Puppy Poop! OR The Happiness of Housetraining
Note: although this article discusses puppies, the same, basic techniques are used on adult dogs.
Now, if that's all there was to it, you wouldn't be reading this would you? The hard part comes when your puppy has an "accident." Accidents happen for two reasons:
1. You didn't put your puppy in a confined area where he wouldn't pee or poop.
2. You didn't watch your puppy when you were supposed to be supervising him.
Notice that neither one of the reasons are your puppy's fault.
Since neither one of these reasons are your puppy's fault, there is no need to ever scold your puppy. Remember, always teach with PRAISE! If your puppy is peeing in his blocked-off area or crate, it probably means that the area is too big. If the puppy has room to pee in one corner, and play in the other corner, he probably will. If you can't scold your puppy, then what are you supposed to do? Try scolding yourself, and see if that makes you more eager to watch your puppy better next time (probably not). Instead, praise yourself for not scolding your puppy, and get on with the job of teaching!
In order to teach your puppy not to pee (or poop) in the house, you must catch him in the act. When you catch him in the act of peeing, or squatting to pee, yell "HEY!" and/or push (not hit) his butt. The goal is not to hurt or scold the puppy. The goal is to get him to stop peeing mid-stream by surprising the heck out of him! Next, say "OUTSIDE! OUTSIDE!" in an enthusiastic voice (not a scolding voice). If your puppy is really young, pick him up and carry him IMMEDIATELY outside. As he gets a little older, you can run with him to the door (or his doggie door) and then go outside with him. When you get outside, do the "go pee" routine again. If he doesn't pee, take him inside and WATCH HIM, then take him out again in another 10 - 15 minutes. (Yes, teaching is work!) However, if you feel your pup emptied himself inside the house and he no longer has to pee, you can skip the second trip outside, but be careful, don't assume too much!
Puppies usually learn faster when you spend more time with them. The less time you have, the less time you can teach, and the longer it will take them to learn. Puppies are also individuals and individuals are different. Some puppies learn fairly quickly (a few weeks), others take a few months. Just remember to praise!
So, you thought your puppy was housebroken, but came home to a puddle on the floor. First, you may have been gone too long. Puppies can't be expected to "hold it" for eight long hours. If you have a fenced yard, consider getting a doggie door. Okay, okay, so you have a doggie door, but there is still a puddle in the middle of the floor! DO NOT SCOLD your puppy. He is so happy to see you come home, don't scold him for being happy to see you. Also, don't rub his nose in it (yuck!) - it doesn't do any good. Instead, place him in a confined area where he can't see you clean it up. This is probably the hardest part of all of housetraining! But just do it. Use straight vinegar to take away the odor, some baking powder or borax wouldn't hurt either. Now ask yourself, were you gone longer than you usually are? This would have made your puppy over-anxious, and made it very easy to pee on the spot. The best thing to do in this case is to make the confined area smaller again.
Many times they will just "forget" to go out a doggie door to pee. They would be playing with other things and just had to go! So they go. Sometimes they accidents about every three days or so. Somewhere between 4 and 5 months old, just when you're about ready to give up, it seems like they finally "get it!"
We have no puppies at this time!