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Hello, everybody,

I am a first-time dog owner: I have wanted a dog my whole life and finally made it happen. I just got Lali (LUH-lee, short for Lalita) from South Carolina. She is a beautiful apricot mini that I got from a breeder in South Carolina. She looks like a little stuffed animal.

I admit that I have a little bit of the puppy blues, because I get stressed out that I could be a better dog owner a lot of the times and there are other stresses - my job, the incredible amount of time it takes to watch her, and other things that just are part of life.

For instance, I become convinced when I have a friend to watch her that she likes that friend more than me. Or that she has diabetes because she pees in the house, or that she doesn't have diabetes but is peeing because she's mad at me for locking her in the playpen for 15 minutes. Maybe she's peeing in the house every day because I don't take her out often enough, or I don't have the right potty schedule. Or maybe as a single woman I am not providing her with enough engagement as opposed to someone with a full household, which is why she attacks my pant legs.

I'm trying to take it one day at a time, but I just wanted to share where I'm at in this moment. I work really, really hard to be a good dog mama. Hope everyone is doing well.
 

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Sounds like a perfectly normal puppy. :) Do you have a good puppy-raising guide? That can really help build your confidence. It's also a good reminder that you're not expected to automatically know everything. No need to reinvent the wheel. Let the experts guide you.
I have a dog training guide, not a puppy training guide (which I guess is the same, because it discusses puppies?). I am following a crate training/ walking/ potty training schedule. The crate training has worked well, and the potty training mostly works but she typically has 2 accidents a day, usually in the afternoon/ evening. I'm still troubleshooting: for instance, today she peed in her playpen 30 minutes after I took her outside (and she peed outside). I took her out at 5:35 and 6:15 and she peed at approximately 6:55.

Based on what I read, she should be able to hold it for 2 hours (she is 10 weeks old). She does play pretty vigorously, though, so perhaps she genuinely needs to go out every 30 minutes? I am the type to research everything, so I guess what stresses me out is when things don't fit what the experts say. I think if I read that it was totally normal to randomly have accidents despite a potty training schedule, I would be fine. It's the deviations that bring on the anxiety and wondering.
 

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Play will absolutely cause a puppy to pee or poop. I highly recommend Ian Dunbar's guide to navigating all things related to your puppy's first year:


Also available online for free:



It works better in the context of his greater methodologies, but here's his basic potty guide:


I find excitedly running to the potty spot to be key. And, of course, the instant reward.

It also really helped us to keep detailed notes of all meals, snacks, crate/pen time, potty breaks, accidents, etc. Seems like overkill until a pattern emerges and you realize it could have taken twice as long to figure it out without your notes. For example, I quickly learned that puppy Peggy needed two morning potties, very close together.

Just remember that your puppy physically cannot hold it yet. The time between an urge to go and actually going can be seconds.

And "research" these days often means googling, which can be super overwhelming while raising a puppy. There's a lot of contradictory information out there, as well as worst case scenarios. That's why I always say to pick a guide and use it as your foundation.
 

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Yup. Not enough muscular control to be expected to hold it consistently until they are 6 mo or more. We humans just do our best, buy a big package of paper towels and jug of enzyme cleaner, and don't sweat little mistakes - both you and puppy are still learning! Annie still peed every time she greeted a new dog until she was close to 6 mo, she just didn't have enough bladder control yet.

Potty training, although it's good to establish good habits now, is way easier when the dog is older. We once took in a stray dog for a week that was about 8 mo old, and still not potty trained (terrible owner, didn't even look for her, found the owner by accident, they apparently had her still having accidents daily at 8 mo). After 2 days in our house with strict puppy protocols, she had zero accidents. That never happens with a 3 month old puppy, nor would I expect it to!

I think there's this thing where we look online and see people train things, and it looks so instantaneous, but really, they are either an exception, or they are compressing the work of days and weeks into a tiny video or short blog post.

I'd also like to recommend you find a good socialization checklist. There's a socialization window that closes at about 16 weeks where puppies are very open to new people, places, and things. Things they have positive experiences with at this time, they tend to be comfortable with for the rest of their lives, and, unlike potty training, desensitizing a dog is WAY easier at 12 weeks than at 8 mo. Early socialization leads to a more confident dog later in life. I like this checklist, but there are many available . https://drsophiayin.com/app/uploads/2015/12/Socialization_Checklist.pdf

Finally - human sleep deprivation is really normal for the first few months of puppy ownership. It's also stressful and hectic. I remember very little of Annie's first few months, but do remember passing out, cuddling a puppy for a nap many times. Depression and the puppy blues are totally normal - you will get through them and it gets easier. Hugs.

(Oh... And we are very welcoming of cute poodle puppy pictures on this forum. Just sayin' :D)
 

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Welcome! Great job on knowing exactly when you took her out and when she peed in the house. From that information you know to continue with the times you already did, plus add 6:45pm.

When Violet was small I felt like I was constantly in my backyard. The first 3-4 weeks were the most intense, and I had a husband and a teenager helping. All any of us can do is our best in the moment, and then extend grace to ourselves and our dogs when things don't go as planned.

Please share pictures if you want to 😊. It is a great joy to those of us whose puppies are all grown up to see the sweet puppies of others.
 

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Welcome! I have to admit I never found that "hold it 1 hour for each month of age" thing very accurate, especially for small breed pups. At 10 weeks a puppy is at the same sort of stage as a baby in nappies - they go when they need to, and have no control over it. Mine needed to go when they woke up, after eating or drinking, after playing for a few minutes, whenever anything exciting had distracted them for a few minutes, and umpteen times in between. As FWoP says, get a good enzyme cleaner and do the best you can - if every pee and poo outside leads to Good Stuff for Poodles Lali will get there eventually - most do! Error-free toilet training may be a possibility for those who have absolutely nothing else to do all day, especially with a large breed pup, but most of us have to aim for good enough rather than perfection in this as in most puppy-raising. The one thing you can be absolutely sure of is that she is not peeing or pooing to get back at you! Firstly the concept would not occur to a dog, and secondly she does not have the control if it did.

A general dog training book may skim over the puppy weeks and months, and the internet in general can be both confusing and terrifying. There are some good resources though, including a couple of excellent free e-books by Dr Ian Dunbar on raising puppies here: https://www.dogstardaily.com/files/BEFORE You Get Your Puppy.pdf and here: https://www.dogstardaily.com/files/downloads/AFTER_You_Get_Your_Puppy.pdf I also love the puppy raising approach shown here: Life Lessons For My Puppy - eileenanddogs, and was very much struck by this recent article; which underlines just why we may be expecting too much too soon from baby pups: Kidnapped From Planet Dog - Whole Dog Journal

But the one bit of advice I would give from my own experience is not to get so focussed on toilet training and schedules and socialisation and all the other must-dos that you forget to simply have fun together and enjoy the puppy weeks. It is stressful finding yourself responsible for a new young life, and trying to do everything perfectly makes for even more stress. Cut both yourself and your puppy some slack, concentrate on the immediate essentials like careful socialisation (and part of that is having her happy to be left with a friend - definitely a skill worth teaching!), and reckon you have months and years ahead together to learn all the other things.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the encouragement. I decided yesterday that today I would not worry about any accidents (I'm really more worried about myself as a dog owner and her training; don't really care about cleaning it up). I'm going to try taking her out every 30 minutes when she's out of the crate. Oh, and I've already left her with a friend and she was so happy; she absolutely loves all people so that's never a problem.

I put a few pictures of Lali below. She loves autumn leaves
470954


470955
 

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She's a poppet - looking forward to hearing about all your adventures together!
 

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What a darling Lali is!
 

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I am also a new puppy owner, I have always adopted small senior dogs from rescues with the exception of one younger standard poodle years ago that very damaged and a nightmare his whole life.

I planned for my standard Niko for a long time, and also am single. I do have a 16 year old son but he doesn't help all that much.

The first few weeks Niko was here I felt completely overwhelmed. I felt every second day I should rehome him as I wasn't up for it, he was having accidents all over the place ( he peed on my sons bed about 4 times, and every time was right after he was outside so I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong), him and my senior little dog weren't getting along, he couldn't be alone for every a minute without screaming, and on and on. Now I am a month in, and things feel more maneagable. We are still working on him being able to be left alone as he cries and barks ( we live in a condo so can't just let him do that for hours at a time), and we are starting training which seems to be going slowly, but things do feel better. He is sick right now so that is another stress, but it terms of the puppy stress, I do feel better now that I did a month ago. It will start to feel better just give it a few month. Your little one looks like a miniature version of Nico.
 

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I totally feel for you and your puppy blues. I was totally spoiled by my boy Pogo, who was a housebreaking prodigy and mostly reliable by 4 months. My boy Galen, in contrast, was still having multiple accidents in the house every week at 5 1/2 weeks. It didn't matter if I'd just taken him out, or if it was a few hours after his last meal. His body just had its own schedule.(Why, puppy, why ☹.) It was frustrating and really made the relationship less enjoyable.

Then, without me even realizing a change was happening, some time after six months he went an entire week with only a single accident inside. Then it happened again. And again. He was growing up. :giggle: I will say that Galen has matured much slower than either Pogo or Snarky, my previous spoos. At almost 10 months he still alternates lifting his leg and doing the puppy squat.
 

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When I got Puca, I felt the same exact way. Having a puppy is like having a human baby in some ways. They take up ALL of your time. I definitely built bad habits for myself of negative self speak. "I'm a bad dog mom" because I do x,y,z to take care of myself. So that may mean not playing with Puca as soon as I get up or constantly giving him my undivided attention or going for walks every morning (especially in the Arizona summer when it was 100 degrees at 8am so I needed to be up way early). As long as you are doing you're best don't feel bad because your best is probably pretty darn good if you're already having these worries. Be easy on yourself and your pup. Its your first time having a puppy and its your puppy's first few weeks in this world. Of course things aren't going to be perfect. They never are! Just be consistent. The time will speed by, I hope you slow down to enjoy it. I wish I had rather than focusing on certain expectations. This is a marathon not a sprint, you will get there!
 

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The puppy blues are REAL. I really struggled for about the first 3 weeks we got Marley for many reasons. And I cried, a lot. It sounds crazy but having a young puppy is hard and if you haven't done it before or aren't ready for it. It can be overwhelming. In my case I think I got my puppy too fast after losing another dog and was still grieving while getting frustrated. But the blues fade daily as he gets older and is better trained. Accidents are far and few between at 16 weeks and he really is a great puppy!!
 

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The puppy blues are REAL. I really struggled for about the first 3 weeks we got Marley for many reasons. And I cried, a lot. It sounds crazy but having a young puppy is hard and if you haven't done it before or aren't ready for it. It can be overwhelming. In my case I think I got my puppy too fast after losing another dog and was still grieving while getting frustrated. But the blues fade daily as he gets older and is better trained. Accidents are far and few between at 16 weeks and he really is a great puppy!!
Someone actually told me they felt bad for puppy Peggy, because I was still grieving the senior dog I'd recently lost. As you can imagine, that comment sent me spiralling. Ugh.

I think we all tend to build puppies up in our heads, and the reality is a real crash to earth. If we've never had a puppy before, the exhaustion is a shock, as is the biting. So much biting! And if we've had a puppy before, we think, "This one will be different! This one will be a fresh canvas, where I won't make any of my previous mistakes!

And maybe that's true. But we're sure to make new mistakes. And each puppy is unique, coming with their own strengths and challenges.

Lucky for me, a friend recommended Poodle Forum at a time when I needed it most. And all the amazing members here held my hand through Peggy's first six months. I'm always happy to do the same for others.
 
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