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Two story apartment/crate training question
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Granted, I dont have a Shiba yet, but as I'm planning, a couple of questions have come to mind.

    I live in a two story apartment, with my room being upstairs where I plan to have the dog sleep/play/hang out until I'm confident in his ability to run the house. Seeing as I have a balcony, and getting him downstairs and outside in case of a potty emergency would involve a probably unsafe dead sprint, would it be a good idea to have puppy pads on the balcony at first to make my reaction time quicker to help correct his accident? It wouldn't be a place I want him to permanently use as a toilet though, so I'm afraid he'll always associate that place with housebreaking.

    One more quick question. I read all these great things about the benefits of crate training, and I plan on seeing if the puppy takes to it. If I do end up going through every crate training nightmare of Shiba screams and whining, would it be acceptable or almost equal to just use an exercise pen or just being in the room with the door shut? There won't be too many times the dog is unsupervised, so I'm hoping in the off chance crate training does turn out to be a nightmare, giving him some open space would be a remedy. I feel like it's a sin on here to not crate train :)

    James
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I don't think pads are a good idea ( this has been discussed in several potty training threads if you search). When the pup is very little you don't really wait to take them out until they show a sign anyways, you need to take them out more on schedule. You know, after sleeping, eating and playing.
    As for crates, I am one of few on the forum who are opposed. Partly because it it illegal in my country. Well, I live in a very small flat so it was easy to keep an eye on the puppy and to just fence off the areas I didn't want her to go to. She has a bed close to our bed and the first couple of nights she woke up feeling a bit lonely, went up to our bed and whined a bit so I reached out to pet her and then she was happy and went back to bed. No screaming, no crying. So to me a play pen or a puppy proof room sounds perfect.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    I lived in the second story of my apartment... Most dogs don't just give you a warning then pee after 5 seconds. They normally give you a warning, give you 2min to get them outside, then you let them take you to where they want to potty. Shouldn't be an issue.

    Crates are fine, if you do exercise pens, some shibas can climb over the walls and end up chewing everything. If your shiba likes carpet, it may even dig or chew up the carpet the ex pen is on. So yeah, crate or puppy daycare.
  • The thing about using a playpen instead of a crate is that it's not going to give you that "den" effect that keeps them from using the bathroom. In a crate, the space is small enough that puppy will refuse to soil it. In a playpen, it's going to be big enough that the puppy can soil one part and sleep in another. You'll get the safety benefit but not the potty-training one.

    Also, as a note on the fuss of crate training. Some fuss is normal, but if it goes on for hours and hours night after night, I would definitely get in a behaviorist just to be sure. Apparently this sort of behavior is classic barrier frustration/crate anxiety stuff and while I wouldn't just give up without talking to someone, since crates really are the safest place for a puppy IMO, it's definitely something I thing should be caught early. We didn't and I'm pretty sure that basically all of Zim's anxieties extend from it (fear of the vet only started after being crated post neuter at the vet, separation anxiety from being left home alone in a crate, etc). Definitely a great idea to crate train, but I just wanted to out that out there since you hear so much about how fussing is normal that I really think that it makes it so that you can miss that there may be a problem to be dealt with rather than it just being normal crate training stuff (our behaviorist said that Zim screaming 6+ hours for every night for 3 weeks straight was not normal, but we had no idea at the time).
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    I live in a second story apartment too. Your puppy will whine but give you long enough to travel downstairs and out somewhere to relieve himself.

    Don't ever get him used to soiling your balcony.

    Regarding crate training my downstairs neighbor is a ******* ***** and needless to say he roams free. He's only had 1 accident when he was very little, no accidents as an adult, never touches anything of mine to damage it, but has extreme barrier frustration/sep anxiety.

    Good luck!
    Monkey!
    Post edited by tatonka at 2013-03-27 03:50:13
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    I was browsing the threads for a while and just read post after post about no one getting any sleep/waking the neighbors/unbearable behavior while in the crate. Guess I just needed to be reminded not many people post to talk about how it wasnt too bad haha. As for the puppy pad thing,you guys are right. Im not worried about mistakes in the house. Definitely ready for that and I have the patience. Ill stick with the schedule and deal with my mistakes as needed. Thanks :)
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I don't agree that a pen is too big to feel like a den but have no proof for it so I might be wrong. think very soon my whole flat was Juni's den and so was kept clean. Minus the first couple of weeks when she a couple of times felt the hall was a convenient toilet area. So we fenced it off.
    If a puppy soils the pen or crate or room it was not let out as often as it needed. Simple.
  • Tess was very easy to crate train! She's ten months old and she now goes into it on her own at night. We just leave the door open and let her sleep. She also never gives us any problems when we need to crate her before going out. I think what worked for us when she was a puppy was having the crate in the bedroom so that she could hear us and know that we were there. When we first got her, she went to bed at the same time I did. During the first week, she would whine a bit, but mostly she would rattle the crate. I would tell her "stop" and then I would make as much noise moving around in bed as I could so that she knew I was close. But other than the odd "stop" I would completely ignore her.

    I won't give advice on potty training because we had a few problems with that. Honestly, I don't think we (the humans in our family) were very good at it! But at least we got there eventually. I agree with others that pee pads are probably not the best idea. We didn't use them, but we have a house so it's different than apartment living.

    Good luck with all your puppy preparations :)
    Photobucket
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Honestly, we didn't have a problem potty training, but again we are unique in when the dogs are not in a crate they have free access to an area they can goto outside to pee/poo. The downside is we don't really have recognizable signs when they need to go, the upside is our schedule can vary a little and we don't worry.

    In regards to crate training. With my first boy, we didn't believe in crates when we first started, he had free roam of first a room and then the house from the minute he came home with us.

    What I will say, is at 10 months we did begin crate training him for several reasons, and when we did the training we used Susan G's method and it worked great.

    Here were the reasons we ended up crate training:
    1) Get him proactively used to a crate because if there was ever an emergency or he was severely injured there is a high likelihood he would be in a crate to receive care; therefore, we didn't want his first crate experiences to be negative.
    2) If we want to travel it is easier to have the security of being able to crate them for periods of time for their safety, so better to have them used to it before needing it.
    3) We desire to hopefully do trials (agility, rally, ect) and to do this it really helps to have a crate trained dog.

    We have found the fact we did invest in crate training has made life easier and now with two dogs there are times we have them settle into their crates because they are just not turning off their play mode. We also found that our older boy at night with free roam of the house ended up often barking somewhere between 9:30pm-11pm because he was on alert as people were still out on the roads walking dogs or other things. He also seemed to be more tired in the morning, we think from feeling like he was on watch when left to roam. He seems to rest easier if we crate him for the first part of the night and when I get up to potty mid sleep I let them out.

    Also crate training is a great tool for impulse control and helping them know when to "work" vs when to "rest".

    So when you research and think about crate training, understand it goes way beyond potty training the benefits and keeping them out of trouble when unsupervised.

    *edit: I should add, that truly good car safety also dictates they travel in crates labeled with their information even though many chose to use car harnesses. This way if the worst case happens rescue workers can easily help the dog if in a crate with less worry/fear of a scared dog being reactive and restrained in a harness.
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2013-03-27 12:18:03
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Awesome, thanks everyone! I guess people tend to post about what goes wrong, vs. what goes right when raising a pup on here (which is understandable). So every crate training thing I read sounded like a horror story. I'll definitely stick to crate training like I intended originally. Definitely not doin the balcony pee pad thing either. Im lucky that I'll have a clear schedule for at least a few months after I get the pup so I'll just have an eagle eye on him at all times.
  • MeiMei
    Posts: 13
    I live on the third story with a balcony and bought a grass pad to put on the deck for when Mei has to potty at night or in between walks. IT WORKS GREAT. She is fully potty trained at 13 weeks, and just scratches at the sliding glass door when she wants to go potty on the grass. Just make sure to wash it, or the puppy will no longer want to go on the pad. I haven't decided whether or not to do this forever, but it works for now!
    keep in mind, I could just be really lucky!
    Post edited by Mei at 2013-03-27 18:38:48
  • I think crate-training is great, especially if you plan to travel and you might need dog-sitting that is not at your home. It will be easier for your dogs and others to adjust to any new set-up.

    My pup came home crate-trained by the breeder. To make life easier, ask if your breeder can start crate-training for you or find a pup that comes from a breeder who is willing to do the work. Our breeder started her pups at 5 weeks old. That's why by 11 weeks she was completed crate and house-trained.
  • demarcostdemarcost
    Posts: 16
    We live in a single story house, so we never had quite the same dillema. BUT one thing I will say is since you do live in a 2 story home I'm sure you'll want it to count when you do take the puppy out at normal intervals. One thing that we found quite helpful is a spray you can purchase (usually right by the puppy pads) that has basically the same ingredients the pads have that make the puppy want to go on the pad. Since it's in spray form though it can be used anywhere. We found that spraying this OUTSIDE each time we took our puppy out (in the area we wanted him to potty) helped him get the idea that we were outside so he could take care of business (not so he could play, dig, chase bugs, etc). If you have time or space to let the puppy play around and "go" at their leisure then great, stay out longer. This helped to set the precedent though that we weren't out there JUST for fun. I do think crate training helps as well with potty training. We also crate trained from the start (we got Ronin at 8 weeks old). Expect that you will need to let a puppy out at least once in the middle of the night until their bladder has grown enough to make it through the night. Each dog is different, but using these two methods Ronin had one accident in his crate in the first couple days after we got him, and no other accidents (in or out of the crate) after that. We were fortunate in that we were able to consistently take him out every 2-3 hours, which surely helped as well.
    Post edited by demarcost at 2013-03-27 19:21:46

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