Post # 1
My husband and I are adopting a puppy, she’s a little Jack Russell/Cocker Spaniel mix. She’s currently only 5 weeks old, so we cannot get her until the beginning of December (or maybe middle of December).
We chose to adopt, and preferred a little older dog originally (maybe around 12-15 weeks) but these little girls really appealed to us and we are willing and ready to go through with the patience and training that will be required.
The puppies were found in an abandoned house, there were THREE LITTERS found all together in there. 14 pups total. Ours is about 5 weeks old and is with a foster mom who has been spending endless time with her and her sister. They just started eating kibble now and drinking water.
I’m just wondering if anyone else has had a puppy that was away from its mom at an early age like this. It does sound like the foster mom has a wide knowledge about dogs and is doing the very best for them at this time. If we got this dog at say, 8-10 weeks old, should we expect that we can start crate training at that time?
My husband and I do work day shift, but I can run home at lunch which would make the crate time about two 4-hour blocks a day. I’ve read online that pups should be able to hold their bladder for 4 hours HOWEVER I didn’t see an age when this should be expected or when it should be appropriate to start leaving them like this. Additionally, my husband works 4 days a week, therefore making the long days only 4 out of 7 days per week.
If you have any advice for me, ideas for me, tips, tricks, etc I will gladly read through and would appreciate them.
Post # 3
Start crate training the day you get her! She will not get through 4 hours without wetting the bed until she’s about 3-4 months old, unless it’s over night. Though for the first few weeks you will come downstairs to something every morning!! Generally pups cannot 100% control their bladder until they’re 6 months of age, but its really important to get them into a routine.
I crate trained mine and worked on a 3/4 hour basis. Every 3/4 you let pup out of her crate and put straight outside. If she does a wee/poo then praise her SO much! Squeal like a crazy person, treats, cuddles etc! Then she can stay out for a play for 3/4 hour. If she doesn’t wee/poo then put her straight back into the crate, and try again 15 mins later.
IVe got 3 pups (got them all within 2 weeks of each other) – my two boys took 3 weeks to be completely dry in the house, and my girl took 2 weeks. But you HAVE to get them into a consistent routine!
Post # 4
We got our golden puppy at 7 1/2 weeks and we crate trained her from day 2 (lol she was soo cute and cuddly so we snuggled with her the first night) but after that, it was crate training! She did fine.
Post # 5
@MrsD41503: My dog wasn’t even seven weeks when I brought him home and I crate trained right away. Sure, I made it really cozy and cuddly since he was still so tiny but I wanted him to get used to the idea and not hate his crate. The vet told me how ever many months old he is is how long he can hold his bladder. So at 5months he can hold it for 5 hours type thing. I worked close enough that I would go let him out constantly.. By the time he was around 6 or 7 months I started leaving him in the bedroom then he got the whole house and had no accidents so at 8months I got rid of the crate!
Post # 6
I’ve heard the rule of thumb with puppies is they can hold their bladders 1 hour for every month old they are (so at 3 months, about 3 hours). I agree with crate training right away, and being patient. Good luck!
Post # 7
@MrsD41503: We crated our Boxer from day 1 when we got him at roughly 9 weeks.
He could hold his bladder all throughout the night while we slept, about 7-8 hours. During the day, he would usually be in his crate for 4-5 hours. He’s only ever had two accidents in his crate and they happened when he was much older.
I would definitely come home on your lunch breaks to let the pup out to potty, and also because she’s going to be lonely in there. 4 hours is a long time for a pup that young, but it’s definitely possible.
Post # 8
@MrsD41503: Just another tip of advice: if you plan on putting her in a crate at night to sleep, be patient.
We were very lucky that our boy barely cried when we put him in there, even during the first week. There were a few nights that were out of the ordinary where he would wake up and cry. The best thing to do is wait a few minutes. If the crying stops, awesome, go back to bed. If it lasts more than 5 minutes, take the pup out to go potty and put her back in.
Don’t check on her right away, or she’ll learn to associate this with attention/being able to get out of her crate.
Now, our boy loves his crate. When he gets sleep at night, he goes in there on his own and falls asleep. He’s a year and a half old. We’ve thought about getting rid of the crate, but he loves it so much, I think he would feel lost without it.
Post # 9
I would involve the vet right away, as puppies that young I think still breast feed. She may need special nutrition.
She will need a de-worming and vaccination schedule as well. You should also have a general wellness panel done and start planning for her to get spayed, chipped etc.
Puppy proof the house. Everything on the floor and within her reach needs to be puppy safe. Anything you don’t want destroyed, move. If she’s going to be in the yard, check the yard too.
Get set up with proper leashes, tags, collars, non-plastic dishes etc.
She will need a safe crate to sleep in. Take her outside on her leash to pee every hour or so.
Say her name to her, when she makes eye contact, praise her and give her a treat. Do this for a few mins every day. It makes training easier later.
When you get to housebreaking, that’s a whole other thing.
Good luck with your new baby! Jack russels are quite energetic and smart.
Post # 10
Yeah, you can start crate training right away. You should be prepared that she might progress slower than she otherwise might though- it sounds like she had a rough start 🙁
You might consider staying home for the first day or two if possible, or asking a neighbor/hiring someone to check on her a couple times during the first week or until you know what she can handle.
My other advice would be to socialize SO MUCH. As much as possible. You only have a short window to do it and it is absolutely crucial to her development. So many behavior problems can be attributed to lack of socialization when young. Here’s a good article from the AKC, and there’s lots more on the internet.
Post # 11
Thank you all for the advice and well wishes! I would thank each and every one of you, I read through these and really took the time to read every word. It sure is helpful, thank you very much for the help. Since we are adopting through our city’s shelter, the vet has been involved, and the foster mom has been incredible with bottle feeding up until just a day or so ago when she tried them on kibble and water (under vet’s orders). She has appointments for chipping, spaying, her vaccinations, etc. Our shelter pretty much amazed me, for the low price of $175 ALL of that is taken care of. $175 includes the puppy herself, spaying, 3 sets of booster vaccinations, a rabies shot and 2 wellness checks during the first 6 months. The chipping was an extra cost that I find well worth the money. I was pretty impressed with all that! Since we have some time before she comes home, we have been purchasing items right along. I believe we will be ready for her by the time she comes to us.
It is winter where I live, making the potty training (likely) a little more challenging. But I’m ready for it, we’ve wanted a dog for so long!
Post # 12
@vermonster: Thank you! I have actually considered paying the foster mom to keep her for an extra 1.5 weeks until I go on Christmas break, where I’m off for 4 weeks straight. That would be SO ideal. I’m going on a visit to see the puppies tonight so I plan to ask the foster mom about that.
Post # 13
@MrsD41503: Hi there! We just adopted a puppy a few months ago, who was about 3.5 months when we got him. We worked on crate training since we brought him home as well, since we both work. Crate training is a great, humane way to make your puppy happy and comfortable when you’re not home. However, 4 hours at a time is too long to expect an 8 week old puppy to be in his crate. The maximum amount of time recommended is their age in months + 1 = number of hours in a crate. So when we got our puppy at 3 months, he technically was old enough to hold it for 4 hours at a time.
Here is a GREAT guide from the ASPCA on crate training – it’s what we used to work with our dog and it worked like a charm. They also have guides to all sorts of other training and behavioral challenges, I really recommend them! http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/weekend-crate-training
Post # 14
Congrats on your new pup!
One thing is, be patient when it comes to bringing her home. I know you want her with you now, but the longer she gets to spend with her sibling the better. Dogs teach eachother bite inhibition as puppys, and thst is super importAnt.
Our great Dane was taken away from his mom and litter way too early, and he had no bite inhibition. He was to teach him and it was VERY hard.
Post # 15
@wubewe: I’m beginning to think that I will need to ask the foster mom to hang onto her until I go on Christmas break. She will be 10.5 weeks at that time.
From 10.5 weeks until 14.5 weeks I will be off work and able to work with her non-stop. Would you say that 14.5 weeks is a more appropriate age to have her start staying in her crate for 4 hour periods?
Post # 16
@MrsD41503: Yes, I would definitely say so, particularly if you’ve had a few weeks to dedicate to working on her crate training. That would give you time to work up to that amount and build really good positive associations with the crate. We didn’t have a ton of time to work with our pup before he had to be crated, and it was definitely challenging for those first few weeks. Now he loves his crate and he’s fine, but I really wish we had had more time to work with him at the beginning.