Blog Tag: Animal Training
Planning on flying with your pet for that family vacation? Find us at City Farm and get the best animal training tips that will save you the hassle.
Planning on flying with your pet for that family vacation? Find us at City Farm and get the best animal training tips that will save you the hassle.
Make sure you call the airline and check the availability. Most airlines have a limit as to how many animals they fly per plane (in the hold and in the cabin).
First of all if you have a small dog and can get your dog in the cabin in a bag do it! Get the bag weeks in advance or even better months, and carry your dog places so he gets used to it. When you book your flight, get a window seat so you don’t have people climbing over you and him mid flight. Even though the sherpa bags claim to fit under the seat, unless you have a 6 pound poodle, and you are in first class they very rarely do…you just kinda push the first bit of the bag under and that works fine, the rest of it will be sticking out, put a blanket over your lap and let it drape down, no-one will ever know that the bag isn’t all the way under the seat. Also a lot of times aisle seats have a box of some kind (probably electronic stuff for the TV in the back of the seat in front of you) under the seat in front of you, so this is another reason to get a window seat.
Just be prepared not to have a huge carry-on along with your dog in a bag, as it all gets a little crazy carrying everything. I just flew back from Mexico City with a 17lb Pekingese under the seat and let me tell you he got heavy after a while! Hopefully you have got your dog used to being in a bag before you fly. When you are on the flight you want him to settle down and go to sleep…If you keep opening the bag to check on him every five minutes, you will create a fussy dog who is probably more anxious than calm. You don’t need to administer water every half hour either – your dog will survive a 5 hour flight just fine without, the least amount of interaction with your dog (or cat) during the flight, the better behaved he will be for that flight and future flights. I used to fly everywhere with Gidget the Taco Bell dog – 99% of the time people had no idea I had a dog in a bag under the seat, she had no expectations of getting out of the bag, so she was quite prepared to hunker down and go to sleep.
Flying your dog in cargo requires a few more steps. Sometimes you will check your dog at the check in counter, other times you will have to drive to cargo and do the check in there…it all depends on the airline and whether you will be on the flight or not. Please be prepared and allow extra time when flying your dog through cargo – it is usually in a completely different section of the airport. There are restrictions for flying in the winter and flying in the summer, so be aware of these ahead of time so you are not in for any surprises. Also, book a direct flight if at all possible, having to change planes just adds the worry that your pet will not make the connecting flight and you end up at the final destination and your pet does not.
If you have to fly your dog in the hold, Get a plastic Vari Kennel as they seem the strongest. Again, purchase the crate ahead of time and have your dog sleep in it at night and for short periods of time during the day. The main reason flying a studio dog in a crate does not stress out the dog is because they are used to being in a crate…Whether its in the home, in the car, in a van or on the set. If its Winter, outfit it with a nice thick plush bed that he can sink into the middle of. If its summer do not put anything thick or plush – if for some reason he gets too hot you want him to be able to push aside the bedding so he can lay on the cooler plastic – the equivalent of a tile floor if you were at home…Attach the plastic crate cups, but don’t put anything in them. It spills within the first 10 minutes after they leave you and who wants a wet Frenchie? Write in magic marker on the front/top of the crate “DO NOT OPEN” and “DO NOT FEED/ON SPECIAL DIET”. Also write this on the paperwork they have you fill out at check in. You will always have someone who thinks the dog looks starving and gives it food, unless you have this written on the front – trust me, before I did this, my cats or dogs would arrive with strange looking food in the cups. Your dog can go without food or water for most domestic flights, its better than a wet dog bed. For international flights you have to be a bit more creative. I fashion a non spill water bowl that attaches to the crate, but that’s a whole other story! You could purchase the thicker plastic, screw in cups (like in the picture above) and freeze water in them if you like, but again, to me its not worth the chance that your dog will be sitting in a pool of water when you pick him up.
If its winter, you have a small dog and he is used to wearing a sweater put it on – the hold is climate controlled (also remember to check with the airlines where you are flying as some planes holds are not climate controlled and they do not allow animals to fly in them) but only put on a sweater if he is not the kind of dog to wriggle right out of a sweater and maybe get it caught up around him. Put a couple of laminated luggage tags on crate to identify it. And make sure he has a snug fitting collar and tags with the correct info. Worse case scenario – should your dog get out of its crate for any reason and someone reaches for his collar to grab him, the last thing you want is a loose collar that he can slip out of. If you are going to a really cold climate, in the past I have padded the inside of the crate with carpet scraps, and put flaps over the ventilation holes and gate to keep him warmer. Do not fly a dog wearing a choke chain!
Okay, so when you get to the airport, I ALWAYS get a skycab. Nine times out of ten, they will get you to a separate line or to the front quicker. You will be asked for Health Certificate and Rabies Cert, sometimes they won’t ask you for any paperwork. You will fill out the sticker or paperwork that attaches to crate – don’t forget to write (as there is no option to check off) DO NOT FEED/ DO NOT WATER on the paperwork. Depending on the airlines you may be asked to take your dog out of the crate while they put the crate thru the baggage x-ray (where you drop off your suitcases) so be prepared with a leash. And finally, and here is the most important part TIP the skycab at least $20.00. He is the one that takes (or if for some reason they switch – tip the person who takes the dog away on a cart as well) the dog down to the area where they put them on the trolley to the plane. You want him to move your dog around with care and $20 or more has an affect on them! I think!
Again in 20 years I have not had a serious problem flying a dog, a cat, squirrel or a duck.
Do remember in winter each individual airline has their own regulations as to the temperature that they will allow a dog to fly. So to be safe in the winter do not fly early in the morning or late at night as the temp may be too cold. Try for flights in the middle of the day when it has warmed up. I once had a midday flight in January from Des Moines back to L.A. The guidelines if I remember correctly, stated that the temperature on the tarmac be 8 degrees…It was about 2 degrees. We had to wait for another flight to see if it warmed up. Which it barely did. It was just at 7 degrees and they allowed us on the flight because we had big sturdy dogs (a Labrador and a German Shepherd) that could handle the colder temp. Also, in the summer the opposite applies – they will not fly a dog if it gets too hot. So flying at night or early morning is best. They are going by the temperature on the tarmac, because at some point your pet has to be taxied out on the luggage trolley to the plane and will be fully exposed to the elements.
I hope this helps – some dogs handle it better than others, most actually handle it okay, its usually the owner that doesn’t!
Don’t hate. Jackson was flown in the first class cabin because he was working on a movie. A nice perk.
FYI if you fly internationally – use an animal broker to handle all your paperwork such as PacPet based out of Los Angeles (most major cities have them, if you cannot find one in your area contact PacPet for help) that way you’re not missing anything and they handle everything so its much easier. And if you know you may be flying to Europe then contact PacPet http://www.pacpet.com at least one year before your trip as there are some requirements that take that long…
Quite a few jobs I end up on require a book to read or an iPhone loaded with a few movies. Not that I’m complaining or anything, its just best to be prepared for these things. On Clint Eastwood’s movie Changeling I sat in a chicken coop for about three nights out in the Mojave desert in October – in fact one of the more chilling scenes in the movie involving the kidnapper and a small child occurred the night of Halloween (creepy). I’ve often wondered how small children work on set when such horror is involved – I’m still not sure of the process (I was stuck in the back of a chicken coop you see) but the kids did a fantastic job.
I would periodically check on my chickens, see if they had enough water, it was night time, so they were sleeping for the most part – and then I would return to watch Dirty Dancing on my iPhone, sitting in a chicken coop.
Did I mention I was stuck in a chick coop?
Great set dressing by the way. I love working on period pieces. One of my first films I worked on was Titanic which was HUGE. Not just the size of the ship that James Cameron had laboriously recreated bolt for bolt, but the crew list, the departments, the extras. There was a lot of – everything, in very grand scale.
For me the very coolest of jobs that I am lucky enough to do involve travel. While most pet owners cringe at the thought of traveling with their pets for many different reasons, I and many of the animal trainers in the entertainment industry, have done this so many times we know the pitfalls and try to prepare well in advance for any event.
I am lucky to say that in nearly 19 years of traveling I have never had any kind of incident that has negatively impacted the animal I was traveling with. You can check out my Training Post on “Flying with your Dog” (which will be posted here in the next couple of months) for tips on traveling safely.
This job for a spaghetti sauce involved flying down to Santiago, Chile. I had never been before so was very excited. I had Echo as seen above and we stayed at the very dog friendly hotel The Ritz Carlton. And let me just say that whenever you can stay The Ritz Carlton – do so. They LOVE dogs! This was Echo – checking in.
Okay, so the bed they provided was a little small – but Echo didn’t seem to mind. My room had a dog bed, dog bowls and some dog bones waiting for us once we’d checked in.
The city itself was very dog friendly. Its the first time I was able to take my dog into a Starbucks! I LOVE it! And when we left our dogs at the hotel and ventured out to do some exploring it wasn’t long before we found some local dogs. This local stray (rather well fed I might add) had three legs and some enterprising person stuck a coat on him to make him more appealing? As soon as you sat down at this outdoor cafe he would stroll up (? hop up?) and lay down at your feet – how can you not feed that dog! I suspect that this is years of careful planning and it appears that he is very successful in his attempts at subtle begging.
The dogs (below) seem a little more concerned with us standing in a road than we do – here I am with Tracy Kelly, fantabulous trainer with her little dog Finn. I have to say, the airport staff upon checking the dogs in, were more courteous and caring for the dogs than at Los Angeles airport, I did not expect that. But then I guess if you live in a city where you can take your dog into a Starbucks then that says a lot about the people.
Its amazing what you will find in your own back garden. If you just look up, you might just see one of these.
I had noticed some owl pellets (pods of vomit – I know, lovely right?) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellet_%28ornithology%29) in my front garden, and being inquisitive I decided to poke around in a few of them, to see what the local owls were eating these days. Nothing out of the norm, a rat, a ground squirrel, maybe a gofer. Lots of teeth and bones and hair. Then I noticed one that was still quite fresh (read: squishy and soft) and entertained the idea that this had not long been regurgitated! So from that spot on the ground, I looked up and the barn owl in the picture above, was looking straight down at me!
He stayed in my beautiful Chinese Elm for about a month. During the daylight hours I would search the branches and find him sleeping. Oblivious to the dogs or the noise I was making from working in the garden, he stayed on and slept. Around 5pm-6pm, he would slowly wake up and groom as seen below. Getting ready for a night of adventure and tasty meals!
Sometimes you just get to have some fun with animals you would never normally get to touch.
Another animal company – Boones Animals for Hollywood – recently had some baby bears that they were training for a job. It didn’t take long for the word to get around to all the trainers in this business, and slowly one by one, we all made our way over to Boones to play with babies. I feel extremely privileged to be able to do this. By the way, can you see how dirty I am? Yes, playing with bear cubs is a dirty business, but someone has to do it!
Most years just before Christmas, Budweiser embarks on a a mini movie of sorts – a commercial they shoot that will air during the Super Bowl a couple of months later. I have worked on a couple of these and the pictures I took on this commercial show how beautiful and magnificent the horses are and how stinking cute the dogs are. I do not have anything to do with the horses, the training of these amazing Clydesdale’s is left in the capable hands of Robin and Kate Wiltshire http://www.turtleranch.net/Turtle_Ranch/Home.html and many extra hands from Budweiser.
If you have ten minutes and LOVE horses – watch this video put together by Turtle Ranch on training the Clydesdale’s for the Budweiser Super Bowl commercials http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si7p23Nex-g&feature=share&list=UUMCE4MR_S9rEVL89WUVq9bQ.
It will make you feel ashamed that your dog can’t sit/stay – lol.
I have been a part of the training of the dogs in a few spots though. In the above commercial – also seen in this link: http://youtu.be/i6hnqnPVJcE you will see Tommy, owned by Robin and Kate, he had a featured role for this spot and it is one of my favorites. To check out the Clydesdale’s on the Budweiser site – click here: http://www.budweiser.com/en/us/content/clydesdales/article/the-budweiser-clydesdales
People often ask how we train our squirrels and where we get them from. Well I can tell you that all of our squirrels are rescued. We get phone calls from people that have found a baby on the ground and don’t know what to do. We encourage them to leave them alone for a while to see if the mother comes to collect her baby and get it back to its drey (nest). Only when its quite apparent that the baby is abandoned do we agree to take it. *Note: we have licenses from the USDA and the department of Fish and Game to keep and house squirrels.
As far as training squirrels, they all have different tastes and preferences, but most of them will happily be trained for some peanut butter, sunflower seeds, tiny pieces of grape, slivers of walnut or other nuts and monkey chow (a diet used in zoo’s for many different animals, despite its name). They are usually what we call “hands off” – meaning we don’t touch them once the become fully grown as they do have quite a nasty bite! They may appear cute and cuddly, but realistically that is the last thing they want to do with a pesky human.
In the picture below you can see myself and another trainer Deborah working a trained squirrel in a park. The park was in Budapest, Hungary! You can see the box that I am holding, that is called a catch box. And this box is where the squirrel is released from and where it runs back to after he has performed. It has a doorbell type buzzer attached to it, so when I ring the buzzer, the squirrel knows to return to the box, once inside he gets a treat. we only use this box on set for the few minutes the squirrel performs. After he has done his actions, we transfer him to a larger cage that we use for traveling. At night when we return to our facility, they then get transferred to an even bigger enclosure, with tree branches and hammocks and nesting boxes.
What can you train a squirrel to do you might ask? Well, when you consider the average job for a squirrel, this may be just sitting in a tree. Easy enough I hear you say. Not so fast! We usually ask production to provide a branch or section of the tree that they want to shoot and we separate that from the real tree, so in the event the squirrel wants to go on safari, he is limited to a very small area. We have trained our squirrels to retrieve and hit a mark (like an actor), to run from “a to b”, sit and hold something, to wave and they are really good at eating. You can click on this link to see the commercial we shot in Budapest, http://youtu.be/8sBsNn48u4Y the only thing the squirrel did not do (and was added in post production) was carry the candy bar up the tree trunk. It was a fun job and very challenging, yet extremely rewarding.
You just have to remember one thing when training any animal – what is its motivation? For your dog, he may not like treats, but loves a tennis ball. Your cat may love beef flavored baby food or chunks of chicken and a rat might like dog kibble. Find out what food or toy excites your animal in training and use it to train some amazing things!
The reception we got at The Ritz~Carlton was exceptional. I was traveling with a duck. Well, actually two ducks and when I walked into my room I found a dog bed at the end of my bed with a sign with my ducks name on it, a book on ducks, and a bathtub filled with water and about twenty rubber ducks floating around in it! I would say this goes above and beyond your average welcome!
I think they have a soft spot for ducks. Every spring they have a a visitor, a female duck. She has chosen a planter outside the hotel to nest in and have her babies for six years in a row! You can read more about it here:
The staff were more than helpful, I had a lot of equipment and bags and at no time did I feel uncomfortable staying here with my odd travel companions. I loved the area, plenty to do and see, loved the shops and getting to go to my favorite deli Dean and DeLuca which is close to the hotel.
As always, if you travel with your pet – alert the hotel ahead of time and you will be greeted with dog beds, dog bones and a water bowl. And a wonderful stay.
House breaking your dog or puppy actually falls into a few different categories with slightly different applications of training. There is the large breed puppy – which is the easiest to housebreak; the small breed puppy, the large breed adult dog, the small breed adult dog. The adult dog categories can also be broken down even further – with the question being asked if you are adopting an adult dog – is he from a kennel or has he lived outside, with a small breed adult – was it “paper trained” or trained on wee wee pads? All key factors.
With all those things to take into consideration, just remember that consistency is key – as in all training, but with housebreaking, do it right the first time and put the time in and you will have a housebroken dog forever. When I ask people – “is your dog housebroken” and they reply “yes, he’s like 85% housebroken…” then the real answer is actually NO – my dog is not housebroken. Lets get started with what I consider the easiest dogs to housebreak – the medium to large breed puppy..
Medium to large breed puppy
I would assume that most people get a puppy between the ages of 8 and 10 weeks. There are a few things you need in order to housebreak a dog, and this applies to all the different dog/puppy scenarios. You need a crate, either a plastic travel crate like Vari-Kennel or a wire crate, you can purchase them at any pet store. You also need a bottle of Nature’s Miracle – this is a urine neutralizer in case your pup should have an accident – use this to clean up the urine and it removes the scent, therefore preventing the dog from peeing in the same spot time and time again.
This training is also going to incorporate crate training – which I feel every dog should learn. Think of your puppy as a new born baby – you would never leave a 4 month old baby alone on the living room floor while you took a shower, so why on earth would you do the same with an 8 week old puppy? When you are physically incapable of watching that puppy (your are on the phone, in the shower, making dinner, eating dinner etc.,) then the puppy goes in the crate, much the same as you would put the baby in the crib or at an older age in the play pen.
There are two guaranteed times that a puppy will need to go outside to relieve himself and that is – immediately after waking up, and after eating. Some dogs you need to get outside quick, do not dally! They wake up – you run them outside! At this early stage I start to incorporate a word or phrase for the dog to learn as a cue for him to go to the bathroom…I say “take a break” or “hurry up”…as they get older, they know what it means and when you are in a new environment or traveling it comes in handy to speed the process along.
Another time to take your puppy outside is if they start to sniff around…they could be in the middle of playing and they drop their toy and start sniffing the edge of the couch or the perimeter of the living room…take them outside. When you take them outside, just stand there with them – silently, except the occasional “hurry up” or whatever your verbal cue is going to be. As soon as they have done their business – “good boy…” and return inside.
You also have to consider the option of having a doggy door versus no doggy door. At this early age I would not train them to go through a doggy door – all you are trying to instill in them is that when they need to go outside to do their thing – THIS is the door they should pass through to get there. Train the doggy door when they are older and after you are a 100% sure they are housebroken.
So make sure you recognize ANY signs from your dog that he is trying to tell you he needs to go out. You will be surprised how quickly some 8, 9 ,10 week old puppies pick this up and will go to the door, and look at you to let them out…Huge praise for this of course – open the door and go out with them. You can imagine how easy it is to miss that request to go out – it might be fleeting – they are not quite sure, I think this door has something to do with me going out, so I’ll walk over there and look at it, hmmm nothings happening, maybe I was wrong, maybe I’ll just pee over there…
Realize that it is a lot of work. But then also take into consideration that you may have your dog for 10 or 12 years…do you really want a dog that isn’t a 100% housebroken for that length of time?
Putting your dog in a crate is a good thing. And even though you have a huge desire to have your new puppy sleep on your bed with you at night – don’t! You can invite him on the bed or whatever once he is trained. But please instill some ground rules into your dog before you start creating bad habits that will be hell to break at a later date. Trust me on this. When you buy a dog crate for a medium to large breed puppy, buy the size that will eventually hold your adult dog. You can put in a dog bed if you like – only if you’re confident that your puppy will not eat the dog bed and all the stuffing! Otherwise a towel or blanket. You can also put a couple of special toys in there – something that he only gets when he goes in his crate. Do not open that crate door to let out your puppy if he is whining, crying, howling or making any other sound that is trying to get your attention…in fact not only should you not open the door, you should not speak to or acknowledge your puppy at all…even saying “shhhh” is a positive reward for the pup as he has now elicited some response from you. I have had pups that get this process pretty quickly and then pups that sound like their tail is shut in the car door and they are being dragged down the highway…don’t fall for it, be strong and it will be over sooner than you think. My French Bulldog would “take herself to bed” at around 12 weeks of age – her crate was on the landing outside my bedroom, and she would drag her tired little body upstairs and put herself in her crate and fall asleep…Your dog will eventually love his crate if you use it consistently…just remember when you open that door to let them out the pup must be quiet prior to doing so – if your dog is having a hissy fit and you find it hard to do – just try and wait for a quick 10 second period when he stops howling and open the door quickly. Do not make a fuss of your puppy or new dog when he exits a crate. Open the door and walk away. If you must make a fuss, wait 5 minutes (after he has relieved himself) then have a party with your dog.
So…your dog is fine in his crate – he has his toys to chew on – you put him in there whenever you can’t watch him and you take him outside for a potty break upon releasing him from the crate.
The other important factor with housebreaking is putting your dog on a feeding and watering schedule. If you have a bowl of food and water down for him 24/7 then you will have a dog that is constantly needing to go to the bathroom – this is an especially important factor at night. I am assuming you are feeding your puppy twice a day. In the morning you release your puppy from his crate, walk him outside and give him the chance to eliminate. You come back inside, and feed your pup breakfast, also placing down alongside a fresh bowl of water. After they have eaten, you take them back outside and give them yet another opportunity to potty. One thing to remember, if you go to work all day, you need to rethink the whole puppy thing – you cannot leave a puppy in a crate all day and you also cannot leave a puppy outside in your back garden all day. They need supervision at all times – so figure out how and what you are going to do before you get the puppy.
As you approach the afternoon, ideally you should feed your pup his dinner no later than 4pm. This will give him plenty of time to digest the food and go outside several times before he sleeps. His water should be removed no later than 6pm – some of you will balk at this and say its not fair for him to have no water for that long. Remember, you are housebreaking your puppy, this will not be forever, when you potty train your children you don’t let them drink a big glass of water before bedtime do you (I hope not!)…You are training your puppy to “hold it” through the night…and that’s just not fair if he has a full bladder. What you can do if you feel strongly that your pup needs some refreshment after 6pm, say because he has been playing hard and is panting…give him an ice cube…That way you prevent the gulping down of a huge bowl of water that will inevitably want to come out at around 1:00 am.
The medium to large breed puppy will housebreak pretty quickly if you stick to these guidelines – they are more mature than an 8 to 10 week old Maltese and have a better sense of what is expected of them.
The last thing to mention here is correcting your pup when he has had an accident. You cannot correct your pup for peeing on the carpet UNLESS you physically catch him IN the act!! Please remember this….God knows, you will convince your self that upon entering a room and seeing that he has had an accident, he knows he has been bad because he looks like he has done something naughty….Let me just say for the record that this is bullshit. Even if your pup just walked away from peeing on the rug, he has no idea why you are now yelling at him…in fact what you are seeing is him reacting to your body language and your tone of voice – thereby making him look “guilty”…ears back, body low to the ground etc. So…if you catch him actually peeing, what you want to do is make him stop, and making him stop will mean surprising him (yelling at him may just cause him to pee more) so pick up that magazine, or car keys and throw them on the ground close to where your pup is eliminating – he will react to the noise and stop – the noise did not come from you, all he will think is “something bad happened the last time I tried this peeing lark on the Persian rug…” Once he stops, take him outside to finish what he started. And please…rubbing his nose in it is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of – so please don’t.
Small breed puppy
Housebreaking your small breed puppy requires a little more patience and a little more vigilance. I hear more people say of their small dogs that they are “housebroken except when…fill in the blank“. You need to get this right the first time – because trying to housebreak a young or adult small breed dog is very , very hard. However, I am here to say, it can be done.
You need to apply all of the training from above – with the large breed puppy…The crate training, watering and feeding schedule, correcting…everything. But you have to give your small breed puppy more opportunities to go outside to eliminate – creating good habits is so much better than trying to break bad ones. You may think its overkill to walk your pup outside every 30 minutes so they can pee…but what you are doing is trying to instill in their tiny little brains that the ONLY place they should pee/poop is outside.
Dogs are supposed to have that little chip inside their brain that says “I don’t poop where I sleep”…A large breed puppy has a better sense of inside/outside. A small breed puppy will look at your house and see this huge vast expanse of real estate and in their mind they think “well…I sleep over in that corner, so peeing in the hallway is far enough away…”. Your job is try and never let that option kick in…so taking them outside every 30 minutes will help them understand the process.
I had a 3lb toy poodle. I lived in a two story, 1600 square foot home and not only that but going out the back door to the garden, initially leads to a deck which leads to 12 steps that go down a path to where the grass is…This is a large trek for such a small dog. I made a game out of it, at first she was so tiny she couldn’t negotiate the steps, so I would carry her to the grass. Once she got big enough to make the steps, I would run down with her, she would pee and then we would run back up together, I would give her a small treat upon returning…This came in extremely handy in bad weather, even in rain and snow, she knew her goal was to get down those stairs, do her thing and get back up as soon as possible. In her head there was no other option for going potty, because I never gave her the opportunity to have an accident in the house.
When crate training make sure her crate is small – but big enough for her to stand ,turn around and lay down comfortably. For the first 2-3 weeks you may have to break your pup during the night as they are just too small to hold it for that long. You will learn the difference between an unruly pup begging to be let out of his crate because he wants to play and a cry in the middle of the night because they have to go potty. Be careful with this though. You are essentially creating a habit, and that is the puppy cries at 2:00 am – you wake up (wait for the crying to stop momentarily) and take the puppy out for a potty break. At some point you are going to have to ignore that 2:00 am cry and let him make it through the night for the first time.
Adult large breed dog
You can teach an old dog new tricks. The more info you have about your dog and his background the better. However, lets assume that you got your dog from the shelter, he has been there for 3 weeks and in that time he has come to learn that if he needs to pee or poop, all he has to do is take three steps to his left and go! Same rules apply as above…crate training is without a doubt imperative. Water and feeding schedule…plenty of supervision. Your new dog probably comes with a slew of bad habits (not housebroken, escape artist, chewer, barks, steals food, digs holes). Assuming he has them all is the best way to start your new relationship.
Treat your adult dog like an 8 week old puppy. Crate him when you cannot supervise and give him plenty of supervised potty breaks. Putting him outside for an hour, is not really teaching him anything about housebreaking. Regularly escorting him outside for the opportunity to eliminate and then re-entering the home is teaching him where you want him to potty.
I just recently got a two year old English Bulldog. I got him from a breeder – usually breeders use crates, so I did not have to deal with that battle. However, anytime I couldn’t pay full attention to him he went in the crate. He slept in the crate at night. The first time I let him sleep outside of his crate was three months after I got him. From constant supervision I knew he was not a chewer, I knew that he was housebroken – having witnessed hundreds of visits outside via the doggy door…So on a day when I knew that he was exceptionally tired (and less likely to get up to no good) I went to bed, made no fuss and let him sleep wherever. The first couple of nights I did wake up a couple of times and creep out to the living room to make sure he was okay…
Adult small breed dog
Getting an adult small breed dog more times than not means they are not housebroken. In most cases that might just be the reason they were dropped off at the pound.
Again…all the above applies, crate, feed and watering schedule, supervision. You may have the added disadvantage of your small breed dog being “paper trained”…At first, you might think “huh…cool, that may come in handy…”, but realistically its a nightmare. A lot of times they mistake a rug or a dog bed or a doormat as that place that they should pee, because visually it is an object separate from the floor, just like the newspaper or the wee wee pads. So in lieu of the newspaper they find the next best thing…usually the bathroom rug!
As you can imagine, this is one of the hardest dogs to housebreak and all I can say is…if you thought that the above housebreaking techniques involved hard work and consistency, then you haven’t seen anything yet. The not so beautiful thing is, you may also find your self owning a small dog that will go the bathroom in their crate – which defies all logic I know. Also remember that the cute teacup chihuahua that weighs 2lbs that you fell in love with, also comes with a reduced amount of intelligence! From bad breeding and inbreeding to get these dogs this size, you have to compromise somewhere and its usually the brain…That chip that tells a dog to not go potty where they sleep is missing.
Huge, huge praise when they do go potty outside and maybe a treat…Always SUPERVISE and crate!
If you work and leave your house for hours a day – DO NOT leave your new puppy or dog in a crate, but at the same time do not leave it loose in the house or in the backyard. These are all things that you should consider BEFORE you get a dog. Its like having a baby, a certain amount of time needs to be dedicated to raising it – plan before you buy!
All of these techniques have worked for me – other trainers may implement different training, which is fine…I can only speak from my experiences. Good luck. Email me with any questions.