View Full Version : potty training and separation anxiety questions

5th December 2006, 08:37 PM
I was told to take my puppy out on a leash to let her potty (we have a fenced yard) and once she is done to come back in. Is it okay to let her play or will that give her mixed messages?

I also have puppy pads inside her x pen (just in case) but she will not use them.

Does anyone have any suggestions for seperation anxiety? I'm trying to leave her alone a little longer each day. I have to go back to work next week. :( I will come home at my lunch and I am arranging for a sitter to come over mid-afternoon.

Sorry for the long post.

5th December 2006, 09:44 PM
Taking the puppy out on leash to potty train is good advice. Not only will it allow you to confirm that the puppy has done her business, but you will also learn more about her "habits"--ie. when she needs to do what! You will also be aware if her habits/patterns change and if her stool changes. Knowing these types of information are basic ownership stuff, even if it's gross. If she's sick, you'll be surprised how anxious you'll be to see, even examine!, her stool!!

Aside from the above benefits, it is important for training, too. A leash will allow you to control where she goes. You can designate a special place in the yard for her "area". This makes cleaning the yard easier, and it keeps from "landmines" developing where you don't want them! Also, having a special place will help her go when you want her to. She'll associate the place with going to the bathroom, which will help her go.

Also, since you're on a leash and watching her closely, you'll be there to give a command to "go pottie" or "go poo". Associating a command with the action at this stage will allow you to make sure she goes when you leave for work or on a roadtrip.

Another training benefit is that you are right there at the end of the leash when she does go, so you can praise/treat her for going outside. The timing of praise/treat when house training is important; being there to praise her gently/quietly as she goes, and to then throw a party when she is done is VITAL to house training.

I've never used training pads inside. I use a crate during the house training phase, and dogs instinctively avoid going to the bathroom while in a kennel. However, at this stage, they can not be left long without getting to go outside. Any inside accident -- even those on pads while you aren't home-make it harder to housetrain. Crate training is necessary for this, so if you're interested, let me know!

As far as separation anxiety, you may find you have more difficulty than she does! Seriously, though, starting to leave in for short periods of time now is a good idea. Slowly increase those periods of time.

When you leave, do not make a big deal of it. Do not hug, kiss, say goodbye, I love you, I'll miss you etc. etc. The dog doesnt understand what you're saying; she'll just pick up on the saddness/anxiety emotions that you have as you do it. Instead, put her in her place (kennel, xpen, closed off area) without even talking to her. Leave without looking back as if leaving her is no big deal. If you dont think its a big deal, she'll learn its no big deal.

Same when you come home. Do not immediately go to her. Do something else when you get home before going to her. Use the bathroom, get a drink of water, tidy something up. Let her know that, just because you walked in the door, it isnt a big deal.

As you might suspect, it is emotionally difficult to ignore your baby, especially if she's crying out for you and all you want to do is love on her. It is important, though, to know this is part of the process of training a well adapted dog. It wont be difficult for ever, so it just takes a bit of reason and willpower to get through it.

Good luck!

5th December 2006, 10:19 PM
I have a crate attached to her x pen. The last time I went out she piddled on the spot next to her bed in the crate. I was only gone a little over a hour. Should I confine her to the crate only. The reason I got the pen is so she would not be in a crate the entire time I was at work.

She is sleeping in her carrier next my bed at night. She is doing real good with that. I take her out first thing in the morning and put her in the kitchen and block it off with a baby gate. We give her free time to play in the evening in the den with us. (I watch her like a hawk) Should I be doing something different? She is only 10 weeks old.

6th December 2006, 05:43 PM
Leaving her a little longer each day will help. With Bishop we started the week after we got him in a pen which we put in one corner of the kitchen--that was his space--, with a plastic carrier (but no door). Slowly we increased our time away (20 mns, 40 mns, 1 hr). It was hard at first because we worried, but it did get easier (and we knew he was in a safe place and couldn't get in trouble) and over time puupies last longer without having accidents. He did have accidents on certain days (when we were gone 4-5 hours on Tuesdays and that lasted a couple of months) and was fine the rest of the time. He loved the carrier (still does) and he did have a few accidents in it but he got used to it.

I know some people crate their dogs for 4-5 hours, but we didn't like to do that...just in case he needed to go, then he could just go on the floor and go back to bed (also his water was out). We liked giving him a little space, though I think he spent most of the time sleeping.

When we switched him to the entire kitchen he was a bit confused to have so much space--he is now used to it and fine with us leaving (except at night if we've been gone during the day).

6th December 2006, 07:20 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.
I actually have been getting up at my usual time every morning since Sunday. Today I left the house when I would normally leave for work.
I went shopping and came back about what time I would be coming in from lunch. It was really hard. She did have an accident but she went on a pad this time.

After we had lunch & potty break, I put her back in the pen and sat outside of it for a while. I've been walking in and out of her room occasionally. I will do something then I get up and walk out and not make a fuss about it. She finally went to sleep after she realized I was not getting her out.

6th December 2006, 09:38 PM
Great! It sounds like you're doing fine. It's hard, isnt it?? It is so easy to worry about out little pups. Once you get through this stage, though, the emotional impact will lesson and you'll be comfortable being away from her because you know she's okay with it. Doing the work now pays off for years.

Keep it up!