I just got my first Corgi on Saturday. He's absolutely wonderful. Here's my question:
I take Reg's water from him about two hours before we go to bed (10pm), play with him (which afterwards he falls right asleep), put him in his crate, cover the crate, and then proceed to fall asleep. Also, I usually get up between 5am and 6am. Well, the first night I was up every two hours with him taking him out/playing with him. The second night I did the same thing, except I ignored his whining most of the time until 1am when I took him outside, played with him, and then put him back in the crate. Last night we did the same thing except this time I took him outside to potty and then put him right back into the crate instead of playing with him. The problem is, he doesn't want to go outside after dark and he always ends up peeing and pooing once in the crate. I have potty pads in there so it's really not a big mess to clean up. He's really good about going outside during the day. So far we've only had two accidents inside.
Am I doing this right? Any suggestions? I've never crate trained before and I feel awful taking away his water and then him whining at night. :( He's my baby and I just want to do the best for him. He's perfect during the day. I'm absolutely amazed at how fast he's learning everything. It's the hurdle of the crate that we can't seem to get past. During the day I keep him out unless I have to go somewhere. It's only at night that I crate him.
My suggestion would be to take him out to potty but not have any play time. Out for potty..back to bed. You don't wan't him to associate playing means getting out of his crate. They are smart!! Picking up the water a few hours for bed is also good.
I see from your profile that your puppy is 6 wks old, really should have stayed longer with her littermates.... Most pups can hold it through the night by 12 wks of age, so you have awhile to go. I would recommend putting the puppy in its crate for nap-times in the day and, when you see her active immediately take her out on leash and have her go potty, while teaching her the word itself and giving a treat after she does. At 6 wks of age, I would schedule one or two potty breaks at night ( no play ) and gradually extending the time she sleeps according to success. No water, as you are already doing, at night.
Be patient because a puppy that young does not have the physical capability to control the muscles of the bladder voluntarily, so it's really up to you to figure out when she needs to go and give her the opportunity to do so outdoors. This creates habits and preferences that will kick in with her physical maturing. Avoid puppy pads in the crate. If you need to be gone, consider an X-Pen arrangement with a crate to sleep in and pads outside the crate.
He'll actually be 8 weeks tomorrow (if I counted right). He was born on March 6th. I keep thinking he's only 6 weeks old for some reason.
Do you have any suggestions on getting him more accustomed to a leash? I always take him out on a leash, but he has a tendency to roll over and try to chew on it. I tell him "no" in a stern voice, but he isn't quite getting it (understandably so - he had never been on a leash until now).
He can certainly be a handful at times, but he's worth every minute of it. :)
Try to keep the leash coming from the top of the neck, not too loose and dangling in front of him. Young pups will grab onto anything they can. As with a human toddler, try to prevent or to distract rather than scold....
Am I reading it correctly that you have the potty pads inside the crate? If yes, I would take those out. Yes, it makes life easier for you when you need to clean up but potty pads typically have pheromones on them that when the dog smells it, they learn to go potty there. Dogs usually don't pee/poo where they sleep but if you have the potty pads in there, it might be giving your puppy some mixed signals (and kind of defeating the purpose of crate training).
And like other people have said, when you take him out for potty at night, keep it a strictly potty visit. No play time otherwise, you'll be up all night because your puppy will constantly be asking to be let out, only to play with you. Otherwise, good luck!
Don't put pads in the crate. The last thing you want is him thinking it's okay to potty in there. What size are you using? The crate should just be big enough for him to lay down in. He shouldn't be able to potty in one end and sleep in the other.
When you take him out for potty breaks, don't play with him or he will learn that fussing in his crate means play time. Just potty, and then back in the crate. You can try letting him drag a lightweight leash around in the house to get him more used to it.
It's a crate that will be big enough for him when he's an adult. We searched and searched for a crate with a divider but couldn't find one. Granted, the place we were at was having a sale so that's probably why we couldn't find one.
Sounds like the little guy will need to go without his puppy pads.
Thanks for your help everyone!
Update: Last night we only had one mess on the potty pad and he went right back into his crate after going outside. So, we're making some progress.
Also, the treat giving is working wonders. :)
Since my last post...Reginald now sleeps in his crate overnight and rarely makes a mess in his crate. Last night he didn't do anything in the crate and wanted out first thing this morning. :) One thing that helped with him (for anyone who might be having similar training problems) is putting him to bed at the exact same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. It's worked wonders.
Schedules do help. You don't want to play with him at night because you will start a "habit". Daytime for a bit is also good to get him used to it and keeping the crate open for him when he is out so he can go into it when he wants to also a good idea. My corgis "hang out" it there crates a lot!