House Breaking Your Skye Terrier Puppy
The goal of house training is to teach your dog where to eliminate. The process combines rewarding your dog for eliminating in appropriate places – training – and preventing him from being able to eliminate anywhere else – management.
Management means preventing your dog from having the opportunity to eliminate in the wrong place. This is done by keeping your dog under the direct supervision of a responsible person or in a small confined space at all times.
When you are at home, use a leash to keep your dog close to you. I make a “house-leash” out of a piece of clothesline by attaching a snap to one end with a slip knot. I secure the knot with some masking tape. This leash can be tied to your belt loop or tied around a door-knob in whatever room you are in. This allows you to supervise your dog closely. He will be unable to leave your sight to eliminate. If you leave the room, your dog must go with you.
When you are home, but are unable to supervise your dog, place your dog into a crate that is large enough for your dog to be comfortable, but not so large that he will eliminate in one end and rest in the other end.
Training involves taking your dog outside every hour on the hour. Grab a small treat on the way out of the door. Be sure your dog is on-leash and go with him to his potty area. Stand quietly until he begins to eliminate. At this point you can say a word or phrase such as “go potty” or “do your business” that you will eventually use to signal to your dog to eliminate. Just as your dog has finished eliminating, tell him “Yes!” and offer him a small treat. This is why it is important to grab a treat before you go out with your dog. You must reward the dog immediately after he eliminates. This way he associates the reward with what he just did – eliminate. Your dog will not make the connection to eliminating outside if you bring him inside to reward him.
As your dog matures you can begin to gradually increase the time between potty trips.
When your dog has eliminated outside you can bring him back inside for some play time. Remember that he will still need to remain under direct supervision at all times. Activity often causes dogs to eliminate. Keep a watchful eye for signs that your dog has to eliminate. Common signs are sniffing, circling, squatting, and whining.
What do you do if your puppy eliminates inside? You need to evaluate your management and training program to see where you let your puppy down. Was he left unsupervised or did you wait too long to take him out?
Do not scold your puppy or use any physical punishment. This will only confuse and possibly frighten your puppy. It could also slow down your house training progress.
Your puppy will not understand that you are upset because he has eliminated in the house. Unless you catch your puppy in the act, you must simply clean up the mess with a product designed to eliminate the odor and make a determined effort to help your puppy get it right the next time.
Showing him the “evidence” and/or saying “NO” or worse, rubbing his nose in it will not teach your puppy where to eliminate.
If you do catch your puppy in the act inside the house, say “Oops” and scoop your puppy up as quickly as possible. As you head to the door, say “outside”. Then take your puppy to his designated potty area and use your signal for eliminating.
Another reason you don’t want to punish or frighten your puppy if you catch him eliminating inside is that for potty training to be successful, you must be able to get your puppy to eliminate outside in front of you so that you can reward him. He may be afraid to eliminate in front of you if you have scolded him for doing it inside. He may make the assumption that eliminating in front of you is dangerous whether he is inside or out.
For times when you must leave your puppy home alone you should have a long-term confinement area. This area should be a small room such as a bathroom or kitchen with the door blocked off by a baby gate. An even better choice is an exercise pen (available at most pet supply stores) which is like a play pen you would use for a child, but without a bottom. Inside the long-term confinement area, you will need to have a place for your puppy to rest, some water, some appropriate chew toys and an elimination area. You can use the “potty pads” sold at pet supply stores for the elimination area. Since your puppy may not be able to “hold it” while you are gone, the goal is to help him make a choice to potty in the area you designate.
Once you return home, take your puppy outside immediately and return to your training program. Following this program will help you be more successful in housetraining your puppy. You may experience set-backs or accidents, but with persistence and patience you will see how simple housetraining your puppy really is