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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.

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