Puppy Training

Potty Training and Crate training made easy.

Let's get one thing straight, new puppies will have accidents, plan for them and don’t get mad at your puppy for it. Do you get upset when a human baby goes in their diaper? Well puppies don’t have diapers so you’ll have to deal with it and plan for accidents. If you catch the puppy going on the floor tell them "No" and take them outside to their spot and praise them for going in that spot. You should also take them out at regular times, about every 2 hours per month of age, and praise them when they go.

Crate training works because it uses the natural "denning instinct" of dogs which encourages them to keep the area that they sleep in clean and free from waste. In houses there are no dens, and most places will be too big for a puppy to feel that it is their own space and want to keep it clean. Humans must provide a den for the puppy. Make sure that it is not too small and not too big. You can get a lager crate and put fake walls up, so as your puppy grows you can adjust the "den" area. You need to make sure that your puppy can stretch out in the crate comfortably.

Make sure the crate is comfortable – Do not put anything in the crate for the puppy to lie on, as they may chew it. Now sit with your dog at the door of the crate. Place a small treat inside the crate. Praise the puppy for going into the crate and getting the treat. Let the puppy come out when he or she wants, do not close the door at this time.

Only praise the puppy for going in to the crate, ignore them when he or she is coming out. When your dog walks into the crate say "Crate" or "Den" or whatever word you wish to associate with going into the crate. (My Mom and Dad use "Bed")

When the dog is staying in the crate on their own to eat the treats, close the door for a few seconds, then open it up. Only praise the puppy when going in, never when exiting. Soon the puppy will realizes "in" is "good", and "out" is "neutral".

After the puppy is fine with being in the crate for more than a few minutes, put a chew toy in with the puppy to keep it occupied. Try very slowly and gradually increasing your distance away from the crate, and their time in the crate with the door closed.

The puppy will generally not eliminate when they are in the crate, because it has become their den, take them outside to eliminate when they come out of the crate.

After feeding, crate the puppy with a chew toy, after about 10-15 minutes take the puppy out of the crate and to their spot for elimination purposes. Do not play or interact with the puppy at this time, simply take them to their spot.

If the puppy goes, praise them and spend some time interacting. If, after about 3-5 minutes the puppy has not gone, return him/her to the crate, again without saying anything, for an additional five minutes. Repeat the process without interacting with the puppy until he/she eliminates. Praise and play always follows toileting while crate training.

At night, keep the crate in the bedroom or somewhere you can easily hear the puppy. If he/she whines, take them outside to their spot and return them to the crate with as little interaction as possible. Just a simple "good girl" or "good boy" will do when they go to the potty. Too much praise will be seen as play, and may encourage the puppy to whine throughout the night. You may also use set times for taking the puppy out. This will depend on their age. Start new puppies with going out once every two hours and work your way up, adding an hour every two weeks.

Puppy chewing

Congratulations, that means your puppy is teething, and is becoming an adult. Puppies need to chew on things the same as human babies do during teething. Unfortunately puppies will not "outgrow" the chewing. There are many things that you can do to help your puppy not chew up anything that is meaningful for you and/or bad for them.

Puppy proof your house. Put trash and anything you do not wish the puppy to chew on out of reach. This includes "everything"; the TV remote, children’s toys and everything in between.

When and only when, you catch the puppy chewing on something not for them, tell them "No" in a firm voice and offer them a chew toy of their own, and praise them when they take it.

Make off-limit items such as furniture taste unpleasant for them; you can spray them with a taste deterrent such as Bitter Apples.

When you are home supervise your puppy, this will keep them from going off and finding trouble on their own. When you cannot supervise confine them to their crate or a small safe room.

A close up photo of Ivy at about four months old

Ivy at about four months old kissing Leeloo, leeloo does not look happy about it