Here`s another great article:
We've never had a puppy before so not sure what to expect. Family lost our rescue that we got as an adult and that was probably the smartest, most well-behaved dog ever. Never had to 'train' her in the traditional sense – she was just incredibly good – never chewed, rarely had an accident, etc.
Anyway, so we got a rescue puppy. 3 mo old lab mix. Friendly, playful, etc. right out of the gate. Seemingly smart and decently adjusted, comfortable around people. Only thing that made us nervous was that he peed repeatedly while meeting our family in the visiting room at the rescue facility. The folks at the place said that that was relatively normal behavior due to excitement and that he would likely grow out of it with training.
So we took him home and quickly researched crate training and house-training and got to work right out of the gate. Day 1, set up a crate, gently coaxed him in a few times, fed him meal in it. This gate is a little clumsy, so when we would try to slide the door down it would bolt out. We were very careful not to force him in or to "trap" him, so-to-speak. Our goal was to get him in and laying down then to have him see us closing it up. So last night after taking a good 45 minutes attempting to get him in and to sleep, I decided to sleep on the couch to monitor things and to take him out every 2-3 hours. I did not close the crate at that point because I figured it was better to let him sleep comfortably and to try closing it tomorrow. Anytime he would hear the door sliding shut he would run out.
Long story short, got him up 2 hours later to pee and he came right out. Went outside, went pee and came in and ran right into the crate and laid down! So I slowly closed the crate and he went to sleep. Interesting.
3 hours later I got up to take him out to pee. Except he would not come out now. As stubborn as he was going in he was equally stubborn staying in. I figured if he had to pee he would get up, so I set my phone to try again in an hour. Tried again in an hour, same result. He just flipped over and kept trying to sleep. Tried again an hour later, same result. Finally, this morning – a good 5-6 hours after his last pee – he came out and went pee with me.
Now this morning he's being cautious about the crate again and wont' let me shut the door behind him.
I saw that Kong feeder toy last night online, I think I'm going to go get a few of those today and install some rope and tie it to the back of the crate to keep him in the crate.
1) how aggressive can I be with the house training? If he was successful over 5 hours last night, can/should I push that a little further tonight? Is a 35lb 4-mo. old puppy capable of making it through the night? If not, should I focus on a pee trip earlier in the evening or later or in the middle? If the puppy doesn't want to go out, is it ok to just let him stay until he starts whining or "asking" to go out?
2) Is it normal for a dog to be so back and forth regarding the crate while learning? Putting the dog into the crate is difficult, then getting him out of the crate is difficult. He seems pretty comfortable laying inside the crate with his head on the outside. It's only really been one day, so I'm not worried at all, but I am trying to be very careful not to backslide and to do this as effectively and quickly as possible.
It feels, anyway, like we have a very trainable dog and that the peeing we saw at the rescue place was an anomaly, so that's good. Hoping that we can get him well-trained pretty quickly.
If anything, I'm the one that needs to be trained. I can't stop calling the darn dog "she" (old dog was a female)!
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