Problems with Puppy Poop
Pip joined our family at 7 weeks old. She was tiny and adorable.
We decided that right from the start we would teach our puppy to go to the toilet on command.
Who would’ve thought that the biggest thing to resolve before we could start was what commands we would use.
We wanted individual commands for liquid and solid deposits. After much debate we chose simply ‘go wee’ and ‘go poo’.
I had read in the book our breeder recommended ‘The Perfect Puppy’ that dogs often learn gestures faster than spoken commands so we added appropriate gestures. Wriggling waterfall fingers for liquid deposits and a rotating fist for solids.
During the night Pip sleeps in her crate with her favourite soft toys and safe chews. The crate is moved to be on the floor next to our bed when we retire for the evening. This has been superb. Pip will not soil her cozy crate and always wakes us up with a soft whimper to go outside. We try to wait for her to be quiet to get her out of her crate so she doesn’t whimper for attention.
At first she was waking up every hour and a half to two hours. This was definitely not fun but we had been advised that if we could be bothered to get up and take Pip outside Toilet training would be quicker (we were keen on this).
We have had Pip for 3 weeks on Saturday and in all this time she has only had one false alarm when she didn’t ‘perform’ when taken outside. She has also only had one night time accident. This was entirely my fault for not picking her up fast enough when she came out of her crate-she peed on a puppy pad on the floor. I learned my lesson and now pick her up immediately and take her outside.
I am also really pleased to report that at the grand old age of 9 and a half weeks she can sleep for seven hours-we have learned to remove her water bowl at 9pm after she has her final meal of the day. This helped a lot.
Toilet Training Update – Not Asking to Go Outside
Pip is now 14 weeks old and she clearly understands her toilet commands and does her business when we take her outside and ask her. We are delighted. She is still very young so distractions remain an issue for her, for example a plane flew over lower than usual the other day and she completely forgot what she was in the garden for and had to be reminded when the excitement had passed over.
Our puppy does not yet associate getting outside with going to the toilet. We take her outside (getting her to walk to the door herself) and have taught her commands ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ to help her to understand the difference. Accidents are rare because she is taken outside routinely but if we miss a slot she doesn’t ask to go out (or at least not in a way we understand) and has an ‘accident’-no big deal. The mistake is ignored and quietly cleaned up.
Having done some research a couple of weeks ago we decided to make a small investment in some ‘jingle’ bells for the door to help her to ask to go outside. She loved these from the moment the jingly package arrived from amazon, we hung them on the door much to her excitement and she understood within one training session (because she loved the noise) that if she touched them with her nose to make a sound she got a treat and someone would open the door. We made this command ‘Bell’ and the toilet routine is now:
Walk to the door together
Pip rings bell on command
I open door
We go outside on ‘Outside’ command
Pip goes to the toilet on command (unless distracted or doesn’t need to go)
We go back into house on ‘Inside’ command
This has made toileting more fun for everyone and after a few days we would ask Pip to ring the bells again if her first attempt wasn’t loud enough. She now knows if she bashes them with her paw she gets a much better result.
We are hopeful that in time Pip will ring the bells herself when she feels the need to go. Let’s wait and see………