House Training

This is probably one of the most difficult areas for many owners to conquer. George was very easy, he was house trained at 14 weeks. He went to the door and barked. Archie was a completely different story. He's 11 months and still not totally reliable. He'll stand by the door, but not make a noise. Not particularly helpful if we're not in the room to see him. Don't get stressed. Remember, it will come eventually. It may take a lot of time and patience. Eventually one day it'll all click into place and you'll forget the nightmare that it once seemed.
Forget all that rubbish, "How to toilet train your dog in 2 weeks!" It's NONSENSE. Like humans, all dogs are different and will learn at different times. Routine & consistency helps. Not always possible with the hectic lives that we lead. Also like humans, each dog learns at different rates and they all have their own individual personalities.
If you can get him to 'go' where you eventually want him to each time. We found that paper training was ok, BUT we then had to retrain Archie outside.
I always recommend keeping puppy confined to one room. Even a puppy pen, like a child's play pen. Given too much freedom is too much for a young puppy to cope with. Also, from a safety point of view this can be a good idea. As he's so young he will 'go' everywhere. Keeping him confined teaches him that this is his territory and he'll be less likely to soil what's his. As he get older and more reliable you can give him more freedom.
Remembering simple rules should help:
  1. When a young dog eats, he will need to eliminate almost immediately. Dogs up to 3 months old will need to eliminate 8-10 times a day.
  2. When he wakes from a nap, Puggy will likely need to 'go'.
  3. If he's on a dry diet, he'll need more water and will therefore need to 'go' more often.
  4. Make sure his last meal and drink take place at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  5. Keep mealtimes regular, don't give free access to food, that way, you'll know when he'll need to 'go'. Also, at bedtime, take away the water from his dish and replace it with ice cubes. That way he can relive any thirst but not drink huge quantities that'll require him to 'go'.
  6. NEVER scold an accident. Rubbing noses in it etc, is cruel and serves no purpose other than freaking puggy out and making him fearful of you. You can show your displeasure by firmly saying, 'ah ah' but only if you catch him in the act. As a guide, use the '1 second rule'. If more than 1 second has passed, you're dog will have forgotten what he's done and any reprimand will be futile.
  7. Once you notice your dog sniffing a particular area, or circling, its a pretty good indication that the want to 'go'. This is a good time to intervene and place the dog where you'd like them to go, speaking calmly with an encouraging tone. If they do 'go' praise enthusiastically and offer a tasty, healthy treat to reinforce the behaviour. Please remember to consider treats as part of your dogs daily food allowance. Overfeeding is as cruel as underfeeding. A fat dog will have a poor quality of life.
As owners, we need to try to determine when we think he needs to go, even before he know's himself! Don't beat yourself up, it'll come in time. Be vigilant, watch for the sniffing and circling. Keep mealtimes regular. All part of the fun of puppy ownership. Remember, Puggy's not having accidents to upset you, even though it may feel like it at times. He really does want to please you...honest. We thought that Archie had been sent by the devil to terrorise us! Like we said, all dogs are different. George & Archie have the same Dad, but are not at all alike. Archie is better at recall than George was as a puppy.

If you do feel yourself getting frustrated, leave the room and come back when you're feeling calmer. Also using a biological cleaner should kill off the smell and stop him returning to the same spot. You can make up a solution of 1 tablespoon of biological washing powder dissolved in 0.5L of water to keep handy for such events.

Immediately on waking and eating take him outside or to a spot that you consider suitable. Waiting for him to 'go' may take up to 15 minutes. Be patient and don't worry too much, he's still young.

Praising and rewarding is the best method but, a lesson we learned was that George quickly learned to crouch down, as if he was going, just to get a treat! Very clever
Also when he does 'go' where you want him to, start to introduce a word. This can be anything from, 'get busy' to 'hurry up'. The words you use are not important, just that you use them to mean a specific thing. Eventually he may learn to 'go' on command. This is way down the line, but you can start to introduce the phrase when he's successful. Good luck

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