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From: Callie (
Subject:         Re: how to train my toy poodle
Date: December 6, 2008 at 6:57 pm PST

In Reply to: how to train my toy poodle posted by m.gauthier on December 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm:

Hi -- do us a favor and turn the caps lock off - on the internet it's like **SHOUTING** when someone types in all caps. ~smile~

How old is this pup? How long have you had it?

Going outside at set intervals is called 'scheduling' and it really doesn't work very well. You have to be consistent -- that's the most important thing.

Pick ONE thing and train the dog to do that. Don't try to do it inside sometimes and outside other times. That won't work and it only confuses the dog.

There is nothing inate (or in-born) to tell a dog that they should go outside or in any particular spot. That's training *you* have to do.

A garbage bag isn't going to work -- first off the dog won't want to walk on it because it's slippery and makes noise. If you are absolutely sure you want this dog to go IN the house/apartment then get puppy pads. They have plastic backing so they won't soak thru but they are absorbent.

Either put the pad in the **same** place time after time, or get used to taking the dog out on a leash *every* single time.

Remember - puppies are just like children. House-training may be the BIGGEST thing on *your* mind, but it isn't on the dogs. Just attaining the physical maturity to 'sense' bladder and intestinal discomfort *in time* before they release it, is a big huge deal. "holding it" is NOT intuitive.

But they get to playing, sleeping, eating or doing whatever the heck else IS FUN at that very moment ... and ... OH YEAH I GOTTA GO. And they may ... in their little puppy minds, be totally convinced THEY were looking for a place for a long time!!

It's easy to miss it -- my way would be to tell you to leash the dog TO you -- with a very short leash so you can keep track of this puppy every single moment.

And first -- PLEASE don't rub the puppy's nose in it. That's completely ineffective and in the process of cleaning their face off they will learn to *like* the taste of urine and poop -- so don't do that.

The dog doesn't understand. You literally have to **show** this dog what you want it to do. And show it over and over and over.


This is important!!

Please understand that you just have to make it plain to the dog that you don't like WHERE they went. If you yell and scold they will simply think you don't like *them* -- not that you simply want them to elminate in another place.

Please bear with me -- this is very long, but I've tried to be thorough for you.

Moving on -- be aware that "holding it" is not a natural concept. You can "schedule" them ... yes, trying to urge them to "hold it" longer and longer. My honest opinion is that it rarely works unless you are one of those fortunate few who is home ALL the time and who lives such an incredibly organized life that you not only NEVER violate the schedule, but more importantly, you are ALSO THERE to "see" them searching for a place to go and can catch them "in the act".

You often hear the term "scheduling" -- meaning you simply take them out -- or take them to the paper if you are going to make this a totally inside dog -- by the clock (and every two hours is not often enough for a small pup) and they are supposed to naturally learn to 'hold it' longer. But it often fails because they tend to not understand the 'waiting' part.

It is "catching them in the act" that TRULY housetrains!! Because scheduling simply tries to encourage them to learn to wait -- but if the dog and you aren't communicating" then the dog isn't understanding how important it is to **you** that it wait and YOU aren't understanding when the dog indicates its need to relieve itself!!

They essentially naturally relieve themselves whenever they feel the urge!! They may even hold it all night IN the crate, but not at home because no one is paying attention to signals.

The magic happens when they begin to get the idea that you want them to do this thing OUTside and you want them to WAIT until you take them there to do it -- a dog can only "hold it" ***with that training having been in place*** their age in months plus an hour.

There's no doggie inate behavior that says "oh my, I have to wait because I'm a big girl now and I WANT to go OUTside!!" no way!!! That's HUMAN thinking, not dog-ese!!

When you come upon a mess later on -- of course the dog knows its THEIRS -- their mark is all over it. In fact, they're quite proud of it because it IS quite honestly something they defines themselves by. A dog's scent or 'mark' is like the nameplate on an executive's desk -- THAT'S ME!!!

Well, when a human comes by and says "bad dog" or even worse to rub their nose in it -- they actually interpret that to mean that you somehow don't like THEM personally at that moment!! They may go all wriggles when you get home and wag, but at it's root, this can become a bonding problem because the dog may not be terribly interested in PLEASING you yet.

~~~~~~~~~~This too is really important~~~~~~~~~~~~

First, when you find poop or pee IN the house (you've missed the pup's signals and they found their own spot to go in) OR even if they've gone in their crate -- you pick up that soil (wet or dry) with paper towel and TAKE IT OUTSIDE (or wherever you want the dog to go **every** time). Lay that towel down in that spot you've chosen then go back and get the dog ON LEASH and take them right back out to where **you** have placed their waste. Show them. "go HERE!"

After you do this a few times, suddenly they get it -- wow ... she *relocated* this an dput it OUT here. It sends a far clearer message to them where you want it put because you have shown them. It doesn't go IN side -- it goes OUT side or on the puppy pads.

The name of this whole thing is to PREVENT ACCIDENTS!!!

When you say it's "bad" at this point the dog thinks you just don't like THEM (because to the dog, that poop/pee IS "them" -- it's the dog's "mark" -- it essentially defines THEM as a dog!! So pointing to a mess and saying 'bad dog' -- yes, it knows it did it.

But it doesn't connect that with your wanting THEM to do THAT ***OUT*** rather than in!!

So, day or night you need to get in the habit of "hearing" this little dog when it is up and about. The dog may need to go out more than once a night. YOu might even want to put a little bell on the collar so you hear it more easily.

When you hear that bell -- get up and let THEM out!!!!!!! I don't care if you don't sleep for 2 weeks or feel like you're letting it out ever 2 seconds!! Isn't it worth it to have it trained!

Now this isn't play time -- this is snap on that leash (leave one on every doorknob in the house if you need to -- it's worth investing in several to have them totally handy at any moment!) and walk briskly OUTside.

I was serious about "every doorknob". Buy a cheap clothesline and divide it into however many doors you have in the entire house. You can buy "clips" at any hardware store like are on the end of a leash. Now you have a ton of leashes. Put one on every single doorway in your house. A leash gives you INSTANT control (see, remember -- "waiting" is a problem -- you want to give this dog the idea that IN is NOT cool. So, a leash gives you instant control to get the dog RIGHT to a door immediately. YOU are in charge, no cajoling, no stopping to sniff, no stopping to whiz!!)

Remember, it'll elminate AFTER exercise -- not just because you want to walk them "before bed". So stop about 45 minutes before your bedtime and play HARD with them -- chase balls in the house, chase kibble you shoot across the floor, but give them hard exercise -- that will stimulate the digestive tract and it should be more ready to go. Same thing in the morning before you leave.

Just expect -- it won't "go" all at once. Particularly when they've been asleep or sedentary -- they "go" to rid themselves of that "urgent" feeling. But typical puppy fashion, there are leaves to chase, smells to track, people to play with and ... THINGS TO DO!!! Besides -- if I go a LITTLE now, they'll be pleased.

I can "finish" later when I'm not so busy!!! I'm outside now -- THIS IS FUN!!!

Another thing I have suggested to folks in this situation -- you have to communicate to them that poop IS "ok" outside -- it's the IN the house and IN the crate that's NOT.

I'll repeat myself here -- So, next time it soils -- don't tell them 'bad dog' or be 'angry'. Instead ... be "disappointed". Worried frown, tsk tsk tsk. Then ... without them seeing you, take the waste and go put it OUTSIDE in that place you WANT them to go. They'll notice. Trust me -- the dog WILL identify their own waste. When he
sniffs it you say "YES -- go THERE!" and the dog will likely MARK on it. PRAISE BIG TIME.

I've suggested this to folks who are having trouble getting across the idea that this "stuff" is not the 'bad' part. It's the fact that it's been placed in an INAPPROPRIATE place!!

Hope this helps. I'll link in my website below -- go to "Questions Corner". You may find somethings that help you.

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