Saturday, 23 January 2010

Housetraining your pup or older dog

Whatever you do, never ever tell your pup off for toileting in the house in front of you, no matter how tempting that might be. Doing so just tells him that he mustn't let you see him do it so he won't go if you stand outside with him either but rather wait until he is back indoors and your attention is taken by something else!

*Take pup outside when he wakes up, after he has eaten and also every hour to an hour and a half during the day as well, especially when he is first learning - this amount of time can be lengthened in short increments as he gets better at it.

*Repeat a word or phrase when he is outside (I use 'Get it done!) and praise hugely when he 'performs'.

*Ignore all mistakes and clean them up without a word - it was a humans fault that it happened as they were not watching for the signs.

*If he sneaks off to do it (maybe because of being told off for doing it in front of his owner!) then be aware of that and keep an eye on him.

*Using paper is up to you but I prefer to teach pups to go outside.

*At night time, it does help if the pup is taken out last thing before you go to bed and then bedded down in a restricted area like a crate or puppy pen. Or you can block off a part of the room with an old fireguard or heavy, large objects etc.

*In the morning, take the pup outside as soon as you can, ignoring any mess he may have made overnight. I tend not to let my pups go beyond 7 or 8 hours at night.

Housetraining will take far longer if you work or go out a lot as nobody is there to teach him so be aware of that. Some toy breeds are reputed to take longer to train so a little more work and vigilance may be needed with them, bearing in mind that tiny dogs have tiny bladders and bowels so may need to go that bit more often.

Remember that a dogs housetraining may take a backward step if it has been stressed by something, like a move or someone new has joined the household, or indeed someone may have left. Fireworks or thunder may also cause a lapse in cleanliness - when you are stressed or scared do you not want to go to the loo more often? Illness, particularly urine infections can cause temporary incontinence too so if your previously clean dog suddenly becomes dirty it may be wise to get him/her checked out by a vet.

Finally, be prepared! Have a bucket or tub somewhere handy with kitchen towel, cloths, disinfectant and a carpet cleaning spray in it along with plastic bags to put the soiled kitchen roll or cloths into. Clear up the mess first and then wash the area thoroughly with a fluid designed to get rid of smells at source rather than one that just masks them. I personally use Odor-Kill, both in my yard and in the house if ever an accident occurs.

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