The cleanliness in dogs is very similar to that of a child. It is perfectly normal that a puppy does not manage to hold back the first months. It is primarily the responsibility of the owner to educate his animal as to where the dog is allowed to do his business.
No matter how old your dog is, the process to show him cleanliness is the same! If you can’t monitor it, you should restrict its space, take it out as often as possible and clean with water and vinegar anytime you smell traces of odors. It is necessary to make sure that your companion understands that he can do his needs only at the agreed place. Of course, it can happen in some rather rare cases that your dog’s cleanliness is medical or behavioral. He could suffer from separation anxiety or a urinary tract infection. Only a veterinarian or a canine expert will help you in this case to define the problem.
A cage can be defined as an umbilical cord to help manage the cleanliness of your baby or adult dog. It goes without saying that if you are at home, but you cannot monitor it, it will be better to put it in a cage or in a restricted area. You can also tie his leash around your waist to restrict his field of action. Thus, you can not lose sight of it and you will more easily notice the warning signs. The cage is not mandatory to teach your dog cleanliness, but it is very useful and will help in the process. It must become your dog's home, its den, a place where it feels good. It should never represent a place of punishment.
The Ideal Size of the Cage
An animal will not destroy the place where it rests, so it is important that its home contains only the appropriate space to accommodate it. No more. He must be able to lie down comfortably, get up and change position. If you want him to learn to restrain himself quickly, he must not have a corner in his cage where he could do his needs and then go back to bed. Start by giving him a smaller space, and the more he learns to hold back, the more you can expand his space.
Watch your Puppy
A puppy urinates about every 30 minutes around the age of two months and every hour from four months. Do not punish the dog who urinates or stools in the house, as this will make him anxious and he will do his needs hidden in a corner where he could eat his feces to make them disappear. If you show anger towards him, your dog might associate your approach with something negative. If you catch him, take him to the place where you want him to do his needs, ideally always the same, because he will smell it and it will help his learning.
It is wise to take out your darling puppy very often, for short durations. Yes, it will take a lot of time and energy, but it will learn faster as well!
It is therefore important to take him out frequently:
- After each meal
- After each period of play
- When he just woke up
- When you take him out of his cage
- Of course, if he needs help, REWARD HIM! As long as he has not been clean for a certain period of time.
If this can help you prevent unwanted little needs, keep in mind your puppy will probably show one or more signs of behavior changes before peeing or pooping. Each dog being different, they will not all do the same!
Observe it well and rely on these few common signs:
- Feel on the ground
- Move away
- Turn on itself
- Wander around the house
Cleaning is Important!
It is important not only to mop up the area that your dog has soiled, as it will come back because of the smell. People often use bleach, Windex or others, but most of these products contain ammonia or have a basic pH, elements that encourage your dog to come back to the same place to do his needs by reinforcing the natural smell of his droppings! Just go with a mixture of water and vinegar! This is what experts say is most effective.
Anxiety: urinating puts some of his stress on him. There’s no need to punish him because his problems could get worse! If necessary, consult a dog trainer or a dog behaviour expert. They will be able to help you and assess your needs.
The reason may be medical as well. Here is a short list of the ailments that could affect your dog:
- Urinary tract infection
- Incontinence related to aging
- Canine diabetes
- Kidney disease
- If you think this may apply to your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.
No matter what you do, never remove water from your puppy. They must have access to clean water at all times. Instead of taking it away, try to reduce the amount he ingests. For example, put a few ice cubes in his bowl. It will always have access to water, but it will melt very slowly. In a cage, you can use a bottle for rabbits. It clings easily, sinks slowly and avoids damage. Your puppies are small and their metabolism is very fast growing. This also means that the ingested liquid is very quickly absorbed and then eliminated. If you do not offer water at all times to your puppy, there is a high risk of dehydration.
- Use the cage, leash or pen to restrict your dog’s space when you don’t have it in sight.
- Take your pet out as often as possible and reward him every time he needs something outside.
- Remove all traces of urine and droppings with water and vinegar.
- Never punish your dog in accidents.
- Remember this: you only learned to be clean around the age of two or three and your parents put a lot of effort into it! It is therefore normal that your dog takes some time to assimilate everything on his side!
THE TRAINING MAT
As with many subjects, the pee pad is neither all black nor all white. The use that we make of it can have advantages, but also disadvantages, in addition to being also very often a victim of various myths.
The dog can relieve himself when he needs it!
Often the dogs are alone for several hours, because their master goes for work or other. This requires them to hold back from 6 to sometimes even 10 hours! If we compare with the average human, humans go to the toilet several times a day and the rare times when he has to restrain himself, it can reach levels of torture! So, by offering your dog a training mat, you at least give him the chance to be able to relieve himself a few times while you come home!
Yes, many dogs are able to hold on to long hours without doing any damage in the house, but we can easily imagine the discomfort this can cause them in their daily lives. And let’s not forget that a puppy’s sphincter is not yet mature enough to retain urine for more than an hour or two. Disposable mats like that do become quite a handy tool for a few hours, because you’re at home or you can’t get up at night to take your dog out to do your thing.
Convenient for Reactive, Fearful Dogs
You can have a responsive, scared or fearful dog that will ask more often to go outside, which, let’s face it, requires a lot of involvement, if not enormous. You have to be on the lookout and ready to respond quickly EVERY TIME they encounter a trigger, and you don’t always know what that trigger can be, which becomes a real management of every moment.
For some extreme cases, by using the pipi pad, we make sure that each exit is devoted to rehabilitation work and that we respect the dog’s rhythm.
It is not environmentally friendly and is expensive.
Indeed, the cleaning mats used daily can represent a lot of waste and costs. It is certain that there are ecological alternatives, less expensive, a bit like baby diapers. They are made of fabric and are machine washable. In fact, you can even do it yourself if you’re a little bit clever with a sewing machine. It also sells squares of synthetic grass that are washed with water.
Often, the dog you are trying to train on the mat will start to do his or her needs all over the other mats, towels or any form of tissue on the floor. I hate to break it to you, but for a dog, it can be hard to tell the difference between the carpet in the house and the carpet they are supposed to use for their needs. And when you bring your dog for a visit, it can quickly become uncomfortable if the dog starts urinating on our host’s entrance mat.
The easiest solution would be to give your dog a way to differentiate a training mat from a house rug: place the quilted in a plastic cat litter box or on a tray where he can see the edges. This is how your dog can begin to differentiate the «tray» from the carpet.
As for everything that exists, the pipi pads are no exception to the rule! There are related myths that we are going to solve today.
- Dogs trained in litter, newspaper papers or on pikes do less physical exercise and go out less. While this may be true in some cases, the fact remains that a pee pad, whether it is a litter box or a piece of cloth or newspaper, is still a place where the dog will have to make his needs. Making him do these in the yard or on a stretch of sidewalk will not stimulate your dog! What will stimulate him is to walk, run, play, chew, learn new things, interact with other dogs or with us, etc. No matter where a dog needs to be, all owners must help their companion to learn cleanliness!
- It is more difficult to train a dog to be clean on a pee pad than outside. This myth can be partly true when compared with dogs that do their needs outside on the sidewalk. Indeed, the smell of other dogs and their excrement can lead yours to make his in the same place. In addition, for dogs who like to urinate on vertical surfaces, the outdoor environment lends itself to it more. On the other hand, it is quite possible to teach a dog to be 100% clean on a pee pad if you follow the basic rules of potty training in dogs. Often, people put the carpet of cleanliness in a corner of the bathroom hoping that their animal will magically understand on its own that it is precisely at this place of the house that he must go to do his needs… Obviously, this never happens! First, place a pee pad visible and easily accessible near your dog. Once he realizes that this is where he needs to do his needs, you can gradually change this one from place to place that suits you better. And above all, don’t forget to restrict your dog’s space at the beginning to avoid accidents, which is often overlooked but necessary!
- A “real dog” needs to be outside. Are cats who make their needs in litter boxes less cats for all that? Remember, this is just a place where the dog does what it needs, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t do “real dog activities” and it doesn’t mean it’s not happy. No matter what dog you have, it will still be a true dog!