_ So, you’re struggling with potty training your new puppy...
Potty training can take the joy out of bringing your new puppy home. Most of my puppies do great with potty training, but sometimes we have issues so... here are some things I would try.
1. The Papillon is a very social animal - this means they do NOT like to be alone... even with checking/putting out every couple of hours - this could be a behavior issue because of unhappiness. The Papillon does well with a person or any animal around them (Yes, they like cats!), however if you only have your Papillon, put a TV on animal planet (animal shows on continuously) so they will think they are getting interaction - can help. Another possibility would be a ‘doggie daycare'. They will help with potty training (and the social issue) then you could gradually wean away from daycare with TV time. Put the TV where your puppy can see it from the confined area - using child safety gate. Daycare could even be someone with an older 'trained' dog for him to stay with him/her. The other dog will both be company and help train your puppy.
2. My 'potty spiel' to new customers is to take puppy out every hour, when successful potty is made give lots of praise, but when no potty is made -just bring back in without any excitement, praise or playing. Take back out in 15-20 minutes to try again until successful potty. Always use same praise/ignore whether it’s during the day or at night.
3. When crate training I put a box (not pillow/towel) in half the crate. DO not put water/food in the crate, but DO put in a few fruit loops and maybe a chew/stuffed toy for company and to keep up blood sugar. Put the crate where you will hear easily when they either whine or start to get restless (need to 'go' without whining). Take them out with praise and love if potty - however no playing as this is 'sleep time'. We want him/her to start holding his/her bladder longer and longer periods. Playing with the puppy at night is a strict ‘no-no’ because your puppy will learn to whine for play and be confused with ‘sleep time’. Some pups take as little as two weeks to hold bladder through the night. IF your puppy has developed bad habits, then we will need to break him/her of those. If he/she can see you, this may take a few sleepless nights (ear plugs for the one NOT getting up) to get him/her used to knowing you are 'right there' but its 'sleep time' - whatever phrase you use for 'sleep time', use the same phrase and repeat it each time he/she's returned to the crate. I do NOT recommend keeping him/her in a crate all day, but just during 'sleep time' -like training your child to potty before bed and sleep through the night. Be diligent in taking the puppy out of the crate and immediately outside.
** I also leave the crate open for puppy to enter ‘at will’ for personal quiet time and do not allow anyone to disturb the puppy in their crate when the door is open (or they’ve entered it on their own). This will give the puppy/dog a place to know they can be left alone when needed and it’ll be a comfort to them if too much activity or change is happening.
4. I train my litters to use a 'potty park'. It was a large crate with food, water and a potty park fitting in the pen and enough extra space for sleep/play. The first week they tend sleep in the grass and potty on the paper but by the second week were successfully potty-ing in the park and I put a soft towel or pad in the sleep area. The park came with some 'spray on' urine - which stank much more than the puppies. I'd originally sprayed the entire potty park, but then figured out to only spray one corner/small area and that seemed to work much better. I'm not saying this is a must - but it is a method that works well for puppies and adult dogs – especially if alone long periods.
5. CLEANING - make sure you use specific cleaner for urine to absolutely remove all smell. I like Odo-ban - it disinfects and removes the odor. Vinegar or Ammonia based cleaners smell similar to urine so don’t use these. Dogs don't distinguish 'bad' smells as much as 'interesting' smells. Realizing this will help you deal with him being ‘yucky’ and know that it doesn’t help to rub their nose in the ‘interesting smell’ – he/she just doesn’t understand anything other than you’re mad and rough with him/her. Also they have a very strong nose and their instinct is to potty on other potty. It may not bother him much to sleep near potty especially since he's so used to it. You may have to mop the area with a strong solution of it.
6. If you continue to have issues, you may want to get a 'belly band' for him or a diaper for her. The belly band is a belt made of material with a vinyl type holder of a pad usually attached with Velcro. You can use half of a feminine pad against his penis, so that when he pees it goes into the pad and not on your floor. This is typically used for dogs who 'spray' and is taken off when the dog goes outside. This will not help with potty training but may help with enjoying him/her when you are home while working through this.
7. If you begin to feel he/she is being 'naughty' or doing it on purpose (the puppy knows better and is sneaking to potty in a corner) then there a couple ways to deal with this. One is flip them over on his/her back and scold (stern face/voice, but not yelling) - this is the submissive position and you're telling him you're bigger than him and you’re the boss. Another is 'time out' - this can be useful for behavior issues however be careful on how you do this. 'Time out' in his 'sleeping crate' has worked for some where other pups then think of their crate as a 'bad place' and we don't want that. If you use the crate, but make sure you use a different phrase 'naughty, time out' (not the same amount of syllables as what you use for 'sleep time') for a short period. You can also use your daytime area - just know that if you are home, he/she wants to be with you. Loving his/her people and getting their love and affection is all your puppy wants from life.
8. Be consistent. Your puppy been doing this for his/her entire life - it could take a bit to totally stop it. It’s hard for children to 'not love on/play with' (heck - it can be hard for an adult to resist) a puppy - but will be necessary if he hasn't 'potty'd' where/when he's supposed to. Make sure you give the potty-training method a chance. You may want to give up much sooner than the puppy will 'get it' and if you change too soon, it'll be confusing to him. If you've changed methods too often in the past, then any new method will take longer for your puppy to ‘get it’. -- Robin
These articles are written by various authors giving helpful advice regarding different areas of your dog's life.