24th February 2011, 05:00 AM
a short introduction and question (plus another awfully lengthy question)
i fell in love with this breed when i opened up a dog calendar to the month of april (my birthday month) to find four cavalier king charles puppies in a basket. eleven years later, at twenty-three years old, i finally have one to call my own. we will be bringing home finn in early march, at which time he will be just shy of nine weeks.
i have ticked off nearly everything on my shopping list except for a crate. the pet stores i've been to do not carry crates with dividers and even the ones made for small breeds seem too large for a puppy who needs only enough room to "stand up and turn around". would it be better to purchase a portable carrier instead? i would gladly shell out the extra money for this plus a crate to use when he is older (and bigger) if it means less issues with housebreaking.
speaking of housebreaking, i have pored over books and websites and am now desperately in need of advice. i have managed to take three weeks off to ease finn into our home. tamar geller of "the loved dog method" fame suggests crating the puppy and taking him outside every two hours. i am considering adopting this strategy for the weeks when i can be with him all day and switching to shirlee kalstone's rigorous schedule from the highly-praised how to housebreak your dog in 7 days when i head back to the office, in which case he will be confined inside an exercise pen during work hours and let out when i get home. since consistency is key, would this change be too confusing? she warns that puppies under four months of age cannot hold their bladders for very long and i know that at the end of my time off, finn will still be far short of this mark, but it is honestly the best that i can do. i worry that starting him off in the pen, as kalstone recommends for "very young puppies", is not doing enough to set housebreaking expectations since he can comfortably relieve himself on one side. i thought that using geller's approach, even for a brief period, will at least give him an idea of what he needs to do.
i apologize for the essay! i have read a few posts with similar questions, but am hoping someone can help with specific responses. thank you in advance from one very anxious mom-to-be!
25th February 2011, 01:40 AM
I'm brand new to this website so I just started out myself. First off, congrats on the puppy, this breed is absolutely wonderful. I have two ten month old females one tri color and one blenheim, they are the light of my life. As far as housebreaking goes, we starting out with crating them while we were at work, it worked very well as long as we took them outside right when we got home. After about six weeks we started leaving them in a gated area, as long as we took them outside consistently and gave lots of praise they had no accidents. We ended up putting in a doggy door so they could take themselves out and that worked out perfectly.
1st March 2011, 12:05 AM
Welcome! I think you'll be fine following your plan. It is good to get housetraining started with young puppies in the way you are -- with focused training -- and it will slowly come together after you return to work. As Kalstone says young puppies should not be crated for long hours -- the rule of thumb is an hour for every month of age plus 1 hour, but this is really too long still for most puppies during the day, under 6-7 months. Personally I feel any dog or pup is much better penned than crated during the day, once initial hands on, at home housetraing is done or has to end. See Ian Dunbar's suggestion (in his training area) for penning a pup and you can also download for free his After You Get Your Puppy book at www.dogstardaily.com. I think he is preferable to Kalstone now -- she is a bit outdated with long periods of crating though I used her book and found it helpful several years ago. I think Dunbar is better in approach.
As for crates -- most people opt for a cavalier adult sized crate and you cAn just brace in a cardboard box or two while the pup is small. Petedge.com amongst others sells (or used to) crates with dividers.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
1st March 2011, 02:36 AM
thanks very much you two!
karlin, i printed out dunbar's book from the link you provided and definitely feel more informed.