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The first week at home

May 8, 2018

What a week; It has been 20 years since I last looked after a puppy and whilst I knew what to expect the reality is a little different.

Heather amongst other reasons stated she had selected Nell because she appeared relaxed amongst her siblings and indeed she is. That said, she is only a baby and needs time and care.

Running through all of the early days with Nell has been the constant of working on her toilet training. My approach has been very gentle and there is no such thing as NAUGHTY- ON PURPOSE – STUPID – and absolutely NO ROOM FOR SHOUTING – RUBBING NOSE- SMACKING OR ANY TYPE OF NEGATIVE REACTION TO NELL’S LITTLE PUDDLES OR PILES!!

Basically during the first weekend I kept taking her into the garden ( incidentally it rained all weekend ) A lot of this time was spent with Nell exploring her new garden and very little time with her actually doing her toilet. BUT every time she did perform there was lots of praise and fuss.

It is no surprise that using this very positive approach is paying dividends Nell is catching on very quickly. There have been accidents of course, but far more of her toilet is done in the garden then in the house.

nell the puppyHere are a few facts about toilet training puppies

  • * No puppy ever does a mess in the house on purpose
  • * No puppy ever does a mess to spite you
  • * If there is an accident it is largely the owners fault because; you need to observe the puppy and set them up to crack this. There are several hints that your puppy wants to go, observation is the main tool here.
  • * The other tool is constantly letting your pup have access to the garden.
  • * Completely ignore any piles or puddles just clean them up
  • * Repeat and repeat and the message will drop in
  • * Be consistent and always reward the behaviour you desire

House training is one of the first things you and your puppy need to accomplish. It can seem very time consuming and repetitive but it really is not as hard as it seems! Using a combination of positive reinforcement and common sense it will be a breeze!

There are a few different ways you can train your dog with toileting

Crate training

Crates can be a very good way of teaching your puppy to control their bladder and keep your puppy safe when you are not around. If you use the crate properly it can also be a little safe haven for your pup as well as an aid to help with toileting. We do not recommend puppies being left in crates for long periods during the day and night, the crate should be of sufficient size for your puppy and there should always be access to fresh water in the crate. You can use a non-spill water bowl fixed to the side of the crate to prevent any spillages.

Paper Training

Paper training is not something we recommend. The puppy is taught to relieve himself on newspaper and then, at some point, is retrained to go outside. Paper training teaches the puppy to relieve himself in the house. Is that really what you want your puppy to know? Teach them what you do want them to do (toilet outside).

Make sure that your puppy goes outside during these peak times:

  • * Immediately after meals
  • * After training sessions
  • * Shortly after waking
  • * After vigorous play
  • * During or after a stressful event
  • * When overly excited

When you go outside with your puppy make sure you heavily reinforce the behavior you desire (your puppy doing its business outside) whether this is with a treat or praise you must always reward the required behaviour.

sue and nellPlease Do Not:

  • * Scold a pup or adult dog for toileting inappropriately and never rub his nose in or near his mess. Dogs do NOT toilet inappropriately out of spite. This could cause your dog to fear you and toilet in secret or when you are out of sight.
  • * Leaving poorly house trained puppies or dogs in the home unsupervised sets them up to fail unless they are in a safe area.
  • * Don’t just send your puppy outside and hope that he does what he needs to do. You may let him back into the house just to see him swat on the rug! You need to go with him to see that he has relieved himself and so that you can praise him for doing so.
  • * Successful house training is based upon setting your puppy up for success rather than failure. Keep accidents to a minimum by anticipating your puppy’s needs. When you are sitting watching the television, keep one eye on your puppy. If he starts wandering around the lounge sniffing the floor, the chances are that he is about to relieve himself. Take him outside before it happens.