Pet Nanny, Dog Training

& Behaviour Centre for Medway



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Accredited Behaviourist:

email: [email protected]    |   tel: 07904 595022




Specialist in Kangals & Anatolian Shepherds


Reactive Dog Programme through one-2-one sessions & specialist Group Class


By HAIRY POPPINS, May 17 2020 02:35PM

You're puppy is not a mind reader.

Just because you leave the back door open all day does not mean that your puppy magically knows that you've left it open for him & that he should go pee out there ….. No one ever taught him that and he doesn't come pre-programmed to know that.

It makes perfect sense to your human brain that you've left the door open for your puppy so he must surely know to go outside?!! But if you've never taught him, how is he supposed know??

Firstly - is your puppy even comfortable / happy / confident to wander around outside or do you notice that some things spook him? He'll struggle to even THINK about toileting outside if hes feeling nervous or anxious so scrap the toilet training for a bit and just spend a few days (or however long it takes) to have some fun, relaxed times in the garden - no pressure to do anything else apart from just eat some treats / find some treats / play ball / fuss my human and go back inside as soon as I'm ready - leave the door open so that puppy can choose to go back inside when hes had enough.

Secondly - Once puppy is happy & confident out the garden you can start your toilet training - the key word here is TRAINING. Actual TRAINING. You actually have to teach it. You actually have to spend a lot of time & effort in getting this right and it can be hard going at times but stick with it.

Yes, you'll have a friend or a neighbour whose dog was toilet trained in a week but they're the lucky ones. Many puppy owners will need to spend weeks possibly months training their puppy where to toilet.

So - why does it take some dogs longer than others to learn?

So many reasons! The set-up with the breeder is vital & will make a huge difference. How you deal with "accidents" in the house will play a part. How dedicated you are to stick to a routine will determine how quickly puppy is trained. So many reasons but the Training Plan will be pretty much the same regardless so don't drive yourself insane trying to figure out why your puppy isn't trained yet.

To TRAIN your puppy to use the garden:

1) Take him out side every hour on the hour. After nap time, after feeding, after playtime, after cuddles. Yep, that's really going to mess up your day & be hard work but hey, you brought a puppy home and puppies are hard work.

Sure, your puppy may end up toilet trained without doing all this but a) its a bit of a gamble just waiting to see if he picks it up or not and b) it will likely take a lot longer if you are sloppy with your routine.

Stick to the plan above and nail it!

2) Following on from above, this applies during the night too *shock horror* You'll need to set your alarm and get up during the night??!! YEP! Puppies can't hold their wee for long (and just because Aunt Maggie over the road never had to get up during the night with her puppy doesn't mean it'll be the same for you) If your puppy learns that no one lets him out for a wee then he learns that he HAS to go indoors and that's not what you want to teach. Honestly, its worth setting your alarm for a few weeks ….

3) Get rid of the bloomin Puppy Training Pads! You'll end up doing two lots of training and that's just silly. Don't make things difficult for yourself. If you want pup to learn to go outside then just teach him to go outside.

4) NEVER, ever punish your dog for toileting inside. At all. EVER. Don't raise your voice, don't chase puppy. Don't get angry. NOTHING! Just clean it up - he cant help it. Hes only a baby and hes still learning. If he hasn't quite got it right yet then that's your fault not his.

Also, you don't want your puppy to be frightened to pee in front of you. You wont appreciate that at 1am in the morning when you're standing out the garden waiting patiently for pup to pee but all he does is mooch about - whys that? Because earlier in the day when he pee'd on the rug you got cross with him so now puppy thinks that you'll get cross if you ever see him pee ….

5) If puppy does have an accident, clean up with a proper urine destroyer. Not a bleach or an antibacterial spray. Use the proper cleaner to break down the enzymes & help prevent re-marking.



By HAIRY POPPINS, May 17 2020 02:34PM

The reason your dog pulls on the lead is because you haven't successfully taught him not to. It's so easy to "teach" dogs how to pull - most of the time you don't even realise that you're doing it but think about it from your dogs point of view:

When I pull my human I am always rewarded.

How so?? You don't reward your dog for pulling, I hear you say!

But what does your dog find rewarding at that exact moment in time? Its not about the hot dogs in your pocket …. If your dog pulls toward other dogs then you have just rewarded your dog by letting him greet a friend ….. If your dog pulls towards the lamp post then you have just rewarded him by letting him devour all of those scents & smells …. If your dog pulls towards humans and they reach down to fuss him then you have just rewarded your dog by letting him have a fuss …..

The rewards are endless and the Golden Rule to remember is that the dog always decides what they find rewarding - not you. If its a contest between a piece of hot dog or sniffing another dogs butt then often, the butt will more rewarding!

So, don't fall into the trap of "Well he walks fine until he sees a distraction and then he just loses it"

No - they are not distractions. They are rewards. Use them to your advantage.

Also, remember that there is no magical piece of equipment to stop your dog from pulling. There are harnesses, leads, head collars etc. out there but ultimately it is your job to train your dog how to walk. Some pieces of equipment can help with your training but the key word is "help" …. You'll still need to do the actual training if you ever truly want your dog to understand how to walk nicely.

When considering equipment think about how it is designed. Is it designed with the comfort of your dog in mind? If so, then this is the equipment you should choose …. We all want our dogs to be comfortable, happy, confident & fully enjoy their walks, right?

Or, is the piece of equipment designed to be uncomfortable for your dog? Will it tighten every time they pull? Will it choke them around their neck? Will it tighten around their nose? Does it squeeze tightly around their body?

Well, that's just unfair - if you haven't taught your dog HOW to walk then its unfair to use a piece of equipment that punishes him for getting it wrong.

Think about your equipment wisely and do your research.

There are collars that tighten & those that don't.

There are harnesses that tighten and those that don't.

There are head collars that tighten and those that don't.

Which would you choose?