Prince - it looks like both have a schedule/routine that makes sense and that takes in the needs of your pups.

Nathan - I keep a small cup of water in each dogs crate (except my 7 year old male). Initially with Princess when she was a small pup, it was a 10oz plastic cup that attaches to the crate door and I would only fill it half way. The idea was to have a little water if she needed it but not enough water so she would have to go a lot earlier. Also early on her crate was in my master bathroom so if she started whining to go out there was the possibility she could wake me. (I am a heavy sleeper) Now that she is 16 months old and in a much larger crate, she is in the corner of the dining room (just outside my door) and has a 20oz plastic water cup that I keep filled. The Schnauzers have a 10 oz water bowl in their crates. They do need a little bit of water overnight.

Since I am retired, and have a habit of staying up late, I generally put Princess and Red outside about 1AM or so, and they wake me (actually Red wakes me when the sun shines in his window) kind of like a four legged rooster. I had an older Schnauzer I inherited from my late sister, and he would sound off at 6:30 rain or shine, daylight savings time or not. When he passed, I thought I would be able to sleep in, but Red picked up his habit. The saving grace of my schedule is the afternoon nap being retired allows me.

Red does not have a bowl in his crate because they don't make one large enough. I tried a regular water bowls but two nights out of three, he would dump it when moving around, so he does not have one (he weighs 105 pounds and is 30" tall). He gets plenty of water, I keep a 5 quart water bowl in the main bathroom behind the living room (all dogs have access) but Princess and Red when they come in from play empty it completely (mostly Red as he is like a camel). I have to fill it at least three times a day.

Prince10's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-25

I do not keep water in his crate because I do not want him to have to go potty in the middle of the night. In fact, I take his water away two hours before bedtime in order to control his potty schedule. My other dog has water access all night because she is no longer in her crate and she is trustworthy to wait until I let her out in the morning. Eventually, it will be the same way with Prince.

rgreen4's picture
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You might consider giving him access to an ounce or two of liquid during the night. Obviously not a large amount of liquid or you would have the problem you want to avoid.