Potty Training Frustrations
Our newest member of our family is Speckles. He's 4 months old and he's half chihuahua and half dachshund. We got him over two weeks ago.
We're 1st time puppy owners so this is all new to us. We have a routine but, it doesn't seem to be working. We get up at 6:00 am and he immediately goes out. When I open the crate I say: Let's go potty and he goes to the door to be let out. We go to the same spot everytime. He's really good at going pee-pee just not poop.
I feed him by 6:10 am and and take him out 2 more times before I leave at 7:45 but, he will not go poop just pee. He stays in his crate until 3:30 and I come home and he's peeed and pooped in his crate. I still take him out and he'll go pee again but, no poop.
I feed him between 4:30 pm and 5:00. With numerous trips out side to the same place he will finally poop about 10:00pm. I didn't know if I could take his morning feeding out and just feed him earlier and more in the afternoon.
We all love him but, I feel he's being more stubborn than not knowing what he's doing. HELP!!!
Potty training is one of the biggest issues new puppy owners face, and considering how recently you got your puppy you're doing very well with him.
At four months old he should have reasonable bladder and bowel control, but he's a small breed puppy, and they are notorious for their tiny bladders. They need to eat, drink and eliminate OFTEN!
Please let me reassure you that your puppy IS NOT BEING STUBBORN, or refusing to 'poop' because he knows that you want him to. Puppies are simply not capable of that kind of reasoning. He's not pooping because his need isn't urgent enough to overcome the distractions of being outside, or his desire to get back inside.
I do have a suggestion that may help with this. Buy or borrow a small, puppy X-pen (usually a wire pen, or one made up of plastic panels). These are readily available in all Pet Superstores such as Petsmart. Set it up in the spot outside that you want him to use (preferably near the back door, and somewhere you can easily see him through a window when you're inside the house).
In the morning when you take him out after he's had his breakfast, put him in the X-pen and leave him there for a while. If it's very cold outside, it may only be for 10 mins or so, if it's nice and warm, you can leave him there for 30 - 45 mins instead. You may want to consider getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning, so that there's more time between his breakfast, and your leaving. I know it's a pain, but it would be just for a while, and may be worth the effort.
Chances are good he will poop while in the pen after a little while. For the first few times he may find it strange, cry to come inside and so on, but he'll quickly get used to it. This way he'll most likely poop before you leave for work in the morning.
However, 7.45 - 3.30 is a very long time to leave a puppy. He's really not likely to have enough control to keep from peeing and pooping for almost 8 hours! I'd strongly suggest that someone in the family comes home at lunchtime to take him outside to play and pee/poop. OR maybe you could ask a friend or relative to do this for you, or even a local teen or retiree would be happy to help out, perhaps for a small fee. Whichever option you can find, I definitely think you should try. His crate training is not being helped by his being forced to eliminate in there because he can't 'hold it' any longer.
Because he understands to pee outside, and tries not to do it indoors, he's got the general idea of house training and just needs some more practice and encouragment. I think the above two measures would help a lot.
It's not feasible to just feed him in the afternoon and evening, as he needs a constant source of nutrition all day. Small breeds in particular have a high metabolic rate. They also have tiny tummies, so need to eat little but often. They can become dehydrated quite easily without a readily available source of food and water, and if left for several hours without food their blood sugar levels can drop dramatically. This can lead to some serious health issues, so it's definitely not advisable.
I think if you just follow the same schedule you're on, try the above suggestions, and be patient and consistent, you'll find that this will soon be all under control. Being a new puppy owner is certainly challenging, but I think you're doing a really good job so far. Just stick with it and all will be well.
best of luck!