View Full Version : We have TWINS!

9th February 2009, 02:13 AM
We are the proud parents of brother and sister blenheim cavaliers. Kipper the Dog and Cameo are 14 weeks old, and we are puppy novices. Our prior dogs were adults when we got them. In the month since their arrival, we have taken them to a "puppy patch", to go potty. We notice that they don't have a reliable poop schedule, despite a twice daily feeding. They also pee about every 2 hours.

Is there something I can do to facilitate their housetraining? I can't stay home all day much longer! I've hung jingle bells on the door handle, and we ring the bells when we go out to the puppy patch. They are in a play yard unless I know their "pipes are clear", so our next step is to hang the bells in their play yard, too. The play yard is to keep them from tumbling into the pool in our courtyard...so they can't get to the puppy patch when I'm not home. H'mmm.

Am I rushing things? Should I give up and use puppy pads?

Cameo doesn't like walking on a leash. Miss Independent Puppy wants to walk every direction except down the sidewalk with her brother and me. Any tips, other than food bribes?

9th February 2009, 01:36 PM
Welcome! If your puppies are only 14 weeks you have a LONG way to go unfortunately. I've posted a few times here looking for support while I was housebreaking my puppy ...and I didn't even bother posting until she was around 6 months old. As it turned out she was about 8 or 9 months old by the time she finally started barking at the door to go out! It didn't seem like very many people here had cavs that were 'trained' at a very young age. The more experienced owners here will tell you that even if you THINK they are trained and they are under one year of age ..they could very likely be having accidents that you don't even know about.

You'll find all the info on housebreaking here that you will need when you need it ...rather than waiting for memebers to respond you can just do a search on "housebreaking" on the forum and then you can sift through the info to your hearts content.

9th February 2009, 01:47 PM
I think you will find it much harder work with two, as they will copy each other, which will undo your teaching, i think harley was still having accidents at six, seven months so yea youve a long way to go yet. di

9th February 2009, 05:42 PM
Max is just over four months old and he has been asking to go out for quite awhile now. He hasn't had an accident for a couple of weeks but he doesn't get free run of the house either and we are always watching him - if he looks like he might have to go we take him out even if he hasn't asked. I wouldn't say that he's 100% housetrained yet and I'm not sure when I'll feel confident enough to leave the room doors open (maybe never?). For the last two weeks I have allowed him full run of the kitchen when I've been gone.

I'm sure having an older dog has helped in his housetraining because I remember Mindy being much more difficult when we got her at 8 months (and she was "trained" but used to a dog door).

heather r
9th February 2009, 07:28 PM
Like the previous replies, I'm afraid you are in for a longer period to housebreak. I hope that you are using separate crates for each pup. Our breeder had us get an extra small crate for our small cavalier( she's about 11 pounds at 7 months.)

Only recently has she become more regular in her bathroom habits. She goes to window not the door when she needs to go out.

Having raised golden retrievers and a lab before her; I wouldn't recommend the pads because they will never be housebroken.

We have found that giving our pup a tiny treat outside after she does her business has heped somewhat.

Good Luck ! If you must leave for work etc. is there someone you can get to let them out every few hours?

Heather R

9th February 2009, 09:42 PM
Congrats on your 2 puppies! I think 14 weeks is way too soon to expect any progress with housetraining. Mine weren't housebroken until they were about 7-9 months old. Training 2 at the same time is even harder, I would make sure that they're never out of your sight! ;) Have you thought about feeding 3 meals per day? I think most people recommend 3 meals per day until they're about 6 months old, then they go down to 2 meals per day. I would make sure that someone is able to come home and walk them until they are fully housetrianed. I know it's hard when you both work, but you have to do that if you want them trained. One of us was always able to come home in the middle of the days to let them out and walk them - they are way to young to be expected to hold it more than a few hours. I would not use training pads unless you want them to use them forever; they learn that it's okay to go to the bathroom inside, which is not what you ultimately want, right? I know it seems like forever to housetrain them, but with consistency they will eventually learn - I would guess that you have at least 4-5 months of work ahead of you before they are somewhat reliable :thmbsup:

9th February 2009, 11:19 PM
Congrats -- but be ready for some big challenges ahead! To start -- yes, this is way, way too early to expect puppies to be housetrained -- and having two puppies together at least doubles the time this takes. Did the breeder carefully discuss the major implications of taking on two puppies at the same time? Because you need to have your expectations in line with the challenges this brings -- it is far harder to take on two at the same time, especially two from puppyhood onwards.

Unfortunately a lot of breeders do not explain this to puppy buyers. :-| This is a serious frustration to me as it can create problem dogs for owners who don't know the time they will need to put in to work with and train two. Some people, eager to easily sell two puppies, lie about this and say two are easier as well. This means families can find it harder going than they would have had they known in advance what to expect and made the decision to opt for two with full knowledge of the time and work involved.

I am not saying this to be negative, just to encourage you to read as widely and carefully as possible so that you are handling this challenge effectively, to avoid the serious problems that can crop up if the pups are not managed carefully. You do need to thoroughly understand the extra difficulties.

I have a whole section in the library on working with two puppies, for anyone who finds themselves in this situation:


Just be forewarned -- as I note in that section, I could not find any trainers who advise taking on two pups at once -- instead most are giving help and advice to people who are already in this situation.

You will have to manage the long housetraining process in other ways than staying home, if you are taking off time -- because it will likely be at least 6 months or so before they begin to approach being mostly housetrained, and for all dogs, it is generally age one or so before they are reliable.

I recommend getting Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining. I also suggest reading


and using the very good advice on www.dogstardaily.com. You are going to need to use a lot of management techniques and you'll find good suggestions and help at all these places. :thmbsup:

PS usually puppies are on a three times a day feeding til at least four months old... ?? Did the breeder or your vet have a reason to recommend only two feedings at so young?

Cathy Moon
10th February 2009, 01:06 AM
I raised two puppies together, and it is more work but can be done. Make sure you research 'littermate syndrome'.

With two puppies, expect their house training to take one year. At about one year of age they will tell you when they have to go out.

They really do need to be fed 3 times a day until 4-6 months of age.:thmbsup:

Make sure to spend one on one time with each of them daily so they will bond to you. Good luck!

10th February 2009, 02:34 AM
From the age of 9 weeks, Russo has been going to the back door to be left out when she gets the urge. She has the run of the kitchen/living area 24/7 and we don't have to worry (she has enough chewtoys to not ruin the furniture). We used to put newspaper down for her at night, but now at 16 weeks of age she has gone almost a week without a nighttime incident. My office is at home, so I have the benefit of being able to check on her every couple of hours. But she has stopped going to the toilet inside.

How did we achieve this? Around half the time that she pees or poos outside, she gets a treat. We can tell whether or not she has done anything without actually seeing her pee/poo - because she comes in wagging her tail like a mad thing, and sits impatiently waiting for her treat. She doesnt do that if she hasnt gone to the toilet! She knows there's a chance she'll get a treat if she does her business outside, so she will always choose to go outside!

Don't just use any old treat for toilet training, use their favourite treat. (It doesnt have to be a whole treat, you can break it up into smaller pieces. I tend to break them into 3 pieces.) Yesterday Russo reminded me of my niece - now that she knows (too well) that a pee might earn her a treat, she'll squeeze out even the tiniest drop and live in hope.

I didn't realise it was supposed to take up to a year to house train a puppy. But I'm glad I didn't know that, because I'm not sure if I would have put in as much effort! Russo is 16 weeks and hasn't done anything indoors in a week. The kitchen/living area is tiled and it's small enough for us to know immediately if she pulls a fast one! Good luck in your potty endeavours...... I definitely wouldnt resort to training pads anyway, as you would be going back a step!!!

10th February 2009, 02:52 AM
A suggestion, although I don't know if other members here will think it is ok, but why not litterbox train your pups? Our breeder litterbox trains all her pups before they go to homes but I don't see any reason that you couldn't do it now. Our 2 year old Cav, Lucy uses both her litterbox and the outside, but the litterbox solved the problem of accidents when she was a pup for the most part because it was always there when she needed it. Our newest addition, Charlie Brown (3 mos) is also litterbox trained but he already knows how to go outside too from watching Lucy. He has had a couple of accidents on the downstairs floor when he has been out running around the house but those were my fault for not supervising him closely. When I am not at home Charlie is in a puppy pen w/ his bed and litterbox and he uses it 100% of the time when he is in there. He also sleeps in our bed and has from day one. If he has to go he cries, I put him down and he goes to the box in the bathroom. He has not soiled our bed even once. It may help your situation, especially if you need to go out during the day. If you are interested we use alfalfa pellets (rabbit food) as the litter in a regular cat litter box. It is safe for the dogs if they eat it, it has a pleasant smell and it clumps when it gets wet so it is very scoopable.

10th February 2009, 11:41 AM
We tried the training pads when we first got Lois in November but we will never use them again. They are expensive and teach the pup it's ok to go inside the house. We were getting nowhere for a few weeks. Members on here suggested crating Lois but I was so against this at first but reluctantly bought one when we seemed to be getting nowhere with her training. It is the best thing we ever bought! Lois slept in this the first night we bought it and has been clean since! She has had the odd accident upstairs on the landing when I've been on the computer but it was my fault for not watching. I suggest you take the pups outside every 2 hours and crate them for short periods when you're not home. 14 weeks is very young. You will get there it takes a long time. Good Luck. Looking forward to seeing :snap: