A process of Elimination:
Housebreaking your new puppy will require patience, diligence, and a calm, authoritative attitude: You can teach your dog exactly where he should eliminate and where he should not. When you bring your puppy home for the first time, you will need to take over where Mother Nature leaves off. When pups are about 3 weeks of age and just begin to wobble around and venture from their mother, they instinctively walk away from their sleeping areas to relieve themselves. Therefore, your first step in housetraining will be to teach your puppy to relieve himself in approved areas. To achieve your housetraining goals, you must be consistent, alert, and patient because even when your puppy’s bladder has matured enough to “hold it” a litter longer between potty trips, you cannot consider him housetrained. He still has a lot to learn. Remember- Supervision is the key to prevention, and prevention is your key to success!
Making the proper preparations prior to bringing your puppy home will help with your housetraining success. To begin, before bringing your new puppy home, you should decide where his “potty spot” will be. And remember to take him to this “potty spot” before he goes inside to meet the family when you first arrive home from picking him up at Farrow’s Country Collies. This will help your puppy associate the appropriate place to go to the bathroom immediately. A number to keep in mind is 15! A proven fact is 15 minutes after your puppy eats, drinks, plays vigorously, or awakes he will need to “go.” The key to success is simple: Timing is everything. If you keep your puppy on a rigid schedule such as the “15 minute plan” it will prevent him from making mistakes in the house. Some trainers also recommend giving your dog a command like “go potty” or “potty time” at the moment your pup is doing his business in the proper place outside. Eventually, whenever you say the phrase, your puppy will eliminate on cue. Your Collie puppy’s behavior is also a good indication of “potty needs”- if you notice he is whining, pacing, or runs in a circle, quickly, but calmly grab the leash and get out the door. However, if a mistake happens and you catch your puppy eliminating in the house-and this will happen-correct him with a firm, gentle “NO.” Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and every puppy learns at his own pace. Some puppies will figure out the housetraining process in a day, while others take months. With this being said, you can make the training go smoothly with consistency, frequent trips outside, plenty of praise, providing every meal at the same time, and always using a confident, calm voice with your puppy.
A behavior that owners need to understand and make sure they can determine the signs of when displayed by a puppy is “submissive urination.” Even though this can be an embarrassing incident some dogs, no matter how well housebroken, suffer from “submissive urination.” This problem usually occurs when your dog is overly happy to see his “pack leader”, and pees a bit on the floor. It is important for you as the owner to realize that your puppy has not forgotten his hard-learned housetraining lessons. Therefore, you should not get angry or resort to harsh discipline. Instead, give the pup some time to settle down when you enter the door by ignoring him until he is able to greet you in a more appropriate way.
Tips for Housetraining your Collie Puppy:
- Always feed and water your puppy at the same time every day. He will learn to relieve himself at regular intervals.
- Even if you are in hurry, avoid brining the puppy back inside immediately after he does his business. If you do, he will learn that once he eliminates, the fun walk is over and he’ll start to prolong pottying to avoid going back inside.
- If your puppy has an accident, and he is remorseful, do not punish him. Only punish or reward your puppy for the bad and the good acts he performs while you are watching. Never hit him.
- If your puppy does not eliminate right away when taken outside, go back inside, crate him for five minutes or so, then take him back out and try again.
- Remember to keep everyone in the household on the same page, using the same routine no matter what.
I have prepared a daily schedule that I use myself for you below, feel free to incorporate this routine into your program and make any adjustments needed to accommodate to your lifestyle.
- Cleaning accidents with an enzyme solution will dramatically reduce the time it takes to housetrain your puppy because he will not be drawn to the same location.
- It is normal for your 8 week old puppy to pee and poop up to 20 times in a 24 hour period.
- Your puppy may forget what he’s supposed to do outside; remember pups are easily distracted. It is up to you to make sure elimination actually happens.
- Go to DogChannel.com/Club-Pup and download the typical puppy schedule. You can also download a chart that you can fill out to track your puppy’s elimination, which will help in managing your pup’s housetraining.
- First thing in the morning: Potty. After about 4 months of age, this should be followed by a walk if possible.
- Breakfast by 8:00 a.m., then potty trip 15 minutes after.
- Nap time in the crate.
- As soon as the puppy awakes: Potty and playtime. Potty trip after playtime.
- Lunch around 12:30 p.m., then potty trip 15 minutes later.
- Nap time in the crate.
- Potty and playtime immediately after the puppy awakes; Potty trip after playtime.
- Nap time in the crate. Once the puppy reaches 12-16 weeks this can be replaced with a walk.
- After the puppy wakes up: Potty and playtime followed by a potty trip after playtime.
- Supper around 5:30 p.m., then potty trip 15 minutes later.
- After the family’s dinner: Playtime and a potty trip.
- Bedtime around 10 p.m.: One more "potty trip," then into the crate for the night.
The Modern-Day Den:
Crating your dog mimics the close quarters of a wolf’s den, it is the ideal doggie den; a modern-day den, that your puppy can go to when he needs to rest or just needs break. A crate serves as a bed, a housetraining tool, and a travel carrier: Never think of crating as a cruel or unusual tool. A crate can save your dog’s life. Dogs, especially puppies, have been known to eat things that they should not such as light bulbs, pantyhose, children’s toys, even small knives. When your puppy is in the chewing stage, keeping him confined in a crate to prevent him from eating something that could potentially harm him is responsible pet ownership. Leaving your puppy loose in the house where he can chew on electrical wires, etc. is negligent.
When purchasing a crate for your Collie puppy remember the rule is that the crate must be big enough for the puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down in when he is fully grown. Most crates in your local pet stores are advertised by breed or weight of the dog, which will make your selection easier. In spite of the numerous varieties of crates, there are two basic models I have found that are worth looking into. Closed (fiberglass) crates have wired doors and “windows” on the sides. They are easily cleaned if your puppy should have an accident or gets carsick. The other type of crate is wire and completely open. It is nice for the puppy to see out, but wire crates must be kept out of drafts and covered at night so your puppy is not disturbed. Both types fold up or come apart.
Crate training can simplify the housetraining process and give your puppy a much needed space of his own. If used correctly your puppy will learn to love his crate and appreciate having his very own cozy, comfortable space to relax and rest when needed. Crating your puppy several times throughout the day is an excellent way to housetrain him because dogs will try not to soil their “home.” It is never a wise choice to give your puppy free range in your home, this gives him too many opportunities to get into unwanted mischief. I find it best to keep the puppy with me on a leash at all times up until 9 months of age, even when I am in my home, this keeps the pup out of trouble and also teaches him to lie next to me or in his crate near me. Use the crate for naps, nighttime sleep, and quiet-time breaks for the puppy to “unwind” from household chaos. Each time you take your puppy out of the crate, take him for a walk allowing him to eliminate and burn off any built up energy.
Never leave your puppy in the crate all day; he will need several “potty trips”, playtime, and feedings throughout the day. Even though he will try to avoid eliminating in his sleeping area, if left for extremely long periods of time, he might have an accident. And if he does, it is because of your negligence to your responsibility, not misbehavior from your puppy. You should also never use the crate for punishment. It should always be a safe, enjoyable place for your pup, not something he associates as being punished.
If used correctly the crate will make life much easier for you and your puppy. Your puppy will consider his crate to be a safe haven and you can rest assured that your puppy is safe, and will stay out of unwanted trouble when you have to be away from him!
I have prepared a list of 6 steps that I follow for successful crate training:
1.Tell your puppy “crate” and place him in the crate with his favorite toy or a treat. Let him stay in the crate for 5 minutes while you are in the room. Then release him and offer praise. Never release the puppy while he is fussing, you must wait until he is quiet before you let him out.
2.Repeat step 1 several times throughout the day. Practicing this will help your puppy understand that his crate is a safe and relaxing place to be rather than a jail cell.
3.The following day, place your puppy in the crate just as you did the day before. This time let him stay 10 minutes. Do this several times throughout the day as well.
4.Increase the time intervals in 5 minute increments until your puppy is able to stay in his crate for 30 minutes with you in the room without fussing. Always take him to his “potty place” after prolonged periods in the crate.
5.Now go back to step 1 and let your puppy stay in the crate 5 minutes; this time leave the room.
6.Once again, increase the time intervals in 5 minute increments. When your puppy stays willingly in his crate for 30 minutes without you in the room and does not offer to fuss, he will be ready to stay in the crate for several hours at a time.