I'm currently trying to raise my first puppy. I haven't encountered any major problems so far, but I'd like to make sure that I'm doing things right.
I have my puppy(Dexter) set up in the bathroom with a crate that I've placed his bedding and toy in, I've managed to get him to go into it readily and place him in there for his daytime naps(though he goes a little nuts if I close the door and he's awake, but mostly any time I leave him alone). Just outside the entrance to his crate I have his food/water bowl and opposite his crate I have a litter tray(I'm training him to use that instead of going outside). He did have free run of the bathroom with just a bed(no crate) but I found he would just pee everywhere but the litter tray, hence me getting the crate. I'm now attempting to crate train him. Last night was the first night he spent in the crate and he was MUCH better than the 2 previous nights without the crate. The first two nights were pretty full on howling and carrying on almost non-stop all night in the bathroom. So I'm trying him in the crate in the bedroom. He still whined, but not as loud and desperate as in the bathroom, but still pretty frequently. I read that when you have young pups in a crate at night you need to take them to their toilet area every time they whine just in case they need to go. I took him about 7 times last night and he only peed once. My only concern is that I'll be teaching him that he gets taken out every time he whines. He was pretty sleepy most of the night, except he started to wake up around his 4:30 toilet trip and got a bit loud after that 'cause he wasn't so sleepy when I placed him back in the crate.
Also regarding the litter tray, at first he was only pooping in it, and refused to stay in there more than a split second so I could never get him to stay in there long enough for him to need to do a pee. I thought maybe he didn't like the feel of the litter I put in there, so I've changed it to paper towel, and he's better with that. I also tried placing him in the litter tray and gave him treats to encourage him to stay in there, which also helped, but he still gets out pretty soon after I place him in there. Whenever I put him in the litter tray after a nap it's almost impossible to stop him lying down or sitting and he just wants to crawl out and flop on my leg. I've managed to get him to pee in there 3 times so far, but he still does 90% of his business elsewhere. Sometimes it almost seems like he waits until I let him out of the litter tray and then pees. When he pees somewhere else in the house, I get some paper towel, soak it up and carry him to his litter tray and let him sniff it and reward him.Any tips to help with this?
I was also wondering what the best way is to get them used to periods of time alone. Is there a better way than just leaving them and waiting until they stop howling before returning to them? If I leave him in the bathroom and just walk to the kitchen to get a drink or something, he's howling his little heart out, and I have to wait for a good while before I can go back to him. Is it best to just keep leaving him for short periods and returning when he's quiet? or is it better to reward him for being quiet before he even starts whining? I'll have to leave him for a few hours tomorrow while I'm at work, and I did an experiment today to see how long it takes for him to quiet down, and he only carried on like crazy for 15mins, then whined quietly for 5-10mins and was pretty quiet after that so I think he should be ok tomorrow if I give him a good play and run around before I go and leave him with a kong toy.
I've only had him for 3 days, so I'm not expecting fantastic results just yet. I just want to make sure I'm going about things the right way and not causing problems that will be hard to fix later. I guess my biggest concern is getting him to go in the litter tray instead of waiting until after he's spent 10mins in there and going on the floor. And also taking him out of the crate to go to the toilet every time he whines when I know he can't need to go that frequently.
And just because everyone loves puppies, here's a pic of Dexter