Paws For A Minute® / ASK INGER-Q&A
I recently purchased, Montauk, see attached. She is a beautiful 8 week-old
I have set her up with a crate and a small pen area in my kitchen – about 8ftx3ft in total. I had read a lot about crate training so had been taking her outside frequently over the first few days to go potty. I think she was beginning to understand and respond.
I live in New York City and went to the vet for the first time yesterday. He basically explained to me that as she has not had any vaccinations yet that she must stay inside at all times until the shots are completed when she is about 17 weeks-old. Do you agree with this? I definitely don’t want to put her in danger but feel that keeping her confined in this space for the next 8-weeks is hardly a good life?
In addition, if I am to keep her in the crated / fenced area. What should her schedule look like? Do I only take her out when I play with her (maybe twice) per day? For the rest of the time she is in the fenced area? And I should go about my normal day.
Really appreciate your help. No one seems to give straight answers.
Hey, thanks for the great questions. She’s gorgeous and congrats on the new puppy!
Firstly, yes I do agree with your vet. The problem is that many pet professionals neglect to tell owner’s “why” they should so a certain protocol, hence the confusion. The reason (very young) pup’s should not go outdoors, until fully inoculated, is because they should receive a series of shots, which are complete at around 17-weeks. This is to prevent many viruses but an important one to note is called parvo, a very contagious illness that pup’s can pick up from there pads. The incubation of this type of virus is roughly 15 days and owners wouldn’t know it until their puppy gets sick. Vomiting and diarrhea are the symptoms and rapid dehydration can be the killer, literally. So that’s the main reason, however, remember your pup’s been on the planet only 8 weeks, what’s the hurry? Oh I know, housebreaking.
Yes, well, that’s the next topic of conversation, leaning to go poop outdoors!
Even if your puppy appears to be getting the concept of going to the bathroom outside, biologically she can’t hold it 8 hours (at 8-weeks of age) that happens in stages. So you could neurotically feel compelled to take our puppy outside 45 times a day, because pup’s that age poop a lot, but the truth is that she needs to grow in order to learn to hold the urge to go. Yes, training is apart of that, but your not accelerating the training process at this young age by thinking she understands. Your main mission right now is to teach your new puppy to self-soothe and begin to understand the process of where to go potty.Teaching when to go potty comes later.
Learning to self-soothe means teaching your pup to chill by herself (within a safe space) such as a gated area. At 8-weeks a puppy’s day consists of playing , eating, peeing, pooping, learn how to (go in and out) of the crate, chewing, and get to know you! Think infant. Sleeping in the gated area all night long is a big deal. Music or a sound machine will help. Keep papers or wee-wee pads in one end of the gated area. When you take her out of the gated space, take her out on a leash, and guide her to spot (on a patio or yard) for potty on a wee-wee pad. Dogs will learn by routine, so it’s up to you to set one. Don’t expect for them to just “get it,” cats do that, not dogs. Remember, even if a puppy stumbles out a patio door (that’s kept open) to go potty, doesn’t mean she’s even close to being housebroken. That happens from a combo of training and age! After she goes potty then it can be playtime with you, but for 20 minutes or so at a time! Remember, this can be many, many times a day! You can also hang inside the gated space with her.
You mentioned this type of routine is hardly the good life? Don’t think of it that way, she’s a baby. A ball rolling at that young age is a good time. Have fun and get to know each other. Just like a human baby, puppies at that stage; eat, play, pee, poop, sleep. Now, having said that, when your puppy becomes 12 or 14 weeks-old, the party begins. All papers in the gated space come up, the crate door shuts for periods of time, triggers of music get introduced, commands get implemented, teething starts and the housebreaking concept comes alive. Stay tuned for stage two of the puppy process which is only a few weeks away. I hope this helped and helps others. Please keep us posted on your progress!