This is probably going to be long so please bear with me. Emotion: smile
When we get our Aussie in about a week, she will be just over 8 weeks old. I was going to be able to take some time off work to start housetraining and other puppy activities, but that looks like it's not going to happen now due to various circumstances. The puppy is used to being in a crate (not without her littermates, but for a whole workday anyway).

So when she comes home with us, she will be crated almost right off the bat for a full work day (she will be crated half a day the day after we get her, and the day after that is Monday and we are off to work for 8 hours). We have a large crate that will fit about 3 of her at this point (one of her when she is full grown).What the breeder has suggested for us is putting some wee pads at the back of the crate for the puppy to use since there is no way she will be able to hold it while we are gone (about 8 hours/day). There will still be sufficient room in the crate for her to sleep and chew-toy as well. When we are home she will be taken to the yard to eliminate and praised heavily each time, and rewarded afterward with a treat, then a game or a walk.

My thoughts are that the dog will eventually grow too large to have a portion of the crate to eliminate in, and a) will no longer need it because she will be physically able to hold it while we are gone, plus b) will want to go outside because of the reward association with eliminating in the yard (as opposed to no feedback when she goes in the crate). Does this sound like it will work?
Our other option is gating off the entire kitchen (about a 14x16ft room), and leaving wee pads in one area, and leave the crate open, but fill it with towels, toys etc, so she can enter and exit it as she wants to when we are gone. Even if she eliminates in an area of the kitchen that does not have wee pads, it would be okay as the floor is a hard surface.

I had really hoped to have more time to ease her into our absences and the new things about living in her home. Emotion: sad
Any thoughts on all this are really appreciated!
Thanks,
Jodi
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What the breeder has suggested for us is putting some wee pads at the back of the crate for the ... our absences and the new things about living in her home. Emotion: sad Any thoughts on all this are really appreciated!

Wee pads have a tendency to teach dogs to pee in the space. IOW dogs don't always associate the pad being there so much as the area being a designated potty place. Same goes whether its a crate or a whole room. Some people who have used them, or newspaper, have complained that even though their dog is old enough to hold it they still urinate on the floor. So use the pads cautiously and do alot of housetraining work when you're home. Take up the pad during that time rather than just replacing it with a fresh one.

Take her outside every hour when you're home (until she's housetrained or very close to it), no matter the weather, and bring some treats along in your pocket. When she starts to squat immediately start praising her and using the word "potty". Keep up the chatter until she's done. Immediately afterward give her a treat then go back in the house. Doing the heavy & consistent training for elimination outdoors using a praise & treat method will give you a good foundation to build from in teaching her that pottying outside is a good thing.
Ideally someone should come home midday, at lunchtime, to let her out for a potty break for the first month she's with you. If you can't do that then go with the crate & pads. Using the crate instead of blocking off the kitchen will serve several purposes. 1) you'll be providing her with her own space 2) you'll have a means of management during those times when you find you really need to confine her for a bit 3) crate training helps prepare a dog for those times when you may need to board her or she may need to stay overnight at a vet's office.

Tara
What the breeder has suggested for us is putting some wee pads at the back of the crate for the ... the yard (as opposed to no feedback when she goes in the crate). Does this sound like it will work?[/nq]You may actually make your dog really hard to housetrain if you put pee pads in her crate. The best thing you have going for you when trying to housetrain a dog is that they naturally do not want to soil their dens or living space. Putting a pee pad in their crate den and encouraging them (or forcing if the dog is too young to hold it as long as she is locked in there) to pee in there can easily desensitize the dog to pee in her den. I would go with a larger puppy proofed space with the crate as the den within the space rather than the pee pads in the crate itself.

At least that way the dog can choose a spot away from the crate and maintain its aversion to peeing in the den. The reason it is important to keep this aversion in the dog is that it is what makes a dog naturally want to not pee or poop in other areas that the dog sees as its pack's living space. When you are home, you want the dog to want to get out of the house to pee or poop and hold it until she can get outside even if left alone for a while. If she is already resigned to the concept of peeing and pooping right where she lives, eats and sleeps, you don't have the natural instinct helping to reinforce waiting to get out before letting it all come out.

Believe me, you don't want to try to housetrain a puppy under those circumstances!
It would really be best if you could find someone to let the dog out for a potty break or two during the day. If she never pees or poops anywhere in the house or near her crate and always gets praise for peeing/pooping outside, she'll get the whole idea a lot sooner and have it all down much better. If you or a family member can't do that, maybe a neighbor or friend could do it until the puppy is trained better and is big enough to hold it longer. It really won't be that long before an Aussie is big enough to hold it for a workday and the payoff for being diligent from the very beginning are enormous. Good luck and enjoy your puppy!

Paula
"Or if you really want to meet me just take the NJT to 78, take 78 to 24, take 24 until it runs out, and then just drive around listening for the sound of quietly smoldering rage." Ben Allard
Our other option is gating off the entire kitchen (about a 14x16ft room), and leaving wee pads in one area, ... it with towels, toys etc, so she can enter and exit it as she wants to when we are gone.

Something like this sounds good, except I'd substitute a shallow litter pan with soil for the wee pads. That way she'll get used to going on an appropriate surface (that isn't usually in the house).

Family Dog Trainer
"It's A Dog's Life"
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://www.re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
Using the crate instead of blocking off the kitchen will serve several purposes. 1) you'll be providing her with her ... those times when you may need to board her or she may need to stay overnight at a vet's office.

Agree with all these points.
However, as was pointed out to me on these hallowed grounds, :} it may also teach her to feel comfortable eliminating in her sleeping/living area, or specifically in the crate itself.

Family Dog Trainer
"It's A Dog's Life"
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://www.re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
What the breeder has suggested for us is putting some wee pads at the back of the crate for the ... the yard (as opposed to no feedback when she goes in the crate). Does this sound like it will work?

NO.
How far from home is work? The last time I had a full time, employed by others job, and a new puppy, I arranged to come home at lunchtime. You can hire someone to do that if you can't be there. I think it's really bad to give a puppy no choice but to eliminate in the house, and even worse to encourage (by scent) eliminating in the crate on wee-wee pads.
A little extra driving or money spent now, will give you a well housebroken puppy in short order. Use those puppy pads and you'll set yourself back quite a bit.
If you really must leave a puppy, a crate with attached x-pen for paper of whatever sort, is a workable but not preferred solution. Please don't make the crate a place to eliminate!

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
This is probably going to be long so please bear with me. Emotion: smile When we get our Aussie in about ... large crate that will fit about 3 of her at this point (one of her when she is full grown).

That's a long time- haven't you any good friends or neighbours, family or even a doggie day care facility to give her a little longer to adjust to her new life and make the most of her socialisation window?

Diana
What the breeder has suggested for us is putting some ... in the crate). Does this sound like it will work?

NO.

Wow, I got an answer from every color of the rainbow to this question.

Such is USENET I suppose.
I am actively recruiting neighbors to take her out during the day, so far, no luck on anyone being home around lunch-ish time. Still working on it.

Jodi
I am actively recruiting neighbors to take her out during the day, so far, no luck on anyone being home around lunch-ish time. Still working on it.[/nq]It doesn't have to be right at lunch time. Trying to divide the time you are gone fairly equally helps to not have her alone for longer than her bladder can hold, but there's no magic in it. I was thinking you might be able to give the puppy food and water at night but no food or water in the crate during the day. I was thinking this because I don't give food and water after 5 or 6 in the evening so that my dogs can hold it all night. They are just sleeping and do fine with that (though if it were really hot in my house, I would give water because I'd rather have an accident than dehydration).

If you gave your puppy food and water at night time and then set an alarm to take her out regularly, she would get her training with you at night and then without food or water in her system from a certain time of morning on, might be able to hold it for longer during the day. Just a thought. I'd personally rather find a friend or neighbor than have a dog waking me up even more often at night, but it all depends on the particular circumstances, priorities and needs.

Paula
"Or if you really want to meet me just take the NJT to 78, take 78 to 24, take 24 until it runs out, and then just drive around listening for the sound of quietly smoldering rage." Ben Allard
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