House Training: the bane of all new dog owners!
- For all dogs, but especially for small dogs such as Puddles the Peek-a-poo, house training is a big issue. But, it doesn’t have to be the breaking point for you and Puddles if you follow these basic principles:
1) choose a place outside where you want Puddles to potty;
2) reduce the possibility that Puddles will piddle in the wrong place;
3) ignore mistakes; and
4) reward heavily when Puddly-poo is successful.
And please note: punishing Puddles for inappropriate piddling won’t solve the problem. Rather, management is the key to setting any dog up for successful house training! Here are some basic management techniques that will make your life easier and help Puddles make good decisions.*
- While training Puddles to go outside it is important to reduce as much as possible the opportunities for mistakes. Do not leave Puddles unsupervised until you are sure he is asking to go out on a consistent basis. (My rule of thumb is 3 weeks without an accident).
- If you cannot supervise Puddles, have him in a crate with a Kong, chewy, or anything that will keep him happy and occupied in the crate.
- When Puddles is with you, have him on a leash that is tethered to you or a piece of furniture near you so that you can keep an eye on him and get him outside when he shows signs of needing to eliminate. When Puddles does start to act as if he needs to potty, take him outside on his leash so that you have control over where he goes and he can’t just wander off.
- Keep in mind that dogs’ bladders tend to “wake-up” during transitions between activities, such as, the transition from playing to not-playing, eating to not-eating, sleeping to waking, etc. When Puddles transitions, snap a leash on him and take him outside immediately. If he does not potty in 5 minutes, put him in a crate and wait 10 minutes. Take him out again, leash him, and lead him outside. Repeat this 5-minutes-on-10-minutes in crate pattern until Puddles piddles. Then reward him with treats, praise, and play.
- If Puddles starts to eliminate and you can catch him, interrupt the process with a “Whoopsie!”, and get him outside as fast as you can. Even if he only passes a small amount of urine or feces, reward him heavily for going in the right place.
- If you find an “accident” just clean it up and keep trying!
*For information on how to get your dog to tell you he needs to go outside, check out this Sept. 2013 blog post:http://apositiveconnection.com/2013/09/house-training-how-do-i-get-sparky-to-tell-me-he-needs-to-go-out/