TRAINING YOUR PUPPY
Training your Pomsky, Chowski or Shiba Inu Puppy to its new home environment...
Toilet training Teaching your dog to ‘go’ in all the right places, sometimes house training a puppy or newly adopted dog can seem difficult and be very frustrating. However, many puppies and dogs can be house trained in around two weeks, as long as you stick to the following rules.
- The key to house training your puppy well and quickly is to give him as many opportunities as possible to get it right. It really is that simple! The more times he is rewarded for going to the toilet in the right place, the quicker he will learn.
- However, equally important is that you must ignore any mistakes that he makes during this training. If you give him attention (even though it isn’t ‘nice’ attention) when he gets it wrong, you’ll only confuse him and training will take much longer.
How? – the basics
• First of all, find somewhere that you can confine your dog where you don’t mind ‘accidents’ happening but this is only for times when you cannot supervise him during training. This could be an indoor kennel or an area penned off in the kitchen. It should be somewhere that he will still feel part of the family. This has to be a relatively small area, which will discourage him from going to the toilet there. Place his bedding and water in his safe area and also use this space to feed him in.
- First thing in the morning, take your dog outside, stand with him and wait for him to go to the toilet. When he ‘goes’, give him lots of praise as he finishes (being careful not to interrupt what he is doing) and give him a treat. He should need a wee and a poo, so wait for him to do both.
- When he has gone to the toilet, you can take him back inside and have a play or cuddle. Let him have full access to the room that you are in – but only as long as you can give him your full attention and watch him – otherwise return him to his safe area.
- Take your dog out every hour on the hour from morning to last thing at night, to give him the opportunity to go to the toilet. You will also need to do this after exercise or play and after meals.
- If he goes to the toilet, praise and reward him and then write down the time of day that he went and what he did. If you keep a record of this every day, you will find that a pattern of when he goes appears. You can then use this to predict when he’ll need to go to the toilet, so after about a week you shouldn’t have to take him out as often as every hour.
- Any time that you cannot watch your dog, place him in his safe area with something to do with a chew toy for example. You should also put him here when he is sleeping or resting during the day. It is far kinder to put him in his safe area when you cannot watch him, than to tell him off if he toilets in the wrong place.
Make it easy for them
• Do take your puppy outside as often as possible to give him the chance to toilet in the right place. Do not leave him unattended in his safe area for hours on end.
• By rewarding your dog at the right time and ignoring mistakes, your dog will soon get the idea and be ‘accident’ free in no time at all.
- If you put him in his indoor kennel in the bedroom with you overnight, he’ll let you know when he needs to go outside and this will help speed up the process.
Some young puppies can find it very daunting to toilet outdoors or they may only be used to and have a preference for certain types of indoor surfaces. Having a fully vaccinated, friendly older dog to visit and ‘show them the way’ can be very helpful and speed up the process.
What if accidents happen?
• Make sure that you remove any smells left by accidents by cleaning these areas with a solution of one-part biological washing powder with four parts water, or a purpose made cleaner from the pet shop. This will take away any smells and stains. Make sure that you do not use cleaning products that contain ammonia as this smells like urine to dogs and will encourage them to use the same spot again and again.
- When an accident happens don’t make a fuss – your dog has not done it on purpose. If he is still going in the wrong place, then it may be because you are not watching him carefully enough. If you can’t watch him, he should be in his safe area. It is not fair to let him get it wrong.
- If you find an accident, then quietly put your dog away from it in a secure place, whilst you clear up the mess with the biological washing solution. Then let your dog back in and forget all about it!
Disciplining your Puppy?
Play biting is a common, natural behaviour seen in puppies usually from teething, but it can hurt and if encouraged can cause behavioural problems later in life. It is important that your puppy learns from you what it would normally learn from its litter mates and other dogs, that biting hurts and hard biting means that all the games stop.
- DO NOT engage in rough play with your puppy e.g tug-of war games. Wear gloves to allow hard bites or encourage the puppy to attack or bite hands or feet.
- DO NOT punish your puppy by smacking it on the nose. Scruffing it or forcefully rolling it on its back, as this can make the puppy fearful and worsen the problems.
- Puppies that receive lots of exercise and stimulation will have less energy with which to play attack family members.
- Soft, inhibited bites during play should be permitted, but any bite that has enough force to be uncomfortable should be addressed by yelling ‘OUCH’ immediately stopping play and walking away from the puppy.
It may also be helpful to teach your puppy to stop play biting on command. By giving a command such as ‘Enough’ as the pet is biting. If it stops then the puppy should be rewarded. If it continues biting the command should be given again but loud enough that the puppy backs away but is not frightened. Eventually the puppy will stop biting on command. And the teething Phase will end.
For these techniques to work it is important that all members of the family are consistent in their response and that punishment is not used as this is not the way and just confuses your pet, making them anxious and slowing learning.
Our puppies have fantastic temperaments but some of our puppies will play bite from teething to relive the pain. It is necessary that all the above is listened to during this stage and not to condone it.