Maxwell is in the House

Maxwell, the last male pup from Sadie’s litter is a Phase 1 Accelerated puppy so I thought I’d show you the indoor set-up that we use.

I really like the taller Iris pen that comes with 8 panels. Cavachons are capable of escaping over a shorter pen, so we always recommend one that is closer to 3ft tall.

The Iris pen can be made long and skinny as is shown below, or it can be a nice 4ft x 4ft square.

When the pup first comes home and during the training process, it is important to organize his pen and set him up for success.

20130816-191309.jpg

 

Here, Maxwell has limited space, encouraging sleeping in the right spot, chewing his bully stick in the right spot, and most importantly, going potty in the right spot.  He naturally doesn’t want to soil his bed/hang out areas, so there is very little “other” space, making the litter box a natural choice.  We also take him out as frequently as we can, but if we are not home, he has everything he needs in this space.

20130821-142813.jpg

 

I recommend, when the puppy first comes home, to make his pen skinny like this.  As he is more dependable, you can opt for a more square and spacious area.  At night, you can also remove some panels, so there are only 6, eliminating almost all floor space and having only bed or potty for his choices.

Maxwell is pretty content in this puppy safe zone.  It is right in our kitchen, so he is in the middle of everything that is going on in the household!!

PS, his crate is backwards only because the door was swinging out the wrong way and I didn’t take time to change it.  I like to attach the door to the side of the Iris Pen, so that it stays open.

Front & Center (Accelerated Puppy Louis)

Louis is getting the royal treatment. He has all but taken over our kitchen with center stage in the busiest room of our house.

This is how it should be:). He is going to NYC, and from what I remember from my visit in the late 80’s/early 90’s, it is a bustling place full of activity and noise and people.

We’re taking Louis everywhere with us to get him used to as many people and situations as possible.

20130515-073713.jpg

He seems to be doing very well in his puppy safe zone.  He is learning to use his new turf litter box and that transition is going well.  He has never had a poop accident, and just 2 pee accidents, so he has a pretty good record considering his age.  I do have to spray Bitter Apple on the edges of his turf every day to discourage him from chewing on it.

 

20130515-073700.jpg

He has several toys to play with in his space.  He is beginning to chew on his antler that his NY mama sent him, and he readily plays with the other toys she sent.  I have a couple of bully sticks for him as well, and a little plushy toy bone that he throws in the air and chases.  He also has a tennis ball and loves chasing that around.

 

 

 

20130515-073721.jpg

 

I have been feeding him exclusively out of the red Kong ball, just visible in the bottom corner of his Iris Pen in the above photo.  This requires him to use his brain to eat, and makes the process interesting and gives him something to do.  When I’m not in the kitchen with him, he goes in his crate and I close the door.  This is so important.  Puppies really should not be left unattended, even in their puppy safe zone (unless overnight, or gone for an extended amount of time), because they can still get into trouble doing things like chewing the litter box, the edges of their crate, or having pee or poop accidents and then walking through it.  Even now as I’m typing, he’s chewing on the tag that’s on the white bath mat/bed in his open space.

At night, I have been crating him and getting up somewhere around 1-3 am to let him potty.  This part of the process is quite intense and leaves me somewhat sleep deprived, but he will be well-trained when he goes home, and that is my goal!!  I maybe should put a disclaimer here–I will have gone through all the motions to get him well-trained, whether or not he learns his lessons, well, that depends on each individual puppy!

So far, he hasn’t been too active or wanting to get out of his space.  The way it’s set up with just two sides kinda pushed up against the wall, isn’t exactly the most sturdy of set ups, but because he’s not free, even within his space, unless I’m actually in the room, it has been working so far.

I’m liking the new litter box.  It’s not messy like the pellets can be.  He was raised on pellets, so seeing him make a successful transition has been very rewarding.  A grass turf system like this seems to work with one older puppy/dog, but with a litter of puppies, it could get pretty messy if they walk in their poop and squish it into the grass.  This is another key reason I am always nearby when he’s walking around.  If he poops, I can grab it immediately, and there is no chance for him to squish it into the grass, which believe me (as I have lots of experience), is super gross, and a cleaning nightmare.

Thank you Toni (his new mama in NYC) for sending us his litter box and toys.  He is doing very well at this point, and things should only keep getting better with time.  He can walk on the leash now, and completely can ride in the car without getting car sick.  Check.  Check.

July is going to be here before we know it!

Covering For The Puppies

Training puppies is a 24/7/365 day adventure.  It doesn’t let up if you’re sick.  It doesn’t let up if you want to get away for a few hours.  It doesn’t let up if you want to get away for a day.  Forget about taking vacations!  It doesn’t let up if you need to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, or go Christmas shopping.  It doesn’t let up if company needs to sleep in the office/puppy room.  And most importantly, it doesn’t let up for the weather.

20121124-225511.jpg

When the sky fills with clouds it means one of two things…RAIN or SNOW!!  And these two things make potty training puppies very difficult.

But I had a dream and I knew a solution was possible when we got our new house.  I knew the office would double as a puppy training room, and I knew there was a nice little back porch with a sliding glass door.  I knew we could install a doggie door into the sliding glass door, and I knew we could use the back porch for the potty boxes.  And I HOPED we would be able to figure out some sort of covering to shield this most important space from the weather!

20121124-225450.jpg

And so the dream began…with corrugated hard plastic roofing, that allows the sunshine to still spill through, but blocks the moisture and snow from falling on the training grounds!

20121124-225437.jpg

Lucky me, who has The Woodman for a husband, who can build and fix just about anything.  I knew this little project would be no problem for him, if he’d take the time to do it!  It’s well known that “the cobbler’s children never have shoes”, right?  I begged and pleaded and coerced and manipulated.

Ok, I only begged and pleaded.  I think he saw the need and I’m so glad he was willing to do the job!

20121124-225425.jpg

It was a wet and miserable day, but he faithfully built the puppy shelter.

20121124-225502.jpg

It was scarcely done before it was tested with great results!

20121127-074645.jpg

It’s a little lean-to shelter, with just enough space for all the necessary tools…

20121127-074705.jpg

To properly maintain the space, we need…

-4 litter boxes that will service up to 8 puppies
-an electric water dish to withstand our freezing weather (and a normal one in the summer)
-a metal trash can that holds puppy kibble
-a dark brown plastic container that holds the pine pellets
-a nice broom for quick sweeping (the pellets can be a bit dusty)
-and not shown in this photo, but in the following photos, a large round trash can for all the doggie waste (and there is a LOT)!!

And of course, a wonderful, tall, Iris pen to contain the puppies while they’re out on the porch doing their business, and playing!

20121127-074653.jpg

We will paint the railings and framing white this coming spring.

20121127-074712.jpg

It’s such a nice, compact space, with EVERYTHING necessary for successful litter box/potty training.  Redford is loving the space and uses the litter boxes like a regular champ!

I am so excited about this space.  Now it doesn’t matter how bad the weather is outside, we will still have all the puppies going through their training.

We just brought Sadie’s litter into this space this week.  It took them less than 24 hours to figure out the doggie door!  Redford is showing them the ropes.  They are having a ball playing inside and outside, and though it is dry right now, let the rain and the snow come!  This year, we are READY!!