Potty Training Help - Please!!!!

Posted by Kathryn
Feb 3, 2008
We have a new little puppy. Albe is her name and she is a little Coton. We got her to be friends with our little bichon, who is a year old now and all potty trained and is the greatest dog. I thought having Beau (the bichon) as her example, Albe would be easy to train. She is closely watched and I have caught her several times right in the middle of doing her business in the house and immediately take her outside. I have been patient and spending as much time as "humanly" possible to watch her every cue - but this little girl is tough! I need help! Any suggestions????Please - Please - Please! I am at wits end! I've not EVER had this kind of challenge potty training before!:eek:

Thank you for your help!
Posted by Todd
Feb 11, 2008
Hi there and thanks for your question.

Toilet training can be very frustrating but keep at it and with some help i am sure you will figure it out with your puppy.

deally it would be easiest to take say a week off work and train her for that week. I understand this is not practical in your situation so i will try and give you some helpful pointers. You may also try and take a day off either side of the weekend if possible.

The aim of toilet training is to predict when she is going to toilet and then take her to a place where she may toilet.
The ideal times to take your puppy out to the toilet are first thing in the morning, after feeding, before and after play and last thing at night. In your situation take her out as often as possible when you are home ie when you feed, play etc but also when you come home and when you leave.
Take her to her toileting spot and give her a command like "Go toilet". Then wait. It may take a few minutes to toilet but you must wait. When she starts to toilet say "Good dog" and when she is finished give her more praise and attention.
The aim is to reinforce that toileting is good when done in an appropriate place.
The weekend or any days you have off are great times where you can make some real progress on your dogs toilet training.

Dont ever growl at your dog after you find a mess or rub there noses in it. This DOESN'T work. If you catch your dog preparing to toilet quickly grab them and run them to their toileting area. If you catch her mid act you can growl at her quietly then clean the mess up as mentioned below. Take the messed paper out to her toilet place and show her. This will help her make the right associations.

Always make sure you clean up any mess properly and then use an odour neutraliser on it to make sure she doesn't have the smells around that cue dogs as to where to toilet.

The second less preferable method is the paper training method. This is much slower and messier than the above method.

Paper training -
The basic idea is to first train your dog to toilet on paper and then move the paper away.
First you will need a small room that has an easy clean linoleum floor. The room should be warm and quiet.
Cover the entire room in newspaper. When you come home and she has toileted clean up the mess, change the paper and use an odour neutraliser on the spot.
Over time slowly reduce the area of the room covered in paper over a week or so. Once you are down to a single piece it is time to retrain to another area. This is best arranged to be at the weekend when you can work hard.

Take a few pieces of paper outside onto your lawn. Follow the steps above as when to take your dog out to toilet and get her to toilet on the paper. Every time you take her out to toilet make the paper smaller and smaller. Eventually you will have a very small say 5cm by 5 cm piece of paper she is trained to toilet on. With any luck she will not notice the paper and learn that the grass is best.
One important thing to remember is not to leave paper lying around on the floor as your dog may accidentally toilet on it.

I hope this helps. Be patient and don't give up. Please let me know if this advice is practical for your situation if it worked, or if you need anymore advice. Good luck.

Todd Field