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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Small Dog Potty Training Tips

It is not a simple task getting a small dog potty trained. I would go as far as to suggest to skip outdoor potty training during cold weather, because your tiny dog will most likely pick a warm corner of your home, couch, bed ... During the cold winter months, you're better off using an indoor dog potty, such as the infamous wee pads or potty pads. You can purchase Four Paws Wee Wee Housebreaking Pads 100/Pkg in bulk and garnish your floors with them. There's really no point in lining your dog's crate with them because if you've decided to go with crate training, your dog will not use the bathroom in his enclosed tight quarters. There are numerous similar indoor dog potty inventions in the market, like the Mini Pup Head Indoor Portable Dog Potty (Toilet) and the UGODOG Indoor Dog Potty
Of course, you can also use cat litter boxes filled with commercial litter or shredded newspaper, or if you have floors that are easy to clean, just plain newspaper on the ground will suffice. The goal is to get your puppy potty trained as soon as possible.
Some people prefer using dog diapers, aka dog potty pads or wraps, such as Happy Jack Male Dog Belly Wrap especially with male dogs that like to mark. There are too many dog diaper options to choose from from disposable dog diapers to cloth washable ones.
To our issue now, how to potty train a puppy, especially when it's a small breed. Keep in mind that the main difference between potty training a regular sized dog and a small dog is the fact that small breeds' accidents go by undetected. That means that even though you can't see or smell the damage, your dog will continue to visit until the smell is eradicated. There are many methods to get rid of the odor, but my favorite is cheap ol' white vinegar (which I buy in bulk at my local Costco). It breaks down the enzymes in the urine that attract your dog. The other difference is the size of your dog's bladder. Need I say more?
Start by limiting your new puppy's living quarters, regardless of whether you'll be using a crate or not. Make sure his sleeping and eating quarters are kept clean and are separated from the designated potty area.
If you go the crate route, rest assured that your pooch's potty training will speed up. All dogs have an instinctive desire to do their business away from their den. Crate training a puppy is the way to go, in my opinion.
Use your puppy's pee. Soak up some on a towel and dab it on the area you designate as your dog's bathroom. The scent will help him find his way.
Supervise. Watch your dog like a hawk. The fewer initial accidents the better chance of success.
Use a schedule. This one is for you to figure out, based on your personal/work schedule and your dog's feeding schedule. A dog as young as four months may require a dozen trips to the bathroom. Usually, it's a good rule of thumb to take your puppy potty a few minutes after a meal. You can also opt to ration water and food during this phase of the potty training. This will give you more control of the schedule.
Patience and repetition are your best friends during dog potty training. Small dogs are more challenging to housebreak, and certain breeds like the chiweenie are notoriously difficult.
I would like to conclude today's potty training tips with a reminder. Regardless which route you pick, consistency is the main factor in dog potty training.



3 doxies said...

Daaaaang Twinkletoes, you really ARE a smart chiwawa. I didn't know you knew all his kinds of stuffs. Where was you when I was being trained? My brudder took bout a month, and Whitney took bout a just a couple of days but her was already 7 yrs old. and I took....well, we're still working on that...hehehe...or I should say THEY are.

Sagira said...

It's like you read my mind...we are potty training Barkley right now.

the magic sleigh said...

Wooos Twinkie, woo could move south like me, where it is always warm....

~husky kisses~
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Draco and his Mom said...

Good article Twinkie...when I was a pup, I was reluctant to go outside and had to spend alot of time in the backroom with a gate on the door. Now I am allowed everywhere cause mom took the black light and didn't find any pee places at all. Mom hopes my new brother (when he comes home) will be easy to train also.

KB said...

One other tip from my trainer was to give our puppy a treat every time he/she went potty in the designated place outdoors. It does seem to help quite a bit.

But, then, there are the tricksters. Take K - she learned as a tiny puppy to squat and pretend to pee so that she'd get a treat. This led to the very funny scene of me peeking from behind her to try to detect if she actually peed each time she squatted. I'm glad that we live in a secluded spot where no one could see me doing that!

Anonymous said...

This is very much good information. Both Brudder Ranger and me were grown up when we got adopted and we had both lived outside so we were used to using the outdoors as our potty area. Still, I had a coupla accidents in the house. (Brudder Ranger didn't cuz he's perfect and all.) But I thinks you're very much right that it's all about consistencys!

Wiggles & Wags,

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

TWINKIE !!! You are such a considerate and caring furend to us. Your Potty Training Tips are Right on the Money!!! I know there are plenty of homes out there who are thanking their lucky stars for THIS post!!!!

Two French Bulldogs said...

When Lily was a baby at times she pee peed next to the pad, so not to get it dirty. Thanks for all those tips
Benny & Lily

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

We never thought about the difficulty of potty training small dogs, but this post is very helpful. We can't say enough about the use of a crate, a good schedule, and lots of praise. Ciara was so easy to train, but Mom took her out on a leash once an hour and told her to "go potty" - heaped on lots of praise. Yes, we had lots of inside accidents but only for a short time. She learned very quickly. Of course, Mom thinks she learned from her older brothers - just part of the pack.

Today she did something really funny. We had a/c workers in the yard and they had dismantled part of the fence. She hadn't been out for several hours and really had to go. The workers had fixed the fence. So Mom was getting her to the door and was trying to get Ciara's panties off. One of the grandkidlets opened the door and before Mom could get the pants off, Ciara took off, squatted, and peed right through the pad and the panties. She knew she wasn't supposed to go inside, but didn't know she had to take her pants off first before going outside. So well trained:)

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Kate said...

Twinkie - you are a source of all knowledge!

Ruby and Penny said...

Hi Twinkie
A very useful post.
Crate training, consistency and lots of positive praise & treats helps a lot.
Love Ruby & Penny

The Adventures of the LLB Gang said...

What a very awesome post!! All of the above have worked with both Dory AND Jacob came pre-trained....

Bilbo....welllllll Bilbo went in his crate and seems to be un-trainable...but we think this is because of his hydrocephalus and his brain signals aren't quite connecting.

At least we hope so, if not it means he has had us fooled for 9 years (which is so totally feasable!)

Smileys & Snuggles,
Beth (Dory, Jacob and Bilbo too!)

Dexter said...

I have heard that sometimes the little pups take longer to get the hang of using the great outdoors, but it never occurred to me that it would just be too dang cold in the winter. Hey, when you are cold everything clinches up, right? Not great for doing your business.


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