Getting ready for Puppy




Meet our little Yadi!!!  Oh my gosh, I’m super excited and can’t wait for May to get here.  I have a lot of work to do before his come home date though.  IMG_4665

Since I am a dog trainer and keep everything!! I do have a lot of the things that are needed for bringing a puppy home but there are still some things I need we started out with a basic list of the supplies we would need.

Let’s start out with just a few items at a time and talk about them and how we will use and train with them.


Collar, Leash, and Tags – Our puppies HAVE to have identification on them.  In the horrible case that we do not discover the escape route before they do, we need a way for whoever finds them to contact us.  I get asked all the time about what to put on a tag.  The most important thing is your dog’s name and your phone number.  I have also included on Loki’s that he is Microchipped.  I will do the same for baby Yadi when he is old enough to get chipped.  This way if for some reason someone can’t read my phone number they can always go to any vet or shelter and have my pup scanned and they will have all of my information.


Crate / Playpen – This is something that I firmly believe in.  I’m going to try something just a little bit different with Yadi than I did with Loki because I want to know for myself how it works.
I’ve always used a playpen outside my dog’s to secure them when I could not be watching them. (that’s when they get into EVERYTHING)
This time I have an Iris Playpen that I used with Loki that I will set up around Yadi’s crate.   His crate will be a 2 door crate with a divider inside, on one side with the door that opens on the front will only be large enough for his bed.  The other end will have a potty pad in it.

iris-playpenThe Iris Playpen has additional panels that can be added.  It’s a hard plastic that can be sprayed off outside if need be, and best of all, you can zip tie small toys to the joints so that puppy can play tug with his toys.  and they are not just laying on the floor.  They become interactive with him.




The idea is called a Puppy Apartment.  I’ve always said not to put puppy pads in the crate before because we don’t want out puppies to learn to lay in their accidents and learn that it’s ok.  This idea helps them to not lay in it and keep their bed away from their accidents as well so it might just actually work.  I’ll update more on that as we go.

Bed – I want to give Yadi a big plushy bed that will help him rest comfortably but the truth is, he is a puppy and he will have an accident on his bed at some point.  Until we are potty trained he will need to have a crate pad, similar to the one in the picture above.  The pads and mats can be put into the washer and washed with an enzyme killer to help keep him from wanting to potty on it again.


Dangers of Aversive Training

Dog training requires a basic understanding of what reinforcement and punishments are and how they work.  Your dog being the learner is the only one that can decide what is rewarding to them, as well as what is aversive to them. 

The most basic definition of Punishment is something that lessens the likelihood of a behavior from happening.  In dog training, we use 4 quadrants to look at behaviors and decide if they are positive or negative to our dogs, to understand how learning works.

The four quadrants can be difficult to understand but you have to learn how to look at them correctly. Positive simply means that we add something, Negative means that we take something away. 
Reinforcements are something that the learner desires and deems worth working for.  A Punishment is something the learner deems is worth avoiding. 

Positive Reinforcement is where we add something the dog wants to work for in order to increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring.

Negative Punishment is where we take away something that the dog wants in order to decrease the likelihood of a behavior occurring. 

Positive Punishment (yes, I know that sounds crazy) is where we add something the dog finds aversive to reduce the likelihood of a behavior occurring.

Negative Reinforcement is where we take away something the dog finds aversive to increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring. 

Is your head spinning yet?

Now Lets look at why it’s important to understand this. 

One of the most common aversive training methods used is a spray bottle of water.  While it is true that if we can interrupt an unwanted behavior and redirect our dogs to a behavior that we can instead reward that it will help teach them a better behavior.  Punishments can go wrong if you don’t understand what it is you are trying to do.   

Take barking for example. Your dog is barking at something, let’s say it’s the mail/ups man and he has come to drop off a package.  You ask your dog to stop barking and they ignore you because in the past when they have barked at the delivery guy has always left when your dog barked at him.  So in your dog’s mind barking works to make the visitor go away.  A trainer looks at this situation and sees that your dog is being reinforced for his barking because it causes the delivery guy to go away, thus making it a self-rewarding behavior.

Now say you come in with a squirt bottle and you spray your dog with water because he is barking at the delivery guy.  Your dog does not understand that his barking does not influence what the delivery guy is going to do, one way or the other.  Now, this could go a couple of different ways.  For it to work at all the punishment you give (the spray bottle) must suppress the barking.  If not then it will not work, if you have to spray your dog even twice then it will not work.  At best your dog learns not to bark as long as the bottle is in your hands.  This is one of the most common issues with aversive training techniques.  You see a dog associates everything they see and hear with what is happening to their bodies.  What your dog is learning is that If I bark while mom has the bottle in her hand, I will get sprayed, but if mom isn’t here then it’s safe for me to bark.  This inconsistency is why, and aversive methods do not work.  If your dog has even the slightest bit of anxiety or nervousness your dog could start to associate you with them getting squirted with the water bottle.  If your dog becomes afraid of this then they could start aggressing towards you when you hold things in your hand that makes them think you’re going to spray them.  Worse yet is if they associate that fear of being sprayed with other people that come to your home, or in general and become fearful or aggressive towards them. 

The negative fallout of using this type of aversive methods is far-reaching, even to the point of causing your dog to become fearful of baths or even grooming.  Don’t forget the fact that your dog’s eyes are very sensitive and if you accidentally spray them in the face on a stream you could damage their eyes. 

A better way of teaching your dogs not to bark, ask yourself 3 questions.

  1. Why is my dog barking
  2. What does my dog get out of the barking
  3. How does my dog interpret my reaction to his barking

Once you can answer these questions then you can better figure out how to train a better reaction to the problem.  There are cues such as “Leave it” where you and teach your dog to turn their attention away from whatever they are focused on and focus on you instead so that you may give them instruction.  You may also need to desensitize your dog to the sound of your doorbell or of people knocking on your door.  The important thing is that once you know why your dog is barking you can fix the issue without doing anything that could cause lasting harm.

For more information on how to prevent barking or to train the “Leave it” to your dog, feel free to contact me at

The Hardest Part of Potty Training

Trying to Potty Train Yadi has been a nightmare!!  He came home litterbox trained, and that was great when he was tiny, and before Loki started flipping the litter box.  So when we started trying to transition to going outside we better at times and not so great at other times.  Now he is 7 months old and the marking is killing me!!!

Part of my problem is that I have forgotten from Potty Training Ian that I have to plan my whole day around taking potty breaks.  Then when we go outside I’m so pushed for time, I forget that we need to set a timer for how long we need to stay outside so that he can get bored and do his business.  I truly believe the hardest part of potty training is us being human and not giving our dogs the time they need.

Sometimes our dogs don’t even know how to tell us they need to go out and there are things we can do for that to help them.  I’m working on teaching Yadi the bells that hang from the door.  He is not a big peanut butter fan though, so I’m going to have to try something else.

The big things to remember in potty training are this:

  • We are forming the HABIT of going outside to do our business
  • Watch our dog for any signs that mean they need to go
  • Give them the time to get bored outside
  • Don’t free feed them, if you don’t know when the food is going in, you don’t know when it needs to come out
  • Don’t be in a hurry!

Any questions can be directed to me at
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Finding 5 Minutes to Train.

Yadi laying down

Yadi laying down behind me while I work

Good morning, I hope everyone is doing well today.  If you have ever been in class with me you have heard me say… “Don’t try to train for 30 whole minutes”.  I don’t know about you but my life is very hectic.  I have a 16-year-old stepson (Connor), a 3-year-old son (Ian), & a 7-month-old Corgi puppy (Yadi).  Between our jobs, housework, laundry… oh my word at the laundry…  trying to find 30 minutes a day to train my puppy is just insanity.  Even if I could find those 30 golden minutes, my puppy wouldn’t have the attention span to focus on me the whole time.

So here is what I do instead.  While typing this blog post, my puppy Yadi is chasing the Ian who is running through the house laughing and teasing Yadi with a toy to get him to follow him.  Every few minutes I call Yadi to me and reward him for coming and then release him to go play.  This looks a little like this:

  • I say “Yadi”
  • When I hear him turning towards me I say “Yadi Come”
  • When he gets to me, I reward him with a treat from a pile of treats on my desk
  • I pet him and scratch his back and then tell him “go play”

Now we are practicing this because as of the last couple of week he seems to think that

treat stash for random training moments

A pile of treats on my desk for random training.

Come means, run away from mom because she is going to pick me up and put me in the kennel.  We also need to work on going into the kennel on cue as well.

By me practicing this every few minutes while I’m working, he is getting so many more repetitions than he would if I were standing somewhere in the house calling him.  He would realize I have treats and not move away again.  This way it’s also a “real world” setting.  He is learning to call out of play to come to me, which is very important for a herding dog that can get overstimulated really quick.  I NEED to have the ability to call him to me no matter what is going on and he must know, “I need to go see what mom needs”

Dogs, Kids, and Stress oh my!!! LOL



One of the things I’ve always tried to do is to be totally transparent with my training.  I’ve shared with you all the struggles I have had training my own dogs and in my own life.  It’s one of the things I have always prided myself on.

So you guys all know the issues that my son was having with Loki, some of that is carrying over to Yadi.  Most everything with Yadi is easier because he is so much smaller than Loki was.  However, he still gets nervous when Yadi is trying to herd him or get’s in his face in the car.

little boy and his corgi

Ian and his best buddy Yadi

One morning this week,  I had a thought since our biggest issues are in the car when Ian is strapped in and can’t get away, we should do some training in the car.  Ian loves to give treats to the puppies, he always has so this morning as we were getting ready to go out to the car, I grabbed a handful of treats and stuck them in my pocket.  I put Yadi in the back seat and buckled his seatbelt harness strap and then went to put Ian in his car seat.  I then took out the treats and put them in the door pocket for Ian.  I told him that they were for him to give to Yadi on the way to daycare.  Yadi tried one time to jump up in Ian’s face and I told Ian to make Yadi lay down.  He did and Ian loved it!!!

This will be something we repeat on a daily basis so that Yadi is learning more to lay down for Ian rather than jumping on him, and I’m afforded a little more sanity before getting to work.  Ian also is learning that he can control Yadi, and Yadi is learning to listen to Ian.


Dog Training and Depression/Anxiety.

10 years ago after finding a therapist that I felt I could actually talk to and pouring my heart and head out to her, I was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of some things that happened in my childhood. I grew up with an alcoholic mother and an emotionally absent father.  Now before anyone makes any split decisions about my parents, let me say they were/are good people, they loved me but their own problems got in the way sometimes.  My mother was a police officer and we have all heard of the stresses that can come from being in the line of duty.  From what I have been told, my mother started drinking because of her own depression and started self-medicating when I was very young.

My Dad in Vietnam

My Dad in Vietnam

She lost her battle with addiction 16 years ago.

My father a Vietnam Veteran, closed off a lot of his own self, trying to forget the horrors he faced in war.  My dad is, by the way, the reason I started training PTSD dogs for others, and why the program I do with the Beck PRIDE Center, Battle Buddies: Paws for Vets is so very dear to my heart that I have to fight to not cry almost everytime I talk about it.

I have very few memories of my childhood before the age of 13. I suffered from sexual abuse as a small child.  My brain’s way of protecting me was just to block it all out.  Some of the more traumatic ones have surfaced throughout the years since, and are very vivid. I have been off and on medications for depression and anxiety since I was 16. There are things I have done in my life that I regret with every ounce of my soul because I was acting out against my mother and the things going on with her addiction. There are still days when my emotions are in control of my life instead of me being in charge of my emotions.

This is something that I don’t really talk about but lately, I’ve had a lot of pushback about why some people can’t train their dogs because they just don’t feel up to it. I try to tell them that I understand and have been through it. I get this look of how could you possibly know. I do! Sometimes, it’s not a look but a comment.

Chihuahua - Corgi Mix

Tazie, my Soul dog

When I was first becoming a dog trainer I didn’t have any kids, and only had one dog, and he was glued to me. Training him was easy!!! He went to work with me every day, and I was practicing with him what I was learning from my mentors and in my coursework.  During this time, my relationship fell apart and I threw myself head first into dog training to escape all the feelings that were trying to surface then.  One of the things about children that grow up in an alcoholic home is that we learn it’s safer to stuff our feelings down deep where they can’t get you hurt.
Now I have an almost 4yr old little boy who wants his mommy to do everything, a new business that I am trying to get off the ground and turn into something that I can be

little boy and his corgi

Ian and his best buddy Yadi

proud of all the people I help, a new house I’m still trying to settle into. Not to mention all the bills that go along with that.  I have two dogs and one that my son is uneasy of.  Both of my dogs are herding breeds so when a little boy goes running through the house, there is a ton of barking which by the way sends me into a panic.

There are days when I honestly am not sure I can even get out of bed, but I know that my family, dogs and bearded dragon included, depend on me to take care of them. This is one of the things that keeps me going when I feel like the world is closing in on me and I’m barely able to keep my head above the waters of anxiety and depression.
Sometimes just making a decision of what to have for dinner can make me want to hide in the closet and cry, however on top of all these feelings, my dogs still need me, and I need them. I need the relaxed feel of my pups loving on me and knowing that no matter what, they are never going to judge me. This is the reason that I started so many years ago with owner training myself with Tazie.  He became my PTSD Service dog.  He was able to pick up on my moods and triggers.  He could stop me from having a panic attack and prevent me from self-mutilating scratching that has left scars on my arms and legs.

two dogs playing

Loki an Australian Cattle Dog and Yadi a Welsh Pembroke Corgi

My dogs are less than perfect and I’ve always felt that I needed to share that with my training students because it lets them know that I do understand what they are going through.  Sometimes, however, trying to explain that I understand the darkness in their minds is harder to do.  It’s not something I can say face to face to just anyone. Even writing this post has been very hard but something I felt was needed.  Sometimes just going out alone with your dog and a toy and some treats and working with your best friend who puts you on the highest pedestal ever, can be the best treatment to get out of your own head.  I think that is something that I need to do a little more often as well.

Potty Training, or Habit Training

A poll of my facebook group

Showed that the things that pet parents feel challenge them most are Potty Training and Leash Walking.  So this will be a 2 part post.

Basset Hound Puppy going Potty

Photo by Adam Kontor on

Potty Training?? Or Habit Training??

You have brought home this little bundle of joy and now every few minutes your finding your puppy peeing or pooping on your floor, and you are ready to pull your hair out.  What do you do?  Try not to listen to everything you have heard.

Way back during the 1950’s a dog trainer named Milo Pearsall wrote this training protocol where when your dog poops or pees in the house you, once discovering it, promptly rub your dog’s nose in it. Well, actually what he wrote was you put your dog’s nose NEAR it so they could smell the accident.  You know that game Chinese Whispers, where you tell someone something and they tell someone else and someone else and so on?  10 people down the line and the original story has been changed.  This is the case with this technique.

When trying to potty train a child do you take their diaper or pull up off and rub their nose in it, to teach them to use the potty?  NO!!! So why do we do it to our puppies who do not even have full control over their bladders until they are around 6 months old?  At the time that we are trying to potty train, we must remember that our puppies are no more developed than a human child of 6 months of age.  One of the major reasons that we do not want to “rub their nose in it” is because doing that doesn’t teach your dog anything other than not to be in the same room as you when poop or pee is found.
Have you ever had a dog, or heard a friend talk about their dog, that pooped under the bed, or behind the couch??  I would be willing to bet you money that at some point while potty training, that puppy built a negative association between them being in the room when mom or dad found pee or poop accidents.

Another problem that can come from this is that your dog may decide they are not allowed to go potty on the leash with you watching them.  They may extend their fear, of punishment for being in the same place as you when poop or pee is found, to the leash and outside potty times.

The best thing that I’ve found for potty training is to set up a schedule of when to go outside.  We know that the “average” time it takes a puppy’s digestive system to work is about 30 minutes.  So try following this schedule:

  1. Put the food down and give puppy 5-10 minutes to eat.
  2. Put the puppy in kennel or leash up and keep her with you for about 30 minutes.
  3. Take puppy outside on a leash.
  4. Go to one spot, do not walk around with puppy.
  5. Give puppy about 5 minutes to get bored and go potty.
  6. If the puppy does not go potty take them back inside and put back in the kennel or keep with you on the leash for another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Go back outside on the leash to your potty spot.
  8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 until puppy goes potty outside.

IF you walk your puppy around or if you let them go outside off leash, they will get distracted by running around and playing and THEN when you bring them back inside they go “oh this is boring it’s not as fun as outside…  oh yeah, I have to potty”.  They will then potty inside after having JUST been outside.

We have to teach our puppies that outside is where we go potty and that we only get play time after we have gone potty.  It is up to YOU to set your puppy/dog up with the “habit” of going potty outside.

puppy laying in grass

Photo by on

Part of our problem is when we are training our puppies we tend to think they should be born knowing to go outside, but they are not.  They are born inherently clean, and momma dog helps them to stay that way by cleaning up after them while they are nursing.  Momma dog does not, however, teach them they need to go outside to potty, that is our job.

If you catch your puppy going potty, try to distract or startle them and then run outside with them so that they still need to potty.  Once we potty remember to make it a GREAT experience, Treats and PARTY time.  If you are finding the aftermath of a potty accident, don’t make a big deal out of it.  After 30 seconds or so your dog doesn’t know he or she is the one that had the accident, only that someone left their mark.  Thoroughly clean the area with an enzyme killer and chalk it up to a lost opportunity and focus on being better at reading your dogs signs.

If you are not sure your puppy knows how to tell you they need to go out, you can teach them something like ringing a bell to help you know when the time comes.

For more information about potty training or any other type of training, please email me at

Overcoming Obsticals


So most of you, that read my blog, know who my kids are. Connor 16,  Ian 3 1/2 years old, Loki a 1 1/2 year old Australian Cattle Dog (blue heeler) and Yadi a 3 month old Corgi.  I’m sure some of you that have been my students for a while have noticed that Loki has not been in class much lately.  Well, we had an accident with Loki and I have a mental block over working with him.  Though I can see the ways I need to get over this problem I thought it might be helpful for others that have experienced issues with their own dogs and how hard it is to overcome a problem with working with them again.  We have had IMG_4657problems with Ian being afraid of Loki because he is so hyper (which is normal of his breed) but had been working with him training Loki and we were making a lot of progress.

About a month ago, we got a swingset for Ian and while Tim and I were outside putting it together I noticed that Loki had started chasing cars.  While we were working on the swing, if I told him to Leave it he would and return to me.

Later that afternoon, I took Ian outside to see his new swing set and took Loki out with us.  We had been outside for just a few minutes and Loki takes off running and slams into Ian.  Ian flips up in the air with his feet over his head and landed on the back of his neck.  As a mom, I was terrified that I had just lost my child.  As a trainer, my mind started swimming as to what caused it to happen?  Was he going after Ian to herd him, or what…  The more I think about it now I believe he saw a car and was going after the car and Ian got in his way.  No matter what caused the problem we had a major problem.


The very next day Yadi came home to be part of our family.  Ian LOVES Yadi (when he is not trying to pull the tail off his cat boy suit).  He wanted to hold him the whole way home from Fort Smith and I had to keep telling him no.  I was so happy to see that the accident did not make Ian afraid of all dogs.

For weeks every

time Loki even looked in his direction Ian would scream and cry.  This was that main reason I stopped bringing him to work with me.  After a few weeks of having Yadi Ian started wanting to play with Loki through the baby gate again.

Being a trainer I’ve tried to set down and look at it from the perspective of what would I tell a student if Loki had been their dog, and Ian had been their child.  I laid out a plan and am doing my best to follow it.

I’ve only allowed Loki to be around Ian while on leash so that I can control him.  I’ve ordered a black out mesh to go on our fence, so that Loki can not see the cars going by.

We have put up a trolly line to keep Loki on when he is outside at the same time as Ian.  This trolly line was the one for a 100lb dog, and Loki is only 37lbs.

The first time I put up the zip line, I used the I-bolts that you screw into the tree.  The first car


Loki saw go by he took off running and before I could stop him, he bent and pulled the bolt right out of the tree!!! I had to move it and secure it around two metal T posts in my yard from an old clothes line.  This just added to my frustration.  I thought long and hard about rehoming him and even tried looking for a home with the help of a few of my students that would know farmers that might need/want a working dog.  Trying to weigh in the safty of my child and would I really be able to control him if he wasn’t working on a daily basis anymore.

I just had a nagging thought it my head that I couldn’t give him up.  I couldn’t let him down, and he needed me as much as I needed him.  I couldn’t bare the thought of him going to someone that would be too hard on him and not treat him the way I would want.  I’ve always heard that you never get the dog you want, but the dog you need.  Loki challenges me as a trainer everyday, and I think I needed that after all the years.

I have slowly been trying to be around him more and not feel that sinking feeling that he was going to hurt my child again.

I signed up and have been taking an online class for herding, trying tolea

rn more about his instincts and how to work with them, not have them working against me.  We went back to working on basic comands: Focus, Sit, Down, Stay anIMG_5226d Recall!!!  Trying to work his positional commands from a distance to get more control over him.

Wednesday of this week I brought Loki to work with me.  He worked thought out the day with other students and had a major play session with Yadi and a friend.  A tired dog is always a good dog!!  He just laid beside Ian in the car and Ian was happy to have him there.  I think we are finally making progress.

No matter what you are going through, with a plan in place and everyone working together, you can get through it with a little Practice and Patience.  Don’t give up, just keep looking for trainable oppritunities.

Potty Training 101 pt 3

7 Puppies can not control their bladder until they are about 6 months old
Our puppies are born much like our human children are, their organs and little bodies are still developing and forming.  They do not gain control over their senses until about 12 weeks old and are not capable of holding their bladder for more than a small period of time until they are about 6 months old.  The general rule of thumb is an hour per month of age, give or take an hour.  So a puppy of 12 weeks can only hold their bladder for 2-4 hours, and that is still asking a lot!!!

8 What you clean with really does make the difference The smell in urine is held in enzymes in the proteins.  When we clean a lot of times we use cleaners that don’t kill those enzymes.  This means your puppy can still smell the urine in your home even when you can’t.  To him it means that sometimes it’s ok tousle the bathroom in the house.  Make sure the cleaners you choose say the are an enzyme killer, bio-enzymatic formula or something about enzymes.  If it doesn’t, don’t waste your money on it.

9 Just because you can’t smell it, doesn’t mean they can’t
Remember I talked about that sense of smell they have.  My students hear this speech all the time and I’m sure are tired of hearing it but… A dog’s number 1 sense is their Olfactory sense, in other words, their sense of smell.  A male can smell a female in heat up to 3 miles away, let that sink in for a minute.  So back to #8 if your not getting rid of the enzymes your pup can still smell where he had an accident and will go back to that spot.

10 Potty Bells can be amazing things                            Most puppies just don’t know how to tell you they need to go outside.  The potty bells are bells we hang from the door and teach our pups that ringing them means we go outside.  We do this as we are potty training and they learn to use the bells to tell us they need to go potty.

Potty Training 101 pt 2


In continuation of my getting ready for puppy series, here is Potty Training pt 2.

4 Rule of thumb 1 hour per month of age, give or take an hour
5 Feeding schedules are very useful
6 A crate is your friend

The Rule of Thumb – There is a general rule that trainers follow that goes along with lines of this… A puppy is able to hold their bladder for an hour per month of age, give or take an hour.  So if your puppy is 3 months old, they can hold their bladder at most for 2-4 hours.  This is not a steadfast rule it’s a generalization.  Some pups can hold their bladder long, and some just can’t.  They are born similar to our human children, their bodies and organs are still growing inside of them.  If spank them or get onto them for having a potty accident in the house, they just learn to hide it better.

Feeding Schedules are your friends – When I talk to pet parents about feeding schedules I mean that loosely.  I don’t mean that you have to feed your puppy at 6am and 6pm on the dot.

  • Give your puppy their meal, a lot 15-20 minutes for them to eat and then put them in their crate for 30-45 minutes (you can put their food in their crate with them, but you have to keep an eye on when they finish eating)
  • Leash up your puppy and take them outside.
  • Go to one spot and stand there, do not interact with them.
  • They need to get bored to go potty.
  • If they have not pottied within 10 minutes, take them back inside and put them back in their crate for another 10-15.
  • Leash them up and try again, repeat until they go potty.

Part of the problem is we think our dogs need to walk around and sniff and find the right spot, however, is just a huge distraction.  Our puppies get to running around and playing and forget why they are outside, then when we come inside everything is boring to them.  They remember then that they need to go potty, and then we go right there just back inside the house.
For Peeing in the house, Puppies need to go outside:

  • Within 5-10 minutes of visiting the water bowl
  • After waking up, even if it’s only been a short nap
  • After playtime
  • Every 30 to 45 minutes, until they are able to hold their bladders.

I’m in the middle of potty training a 3 yr old as well and I have to say, the similarities between potty training a puppy and a human child are definitely there!!

crateA crate is your friend – One of the things I hear a lot is that people think that putting their puppy in a crate is mean or is punishment.  Honestly, you have to look at it like this, when your toddler was learning how to explore the world around them, what did you do? You put them in a playpen or a bouncy chair.  So that we knew they were safe.
The same thing applies to our puppies.  They do not know what is safe and what is dangerous, all they know is how to toddle around and put everything into their mouths.  When our eyes can’t be on them, their crate is the best place for them.

Stay tuned for more…


Potty Training 101 Pt 1



First off, I’m going to apologize because you’re not going to like a lot of what I have to say.  Most potty training accidents are our fault, sadly, so let’s look at the facts and try to find a way to fix the problem of potty training.

Potty training a puppy is a lot like Potty training a child, however, I seem to have so much more luck potty training my dogs than my son so maybe this post will help me in that respect.  As with anything else in dog training, Consistency is the key.  Whatever method you choose, you have to stick to it.  Let’s look at some of the most common things having to do with Potty training.  We have to remember that our pups can not, in the beginning, tell us they have to go, just like our kids.  We have to teach them out to tell us.  We have to pay attention to them and put the work in.

1 Accidents WILL happen
2 Rubbing your puppies nose in it, does NOT teach them not to do it again
3 Yelling at your puppy teaches them to hide their accidents
4 Rule of thumb 1 hour per month of age, give or take an hour
5 Feeding schedules are very useful
6 A crate is your friend
7 Puppies can not control their bladder until they are about 6 months old
8 Just because you can’t smell it, doesn’t mean they can’t
9 Potty Bells can be amazing things
10 What you clean with really does make the difference

Accidents WILL happen –  Let’s just be honest here and admit that there is no chance that you are going to make it through puppyhood without a single potty accident.  It will happen, what’s important is how we respond to it.  Whoops!!! We had an accident, clean it up and better luck to you next time.



Off The Leash Comics – Pick N` Roll

Rub your puppies nose it in – I’m sure we have all heard this at one point or another.  Honestly, ask yourself how does this teach your dog anything?  I mean we are talking about animals that willingly roll in anything that stinks???  (By the way, if you have never seen any of the Off the Leash Comics you are so missing out!!!)

Yelling at your puppy teaches them to hide their accidents – Our dogs are very perceptive learners. I’ll give you the short version here but if you want to know more just let me know and I’ll give you more details. Let me set the stage for you.
You come into the room and find that your puppy has had a potty accident, (this could have been 5 minutes ago or longer and your puppy has no idea that they are the one that had the accident anymore believe it or not).  When we yell at them for having a potty accident, what you puppy decides is that wow I don’t know how made that mistake but I better make sure I don’t poop or pee in front of mom or dad because I don’t want to make them so upset.

Now, this is where you get your puppies and dogs that will go and hide behind or under the furniture to poop or pee.  This is also the reason that some dogs will not use the bathroom on the leash in front of their parents.

Come back on Thursday for part 2 of Potty Training 101