Have Sally for 2 weeks now and is such a good puppy starting to go on walks, loves company but knows when its bed time. the only prob i have with her is house trainning she goes when and where she fills like even on her bed. Was reading a little about crate training. is it a good idea, i thought this was more of an Americian thing but i see them been sold in pet shops and argos. Any info about this would be great. :?
There are tips on crate and housetraining that would be good for you to read in the Library (caring for Your Cavalier) section. Using a crate helps with training; it doesn't mean the puppy needs to spend most of her time in one. Generally you need to have her under such close watch that she is never able to go inside, especially not in her bed. To do this, read thru the housetraining tips and I suggest ordering Shirlee Kalstone's book on housetraining a dog. You can also get a small xpen (exercise puppy pen) and use that instead of a crate so that she can be confined down to small area, but a crate is a must-have anyway for taking her to the vet and safe car transport (she should never be loose in the car; this is very dangerous for her and you) and also gives her a place she can go retreat as a mini dog house. Argos have very cheap plastic crates and the doors come off for indoor use as a 'dog house'.
Overall: she needs to be under your constant watch (eg arm's reach away), or on your lap, tethered to you by a bit of rope or a lead, or in her crate at all times so that at the merest hint that she needs to go, you can snap on her lead and bring her outside. She should npot be given the run of the house or even allowed into more thsan one room as you need to housetrain her slowly, room by room -- she sees no difference at all between indoors and outdoors; going on the carpet or going on the grass. Then treat and praise when she does her job. Take her to the same place every time as this will help stimulate her to go (the scent from having gone there previously). She needs to go out right after waking in the morning, after every nap, after playing, after drinking water or eating. She can only hold herself for about an hour per month of age plus an extra hour but not when she is active and playing. being very vigilant now pays off -- the fewer times she has accidents inside, the faster she will be housetrained. Eevery single accident is a small step back in training. Also never ever punish her for going in the 'wrong' place (if she is going where you don;t want her to go, it is only because you haven't yet taught her where to go in such a way that it is registering yet. :) ). Say 'no!' if you catch he *in the act* and pick her up and whisl her outside then praise her for finishing outside, but don;t punish or scold her for 'sneakies' that you failed to notice. The rule of thumb with puppies (as with tiny children!) is: if they did something you didn;t want them to do, they weren;t being watched closely enough so that you could intervene before the wrong thing happened. :) You want her only option, ever, to be to do the right thing until she does it automatically.