In my last post, I described what we do here at Russell Homestead to prepare your pup for house training. I compare what we do to the "diapering" stage. At some point, a transition needs to be made to the "potty training" stage. A good time for that transition is 8-10 weeks when the puppy goes to his/her new home. This is also a good time because the puppy is ready for more individual training and able to hold his/her potty needs for increasingly longer periods of time.
We suggest when you bring your puppy home that you do not use newspaper in his/her crate. (If you want to continue the paper-training method for a few days or weeks longer, you are certainly welcome to do that. Just be sure the puppy has a large enough crate or room that he/she feels able to eliminate away from the sleeping area.) If you want to use newspaper at all, the paper should be by the door or outside the door. However, I don't recommend using newspaper at all. Since the puppy is in new surroundings learning news rules, teach him/her the way it is going to be.
So, how to you get that adorable little ball of fur to do what you want? You capitalize on his/her God-given instinct not to soil the sleeping area. Get your puppy on a schedule of crate time, outside to eliminate, & play time in the house. During the play stage, put the puppy back in the crate before he/she needs to go again.
Here are some tips as you get your puppy on the crate training schedule:
1. Be sure the crate is small enough that the puppy doesn't feel comfortable going in a corner.
2. Try not to give your puppy free reign in the house unless you know he/she has gone outside.
3. Watch your puppy carefully to learn his/her signs of needing to go - typically it is sniffing and circling. If you see that behavior in the house, take the puppy out.
4. For the first 2-4 weeks, you will need to get up with the puppy 1-2 times a night because they can't "hold it" all night long. You will soon get a feel for how long they can go in their crate & can begin lengthening their time overnight.
5. Be patient & gracious - puppies like to please, but they don't always know how! A puppy can be crate trained in a week, but it takes months to be house trained.
6. If you catch the puppy going in the house, firmly say "No" and take him/her outside, Do not overreact and scare the puppy; you want the puppy to do his business with you watching when you are outside. If you punish him when he goes in front of you inside, he/she may become afraid to go in front of you outside.
7. The most difficult piece of house training for us has been getting the dog to find a way to tell us she needs to go outside. We've tried a bell, but Jolly never had any interest in that. Our dogs aren't barkers or scratchers (for which we are thankful), so neither used that method to communicate. Jolly eventually found her own way - coming to me and sitting at my feet with a "look." If I don't get the message, she sits on my foot.
I know several of the families that are getting puppies have house trained dogs before; some of you even have done miniature schnauzers. I would be curious what tips you have in house training. What worked for you? How long did it take? Feel free to post any comments you have on house training to help out some of the newbies we have to house training.
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative