Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Potty training tips!

Little Sammy was away at Grandma's for two weeks and regressed with his semi-potty trained regime. Sammy pooped and peed repeatedly in the house. When I worked with Sammy's owners it was decided that they are going to committ to the crate for potty training.

What's the best method for potty training? I believe, from experience, Crate training is the best potty training method along with serious consistency! It should start with a plan and the best way to plan is to keep a log. I will touch on how to make the Crate a Positive place to be in another post... in the meantime- what about this potty training?

I always say.... with anything takes at least 30 days to build a habit! And even then ....maybe longer!! It surely isn't something that happens over night! So let's get that dog consistently going potty where you want him to- probably outside, right!? And reinforce. A week can make a big difference so stick to your trainnig!

Timing: Plan to take your dog out every 1-2 hours and be willing to be flexible if mistakes are made within this timeframe. Gauge your puppy’s threshold on how long he can wait until the next potty break BEFORE an accident occurs. This is where a log is helpful to track success! :)

Look for signs: Look for some signs that your pup needs to go out such as- sniffing the ground, stopping playing, sniffing in circles, starting to squat, play biting more, scratching at crate door, barking at door, racing around the house at lightening speeds, approaching the door.

It's important you "see" your pup go to the bathroom when you take him outside. Don't just assume he went when you let him out... we all know what happens when you assume! ;) Having the dog on leash in the beginning so they don’t wander off and “forget” about what your goal is is equally important as going with your dog to the designated potty area. Eventually you will be able to remove the leash. ** what if they don’t go in that small timeframe? Take them back to the crate or confinement and wait 10-15 minutes and then take them back again starting the process again.

No interruptions:
Try not to be excited when he does go- as happy as you are!-.... the process needs to be "boring" and the last thing you want to do is interrupt him while he is going. If anything, a non-excited "good dog" is sufficient. If you use a clicker you can click and treat after the pup has finished. Reward with a nice high value treat! Leave an impression! Regardless- TREAT afterwards.

Naming the behavior: Since the dog is in the act of "doing" you can name it! Pick a simple cue/word you wish to call it- ie: potty, pee pee, poops, business, etc etc. While the pup is going pee simply "name it" (calmly and just once) while he goes. Feel free to use a separate cue for the poop. I use "potty" for pee and "poops" for poop. :) After some WILL then be able to say the cue to help the dog understand and connect that name with the behavior you are wishing him to go complete!

What if they start to go in the house?? Calmness and making it a “non-event” is important on your part. Quietly guide your dog outside to the potty spot and go through the process of your outside potty training- 3-4 minutes of waiting. If they didn’t finish going potty in the house stay with them outside until they do and then reward them. If they DID complete their business inside you will still guide them outside to the spot for the standard potty time. **now you need to keep a closer eye on the pup until the next potty break!

1 comment:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.