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Hi there— I am an experienced standard poodle parent and have always crate trained my animals. My 5 year standard is in her crate snoozing now...as it’s her first choice for a nap on her plush pillows.
I just brought home a 9 week old “teacup” and I’m struggling with the crate. He sighs 17 oz.
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He hates being in there ...barks non stop. And he poops and pees on the blankets so I removed them and put pee pad there. My big poodles almost never messed in their kennel and their potty training was relatively easy. this thing i have is a car seat/mesh kennel basket with a handle on top like for human infants. I am wondering if I should improvise and find something smaller? I have never had such a tiny dog. I put him in there several times a day when my hands are busy and he barks. He just wants to be in my lap. also..I have peepads in a couple of spots in the house where I put him when he wakes up from napping. He will go there but only if I redirect him there. I am new to pee pads and any advice on the crate would problem would be helpful. I guess I’m wondering if the tiny ones are less developed as this age to crate/ potty train?
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Hi Dra.G. Oh, he is a baby indeed and looks still in infancy. His chronological age is 9 weeks, but toy breeds often have immature systems. Technically, there's no such thing as teacup poodle, but some of the toys have been bred to be very small which make them high risk for health problems or developmental lags. For example, even normal sized toy breeds as pups are more vulnerable to developing a sudden episode of hypoglycemia, so keep a tube of NutriCal on hand or a substitute in a pinch, this will save it's life.


Some breeders (often not the best or the most knowledgeable) will also call the pups teacups for marketing purposes, but they are in fact normal size for toys. I can't quite tell by looking at the photos, and he does look pretty tiny at 9 weeks, and looks to me more like a 7 week old pup in the photos, but his current weight will give us a better idea.

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To read the chart. If at 9 weeks he weighs 20 oz, he'll likely end up weighing around 3.35 lbs which is really, really small and in the ballpark of "teacup". If he's 29 oz, he's headed to weigh a more typical and healthy 5 lbs as an adult. The norm for toy poodles is 4 to 6 lbs, with 5 or 6 being more robust.

Developmentally from his appearance and what you described, he might be or act younger than his stated chronological age. My best advice: keep him close to you, feed small frequent meals with a calorie supplement, and be very patient about the housebreaking.

As for his crate, pee pads on one side with a towel or bedding on the other should work after a couple weeks since they do not like to soil where they sleep. Continue with redirecting in a gentle voice; he's likely smart although young, and developing trust with you which generally makes them want to please you. Remember too that his age and size, he can't "hold it" very long so hourly visits to the potty pad or outside is the norm for the next month or so. Others here will give tips about how to reinforce the potty behaviors you want.

Have fun with your new baby and good luck!
 

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What a little peanut!

My guy was a little under 2 pounds when I got him, and in order to sleep in a crate, he had to have warmth because his body temp wasn't stable. The vet advised using a "chew proof" hot water bottle. Even outside of the crate, I had him wrapped in a blanket or near the water bottle for several weeks. Unfortunately, puppies that small can lose their lives due to hypoglycemia or unregulated body temperature, so they have to be watched very closely. Consulting with your vet would be a good idea. Also, they definitely need more bathroom breaks, even as adults.
 

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Hi Dra.G. Oh, he is a baby indeed and looks still in infancy. His chronological age is 9 weeks, but toy breeds often have immature systems. Technically, there's no such thing as teacup poodle, but some of the toys have been bred to be very small which make them high risk for health problems or developmental lags. For example, even normal sized toy breeds as pups are more vulnerable to developing a sudden episode of hypoglycemia, so keep a tube of NutriCal on hand or a substitute in a pinch, this will save it's life.


Some breeders (often not the best or the most knowledgeable) will also call the pups teacups for marketing purposes, but they are in fact normal size for toys. I can't quite tell by looking at the photos, and he does look pretty tiny at 9 weeks, and looks to me more like a 7 week old pup in the photos, but his current weight will give us a better idea.

View attachment 466933

To read the chart. If at 9 weeks he weighs 20 oz, he'll likely end up weighing around 3.35 lbs which is really, really small and in the ballpark of "teacup". If he's 29 oz, he's headed to weigh a more typical and healthy 5 lbs as an adult. The norm for toy poodles is 4 to 6 lbs, with 5 or 6 being more robust.

Developmentally from his appearance and what you described, he might be or act younger than his stated chronological age. My best advice: keep him close to you, feed small frequent meals with a calorie supplement, and be very patient about the housebreaking.

As for his crate, pee pads on one side with a towel or bedding on the other should work after a couple weeks since they do not like to soil where they sleep. Continue with redirecting in a gentle voice; he's likely smart although young, and developing trust with you which generally makes them want to please you. Remember too that his age and size, he can't "hold it" very long so hourly visits to the potty pad or outside is the norm for the next month or so. Others here will give tips about how to reinforce the potty behaviors you want.

Have fun with your new baby and good luck!
I wouldn't take this chart to heart, my mom's pom was a pound when he cam home and ended up 7 pounds
 

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Small breeds are notoriously harder to housebreak.

About pee pads, I never use them with my small dogs, even when babies (I am at home). I want them to go outside, so that’s what we do. Just know it will take longer than with a bigger dog and you will consistency and patience.

By putting a pee pad in his crate, you are telling him it’s okay to relieve itself in there. That’s counterproductive. Get yourself a « real » wire crate, make it just the right size so he doesn’t have space to pee on one side and lie at the other end and make sure you take him out often to relieve himself outside, if that’s how you want to go, or to a pee pad place strategically. At this age I would get him used to one single place, to avoid confusion.
 

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I wouldn't take this chart to heart, my mom's pom was a pound when he cam home and ended up 7 pounds
Yeah, my guy was 28 ounces at 8 weeks, and he ended up being 8.5 pounds. Much larger than predicted on the chart. He also is a maltese/poodle mix, so I don't know if that makes a difference.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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I can't give toy-specific advice, but I can speak to the pottying in beds issue and recommend you get those confusing pads and blankets out of there immediately. Maybe add an exercise pen to the entrance of the crate, so that puppy has a clear potty place and a clear sleep place. And yes, you want to use a proper crate that has a movable divider, making it only big enough for sleeping (keeping in mind that you'll then have to let puppy out frequently for toileting—probably extremely frequently for now, which means multiple alarms set through the night).

Spoos, relatively speaking, have iron bladders and bowels. You're in a very different situation with this little one!

But....he's still a dog. So I'd recommend a modified version of this crate-training protocol, adapting as necessary to his size and health requirements:


Maybe you hold off on crate training for a few weeks, instead keeping him close to you and going outside to potty.
 

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With my “teacup” I always use the little puppy pens. I feel that tinier pups do better learning in a small pen vs the crates. They like their humans to be close by and visible at all times. We just got ours on amazon for $30 and it’d be a great size for her. I’ll post the link in a sec. Every tiny dog I’ve owned has always screamed in crates and did better in the puppy pens. My girl was 1lb full grown at adulthood. Royal canin is also the food I prefer for the tiny pups. With hyperglycemia being possible it’s better for them to have some of the “fillers” so they build up. I would also top it with chicken or turkey baby food (jars) and always keep a tube of nitra-cal paste on hand. :)
 

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I have also always pad trained my tiny pups first than moved them to outside. You’ll hear people against pad training first due to causing confusion but our girls always switched over very nicely. For Gia I kept both through her life. She always had a pad inside and we’d also go outside, but with her tiny bladder I always had the option out in case I was running errands and didn’t take her with, they can’t hold it like the bigger pups and if forced to they do develop bladder infections quite easily.
 

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Ours I don’t let them sleep alone ever. So if you’re planning her to sleep in her crate I’d get one of the heartbeat puppies for her to snuggle with. I also highly recommend a clip on bell for when company comes over, a lot of people will not be aware or forget she’s there and the bell helps remind that way they won’t accidentally step on her.
 

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Don’t go by chart or the weight calculators. personally, with the tiny ones I won’t take them home until 12wks. Just bc I feel the extra time with mom helps them along a lot. (Just for future reference) I don’t remember what my girl weighed coming home but I remember she grew for a few weeks then stopped. I’d say by 14-15wks she didn’t get any bigger. Everyone was wrong on expected weight, breeder expected 2-3, vet expected right under 2-2. For some reason I notice the tiny pups grow quickly then it feels like they just stop. Compared to larger pups who you can see grow for months. Another good thing is to ask your vet for a 24hr number. Our vet was nice enough to be always on stand by with my little one. I had his cell, most vets aren’t usually that caring especially in large cities but there may be a 24hr clinic to have numbers on hand for emergencies bc if she does get sick you’ll want her seen. Any vomiting is dangerous for they’re levels and you’ll want her to receive iv fluids even if it’s 3am. Waiting until morning when the vets open can be dangerous.
 
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