The Edmond Sun

Features

April 1, 2013

How to potty, crate train a new puppy

EDMOND — Q: We are getting a new puppy next month and we have not had one for 17 years. Please refresh us on how is the best way to potty train it. Also should we really keep him in a crate or cage when we are gone?

A:
It is good you are planning ahead and asking such great questions. Certainly a puppy does not come with bathroom manners, they do have to be trained.

The idea is to never let puppy potty inappropriately in the house. This is, of course, idealistic but nevertheless, a good goal to set.

Housetraining will begin the minute puppy arrives. Pick an outdoor area you prefer puppy to use before it comes home. You will need to give it every chance to use this potty area and no chance, if possible, to use the floor. This will require the help of everyone to do the frequent outside trips.

Your high percentage times to take it out are right after a nap, after a meal, after a play period and just before bedtime. Take it out to its special grassy potty area by the same route every time. Pick a word to use when it is pottying such as “potty.” This will help it associate the command with the deed like sit or roll-over. When it does potty praise it and use a happy voice. Some people like to give a small doggy treat for a job well done. This is a personal preference.

Your signals from it will include a sudden stop, sniffing at the area and circling an area and this will mean “pick me up and take me to my proper potty spot outside, preferably before I leak.”

Some people find it handy to tie a bell to a string and hang it close to the door to the potty area. Every time you go by, ring the bell and show puppy. This can become a signal to tell you your puppy needs to go out. Some puppies pick right up on this, others learn to bark or whine to go out.

There will indeed be times when you need to leave the home and puppy will be on its own. The cage makes a perfect place to put puppy to cut down on accidents and other mischief. The puppy will take to the crate easily since they see it as a “den” and they are instinctively both “den” and “pack” animals. You and the family are its “pack.”

Start by placing its favorite toy in the crate, then a treat or two.  Teach it the word “kennel” and give a small treat to encourage the act. Many dogs actually appreciate a den and feel safe there. Use caution in putting stuffed toys into the crate with it. If chewed up, these can become surgical emergencies to remove them from the gut.

They will frequently begin to go to the crate to take naps and to play with a toy. The rule of thumb for how long it can stay in the crate without a potty break is one hour more than they are months old. So for a 4-month-old dog, five hours would be about max. Again, instinctively it will not want to soil its cage or den.  However, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

Should puppy have an accident in the house, liquid or solid, immediately pick the accident up with a paper towel. Pick up puppy and use a gruff voice all the way outside. When you get to the potty area, place the accident on the ground in front of the puppy and change your tone of voice to “good dog,” potty and again praise and reward if the job is done. This only works if you see it do the deed. If it happened minutes to hours ago, this lesson will not work as puppy does not know what happened.

The more habitual you can make the sleeping, eating, playing and bedtime, the easier will be the training time. The time you invest in doing these activities in excess when the puppy first arrives will save hours of cleaning floors, disciplining and wishing puppy was better trained.

Some puppies are an immediate train, and others can take several weeks. You can start to assume puppy is trained when it goes about a month without an accident. Watch closely for its “signal” and the project will become easier much sooner.

DR. M. MARGARET KING, a longtime Edmond veterinarian, is a guest columnist. If you have any questions for her, email them to mkekdoc@sbcglobal.net.

 

1
Text Only
Features
  • Shopping smarter for family necessities can help the environment

    There’s a growing trend among consumers to make choices reflecting the goals and values that matter to them most.  In fact, two out of five people say they’re more inspired to try a natural product that does something good for themselves, their family and the planet, according to a recent study conducted by Toluna for natural products brand Tom’s of Maine.

    July 21, 2014

  • Back to school lunch Build a better bag

    Brown bag lunches and back to school go hand in hand. As you’re gearing up for the start of a new school year, it’s the perfect time to stock the pantry with healthy sack lunch options and after school snacks, too.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pets

    This is a list of animals that have been found and are at the Edmond Animal Shelter, at Interstate 35 and Covell in the Cross Timbers Municipal Complex. Call the shelter at 216-7615 for more information.

    July 21, 2014

  • Kids Cook Simple ways canned foods get children cooking

    When it comes to teaching children about healthy eating habits, there’s no better classroom than the kitchen.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Garden Vegetable Spring Rolls The Canebrake offers summer recipe for Garden Vegetable Spring Rolls

    The Canebrake, a destination hotel and spa in Wagoner, is offering the following recipe from its restaurant for Garden Vegetable Spring Rolls with Avocado Wasabi Puree.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 21, 2014

  • Quilt Edmond Quilt Guild celebrates 10th anniversary with event

    Quilting has evolved over the years and now, more than ever it is looked at as an art form.
    Edmond’s Quilt Guild is sponsoring its fourth quilt show and festival celebrating its 10th anniversary at the same time this week and inviting area residents to come and check out some of the newest types of quilting.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ryan by horse statue.jpg Good Samaritan who lost his leg ‘Keeps Moving Forward’

    He is an uncommon hero, this Good Samaritan who saved another man’s life and in doing so lost his left leg. Now his friends and family are reaching out to help him.
    While assisting a stranded motorist on Nov. 9, 2011, Edmond resident and Santa Fe High School graduate Tyler Ryan was hit and pinned against the back bumper of a car by an inattentive motorist on 15th Street in front of Crest Supermarket.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arthritis Foundation names Devon Energy Corp. CEO as 2014 honoree

    The Arthritis Foundation this week announced that John Richels, Chief Executive Officer, Devon Energy Corp., will be this year’s honoree at the 25th Annual Tribute to Excellence Dinner scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.  Richels will be recognized for his leadership, commitment and dedication to charitable and civic causes in the communities Devon serves across Oklahoma and throughout North America.
    The Arthritis Foundation’s Annual Tribute to Excellence Dinner recognizes outstanding Oklahomans in the public and private sectors for their exemplary work, as well as for their personal and professional contributions to society.

    July 18, 2014

  • Garden Yard of the Week winner Thompson preserves local history, beauty

    There is always movement and activity around the outskirts of the University of Central Oklahoma campus, but this week’s Edmond’s Yard of the Week winner, Sharon Thompson at 631 N. University, calms the area with a combination of Edmond’s slower past history and a current Zen peacefulness of nature in harmony. Her home is adjacent to more Edmond history — Gossett Park, honoring a 50-year Kiwanis member.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo