House Training Small Dogs
Housetraining small breeds can be a challenge!
The answer is ERRORLESS MANAGEMENT
total 100% supervision,
total confinement (crate training) when you can't
The hardest part is "total" ... It's so hard to keep something no bigger than a hamster in your total vision at all times, but therein lies the issue. Out of sight, probably pottying!
Management is the most effective tool you have. Baby gates or a playpen to keep her in the same room you are in, or leash her to your chair or belt so she can't ever be more than a leash length away at any time. If the dog is really tiny, a "kangaroo pouch"! If you have to answer the phone or make dinner, put her in her crate or a playpen in the room you are in. Take her outside on an unfailingly regular schedule - every hour on the hour and make every outing a party with cheering and cookies.
No correction. if caught in the act and scolded, the next time the dog will find a "safe place" - unseen. Not because she's sneaky, but because being yelled at is unpleasant, so to be avoided. If you don't know how to ask, or have become afraid of the person you need to ask, you will find a safe place to go. Behind the couch, down the hall, in the basement.
Be committed to discovering just what little signal - pause mid step / ear twitch / sniffing pattern she does right *before* she squats so you can redirect and respond with "Do you need to go out?" "YAY! Let's go OUTside!!" You can also teach her to ring a bell to go outside. Once she knows how to tell you that she'd like you to open the door, the rest will be much easier.
Potty pads are one more step to get rid of if the ultimate goal is to get your pup to go outside. If you must have an indoor toileting area in the interim, try a low sided tray with a piece of sod or dirt - copy the surface of the intended outside target. In the long run, having an indoor potty area will slow down the process of getting the pup to go outside, so avoid it if you can.
If you live in an apartment or condo and you have an outdoor deck, you might consider a litter box. Many tiny dog owners train their little apartment dogs to go in a litter box instead of making the trek into the great outdoors. For difficult housetraining challenges, it can be an option. Check out the Pup-Head Portable Dog Potty with K-9 Grass!
Litter box training video
Marking? Marking is about leaving messages, and is different than a house training issue.
Dog diapers - belly bands for boy dogs. If you can't watch your dog, these will keep his messages to himself and off your furniture!
This handout may be reprinted in its entirety for distribution free of charge and with full credit given:
© CAROL A. BYRNES "DIAMONDS IN THE RUFF" Training for Dogs & Their People -
ditr_training @ hotmail.com -