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.