TOILET-TRAINING CASE STUDIES
CASE 1. PEES EVERYWHERE WHEN LET OUT OF THE PLAY PEN
An Indian family with a daughter studying what she liked - coaching netball sports at the polytechnic brought in a small poodle for the 3rd vaccination as I had vaccinated it for 2 vaccinations at the Benji Pet Shop.
Discussing about toilet-training is a very interesting subject and if there is humour in the discussions, it will be fun and laughter. This puppy was paper-trained in her playpen. However, she pees everywhere when let out of the playpen 1.5 months after purchase. Why this poodle does not go to the newspaper when let out?
"Is the playpen closed up so that the puppy cannot get in to pee on the newspapers? Some owners do that," I said.
The mum said: "The playpen was open but the puppy does not go inside and pee on the newspapers."
"Is the paper changed often?" I asked.
"Yes," the homemaker mum said. "Every time she pees, I change the papers."
The mum said: "When the puppy pees outside the approved papers, I will pick her and put her inside the playpen so that she will pee inside."
"It is too late usually," I said. "The puppy does not know why."
"If you let go, then your puppy will let go too." The English language sometimes can be a source of humour as the mum and daughter laughed.*
*For readers who may not understand the complexities of the English language, I mean "If you let (the puppy) go (everywhere in the apartment), then your puppy will let go (pees and poop everywhere) too.
I advised: "The secret to success is to confine the puppy to a small area outside the playpen for another 1-2 weeks. In this way, the puppy knows that she must go to the papers to pee. Then increase the area to one room, then after 1 week or so, to two rooms and so on."
"By permitting roaming to the whole apartment, it is like putting your puppy onto a football field. Your puppy cannot detect the newspapers and pees in every bedroom."
I advised neutralising of all floors with white vinegar:water and 1 part to 3 parts respectively. Letting the puppy so much freedom after 1 week of confinement is a common practice in Singapore as many owners are puppy lovers. They feel sorry for the poor puppy being confined. But they have no time to observe the signs of elimination and put the puppy back onto the newspapers with oral commands and then praises.
In this case, the mother did do it but it could be too late (after the puppy had peed). Therefore the puppy would not know why. In addition, the apartment floor is full of urine smells and the puppy simply pees everywhere!
CASE 2. TOILET-TRAINING TWO PUPPIES
Date of Interview: 18 February 2010
Written by: Tanya Trevethick
Edited: Dr Sing
I did not do any editing. An excellent piece of writing by a vet intern who will be studying vet medicine in the UK soon.
Two male salt & pepper Miniature Schnauzers around three years of age at the time of interview are owned by two men in their late 30s. They were house-trained as puppies at the same time by the current owners.
At the time of interview, 3 pee trays were placed in the bathroom of an HDB apartment and shared between both dogs. The trays are near a wall; paper is not used. Neither dog has a preference for any particular tray.
When the puppies started to eliminate, the owners carried them to the pee tray. The puppies were confined, with the confinement area gradually increased as the puppies got used to using the pee tray. Puppies were confined most of the day except when allowed out at a regular time each day to play.
The owner washes out the pee tray and grate after every use. The grate has never needed replacing as it did not rust. The dogs pee two or three times a day and poop twice a day (once in the morning and once at night). The dogs are fed once a day on dry commercial dog food with very occasional treats.
No treats were given after use of the pee tray. Puppies were spanked when they lifted their legs too high resulting in urine on the adjacent wall.
Training took a long time, two or three months instead of the usual two to four weeks. This could indicate that training two puppies together at the same time is harder than training just one. Also, the owners were at work during the day thus the puppies were not trained continuously throughout the day.
100% at time of interview. The dogs use the pee tray all the time, never soiling other parts of the bathroom or the house. The male dogs also do not lift their legs fully when urinating (one does not lift at all), as they get spanking and scolding when they do it. Thus no urine is sprayed onto the adjacent walls or floor area outside the pee tray. The owners noted that the dogs do not use the tray when it is unclean; this is the rationale behind their washing it after every use.
More toilet training cases are at: www.toapayohvets.com