14th January 2013, 03:06 AM
New Ruby Cavalier - Approx 12 weeks old.
We have a new puppy and looking for tips on managing housetraining, and getting him started on the right foot. Can use all the help we can get.
14th January 2013, 12:33 PM
Hi and welcome!
The first thing to do: download the FREE book, After You Get Your Puppy, by famed international trainer Dr Ian Dunbar.
This will take you through every possible issue that will arise over your first year of owning a new dog , including housetraining, and gives training advice that will greatly help you end up with the adult dog you want. The puppy year is a critical time where behaviours, fears, and relationships are set and once set, are far more difficult to alter in an adult dog. So take advantage of this exciting period!
I also have links pinned to the top of the training section for great training sites that also offer advice. It really is best to read what all these excellent trainers have to say and get detailed expert advice.
The very basics are:
NEVER punish your puppy, keep him under 100% supervision 100% of the time or else contained (eg in his crate, but never for long periods as a puppy cannot hold itself long), forget using puppy pads which simply mean you have to housetrain twice (ugh!), bring him outside every time he wakes, after every meal or drink, after naps or exercise, before bedtime, and initially, you will need to take him out at around 3-4am as well -- for young pups (yours may now be old enough to sleep through the night without needing a potty break); have excellent tiny treats for rewards and use well timed praise, praise, praise. And have enzymatic cleaner on hand for cleanups (soap and water will NOT be enough). Expect many weeks of training; do not fall into the trap of having a week or two of no accidents and believing you have a housetrained puppy! That's easily, the number one mistake every owner makes . Despite what the books say, almost nobody ends up with a housetrained puppy in less than a couple of month's work. Most puppies are perhaps 80-90% reliable by around 6-7 months. Most are mostly housetrained by one year. Accidents are to be expected throughout your dog's life and especially on and off in the first year (so don't ever leave a dog alone and unsupervised anywhere you do not want furniture/floors 'accidented' upon!
Ian Dunbar's setup is in my opinion, the best and the best method (and you will see, illustrated with a cavalier ).
Be aware that if there isn't someone at home all day in especially in the first few weeks of housetraining (eg people are out at work and puppy is left alone) the housetraining process will take weeks to months longer and depending on how alone a dog is left, the pup may even not ever be fully reliable. As I am sure you know, cavaliers are indoor dogs, not outdoor dogs, and also are frequent easy targets for thieves, so leaving a dog especially a puppy outside alone all day is never a viable option for a responsible owner.
In memory: Lucy