Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to successfully toilet train an apartment puppy in Singapore?

Thank your for your e-mail. My reply is in CAPITAL LETTERS/


On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 10:57 AM, ...@yahoo.com.sg> wrote:

Dear Dr Sing


My family had gotten a 8 week old sheltie puppy for a week now. This is our first time. I have been trying to toilet train it but not sure if I have done it correctly. I have spent a lot of time reading up from the internet but the more I read, the more confuse I get and fear I have done it wrongly. I was so stress and frustrated until I saw your blog. It is so comforting to know there's someone who actually address puppy training problem that is relevant for Singapore pet owners. Thank you so much.


I have attached a picture of how I confine the puppy. I confine the puppy in the play pen most time of the day.
CORRECT WAY


I noticed that it will pee on the pee pad but not 100% of the time. Sometimes, it will pee on the boundary of the pad and a few times on the tiles.
BLADDER CONTROL IS VERY POOR FOR 8-WEEK OLDS.


Every time it pees on the tile, I would quickly soak up the urine and put the tissue paper on the pee pad with the puppy then proceed to clean up the area with odor remover. As for poops, it will also poop on the pad but sometime on the floor.


MOST COMMON SITUATION IS THAT THE PUPPY CANNOT POOP ALL AT ONE TIME DUE TO DISTRACTIONS FROM THE OWNER, THE OWNER'S CHILDREN, FRIENDS AND PARENTS WANTING TO PLAY WITH HIM DURING MEALS. SO, IT POOPS A BIT AND POOPS SOME MORE LATER. THE PUPPY SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE DURING FEEDING AND ONE HOUR AFTER FEEDING, BUT THIS IS SELDOM POSSIBLE IN BIG FAMILIES. A COUPLE WITH A PUPPY IS MORE SUCCESSFUL IN TOILET TRAINING.

Beside using the pee pad, I had a pee pan with grate which I had tried using. I noticed the puppy will sometime pee on the pee pan lined with pee pad but not always. It even lays on it sometimes. And if I put the grate on, it is more difficult to get the puppy to pee and poop on the grated- pee pan, even when I lined it with pad or left some urine on the tray. So now I removed the pee pan away and waiting to see how my puppy reacts.

YOU ARE CONFUSING THE PUPPY. IF YOU USE PEE PAN + GRATE, THEN USE IT. IF YOU WANT TO USE PEE PAD, USE IT SOLELY. IN ANY CASE, 1 WEEK IS TOO EARLY TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THE BEST WAY IS TO KNOW HOW THE PUPPY WAS HOUSED AND ITS TOILET HABITS AT THE SELLER'S PLACE BUT THIS IS USUALLY NOT KNOWN.


I do not confine the puppy 24 hrs in the play pen. I would let it out into the house with supervision. During these time, the puppy would sometimes pee on the floor even when our eyes are on him. He is simply too quick for us. One thing I noticed is the puppy does not always as predictable as describe in most articles. It doesn't always poop shortly after eating. Sometimes it will stay alert for a while and go to sleep after eating without pooping.
EACH PUPPY IS AN INDIVIDUAL. ALSO TOO MUCH DISTRACTIONS FROM YOU AND FAMILY. IT JUST CANNOT GET A ROUTINE OF PEEING AND POOPING AFTER MEALS SINCE HUMAN BEINGS ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE, FUSSING OVER IT (I ASSUME THIS IS THE SAME SITUATION FOR YOUR PUPPY).




During the first two nights, the puppy actually woke us up because he pee and poop in the pen.
COMMON OBSERVATION BY NEW PUPPY OWNERS. THE PUPPY ASKS FOR CHANGE OF SOILED AREA


Then I resorted to sleeping in the living room to monitor him. For two nights, I woke up to put him on the pad to pee. There was one night I actually didn't set my alarm on purpose and managed to sleep through the night waking to find the puppy only pee on the pad.

SUCCESS IN TOILET TRAINING TAKES TIME AND PATIENCE, NOT JUST 2 NIGHTS. IT TAKES 2-6 WEEKS DEPENDING ON THE OWNER AND PUPPY.

That gave me much encouragement! However, that was the only time. Subsequent nights, I woke up every 2 hrs to put him on the pad and pee. Then last night, the puppy pee and poop on the tiles before my alarm went off.

STOP WATER DRINKING AFTER 6 PM. FEED DINNER EARLIER AND LEAVE THE PUPPY ALONE ONE HOUR AFTER FEEDING.


I also want to know can the puppy be trained to pee and poop outdoors if he is being trained indoor now.
CAN BE TRAINED OUTDOORS BUT TAKE TIME AND PATIENCE AND A ROUTINE TOO.

I was told not to bring the puppy out before all vaccinations are given.
THIS IS TO PREVENT INFECTIONS BY DEADLY VIRUSES



Besides the toilet training part, I also read in your blog that handling puppy at this young age must be gently so as not to leave an imprint of fear in it. Now I am very worried because I had hold him on the floor when he tried to bite my hands during the first two day he came. I might have also caused him some stress when I tried to pull him with a lease once. How ignorant I was and why didn't I found your blog earlier. Will these experiences last forever in the puppy? What can I do to undo the damages I have done.

TRY USING POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT METHODS OF TRAINING - PRAISE, TREAT AND PLAY FOR SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME. CLICKER TRAINING PERHAPS?.


I hope Dr Sing you can help me with my puppy as I am really very stress and worried because I don't know if I am doing it right even after doing so much reading.

NO TWO PUPPIES CAN BE TOILET-TRAINED IN IDENTICAL METHOD AND BE TRAINED WITHIN THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME ESP. IN HOUSEHOLDS WITH LOTS OF FAMILY MEMBERS. CONFINEMENT, CHANGE OF SOILED AREAS, POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING AND PATIENCE AND TIME ARE NECESSARY. SOMETIMES NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT WORKS TOO DEPENDING ON THE PUPPY'S PERSONALITY. IT MAY TAKE 2-6 WEEKS TO TRAIN SUCCESSFULLY IN AN APARTMENT.


Thank you


Best Regards
Name of owner

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