CRATE & HOUSE TRAINING 
Your responsible breeder or Rescue Rep should have started this training.

By Tia Resleure ©2002-13

Please read everything thoroughly before starting!

"Crate training” is getting your dog accustomed to enjoying the security of a crate, “house training” is teaching your dog that you would like it to relieve itself in a specific area.  Crate training is a useful tool for potty training and for giving your dog a sense of security.  Dogs were originally den creatures and a crate can be used to re-create the den environment.

Many potential behavioral problems associated with anxiety can be avoided by early crate training.

In most cases it is “NEVER too late” to crate train your older dog!  You might need to let the older dog get used to the crate for shorter periods of time and build up to the regular schedule.

Crate trained dogs are more welcomed as visitors, contented as travelers, and safer in cars.

A firm grasp of the concept of crate training might make all the difference to an ambivalent or a 'no dogs allowed' landlord.

Used as an aid to potty training, you will be taking advantage of the dog's natural instinct to not soil its “den.” The dog will be naturally encouraged to 'hold it', rather than you frightening the dog by chasing it down or getting into the unproductive habit of scolding the dog for accidents.

Hopefully, your dog came from a good breeder or sensible rescue rep and has already been sleeping in a crate.  This will make the process MUCH easier.

Do feed meals in the crate. This will not only speed up the crate training process it will reinforce the pleasure the the dog will have with his experience with confinement.  It is also useful for dogs that are in the habit of spitting out kibble to eat in other locations of your home. In multiple dog households it can be very stressful, especially for a sensitive breed like the Italian Greyhound, to have to eat their meals in a competitive environment.

Learn the behavior that indicates your dog is about to pee or poop. Most dogs will sniff the floor or ground intently some will do a few circles.  Others, especially puppies can be very fast, so if you see that butt start to descend to the floor be ready to scoop the dog up and get it to the desired area. Watch what leads up to peeing and pooping when it is doing its “business” in the appropriate area. The goal is to not let the new dog make even one mistake in the house, it is either to use its papers or go outside.  This is your responsibility, you need to have your dog confined or under your strict supervision so that it is impossible for it to pee/poop except where you want it too.

Be sure to have your new dog or puppy pee and poop (if it is time) before you allow it “free time” in the house.  Dogs are creatures of habit if you allow them to potty in the house you are creating this as a habit.  Three times is all it takes to create a habit.  If you are unable to watch closely enough to prevent accidents you must confine your dog so that it cannot make a mistake.  The dog isn't really making a mistake: the owner is, by not being vigilant enough to prevent it.

After a dog is comfortable with its crate and/or pen it may still want to let you know that it would like attention.  If you think it might need to go out then take it out and afterwards return it to its pen/crate.  If you are sure it does not need to go out or to use its papers then ignore it.

You want to make this as easy on the dog as possible but they do need to learn to be in the crate/pen and entertain themselves.  Be sure you are giving them attention, exercise and allowing them to relieve themselves as needed so that if they fuss at other times you can ignore them and allow them to settle down.

When you bring a puppy/dog home all this is new, it has left familiar surroundings and friends/family. Now is the time for it to learn how to be independent, so it might as well get adjusted to what you would like to be its routine in the long run.  This can be stressful and a growing experience, you want to give it what it needs but not coddle it so much that it doesn't become self-assured and confident while left alone.

Try not to teach your dog that crying will automatically gain freedom by letting the dog out (of its pen or crate) when it cries.  Try to at least wait for a momentary lull of noisy or frantic behavior before releasing the dog.  If you can catch your dog when it is quiet and reward it by praise and a snuggle then put it back, you can speed the process by rewarding for good behavior.  The behavior you desire needs to be encouraged by rewards (attention) and that which you do not want should be discouraged by not giving any attention.  Some dogs will even take negative attention (yelling, spraying, etc.) so the best form of not reinforcing undesirable behaviors is to ignore them.  If you can wait it out until the dog has stopped the period of time that they fuss will get shorter and shorter.  If you reward them by giving in you strengthen their belief that complaining will get them what they want and therefore it will go on for longer next time before they will give up.

Be careful NOT to inadvertently encourage a dog's crying by “crooning” to the dog, saying “it's okay” or otherwise express sympathy for its apparent displeasure with confinement.

The best way to deal with barking while the dog is confined is to ignore it.  If it's really driving you crazy, try telling it “enough” or “hush” then spraying the dog with a squirt gun or spray bottle that contains plain water.  Do this calmly and without emotion and give the dog a chance to obey your verbal command before you spray.

It usually takes less than a week for the dog to get accustomed to the crate.  If you have neighbors, it would be polite and in YOUR best interest to inform them that your dog is being trained and that there will be an adjustment period.  Gifts of earplugs and a show of concern for THEIR well being can go a long way!

During confinement, please consider collar safety!  Dangling tags and regular collars have been known to kill dogs by getting caught on knobs, wire doors, etc.  Only use a breakaway, safety collar when your dog is unsupervised!  Contact info can be written on the outside of the collar with a permanent marker instead of tags.

In multiple-dog households, every dog should have its own crate.  Dogs that aren't allowed individual space and time with their owners can develop anything from subtle to serious behavioral problems. Dogs always crated together can lead to unnatural dominance/submissive pack dynamics.  My feeling is that they should have at least 1/2-1 hour of quality individual time with the owner (and at least 1 hour of dog time)  If you decide to get a second dog because you don't have enough time for one dog and are concerned that the one dog is lonely, carefully consider this paragraph.

Remember: What goes in must come out!  Food and water, on schedule, will help you anticipate WHEN your dog will need to relieve itself.  Once your dog is completely house trained and mature, you should then provide fresh water at all times, however, never free-feed your dog. You must schedule and measure your dog's food so you can get a handle on his/her potty habits. Keeping track of food measurement and intake will not only help you keep your dog in optimum condition but can prevent or cure picky eating habits. Studies have also shown that dogs that are allowed to free-feed tend to develop tartar quicker than those that are fed on schedule.

The ultimate goal of crate training is to have a happy and well-adjusted dog that is trustworthy and anxiety-free when left loose in your home.

"Belly Bands" (Velcro attached, waist/penis covers, AKA"weenie wrappers") for males are okay for visiting places where they might feel the need to mark territory, but should not be considered a viable alternative to proper house-training or for a dog that is suffering from anxiety.

Once your dog is trained, do not take their crate away from them!  Most dogs enjoy having their own safe haven.  You can remove the crate door or keep it open with a bungee cord.  At the very minimum, your dog should continue to eat it's meals in it's crate and have some quite time after each meal. It can be very useful if you ever need to travel with your dog or you dog needs confinement because of illness or injury.

If your dog is still having accidents, and you are sure that you are utilizing the schedules properly: CONSULT YOUR VETERINARIAN.

Any sudden lapse in potty training or change in frequency of urination is a matter to be taken up with your veterinarian.

If there are no health problems, try to figure out if there is a new source of anxiety. This could be something quite subtle, like a new mail carrier or a new cat in the neighborhood.

DO NOT allow your dog to continue to pee/poop in the crate.  This will ruin its instinct to keep the den clean and make house training very difficult. If you cannot figure out and correct the reason or are not being able to religiously honor the schedule switch to an ex-pen or go back to a previous schedule immediately at least until you can resolve the situation.

Once your dog is potty trained, DO NOT rely on your dog signaling to you that it needs to go out.  Do watch for signals, but be sure that you get the dog to a potty area on schedule.  Even if there is a dog door or available papers, you should still be responsible for reminding the dog to go potty on schedule, especially if the potty training is a new accomplishment.

UNDERSTANDING TERMINOLOGY AND TIPS FOR USE OF SCHEDULES

1. Go out means take dog to potty area (outside or to papers) ON LEASH.  Teach a word or phrase to associate with the action (i.e., “hurry up”, “go potty/”, etc.)  Choose a phrase and use it consistently.

This is not a time for play or walks.  Keep dog in the general potty area.

Put up a tarp so your dog has a dry place to potty outside.

PRAISE when dog has “produced”.  Effusiveness of praise depends on the individual dog.  Use as much enthusiasm as the dog can handle without getting OVERLY excited or distracted.

Keep in mind that many males will urinate at least TWICE before the bladder is emptied.

Until you are in tune with your dog's potty habits, you might have to wait a bit.  If dog doesn't “go” within 5-10 minutes, put dog back in crate for about 10 minutes, then try again.

If you are reasonably sure that the dog needs to potty, do not allow free period until the dog has “produced”.  This is especially important in the early phases of crate training.

If your dog is new to a leash and will NOT poop on lead, try using a baby suppository to "get the ball rolling”.

ALWAYS clean up after your dog when it poops in public places, even if you feel that it is an out of the way location!

2. Free periods are NOT to be unsupervised!  In fact, free periods need to be used for EXERCISE, such as interactive play, walks, training, socialization etc.  Free periods can be EXTENDED by having a collar and leash on the dog with the leash attached to your waist or belt loop.  Free periods are also a good time to introduce your dog to other parts of the home.

3. Food and water should be provided at scheduled intervals for approximately 20 minutes and then picked up.  You can refrigerate, if necessary, and re-heat for the next meal.  Dogs will occasionally skip a meal.  This is alright, just wait until the next scheduled feed time and offer it again.

It is very important to allow time for food and water to process through the dog's system BEFORE confinement.  Unrestricted water in the early phases of training can overload the bladder, causing accidents in the crate or give the dog a bladder infection if they try to hold it too long.

Use common sense!  If your dog is over heated before a scheduled watering, do give the dog a little water.  Try to avoid situations that would make the dog SO thirsty that it would want to gulp large quantities of water off schedule.

Obviously, you CANNOT leave a dog without water if you live in a hot climate and your home is without air-conditioning.  If that is the case, potty training will take a lot more effort and more frequent outings. A covered ex-pen would be a sensible choice for this situation.

Once your dog has a stabilized schedule and can be allowed freedom, then be sure to provide a constant supply of fresh water.

Do not, however, keep a constant supply of food in the bowl.  Keep feedings on a timed schedule. You need to be able to monitor your dog’s daily intake.

Food should be a quality brand that does NOT contain preservatives, especially ETHOXYQUIN.  Try asking which natural food sells well at your pet food suppler.  A fabulous food that isn't popular might be very stale.  My personal favorite is Innova, made by Natura Pet Products. Web site: http://www.naturapet.com

Any diet changes should be done VERY gradually to avoid loose stools.

4. Confine means to a crate (or an ex- pen for puppies and special cases).  I prefer to use a Vari-Kennel type crate instead of all wire crates.  They give a greater sense of security to the dog.  If you use an all wire type, I advise draping it with a blanket to give the dog security.

The crate should be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down.  Their head need not be erect when standing in the crate.  Withers height (point at the base of the neck and top of the shoulders) should be the MINIMUM (including the bedding in crate).

Too large of a crate might not give the dog enough security.  They might also make their “den” in the rear of the crate and use the front for the potty area.

For the growing pup, I recommend getting a crate that will accommodate the dog when it is an adult  If you find the pup doesn't respect (potties near the door) this large of a crate, you can make it smaller by wiring in several layers of cardboard in the rear of the kennel.

Placement of the crate is very important.  The purpose of crating is NOT to isolate the dog.  Try to put the crate (applies to ex-pens too) where dog will not be lonely.  Put the crate in your bedroom at night. Do not place crate near drafts, too close to heaters or in places where sun will bake the dog.

Remember that sun patterns not only change seasonally, but daily!

DO teach a word or phrase when putting the dog in the crate (i.e.: "crate", "kennel or "bed").

For very short-coated breeds, DO try warming up the dog's bedding in your dryer when first teaching the dog to accept the crate.

DO NOT worry about your dog needing a view out a window.  Passing strangers and teasing cats can cause immense STRESS to a dog, confined or not.

DO leave on a radio or TV when you are gone from the house.  Be sure that it is a consistently “calm” station.

The toys that you give your dog when confined should be sturdy and long lasting.  I recommend Gumabones (not the rock-hard Nylabone) in the wishbone shape (easier for dog to hold in paws) or a rope bone.  Some animal product chewies are too salty and would make the dog thirsty. Personally, I don't like my dogs to get a taste for them because it can then be difficult to get them to accept the safer chewies that don't taste as good.  Dogs have choked or gotten intestinal blockages when they ate the animal product toys rather than just chewing off tiny pieces.  Dogs that are usually gentle with toys can be unexpectedly destructive when left alone.  Save the more fragile (ones they can tear apart) and edible toys for when you are there to supervise.  Try to distinguish safe toys from play toys.


TROUBLE SHOOTING & GRANTING FREEDOM

Any accidents need to be cleaned up and have the odor NEUTRALIZED.  Use commercial pet odor neutralizer or white vinegar, 50/50 with water.  Blot up as much urine as possible, then soak area with treating solution (keeping in mind that urine can spread further under upholstery fabric or carpeting). Blot again, repeat. Stubborn odors may need re-treatment or need to be kept wet with treating solution for at least 8 hours.

Keep dog and crate clean and odor free!

Do NOT scold a dog for an accident.  If caught in the act, you can try to startle the dog into stopping, but it is far easier to follow the schedule and avoid the accident in the first place.  Many dogs will perceive that they are being scolded JUST for eliminating, not for eliminating in an inappropriate LOCATION.

Allow your dog to earn its freedom GRADUALLY.  I can't stress the importance of this enough!  Many dogs will get the potty “thing” down quickly but still need to be confined while you are away until they get through stages where they might hurt themselves or your home.  Keep in mind that puppies will go through a very heavy teething phase around 5-6 months of age. During this period, even though your pup may be potty trained, you still want to make sure that he/she is safely confined, when you are not able to supervise.


ANXIETY

Another very important consideration is the dog's ability to handle the responsibility of being LEFT IN CHARGE while you are away from home.

Never make a big deal when you are leaving your dog.  This will only encourage anxiety.

Dogs have a natural instinct to protect your home while you are gone.  When you leave, they move up in pack position.  This can cause ANXIETY if the dog is too young or is reaching sexual maturity.

New, older dogs are also susceptible to anxiety, even if previously potty trained.  Be ESPECIALLY concerned if your dog has come from an abusive and/or emotionally neglected background.

This anxiety is also not uncommon with smaller breeds of dogs.  The smaller dog will have the same instinct to guard the home, but might feel insecure about this responsibility due its size.

This can lead to the dog marking territory in an effort to "add insurance" that will keep away intruders. THIS IS NOT A LAPSE IN POTTY HABITS, BUT IS AN ANXIETY ISSUE.

DO NOT THINK THAT YOUR DOG KNOWS THAT IT HAS DONE SOMETHING WRONG.  If you think your dog looks "guilty", you are wrong.  The dog just remembers that in a similar situation YOU got angry or were in an unreceptive mood.

Other signs of anxiety can be excessive barking and/or destructive chewing.

With ANY dog in your home, you will need to be aware of situations that can cause anxiety.

Grant freedom one room at a time.  Keep curtains drawn.  Always go back a step if problems arise.

Address anxiety issues by building the dog's self confidence with “jobs” like obedience training and by making sure that greater freedom is given gradually.  Being in charge of the whole house and property may be too overwhelming unless the area is increased over time.

While I would say that they are in the minority, be aware that some dogs may NEVER be emotionally stable enough to have full run of your house while you are gone.

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR RESCUE REP IF YOUR NEW IG IS EXPERIENCING ANXIETY.

SUBMISSIVE URINATION

Submissive urination is another factor that should NOT be considered a lapse of potty training.  Some dogs will 'piddle' as a sign to you that they know you are the BOSS and they are on the extreme bottom of pack order.

Ideally, all dogs would fall somewhere in the midrange of the dominant/submissive scale. Submissive piddlers are the extreme opposite of the alpha role.

Causes can be improper socialization, spending too much time with litter-mate after 7 weeks of age (being constantly picked on) and overly harsh punishment at too young an age.

NEVER scold a dog for submissive urination!

The most common time for this behavior to occur is when the dog greets you after an absence.

To solve this problem, you will need to make greetings VERY low-key.  I advise not saying anything, not making direct eye contact and not bending over to pet the dog.  Come into your home calmly, ignoring the dog.  Quietly lie on the floor and allow the dog to greet you at his/her level.  Be sure to protect you face from happy paws!  Gradually speak softly and pet the dog.  Do NOT get up until the dog has calmed down.

This approach may be necessary for several months!  In the meantime, learn or practice obedience with the dog to further build it's confidence.  Be sure that all family members and any visitors understand the importance of this type of oblique greeting.

PREPARATION FOR CRATE TRAINING & OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

For young puppies (7 weeks old to 14-16 weeks old):

Most breeders raise puppies in an ex-pen.  This is a wire doggy playpen 4 foot x 4 foot with a wire-hinged top.  Inside it are papers, a bed (preferably in a crate), food, water, and toys.  The puppies will be sleeping in the crate, coming out to pee and poop on the papers, have room to play, and access to food and water.  Initially the papers will cover the entire exposed floor, then as the puppies pick an area they like to use we will start removing the extra sheets and decrease the area to that of an unfolded newspaper page.  Then the papers can be gradually moved to the handiest part of the pen.

Pup should be confined to a small manageable area, covered with papers, with the crate set up inside for its bed.  Remove the crate door or prop it open with a bungee cord.  It is handy to be able to confine the pup while you are cleaning up the papers.

The four-foot square wire exercise pen (ex-pen) WITH A TOP is ideal for this kind of arrangement. These can be obtained from pet supply wholesalers for a reasonable price.  Be SURE that bar spacing is appropriate for your size of dog.  Many dogs are climbers.  Use a top for safety.  Don't just get a taller ex-pen, this won't stop the climbers and is even more dangerous.

Ex-pens can be set up in carpeted rooms if you first lay down a scrap of seamless vinyl flooring (at least a foot wider than the pen).  My favorite exercise pen is made by Precision Pet Products and can be seen at: http://www.precisionpet.com

I recommend the models SXP or GXP (24" high for IGs). This standard set of 8 panels sets up to a convenient 2' x 6' pen. You must get 3 extra panels to make a top:  Many IGs will climb and you don't want to risk a broken leg!  These pens come in gold tone or silver.  With the 2' x 6' configuration you can put the pups crate at one end the potty papers at the other end so the living and potty areas are distinctly apart.

Order from:Cherrybrook (800) 524-0820 Or contact Precision Pet Products for a dealer near you:

Precision Pet Products
2183 Fairview Road, Ste. 103
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Phone (800) 397-3167 or (949) 574-1800
Fax (949) 574-1822
E-mail: info@precisionpet.com


For a different "look", PVC exercise pens can be ordered from Rover (see under Dog/Baby gates below).

Your kitchen or a corner of your kitchen can work too, if you'd rather not purchase an ex-pen. If this is what you chose, avoid very small rooms with high ceilings (like small bathrooms).  I have seen dogs that were extremely disturbed by this kind of set up.  I'm not sure if this was causing a type of claustrophobia or if it was the acoustics, but regardless, I would be leery of this type of situation, and still believe that an ex-pen is preferable.

If you choose to set up a puppy area other than an ex-pen, be sure that it is completely puppy-proof! Be especially aware of knobs that could hook on a collar or cupboards edges that could be destroyed.  Any cupboards need to be securely puppy proofed.

Puppies don't start to develop TRUE physical bladder control until they are 14-16 weeks old.

Although you can have some success with more frequent outings, I prefer to wait until they are really ready to learn to "hold it".  In the mean time you can follow the “Play/Potty Schedule” to structure your interaction so that you may enjoy your puppy but not allow it make mistakes in the house.

When your young puppy is out of the pen leave the side open to the room so the puppy has access to the papers.  At first you will be putting the puppy back in the pen or onto the papers according to the schedule (below) but you will be watching for the puppy to start heading back on its own.  Praise every time the puppy goes on the papers but (if you are going to paper train) Let your pup know you ar very pleased when it goes back on its own!

Gear your feeding schedule towards what you will be doing when you start confinement to crate.

If your goal is to have an outdoor potty dog ONLY, resist the urge to praise your young pup for running back to the papered area to potty!  It is natural for pups to seek out a place that smells familiar.  If your goal is outside only, your pup could later be confused about what you want.  Try to just quietly enjoy this marvel of natural instinct.

For adults who were not previously accustomed to a crate:

If you are using an ex-pen, introduce your new dog to the crate by taking the door off or using a bungee cord to tie it open, then put it inside the pen.  Fill the crate with soft thick bedding and toss some treats inside.  If the only soft bedding is in the crate your dog should use the crate for its bed. When it is comfortable with the crate start closing the door for short periods like when you clean the pen.  Give your iggie treats whenever you want it to go in the crate and when you leave it inside try to have a good toy, chewy, or cookie that will last at least 5 or 10 minutes for them to enjoy.  Once they are comfortable in the crate you can begin following the appropriate schedule when you are at home.

When you are using a crate only for house training put treats and soft thick bedding inside.  After your dog is used to going in and out toss a treat in and close the door for a few seconds while the dog is inside then open it and praise.  If you do this while you are sitting in front of the crate it should not bother the dog.  Make this a game.  Next shut the door for short periods of time with a longer lasting treat.  Gradually lengthen these times.  At first stay with the dog then leave the room and return in a few minutes gradually lengthen your away times.  You are trying to assure the dog that you will return.

For dogs that have had their natural instinct not to soil the “den” broken by over confinement:

You will have to redevelop the dog's natural instinct.  Do this by using the same ex-pen setup used for very young puppies.  Make sure the crate is nice and cozy (not too large!) and always kept clean.  Be PATIENT!  It may take SEVERAL months of the dog being allowed the OPTION of not soiling the bedding to correct this problem.  DO continue to follow the schedule as closely as possible, but WITHOUT crate confinement, so you will be able to anticipate when your dog needs to go potty and you are there to reinforce the desired results with praise.

DOG/BABY GATES

"Rover" makes PVC gates that don't have many (if any) cross pieces so there are no footholds.  I have heard of folks adding another gate when they climb the first and then another, then they get hurt falling down the other side.  Another tip if you have a potential climber is not to lift the dog over the gate, but to open the gate.  The safest is to start with a 4 foot gate with only vertical bars on hinges and don't show the dog the over the top exit route.

The Rover gate manufacturers will send you a catalogue.

Rover Co.
20 Kiji Dava
Sundog Industrial Park
Prescott, AZ 86301
(800) 658-5925
http://www.roverpet.com

PAPER TRAINING VERSUS OUTDOORS ONLY

Many people prefer the convenience of paper training small dogs.

Using a plastic or metal tray will help to define the potty area.  Sides of this tray should be shallow. This area should be NO SMALLER than an open sheet of newspaper for one dog.  Useful trays could be a large photo-developing tray, a commercial baker's tray or a metal or plastic pan sold as a replacement for a wire dog kennel.  I prefer a tray that has about 3 inch high sides.  Do be as methodical about paper training as you would with outdoor training.

Wee-Wee pads are very expensive and are not necessary.  Many layers of newspaper will retain enough attracting odor after you've picked up the top layers.  If you prefer, you can buy bulk rough surface plain newsprint.  Plain newsprint doesn't smell as much (no wet ink) and is cleaner on your hands and the dog’s feet.  There is also a newer type of cat litter that is a paper product, which I haven't tried but sounds like a good possibility.

When first starting to paper train, try soaking up some urine with a paper towel to scent the potty area.

Leg lifters prefer having a target.  Try a plain paper bag weighted down (with a rock or marbles, if your dog can be trusted with small objects) in the middle of the papered area.  You might need a larger tray area to accommodate the leg lifter.  Some people have constructed a washable walled corner (with paper clothes-pinned to it) for the potty area for their leg lifters and find it very effective.  Others have used the large storage bins with one side cut down or a small dog house (with top off) and papers inside.  These can be easily washed.

Clean up papers at least twice a day!


DUEL POTTY AREA TRAINING (indoors & outdoors)

Initially, you want to choose one method or the other to avoid confusing the dog.  Make SURE that your dog fully understands what is expected with the original potty location before training your dog to be an indoor/outdoor potty dog.

First train your dog to what will be the MOST usual/preferred location.  Duel trained dogs are a BONUS, but duel training doesn't ALWAYS work out and can't be absolutely counted on.

Methodic and gentle handling are in order if you try to achieve this goal.  Introduce your approval to this new location by taking the dog there on leash and giving the cue word for potty that your dog should already know.  PRAISE when you get the desired results.

DOG DOORS: (great invention!)

Dog Doors are great to use if you have a safe yard or enclosure for the dog to go to.  This area should be escape proof, free of poisonous plants and predators, and one where your dog will not be a temptation to thieves or crazy people who might poison it.  Know your neighbors and be sure they will feel comfortable coming to you if your dog ever becomes a nuisance.

Install a dog door that has a flexible flap to avoid an injury that would discourage a dog from trusting it.

Try to get one with a clear flap.  Many dogs want to make sure that the coast is clear if they have ever had an accidental unpleasant experience outside the door (such as a run-in with a nasty cat).

DO NOT use the dog door as an excuse to get out of the discipline required in initial potty training.

Make sure that you have a solid foundation of being with the dog to assure that it goes potty and that you are there to praise, before allowing the dog to go outside on it's own.  Otherwise you run the risk of your dog not really understanding what you want.  If this were the case, your dog would likely be confused in any other situation that was without a dog door.  (visiting friends, etc.)

With smaller dogs, it will speed up the process of learning to go through the door, if you start by holding up the flap for them and gradually letting them feel the weight of the flap as they go through.

Do not force them through. If you are on the opposite side of the door, they will be much more likely to try it. It's usually easier to start with them outside.


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IT WOULD BE CRUEL AND INHUMANE to confine a dog for extended lengths of time:

Without adequate exercise and quality human interaction.

Without being allowed to eliminate before confinement.

If it has a weak bladder or is prone to bladder infections.

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WORKING WITH THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULES


Always be sure that you have blank copies of the schedules on hand.  Please feel free to distribute this information to ANYONE who might find it useful.

Also feel free to reformat this info for ease of printing.  (I would recommend having the schedules on separate pages according to age group.)

The following schedules are only meant to serve as a starting point.

Start by filling in YOUR wake up time, initially following the recommended time spacing.

Use a PENCIL to allow for modifications based on the individual dog's needs and to allow for physical and emotional maturing.

Start the schedule on a day that you won't have to go to work (the beginning of your weekend) so you will be aware of morning time modification requirements.

You might find that you will have to wake up earlier, especially when first starting the training schedule.

If you are still having problems with a 14 or 15 week old puppy after a few days, your pup may not be physically mature enough.  If that is the case, delay crate training for a week or two.

NEVER come home later than usual if your dog is confined or does not have access to potty area!

Be consistent with your schedule.  You will need to follow it even on your days off.  I highly recommend posting the schedule in a convenient location.

WORKING OWNERS

Confine your dog to an exercise pen WITH A TOP and with papers if you cannot come home at the scheduled “go out” times.  Follow the crate confinement schedule when home.  Paper training will be your most flexible option.


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EX-PEN PLAY/POTTY SCHEDULE for puppies 7 to 14-16 weeks

___ 07:00 Wake up/Go out.............NOTES:
___ 07:15 Free period
___ 07:30 Food & Water
___ 09:00 Go out
___ 09:15 Free period
___ 09:45 Confine
___ 11:00 Go out
___ 11:15 Free period
___ 11:40 Confine
___ 12:30 Food & Water
___ 01:00 Go out
___ 01:15 Free period
___ 01:45 Confine
___ 03:00 Go out
___ 03:15 Free period
___ 03:45 Confine
___ 04:45 Water
___ 05:00 Go out
___ 05:15 Free period
___ 05:45 Confine
___ 06:45 Food & Water
___ 07:00 Go out
___ 07:15 Free period
___ 07:45 Confine
___ 08:45 Water
___ 09:00 Go out
___ 09:15 Free Period
___ 09:45 Confine
___10:45 Water
___11:00 Go out/Confine overnight

 

CRATE TRAINING SCHEDULE for 14-16 weeks - 6 month old pups/ 3 meals per day

____ 07:00 Wake up/Go out ............NOTES:
____ 07:10 Free period
____ 07:30 Food & Water
____ 08:00 Go out
____ 08:15 Free period
____ 08:45 Confine
____ 12:00 Food & Water
____ 12:30 Go out
____ 12:45 Free period
____ 01:15 Confine
____ 04:30 Food & Water
____ 05:00 Go out
____ 05:15 Free period
____ 05:45 Confine
____ 08:00 Water
____ 08:15 Go out
____ 08:30 Free period
____ 09:00 Confine
____ 11:00 Go out/Confine overnight

 

CRATE TRAINING SCHEDULE for 6 - 18 mo. old pups or untrained adults (2 meals per day)

____ 07:00 Wake up/Go out                    NOTES:
____ 07:15 Free period
____ 08:00 Food & Water
____ 08:30 Go out
____ 08:45 Free period
____ 09:30 Confine
____ 12:30 Water & Go out
____ 12:45 Free period
____ 01:45 Confine
____ 05:00 Food & Water
____ 05:30 Go out
____ 05:45 Free period
____ 07:30 Confine
____ 11:00 Go out/Confine overnight


SCHEDULE for HOUSE TRAINED ADULT DOGS/ 2 meals per day

____ 07:00 Wake up/Go out
____ 08:00 Food & Unlimited water
____ 08:30 Optional- if your dog didn't poop when it went out earlier it may need to go out again
____ 12:30 Go out
____ 05:30 Food
____ 06:00 Go out
____ 11:00 Go out/Bedtime/Remove water overnight.

NOTES: