Here are some suggestions to make this important training a success:
Buy a crate:
I used to endorse the Midwest Life Stages Double Door wire cates but there have been too many puppies getting their little jaws and noses stuck in the wire. The wire crates are fine for full grown dogs, BUT NOT FOR PUPPIES. :0( Please get a plastic crate for training your puppy.
If you purchase the PetMate Navigator, it is a plastic crate that comes with dividers so it can grow with your puppy. The door opens from the left or the right. This is the crate that I endorse.
From the introduction of the first kennel over fifty years ago to continued innovations in construction and design, Petmate® redefines a critical pet training and transportation tool with the introduction of Navigator™. It’s the first quick-assemble, fully ventilated line of plastic kennels with a two-way door, Grow with Me™ adjustable wire divider, and Microban® antimicrobial protection in the base to provide resistance to odor-causing bacteria. Assembly takes only seconds with its Slide ‘N’ Snap design, dual turn-dial door latches and rear security clips, leading the way in utility and ingenuity for retailers and consumers.
Petmate Navigator Kennel 32” for Mini's out of Sophie, Kaya or Willow
Petmate Navigator Kennel 36" for Mediums out of Penny, Julee or Daisy
I also love the Kuranda Dog Beds. Mention my code 19300 and $5 will be donated to Canine Warriors. You can order them online Kuranda Dog Beds
During the first few weeks, keep your puppy in the crate whenever you are not playing, holding or watching him explore his new surroundings. Spend as much time as you can with your pup, but when you can't watch him, crating him can prevent mistakes from occurring. In addition to providing the safe, secure refuge your pup needs and wants, crates are critical to housetraining because as den animals, dogs are naturally inclined to not soil their bed. The most important thing dogs learn in a crate is that they can control their urge to eliminate until the proper time and situation. Crating will also make your dog less stressed out in those times where he needs to stay in a crate at the vets, at the groomers or on an airplane if you want to take him with you.
Establish a schedule and don't deviate from it. The "when" and "how" you house train needs to be consistent, so make sure all family members follow the same guidelines. Let puppy smell small stinky treat, Dried Liver Bites work well for this (Denta Stix also work well for this .. very small piece) Tell him "Outside" Put him on the leash. Take him to the door with the poochie bells on it and you ring them. Pick a soiling spot in your yard and take your pup there on a leash when it is time to eliminate. Command him to "Go Pee" or "Go Potty" The odor from previous visits to this spot will stimulate the urge to defecate and/or urinate. In the housebreaking process, it is a good idea to use the same word like "outside" when you are going out and "Go Pee" once you are outside. Consistant use of a word with an activity will help to build a level of communication between you and your pup. Be patient. Dogs may urinate or defecate more than once in one outing and not always right away. Don't distract your pup from the job at hand. This is a business trip, not a social time. Praise and treat when they go. Don't mix business with pleasure. Wait until your pup has finished and then take him back inside and spend some time with him. You know there is little chance the pup will have to eliminate for a while so play with him and have a good time. The more time you spend with the pup, the better it is. Remember, they are still young and need to act like a pup, developing and learning about their new situation and environment. Dogs are creatures of habit: They like to eat, sleep, and relieve themselves on a regular schedule. Establishing and maintaining a schedule is easy to do and gets easier as your puppy grows.
If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident, tell him "Outside!" forcefully, pick him up (ring the bell) and take him outside. ( Don't say No, as this will cause your puppy to sense you are upset and he will begin to hide and pee) If you don't catch him, simply clean up the mess and scold yourself for not being available to take him out on time. If you see him pacing, sniffing, turning in circles or trying to sneak away, it is time to repeat the above bell training steps. Also, if he has an accident in house, clean it up and bring the paper towel out to his spot, put rocks on the paper towel so his scent will be there next time... (this is for the first week of puppy training)Sample Schedule:For puppies 2-6 months old eating 2 - 3 meals per day; owner can get home at lunch.
This schedule if for when both partners work 9-5 or during the day! If
one family member is home in the day, you bell train every hour. Crate the puppy when you go out or the puppy can't be supervised. (Shower etc.)
7:00am Take pup out. Don't wait until you shower or until the coffee is made.
7:15 Kitchen playtime.
7:30 Feed and water. Allow 15-20 min. for eating, then remove dish.
8:00 Take pup out. Confine to crate when you leave; place safe chew toys in crate for entertainment. A kong stuffed with treat works (with Peanut Butter)
Noon Take pup out.
12:15 Kitchen playtime.
12:30 Feed and water ...the feed part is optional...water is necessary....
12:45 Take pup out.
1:00 Confine to crate
5:00 Take pup out as soon as you get home. No more crate .
5:15 Food and Water. Bell Train for the rest of the evening - First week this is every hour for re-enforcement then you can increase the intervals as the days and weeks go by.
7pm - No more food or water
11pm - Outside and Crate for the Evening.
When crating for the evening, the first 7 days at home I suggest that the crate be in your bedroom at eye level to the bed so the puppy can see you and knows you are there! He can be easily soothed with a few fingers in the crate and tell shh .. go to sleep! The next 7 days you can put the crate on the floor next to the bed. The last 7 days, if you don't want the puppy in the bedroom, bring the crate to the high traffic area in the home that he is used to. Where he plays... never a door closed laundry room or basement.
The food ration for the day (as on the bag or on the TLC Website) is given in two feedings or 3 if you choose the add the lunch feeding. This is not recommended if you are not home during the day. Be sure they get their entire ration in the day....whatever they don't eat in the morning ...add it to their night feeding. Do not overfeed...it is not good for their hips if they grow too fast! Overfeeding also causes diarrhea . No people food or he will get the runs and probably vomit.
This is just a sample schedule to give you an idea of the time involved in housetraining a puppy. When possible, your puppy should not be crated once you are home for the evening. This is when you spend quality time with him and work on basic obedience and bell training. Bell train your puppy every hour. Set your egg timer or your microwave timer to 1 hour. Do not wait for the sign, get him before he has to go to help him feel confidant and that he is having successes. You must condition him to ring the bells. If he misses, decrease the time to every half hour. This is for at least 2 full days when you bring puppy home.
FOR THE FIRST FEW DAYS WITH NEW PUPPY HOME YOU SHOULD BE BELL TRAINING. BELL TRAINING HAPPENS WHENEVER YOU ARE HOME. CRATE TRAINING IS FOR WHEN YOU ARE AT WORK.
Things you need before bringing the puppy home:
Make a vet appointment within 3 business days of taking the puppy home. This is for a puppy wellness check up. Bring in a stool sample at this time. You will not need shots, a microchip or de-worming at this appointment.
Crate - Petmate Navigator - not a wire crate
Vinyl Crate Pad - not fleecy, not towel fabric. Maxx crate pad from Canadian Tire is a good one or the Kong Crate Pad from the Pet Store.
The goal is the have a pad where the pee will pool and no sink in to the pad. If it pools, they don't like it and will hold their pee until they are let out. If it is fleecy, they will be able to pee on it and it will magically disappear, enabling them to pee in the crate and get away with it. Never ever put puppy pads in the Crate! They have a scent they encourages them to pee on them. This is totally counter-productive!
Poochie Bells - for the fastest training possible.
2 Kongs - for crate time - fill with yogurt, kibble and freeze
Kuranda Dog Bed with pad - best orthopedically and chew proof
Training Treats - Dried Liver or Dried Chicken. I prefer to use the kibble. 2 cups kibble with 1 tbsp. of melted Coconut Oil ...shake zip lock bag and put it in the fridge so the oil sticks to the kibble. Use for the week. Do not count this as part of their daily kibble portion.
Toys - any colour but red - squeekers are very dangerous as your puppy grows. They are flat and when they swallow them, they block their intestines. When your puppy is at the age where he can rip open the seam, remove and discard all squeekers and sew the toys back up.
Make Vet appointment for a Puppy Wellness Check up with your puppy within 3 business days of taking your puppy home. Bring a stool sample to this appointment.
I will provide you with your first collar and leash so there is no need to buy one. Wait until your puppy has outgrown his puppy collar and then take him with you to have him fitted.
Name Tags are cute, but not necessary. You have paid to have your puppy micro-chipped. This tag should be on your puppy's collar at all times. It has more information attached to it than your home phone and address.
Stainless Steel Food and Water Dish
Stuffed or Stuffless toy, washed and slept with to bring on picking day
Human type hair brush with the little plastic balls at the ends of the bristles. Brush daily to get him used to the brush. When his adult coat comes in, you can ask your groomer the best type of comb and brush that he should have for his coat type.
Rectal Thermometer - I use the Vicks brand from Shoppers Drug Mart.
Normal Dog Temp is 100 - 102.5 F. Or 38 - 39.2 C. Anything over 104 or under 99 is an emergency!
Food for thought on Crate Training:
Why You Should Stop Feeling Guilty:
Crating a dog when you leave, travel or have company over may cause feelings of guilt, but is the safest place for your dog to be. Dogs are den dwelling animals that will often curl up and go to sleep when they are comfortable in their crate. Most owners, however seem to be in a race to wean off crating a dog because they feel guilty. What is it that you expect your dog to do when you leave? They cannot read a magazine, text their friends or surf the web. What they can and often will do when you leave is pace, bark out the window, destructively chew or defecate indoors.
The guilt comes from a feeling of taking freedom away when crating a dog. The word cage gets used in replacement of crate or kennel and every commercial about animal abuse features a dog behind bars. We put too much responsibility on our dogs and expect them to know what to do with it. A dog that barks out the window or jumps on your guests loses that option when crated.
Leaving a dog unattended can also be life threatening. Ingesting clothing or garbage is not the only danger. Choking on rawhide, a bone shard or a squeaky from a dog toy can also put your dog in an emergency situation. In a multi-dog house, a dogfight can result in expensive vet bills and sometimes loss of a pet. Unfortunately, these cases happen more often than you think.
On the other hand, there are many benefits to crating a dog and keeping it part of their lives. During travel, your dog has a safe place to adapt to new environments, which will reduce stress. Crating a dog recovering from injury will help them heal faster. The easiest way to potty train a puppy is by crate training. Guests that do not like dogs will be more comfortable in your home and guests that are “dog lovers” (we all know one), will not teach your dog bad habits. Nervous or fearful dogs will feel safe in their crate when new people come over. Many behavioral issues will fade simply by crating a dog more frequently. By letting go of feeling guilty and focusing on doing what is best for your dog, you will be rewarded with a better relationship.