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What to Expect During House Training (Potty Training Puppies)

Many people expect too much too soon when it comes to house training a new pup.  They leave the pup overnight, or for a couple of hours during the day and expect it to be dry.  They may expect pup to ‘ask’ to go out by whining at the door, or to use a doggie door way too early.  Pups need guidance in where to toilet, as with many things in learning to live with humans.  Here is a basic potty training schedule to show you what you can expect when.  This schedule is for guidance only, and as each dog is an individual, may vary from this:

  • 8 – 12 weeks – every 45 minutes
  • 12 – 16 weeks – every 1 to 2 hours
  • 16 weeks – 6 months – every 2 1/2 to 3 hours
  • 6 months – 1 year – every 3 to 4 hours

In addition to the above schedule, pup will need to be taken out (not sent, taken) after each meal, when he wakes, after playtime, and about 5 – 10 minutes after drinking.

Playing the name game:  Name Game K9 Connectables blog

DIY Training Treats:

2 large potatoes – microwave on high for 12 – 14 minutes or bake in oven until over cooked (but not burnt). You are looking for a dry, crumbly mess when you cut them open
1 or 2 tins of sardines
2 large eggs

After potatoes are cooked and cooled, throw all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth batter. Spread out in a silicon baking dish, or line a tupperware with cling film or baking parchment. Pop in microwave for 10 – 12 minutes on high, until dry and a little rubbery, but not crispy. Cool and dice into fingernail sized pieces.

PUPPY SOCIALIZATION VS. VACCINATION (Dr. Sophia Yin):–YhnIQLhBS-3yb5ftLeXG9oeBXou6PIO1zeErMxsnxvo8MwlUWYPL_Orp_lUY9hDG1JpHqvW9UJEeFIx8EbpSTTc1voA&_hsmi=9425417

How to teach your dog (or cat) to take that nasty pill with no hassle!

How to Make Your Own Flirt Pole:

SEASONAL TIPS:  What to do if your dog eats chocolate:

Be A Tree:


A crate (indoor cage) can be a relaxing place for your dog to escape a busy household, and a great way to house train a new puppy or rescue dog.  A crate gives your dog his or her own space to sleep or just be on his own for a bit.  It keeps dogs from destroying your house while you are out, and keeps the dog out of the way of smaller visitors who might not know how to act around a dog.  Donna Hill does a video on how to introduce your dog to his or her crate: 


You shouldn’t pull back on your dog’s lead.  Dogs are equipped with an opposition reflex.  This means they will pull against any pressure (e.g., the collar and lead).  Even if you use a choke collar or slip lead, your dog will naturally pull against the pressure.  So consider, if the dog naturally walks faster than you and has a built in reflex to pull against pressure, how do you get him to walk nicely next to you without pulling your arm off or choking himself?  The answer is not to pull back on the lead.  This will increase your dog’s pulling.  You can either stop in your tracks with your arm held close to your body (be a tree) until the dog stops pulling and returns to your side, you can lure him with a treat held next to you, you can do an about face and walk the other direction, or a combination of all three.  It is important to find which technique works for you and your dog, and to learn how to do it properly and consistently.  You can change equipment if you find it too difficult to control your dog on a regular flat lead, but you will still need to teach him where you want him to walk.  No pull harnesses are not magical.   Only after training the behaviour will your dog figure out how to walk nicely next to you.


It’s the most important lesson to teach your dog, but it isn’t always the easiest.  Of all the basic obedience cues you can teach your dog, the recall (coming back to you when you call) is by far the most important and can be the most difficult to train if you don’t use a consistently good method.  A reliable recall, meaning your dog will come back to you every time has many benefits.  You can be more relaxed about letting him off lead.  You can call him away from potentially dangerous situations like another dog whose intentions you are unsure of, or traffic.

Why is this behaviour so difficult to train?  If we look at it from the dogs’ point of view, we might understand it better.  Your dog gets to leave the house once or twice a day.  You take him to the park or the beach on lead, then let him off for a run.  This is the highlight of his day.  After a few minutes, you call him back, clip the lead on, go to the car and head home.  You are expecting the dog to leave all the fun and excitement, sights and smells that he loves to experience to get in the car and sit in the house.  Booo-ring!  No wonder he doesn’t come back.

Some dogs will eventually wander back.  Other more persistent beasties will run off and you chase after him.  What a great game (for the dog)!  Not much fun for you though.  You catch him at some point, perhaps with the help of some judgmental passer-by, and on goes the lead.  You think maybe next time, he won’t get off lead at all.  This scenario gets repeated on every walk, and soon the dog realizes that ‘come here’ means ‘fun time is over’.  No wonder so many dogs ignore it.

Make it rewarding.

I often explain to my clients that animals do what works for them, what is most rewarding at any given time.  For example, the dog who ignores the recall cue gets to spend more time out, maybe playing with other dogs, or frolicking in the ocean.  If he comes back, he just has to go home.  Dogs are continually weighing up the costs and benefits of their behaviour.  People do this as well.  Would you continue to go to work every day if they stopped paying you?  Once the incentive is gone, the behaviour that preceded it is likely to reduce or disappear altogether.

So how to you get your dog to come back to you?  You have to become more exciting and more rewarding than all those ‘distractions’ outside!  Ensure you have your dog’s favourite food treats, or his most prized tuggy toy with you.  Give him a tidbit, or a quick play every time he comes to you.  Call him back when you are not going to put him on the lead.  Give him his reward, and then release him to play some more.  Use different treats for added benefit – he’ll be thinking “what will I get this time??”  Now that’s exciting!

Whatever you use, make sure it’s special, and only used for training times.  This will make it all the more valuable to your dog.

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