Feng Shui with Fido™Puppy series: Housebreaking Your Puppy

The CRATE: 

Using the puppy crate properly has a few tips that I want to share in order to create the best results. Feng Shui with Fido™ is my method of puppy training and philosophy that I’ve shared with my private clients for years. In order to get great results with housebreaking new 8 week-old puppy, it’s great to remember that crating your puppy is age related.

Here are 5 steps to help explain the crating process.

1. The crate serves as a den. The den concept is meant to teach your puppy to learn to self soothe, learn to hold the urge to go to the bathroom and learn the route outside. This is a process and happens over time. Some people try to crate their puppy’s early and get up at 2 am and 5 am to take their pups outside, this does not housebreak your pup faster.

2. If your puppy has pee’d in the crate, your doing something wrong and shutting the crate door too early in your pup’s development.

3.  The crating process should begin within a corralled space. This allows your puppy initially to be able to go in and out of the crate and den naturally.

4.  Your first step is to provide a space within your house that will serve as a playpen area. The crate will help your puppy den and feel safe. This is the first step in teaching separation from you and preventing separation anxiety from happening in the future. 

5. When your puppy is approximately 14 to 16 weeks old he/she will be able to hold his urge to go to the bathroom all night long. By that time shutting the crate door will be no big deal. Until then you should initiate outside many times throughout the day/evening and provide wee-pads within the corralled space only. Free time with you to play is awesome too.

6. The whole point of a crate is to provide a covering for your puppy. Plastic crates do that. If you have a wire crate put a towel on the top in order to create a cozy space.

Does Your Dog Really Know What He’s Done Wrong?

Paws For A Minute® … and think about this…

Some people give lengthy verbal dissertations trying to explain to their dog their extreme displeasure they feel after they’ve discovered their best shoes chewed. Other’s righteously feel their dog totally gets what he’s done wrong. Absolutely, 100 %.. slinking out of the room with their ears back and tail tucked. For sure they know! Right?

 Some people try to punish their dog by using spray bottles, crating or putting your dog outside in the yard to “think about” what he’s done. This may give the person time to cool off after being mad, but really? Does it get the right point across?

Well, the truth is that dogs do respond to voice inflection and body language. So yeah, they get that your mad, but not at what? Dogs associate to things with sense of smell, patterns and triggers. It’s best to explain to them what they’ve done wrong with a sensible process that has a beginning, middle and end to it. Whether your pup has chewed something or gone to the bathroom in the house, get the leash, put it on and guide them over to what they’ve done wrong. Isolating the item or area by guiding your dog to it helps them associate the scent and your voice inflection to the word NO.

Reprimanding your dog this way you’re actually associating the smell of their saliva on the chewed item or urine on the carpet and that identifies to your dog what you’re saying NO for and to what?  After saying no, take your dog “outside” ( in the case of a bathroom mistake) or (in the case of chewing the wrong thing) give them the right chew bone. Then say “okay” in a happy voice indicating that the reprimand is over! Over time he’ll learn the pattern of where to go to the bathroom and what to chew. The days of needing to catch your dog in the act of doing something wrong are over.

Ask Inger: Puppies Peeing In The House. Help! Owning Two Pups = Double Trouble.

Hi Inger,

I have two 3 month-old Chi-weenie’s they are brothers and have never been separated. To potty train them I went and bought a play pen type gate and a big crate so they can sleep together at night or they cry.

I have set this up in my bathroom with the crate in the center and the metal play pen on the outside so they can’t get out and chew my cabinets but only enough room for pee pad and water when they come out of crate.

During the night they get out and use the pee pads and do not waste in the crate. But during the day the sometimes pee/ poop on the pad but a lot of the time pee/ poop around it or down the hall from it. I shampoo my carpets everyday now and have used the enzyme stuff also but it doesn’t matter.

Please help I don’t know what I am doing wrong. We even give them treats when they use the pads. I even have a pad in the hall slowly moving it in the bathroom, and same thing the use it sometimes but most of the time go around it. Please help I am tired of shampooing carpet everyday , and swear my house smells like pee. Help!

Delanee

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Hi Delanee, Very cute pups. Thanks for the great question! There are couple of things you’re doing right. Keeping the crate within the play pen area and the wee-wee pads on the far end is excellent. When training litter mates, though, there is a natural codependence that develops between the pups and as an owner you want to address that issue by teaching idea of separation, to them, slowly.

Here’s what I recommend:

Get 2 crates, one for each puppy and maybe an additional corral. Put both crates within one corral area for now, with the intention of giving each puppy their own space, in a few weeks. Remember, your pup’s are only 3 months-old, and they don’t have their shots, so wee-wee pads at this stage are the way to go. At the age of 16 weeks, your puppies will be able to hold the urge to go potty all night long and therefore be crated in their own crate with the crate door shut. They will also be able to begin going out doors for walks! So, therefore you need to begin preparing for that time. Otherwise, they will become so reliant on each other, you won’t be able to take one and not the other. They also need to learn to bond with you individually. Begin scheduling their time together and apart. The best way to do that is to create a structure introducing a little independence from one another. This is the key to help housebreak them too.

When you say “down the hall”  it’s sounds like you’re giving them too large an area for too long of a time. Have the second corral as an exercise PLAY pen “area” to be given to them to play for short periods of time. Then give a smaller area in your bathroom for chew bone, nap time and or feeding and sleeping. Perhaps getting the additional corral will make the process easier.

The goal is to begin slowly separating them, but only at certain times of the day. Having 2 corrals and 2 crates will enable you to begin creating separate time, as well as, additional play space! Use this individual space for chew bone time and use music to help reduce crying and trigger calmness. This should be done for one hour after play time.

Think about your day and daily routine and begin to think of their routine, and as to when you should create a separated space for each for a short period of time. Yes, they can see each other. Remember, the separation is only by corral and for short periods of time, to start. For instance, nap time, chewing a bone time, feeding time, all within their new separated space. They can have together time and run around time several times a day, in one large space.

Doing so, will help isolate who is going potty where and when?

The great thing about pup’s are that they operate on a clock. So make it work for you. Stop giving them treats for going potty, not necessary and distracting. If you have a patio or yard you can begin to bring one at a time, on a leash, to a wee-wee pad area there too. This will help establish a pattern of formalizing the potty process, until they get a bit older.

Please share this post and stay tuned for more…

Feng Shui With Fido™ Feeding Tip. Great Dog Bowls Add Color To Your Kitchen

Add a little color to your kitchen with these cute studio bowls by Wetnoz®.

These bowls are perfect for puppy owners, they’re plastic, inexpensive and look fantastic.

www.wetnoz.com

Paws For A Minute® Feeding Tip: Always feed your new dog a measured amount right for his size and age. Ask your vet about amounts rather than package servings. How, when and where you feed your puppy has everything to do with teaching your pup where to go potty. 

Feng Shui with Fido™ dog training method- Dog + Home = Peace.

Feeding Fido

Where: Kitchen is best, rather than outdoors.

When: Feed your dog when you are present. Many dogs love company or will get distracted if owners walk away and can become finicky eaters.

How: Best to time feed your dog. Put food down at the same time of day, same amount. Use a 15 minute increment for meal time. Pick up the food if not finished, until the next feeding time.

Why: If you leave food in a bowl out all day, it will effect your dogs housebreaking process.

 

What’s The Deal With Crating Your Dog? Is it Cruel?

Paws For A Minute® dog training tip! Crating your dog is not a mean thing to do. However, using a the crate as a punishment,  time out or for too long a period of time is wrong. Dogs are den animals. They love to go into small spaces. You must take the time to teach your dog to learn to be crated, slowly. Leave the crate door open and allow your dog to naturally go in and out on his own for a few days. Best way to achieve a great result is to baby gate a room or area and put the crate within that space. Do a gating exercise while your home for 20 minutes a few times a day. Use a leash to guide your dog in and take him out of the crate, when ready to shut the door. This helps guide your dog instead of coax.

Dog owner tip: Properly crating your dog and doing so, slowly in stages, can teach your pup to self soothe. In time, your dog will LOVE to have bone chewing time with music while crated. It’s meant to help teach your dog a schedule! Crating can be used as a great housebreaking tool and help cure separation anxiety. It can create trust by teaching your dog how to be calm indoors. Yes, any age dog can learn to be happy while crated.

It’s up to you to teach your dog slowly with patience. Always begin small periods of crating, after a walk and while you are home, at first.