Frequently Asked Questions

Over the years, my clients have asked me some questions about housetraining that I didn't cover when I wrote the first edition of this Guide. So, I've decided to include them in this chapter since some of you may experience the same problems.

1) We are training 2 puppies at the same time; do you have any suggestions on this unique situation?

Do exactly the same thing for both. Keep a log for each one of them so you'll know exactly as weeks go by who needs to go out and when. When you raise two puppies it is EXTREMELY important to spend a lot of time with each one of them separately. You don't want the puppies to get more attached to each other than to you. In other words, they should play less together than they play with you.

2) My dog is a very bright, very happy puppy. I crated her from the beginning, following all of the rules. She is able to be out of her crate all night from the time I come back home from work until the time I leave for work in the a.m. When I began to introduce her to the house about a month ago, she was very good at first, being able to be left alone for 34 hours. My problem is that I am unable to leave my dog unattended now as she is eliminating in the house if left unattended! I have returned her to the crate while I am out, but how will I know when it is safe to trust her again to be introduced to the house and how do I know when she is housebroken?

What I suspect is that you let your dog too much freedom too soon. Small dogs take longer to be housetrained. When you start introducing the house to your dog, she should stay under your complete supervision at all time. If she has an accident, you can then react quickly and take her outside immediately.

It's ok to let her in her crate when you leave. In fact, both my dogs go to their crate when I go out and they have been housetrained for years. The crate is a safe place for them and I don't have to worry about them.

When will you know that she is housetrained? When your dog will start asking you to go out. It would mean that she really understands where she is supposed to eliminate. For this, it is very important to observe your puppy's behavior, in particular when you know it's time for her to go out. Some dogs will sit beside the door, others will whine. My Golden comes to me and push my elbow when he needs to go out. Maybe your puppy is trying to let you know, but you just haven't noticed it. Don't worry, with a little bit of practice, and trial and error, you'll be able to interpret your dog's "language" very well. When you're a first time dog owner, you have so much to learn and to take care of that observing your dog is not the first thing that comes to your mind.

Here's one full-proof trick I taught my dogs to let me know they have to go out: tie a bell on a two-foot thread and hang it from the door handle (the door you always use to take your dog out). EVERY time you'll bring her out, hold a treat in your hand just beside the bell. Your puppy will try to get the treat out of your hand with her paw or her nose. When she does, ring the bell, say "good girl", give her the treat and go outside. Gradually, she will try to touch the bell with her paws or nose. Again, praise her, give her the treat and go outside. If you do this every time, within a couple of weeks, your puppy will ring the bell when she needs to go out.

Updated news: Hi, I've learned in the past two weeks that when my dog jumps up and rests her paws on my legs that she is telling me she wants to go out! Because she does not bark at me when doing so, I thought she wanted attention! So when she does so, I ask her if she wants to go out and then it is clear that this is what she wants!

3) We are having a very difficult time. This dog does not want to go outside. We keep taking him out every 15 minutes, but he holds it and waits until he is in his crate! He used to go on the kitchen floor, then we started to crate him more strictly--so now he just goes there!! The poor thing never gets a chance to play because we have to keep him in the crate. We have started timing his feeding. He has gone poop outsider's the peeing that he just won't do.

I read somewhere about the playpen method. Confining him to a playpen and training him to go in one area and gradually moving that outside. Do you think we should try that?

The playpen method is the same as my "domain" method. What I would suggest is to confine him to a playpen or part of a room (his domain as I

explained in the book). Follow the "paper management" instructions provided in chapter 8 on paper training. What you want is for him to

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All Rights Reserved Worldwide eliminate on a piece of paper that you will bring outside when it's time for him to go. The smell ofhis urine will prompt him to eliminate and that's how he will get the idea that he's supposed to pee outside. Eventually, you won't need the paper anymore. Don't forget to praise him the first time he will pee outside. This will be a breakthrough and you want him to remember it.

For the moment, I would not use the crate since he thinks that it is the place where he can eliminate. However, make sure he's safe in his domain / playpen and provide him with some sort ofbedding and chew toys.

Don't worry, this phase won't last forever. I would also suggest to keep a log ofhis "peeing habits". Write down when he drinks and when he pees. You'll know in no time how his internal system works and you will be able to bring him outside at the right moment. Be patient when you are outside, take him on leash to the designated spot and wait. Maybe 15 minutes is not enough for him.

I would praise him lavishly when he poops outside and play for a good 5-10 minutes. He may decide to pee during the play and that would be a very good start. Ifhe does, praise, praise, praise and reward him with more play, a treat, a walk, whatever makes him very happy. We want him to associate peeing outside with a "super" reward. It won't take him long to realize that he has to pee before getting his reward and your problem will then be solved.

4) Should I be limiting my puppy's water intake during the day as well as taking it up at night?

Yes. During the housetraining period, you should limit your puppy's water intake and don't give her water after 7 p.m.

5) My puppy lives at two different houses, one inside and one outside. Is it possible to housetrain a puppy at one house and not at the other one? It stays at my house for one week and then goes to the other one. At my house, the puppy is inside. At the other house, it is outside in a kennel/shed.

Yes, absolutely. Your puppy can be housetrained at your place. He/she will learn that he/she can't soil inside your house. Most dogs don't generalize or barely do. In other words, they can behave completely differently from one place to the other. If you are consistent, your puppy will learn that at your place eliminating inside is not acceptable.

How To Housetrain Any Dog

How To Housetrain Any Dog

Fundamentals of Dog and Puppy Training. Although dogs shouldn't be attributed with having human characteristics, they are intelligent enough to be able to understand the concept of, and execute, certain actions that their owners require of them - if these actions are asked in a way that dogs find rewarding.

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