Eight week old puppies are just babies. They are not housebroken and are too young to contain themselves, they need to grow up several more weeks before they can "hold it" for any period of time. At this time they don't even "know" any better, except that they will avoid soiling the place where they sleep. But Shelties are easily housebroken if we remember a few simple tips:
- Puppies need to go out right after they wake up from a nap, after they eat and after they drink. If you provide food and drink several times a day you will know when you need to take your puppy out and it will be housebroken very quickly.
- If the puppy has an accident in the house be patient with yourself (you didn't follow the previous tip) do better next time :)
- Restrict your puppy to a small area of the house at first, like the kitchen, where the floor is easy to clean. When the puppy is young provide a pre-scented puppy pad in a corner and your puppy will learn to go there; then you can train him to go outside. Allow the puppy access to the rest of the house gradually as he gets more familiar with his surroundings. Supervise him at all times to avoid chewing on electric cords, etc, etc. Your puppy will want to be with you as much as you let him, he will be lonely at first and will miss his mother and littermates; you are now his whole universe.
- If you have other pets introduce them gently to your puppy one at a time, making sure they get along. Supervise them closely for at least a week. Keep them separate at meal times. Males may be aggressive to puppies.
- A crate is a good "den" for a puppy, he will feel secure and comfortable. If you need to leave the puppy alone for a period of time the crate will be the best place. If you have to be away for several hours you may want to get a large crate where he has enough room to sleep in one side and "go" in the other, if he has to. Safe toys are important--make sure he won't be able to chew off pieces and swallow them. A good old-fashioned raw bone is the best toy for a puppy, a knuckle bone will give your puppy hours of bliss. Be sure to supervise your puppy if given raw hide toys, it's easy for a dog to choke on them.
We recommend attending Puppy Kindergarden classes after puppies are through with their vaccines around 16 weeks of age. Puppies need to be socialized and exposed to as many different situations as possible on their first year to ensure they become familiar to other dogs and people. Obedience training is best achieved early. Also, training strengthens the bond with your puppy and allows him to act on his innate desire to please his human.