House Training

I feel bad for people living in an open plan house. I mean it must be great for kids to run around AND you’re not bumping into everything. However, if you get a puppy, it’s an uphill battle on the house training.

Just because your puppy happens to pee on the grass when you set them down outside, doesn’t mean that they KNOW they’re not supposed to potty in the house. It will take MONTHS for the puppy to learn this. If your house is open plan and you’re not limiting access to areas with a thousand baby gates and x-pens, then you’re basically screwed. Your puppy WILL have accidents and there will be many of them. Your puppy will pee on that expensive rug because soft absorbent rugs are the very best places a puppy can find to pee.

Also, your puppy might learn HOW to communicate the need to potty (or you might learn the signs) in your own home. However, don’t expect them to know how to communicate at a new location. Heck, even YOU have to ask where the bathroom is.

When you limit a puppy’s freedom to go where they want to go they’re going to be pretty pissed (Covid lockdown anyone???).

So, we have to create an environment where:

  • If they have an accident we’re not going to be stressed.
  • Easy clean up of accidents.
  • Limit their access to the whole world.
  • We can see what they’re doing and getting into.

We’re going to take them out to potty:

  • Every 30min while they’re awake and active.
  • Immediately after they eat or hit the water bowl hard.
  • Immediately after they wake from a nap or we get up for the day.
  • About 10min before we leave for the day to go to work (I’ll explain that reason later).
  • After a play session.
  • During a play session, if they suddenly break off from playing to go and sniff something.

So why am I pottying the dog 10 minutes before I leave for the day? Dogs are MASTERS at learning everything we don’t want them to learn.

Imagine a situation where every time you pee your freedom is immediately taken away from you…Yes, that is EXACTLY the kind of scenario your dog is capable of learning. “Dear Puppy, The moment I get your second pee out of you, I’m going to bundle you into your crate and leave for the day. You don’t mind, do you?”

Your puppy is ALWAYS learning. Unfortunately, we generally only figure out what we’ve taught them once it’s too late.

Puppies are HARD!

Puppies are hard… Really hard! 

Scramble joined the Kudos family on last Thursday. She’s a 10 week old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. 

Trying to standardize training cues throughout the family and friends will be an uphill battle. Thankfully most everyone knows how important it is to me that we do this correctly. 

Each time we pick her up to take her outside, we tell her “Pick-up”, then we pick her up, and give her treats while she’s in our arms.

She’s fascinated with going under the desk where all the cables are. I’m going to have to engineer something to keep her out of there while we reinforce the settle on the Cato board. 

Letter to Scramble

Dearest Scramble,

About six months ago I had to say goodbye to our Mom. She’s been hurting a lot since then but once she heard about you, I saw that she was filled with joy again. 

You might hear talk about this Malinois, larger than life, that changed your Mom’s world. Ignore it all. 

Your job in life is to take Mom on a bold, new, wild adventure, one that I could never be a part of. I took myself too seriously and only let my guard down when I was really too old to enjoy it. 

You’re going to have the bestest life with Mom and Auntie Kristin to look over you. I hear that you’ll even be meeting Auntie Michelle too, please remember to give Kim a kiss from me.

I’ll be watching you always, keeping you safe, like I did for our Mom. Please try to make friends with Tuppence. I was too set in my ways, but she seemed like she could be pretty cool… For a cat at least.

Most importantly, have fun, play, roll in some really stinky stuff, and don’t take the world too seriously.

Your friend and confidant from the other side,