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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

Sorry I have been gone for awhile! I recently got a new 5 month old puppy (not a maltese) that I originally found for my parents, and long story short, she is now mine! She is a long haired chihuahua. I am in love with her, but have a few training questions:

1.
Right now, I want to be very consistent with her staying in the crate at night. So, I have the crate on my nightstand (I hope to move it to the floor soon) with a blanket and some toys. When will she stop crying at night? I consistently ignore it (except around 4am when I let her our to peepee)

2. During the day when I leave the apartment, I put her in a playpen in the living room with a pad, her food and water, and a bed with toys. I assume she cries a bit when I leave, but who knows. Is this a bad idea since it is inconsistent with the crate at night?

3. If I did crate her during the day instead of playpen, how long can she stay in there? Should it be in my bedroom just like it is at night? And should I put food or water in with her?

4. During the day, when I am home, I put her in the pen when I need to shower, do laundry, cook, or watch a movie at night with my boyfriend (activities where I can't watch her nonstop for accidents). But she cries nonstop if she can see me, or even if she can't. What should I do? Crate her instead in the bedroom? Should I even have the playpen at all?

As a side note, pad training has been fine so far-- only 2 mistakes and as long as she can see the pad, she goes to it.

Any answers are appreciated. Thanks!!!!!

edit to add: I am asking on SM even though she isn't a maltese because I know how knowledgeable this community is, and I feel most comfortable asking here!
 

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One important question is how long are you gone during the day? If you work full-time, you will need to keep the pen. If you only are gone for 3-4 hours, you can choose either method.

In my opinion, the "ideal" situation for her while you're gone during the day is to utilize both methods: Have the pen set up, and inside it put her potty pad, food, water, toys, & her crate. Make the crate the only "bed" she gets in there...it will help her get used to sleeping in it. I am assuming you are exclusively pad training her since you mentioned putting the pad in the pen.

I wouldn't crate her more than 4 hours at a time at her age. She "theoretically" can hold her bladder for 6 hours (puppy formula is Age in months + 1 hour), but I have always found that hard to go by because it depends on their activity level, water intake, food intake, etc. If she has to pee, she will hold it as long as possible in a crate, but eventually she can't keep holding it. Once they start having accidents in their crate it can be difficult to get them to stop.

As far as her whining at night while the crate is on your nightstand, she should stop after a week or two maximum. Do you have one of the wire crates or a plastic one? I prefer the wire ones, but if you have one like that make sure you cover all but one side with a blanket so she feels secure but can still see you. With my two, I would stick my fingers in the crate when they would whine. After a few nights, they stopped.

You probably need to help her get used to her pen, make it a happy place for her to go. You can toss treats or toys into it and make her go in it on her own. Don't close the gate at first, until she is content being in there. Then you can close the gate for a few seconds at a time, working your way up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the advice LJSquishy!

I am in Finance and Investment Banking which I do the majority of work at home, so she would really only be alone for 4-5 hours maximum at one time.

I like the idea of pads since she is so small, it is cold outside, and I live in an apartment building (more of an ordeal to get up, go down an elevator, key out and in and back up again).

But then there are the additional parts of the day I would rather be able to clean up and get things done without a little furball to worry about stepping on! Which is when she cries in the pen and doesn't quit-- while I am walking around and she can see me. That's why I thought putting her in the crate in my bedroom might make sense? She will think it is sleep time alone again? Instead of the pen?
 
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