Longer Post (moving and a lot of changes for puppy)
I'd like to go ahead and state that this post might be lengthy, and a lot will be packed into it. I think it will be easiest to list my questions and then some of the background info (I'll try to break it up into relevant parts pertaining to my questions) :
1. Should I begin crate training my dog?
2. How can I get him to stop barking for attention/when someone enters the home?
3. Tips to get him to start pooing on a peewee pad
4. What are things I should be prepared for with the upcoming move and drastic changes?
5. Tips on long car rides (upwards of 13 hours) 4-5 times a year.
Info about my puppy
Age: 2.5 years old
Breed: Yorkshire Terrier
Current Living Space:
I've had Nixon for two and a half years. I was a full time college student, did not live at home (where Nixon lives), and was extremely active in extracurriculars (I would make several trips to my home where Nixon lives throughout the week). Nixon has been with our 3 year old Shih Tzu, Mattie, since we brought him home. They stay in a large bathroom connected a small sitting room.
We live in NorthEast TN with a lot of land, but no fencing. We typically take the dogs out in the early morning, use pee-wee pads during the day, and let them run around our screened in porch for around an hour in the evening. Nixon pees on the pee-wee pads around 90% of the time, but will not poo on them.
Nixon is also used to not seeing me all the time. When he 0.5-1.5 he would maybe see me three-six times a week. My mom or my sister were usually the ones to see him. From 1.5 until now (2.5) he sees me pretty much daily, I'm usually the one feeding him in the evening, walking him, letting him outside, and definitely giving him the most attention. However, over the past two months or so he has started to bark constantly after I've played with him for about half an hour or so, go for a long walk, or take him to a friend's house. It seems like he's been getting much more attention from me, and is barking because he wants more. He also is very noisy whenever someone comes home. Our Shih Tzu he stays with always starts barking first when someone comes in and Nixon follows suit.
The Future and Why I am on this Forum:
Soon Nixon will be going through some drastic
changes, and they are ones that I cannot prevent. I will be going to law school and moving into an apartment in Miami, FL. I'll be bringing Nixon, and I am worried about the questions I brought up in the beginning. He will be in a small apartment, and depending on how he does he might have to be put up in my room (with a doggie gate) during the day until I can get home from school (he already stays in a large bathroom connected to a sitting room with a doggie gate).
Some of my biggest concerns are
-breaking him from his new hobby of barking for attention -barking when someone enters the home (apartments have neighbors)
-13 hour car rides (4-5 trips per year)
-not pooing on pee-wee pad (like I said he is good about peeing on them)
-dealing with the separation from out Shih Tzu
-dealing with a brand new environment
-not seeing familiar faces of my mom and sister
-not seeing me from potentially anywhere between 4-7 hours during the day
Should I look into crate training and is it something that might help ease him into the changes?
I still have 3/4 months before moving so there is some time to start training him or making accommodations so that he can start getting used to changes.
*** Sorry for all the information, it was just a lot of questions and I wanted to provide as much background information as possible. I am looking for really solid advice and hope that all the details I have provided can help achieve that. I am sure some people might give advice on giving him away or leaving him at home neither of which I will do: Nixon has to come with me (my sister is moving for college and mom does not have the time to take care of him full time with her job). Giving him away is not an option, and that may be selfish but I love the little guy and he is genuinely one of my best friends. It's just not something I am willing to do, and I do not care how much of an effort someone puts into telling me to do it. I will do everything I can to ensure he is healthy and loved, but I will not make a decision to give him away without making every attempt first.