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House Training For A Small Dog

It is so exciting to bring home that fuzzy warm puppy. He kisses your face and wags his tail in a promise to be a wonderful addition to your life. You are excited to do everything right. You keep your puppy in a crate at night and when you are not home, you take him out every couple of hours and after the second or third day he gets the idea and pees and poops outside and all is happy and good. He earns more freedom and is allowed to run around the house and follow you from room to room. This is great, he is so smart.

However, after the first week or two, all is not well on the home front. You start finding poo behind the sofa, pee on the bathroom mat and on the living room rug.

What Happened to my brilliant puppy?? He was so good why is this happening?

He is smarter than you think; making inside wherever you are is much easier than waiting to be taken out.

You have to rethink your program. What happened is too much freedom too soon. You assumed that it was important to him to go out in the grass and not in the house. Wrong! What is important to fuzzy face is food, treats and play, the rest is a chore and if you can get away with not doing it, all the better.

Back to square one. Night in the crate, first thing in the morning out to the grass. If he doesn't go, which he may not now that he discovered it's easier to go on the rug, back in the crate. Breakfast, out again if he goes, Good Dog!! Give treat, now he earns an hour or two run around, being watched all the while. If you see him sniffing around a spot where he dirtied before or beginning to assume the position, yell, No, No, No, grab him and whisk him out to the grass. If you catch him in the act yell NO, NO, NO! Stamp your feet, yell at him, wave your arms the idea is to make him think what he did was very wrong and you are really mad. If he doesn't cower you are not making your point. Remember, this is a dog, not a child, he must understand you are in charge. Pick him up and take him outside. He probably will just sit there in the grass; that's OK. I know you already missed it but you can't tell him making inside is wrong unless you show him what is right. Give him several minutes to think about what just occurred. Bring him in, let him walk around. If he sulks and won't look at you, all the better. You've made your point. DON'T go apologize to him. He will get over it and come to you. After two hours, out again, and so on. Do not use the crate as a punishment. Dogs do NOT understand a "Time Out" and you do not want to associate his crate with punishment. The crate should become his little house; a safe place where he will go in himself to nap or play toys.

If you have the room, a great device is called an exercise pen. It is an eight jointed wire panel pen with heights available from 18 inches (too short) to 36 inches. I use 24 inches, which can be set up in any configuration you want. Usually a circle is good. You can put food and water dishes, pee pads and toys into the pen and it gives him more freedom to play around but not loose in the house until he is housebroken. It can be used inside and outside as well.

When you are busy or taking a shower or otherwise occupied, put the little darling in his crate. Better safe than sorry. When you are finished with what you are doing, take him outside as soon as you let him out of his crate.

I know this sounds like a lot of work but like anything in life that's worth having it take work in the beginning and you will have a housebroken dog for the next 15 years.

Paper training is also an option with a little dog. I will discuss that next time. My dogs are duel trained, meaning if I let them out they poop outside, but if I'm busy or not home they use the pad by the back door.

Until next time:

Try to be as wonderful as you dog thinks you are.

Myra's Puppies - Fort Lauderdale Bichon Frise Breeder
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Phone: (954) 434-4116.
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