How to housetrain your Papillon

One of the biggest reasons dogs are taken to shelters or given away is because of inadequate housetraining; so, set a schedule and start a training regimen.

Dogs and puppies thrive on a regular routine. By feeding and exercising your dog on or about the same time every day, your pup will relieve itself at about the same time.

Set a time to feed them that is convenient for you; then always feed on the same time schedule.

Until four months of age, a dog needs four meals a day, from four to seven months, three meals; from then on feed twice a day. Splitting their daily portion in half is healthier than feeding only once a day and it helps with housetraining. Feeding the proper amount is important; loose stools are a sign of overfeeding; straining or dry stools is a sign of underfeeding. Keep the diet constant, an abrupt change of food causes digestive problems. Donít leave the food down for a long period of time. After ten minutes, pick up the food dish and put it away. By doing this you will encourage your dog to eat when his food is served; therefore, keeping him on a schedule.

Fresh water must be available all day, with puppies pick up the water dish after 8pm, so the puppy can last through the night; with older dogs the water can stay.

Keys to successful housetraining are:

From the minute you get your dog home do not take your eyes off of him; he will want to sniff everything in his new environment so keep on your toes. If you canít watch him, put him in his crate. A dog thinks of a crate as his den, a home. They feel secure inside them and under normal circumstances will not relive themselves inside of one. If they have to go out while in the crate, they will usually let you know by barking or making noise trying to get out of the crate.

If you have other dogs he will probably want to mark his territory immediately, here is your opportunity, the second he picks up his leg or she squats, say stop! Loudly and firmly, you want to surprise the dog so he will stop what he is doing, pick a word to say that doesnít sound like a common word you use a lot. I use park for peeing and poop for, need I say?

When you are taking the dog out, keep saying, go outside, park, park, park! By doing this you will try to make the dog associate relieving him self with the words, park, park, park and outside. When you put the dog down, and he starts to go, the entire time he is going say in a soft voice good boy, park park, park, what a good boy. Have a treat ready and as soon, (not when you get inside) as he is finished in a high pitched exuberant voice say, ďYes what a good boy/girl park park, park!!!Ē Then give the treat, while petting and praising him.

When you canít keep following the dog around and keep a constant eye on him, put him in his crate, because if you make a mistake and do not see him pee or poop on the floor you can not do a thing, the old way of sticking his nose in it after the fact doesnít work and itís disgusting. Unless you catch the dog in the act and immediately reprimand him, the dog will not know he did anything wrong; so, if he makes a mistake you did not see, put the dog out side (do not let the dog see you cleaning up the mess) clean up the mess with a good cleaner; ask a pet supplier to recommend one, and start all over again; if he pooped you might want to take it to the designated area and tell him poop- poop. As I stated earlier I use park, park, park for urination and poop, poop for, I hate to sound redundant, poop.

Dogs look for a scent when going potty, so if there is no dog living in your area it may take the dog a long time to find a spot to relive himself. Puppies arenít too fussy with the scent thing, but an older dog will usually need a scent to know where to go; if it is your backyard and no other dog has gone there, you may have to borrow a neighborís dog that is familiar with the area and have that dog relive itself. The day we took Brando, thatís my Pappy, home he went 18 hours without going! We had to ask a neighbor to have her dog pee in our yard, afterwards he went immediately. It took me a week to train Brando and he was 18 months old when we got him he now poops and pees on demand. We have gotten another Pappy since then, Trixie, she is 7 years old. She was a show dog then a brood bitch and wasnít house broken. It took me two weeks to house break her. Who said you canít teach old dogs new tricks? Both of my beautiful dogs are from Involo Papillions. I used an exercise pen in the beginning because it caused them to focus while I was teaching them.

Take the dog out first thing in the morning, and Ĺ hr after every meal. Then again, as soon as you get home from work; no longer than 8 hrs for a grown dog, 4 hours for a puppy. Then out again before bedtime, if you have a little time in between he would really like an extra walk. Itís a great way of bonding, and it so interesting for the dog, they love to take in the smells.

Donít forget to praise your dog every time he urinates or poops, you can cut out the treats once they understand the routine. I still give mine treats when they pee or poop, it isnít needed to alter their behavior anymore, but it alters mine, it makes me happy doing it!!!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

by Debbie, Joe, Brando and Trixie

Recommended Reading:

And just for great fun:
Memoirs Of A Papillon by Dennis Fried, Ph.D