Housetraining an 8 week Morkie Poo
by Alley Halstead
I just adopted an 8 week puppy and I am trying to determine the best method of training. between my husband and i, the puppy will be there from 8-4 by itself. i've researched the crate method (buying a crate only large enough for it to turn around) but w/a puppy that small, will it be able to hold its bladder that long regardless of its dislikes of soling in an area where they sleep?
we thought about leaving the crate door open so that he can roam in a designated and use a litter box while we are away. However, will it confuse the puppy if we try to teach it to use the litter box while inside the house and to go outside when we take him for a walk etc?
2nd option-we considered taking him to a doggie daycare for a few months so that he will get used to eliminating outside--will this be confusing to him once we try to take him out at our own home?
3rd-we considered the use of puppy diapers.
Yes, you're right to think that crating an 8 week old puppy for 8 hours a day isn't going to be a good idea.
Your pup isn't going to be able to 'hold it' for that length of time at this age, and it will not be a good start to your housebreaking efforts. If you have a friend, relative, neighbor, or even a petsitter, that could come to your home at least once (at midday for example) to take your puppy outside for a potty break and playtime, this would help and it may then be a possibility.
If this isn't possible, then your second option of putting the crate in a confined area (small room or puppy play pen) with a litter box, would be an acceptable solution for the first few weeks. However, you will still need to get your pup used to being crated while you're home (and overnight), so that he accepts this and has a chance to learn to control his bladder/bowels for short periods. It may slow the housebreaking down a little, but if it's only for a few weeks until your pup has better control of his elimination habits it should be okay.
The option of sending him to a doggie daycare would be a good socialization experience for him, but there are difficulties. The first being that until he's fully vaccinated (ie had all 3 sets of the combination vaccinations) he's at risk of catching an illness from being around other dogs. Also, most daycares/kennels etc. won't allow a puppy to attend until he's a certain age and had a certain number of vaccinations. It's something you'd need to check on. You would also need to find out how the staff dealt with potty training, and make sure that their method 'fits' well with yours. If these things are workable, then it's a good idea.
The idea of using doggie diapers isn't a good one though, at least in my personal opinion. The reasons for this are two-fold, firstly - your pup won't learn anything about housebreaking while wearing a 'diaper'. He will be able to pee/poop whenever he wants, which is definitely not the goal when you're housebreaking a puppy, plus he won't be learning how to control his need to eliminate. Secondly, the chances of him actually keeping the diapers ON, is slim, especially if you're not there. They will most likely end up a chewed-up mess within a short period of time, and ingesting them is dangerous for your pup.
You may find a combination of the first suggestions - such as having someone come to your house three days a week to let him out of his crate for a while and then leaving him in an exercise pen the other two days, will work for you. Once he's old enough for daycare that's another great option for one or two days a week for lots of reasons.
I hope this has helped you somewhat. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do.