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I am the Dog Trainer Girl. A wife to a wonderful husband, momma to 2 boys, one that is a mini-me and makes me call my dad and appologize on a regular basis. I am owned by a Corgi named Yadi. I'm a Baseball girl, who likes bats, ball and bases on my diamonds. Go Cardinals!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A poll of my facebook group 
Showed that the things that pet parents feel challenge them most are Potty Training and Leash Walking.  So this will be a 2 part post.
Basset Hound Puppy going Potty
Photo by Adam Kontor on Pexels.com
Potty Training?? Or Habit Training??
You have brought home this little bundle of joy and now every few minutes your finding your puppy peeing or pooping on your floor, and you are ready to pull your hair out.  What do you do?  Try not to listen to everything you have heard.
Way back during the 1950’s a dog trainer named Milo Pearsall wrote this training protocol where when your dog poops or pees in the house you, once discovering it, promptly rub your dog’s nose in it. Well, actually what he wrote was you put your dog’s nose NEAR it so they could smell the accident.  You know that game Chinese Whispers, where you tell someone something and they tell someone else and someone else and so on?  10 people down the line and the original story has been changed.  This is the case with this technique.
When trying to potty train a child do you take their diaper or pull up off and rub their nose in it, to teach them to use the potty?  NO!!! So why do we do it to our puppies who do not even have full control over their bladders until they are around 6 months old?  At the time that we are trying to potty train, we must remember that our puppies are no more developed than a human child of 6 months of age.  One of the major reasons that we do not want to “rub their nose in it” is because doing that doesn’t teach your dog anything other than not to be in the same room as you when poop or pee is found.
Have you ever had a dog, or heard a friend talk about their dog, that pooped under the bed, or behind the couch??  I would be willing to bet you money that at some point while potty training, that puppy built a negative association between them being in the room when mom or dad found pee or poop accidents.
Another problem that can come from this is that your dog may decide they are not allowed to go potty on the leash with you watching them.  They may extend their fear, of punishment for being in the same place as you when poop or pee is found, to the leash and outside potty times.
The best thing that I’ve found for potty training is to set up a schedule of when to go outside.  We know that the “average” time it takes a puppy’s digestive system to work is about 30 minutes.  So try following this schedule:
  1. Put the food down and give puppy 5-10 minutes to eat.
  2. Put the puppy in kennel or leash up and keep her with you for about 30 minutes.
  3. Take puppy outside on a leash.
  4. Go to one spot, do not walk around with puppy.
  5. Give puppy about 5 minutes to get bored and go potty.
  6. If the puppy does not go potty take them back inside and put back in the kennel or keep with you on the leash for another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Go back outside on the leash to your potty spot.
  8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 until puppy goes potty outside.
IF you walk your puppy around or if you let them go outside off leash, they will get distracted by running around and playing and THEN when you bring them back inside they go “oh this is boring it’s not as fun as outside…  oh yeah, I have to potty”.  They will then potty inside after having JUST been outside.
We have to teach our puppies that outside is where we go potty and that we only get play time after we have gone potty.  It is up to YOU to set your puppy/dog up with the “habit” of going potty outside.
puppy laying in grass
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com
Part of our problem is when we are training our puppies we tend to think they should be born knowing to go outside, but they are not.  They are born inherently clean, and momma dog helps them to stay that way by cleaning up after them while they are nursing.  Momma dog does not, however, teach them they need to go outside to potty, that is our job.
If you catch your puppy going potty, try to distract or startle them and then run outside with them so that they still need to potty.  Once we potty remember to make it a GREAT experience, Treats and PARTY time.  If you are finding the aftermath of a potty accident, don’t make a big deal out of it.  After 30 seconds or so your dog doesn’t know he or she is the one that had the accident, only that someone left their mark.  Thoroughly clean the area with an enzyme killer and chalk it up to a lost opportunity and focus on being better at reading your dogs signs.
If you are not sure your puppy knows how to tell you they need to go out, you can teach them something like ringing a bell to help you know when the time comes.
For more information about potty training or any other type of training, please email me at dog.trainer.girl@gmail.com

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