Since there's now a handful of us with new pups maybe we can share what we're doing and what challenges our pups are presenting.
In my case Terra is taking to the crate. I followed the experts advice--introduced it slowly putting her toys in there and the ocassional treat. Put her in for a few minutes, then 30, then an hour with us in the room. Then with us gone and for longer. The wife and I both work so she's crated from 8:30 to about noon when I go home at lunch and then again from 12:30 to about 5:30.
Housebreaking is proving to be a challenge.
My last dog, Harley was a happily compliant outside pee-er in 4 days but she was a spring pup and I think the weather may have played a role in that. Terra...not so much, but she is a winter pup, and initially she was hot-footing after a few minutes but now her feet are toughening up.
I watch her close and scoop her up without scolding as soon as she starts to drop, take her outside and praise her lavishly as soon as she finishes, but for some reason she will sometimes pee again within a few minutes of coming back into the house. I think I figured out what I was doing wrong--letting her play and explore after peeing. I'm thinking that this routine isn't reinforcing the "job" of peeing/pooping as soon as she goes outside.
So, what I changed was taking her back inside immediately after going and giving her a treat.
Another aspect of this is I made the mistake of giving her a "Good Girl!" too soon which, apparently, turns the pee switch right off. So MY lesson was to follow her around for 20 minutes in my bathrobe and slippers until the urge returned. Now I say nothing until the deed is done.
I/we also let her sleep on the bed which creates opportunities for her to go in the house. It was never our intention to have her in the crate all night although we know it's a common practice. Our long term plan is for her to use a dog door once she's fully housebroken and big enough to safely push through.
Thus far, I have been getting up with her around 2 am and again at 6 am when I normally get up. Needless to say I'm jonesing for the bed more than usual.
Our daily routine is: up at 6 and put her out for 2 or 3 minutes whether she pees or not. Then into the crate while I shower and get dressed (recent adjustment). Then she gets fed and watered and at about 6:30 we go for our morning walk...usally about 30 minutes. Off leash she walks at heel, only occasionally scooting out ahead but on leash she's a "forger" so we're working on her staying at heel. For the first few minutes she wants to pull, I make corrections, and we press on, then she settles into the rythym of the walk and does well. She usually poops on the walk and I bag it and take it home. (Gotta be a good neighbor). From there I go to work, and my wife gets to be the jailer as she leaves for work. Terra doesn't go into the crate willingly, but doesn't resist too much either and settles down quickly.
She gets another walk when I get home from work and then we play and work on obedience. She loves to chase her tennis ball but doesn't always come right back with it. I'm following Wolters' advice and focusing on making fetching fun for now. After a bit of free play, she does respond to fetching from heel which is encouraging. I need to get a 20' lead to work on "Here".
We're going to try crating her overnight while keeping the same morning schedule.
She's definitely got a will so I know I have to stay patient, focused and consistent.
So how's everybody else doing?