Housetraining Your Dog

KLADCkrs

Well-Known Member
Owned by
3 cockers
Housetraining Your Dog

The major key to housetraining your dog is consistency. You have to remember that he has no idea that he should potty outside. From the time he was born, he hasn’t had to worrying about controlling his bowel or bladder, he could potty anywhere at any time. Of course, this isn’t how most people choose to live with dogs, so some training is required. Puppies, just like young children, thrive on schedules and consistency. So make sure that even before you bring your puppy home, you consider what kind of potty schedule you will want him to follow. A typical potty-training schedule goes something like this:

· Wake up, take puppy outside immediately (before using the washroom yourself). I often carry the puppy outside to avoid any accidents along the way.
· Feed puppy, take puppy outside again
· Crate puppy while you shower and get ready for the day
· Take puppy outside - if puppy potties outside (both #1 and #2), bring him inside and play with him for 15-20 minutes. If not, put puppy back in crate for 15-20 minutes, and then take him outside.
· Crate puppy and spend time around the house, doing chores or running errands – keep in mind that puppies can only be expected to hold their bladder for the length of time equal to their age in months plus one. So a 3 month old puppy should only be asked to stay clean in its crate for up to 4 hours. This is a guideline only, it varies per individual puppy.
· Take puppy outside, as per the fourth bullet point

As a rule of thumb, puppies need to use the bathroom right after waking up from a sleep, after eating and after playing. During the times that your puppy is in the house with you (play time), ensure that your puppy is supervised at all times. This means either having the dog blocked into the same room as you, or tethering the dog to your waist using a 6 foot leash. Although this can be awkward, it’s the only way to ensure that your puppy isn’t going off to another room of the house to potty. Another important point is the size of the crate. Some people want to buy their puppies the biggest crate they can find, to ensure that the dog is comfortable. Unless the puppy is having secret parties in his crate, he is just going to chew a toy or sleep. So a crate that is large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lay down in is sufficient. If the crate is too large, some puppies will potty at one end of the crate and then sleep in the other end of it.

If you absolutely refuse to use a crate to housetrain your dog, it will make the job much more difficult, especially if you work outside the home. If you must use an alternative method, choose a small room in the house that you can use baby gates to block your dog into (such as a laundry room or a bathroom). It’s preferable to choose a room that has easy to clean flooring, in case of accidents. Place a bed in the room, as well as one or two safe chew toys (nothing that can be chewed up and ingested), and a small bowl of water. Most puppies are likely to keep their sleeping area clean, as long as the space isn’t too large and that the puppy isn’t left alone for too long.

When your puppy does potty outside, praise him like he is the smartest dog you have ever seen. Make a huge deal, and have a puppy party in the backyard. Give him a high-value treat, like a piece of hot dog, or something else that is easy to eat. It is important to go outside with your puppy, so that you know when he is pottying outside versus when he is just playing outside. It is also important that you praise and give him the treat as soon as he does his business. Don’t wait until he comes back inside the house, otherwise he will think he’s being rewarded for coming inside. If you simply put your puppy outside without accompanying him, then you will never know for sure that your dog has done his business. He may just be going outside to play, and then he may forget to potty. It sounds odd, but this can happen, especially with a very active puppy that has a short attention span (which is almost every puppy in the world).

Many people teach their dogs to potty on command. This is not hard to do. Choose a word, such as “go potty” or “do your business” that isn’t too embarrassing to say in your backyard. Then, watch your puppy, and when he starts to potty, say the word and then praise like crazy. If you do this consistently, the dog will learn to potty on command. This can be very helpful when you are traveling with your dog, and only have short breaks in which your dog can potty. It can also be helpful to have your dog potty on a variety of surfaces while he is young enough to not have formed opinions about where he should go to the bathroom. Otherwise you may end up with a dog that refuses to potty on anything but grass, and if you’re in a paved parking lot, that just won’t work.

If you do happen to catch your dog eliminating in the house, do NOT yell at the dog or hit the dog. Accidents are not the puppy’s fault. We are the ones responsible for training the dog, and if an accident occurs, it means we weren’t paying close enough attention. If you do catch the puppy, speak sharply to get the puppy’s attention. Pick him up and take him outside quickly. Use the cue word for pottying, and then praise the world if he does finish his business outside. Give him about 10-15 minutes to finish off. If he doesn’t do anything, bring him inside and place him in his crate for 20 minutes or so, and then try taking him outside again. If you do start yelling at or hitting your dog when you catch him pottying in the house, he will become afraid to potty in front of you. Then he will simply search for places to hide from you while he potties, either inside or outside. It’s much better to prevent accidents through diligence and attention.
 
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manuel

Administrator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
Thank you Kelly. I'll read it over tonight when I have a chance. :)
 

KLADCkrs

Well-Known Member
Owned by
3 cockers
I realize now that I've actually posted this twice . . . but I appreciate it being a sticky, since it's useful information.
 

sab3mmom

Well-Known Member
Owned by
2 cockers
Not sure you could post it too many times you know. It just takes time for the new one to get used to you as new parent and vice versa. With each of my four rescues adopted last year there was three MONTHS worth of adjusting, accommodating, and sleepless nights for EACH pooch. Each one was a special case. Bringing on yet another and another mixed it up even more. Seems they were all of them day/night confused and I found out by accident that the rescue lady works at night! Coco with his extended needs at 13 when I adopted him...I had to carry him in and out and he woke up numerous times per night! Like having a newborn baby actually. Four of them added last year and maybe sometime this year I get to sleep through the night! Last one I brought in was Charlie and he was a yard dog prior to coming here. You'd think he wouldn't pee in the house right? Wrong. He was sooo hungry he missed his a.m. wee break and did it in the house. With four it took me a while to figure who was the problem but when I figured it out, I knew I had to encourage Charlie to go wee on first call instead of leaving it to his own self. So he's not allowed back in the house until he does the deed on first call! Same with Coco. He's sooo anxious to get back in the house to eat he doesn't go poop so a second trip right after he eats is mandatory. Gots to take time and learn each other's routine...modify modify modify if you can and then go on to live happily ever after!
 

KLADCkrs

Well-Known Member
Owned by
3 cockers
I agree Sharon - every dog that you bring into your home requires adjustments from everybody. I'm very fortunate that Grace & Jack settled in easily when I brought them home, but it took AGES for Farley to adjust, and he still has issues with Jack.''

I actually physically go outside with my dogs to make sure they potty - each and every time, rain, snow or sunshine. If I just put them outside, they pee, sniff, play and want to come in, without ever pooping. So this is what works for me.

Even with my good advice, I'm fighting a bit with Jack, who prefers to pee in the house if he can get away with it. I know he's getting too much freedom, but I have a really hard time crating him when I'm home since he's confined all day while I'm at work. So I have to be better at watching him . . . and I've made a real effort to improve MYSELF in this instance.
 

Fostermom

Senior Member
Owned by
Over 10 cockers
oh yeah, and I'm working on his belly bands -- between that and the raffle stuff.
 

KLADCkrs

Well-Known Member
Owned by
3 cockers
No mad rush . . . he's wearing Farley's for now and they're working. But they're tight, so that makes them a bit uncomfortable for him. But I can borrow some from Jackie until his are done. No worries Linny :)
 

manuel

Administrator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
KLADCkrs said:
So a 3 month old puppy should only be asked to stay clean in its crate for up to 4 hours.
I've used a 4hr potty interval on Gabby when he was recuperating from knee surgery. It worked out well. We also use a 4hr interval in the hospital for patients who are unable to void for themselves.

Potty training is a full time job. We were fortunate. My wife was off work when she potty trained Gabby.

KLADCkrs said:
If you simply put your puppy outside without accompanying him, then you will never know for sure that your dog has done his business.
This is so true. Gabby expects to be walked for his potty. He'll just stand on the porch if you let him out. I'll hide snacks in the yard sometimes. He walks around looking for them and goes potty while he's at it.
 

KLADCkrs

Well-Known Member
Owned by
3 cockers
I broke one of my own rules last night, and for the last trip outside for the night I put the boys out by themselves (it's -30 Celsius and I was being wimpy). I know they both peed, but Jack came inside and promptly pooped on the floor. Totally my fault, and I know better. Somebody smack me with a rolled up newspaper please!
 

manuel

Administrator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
Gabby would poop at my mom's house. It's a long drive and he was excited to see her cats and dogs. First thing we did when we got there was take him potty.

This is off topic: It was my first time at a dog show. I thought those little potty stalls were neat. They had many scattered throughout the auditorium. ^_^
 

SkiSel2003

New Member
Owned by
1 cocker
This was great for me when I got bubble first we were getting pee and poop everywhere no matter how consistent we were for her she just didn't want to go outside then I used the creat idea and in the last 3 days we have had 1 accident and she now even runs to the back door when she wants to go when we don't have her in the crate so thanks for the advice it was a great help for me :cool:
 

cockermom

Well-Known Member
Owned by
2 cockers
Good information. So many people just don't spend the time to do it right and then want to get rid of the "bad" dog.:(

Mine are great thankfully, there is very rarely an accident, unless someone gets sick. Knock on wood :)
 

yesjess82

New Member
Owned by
1 cocker
What if your puppy is only 3 months old and you live in a city. We really want to crate train him and teach him to only potty outside but is he too young to take outside? Please help!
 

manuel

Administrator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
What if your puppy is only 3 months old and you live in a city. We really want to crate train him and teach him to only potty outside but is he too young to take outside? Please help!
If your concern is about parvo and other infectious diseases you can train him indoors. Let your puppy know where the potty area is inside. You can work on the outdoor training later.

[video=youtube;lcTPB2Jh0EI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcTPB2Jh0EI[/video]
 

Kathy

Well-Known Member
Owned by
2 cockers
This is a wonderful post and I agree with every word! I also use a bell with potty training which works great. It is a long ribbon with a bell on the end of it which hangs on the door we always go out. When I have a new baby I ring the bell each time we go out to potty,after about a week puppy will start looking at it and touching it....time for lots of praise,in a few more days they will ring it,time for huge praise. Some dogs take up to it very quick,others take a little longer,some are so smart they figure out ring the bell and I get to go outside...lol. I also am very quiet when puppy is outside and as soon as he is finished with his business it is party time and a yummy treat. My new boy is the easiest I have ever had,within a week he is already on a eating,peeing and sleeping schedule and starting to ring the bell. Sure makes life earier when they learn so quickly. But just as Kelly stated it is our job to train them as they have no idea what to do till taught correctly.
 
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SmootchiePooch

New Member
I agree with you about training your dog to go on command. In fact, my dog knows the difference between "go potty" and "go poopie." This is such a helpful tool when you walk your dogs and it's freezing outside. The way I did it was telling her what I wanted her to do and praised her when she did it just like any other trick I wanted her to learn. The one thing I wish I taught her at a younger age is to ring a bell at the door when she needs to go.
 

SmootchiePooch

New Member
When we're done with our walk if she hasn't gone number 1 or 2, I tell her to do the business she hasn't completed before we go in.
 

Chris A

New Member
We've had our chocolate cocker spaniel Coco for nearly two weeks and I can speak directly to the crate training method. My wife got bad advice on a crate and bought one way too large and Coco was having accidents every night. Luckily we recognized the problem right away and bought a more appropriate crate size for her (and fortunately managed to sell the other to a coworker for the same price we paid!).

Indoor accidents still happened but in the first week we thought we were making good progress...until she contracted Giardia. It wasn't during that first two days of nasty symptoms the accidents were happening (thankfully!) but as soon as we got back from the vet she started having much more accidents in the house. She's only allowed on the main floor which is all engineered hardwood and we removed all the door mats (as that seemed to be where she wanted to go) but it continued so we stepped up our game and watched her like a hawk, created her more during the day while we were too preoccupied with two young boys and she's back on track, even asking to go outside a few times.

It's barely been two weeks but I'm hoping these (and a few other) signs prove her to be the good dog we expect her to be!
 

dizzy

Well-Known Member
I know I'll need to be getting a crate B4 I get my puppy, I just don't know what size to get.
 
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