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Category: Housebreaking Wednesdays

Yeah, You gotta go, too

One aspect of housebreaking that people often shirk on is going with your dog.  Not literally!   Why would your mind go there?  No, this is not that kind of blog!

But when you’re first housebreaking, you have to go outside with your dog.  Yes, even if you have a fence.  Yes, even if your other dog goes at the same time.   Yes, if you want the quickest and fastest way to housebreak, you go too.

You walk them to the same spot, take the same path and worry about the grass being trampled away later.  You have them on a leash and you stand there and wait.   I encourage them  ’hurry up!’  because, you know, its kinda boring. LALALALA  and you really can’t even bring your Kindle out with you because I always seem to end up housebreaking in the dead of winter with lovely sleet and snow accompaniment.


When they go, you reward them verbally and with a tiny treat that you have hidden in your pocket.   This reinforces,’ yeah, that’s what she wants and this is where she wants it!  How clever am I!’   Smart things our dogs.

Then, if you have that fenced yard, you can unleash them and let them run around and have fun and you can go back inside.  If not, you can take them for their walk or play with them or whatever you want.  You need to do something though, for at least another minute, or they will realize “As soon as I go, I go back in the house” when what you want them to think is, “I want to hurry up and do this so I can get a treat and have some fun!”   And sometimes they do go twice….

And sometimes we pretend we don't have to go at all!

And sometimes we pretend we don’t have to go at all!

Now, how long do you have to do this?   Beats me, its your dog.   Some (labs etc) you can do it a few days and they will mostly ‘have’ it.   Others (yorkies, maltese, etc) it might take, oh, lets say - longer.  No need to scare people.

Another reason you need to go out with your dog, is if you ‘send’ them out, alone, they might go, but what they learned was ‘I do this away from my folks and under the dining room table is a good away spot and much faster to get to than outside!’   Not my idea of a good time at supper.  Your milage may vary however.

It won’t last forever though – after all, while I promise you that someone did earlier in your life (go thank your mom) –  how long has it been since anyone accompanied you to the bathroom and danced and clapped and gave you treats?  See?  All things come to pass.  Really.

Check out the available puppies and dogs at www.longroadkennel.com




Housebreaking Wednesdays!

I know  you’re excited, because its my favorite, too! There’s just  Something about a little pee and poop talk to start your day. after all!

A note – I just found a slew of comments in my spam folder, some are older, some newer, so if yours didn’t get answered, ask me again, okay?  I promise to get back to you, and to see if I can cover some of those questions I just found.

Chinese Crested puppy

Chinese Crested puppy

Today I’ll answer a couple of those:

One – I was told a puppy had been dry in his crate for a while, then had a nasty bout of diarrhea and while he seems to have gotten over that, he was still pooping in his crate over night.    Yes – take him to the vet.  Get him checked out.  I often find training issues aren’t really training issues but are medical issues.  Trainers are not vets and can’t cure those.

Anytime something new happens, a new behavior or new habit, always check to see what happened.  Something new in the house or yard – there are a lot of ’stomach issues’ in the spring when people spray their yards and your dog walks in it and licks his feet.     And a vet check never hurts.    So, my first suggestion would be to get that checked out, then wait a few days.  If that doesn’t help, then it could be habit – though I doubt it.   Its probably more the food you changed on him when his stomach acted up, or the times you’re feeding him, or even the meds he got for it.   I’d pull up his blanket or bed, and throw in an old towel (for ease of clean up) and just wait it out a few days.

Stomach bugs are the worst!

Stomach bugs are the worst!

Another question I got was a from a girl wanting to know how long her new puppy could be crated during the day without an accident while they were gone.  Mom would be home most days, but sometimes they took day trips or were away from puppy.  And the answer to that is a decided, It Depends.  What kind of puppy, how old, what kind of crate, if puppy is paper or outside trained, etc.     If its a tiny one, 8 or ten weeks and just got there, and its a smaller dog, it won’t be very long.  A few hours.  But the nice thing about this size puppy is you can pop them in a bathroom, leave the crate door open and put papers down.    I have a four week old baby who toddles out of his crate onto the papers to pee.  Its SO CUTE.  You know, if you think peeing is cute….  But there is no reason you can’t leave your puppy for a few hours to go to the mall or out to eat on the weekend.   Its good for them to be alone sometimes, and unwind.  Its hard to work to be cute all the time!

I handle it well, though!

I handle it well, though!

And if you are gone longer than expected and they do have an accident, don’t scold the puppy.  Not their fault.   Try to set them up to succeed  though, and not give them the opportunity to pee in their crate.   Use a small pen, or a bathroom or get someone to pop over and take them out.  It will save you grief in the long run.

Next question?  I’m double checking my spam folder now, I’ll answer!  And don’t forget to check out all the cuteness at www.longroadkennel.com


Where oh where?

Where oh where has my puppy dog gone? Oh where oh where can he be?

I think he’s peeing behind the couch.   Why do I think that?    Ummm -because that’s what he Does.

And you know why?  Because someone Lets him.

When I taught classes, there were always women ‘of a certain age’ who would come in with a new puppy and I’d ask ‘do you have any housebreaking issues or questions?’   And they would look at me as if I’d grown a third or fourth head and say NO.

To them it just wasn’t an issue.  Dogs peed where they were told, there was no discussion.  It took as long as it took.  Yes, many of them did it in many different ways, but it was important and just a chore to be done.

Then I had a man come in with a twelve week old small puppy.   He told me his wife was at home with their four kids under the age of five, and she was NOT doing a good job housebreaking this puppy.   The puppy was peeing in the house, not in the unfenced back yard.   I told him his wife was overwhelmed and no way could she house break this puppy with four tiny kids in the house to…do what with while she took the puppy out as needed?   He didn’t understand the question.

And the rest of us fall in between.

So what do I do?

Most of my dogs are ‘housebroken’ in two rooms of the house.   The Kitchen.  The den.  Two of them have run of the house, because they have proven themselves worthy.  (And my son and I want a dog to sleep with)



The dogs know, if they need out, to let me know  They go to the back door,  They circle in front of me.  One whines.   But they all have a ‘way’.  Its my job as mommy to figure it out.  If -I- mess up -and I do sometimes – well –   Sometimes I don’t pay attention, sometimes I’m lazy, sometimes my head is in another world – its a writer thing- but there is Zero excuse for that.  They told me and I messed up.

I have them on a loose schedule, that probably should be tightened.   They go out first thing in the morning, a couple more times during the day,when I’m home,  and before bed.

The good thing about my dogs is they are confined.   That doesn’t mean that they are in crates all the time – that’s just mean, and why  have  a dog, if not for fun?  However – they are not the be all end all of my world.  I have a job, volunteer work, I take classes, I have kids and grandboys,  - and my grandboys are also allowed to have fun and toy play withouy cold puppy nose up…anything or chewing on their stuff.

So the dogs are confined to two well used rooms in the house.

Housebreaking is a step by step process.   I don’t expect a two week old puppy to pee outside.   I don’t expect an 8 week old puppy to be fully housebroken.  Just like kids, they mess up.  You did too.  Just focus on the basics.  Be calm, be patient, tell puppy what you want, when, where and how.

It can happen.


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