Tuesday, June 21, 2011

477. Training a 5-month-old puppy advices


Hi Dr Sing,

I was surfing the net searching for solution to train my puppy and I found your blog.

I have a terripoo puppy which is now 5 months old. When he was young, around 2months old, we used to buy the pee pan for him but he will not stop biting the wee wee pad. Therefore, we tried to lock him in the crane when all of us went out to work but it creates another nightmare by non stop barking. This has caused inconvenience to my neighbours and some of them had complainted about it. Due to this, my mom has decided to let him out from his crane and he is allowed to walk around in the house even none of us are home.

When he is out and no supervision, he will bite our furnitures and also pee pee anywhere he likes. My mom and I used vinegar to clean but still, useless. Can you please advise what should we do?

Best regards,
Name of owner


I am Dr Sing from www.toapayohvets.com. Thank you for your email.
It is difficult to advise on what you should do as each puppy or dog has a unique personality. Below are my general guidelines.

1. Confine the puppy to a room e.g. kitchen instead of a crate when he is home alone. A baby gate is placed at the door entrance so that the dog will not feel isolated. Confinement to a small area (crate, room, leashed area) is the basic factor to success of all puppy training programmes for most puppies.

He will bark at the beginning and possibly neighbours will complain. Give him chew toys that contain food inside (ask pet shops). Such chew toys with his favourite food occupy his time to try and get the food out. This may or may not work with your dog.

2. Develop a Routine. Morning and evening exercise outdoors daily for more than 15 minutes after meals and pooping in the designated confinement room. Do not interact with him while he is eating. After exercise, put him in the room as part of the routine.

3. Somebody must be the "boss" in the family. Firm voice of "No barking" and rewards for performance of no barking (go out, treats). Read your dog obedience books to know what I mean.

4. Neuter him at 6 months of age.

5. Supervise him when he is let out to roam free in the apartment and use the firm voice to train him as mentioned in paragraph 3 for barking, chewing, indiscriminate peeing and pooping.

6. I have heard of cases of success (barking and obedience training) when the puppy is boarded at a trainer's place for two weeks or more. Consult a good dog trainer.

I hope the above tips will help. Best wishes.

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