I recently bought a chihuahua/shih tzu mix using Craigslist, knowing that she had not been vaccinated. I now KNOW that this was a bad decision, but at the time, I considered her lack of shots to be only a financial inconvenience, not a possible crisis. Low and behold, the puppy began showing symptoms of parvovirus 2 days after she was with us. She immediately received moderate veterinary care and intense home care, and thankfully, survived!
However, the issue of house training the recovering puppy has become more complicated. I had be strictly following crate training procedure before she was sick. After she became ill, I had to confine her to the bathroom and house training was not a big priority, as I was mainly concerned with keeping her hydrated and alive. The bathroom floor was covers with wee-pads for the 3-4 days of intense illness, but enforcing training was impossible.
The puppy is now eating and drinking on her own and recovering, but house training is difficult. I cannot take her outside because she is still contagious. We live in an apartment complex with many pets. In addition, I must be out of the apartment for 6 hours 4 days a week.
We set up an indoor "pen" attached to our puppy's crate, and positioned a wee-pad on a tray as far away from the crate as possible. This distance might not be ideal, but our space is limited. Also. We have one other dog (a schnauzer, 25 lbs) and 2 cats who are very interested in the puppy and walk up to the pen frequently when the puppy is in in it, especially when I'm trying to get her to go potty on her pad tray. This seems to distract the puppy and make her nervous.
My plan so far has been to keep the puppy locked in her crate INSIDE the pen when I am home, so that I can control when she has access to the wee-pad tray. Overnight (6-8 hours) or when I am at work, I keep her crate door open, but she is still confined to her pen with the wee-pad tray.
She still has some diarrhea, and I'm not comfortable crating her for more than 2-3 hours.
When I let the puppy out of her crate and into her larger pen area, I wait for her to pee on the wee-pad tray until she may come out and play. This has worked once. I have given her a treat and praise each time she has relieved herself on the wee-pad tray.
However, I am wondering how strict I should be about this training. When I let the puppy out of her crate and into her pen area, she is completely preoccupied with trying to get out to play. If I allow her to get out of the pen and she hasn't gone potty, I end up having to follow her everywhere and grab her when she starts. I'm concerned that her potty area is too close to her "living" area (her crate, food, and water), and also that the the attention of the other pets in the house is making her too anxious to pee. I feel terrible watching her cry to get out of her pen while trying to tell he to go potty on the wee-pad.
Our puppy is already about 12 weeks old, and I'm concerned that I have lost valuable training time because of her illness. I obviously have to train her to use an indoor method for now.
Any advise would be so helpful! Thanks!