Potty Training Tips
1) Potty Training is a matter of habit, not obedience. Dogs will go potty where they smell they have gone before. Thus, AVOID ACCIDENTS by managing your puppy VERY closely. If an accident does happen, clean it up promptly with a cleaning agent that will thoroughly get rid of the smell. (Walmart carries enzyme cleaners in the dog isle made for this). Also, don't be too quick to clean up messes where you DO want your pup to go. You want him to smell that he's gone there before.
2) Feed and Eliminate on a schedule. Puppies will have a bowel movement shortly after eating a meal. Plan for this, and have them outside when that happens.
3) Puppies pee immediately upon waking up. If your puppy has been resting, even for a short time, he will pee when he starts moving around again. Have him outside for this. So, if he has been resting in a crate, take him straight outside when you get him out. If he has been playing inside and voluntarily laid down to rest, take him out immediately as soon as he starts stirring again.
4) Be Boring when you take him out. If you take him out and start running around and playing immediately, your puppy will think going outside means PLAY. They will actually hold it. Then, when you get tired of waiting and go back inside, he'll go potty inside when play time is over! INSTEAD, be very boring when you first go outside. Have him on a leash, and just stand there. NO FUN. However, once he has gone potty, make it a party! Lots of praise. Yummy treat. Play.
5) Manage your puppy VERY CLOSELY while inside. The ONLY time you should let him on the floor in your house to play, is right after he's gone potty for about a half hour. After that you're risking an accident. I have my puppies on a leash with me whenever they're in the house.. so I can make sure I don't forget to manage them properly. If it's been more than 30 minutes since the last time they've gone potty.. I keep them on my lap and don't let them walk around on the floor. Innovative K9 Academy encourages the use of X-pens. This allows the pup to be in the same room as you, where you can watch them, without being on a leash. It will be a long time before you will be able to trust your puppy to run around your home unattended. Don't rush it.
6) Take your pup out often. ESPECIALLY in the beginning, take your puppy out often! If you go out and you stand there, all boring-like, for a while and your puppy doesn't seem interested in going, just go back into the house and try again later. Remember, don't "party" outside unless there has been a successful potty!
Quiet In Crate
1) "Load" the word "Yes!". Before crating your puppy, load the word "Yes!" by saying "Yes!" and then giving a treat. Do this repeatedly until the puppy turns to look at you when you say "Yes!", expecting a treat.
2) DON'T Reward Noise! If you go to him when he's having a fit, you're reinforcing that behavior. Only talk to, acknowledge, treat or pet your puppy when he's being quiet and relaxed in his crate. Certainly DON'T let him out when he's making a fuss. If you do, he'll think "Ah ha! If I bark and whine really loud and obnoxious, they will come to me and give me what I want."
2)DO Reward Calm! When the puppy is noisy and stressed out, ignore him. However, as soon as the puppy relaxes, stops fussing and lays down... immediately say "Yes!", then walk into the room and give him a treat through the crate bars. Pet him, say what a good boy he is, and then leave again. Do this repeatedly.. and hopefully he'll start to figure out that it's ok, you'll come back and good things come when he's relaxed. Even after the pup has gotten a good hang of this, and is usually calm in the crate, continue to periodically reward him for it.
3)Be Fair. Don't expect a puppy to be calm in a crate if he is full of energy. To be fair, let him play and wear him out before you put him in. This way, it becomes his "bedroom" where he likes to rest when he's tired. Dog actually grow to LOVE their crates. They go there when they need some "me" time. However, when you're first getting started, help the little guy out by making sure he's ready for a nap when you put him in.
4)It's ok to walk away. No matter what you do, some puppies are REALLY ear piercingly crazy in their crate and simply won't settle. It's ok to put them in a far away room and shut the door so they can have a fit for a while without killing your ears. Hopefully they'll settle eventually, and as soon as they do, say "Yes!" and go in and reward them.
5) A little noise is ok. If your puppy is generally good in his crate, and has been calm and quiet for a while, then take him out to potty if he starts to whimper or acts restless. If he goes, great! If he doesn't go, and it was a false alarm, put him back in his crate.
6)Teach Patience. Don't let your puppy out of the crate immediately when you wake up or return home, etc.. Walk around in the room for a minute, do something else. THEN, go to your puppy if he's being good. You don't want your puppy to freak out whenever you wake up or arrive home, expecting to be let out immediately.