Friday, November 26, 2010

ASK THE DOG TRAINER, with Terry Lynn Cuyler: Crate Training a Puppy Mill Dog

by Terry Lynn Cuyler, APDT, CPDT-KA 
© P.S. reader copyright on file
Pip is a Rescue Pup
with an Uncertain Past
Dear PawsProf:

I believe Pip is a puppy mill dog because of the circling he does.  He needs to be crate trained because he doesn't really understand what a walk is, nor what the grass is for, so he has lots of accidents in my condo.  I am afraid that if I do crate train him he will become even more traumatized, if he was from a puppy mill. Any suggestions?
Thank you, Patti
Dear Patti:

We dog trainer's love using crates to help house train puppies.  Most pups won't eliminate where they sleep so keeping them in a crate until you take them to their elimination spot helps prevent 'accidents'.  However, some pups who were raised  in a crate didn't "get the memo" that you don't go in your crate because they were never given a chance to go anywhere else.  

If Pip doesn't seem to know what to do outside, this may be the case with him.  He may not be traumatized in a crate, he may feel safe there, but he also may not hesitate to go potty there.  SO, I would suggest you strictly schedule his feedings and his opportunities to go potty.  

You can limit where he goes in your condo by purchasing an exercise pen which is like a play pen for dogs without a floor. If you get a very light one, you could even take it outside and plop him in there instead of having him on a leash.  He stays in his play pen inside or tethered to you with a leash.  This way you limit his chances to go potty in the wrong place.  

Most dogs can hold it for about an hour for each month they are old.  So say Pip is 4 months old, you want to take him out after he wakes up in am and from naps, within half hour of being fed, and after he has been playing and has gotten excited. The trick to house-training is to have the dog in the RIGHT spot when he has a full bladder/bowel.  So YOU have to control his access.   He is not allowed freedom in your house unless he has just peed/pooped.  And he can gradually be allowed freedom, one room at a time, over a period of months.

Tethering him to you in the house keeps him out of a crate, but means he is always supervised.  If he begins to pee and he's right there tethered to you, you notice and say, "No, outside!" and rush him out there - or to his other intended potty area.   You didn't say if he is comfortable with puppy pads, but if he is, that is an alternative to going outside.  

When Pip does go in the correct spot you must let him know with high praise and a yummy treat - right there where he is outside!  It's too late to give him a treat when he's back inside - he won't make the connection with going potty outside as the reason he got the treat.  And just praise is not enough if you're still having problems, though it will be in a few weeks.  

Right now you want it very clear to the dog:  Go inside=get a mild scolding just AS he's going.  Go outside=get praise and a treat!  Be consistent.  If you don't catch him eliminating in the house, hit yourself in the head with the rolled up newspaper and ask yourself why you weren't watching your dog...{grin}  Vigilance for ten days will pay off with a dog who understands where to pee and poop. and a house free of accidents.

Terry, the Paws Prof
© courtesy TLC
Our ASK THE DOG TRAINER Column can be reached at
For more information on Terry Lynn Cuyler and her training, you may find her at Paws Prof. 

A personal appointment with a trainer will likely provide more specific information on your dog's issues and your questions.

The PawsProf's advice does not replace an actual consultation with a qualified trainer.

Top Blogs Digg! Pets Blogs all things dog Dog Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory blogarama - the blog directory Blog Directory
Help protect our precious dog parks
© Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Follow All Things Dog at Twitter    Find me at Facebook    Dog Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved
Bookmark this on Delicious


Elayne Taylor said...

Awesome dog tricks! Keep it up! Really, I am impressed from this post. The person who create this post is truly great. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Kind Regards,

Elayne Taylor
Housebreaking a Puppy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by A Mommy's Blog Design (© Copyright 2011)
Header Banner created by Bill Henderson Design