I was in Fort Lauderdale this morning at a new Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® client installing the perimeter underground fence for Zoey, his Wheaton who loves to run up and down the street. I finished up the system and quickly taught Zoey that he had a new safety boundary and that his best option would be to remain at home. After about 30 minutes of perimeter dog training, Zoey had the concept firmly embedded in his head. All my client had to do now was to practice for the next week or so to reinforce the boundary and build his dog’s newly acquired knowledge into learned behavior.
He was excited that such a large dog and family safety issue had now been eliminated. As Forrest Gump always said, “…One less thing to worry about…” He did have another question about a new puppy he just brought home. He had read all the potty training documentation, but was at a loss to know what to do when he was gone for a really long time and couldn’t get his puppy outside.
Potty Training is one of those “scary things” that all new puppy owners seem to go completely bonkers over. They try all sorts of things that friends who have never owned dogs tell them to do. They buy books that are at the checkout stand at the pet store (by the doggie beef jerky) and purchase products that say, right on the label, that it will absolutely make the puppy potty when and where they want. The only thing that all these “solutions” have in common is that they don’t work.
Potty training is simple management, observation, and common sense. My client had an issue with a very specific portion of the potty training process. It seemed that he was being successful when he could be home to observe and manage his puppy. He also understood that he could be away for periods of time during which his puppy didn’t have to go to the bathroom and had the inclination to temporarily “hold it”.
His problem arose when he had to go on business calls down in Miami or Palm Beach and be away from the house and his puppy for five or six hours. Since his puppy was only twelve weeks old, the little guy couldn’t “hold it” for longer than about three hours. Let’s see, holding it for three hours and not getting outside for five or six hours; “Houston, we have a problem…”
Well, we don’t necessarily have a problem if we understand how we can adjust the potty training process to take these elongated periods of being away into account. The solution that has worked for me and my clients for many years is based on perspective.
My client is successfully teaching his puppy not to go to the bathroom in the house and is quickly learning when to get him out and to identify times when his puppy is communicating that he needs to potty. Through consistency and repetition, his puppy understands that potty is for outside and that he will always be directed outside when he needs to potty.
So, what happens when his puppy, which is still learning the process, has to go to the bathroom and isn’t let outside and can’t tell his master that he needs to get outside? In the current situation, there is no solution. Thus, when the answer is not inside the box, get a new box.
We need to create an alternate location (or perspective) that is not part of the training process that we can use as a temporary respite from the potty rules. This place must be a location that is safe, convenient, and where the puppy will never go unless the client is leaving for a length of time longer than his puppy can hold it.
I suggested a powder room or laundry room. These are places that can be closed off when they are home so that the puppy will never go there on a regular basis. They are convenient and safe when my client needs to leave his puppy for a long time. They also have tile floors so that any accidents can be easily cleaned.
I told him to make sure that everything is removed from the floors and anything that the puppy might “get into” such as toilet paper have been removed or raised to a height such that the puppy can’t get them. He should leave a small bit of water in the room to allow the puppy to remain hydrated and to make sure that some of his favorite toys are also present in order to distract and amuse his puppy.
When he goes away for a long time, the puppy goes into “the other place”. When he comes home, he puts the puppy back into “the rest of the house” and closes the door. If there is an accident in the laundry room or powder room, he should simply clean it up and take no action against the puppy. He should take note that the puppy still can’t hold it for the length of time he was gone and use this information as part of his continuing potty training process.
The most important thing that I told my client to remember is that this “other place” should be thought of as a pause in the training. It is an understanding that “life happens”, and when it does, he needs to minimize the impact of not being able to properly train.
The fewer of these “long departures” will allow my client more valuable observations and potty training actions, but his “time out” when he is gone will not harm the potty training process in any way. It will only slightly elongate the procedure because he cannot be teaching during those times and his puppy cannot be learning.
Understanding when you can and cannot teach is important. When you understand you are not in a position to teach, you need to know what to do so that your dog does not digress. Robin and I are always happy to discuss the proper methods when dog training or requirements for needing an underground dog fence. Just go to Dog Fence Training Help Fort Lauderdale South Florida. There is a lot of dog training and invisible dog fence information at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Fort Lauderdale South Florida. We have professionally trained over 3,500 dogs in Fort Lauderdale and most other parts of South Florida to be great dogs through behavior training and perimeter training. Successfully providing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System needs a proven installation process and a professional dog training system. Our certified Perimeter Dog Training Method is key to the Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System. Learn more about our dog training by clicking Home Dog Training Fort Lauderdale South Florida.