toilet training, house training puppies

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A veterinary surgeon at and founder of a licensed housing agency for expatriate rentals and sales at

Thursday, October 06, 2005

109. Strict confinement 2 weeks. Schnauzer poops on paper but pee elsewhere

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Strict confinement in the playpen for 2 weeks is important in paper-training. However, this black and silver Miniature Schnauzer had loose stools for 10 days. He had one veterinary consultation.

Newspapers had to be changed frequently. He would poop on papers after 2 weeks but peed outside the papers and on floor tiles in the rooms.

Paper shredding was common as with other puppies. However, the owner provided paper strips as bedding, anchor the bottom of the playpen onto the edges of the newspapers to discourage shredding.

Why this 18-week-old still pees on floors of the rooms and outside the newspapers? Most likely, the urine smell of the puppy had not been neutralised thoroughly.


After 2 weeks, 80% on newspapers. 20% on floor tiles.

A spray deodourant called "Fur Breeze" used on floor tiles was not 100% effective. It was used to remove odour from fabric. I suggested vinegar:water 1:3 to neutralise urine smells on floor tiles.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

108. "Eating fresh stools only," the husband said.

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

The puppy was free to roam the whole apartment. So he soils many areas. He also ate stools.

The owners phoned today to say they were very pleased with my suggestion to get vinegar:water 1:1 to neutralise the floor tiles near the sliding door and other areas that attract the Shih Tzu puppy. They bought the vinegar from the supermarket immediately and the results were amazing.

2 weeks earlier, they had a list of about 8 areas of skin itchiness in this puppy. Written in pencil on a small piece of paper. Most owners do not do that. The diagnosis was scabies of the ear edges. They were also happy that the ear mites had disappeared and the fur was growing back in a tricolour Shih Tzu. I must check out my cases 14 days ago if I had documented this case.

Now, the puppy still eats stools. What to do?
I spoke to the wife. She said the puppy will not eat stools in her presence. When she is not around, he ate them. So, I recommended that the stools be sprinkled with pepper or chilli in the puppy's absence. There is a possibility that he may get stomach upset. Or drop a can of coins from a high area or shoot water from a water pistol when he opens his mouth to eat stools. These are suggestions in some dog books. Sounds impractical.

Later, I spoke to the husband. He said that the puppy ate freshly laid stools only. "It is not practical to remove the stools immediately," when I suggested that. I suggested adding pineapple slices in his food. Some owners say that stops stool eating. However, this must be done for some weeks. There are also powders sold by some food manufacturers to be eaten and to stop this habit.

It is a subject of disgust for the puppy owner and perhaps fascination for the researcher. I ask for feedback.

107. MalteseXPoodle not recognising that the towel is his bed

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Each puppy is different in treating the towel commonly used for a bed in puppies kept in crates. Some puppies sleep on it. I presume this was a rough towel. An old worn out T-shirt might be more attractive as it is smoother.

Use vinegar:Water 1:1 to neutralise all urine smell on the wire floor, except on those areas the puppy goes to pee. In this case, he seems to prefer sleeping in 2 corners (cleaner, appeals to a puppy's basic instinct to be as clean as possible). Clean up the 2 corners well. The towel is probably full of urine smells.

Ripping the towels and in this case, shredding newspapers occasionaly are common complaints. The puppy has nothing to do. Ripping the towel is his way of entertaining himself. There are some suggestions by puppy book authors to tie the towel at one end so that the puppy can pull it as much as he wants to amuse himself and to relieve his itchy gums.

Monday, October 03, 2005

106. Caned and told Shih Tzu not to pee on floor but he still does it.

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

In this case, the adult Shih Tzu, being male, has a need to urine mark his territory. So when the owner is not at home, he lifts his legs to pee a few drops of urine on the floor tiles. It is fortunate that he does not pee on walls as well.

As he is worried about punishment, he will not do it when the owner is around. This case is not due to the failure of housetraining. On more detailed enquiry, the Shih Tzu actually pees and poops 1-2 X per day outdoors.

Perhaps, neutering him may be the answer to urine marking of the apartment. To be effective, this must be done at an early age.

105. Miniature Schnauzer pee-trayed trained but poops on floor

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

How to convert the puppy to poop on the pee tray? The owner did not use newspapers at all due to shredding of papers.

I was thinking of putting papers on the floor tiles at corner of kitchen and giving treats and rewards for performing as required. To convert to paper-training. Is it too late?

Any solution email to

104. Golden Retriever imported, paper-trained 1 week

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Was he paper-trained by the Australian breeder prior to import?

Or was he very intelligent? Golden Retriever was paper-trained, using urine spray aid on newspapers within 1 week. The owner is very happy.

103. The other Siberian Husky objects to the same toilet area

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

"So, how's the leash training?" I asked the owner of the 2 Siberian Huskies. A new member of exactly the same colour was present as well.

"One husky just refused to pee in the same area as the other," the young lady owner said. So, he goes elsewhere.

I think the other puppy, like all puppies want a clean toilet area and sharing toilets may not be possible. I was too busy to take pictures, so I am using the old picture from Case No. 73.


I saw the 2 Siberian Huskies again. One has licked his elbow bare of hairs.
"Elbow sores are quite common in larger breeds in Singapore," I explained to the owner. "Many new large breed owners are not aware of this problem. Watch the puppy daily and many times. If you see the puppy licking the elbow point or anywhere, check for skin wounds."

Usually, the elbow wounds start as a small area of abrasion with the concrete flooring. A small wound. Flies irritate the wound. The puppy keeps licking till the point of the elbow becomes bare or black.

ELBOW SORES IN THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER. I had one case of a very responsible pre-teen boy who keeps washing the elbow sore with the prescribed shampoo, every day for 14 days as instructed. He kept the points of the elbows dry and clean. After 1 month, I saw this puppy and there was plenty of hair. I could not believe how so much hair has grown. The mum said, "My son (probably 12 years old) religiously followed the daily washing instructions in your shampoo and that is the reason for his success in curing the problem."

Well, it is more than just washing. He inspects the elbows daily and make sure that the puppy does not lie on hard floors. What the owner does not see is the use of antibiotics as well.

This is the first time I get a feedback about such a responsible pre-teen boy in Singapore. I have the stereotypical boy as a gamer, fighting online in addictive multiplayer games past midnight.

Probably territorial behaviour. Urine marking to define his own area. There was another case (black Schnauzer)in earlier reports. The more than one year older dog does not permit the young one to share the same toilet area. This is the second comment by owners with 2 dogs but in this case, the age gap is 1 month.

READERS e-mail to me your problems or solutions. Your queries may be included in the book to help all puppy owners all over the world. E-mail to

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

102. Barricade bathroom near kitchen, be vigilant for signs

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

The owner prefers that the puppy has more space than a crate or playpen. He has excellent knowledge.

Barricading the bathroom near the kitchen enables the puppy to see what's going on but not coming out to mess the whole apartment.

1. Observing for signs of elimination is good. The puppy is quickly brought to the papers.

2. Playing for a short period of 5-10 minutes is good.
3. Let him poop first before playing is a good idea.

4. More coverage of the floor. 4 pieces of Straits Times papers are used to cover the floor of the bathroom. This gives the puppy plenty of fresh papers to pee upon.

5. If playtime exceeds 60 minutes, must remember to put the puppy back on the newspapers in the bathroom, to continue paper-training.

Still confine the puppy in the bathroom as in the past 2 weeks.

I advise removing barricade, put second piece of newspapers (soiled) onto kitchen floor to see if the puppy is really paper-trained. The bathroom is the den for sleeping but if he is paper-trained, he can have freedom to roam the apartment.

101. Maltese poops outside the newspaper for past 2 months.

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

The puppy pees on newspapers, but will poo outside the paper.

Two possible reasons I can think of:

1. The odour removal solution has not been used properly or that it is not effective to neutralise the smell of stools.

2. The puppy dislike soiled newspapers which have not been changed regularly. Therefore, to avoid dirtying herself, she poops elsewhere, outside the papers.

Sometimes, the owner is too busy to change soiled papers as they are working the whole day. Confine the puppy in a bathroom or bigger extended playpen may be the answer.

100. When scolded, Shih Tzu purposely pees on floor tiles.

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Many owners do tell me that their puppies purposely misbehaves by peeing on the floor if scolded. This is one case. Could it be stress or the need for attention after scolding?

Or the attractive smell of past urine? The whole apartment may have urine smell due to the ineffective floor cleaner.

This brand "Dettol" is a very popular floor cleaner used in Singapore and I believe in Hong Kong too especially after the SARS outbreak. Some puppy owners claim success in using this brand too. It will be good to know whether it neutralises ammonia or not. More research in this area?

99. Leash the House Corgi 2-3 hours at night

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

The owner had to leash the Corgi to keep the living room clean. He bites through 2 ordinary leashes but dislike the present chain leash. Chain ones are effective and are less expensive.

The maid or the father will let him out to the garden at 4 a.m. Milk given before leashing. Other times, Corgi will just go to the garden to eliminate.

This is outdoor plus indoor leash method of housetraining a puppy.

NOTE. Never leash more than 6 hours. For 5-month-old, the ability to control the bladder is 4 hours. The owner leashes the Corgi for 2-3 hours at night and that is excellent timing.