Yeah, I’m not doing 101 – I’m talking just a little bit different here. I’ve trained dogs many years and I’ve always told people, if you wanted a dog you could house break in 48 hours, you should have gotten a lab. Instead you got This – insert dramatic point to any small dog. Now, if you ask a lot of people, they will tell you their small dog had maybe one accident, perhaps two but were then perfect forever! One, they have selective memory and two, so you will you in ten years.
Back in the day when someone was home all the time and dogs were allowed to run wild in the neighborhoods, it was easy to train them. Toss their butts out the door in the morning and don’t let them in for hours. Easy peasy! We don’t do that now. Leash laws and often someone isn’t home all day. So – what do do, what to do?
WELL, any good dog book will tell you – put the dog in a crate all the time, because dogs don’t pee where they sleep. When you take them out, run them to where they should go and instant training! Yay! Except…. if you are gone to work all day and your puppy is a couple months old, he simply can’t hold it that long. Not an opinion, a fact. Once they start peeing in the crate, then you get to wake up, come home to, anytime, a urine and poop soaked puppy because that is where they think they go. Not the goal, right? Their answer- go home for lunch. Ummm, then there is the real world where people often don’t have that option.
So, here is what I do, and how your baby will come home with the idea that this works. First of all, I don’t crate all day, for the littles I use an exercise pen, like this one : https://amzn.to/2JL3MKt I put an open crate in there, and that way they have a safe place to go sleep and get away, but can go out to pee.
Here, when they are little and move out of my bedroom where they are usually born, they come down to live with the family. They go in a pen, with the open crate, and I put a potty pad right outside the crate door. Since puppies/dogs try not to pee where they sleep, they crawl out of it when they are about 3-4 weeks old and pee on the puppy pad, then go back to bed, ’cause man, that is tiring. Then as they get a little older and stronger, I move it away from the crate. When they find it and go, that is the start of housebreaking. We don’t pee in the crate, we pee elsewhere. But only if we are allowed to get out of the crate in time.
I have half a dozen crates and kennels sitting around and only a couple have a door I can lock. Like kids, sometimes dogs need a time out, but mostly they go in and out of them freely to sleep or hang out or whatever. Dogs like a den, so since I spoil them, I supply them one.
I’ll talk more about housebreaking in the future, but am very often asked ‘what do you do?’ This is what I do. But yes, I’m here to hold your hand and help you through it if you need it. No problem!