We brought our boy Spike home the weekend after Thanksgiving and he will be 13 weeks old tomorrow. I have to admit, this has been a struggle so I'm looking for a little guidance and advice. This is our first ever dog.
Background: my wife and I have two small girls ages 3 & 6. We live in a split level home with a big, but un-fenced backyard. Spike is too scared to go down stairs, so he's confined to the upstairs. We're crate training, and if I'm being honest, he's stuck in his crate a lot of the day.
So far, a normal day goes like this. My wife wakes up at 6:00AM and takes Spike outside to pee/poop. She brings him inside, gives him food & water inside his crate where he stays for awhile. I try to wake up at 6:30 to take him on a short 20 minute walk, but unfortunately I was sick for a couple weeks, so that hasn't been a routine yet. He gets to go outside to relieve himself at least once more (often twice) before we leave for work at 8:00 AM. My wife and I both come home for lunch from 11:30 to 12:30, so he gets to go outside twice, once when we get home, and once before we leave. We get off work at 5:00 PM and get home in 15 minutes after picking up the kids from after school program and daycare. (We live in a small town.) He gets to go out immediately when we get home to eliminate. Then I try to take him for a longer walk right away. He's back in his crate for supper because we can't watch him and feed our girls, and he will pee on the carpet guaranteed. He goes out several times to pee/poop in the evening and for sure right before we go to bed. He whines to be let out at least twice each night.
Now the past couple days he started barking a lot. He'd bark in the middle of the night. Like he wants out of his crate. I don't blame him, but we can't always watch him and he'll pee on the carpet. I hate to admit but when he was barking too much, I gave in and alpha rolled him for about 10 seconds and yelled at him to "STOP BARKING!" It must have scared him, because today I can yell "stop barking!" from another room and he'll stop. But I feel bad and hope Spike isn't scared of me. He doesn't seem to be scared to be with me, though he is slightly more submissive today around me.
Here's where we need help... We want to train him but just don't know where to start. I've read posts, articles, watched YouTube videos, but it's overwhelming me and I don't know what step one is. If I let him out of his crate, bring him outside to eliminate, and then let him roam around upstairs while supervised, he's crazy unless he's chewing on a bone. If I take this 13 week old puppy on a 2-3 mile walk, make sure he eliminates before coming inside the house, and let him stay out of his crate, he's still crazy! He almost weighs as much as our 3 year old and jumps on her and bites her hair. He's actually knocked her over from behind and tried to chew on her hair.
I know he wants to behave and needs training. It's going to be my responsibility to do the training. Yes my wife will help, but I've been put in charge of making that happen. I just don't know where to start. Do I focus on learning to "come" or "sit" or what? How do I get him started on training when he's so crazy?
Going to a trainer or obedience class isn't an option unfortunately. The only classes available right now are in the early evenings and over a 1 hour drive each way, so 2 hours total. With work until 5:00 and two young children to feed and bathe and spend time with, and first grade homework (I can't believe how much homework my 6 year old gets), we just can't be on the road for 2 hours.
I'm determined to train Spike and am willing to be patient, but unsure how to start, so it's frustrating and things aren't starting out that well. For example, use treats to train. Which kinds of treats??? Sigh... I'm probably making this too hard, but as I said, we're new to this, so WE NEED TRAINING so that we can properly train Spike. I hope that makes sense.